Traveling Internationally with Kids (must haves!)

We just got back from spending 2 weeks in Iceland! We had our kids (ages 3 and 5 months) in tow.

Here are a few items that made our trip a success:

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  1. Portable sound machine. I kid you not, this is the best invention ever! It is $10, it can clip onto a stroller, carseat, baby carrier, etc! It runs off batteries (perfect for going international) and you can choose to have it run for 15, 30, and 45 minutes OR you can let it run forever. 🙂 This really helped with getting our kids to nap on the go, plus we used it in our sons crib at night. You can get it at Target or Amazon. (myBaby sound spa on-the-go sound machine) IMG_4767You can spy it hanging on the stroller and laying in the crib.   IMG_4336IMG_1818
  2. A baby Carrier. We brought along our Ergo for our 3 year old and our Infantino for our 5 month old. The Ergo was perfect for our 3 year old because it’s like getting a piggy back ride without having to use your arms! haha. The Infantino was perfect for our 5 month old because he loves to face forward and look out at the world. Both works so well for napping on the go and hiking! Both of these can be purchased on Amazon or target as well!IMG_2568(okay so this photo makes me laugh! My 3 year old wouldn’t put his arms under the straps and then fell asleep and was just flopping. 🙂 It was pretty funny!IMG_4066IMG_4170

  3. Headphones for the toddler. I got these completely adorable headphones on Amazon! Its a little headband with speaker by the ears. It stays on and if your kiddo  falls asleep it’s still comfortable! (CozyPhones kids headphones)IMG_4768
  4. Hust Hat. This bad boy can block out the loud noises when you’re trying to get the little ones to nap! It was a life saver for the plane, restaurants, and just being out and about! The plus side, it keeps the babe warm!! You can get it at Target or Amazon as well. IMG_4769

(so funny, the hat did slip down and cover my son’s eyes. He is under there somewhere!! ha 🙂 )IMG_4204

5. Pacifier Clips and a Wubanub. If you have a little baby like we do, that pacifier clip will come in so handy! You can clip it onto the baby carrier, clothes, carseat, etc! That way you don’t have to worry about losing it.

6. Stroller with a rain cover. This last one really all depends on the age of your kids and whether or not you’re expecting to be around rain. We went to Iceland and the weather there is so crazy. Luckily it was nice most of the time, but it would randomly rain throughout our whole trip. The stroller and rain cover were a life saver when it was raining. It helped keep our kids warm and dry, we also were happy to stick everything else under there (shopping bags, diaper bag, camera, etc!

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Well there you have it! That is my list of MUST HAVES. Stay tuned for my next post on what to pack in your child’s carry on bag.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

…until next time! xoxo ❤

Preston – 3 years!

Happy birthday, Punky!! I can’t believe my little boy punk is 3 already!!!💙 You are, oh so sweet and charming. First thing in the morning you always say ‘I love you so much!!’ and give me a big hug. You tell me how cute jack is and that I’m beautiful. You look at me and say ‘you’re so beautiful, mommy!’ 💃🏻Even though you spend like 95% of your waking time with me, you always like to tell me ‘how daddy does it’ or ‘what daddy says’! Haha. You are such a good big brother to Jack. You love to give him kisses and you started calling him ‘little chipper’.🤣 You have become so independent lately! (100% potty trained! Yeah!) But you still love your snuggles with mom and dad!! You are a little more demanding these days and enjoy acting out during the day when I’m busy with Jack. But I’m hoping that just means you will make a good CEO someday! 😝You can play by yourself, you have a great imagination, and love running away from monsters that are chasing you! 🤢so cheers with our chocolate milk to my smart and silly 3 year old! 😘💕

(I had to throw that last pic in here! You said Jack was cold and needed to cover him up!🤣)

I am just so proud of the little boy you have become! I’ve never felt like you went through the terrible 1’s or 2’s! There was a little rough patch shortly after Jack was born. That only lasted a few weeks and now you’re better than ever. Every day your Daddy and I talk about how fun and sweet you are!

The other day when I was cooking dinner you looked at me and said: “Mommy, I want to go buy you pink tulips!” That is just like you. So sweet and thoughtful. Every time we go to Aldi you pick out flowers for me by the check out. ❤ you will make an awesome husband some day!!

You got a watch for your birthday (not a digital one either) and you are so cute with it!! When I ask you what time it is you’ll say “It’s 7 and 3, mom” (meaning 7:15)

Everyday you’re at school your teachers tell me how amazing you are! Yesterday when I asked you who you played with at school you said, “Jack and Evan. I love Jack and Evan. They are my best friends!” (not brother Jack; to clarify)

When we were at the gym (in our new town) for the first time, when I went to pick you and Jack back up from the nursery, the lady in there told me how attentive you are to your baby brother. She said she rarely sees that with older sibling. But you were on the ball with his Binky (pinky as you call it), if he was crying, etc!

you are an amazing eater! You will eat anything!!! The other day you were downing sardines and decaf green tea. I think it’s because Daddy has had you on a broad palette since the beginning (think: beef liver, pickled herring, fresh kale picked from the garden…)

Okay, Okay, I’m done rambling! I just love you sooo much! xoxo

…until next time!! xoxo

38 weeks with Pip2

We have been SO busy around here lately, but I thought I’d do a quick post, it may be the last one I get to do before baby arrives!

 Today I am 38 weeks and 6 days pregnant! :O

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As per usual, I’m feeling huge and uncomfortable, but I’m finally feeling better! I ended up catching a pretty nasty head cold the day we closed on our house. It was accompanied with a nasty cough that hurt SOOO bad every time I coughed. Let’s just say the last week has been a whirlwind. Packing, Closing, Moving, Unpacking, Organizing, all while sick and very pregnant. Not exactly something I would recommend!!

Our house is coming together. Thankfully, all the moving boxes are empty and waiting in our garage to be picked up. I actually feel like I’m 80% ready for this baby to arrive. I just need to finish my hospital bag, Preston’s bag, and a few last minute things in the nursery. I really wish our formal dining room and sitting room had furniture, but I have a feeling that’s going to have to wait. I just haven’t had the time to do any furniture shopping.

Preston and I have visited a few ‘schools’ for him to attend. I thought it would be really nice for him to have something to do a couple mornings a week once the new baby arrives. I really want him to have that social interaction with other kids, structure, and discipline! He has a trial day tomorrow from 8-1pm. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he does, and having 5 hours to myself! But who am I kidding? Those hours will be filled with last minute baby prep, finishing up the Christmas shopping, making a run to the grocery store, etc! I’m sure it’ll fly by, but I know it’ll help not having a toddler in tow.

(our most recent trip to target for organizational purposes. lol 🙂 It guess nesting and moving create an angry organizational monster!)

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My birthday is on Friday, so I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with family and enjoying the last week(end) as a family of 3. Hoping baby will stay put until Monday the 19th. 🙂 But who am I kidding, as long as he’s healthy, I’ll be happy!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

…until next time! xoxo ❤

The single parent life.

To say the last few months have been busy would be an understatement. It has been so crazy around here!! Chad has been traveling to Nebraska for work every week–so during the week it’s just been Preston and me. Every weekend seems packed full as well!

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I’ve been watching our cute little neighbor boy 3 days a week. It’s definitely been great for Preston. He loves Joey so much and they have so much fun playing together. I love watching them interact. They do such a great job sharing and taking turns. I’m hoping this will prepare Preston for being a big brother, too!

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(^^ready for a bike ride, mom!!)

Little Preston is such a ham! He reminds me of when I was young. Looks and silly-ness!

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I think Chads traveling has been wearing on me. Not because Preston is a handful, he’s absolutely not! He’s actually SO very good for me 95% of the time. My sweet boy. But it’s all the other things that come up while your husband is away.

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For example: a few nights (mornings?) ago at 5am the smoke detector in our bedroom went off and continued to go off every 30 minutes. At first I thought it was from the humidifier in our room (i was also battling a horrible head cold), I drug a barstool in from the kitchen and I had to balance this 25 week prego  body on a high barstool to get the button pushed for temporary silence. (The bad thing about high 14′ ceilings). The alarms were going off and it eventually woke Preston up, (of course, chad was gone), I was so frustrated, tired, and sick (and pregnant) so I started crying and Preston crawled on my lap and gave me a huge hug and said ‘it’s okay, mama’. He’s just too sweet!! I finally got the ladder hauled inside from the garage (a huge heavy metal/steel? one) to change the batteries (Chad had to talk me through putting the latter up while i sobbed uncontrollably over the phone) but as soon as I unhooked the smoke detector and the alarm went off Preston goes ‘yay!! You did it Mommy!!’. He’s my little cheerleader for sure. Later, Chad was talking to Preston about it on the phone, Chad asked Preston about it and he said ‘it woke me up in my crib and scared me. I cried in my crib. Mommy was sad and crying. Had to change batteries’. Gosh he is just so cute. I seriously can’t get over how sweet and cute my little boy is!! The funny thing is that they went off again this morning! OMG (chad’s gone) it really was my humidifier (just getting over my week long sickness). At least this time I knew exactly what needed to be done. (the darn ladder below)

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We’re trying to get our house ready to put on the market as well. So I’ve been over working myself trying to scrub our walls, trim, and floors. I’ve organized the inside of all of our closets and under the sinks. Lets just say by about 3pm I can no longer move! It’s been killing my back for sure! I’ve been making many trips to the Salvation Army and lifting things I probably shouldn’t be lifting. My mind won’t stop running about everything that needs to happen before December when Pip2 will be here. I’m just praying we can sell our house and won’t be living out of a hotel with a toddler and a newborn. 😮

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Come buy our house!!

Preston has been his cute little self lately. He is so into learning it’s crazy! I’ve read a few things about teaching children (for example, teaching them to identify letters rather than just memorizing the alphabet and teaching kids to actually count during that time, rather than memorizing to count to 10.) Well, Preston has known to identify the letters in the alphabet since he was a little over 18 months. Lately, I’ve really noticed that he’s knows how to count, too! Which is great, because I’ve felt like a slacker Mom lately. The other day we were driving by wal-mart and they are doing construction outside to build a new bigger one. Preston said, “Mommy, I saw 3 diggers, 2 bulldozers, and 1 semi at the construction site’. After that he told me 1 digger was red, 1 was orange, and 1 was yellow. Once we got home he told me we got to go over 3 railroad tracks, too! (which was true, we went over 3 sets of tracks on our drive to and from our CSA–took a different route on the ride home).

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Last night I let Preston stay up until 8:30 (past his bedtime) because he was so focused on reviewing his letters of the alphabet! He kept going through all of them telling me what they were. This morning Preston woke up and wanted to learn about money. So I got out some quarters, pennies, dimes, and nickels. He knows what a penny is and a dime. Still working on quarters (or quarts, as preston would say) and nickels.

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I had my Glucose test at my prenatal appointment last week. I passed, YAY! Pip2’s heart rate was 140’s. Can’t wait to meet this little guy, but glad to keep him in and cooking for the next 3 months!

24 weeks

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25 weeks

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Tomorrow the hubby and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary. We are hoping to hit up an apple orchard/pumpkin patch and then have a babysitter arranged for a date night! Time has flown by, but I can honestly say, this has been the best time of my life! Four years in and I still feel like this marriage thing is…don’t hate me…but it’s easy. Chad and I get along, we agree on things 98% of the time, we share parenting styles and views on spending vs. saving, we have our own likes and interests, yet enjoy hanging out together and as a family. It’s been a crazy fun adventure and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!

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Today Preston and I did some painting (handprint/footprint art) to make a card and picture for Chad and the little stinker spilled the beans to him on the phone today. “i made a lion with my feetprint. Card for daddy” “mommy painted my hand. Made a fish”

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Every night before bed, I sing to Preston. His favorite is the Itsy Bitsy Spider. But I LOVE hearing him sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (or Tinkle Tinkle Yee-ole Star). Preston is so cute that he can’t say his L’s very well.

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Yesterday my uncle John passed away. It was very unexpected. He was always such a joy to be around! My favorite memories of him are from the houseboat we used to rent every summer growing up! His funeral will be next week in my hometown. Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight!! ❤

Enough of my rambling. Time to fold laundry! Hubby will be home tonight, thankfully! I hope everyone has a great weekend.

…until next time!! xoxo ❤

Summer 2016

It’s finally nap time after a busy weekend. I’m laying in bed getting kicks and punches to the tummy from our sweet little Pip2 (aka bun in the oven). I think I’m *finally* starting to feel better at 20 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I still throw up about once per day, but I don’t feel as sluggish and nauseous. My hubby actually said this the other day, ‘I can tell you’re feeling better because our house isn’t a mess anymore.’ LOL. I was like ‘WHAT??’. I mean, I knew it was messy, I was barely keeping up with the day to day of taking care of Preston and Bentley without wanting to lay on the couch the entire day (which i never actually did). But I do LOVE a clean and organized house! As does my hubby, we are both clean freaks! So he must have known how horrible I felt since I wasn’t cooking, or cleaning, or enjoying my daily walks around the neighborhood with my boys. I have noticed that as long as I eat a few squares of a Cadbury Milk Chocolate Bar at night, I’m able to keep my prenatal down, and I don’t have ‘evening sickness’ like I used to. (poor me having to eat chocolate before bed every night. 😉 ) Here are a few belly pictures of my progress!

18 Weeks:

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Here is a picture of me at 19 weeks pregnant (last week). I had to cut my face off because, yuck.

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I’m 20 weeks now! Pic at 20 weeks 5 days:

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Anyway, back to the reason for the post!

We are making the most of our last summer as a family of 3. Our weeks have been so busy, i mean really, every single day we have something going on! It’s been quite nice! It makes the weekdays fly by for sure! My hubby travels quite a bit for work so as long as we stay busy, Preston doesn’t seem to miss Daddy as much.

Although, I have to admit, I do love being at home and enjoying the simplicity in the day to day when we’re not so ‘on the go’.

Preston just finished his last day of swimming lessons! We had them outside this year and it was so perfect!! Preston is such a strong kicker and loves pushing off the wall on his back. He’s got his doggy paddle down, just not without my support and help holding him at the waist. He still hasn’t put his head underwater–he’s too scared! But he does know how to put just his nose and mouth under and to blow bubbles out. So at least there’s that! We aren’t pool rats by any means, so i think just a little more time in the water and he’ll want to submerge his whole head eventually. He’s only 2 though, so I’m not worried! 😛

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each kid got a little certificate for participation. 🙂

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Finally got a pic of both of us from his swimming lessons!

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Chad was in the Twin Cities for work a couple weeks ago, so Preston and I drove up on a Thursday to meet up with him after work.

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This is how I single parent it.

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He has every other Friday off work–so we got a hotel and decided to hit up the Mall of America and IKEA.

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We stopped at Lego Land, the Sea Life Aquarium, we went to the Rainforest Cafe, and then headed to Nickelodeon World. Preston was so good!! We got there right at 10am and stayed until 3pm. He usually naps at 1pm-but did so well for us!!

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At the Rainforest Cafe (he was too distracted to even look at the camera once)..but that’s why we went! We knew he would love the animals and the storms!

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A few rides:

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We were able to meet up with some friends for dinner that evening at Osaka Japanese Steakhouse. We got some sushi and let me tell you, it was the best sushi roll i had ever had!! OMG. It was called the BMW – spicy tuna, fish eggs, avocado, some sort of sauce! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The seaweed salad was on point as well.

The next day we met up with some other friends for ice cream and a park play date! It was the end to a perfect weekend!

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Preston has been in heaven with all the construction work going on around our house. Every day we walk down to see what they’re doing. The workers are always so kind and usually come over to talk with us and it’s so sweet.

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We read him ‘Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site’ every day before nap time and bedtime (along with others-but this is his fave). They say goodnight to all the construction equipment and Preston loves it!! He’s started tucking in his construction equipment before bed too. It’s adorable.

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^^ the big cement mixer was his potty training gift! We aren’t big toy buyers–so this was huge for him!! (toys-clutter that he usually plays with for like 5 minutes. lol)

for example, one day we went to toddler time at the pool and i forgot Preston’s water toys. BUT being the good Mom that i am, i gave him my barf cup from the car to play with! LOL! He had so much fun playing with that cup at the pool! seriously, best water toy ever!!! (yes, i cleaned it!!!)

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The neighbor kids have been coming over to play with Preston everyday. It is so nice because they will play with him outside and I can stay inside and get some stuff done around the house! He loves playing with the big kids and they are always teaching him new things, too! It takes a village! 😛

I randomly potty trained Preston one week. I’ve been wanting to do it, especially during the summer and before Pip2 arrives in December–but i just hadn’t found the constant time at home to do it. Well one evening we were playing outside and I just threw undies on Preston. He played and played and I eventually asked him if he needed to go potty, he said yes, and went over and peed on a tree. lol! No accident at all for the whole evening. The next day when he woke up I went straight to undies, he didn’t have an accident all morning, we went and ran errands and he went potty at TJ Maxx (I had his potty along in the stroller to whip out when needed). It wasn’t until we were at the play place until he did have a little accident. That was the only accident that day though!! The next day (day 3) we went to the gym and he was in the nursery and maybe started to go and realized he had undies on and didn’t continue, his undies were a tad damp when I went to get him after an hour and a half at the gym! Not bad, i’d say!! especially being in that new place with diff adults and a foreign potty. He’s pretty much been potty trained since –that was about 3 weeks ago. He’s had his accidents on occasion, but not that often at all! I still do a diaper at night and a pull-up during nap time, i mean, he’s not even 2.5 yet! I’ve got the main part down, once he’s dry while he’s sleeps maybe ill think about doing undies, but until then, i enjoy uninterrupted nap time! Plus he still sleeps in his crib, so not sure how that would work besides yelling for me that he has to pee. We’ll see! Maybe once he’s in a big boy bed!

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practicing to be a big brother!!! He named his baby “joe”.

That’s about us in a nutshell!

Our little boy is so good. He’s really, really good. He’s polite and kind. He’s sweet and so fun to be around! Lack of sleep is the only time we deal with cranky Punky–it’s very rare! I’ve loved our time at home together. It’s something I will NEVER forget or regret.

Makes me nervous for Pip2. Am I in for a rude awakening?? I feel like I got lucky with Preston in the ‘all-around-good-boy-department’. We shall see…

Now, I need to try and take a quick power nap before Preston wakes from his nap! 🙂

…until next time! ❤  xoxo

The fits.

Misbehaving Monday, let’s review the reasons my toddler has thrown a fit.

*he was crying because wanted to wear his bib so he brought it over to me, when I tried to put it on him he didn’t want to wear a bib. So I set the bib down. Repeat the aforementioned 10 more times.

*his train fell over while he was pushing it on the train tracks.

*he took his piggy bank off the night stand and set it on the floor, and then threw a fit because it was on the floor, but it was too heavy to lift back up and put it on the nightstand.

*he wanted socks on so I put socks on his feet, but he wanted mismatched socks.

My son has been two for 3 days and it took me 30 minutes to get his clothes changed today. Each layer was a struggle. What happened to my sweet boy?! 😬

 

…until next time! ❤

Preston – 2 years

Happy 2nd birthday to our little Punky! You are such a joy, little boy! You have always been so sPunky and full of life!! You randomly make silly faces and bust out in dance, just like Mama! You would rather have veggies and hummus with a side of liver for breakfast (rather than pancakes) just like Daddy! You love to wake us up in the mornings with eskimo kisses!! You’re so smart and always want to keep learning new things. We are SO proud of you!! 

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Our little boy turned 2 on Friday! First thing that morning, within 5 minutes, Preston got 3 FaceTime calls from his Grammy Che, Auntie Anna, and Uncle Pooze! They all sang Happy Birthday to him and watched him shove his face with a chocolate covered twist donut with sprinkles!!! His first one ever, he was definitely a fan.

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After breakfast we let him open his one big gift. It was a train table that I had gotten at Wal-Mart on Black Friday (note to self: never go to Wal-Mart on Black Friday again). The train table was only $30 and after joining the crazies, I had jumped over a pile of toys to snag the last one. I’m so glad it worked out because Preston LOVED IT!!! He has been playing with it so much.

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After much play time, we decided to take Preston to the mall play place. It’s his favorite thing to do. He had so much fun!!! We were even there at 12:51pm – the time of his birth!!

Preston took a nice 2.5 hour long nap. During his nap his friend Joey stopped over to drop off a gift for him and the mailman delivered a package from his girlfriend, Penelope. He is just so lucky to have such sweet friends in his life at the age of 2!!!

We headed to Grandma Che and Grandpa Bob’s house around 3:30. We got there just in time to head to the Brewery for a drink before the birthday dinner festivities started.

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This has become a slight joke/new tradition? Lol! (On Preston’s first Birthday we went to the grand opening of a new bar in town before dinner that evening. We figured he was 1 and he wasn’t going to remember it anyway! It’s pretty funny when we look back on it! He had a blast though, he was able to eat the complimentary popcorn they served! It was a win win!) 

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Anyway, back to the present, we did our annual brewery stop, and then headed back to Grandma and Grandpa’s  for appetizers and Indian tacos!! We were happy Uncle Pooze didn’t have to work and was able to come with us to the brew.

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We are so very thankful that his Grandpa Steve, Grandma Eileen, Uncle Scott, Auntie Holly, and cousin Noble were able to come, too!!

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Spending time with family to celebrate birthdays is so important to us. We love the memories and the fun. Preston loves when he gets to hang out with family. He’s finally to the age where he knows and remembers the people he sees often enough. It’s so cute watching him get excited when you tell him his auntie Holly and Noble are coming over! Auntie Emma had to work long hours that day, but she was able to FaceTime with us for a bit. She even contemplated driving back right after her shift at the hospital to try and make it to the tail end of the party–but realizing that she wouldn’t get there until 10pm…it didn’t work out 😦 We love her for wanting to come so bad though!!

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After dinner we opened some presents…

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and then celebrated with some ice cream cake!!!

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 Chad and I made the ice cream cake the night before, and I think it turned our really well!!! I was a little nervous, but it was delish.

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Preston’s birthday dinner was such a success!! He had so much fun running around and playing with Noble.

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My son, you are SO loved.

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Now, wish us luck as we enter the two’s. It’s off to a rocky start. 😛

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Preston is a little over 34 inches long and 29.6 lbs! He’s lost a little weight over the last few months. 😉 I’ll get exact stats on Thursday for his 2 year check-up. He knows how to identify every letter in the alphabet, he can count to 10, and can identify most primary colors. He knows a few shapes: circle, star, and square. His favorite color seems to be pink and his favorite number is 4! He LOVES to read!!! He has also been favoring his left hand when he colors and paints. (like mommy!) He can speak in sentences, I can understand him very well, others have a little harder of a time as he still has cute baby pronunciations! The other day when joey was here, I asked Joey if he wanted to eat because he was tapping the booster seat, Joey nodded his head yes, and preston said ‘i want to eat, too’. That was the longest and clearest sentence i’ve heard him say! Just within the last two days he’s started fighting nap time, but once he’s down, he will sleep for a good 2-3 hours. He has also been fighting bedtime, the later he stays up the worse it is, if you can believe it! We still put him down at 7pm every night. The more sleep he gets, the better he is for me during the day! I’m hoping this sleep fighting and regression is just a short stage, I’m getting tired. haha!

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a little before {37 weeks}, during, and after — for the sentimental side of me 🙂

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…until next time! xoxo ❤

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