Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Mom Crush

I have a crush on this group of moms (Play at Home Mom), "who have a firm belief in positive parenting and play based learning." You should follow them on facebook too.

I love how these moms take the concept of a "sensory table" to a whole new level. They set up "invitations" that are like sensory tables.... but sometimes with science! And always really creative and engaging and fun!

An "RSV Vaccine Playing Scientist" Invitation:
Stir sticks, petri dishes, salt and pepper shakers, liquid watercolors, test tubes, a few clear containers and bottles, dropper, teaspoon, measuring spoon, and a little whisk.  

Dinosaur Discovery

She lets her 3? 4? year old kid do woodworking.

Maybe one day we'll make a light table too.

The boys will have a "summer vacation" of sorts, and I need to start planning some activities for them now to keep them engaged. Their last day at their current daycare is July 25th and they don't start their new part-time "day school" until September. They will be home with me all day every day (while I am working)! We will hopefully be going on a little beach vacation in August, and my siblings will be coming over to help as well. I'm looking forward to an "Uncle John and Uncle Luke" summer camp :)

I am hoping to take their lead and come up with a few "invitations" as well.

A Perfect Day... and Gratitude

Some days the stars (and nap schedules) align just perfectly and you have a... perfect day. Beautiful weather, good health, happy children, a scenic urban greenway, friends and family, and having the good fortune to recognize it while in the moment were all factors combined into what made Saturday, June 9th... the perfect day.

Although we visit the Greenway weekly in Charlotte, this was the first day, we took the boys out in the bike trailer. Mike rode the bike, while I ran next to them.

Mike was annoyed I stopped him to take a picture (see his impatient face), but he was glad I did later! See, it's the skyline in the background! And two cute brothers!


As I ran next to my boys on this beautiful day...


...past the hospital where they were both delivered... I couldn't help but feel so incredibly grateful. I suppose any time I think of pregnancy and birth, I can't help but get emotional, as it's such an intensely emotional experience. The obvious juxtaposition of the reminder of their birth and newborn babies with the two kids sitting in the trailer; my physical memories of pregnancy (the extra weight, nausea, and feeling like I had no control over my body) and the feeling of effortless running and feeling the strongest and healthiest in my life. And of course, because of recent events in my extended family, feeling intensely grateful for good health, and the ability to run and use my body.


We biked to Freedom Park.


Killian was such a sweetheart and helped Mick take a sip of his drink. This is so typically Mick - he is already holding 2 different snacks in each hand, but is reluctant to put either down for a third. After enough of Mick's "EH EH EH EH EH," Killian graciously helped him out.

The boys somehow made it the whole trip without any fighting, until the very, very end, Mick was getting a little slappy slappy.

I took Killian out of the trailer and stayed with him by the water fountain, while Mike continued on to the car with Mick, and then picked us up.

I explained to Killian that he was getting to take a little break from Mick because Mick was slapping and thanked him for being so patient. And I was really impressed at how patient he was being because he was also so tired.


Killian took a nice, long nap when we got home. And then when he woke up, it was birthday party time! And as I already explained, it was a seriously awesome party.


I explained what "grateful" means to Killian the other night before bed, and I'm trying to remember to incorporate gratitude into our bedtime routine. I told him what I was grateful for and he told me what he was grateful for. So far, he has been grateful for Care Bears and ice cream.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hooray for this Dad

Happy Father's Day, Mike Walker! Thank you for all the love. And the cookies. But especially the love, patience, laughs, and good times. We love you.






Hot things go up, cold things go down!






Killian's first kayak

This is how mick sleeps. His hand has to be touching someone else's skin

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cormac at 15 Months

Happy 15 months, Mick!

We love you so much!

Does not look safe

This has been a big month for Mick! He's been communicating with us a lot more with more babbling and also specific words. He surprises us sometimes - ("Did he just say iguana?" as we stand next to an iguana in the pet store.)

The word we hear most often is "Mama?" He says this when we wants anything too. Sometimes it seems that he says "more" too. He also says "Dada." In the past month or so, he has started consistently signing and saying "bird" whenever he sees one. It is so cute; he sounds like baby Bambi saying "bird." Mick loves animals. We frequently go visit the chickens down the street. He says, "bawk bawk?" 

In one ridiculously cute incident, Mick was "kissed" by a doggy, and then followed him around the house, trying to put his face near his for another one, smiling, saying "ISS? ISS? ISS?

Mick looks at Amie's mouse and points to a mouse in a book.



Mick continues to adore his big brother, "Na Na" as he calls him. He melts my heart when he says, "Night Night" to family members before bedtime and "Bye Bye" to random strangers.

Mick cracking up laughing at Killian pushing him :)

Mick still loves to eat very healthy. Here he is enjoying his morning yogurt outside, which makes for a nice start to the day and an easy clean up for Mom and Dad.

Breakfast in the back yard. Beautiful morning.

A couple weeks ago Mick moved from the "Infant Room" at school to the "Tots Room" (for ages 15 months - 2 years), where he gets to do big boy things like sleep on a cot instead of a crib and do a lot more fun hands-on arts and crafts type activities.  He has developed some friendships in the class.

My babies are growing up so fast!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Killy Billy!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Killian!

Since this is your "digital scrapbook," I hope you read this someday. I want you to know that you have brought so much joy to our lives.

I didn't know I could love someone so much until I held you for the first time, and somehow that love continues to grow each day. It might sound cliched, but it's true.


The past three years have been so beautiful.



Ashton and Killian re-united







Welcome to little boyhood, Killian!

St Patty's Day. Amazing how much they grow in one year.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Killian's Seusstastic 3rd Birthday Party

Killian had an awesome 3rd birthday party. Thank you to all our friends and family who helped make it so special!

Killian had so much fun with his uncles, "cousins," and friends.




The party was Dr. Seuss-themed. Killian wore his Green Eggs and Ham shirt (until it got wet)...
Killian's Seusstastic 3rd birthday

...and a few of us got into the theme as well.


Mike came up with his own recipe for "Dr. Seussballs" (recipe at end of the post if interested), which had a purple hue and were amazing.


The "Adult Pink Ink Drink" was also a big hit.


My mom made 2 awesome cakes and Pat made a fruit pie with a big 3. Killian was SO excited to see these cakes.



We encouraged people to bring an unwrapped new or used book for a book exchange in lieu of a wrapped gift. I somehow didn't take a picture of our book table, but we had lots of great books on the table. At the end of the party kids got to leave with a book and a few Dr. Seuss bookmarks. On the book exchange table, I put out a framed picture of Killian sitting on a bench that read the Dr. Seuss quote, "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened," which I thought was appropriate!

Killian and one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes


Dr. Seussballs:

2lbs Ground Beef
1/2 lb Bacon
1/2+ tsp Salt
1+ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1+ tsp Chili Powder 
2 Eggs

1 (10oz) bottle Trader Joes Sweet Chile Sauce
1 (small) jar Polaner brand preserves (whatever flavor, I used seedless blackberry)
1/3 jar Polaner brand Orange Marmalade

Cook the meatballs in the oven as you would normally and then marinate in the crockpot with the sauce for a little while before serving. 

The Bethday Girl

Beth is now 18!

I was so excited to be able to go out with her and her friends to celebrate. And watch them all crap their pants as they experienced "burgushi" for the first time at Cowfish. They were all Cowfish virgins except for Mike, Beth, and I.


Beth has a special moment with her "What's Shakin' Tuna Bacon Burger"  (with ahi tuna and a "bun" made out of kani!)

Beth has a moment with her what's shakin' tuna bacon burger.

Killian and Beth share the same birthday week, which I think is awesome. I just had the best weekend ever thanks to these two people this last weekend.

Beth is going to be living with us this fall while she attends UNCC and we all can't wait.

Bethie and Killian were building a teepee in the back yard. So cute.