Thursday, May 31, 2012

Project 366: Week 19

127 | 366 finally

127 | 366 Finally
May 6, 2012 - after fighting his nap most of the ride home, Sam finally succumbs to sleep.

128 | 366 sweaty

128 | 366 sweaty
May 7, 2012 - a sweaty self portrait

129 | 366 teacher appreciation

129 | 366 teacher appreciation
May 8, 2012 - we baked banana bread to give to the boys' teachers for teacher appreciation week

130 | 366 cozy

130 | 366 cozy
May 9, 2012 - I want to crawl back in...

131 | 366 puzzle time

131 | 366 puzzle time
May 10, 2012 - doing puzzles is always fun!

132 | 366 lemonade stand

132 | 366 lemonade stand
May 11, 2012 - little Max at his first lemonade stand!

133 | 366 cat snuggling

133 | 366 cat snuggling
May 12, 2012 - snuggling with the kitty on the couch

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Project 366: Week 18

120 | 366 catching fire

120 | 366 Catching Fire
April 29, 2012 - This weekend all we did was read 'Catching Fire'.  We're not sure who watched the kids.
121 | 366 robot boy

121 | 366 Robot Boy
April 30, 2012 - little Max had to have a precautionary EKG today because of a scare we had with his heart rate.  Everything is fine, and he thought he looked cool as a robot!

122 | 366 sleeping bag buddies
122 | 366 Sleeping Bag Buddies
May 1, 2012 - Sam got this sleeping bag for his birthday and it has been a big hit with BOTH boys.  I found them snuggled up together one day, so cute!

123 | 366 workout
123 | 366 workout
May 2, 2012 - getting in my nightly workout
124 | 366 downpour
124 | 366 downpour
May 3, 2012 - holy cats what a downpour!  I was completely soaked running to my car.
125 | 366 car nap
125 | 366 car nap
May 4, 2012 - Max takes a car nap on our way up to visit 'grandma and grandpa far away'
126 | 366 grandmas 80th
126 | 366 Grandma's 80th
May 5, 2012 - our trip to MN was to celebrate Grandma's 80th birthday -- here are all the grandkids and great grandkids

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Project 366: Week 17

113  | 366 zoo train

113 | 366
Zoo Train - April 22, 2012 -- we met up with one of Max's classmates for a fun Sunday morning at the zoo.  As tradition has it, we rode the train again right before we went home.

114 | 366 popcorn

114 | 366 Candy Popcorn
April 23, 2012 - I made crack popcorn for a work function -- it was a big hit!  :)

115 | 366 apples at the park

115 | 366 Apples in the Park
April 24, 2012 - I surprised Sam and Max with a trip to the park on the way home from school today (complete with picnic dinner).  Sam is a big fan of apples and did quite a number on this one!

116 | 366 chocolate massacre

116 | 366 Chocolate Massacre
April 25, 2012 - The chocolate cupcake massacre.

117 | 366 haircuts

117 | 366 Haircuts
April 26, 2012 - the boys all got haircuts today (and Sam is a ham).

118 | 366 angel

118 | 366 Angel
April 27, 2012 - this angel has found a home in our backyard in a newly planted memory garden.

119 | 366 future garden

119 | 366 Future Garden
April 28, 2012 -- the side of our house where one day I would like our future garden to go.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sam Videos

Life is getting busy again with warm weather and the call of the outdoors.  So, while you wait for me to edit some more pictures, etc, here are some cute videos taken of Sam in March 2012.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sam's Second Birthday -- Friends and Family party

At the end of Sam's birthday week we invited a few of our most favorite people and friends over to celebrate with singing and cake.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful and caring (and fun) people in our life (who actually WANT to hang out with us, LOL).

Auntie Amanda and Uncle Steve and Auntie Laura, Uncle Mike and Nina came.  Sam was in love with the bubblers and toys that Nina brought him, and once again, Amanda's book gift was the hit of the century -- I don't know how she always picks out the BEST books, but you can bet that every night when we read books before bed, at least ONE of the books we read is one SHE picked out.  What can we say, she picked a good profession for herself (teacher).

We lit up the little birthday cake with a bunch of candles and treated Sam to a full on rendition of the Happy Birthday Song.  And this sweet little boy sang along the entire time :) 

Then it was time to blow out candles... 

And he blew them ALL OUT BY HIMSELF!!  Way to go Sammy!!!

Little Max (gosh he's not so little anymore is he...) was in heaven getting to spend time with his favorite Auntie and godmother (aka godmudda).  I think she was in heaven too....

I have to include a picture of this little cutie in closing.  Isn't Nina Bean the cutest??  Love her!!

It was a wonderful night -- the kids played together well and we had a delicious meal --  grilled chicken, broccoli salad, green salad, fruit salad and cake.  Oh yeah...and wine....lots of wine.  :)  Let's do it again soon, friends!

Monday, May 14, 2012

ReCalls Plus -- She Speaks App Review


I was super stoked when SheSpeaks asked me to test out this new (FREE) app and blog about it.  As a busy working mom to two young boys, you can imagine all that I have to keep straight on a daily basis....and if you can't, well, there is a LOT.  I am already signed up to receive email notifications from the CPSC for child-related product recalls (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission -- you can sign up at, but I find that most of those recalls, while timely, don't often apply to me specifically....enter Recalls Plus.

The (FREE) Recalls Plus app allows me to create my own "Personal Watch Lists" which are composed of products that I already have IN MY HOUSE -- and then, if ANY of those get recalled, I know IMMEDIATELY.  You can not only track product recalls, but also food allergen recalls (this doesn't apply to us, but I know this is a big deal for many of my friends). 

This (FREE) app is newly launched, and I really think it is a great, proactive way to stay on top of all the latest recalls, whether they be for strollers, cribs, play toys, or even foods your kids might be exposed to.  Knowing that I can quickly check on things through this app also gives me a stronger peace of mind --- something you know all of us moms are constantly on the look out for, right?

According to SheSpeaks, the app was "created by SAP, a market leader in software applications whose vision is to help the world run better.  [Their] diverse team consists of parents and others who are focused and passionate about parenting issues -- working around the clock to make sure [they] don’t miss catching a recall on kid’s products or food with undeclared allergens." 

If you are interested, the (FREE) app is available for Android or Apple...and for those of you that don't have app friendly devices, they even have a Facebook page!  Or, you can just click HERE to see all the options for download and more info on the app all in one place.

Oh yeah, did I mention this yet....the app is FREE...what are you waiting for?  Seriously.  FREE.

Project 366 -- Week 16

106 | 366 laundry soap

106 | 366 - homemade laundry soap

April 15, 2012 - I decided to try to make my own laundry soap -- all you need is borax, washing soda and a bar of soap (Ivory).  I'll let you know how it works, LOL.

107 | 366 birthday prep

107 | 366 birthday prep

April 16, 2012 - getting ready for Sam's big day -- turning 2!

108 | 366 birthday boy

108 | 366 - birthday boy!

April 17, 2012 - I can't believe he's two already!  Where did the time go??

109 | 366 Easter story
109 | 366 - Easter Story
April 18, 2012 - Max tells me the entire Easter story through props in Easter eggs numbered 1-12.  He remembered ALL of it on his own!
110 | 366 surprise letter
110 | 366 - Surprise Letter
April 19, 2012 - I found an envelope in my purse at work this morning and this is what was inside.  So sweet.
111 | 366 worn out

111 | 366 - Worn Out

April 20, 2012 - A full morning has Sam wiped out in the car by 10:45 for a short cat nap.  Unfortunatley, that short nap also messed up his afternoon nap. BOO.

112 | 366 dandelion king

112 | 366 - Dandelion King
April 21, 2012 - Max loves picking dandelions so I wove them into a crown for him so he could be the 'dandelion king'.  He looks so quiet and innocent here (haha).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sam is Two: the BirthDAY (part two)

Sam's actual birthday fell on a school day and night, so we didn't have all day to celebrate like we would have preferred.  I did bake cupcakes for him to bring to school and Max got to bring some also since he was convienantly "Helper of the Day" on Sam's birthday (coincidence?  I am thinking this was planned...).  I also baked a sweet little cake for him (but we didn't eat it on his actual birthday...SHHH...):

In any case, the night before we did some of our normal birthday traditions, like: 

Hanging the birthday banner:

Decorating the birthday boy's chair:

And then we hung streamer's on the birthday boy's door. 

The next morning, we woke up Max:

And had fun watching the birthday boy and Max run through the STREAMERS!!:

After school and work, we took the boys out to dinner and were joined by our favorite friends Auntie Kelly and Payton.  We went all out and went for sushi (hey -- the boys LOVE the place...the aquarium, the edamame, the noodles....and if you don't know what they do for birthday celebrations, are MISSING OUT!!).

Even little Max enjoys sushi!

Sam, despite his dazed and confused look here, was a slurp master with these noodles:

While this last picture does little justice to the birthday celebration (oh how I wish Max had taken video instead of a picture), I will try my best to explain the awesomeness (at least for a 2 year old).  First, they turn on this rainbow colored disco ball -- which to a two year is MESMERIZING. Thenm they give all the kids (and if you were an adult, I suppose you too) a balloon birthday hat (and sword, if you ask nicely).  Next, they turn on some really awesome Japanese techno birthday music that you can't help but bob your head (or booty in Sam's case) to.  Finally, they bring out a huge plate of ice cream complete with a LIT sparkler (umm...probably NOT COOL with a two year old, but we kept him at a safe distance).  Then they take a picture of you to hang on their birthday wall!!  All in all, the kids thought it was WAY COOL (who are we kidding, we did too!)  Sam was totally ROCKING out in his chair to the beat (he obviously gets his awesome dance moves from his Mom).  And we were all smiling and laughing at how adorable he was...because he was pretty freaking adorable.

Sam rocks out so hard you can't even catch a good shot of him!

Then we went home and opened up a few presents -- because what is a birthday without presents?!
The card, which turned out to be the hit of the party, LOL:

A M and D puzzle clock (present from big brother Max:

A super fun froggie rolling suitcase from Grandma and Grandpa Far-Away:

And the big present from Mom and Dad this year required some assembly and construction.  Here, Daddy is putting the finishing touches on the barn...

While Mom works hard at the googly eye application station:

The final product -- a Felt Board (yeah, this was taken before googly eyes were applied and barn doors were added, but you can see the final product in the video below:

Tired yet?  I am!!!

I'll be back with Part 3 later -- the family/friend party.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sam is TWO - the stats (Part 1)

So, despite my very best efforts to try to "forget" the day so it wouldn't/couldn't happen, it did anyways....Sam turned TWO.

Why does two feel like a such a milestone birthday of sorts?  It is certainly more so than one for me, personally.  At two this once co-dependent, stationary (at least in our house), and mostly non-verbal baby has become a PERSON -- one that wants to strike out on his own path, go where HE wants go and most certainly will TELL you if he thinks it should be done in a different way.  Oh yes, two is VERY different from one....

Not different in a bad way, entirely...just...different.  And, for me personally, it is also a reminder that I am going to have to 'let go' of this little one (sooner than I think) and let him become his own person.  And oh boy, Sam is definitely his own little person! You know, this whole diatribe shouldn't be too unfamiliar for anyone who knows me well or has followed this blog since I started.  Ironically (or coincidentally) I had a very similar thought process and outpouring of myself right before little Max's second birthday also!

At two, his official stats are:
34.25 inches tall (50%)
26 lbs 8.5oz (30%)

Oddly enough, those stats are almost SPOT ON with little Max's two year stats.  And while I looked back to confirm that, I had a few moments of reminiscing and watching videos and remarked in my head just how similar these two little men are at this age....and yet, again so DIFFERENT.  It is uncanny, really. 
-  At two, Sam is still pretty mellow -- not as mellow as he was two or even a year ago -- but definitely a different personality than Max was at this age.  Different = not better = not worse. 

-  Most of the time he is a pleasure to be around and can elicit a smile out of most anyone.  He is a lover of all and quick to show affection and pretty much wins over anyone he wants to
-  He has the cutest quirk of trembling his ENTIRE body when he gets excited about something (if he's in a vertical position, this trembling could be mis-construed as 'humping' -- but of course that just makes us laugh even more so he keeps doing it, LOL).

- He will repeat ANYTHING you ask him to -- which can be a source of fun (if little Max isn't around of course).  And yes, we do realize that we will have to stop this fun game in due time.

- He loves playing catch and throwing things.  He is still obsessed with basketball and loves to 'bounce bounce bounce" the ball and then 'shoot it'.  He is actually a pretty good shot and has quite a throwing arm on him.  His hand-eye coordination is really advanced -- the doctor even commented on it at his two year appt.

-  He also impressed the doctor when she told me at the end of the appt that a two year skill we could start working on his jumping on two feet and Sam, hearing the word jump, started jumping across the exam room.  The doctor laughed and said "well, I guess you've already got that one checked off."

- Has a super LOUD wail when he is upset about something that usually culminates in a HUGE lower lip POUT.  It is definitely DEAFENING and yet still humorous.

- Loves eating, drinking, and food in general.  Just when you think he's done (and he tells you he's done) he comes back for more.  I am actually surprised he is only a few ounces heavier than little Max was at this age. 
-  Has started taking interest in potty training (ok, maybe not the potty training, but the M&M rewards more).  We've pooped and peed on the potty, but not regularly or with any consistency.  I am actually REALLY ok with this -- having one late potty trainer, I actually appreciate a child that potty trains when they are able to do the entire deed by THEMSELVES and without MY HELP.  But, I will continue to encourage him, regardless.

-  Loves singing songs -- still mostly with made up words (some are the right ones) but usually with the correct melody.

- Loves books and reading.  His favorites lately are:  The Hungry Caterpillar, The Giving Tree, The Foot Book

-  Can count to three consistently -- tries to count to 10, but that usually ends up like "one, two, three, seven, ten"

-  Knows all his colors now and loves to shout them out as descriptors of items

-  Has the cutest little whisper voice that he only uses when I want him to use his normal voice and NEVER uses when I want him to use a quiet one....LOL.

-  Has moved on to his 24 months clothing and can wear some 2T shirts -- but the 2T pants are still way too long and will likely be too long for awhile yet.

-  Loves his green blankie as much as little Max still loves his blue blankie.  Both boys have taken to calling them their ba-bas now.  Sam is obssessed with the BIG tag on his blankie, whereas Max loves the LITTLE tag.  Both boys have to be clutching their respective TAGS in their hands before falling asleep -- how funny that they both have this same habit...

I'll be back with a later post with pictures and videos of his actual birthday festivities.  For now to tide you over, here is a video of Sam -- his first "Official Age Interview"... so without further adieu may I present you with Sam at Age Two:

Project 366: Week 15

99 | 366 amaretto cake

99 | 366
April 8, 2012 - our contribution for Easter dinner - amaretto cake.  SO good.
100 | 366 in a box

100 | 366
April 9, 2012 - the box is always more fun to play with than what comes in the box.
101 | 366 bird

101 | 366
April 10, 2012 - Sam loves all animals and loves watching the birds in our backyard.  This little cardinal loves hanging out at our feeders
102 | 366 shiloh

102 | 366
April 11, 2012 - shiloh found a spot of sunshine in the dining room.
103 | 366 felt board

103 | 366
April 12, 2012 - finishing the assembly of the felt board I made for my 2 years old's birthday.  Thank goodness work has a die cut machine they let me use!
104 | 366 market basket
104 | 366
April 13, 2012 - some co-workers and I purchased market baskets from a local non-profit called Growing Power.  For $16 this is what I got in my basket -- AWESOME!

105 | 366 dining room

105 | 366
April 14, 2012 -  we finished painting the dining room.  Sherwin Williams Rushing River