November 10, 2017

Robbie Turns Two!

April 28, 2017

(Over six months behind... is anyone surprised? Not me. Not sure I'll ever make it past that six month mark)

For Robbie's second birthday, I decided to give our little sports enthusiast a sports themed birthday! I really love decorating for birthdays even though I may not be the most creative or elaborate. I thought hanging the ball paper lanterns from the ceiling turned out really cute though! CJ and I spent all night the night before cleaning and decorating for his birthday. When he came out of his room, he stopped dead in his tracks and had the biggest smile on his face when he saw the basketballs, baseballs, and footballs hanging from the ceiling. The biggest hit though were the red, yellow, blue "baboons" with a big two that I had by the window. "Ay a boons! Red boon!"

That morning, I had Robbie's friends Harvey and Lyla come over for Robbie's favorite treat, Banbury donuts, and to play! I frantically made Robbie's cake throughout the day and collapsed during his nap time because I was still waking up to teach English to kids in China at 4:45 in the morning and was also pregnant. It was all worth it though because Robbie had been anticipating cake and balloons for weeks before! 
My mom, dad, Emily and Ben came over to have another favorite of Robbie's, pizza, and to have cake and watch him open his presents. We missed CJ's parents! They were out of town on his birthday, but Robbie had a special dinner with them to his favorite place to go and eat, Chick Fil A and to the toy store after to pick out a gift. He's a lucky kid!
Here he is saying he's two! He did not love being sung to, but really enjoyed blowing out his candles.
My mom really hit a home run with her gift. She bought him a football, soccer ball, and a baseball mitt. Each reaction to pulling it out of the bag was just as big as the one pictured. 
Robbie's present from us was a strider balance bike and helmet! CJ and I wanted to get him a balance bike because we both had seen kids ride them in Europe before they had really come over to the U.S.  I had always loved the idea of it helping them learn to balance and eventually transition over to a bike with no training wheels. Robbie was so excited to have his own bike!
And I couldn't resist this picture of him the morning after finishing off the donuts from his birthday. We love our TWO year old! 

October 4, 2017

On Pa's Putting Green

It's safe to say that the highlight of this trip for Robbie was playing on my grandpa's putting green that is in their backyard. Not only did Robbie get to play on the putting green, CJ, my dad, and grandpa took him with them to go hit balls on the driving range. You better believe CJ packed Robbie's clubs for this purpose! 

I have so many pictures that CJ took of him on the putting green, that it warranted its own post. I have to say that I've warmed up to golf as Robbie has really grown to love it. To the point where I think it'd be fun if we could eventually put a putting green into our yard! 

Easter in California

I'm not sure how this has happened both times, but I found out I was pregnant a week before leaving to California and my morning sickness struck once we were there. Somehow I'm always six weeks pregnant during this trip; it was the exact same timing when we went to visit over Labor Day when I was pregnant with Robbie, sickness and all! I was able to hide it much better this time and didn't want to tell anyone for awhile, but CJ was dying to tell my family. They were so shocked and excited!
No weather will ever deter this guy from playing outside!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is my favorite place in the world, and I have been anxiously waiting the day that Robbie would be old enough to enjoy it! We dragged the whole family, including my grandparents. My grandpa always makes fun of me asking me how many times I need to see the same fish. He couldn't have been more pleased when Robbie did not take a liking to the aquarium one bit. It was extremely crowded, the most crowded I've ever seen it so you couldn't even really enjoy the tanks without swarms of people trying to take a look. When we would make it up to the glass, Robbie would get nervous and not want to look at the fish. The whole time we were there, he kept saying, "Go back GG's house!!" My grandpa dug the knife in a little deeper, "Guess he doesn't have the same liking as you, Audrey," with the most smug, content look on his face. Back to the putting green with his dad and great grandpa! Maybe this second baby will be my aquarium enthusiast. 
The one thing he did like in the aquarium was reaching in and grabbing seaweed, shells, etc. 
About to reach in to the sting ray pool! He was not a fan, but I took the opportunity and felt it myself, woot!
A rare picture of the two of us in its blurry glory. 
Gilroy Gardens is this cute park with rides tailored just for Robbie's age surrounded in the most beautiful gardens. His favorite rides were anything with a car or truck, but I loved watching him in this little goldfish ride that went up and down in a circle. His face started from a content stare and slowly curved into a little smug. 
If his focus is this honed when he's sixteen, I think we'll have a safe driver on our hands. Wouldn't take his eyes off the road for one little wave at his adoring fans watching above. 
There could not have been a more ideal Easter egg hunt for Robbie. The Easter Bunny hid eggs all over the putting green for him to find. He had so much fun looking in the holes, in the flowers, and on the green for some eggs. 
Robbie with GG. He calls my grandpa "Pa". He loves them so very much and asks to go back to GG's house. He still will talk about seeing "Curkies" (turkeys) with Pa when my grandpa took him on a little walk with the bike to see them on the golf course. I love that he is able to spend so much time with his great grandparents!
This picture cracks me up for some reason. For his birthday, my grandpa bought Robbie a polo and hat from Cordevalle, his golf course. It's been a big hit with him! Robbie asks to wear his golf shirt and hat everyday!

I really love spending time with my grandparents. They're truly my best friends and I have so much fun anytime I'm around them. I wish we lived closer!

September 5, 2017

Little Athlete

March 19, 2017
Robbie came wired with a love for anything with a ball. I have a video of him at the young age of 10 months old sitting and swinging a golf club at a ball. He not only loves sports, he's actually quite good at them already! We show him something once, and he instantly picks it up with ease. His athleticism is even apparent in how he moves, which sounds ridiculous since he's not even two, but the kid can run. One thing is for certain--he definitely inherited CJ's athleticism!

CJ brought out a baseball bat and ball that we had bought for him and made a make shift tee out of a box and cone. As with every other sport he has been introduced to, he picked it up very quickly and became enthralled with his new capabilities. He would sit and hit the ball over and over and over again. Never losing focus or interest, even though I certainly had lost interest in retrieving the ball and placing it for him ;)
That form--he's a natural!
We also gave him a baseball to throw around with CJ. The first time he went to throw it, he turned to the side, lifted up his leg and threw it across the room. We never taught him to turn, lift his leg up, or throw it over his shoulder, he just did that naturally!
He's not even two and look at those mad hops! He's clearing the ground by inches! I swear little kids have a hard time clearing the ground with both feet when they're first learning to jump. He loves to jump over things he finds as we walk or around the house.

I foresee a lot of games and teams in my future which I could not be more excited for!

August 28, 2017

We Met Rosemary Wells!

February 28, 2017
Nothing like indoor lighting...
When it was our turn to get our books signed, we told her our almost two year loves these books and asks us to read at least one every night. She was genuinely happy to hear that we read him all of these books and more!

It has been awhile since we have been able to make it for a book signing! When I saw that Rosemary Wells was going to be at the Provo Library, I got tickets the second they became available and put it into our schedule a month in advance. Rosemary Wells is one of my all time favorite children's book authors, and Robbie loves her books too, so I wasn't missing this one for the world!

Her presentation was the best we have been to yet! She showed in great detail how she has creates all of, not only, her artwork, but her paints and texture stamps. Her illustrations were endearing and appreciated in our home before, but once we saw how much time she spends on each one, our appreciation for her books sky rocketed.

Rosemary Wells uses her books as a way to advocate for the importance encouraging reading at home. In her presentation, she said she would love to give mothers for Mother's Day each a copy of her new book "Hand in Hand" to show parents that they are their children's first and most important teacher. She read it to us and I loved it so much that I had CJ go over and buy one for me afterwards as an early Mother's Day gift. It has the most beautiful message for mothers.

It's evident that she loves the process of publishing books, and that she has a driving force of a strong belief and passion for literacy and education. We left her presentation inspired and with a significant pile of freshly signed books for our kids.

August 17, 2017

Swim Lessons

February 27, 2017
Robbie's personality thrives when he can be active or has a task to work on. As long as he's going, going, going, he's a happy kid. I have been wanting to sign him up for a class to give us something to do each week and decided private swim lessons would be a good investment and valuable skill for him to learn young!

The first few lessons, he cried for about five minutes, but then would swim with the teacher. He's always been okay with being dunked underwater, he was only nervous when he was supposed to float on his back. The teacher was so sweet and would sing a song while he was floating to help distract him. Robbie's favorite part of his lesson is when his swim teacher lets him pick a toy from the basket and has him throw it across the pool for them to swim to.

Each week he was apprehensive when we would get in the car to go, "No, no swim lesson," but within a month, he was able to float on his back all by himself!  That first lesson he floated on his back independently, he came out of the pool afterwards beaming. He was so proud of himself for doing something hard all on his own! These swim lessons have been worth every penny, not only because water safety is a big priority for me, but because he is gaining confidence from doing something that pushes him out of his comfort zone and keeps him continually trying even though he's a little nervous. They are the highlight of our week!

July 12, 2017

Potty Trained!

February 11, 2017
Robbie started telling me when he was having bowel movements and asking me to change his diaper for over a month. He also was extremely fascinated with the toilet and wouldn't leave us alone when we went to the bathroom... My mom kept telling me he was ready to be potty trained and even got him to go on the potty at her house a couple of times! I decided to listen to my mom and take this window of opportunity and go for it!

I bought the book Potty and started reading that to him. He's such a boy because he'd always start hysterically laughing at the part that says, "What's that? Tinkle, tinkle, toot!" How can he already find potty humor hilarious before he's two?? We didn't buy a little potty because I didn't want him to have problems going when we were other places. I turned him around so he was facing the toilet, this way he didn't feel like he was falling in and could hold on. We do plenty of washing hands around here, scouts honor.

The first couple days were hard because I never timed it right to have him make it on the potty. I'd put him on and he'd go five to fifteen minutes later on the floor...so frustrating. Even when he went on the floor, I'd say, "We go pee pee on the potty!" and set him on the toilet. I kept pumping him with liquids so we had plenty of practice, and I started to pick up on his potty cues so I could time putting him on the potty with him actually going on the potty. Then he started noticing that he peed a little, stop, and make it to the toilet. He LOVED putting his special stickers--cars, sports, dogs, construction vehicles, and rockets--on the big piece of butcher paper I had taped on the door every time he went. After three days of literally staying inside all day and me watching him like a hawk, we started going out on half hour drives with no accidents. Then after five days, we were good for hour long, even two hour long, excursions like my workout classes, nursery, or his swim lessons! Not too shabby!

He wasn't great about telling me when he had to go when he wasn't home for about another month. I just had to take him every hour or so when we were out, but after a couple months, he was able to climb onto the toilet and go all by himself! I can still remember walking past the bathroom and seeing  him on the toilet going all by himself. He had the biggest smile on his face and was so proud of his newest accomplishment! He's still not potty trained at night, but he goes without diapers during his nap.

People thought I was crazy for potty training him so early, but my mom told me she's convinced there is a window from 18 to 22 months where they're easier to potty train because they're not too set in their ways like they can be when they get older. It worked for Robbie! In general, from what I've read, Americans tend to potty train later so I think it can be more of a cultural thing too. I'm just happy I don't have to change poopy diapers anymore! Proud of you, Robs! Thanks for making this milestone an easy one!
I had to get pictures of Robbie one last time in diapers, and since he won't stand for a picture, he here is taking pictures while I'm taking a picture of him with his camera.
haha this picture makes my day every time!

I should also mention that Robbie's favorite thing about being potty trained is he now can run around the house naked. He never has clothes on!