Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Happy 80th Birthday!

This week, my Gramma (and Troy's great-grandma) celebrated an exciting birthday... 8-0! For anyone that knows my grandmother, I don't think they would ever guess she is now 80 years old. She's very active, involved in her church and community and has a weekly date with her nearly 100 yr old aunt to play games every week (did I mention how thankful I am for their genes in our family?!)

We had a great time getting together to celebrate her big day. And in a few short months, her celebration will continue as "Beema" heads to Vegas with some of the family to win that million dollars we know she's going to get :) Happy Birthday, Beema, thanks for being such an awesome Grandma and Great-Grandma to us!

The pups just couldn't handle any more partying by the end of the night :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jump Zone!

Early Saturday morning, I was in search of somewhere to take Troy where he could run off a bunch of energy (and have FUN) in Chicago. Thanks to Yelp, we found Jump Zone, an awesome warehouse full of inflatables, that had open playtime on Saturday mornings! Grampa and I took Troy off to Jump Zone to check it out.

This was the first time Troy got to play in giant inflatables; it was also the first time I got to help boost him up some of the giant slides so he could slide down with delight :) Next time I'll be bringing my 8 yr old cousin with! Mama.was.tired.

He liked bouncing around the basketball court with a bunch of other kids.

He REALLY liked all the slides. Those seemed to be his favorite, and there were plenty of them!

After a half hour or so, he started to challenge himself (it seemed!) We passed by this giant alligator slide and he didn't hesitate to start climbing up. We knew it would take a loooong time for him to get up there so we just waited and waited. Eventually he came flying out with a big grin on his face. He went back to try it again but came back out after a few minutes. It was a lot of climbing to do once, let alone twice!

There was a Cars themed inflatable there, too (did I mention how MANY there were!?) and since he just saw the movie for the first time last week, he was really excited to slide under Lightning McQueen.  That one was a bit smaller so he could do it over and over :) Eventually he got tired and we packed things up to go home for lunch and a nap. We'll be going back there again and again when we make visits up north!

Ride train!

Troy was pretty jazzed about this part of our weekend plans. We decided to go for a ride on the train to check out Gramma's work downtown, as we'd never been there before. I hadn't gone for a ride on the el in several years but it couldn't get much easier than this...the train stop was in the basement of Gramma's building!

We rode down with Gramma in the morning and Troy was on cloud nine the entire time. He looked out the window and proudly narrated the entire ride. I'm sure for all the people on the train car that was an amusing break from their everyday commute :)

When we got there, we went straight up to the 56th floor to look out over the city. Since there were some meetings going on, we had to teach Troy how to say "cheese" for pictures quietly= "quiet cheese". It worked great :)

Then we passed some time in a conference room. Troy practiced giving his first executive level presentation :)

After an enjoyable lunch, we were back to the train to head home for a nap. Troy has been talking about his train ride ever since!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mission impossible

Mission: fold the laundry and get it out of the way before Troy "helps" fold by picking it up and trying to fold it again.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A different kind of Monday

Usually Mondays launch us back into our weekly routine, but this week Troy got a different kind of Monday! Grampa and Gramma were here for a visit and it sounds like they all had a blast. They also got to scope out a sporty play group I haven't had a chance to take Troy to and gave it a thumbs up! As Troy recapped his day to us: "kick soccer ball...(pause)...fries!!"

Grampa's boy

Soccer Planet playgroup

Friday, January 18, 2013

Champaign Gymnastics Academy Open House

After last week's fun at the Little Gym, we were eager to try out another night of gym fun. Anne invited us off to this open house happening at the Champaign Gymnastics Academy (which is basically a transplant of the old Y program, as it went away for the most part when it moved to the new facility). The big difference in this facility compared to some others is that its a competitive training facility, so they have some pretty heavy duty equipment in addition to the fun stuff.

The big draws for Troy were the foam pit (below), the tumble track and a trampoline (see video). I think Troy really loves bouncing around!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2 year checkup

Height: 2 feet, 11 inches (75%)
Weight: 34 lbs, 13 oz (97%)
Head Circumference: 49 cm (55%)

Troy had his 2 yr checkup today! Its been awhile since we had been there so we walked in and he was all happy-go-lucky. Watch the fish? Sure thing! Say hi to all the friendly nurses? Yeppers. Its all good.

I was very happy that I didn't have to completely undress him and that he gets to be weighed and have height measured standing now. That's much easier to demonstrate for a toddler than forcing them to lay down on a baby scale. He wasn't too sure about those two things but then an adorable little girl walked up right behind us and we let her go first to show him how its done :)

Here's a picture of him below, after he got his sticker from the doctor when he was thinking he was all done. He was pretty happy to have an Elmo sticker!

Unfortunately, we gave him two shots today and the smile went away :( As soon as we got home, he took a nap and when he woke up, this sad little face just wanted to snuggle with me and watch Monster Trucks. By the time Mike got home from work, he was back to himself though!

We touched base on our vaccine schedule today as part of his visit too. When I was pregnant I only made a schedule through the 2 yr checkup, so it was time to talk about the ones in the years to come.  I'm still very happy with our doctor and how she answers my questions (without judgment or pressure!) and the care she provides for Troy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Running around

There's many things I love about our local indoor playground. As Troy gets older, I enjoy it more and more. Right now, its a great place to take Troy to run. And run. And run. He has lots of energy, so letting him run some of it away is very helpful :) Until things warm up again, I guarantee we'll be making lots of trips over there to play!

A blurry but fun shot from the tube slide.

Nobody was playing on this today so he took the opportunity to run around and "make it go". Remember what I said about running off energy?!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kitchen Adventure: homemade bread

The other day, my friend Michelle and I were having a great chat about food and cooking and she asked if I had any recipes for bread. I've been wanting to try this for awhile, so I told her I'd poke around and see what I can find!

Now I've made sweet breads before (banana, pumpkin, etc.) but I can only think of one time I used yeast for anything and can't even remember what it was. Since I wanted to find something to replace that loaf of Brownberry bread I buy for $2.50 or so, I picked up a sack of wheat flour and started digging around on pinterest for something just right!

This was what I decided to go with: Simple and Scrumptious Honey Wheat Bread. I halved it because I couldn't dream up a use for four loaves of bread and thought two would be more than enough to try. And guess what? It was simple. And it is scrumptious! My KitchenAid did all the hard work (I don't have a bread machine or anything) and aside from having to check on it a few times to follow all the steps it was NOT difficult at all. (Mike was very helpful in calling out when my timer was beeping so I knew to move on to the next step!)

I estimate my cost per loaf to be about $1.50. Considering I pay $2.50 for a loaf from the store, and I think this is way better, I'm going to do my best to stop buying bread!

Mommyhood is...

...licking your fingers when juicing a lime for dinner and thinking "just like a margarita!"

Yea that was me tonight.

Now you go! Mommyhood is...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Daddy's Airplane

Its been several months since we've been airport transportation for Mike as he usually just drives himself and parks there. But this time both the departure and arrival worked well in our schedule so we were glad to take him. Drop off was uneventful earlier this week (nothing really happening when we were there) but when we picked up today, we made sure to be there in time for landing! Troy was so excited for this :)

After we found Mike, Troy insisted on rolling his luggage out to the car. He practices at home a lot, digging the luggage out of the closet and rolling it into his room to "pack" for imaginary trips. I think he took his job very seriously as we walked out to the car!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Little Gym Open House

We were pretty excited to visit the new Little Gym that opened up right near us in Urbana tonight! We'd never played there before and I had a hunch Troy would love it :) Aside from a brief visit to open gym at the Y one day, Troy has never done any gymnastics-type activities before. We walked in and it was VERY crowded (open house) and Troy just kind of looked around at all the different things before trying anything out. I wasn't sure he would jump in and thought he might just watch, but once he figured things out, there was NO stopping him!

He absolutely loved the balance beam. I was holding his hand while he did it and Mr Gymastics Guy came over to correct my technique in helping him and within two tries, Troy was doing the balance beam on his own!

He loved getting up on the bars, but we couldn't get him to hang on them very long. He must have taken at least ten turns up on the high bar and would just flash me this huge grin every time he got up there :)

Not too sure about it at first...

"Look, Mommy!"

The rings were another hit! He was glad to hold on to these while the instructor let go and gave him a push to swing. He liked jumping off at the end a lot, too!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

We love technology :)

Anyone who says technology has a negative impact on society doesn't have a 2 yr old who loves his video chats with Daddy :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Future dog walker

Troy loves "walking" Bear. For now, he gets to hold onto the leash from his stroller while I also hold it and push him along. He's a few years off from handling her on his own!

And another photo just me and Troy after our walk :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Keepin' It Real

This is my son. Watching Bob the Builder in the living room. While eating lunch. A lunch of (gasp!) chicken nuggets. It doesn't happen every day. But some days, like yesterday, this is what lunch looked like.

I post this because as a blogger, you kind of fall into this pattern of blogging of all the things that are special, noteworthy, about the days. The fun trips we take around town. The awesome things my kid is saying or doing. Craft projects or cake decorating. And one of my favorites, meal planning.

But some things don't make the blog. Not because I'm embarrassed about them or anything but because they just aren't as noteworthy. Like chicken nuggets in front of TV for lunch. There's nothing blog-worthy about that, in my opinion. Or that trip you took to the indoor playground, because just as you reach for your iPhone to take a photo of that awesome new thing your kid is trying, he loses his balance and gets a bloody nose :/ The list goes on.

I love blogging. I keep it up for a number of reasons, the main of which being I love to document the everyday things that are happening because all of a sudden, they change a little bit and don't happen quite the same way anymore. Troy had this crazy rendition of Old McDonald going on for awhile that included a line about "fireman, fireman". Apparently firemen worked on the farm. Literally as soon as I pulled out my camera to document it and asked him to sing it again, he started saying farmer instead of fireman. 

Anyways, today I'm posting about chicken nuggets and Bob the Builder. Because that's a part of our life, too. And I just want to keep it real :) Thanks for being a faithful reader!


Today we had a visit from Gramma and Auntie Daria. For lunch we all went out to Oishi (side note: how awesome is that place!? And lunch was super inexpensive!) and while we were in there, we had what looked like a heavy snowstorm for about 12 minutes :) Nothing really stuck to the ground and by the time we left it was already lightened up. There were still snowflakes coming down though, and Gramma was showing Troy how to catch snowflakes on his tongue. He LOVED that game!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Snow. Birds. Hair?

Troy still scribbles when he draws (don't really know what age that changes to actual drawing?) but his scribbles all come with a narrative now. Tonight's was of snow, birds and later he added some "hair". Ummmm, ok....

Dinosaur. Rarr.

I haven't blogged much this week, I realize. Thanks to all you bloggers who made a New Years resolution to blog daily, I've had quite a few extra blogs to catch up on the last few days :) But there really hasn't been much excitement going on around here. So I decided to take a video of Troy in the last half hour before bedtime tonight and blog it for ya. Just because. So here you go. Troy and his dinosaur puzzle pieces.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Daddy's Stay-cation

New annual tradition! Last year was the first year that Mike took off the week between Christmas and New Years to have a "stay-cation" at home (except for Christmas related festivities up in Chicago). Even though he got sick last year, he and Troy still had a great time and bonded a ton during that week.

So how happy were we that everyone stayed healthy for Mike's "stay-cation 2012" this year! I know I was :) We were totally blessed with 11 consecutive days off for Mike this year (with how the holidays fell on the calendar plus some vaca) and just had a great time hanging out as a fam. Plus there were a couple days I worked and left them alone for Daddy-son bonding time too. Now that our house has been successfully purged of clutter, nooks and crannies have been cleaned and organized, and Troy has had more love and attention than he could ever desire, back to the norm tomorrow. Stay-cation 2012, thanks for the memories!

Watching a YouTube video. Pretty sure they were watching penguins or something.
Troy "reading" to Bear. He climbs up next to her and acts like he's showing her the pictures. She looks enthralled.
Sneaking in a shot from the next room :) Troy's all about crawling into Daddy's lap!