Saturday, March 31, 2012

backyard agility

Bear got in the slide fun last night with her own version of doggy agility. Just took a little bit of coaxing on Mike's end to get her to go down :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

new favorite spot

Troy has a new favorite spot to hang out. He climbs up there with the toy/book of choice and hangs out for a bit. Other than in front of his bookcase in his room, he's never really had a "spot" to hang out. Its nice to see him find a place to relax in another nook of the house :)

Today he figured out that he can climb faster (and more successfully) when he puts his toy/book on the couch first and then climbs. You probably don't find that as exciting as I do, but I love to watch him learn!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

what a surprise...we're outside

Are you tired of posts that involve 1) parks, 2) walks or 3) our yard yet? I hope not, we have a long spring and summer to go! And considering we're spending nearly all Troy's waking hours outside, expect to see many more blog posts from parks, our yard and everywhere in between! I love it!!

Today was the first day that Troy got really into his new slide in the yard. Like, sliding down, running around and begging to get up there again. He can't quite climb up. yet. I'm sure that'll happen soon...

He's doing really great at making sure he goes down feet first, even if it is backwards. He's also rocking the static hair look :)

We also went for a great walk tonight and got to visit our friends and neighbors, the Gerlings. Troy enjoyed played with Tessa (2 1/2 yrs old) and their little dachsund. On the way home, he was babbling up a storm. He just loves to talk, even if we don't understand what he's saying!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Mike says I never blog about "this kind of stuff" but some happenings are just worth remembering...

Saturday morning I remember waking up around 6:30 and heard Troy talking to himself. That happens most days. Some days he goes back to sleep (on the weekends that is) and some days he's just up for the day.

About 6:45 I heard something other than happy coos.


Mike says I flew out of the room faster than your typical track star (or something to that effect). I just knew that thud was my kid hitting the floor from a few feet off the ground and I had to get there ASAP.

I think some kids are happy to hang in their cribs for 2 or more years. Not ours. Our little climber just had to see if he could get out. Turns out he could.

Five minutes later and he was perfectly fine. Not a bump or scratch on him. We're pretty sure he swung his legs over and somehow landed on his bottom. Definitely not a headfirst dive.

Then we began to see if there was something else we could do to contain him in his crib a little while longer. Turns out we could drop our mattress pretty much to the floor. And hopefully now there won't be any more "thud" sounds for awhile :)

the new set up

Monday, March 26, 2012

practicing words

Troy is picking up lots of new words lately and I'm having a hard time keeping track. Literally every night when we read books I realize he's saying a new word that day. Over the past few days, he's saying "nose", "see" (as in "see! trucks!") and "woof" (second animal noise, first one was "rarr").

Enjoy this video to hear some of his words. I make no apologies for my repeated "good job!" remarks in my proud mommy voice :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy 30th Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

30 years of marriage for my Mom and Dad! We all got together to celebrate this exciting milestone with a special dinner in downtown Chicago...Texas de Brazil! The Brazilian steakhouse experience is definitely a unique one and great for a special occasion. This one even had a two story wine wall with acrobatic waitresses retrieving the wine. Troy kept pointing to them and saying, "see!" throughout the evening.

fun for the yard

As much as I love going to the park, there's something to be said for opening up the back door and letting Troy run around our own yard, too. Since the sum total of our outdoor toys were a dog toy and an inflatable beach ball, I started deal-hunting for something better. And this is what I found...score!
I knew that disassembly, loading into the car, unloading and re-assembly wasn't included in my craigslist purchase but this was too good to pass up! So I had my first experience tying something onto the top of the SUV and driving home with the hazards on. Troy was relatively okay with the whole process, but patience isn't his strongest trait :)

And here he is playing with it all set up at home! Still having a hard time attaching the slide- if anyone has any tips or tricks, please let me know!

Friday, March 23, 2012

date night! cirque du soleil

I love Champaign-Urbana (have I mentioned that recently?) But more than C-U, I love a great date night with my hubby and some of our good friends. When we found out Cirque Du Soleil was going to be touring through town, we began to make plans to go! I've always wanted to see one of their shows, but most often they're in places like Vegas for long periods of time.

We started out with dinner across the street at Houlihans with our friends Sarah and Fred and then the four of us made our way across the street to Assembly Hall. Note to self: they're really serious when they mean no cameras allowed. I had to check mine into security and pick it up after the show.

Overall, I was very impressed with the show! I thought it was unique, unlike any show I've ever been to before and was an interesting combo of live music and crazy, impossible acrobatic performances. (That sentence doesn't even to seem to do it justice.)

Thanks Sarah and Fred, for joining us for a lovely night! And thanks to my hubby, the BHE, for being my date!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

hanging with the big kids

Yesterday Troy was the first little guy to arrive at childcare. He really enjoys playing with Miss Jenny's kids and they were eager to welcome him into their puzzle time when he showed up.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

future harvard freshman

Mike just returned from a trip from Boston. Aside from coming back with a new favorite city that he can't wait to go back and visit, he came back with this adorable onesie from Harvard- future Harvard freshman.

We don't know what Troy's future holds but in case he does end up at Harvard, this is a fun photo to have :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

family trip to the park

I've made several trips to Ambucs Park in Urbana with Troy when I don't want to fight the crowds at Meadowbrook. Today, we took Daddy along too! (How awesome it is to have him at home!!)

first time in the sandbox

walk through the quad

Enjoy this short video of my outgoing little guy strolling through the quad like the biggest guy around :) U of I is on spring break so he pretty much had the place to himself!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Duke Otherwise and LOTS of time outside

I love Fridays :) Today was no exception! This morning Troy and I had plans to go to a children's concert at the church that the fabulous Holly organized. I thought this Duke Otherwise show would be right up Troy's alley! Unfortunately Troy was not in the greatest mood to start the day and it was a struggle just to get out of the house. When we got to the concert, things started out well and he clapped along for some of the songs on my lap. Then he got down and didn't exactly join the dancing, but did stare uncomfortably long at this little boy who was dancing. I think Troy just wondered how he was able to jump around like that :)

(Fun fact? This room is the same room we got married in :) Just for any of our family that was thinking it looked familiar!)

After that point, Troy began crawling up on stage to try to snatch Duke's coffee and/or water bottle, stole a bottle from a baby down the way and threw a tantrum. Ah well, Duke was great and what we heard of the concert was tons of fun. The rest of the time we looked at the trucks until it was over :)

After the concert and a couple quick errands, we spent the rest of the day outside. Literally. And Troy loved every minute of it. Except for a stellar nap (thank you, Troy!), we played in our yard, at the park and took a looong walk with Bear and one of our neighbors. It was a wonderful day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the transfer

As I referenced in Troy's latest month post, most days that I bring him home from childcare for his afternoon he ends up either 1) falling asleep in the car or 2) ending up so dazed he might as well be asleep.

Today I went to get my sleepy baby out of his car seat and take him up to his crib and when I picked him up, he didn't even wake up. I conveniently had my camera in my pocket so I snapped a few photos. Yep, we got in the house, greeted the barking dog, walked up the stairs into his room and he was STILL asleep!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

the sidewalk won

All of that time outside and it was bound to happen :( Troy's first scrape from a fall on the concrete. I just wish it could have been a knee or elbow, instead of the poor little guy's face.

welcome spring!

I can't remember any time when spring roared in with near-80 degree temperatures...but I'm glad to have them this year! Troy and Bear both have spring fever so we've been spending lots of time outside. In the last day, we played in our yard for the first time, made a visit to the park and had a couple walks too :)

container store treasures!

We had a trip to the Container Store before we came home as I've been trying to reorganize some areas of our kitchen. I got this idea from the I Heart Organizing blog as she used these multi-purpose storage bins in her freezer...who would have thought office organization supplies would work so well in a freezer? Here's a before and after. I know it doesn't look too impressive, but believe me, everything is SO much more organized now. I used the bins for things like frozen veggies, fruit, potatoes and breads.

before photo

after photo- check out that middle shelf!

Lincoln Park Zoo

Troy and I had a visit to Chicago just as this weather started to warm up...perfect time to enjoy some of what the city has to offer! Troy and I headed down to Lincoln Park Zoo with Grampa and Auntie Daria...a fantastic spring outing :)

We had fun walking from one end of the zoo to the other and wrapped up our visit in the farm, where not only could you get really close to the animals but there were lots of areas to play in (like this lovely egg).

On our way out of the zoo, we saw the only animal of the day that Troy could pet...a sweet little puppy! Her owners were really nice and let Troy (and us) play with her for a few minutes.

Afterwards, we were all hungry for lunch so we walked to a Chicago-style hot dog joint for a bite. It was a great addition to our fun Chicago-style day!

15 months old

Troy is 15 months old (plus a few days)! We are having tons of fun these days and I can't believe what a bundle of personality Troy is these days. More on his emerging personality later :) As you can see in the picture above, he is working on using a spoon. In this picture, he's using his left hand. He's been switching back and forth between his right and left hands so we'll see what ends up being the winner. He is enjoying oatmeal in the mornings these last few days and still loves munching on fruits and veggies. He'll eat almost anything!

In sleeping news, Troy has switched to one nap a day! We eliminated his morning nap (with the exception of times we might be on the road traveling) and he's doing really great. He rarely gets cranky in the morning, and if he does, a simple switch of activity (playing upstairs instead of downstairs, heading outside or grabbing a snack) usually does the trick. And its a non-issue at childcare where he keeps so busy he doesn't have time to think about napping. The result of all this playing and no napping in the early part of the day? A very, very sleepy boy when we head home for the afternoon. See the photo below for his glazed over look in the car, and that's if he manages to stay awake on the 7 minute drive :)

Some of his favorite things to do are "go go" (go outside), play with Bear, watch trucks, read books, EAT, and say hi/bye to people. That brings me to talking about his personality. Wow, is Troy outgoing! He has been greeting people like crazy these days, but he seems to think about it before he says hi or bye. It seems really genuine :) My good friend Pam talked today about how Troy has always been a really observant baby and thinks that he's just spent a lot of time watching us talk to people and see how those interactions go- and now he's confident to do it himself! I love to see him make people smile. He makes eye contact and puts some enthusiasm behind his "hi" and "bye". Of course I think he's pretty special and its fun to see him brighten other people's days too :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

train noises

When we were on our road trip last weekend, we saw a couple of trains and got a kick out of Troy's new train noise. Instead of "choo choo" he makes one long "chooooo" noise. Add it to the list of cuteness :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

on the move

Here's Troy playing his favorite game these days- running after me or Mike in circles around our house! Just part of my awesome new workout plan- keeping up with a busy toddler!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

look what showed up in our email yesterday

Upon booking our hotel for our Hawaii trip, this is the photo that came along with the confirmation. From right where we'll be staying! I cannot wait to stroll through here at sunset!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

st louis trip: visit to magic house children's museum

Today's fun outing was a trip to the Magic House Children's Museum! Alicia met us there to chase after Troy with me (and we were able to squeeze in some conversation amidst the chaos!)

Lots of fun things at the Magic House. The thing Troy probably enjoyed the most was the mobile pet adoption unit that was set up in a wing of the museum. I didn't get any photos of our visit to that wing, but I got lots of others!

We probably spent a good half hour in the Lewis and Clark exhibit. They had tents, canoes, dress up clothes and a "campfire" where you could fry fish. Troy really liked this area!

Troy and Alicia playing with a kaleidoscope wheel.

These pegs reminded me of lite brite, except this one is for toddlers :)

The doctor exhibit was fun, too. He was good at feeding one of the dolls a bottle. And loved waving the stethoscope around, too!

Checking out the train. You could ring the bell and blow the horn...too fun!

resting up

Today Troy took a two hour nap back at our hotel room in his pack and play. I love that he knew he needed to rest up...and I also love the enforced downtime I got to enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012

st louis trip: visit to city museum

Now an annual tradition, Troy and I hopped in the car to join Mike as he traveled to St Louis for the weekend! Last year we had a great time visiting with Alicia while Mike worked so we planned to come again this year. We even had the chance to get some playtime in as a family today once we got here!

We visited the City Museum in downtown St Louis. It looked like a really unique place on its website and it didn't disappoint! It's a super active museum and probably the perfect place to take a couple of energy-filled school age kids. There were lots of things Troy couldn't do, but PLENTY he could do. And we all had a blast "exploring". They actually don't even have maps they just have you pay and then send you out to "explore". I would imagine its the type of place you could easily lose your child due to all the multi-level climbing structures and slides, indoor and outdoor. Fortunately for us, our child spent most of his time in his stroller for today's visit :)

One view of the massive climbing structures that weave their way through the museum..none of which we tried!

Mike and Troy checking out the big kid play area with ramps, rope swings and much more

This museum also has an aquarium on one floor! And they have tons of "touch areas" all over. Today I pet a rabbit, a turtle, sharks, and more. There were also these crazy fish that would suck on your hand if you put it in the tank- Mike and I both tried that one. Troy loved all the "ish".

A cool tube you could climb in and have fish swim around you. Nemo is in this photo towards the top!

Giant sea turtle!

They also had a great area called "toddler town" that gave Troy tons of room to run around and play. They had a black and white striped tiger you could ride, too. Check out this video :)

And here he is at the end of a long day, ready for bed! I had to explain to him that the king sized bed wasn't his as we walked the two feet to the pack and play :)