Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Terrible Twos?

Everyone knows the old adage "terrible twos" -- that developmental milestone wherein your once cute and cuddly little baby angel...

...suddenly becomes a back-talking, temper-tantrum-throwing shadow of their former self.

I realize I'm probably jinxing us here, but so far things have just been getting better and better with baby G. Of course, he has his moments, but it's usually pretty easy to let him have his moment and then we move on to something else.

Like last week, I really needed to go for a run (because, yeah, I should be training again...) but he did NOT want to be put in the stroller. So we compromised he won.

We just went for a walk.

Jennifer has always said she thinks kids are the most fun from age one to three, and so far I'd have to agree.

Logistically, things are easier now because he's down to one nap a day (which is usually 2 to 3 hours), but he's flexible enough (and sometimes too busy playing) to go without napping at all. That has had a huge impact on our daily life (although that will all change again in a few short months).

Not only do we have more time for things, now he's actually able to get out and do more as well. And I LOVE watching him discover new things!

Back at his 18-month check-up we were concerned that he was borderline behind with his speech, but ever since Christmas his vocabulary has EXPLODED! Before, he wouldn't really try to imitate what we were saying, but now he does and he's picking up new words and sounds every day it seems. He can even count to 10 on his own!

And he's really helpful around the house. Here he is helping me unload the dishwasher:

But his favorite job (that he does every single day) is feeding the puppies.

He takes his job very seriously. Although sometimes he thinks Oreo needs to go on a diet...

He is currently obsessed with cars and trucks, especially construction vehicles, so we did a construction theme for his 2nd birthday party this past weekend, complete with a Pinterest-inspired digger cake:

He LOVED it!

I don't know if he liked the cake or toys more

And he loved opening his gifts. I don't think I've heard him say "ohhh wooowww" more than he did on Saturday!

So yeah, maybe I'm asking for trouble here, but as of right now things couldn't get any better with my rotten-to-the-core little partner in crime.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Our Little Boy Isn't So Little Anymore :(

The last time I officially blogged about Baby G was for his first birthday, nearly a YEAR ago!

I know, I'm sorry.

Since it's been so long, I wasn't really sure how to give a proper update on what's been going on with him, so I'm just going to throw some random cute pictures and stats your way, starting with a BIG milestone that happened last week (that I'm pretty sure I'm still not ready for)... he's no longer using a paci.

Yeah, you read that right. :(

Of course, I'm happy that we've hit the milestone and yada-yada-yada, but I sure will miss how something as simple as a paci can make him look like my little baby still.

(Of course, I don't have a recent picture of him with a paci, so let's go wayyy back)

The whole process was really smooth, and I think a lot of that had to do with us only giving him his paci for naps and bedtime, which we started doing when he was 15 months. We weren't going to take it away until he turned two (which is still three months away), but he's been chewing through them and we didn't want to risk him choking on them.

His last day with a paci was last Wednesday, but he went to bed that night without one, and he's been going down for naps and bed just as easily as he did with one (I really hope I'm not jinxing us now!).

He's only looked for a paci once before nap time, and I just told him they were all gone, although he did look into the trash can earlier today like he was looking for something. :(

On a cuter and happier note, this kid loves to eat!

He even helps us cook, but I think it's just so he can sample.

Good thing that's meatless meatloaf :-)


And even though he terrorizes things sometimes...

he's usually good about helping clean up.

He's such a smart boy, and I love watching him learn new things and how things work.

It's kind of hard to tell, but in that last picture he stole his brother's iPod and Rubix Cube and ran into the other room (to hide and play with them).

Sometimes, his curiosity gets him into trouble, though.

He still loves being outside more than anything.

And his hair has grown in so much, he's needed TWO haircuts!

(I'm still so confused by this, since his mom and I both have lots of thick hair, although I was bald until I was one just like him...)


He did so well both times!

Let's see... what else?

He went to his first wedding and of course he wore a bow tie.

And he helped us carve pumpkins for Halloween, although he tried to eat the "guts."

In his defense, there was a big spoon in it.

We haven't been running as much as I'd like, but he still enjoys it.

I squatted down to get a picture from a different angle, so of course he had to do it too.
His big thing lately has been cars, especially big trucks and buses and things like that. If he's upset, all we have to do is look up YouTube videos of excavators and that fixes any problem.

So basically, he's been a very busy boy.

I really have no idea how we got so lucky. He has such a great personality and is all smiles pretty much all the time.

I don't think there's anything cuter than when he's embarrassed and trying not to smile...

I really hate thinking about how big he's getting, but I love it at the same time. It seems like he just gets more and more fun the older he gets, and I know it's only going to get better.

He's going to make such a good big brother. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grand Canyon & Vegas - 5 Year Anniversary Trip - Part 2

If you missed part 1, check it out here.

We had decided back when we booked the trip to spend more time in Vegas than in the Grand Canyon. Our thought was that we'd hit the trails hard for the two days while we were in the canyon, and then spend the next four in Vegas relaxing by drinking by the pool, gambling, walking the strip, and seeing a show or two.

So when we heard about bike tours, we knew that was the perfect way for us to see a lot of the canyon in a short amount of time.

The tour didn't start until 9:30am so we grabbed some breakfast and checked out of the hotel (well, cabin) before heading over.

Our little cabin and rental car
After checking in for the tour, they fitted everyone for a bike and covered some safety issues before shuttling us over to our starting point.

We started at Mather Point (I think... maybe it was Powell Point) and worked our way west to Hermits Rest, stopping at each lookout along the way.

So obviously we got lots of really awesome pictures, and had a fun little (mostly downhill) bike ride along the way, but the best part of the tour was our guide.

At every stop he would tell us facts about the canyon and the local vegetation -- things we would have missed otherwise.

He said not to take pictures while riding, but I'm a rebel

I would absolutely recommend doing the bike tour to anyone. It was a very easy ride, and well worth the money.

Once our bike tour was finished we grabbed some lunch and hit the road for Vegas.

We got back to Vegas right around 6:00pm, dropped the rental car off (which, while we're on the subject of recommendations, I was very happy renting a car from Enterprise -- everything was so fast and easy), and hopped in a taxi to the Flamingo.

Vegas was pretty much everything I was expecting it to be. We almost cancelled the entire trip when we found out Jennifer was pregnant, but I'm really glad we didn't. Sure, it ended up being a different trip, but I was more than okay with doing a little more relaxing and a little less staying up all night drinking and gambling our money away -- it sure made for a cheaper trip! (Although I hated that Jennifer was as sick as she was.)

Our room at the Flamingo was really nice, with one major exception. Our window overlooked this cute little alleyway next to the hotel (that leads from the strip over to the new High Roller Ferris wheel). At the entrance to the alleyway was a huge screen that blasted music literally all. Night. LONG.

I seriously wanted to do some Office Space-kind of carnage to that damn thing.

But otherwise that little alley was so pretty!

Overall, our trip was a good mix of walking the strip, lounging by the pool, and doing a little gambling.

Since it was our anniversary, we had to make sure we got all fancied up for dinner and a show one night.

I had read that all of the Wynn restaurants feature vegetarian menus since the owner is vegetarian, so we decided to try LakeSide.

Inside the Wynn -- this was made of FLOWERS!
Dinner was better than I could have imagined.

I'm tempted to fly back to Vegas just for this soup. Seriously.

If you're a fan of clam chowder, you'd like this. It has a cashew cream base and smoked oyster mushrooms, and could easily top any true clam chowder I've ever had.

We also got the Organic Red Quinoa & Smoked Mushrooms (with stewed tomatoes, zucchini, and roasted cashews):

And the Old Bay "Crab" Cakes:

The food was great, the atmosphere was great...

...but the company was the best.

I really enjoyed our trip out west, but being away from our boys for an entire week was really tough.

I can't wait to go back to the Canyon with the boys (because they would have loved it), and I'm sure one day Jennifer and I will head back to Vegas and have the kind of trip we were expecting this one to be.

But for now, it's good to be back home.