Saturday, April 28, 2012

playtime for the boys

Troy was delighted to spend some time with his friend and neighbor, Liam, yesterday. He played at Liam's house in the morning and then Liam came to hang at our house for a little while in the afternoon. (Can't wait to do it again, Su!) I loved watching these two play together...the older they get, the more entertaining it is to watch them!
Aside from chasing each other around, they did a number of other things. One of which involved finding Mike's hats in the dining room and putting them on, all by themselves. And then continuing to wear them while they played. Liam chose the Illini hat and Troy chose Troy :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

DJ in traning

Mike and Troy brushing up on their skills...

create a caption

This is always fun. Create a caption for this photo. Particularly things Bear may be saying to me. Keep it clean, people (this means you Brian, haha). Leave your suggestion as a comment, please!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

watering the "flowers"

I decided to do this activity right before bath time (good call, Amy). I potted some plants and let Troy "help". I started calling our herbs "flowers" and it seems to have caught on. He knows the word flower, doesn't yet know the word plant, so I think it was a fine substitute :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Illini Family Fun Fest

Definitely adding this event to our family's yearly calendar! Each spring, Illini football players and coaches set up a couple hours of free family fun on the football field. Together with my friend and co-worker Laura's family, we took our kids to check it out!

Troy thought playing on the football field was awesome. Literally he just wanted to run around holding his football and with his tongue out the entire time. 

They had lots of drills set up around the perimeter of the field for the older kids, and there were bounce houses in one of the end zones. Lots of autographs too!

Troy got in on a couple of the drills. His "best" attempt was captured on video:

Laura's 7 year old son Ethan was chosen to be interviewed for the local news at this event. He did a fantastic job!

Friday, April 20, 2012

I-Pan concert

Apparently I-Pan is the steel drum band from the U of I and today they were holding a concert at the library. Knowing how much Troy enjoys drums (and knowing how I could use just a little dose of the Carribean in my day) we headed over after naptime. Troy's behavior at this concert was a huge improvement over last month's incident of trying to knock over Duke Otherwise's coffee while he performed. It was a nice quick concert and a fun time for both of us! I highly recommend checking out the monthly free concerts at the Urbana Library on Friday afternoons :)


Today we had a mini road trip planned with Michelle and Madelynn. Once again, our kids were fantastic and the day was a huge success :) Today's trip was the Decatur Zoo. It was a bit dreary when we drove out there but all the rain clouds were gone by the time we arrived so we just put on an extra layer to account for the temp drop, and we were ready to see some animals!

Okay. I give this zoo a great report! (I should really come up with a rating system for all my little Central Illinois excursions.) First off, there was tons to see- zebras, cheetahs, camels, giant snakes, etc. And in true "small zoo" fashion, you were able to get much closer to the animals here than you can at say, Lincoln Park or Brookfield. They also have a train ride (Troy was a HUGE fan, Mads not so much) and a carousel (we didn't do that one today). And their playground was AMAZING, especially for big kids.

But the highlight of Troy's day was most certainly the petting zoo. This was the first time I let him do any kind of petting zoo, and I definitely had to put aside any anti-germ tendencies to let him have fun (and just knew I'd give him a good scrub down afterwards!) The main attraction at this petting zoo (which was huge, by the way) were the goats. Probably about two dozen goats just running around begging to be chased by some eager toddlers (okay maybe not). But they were all extremely well-mannered goats. Troy would run after them and shout "BAAAAAAA". It was awesome. And I have to say, I never expected to have a baby goat bounce off my son's head as a springboard and have neither of us freak out. You experience something new every day as a mom, I guess :)
Troy Cunningham: Goat Whisperer

Thursday, April 19, 2012

playtime at homer lake

After a couple of shots this afternoon, I knew I would want to do something fun with my little guy :) And after reading a lot about the new "natural playscape" under construction at Homer Lake, I thought we'd go check on the progress! I love this concept and can't wait to see it when its all done. We love Homer Lake, its only about 15 minutes from our house.

Until the new area opens up, we stuck to the regular playground and took a short hike. Its so, so peaceful out there. And bonus: driving through the country on the way out there made for a drive packed with horses, donkeys, cows and tractors, to name a few. We'll definitely be coming back many more times this spring and summer!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

latest adventures in babywearing

So I was a huge fan of the moby wrap for the better part of Troy's first year. But somewhere approaching 25 pounds of toddler it just stopped working. The wrap would sag from his weight and as he started to take off running, I began to think maybe he didn't want to be worn anymore.

But now a few months later (and a long time watching on craigslist) and I have finally invested in an Ergo! Ergos have a great reputation for being super comfortable and being able to use them for a long, long time (read: until your child is like 45 or 50 pounds). It was a bit of a gamble since I wasn't sure Troy would go back to babywearing, but I thought it would come in handy one day. Sure enough, one day after picking it up, that day came! I wore Troy for over an hour (on the front) tonight while we served dinner at Restoration and he.was.awesome. Like didn't even want to get out. That may have something to do with him running around the yard for an hour before we went, but still. He almost fell asleep! I am so, so glad I got it and can't wait to get some Ergo snuggles in with Troy for a long time to come! And it was so comfy, it didn't even feel like I was carrying around 30ish pounds of toddler.

Check out a few photos from our test runs yesterday as we tried it out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

family date: flat top grill

I've been wanting to check out Flat Top Grill's breakfast for awhile now. This week, we finally got our chance! We headed there as soon as they opened and not only was it near empty, but the food was delicious! Plus, it was pretty reasonably priced too :) And all you can eat? We definitely skipped lunch on Sunday after that!

coloring between "rounds" of breakfast
Afterwards, we went for a walk around campus before it was time to head to church. Troy enjoyed running around the near-empty Illini Union and watching the walk happening on the Quad.

Troy's toddler bed

We're on night #2 of Troy no longer in a crib! Since our little monkey was clearly not content in his crib as of last month, we just went ahead and thought we'd try this out. Since he's doing so great, I think we're officially transitioned. Last night, he only got out of his crib and off the view of the monitor to get a different blanket out of his drawer (now we know which is his favorite!) and even though it took him a little longer than normal to fall asleep last night, today's nap and bedtime went smoothly just like normal. Another step towards being a "big boy"... ahhhh!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

spring football, woot!

We're a big football family, so winter and spring are pretty quiet sports months for us...with the exception of spring games! We were blessed with some suite tickets for today's football game, so Grampa came down from Chicago and all of us headed over to the stadium for a little spring football fun :)

Troy's first suite experience, and second football game!
Hanging in his own chair with Daddy and Grampa. I foresee many more sporting events for this trio!
While we had a great time today, Troy had an unfortunate spill in the hallway and landed right into the corner :( My poor guy has a big bump and bruise on his head now. He "rebounded quickly" as Grampa put it, and wasn't upset for too long.

last day of playgroup

Over the last two months, Troy and I have been in a Saturday morning playgroup at the U of I. Grad students organize the playgroup and they have the observation rooms open too (so we know people are watching us play with our kids). Its been a great experience and we got to meet some new families from all over C-U. They have a rule that we can't take any pictures until the last week, so today was my chance to capture a few!

Troy loved the loft area full of books and fun "very hungry caterpillar" pictures all over.
They allowed older siblings to come with for the last day, so of course Troy wanted to play with a big kid instead of all the babies today.
The ball pit was always a hit!
I'm going to have to look for one of these rocking horses on craigslist, Troy visited it at least 3 times today.

War Eagle

Troy's Granny is already cringing at the title of this post...

Uncle Brian saw a recent blog post where Troy was wearing his cute new turtle hat. Uncle Brian decided Troy needed something much cooler than a turtle, so he sent this perfect-sized Auburn hat to Troy this week. It may not be Illini, but at least its orange and blue... thanks Uncle Brian!
That very same day, Steve was driving through Central IL for work and stopped by for a quick visit (before he brings Granny back for a weekend visit next month!). An Auburn fan himself, Steve was a big fan of Troy's hat! I

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quiet? What's that?

A little taste of the sounds of our home these days...

just relaxin'

Today after Troy's nap, I tried something new. Instead of putting him in his highchair, I let him chill in the chaise with some milk and crackers :) Bear enjoyed getting up close and personal for Troy's snack while he happily watched "Mighty Machines". Gosh, was that show a great find! It was a peaceful start to the evening :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

16 months

Troy is 16 months old now! I can barely keep up with him, he's such an active little guy. He's happiest when we're outside running around and playing. I can't wait for it to get even warmer out so we can ditch the jackets again!

Some new things he's doing: climbing, talking much more clearly, running, going up and down stairs on his feet (holding our hands), and many other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. He is up to 7 teeth now, including two molars, and three more teeth (no sign of the bottom molars yet) are working their way through. Lots of drool going on and lots of intermittent teething pain. Fortunately it hasn't disrupted his rock star sleep (he definitely deserves the "rock star" title in this dept) and as long as he's busy playing, he doesn't seem too bothered.

Some of his favorites- trucks, in person, in books, on TV, whatever (we love the "mighty machines" show on netflix!), playing outside, dogs, anything with wheels, and fruit (he still eats everything but is loving fruit these days).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

We spent Easter weekend up in Chicago with our family. With some beautiful weather, Troy was eager to spend lots of time outside :) He especially enjoyed playing on Gramma and Grampa's deck and running around their back yard with Bear.

On Saturday night, my mom made a big dinner for a big group of us. My uncle and aunt brought Troy his very own Easter basket for the second year in a row full of things that he absolutely loved (a train book and bath crayons, to name a few!)
On Easter morning, we had the privilege of joining my grandmother at her church to not only celebrate that Jesus is RISEN but to celebrate her water baptism, too! We enjoyed our morning at her church (Troy enjoyed having the undivided attention of a nursery volunteer, since they didn't have many babies) and the baptism service was great. Shout out to "Beema", we're glad we got to share this day with you!
My parents live right by O'Hare airport so the planes go right over their house very frequently. Today was a perfect day for plane-watching :)

All smiles with Gramma and Grampa :)

phone call

While we were visiting Gramma and Grampa, we let Troy "talk" on their phone. He thought it was pretty awesome that we were actually letting him play with something that would typically be hands off :)

Friday, April 6, 2012


We've been teaching Troy how to brush his teeth. Every morning when we first go upstairs after breakfast and every evening after he gets his pj's on he runs to the gate by our bathroom and says "teeth!" He's doing a good job learning :)


Troy hair has been getting longer and longer these days and a haircut was inevitable. Tonight was kind of an impromptu haircut as Mike and I attempted this on our own right after I cut Mike's hair. Overall, it looks really great and there's just one small area where it looks like Troy's parents cut his hair and not a pro stylist :) I've been cutting Mike's hair for years and now I can begin to refine my technique on Troy's hair!

a "before" picture from yesterday
an "after" picture from tonight
Gone are the curls in the back (sniffle)...but I saved them for his baby book!


While I cashed in my birthday gift to the spa this morning (wheee!) my boys played back at the house. Apparently Troy played hard because Mike snapped this photo of him when he fell asleep while playing on the floor! He even had himself draped over Mike's foot :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

hat day

I bought Troy his first "baseball cap" (minus the baseball team, plus a cute turtle) last week while we were running some errands. So far he's worn it outside one day and I couldn't help but snap a few photos. As the mom of a little boy, accessorizing is pretty limited and hats are about as far as I can go :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

mr fix it (and mr fix it in training)

Mike tackled one of our 2012 home improvement projects this weekend with much success. Today he had the help of his own junior repairman. Troy was REALLY good as he stood next to Mike and watched him at work. It was a really sweet glimpse into the future for all the fun projects I know my boys will work on together in the years to come :)