Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Polar Express

Thanks to Connor's train fascination, I finally remembered to purchase tickets for a Polar Express experience before they sold out (which meant way back in July or August). There were a couple of different options within driving distance of us but I'm glad we picked the one we did. It's a really neat scenic little town and is an easy drive for us.

The train both on display for pictures and the one they used for the ride, was really great and had that nostalgic look to it, just like in the book.

When Evan cornered the conductor of our train car to ask questions about the train, he was so patient (and later told us that was the first time a kid had done that - Sheldon, anyone?).

In a twist of life imitating art, we did temporarily "lose" our tickets once we were on the train (with two kids, four coats, a diaper bag and a camera bag, it's incredible I don't lose more!), but found them just in time for the conductor to punch them.

The boys dressed up in pajamas just like the kids do in the book/movie. I'm not sure what was so fascinating out the train window, but I love Evan's focus and Connor's excitement.

During the ride, the story was read over the intercom, while the conductor walked around with the book.

The "elves" brought hot chocolate, danced around with the kids, and sang songs. They even got Dan to stand in as the Christmas tree so the kids could "decorate" him with garland.

Then the big man himself showed up and gave all the kids their own sleigh bell.

It really was a fun night. We even took the kids out to eat afterwards at a local restaurant (always risky with a toddler in tow) but the restaurant was great AND the kids were well-behaved. Some of that Polar Express magic must have stuck with us. :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Connor is Two!

I haven't blogged about Connor since Easter! Classic second kid syndrome and Mom-of-the-Year, right here. Connor turned two in September and is an active, happy, sweet-natured little guy. So much changes between one and two years. Last year he wasn't walking yet, but he's certainly made up for any lost time. He wants to do anything his big brother does, pushing his plasma car and other toys all around the yard. So one of his birthday presents was a balance bike. He's still getting the hang of it, but I think he'll be cruising like a pro next spring.

Connor is definitely starting to show his independent streak. Everything is "I do it!" and "I did it!" when he's achieved whatever he's working on. He insists on dressing himself most days, minus the shirt which is a game of "where's Connor?" when the shirt goes over his head, and he yells "I see you!" when his head pops through. You'd think as a parent you'd get used to the cute way they phrase things in their tiny little voices, but you don't. I am trying to soak it all in because it disappears all too quickly.

He finally started consistently sleeping through the night around 21/22 months. That's a few months ahead of when his brother did, so I'll take it! Only one of his two-year molars has popped through, causing the occasional restless night, but he's otherwise a pretty sound sleeper.

He's singing the ABCs and counting to 10 (mostly, for some reason he always skips 9). Here he is pointing out that the bakery spelled his name wrong on the birthday cake.

Ok, not really, but man I wish I'd realized how often this would happen when we were picking his name.

He loves Mickey Mouse and trains. He'll bring me the remote and demand "Mickey" or "Choo-Choo!"

I think I actually have a kid who loves reading more than I do. It's an all day thing for him to bring us books to read to him. The "Little Engine" book he got for his birthday (thanks, Imagination Library!) is already well worn.

I bought him a toy vacuum too, but he'd much rather pull out the Dyson and take it apart, of course.

McFly and Connor (and Evan too, at this age) have a symbiotic relationship. He steals Connor's snacks, but McFly puts up with their antics, so it's a fair trade.

Like his brother, he is a very cuddly boy.

There are times though that I am second fiddle to his Grandma, and that's ok. I love that my boys love her so much. She spoils them, but isn't that a grandma's job?

Those early photos and videos of Connor will pop up in my Timehop now and I miss those baby coos and smiles, but I love this little toddler and all his personality too. Happy Birthday, Connor Joe!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Halloween Cowboys

Evan's costume this year came about because he wanted a pair of cowboy boots. Connor at this age is just along for the ride, so he doubled as his little deputy. Adults loved the western duo! Dan couldn't resist dressing the part either and I think I have some pretty cute cowboys on my side.

Connor hung right in there with the big kids for the trick-or-treating.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Evan is 7 (and a 1/3)

I'd like to say I have a decent excuse for not getting around to taking Evan's 7 year photos sooner, but it's the, busy schedules, unpredictable weather, etc. I wasn't sure I'd get to it all. Then, Evan was home from school for a couple of days with a fever, and on the day he was finally feeling better, he was ready to get out of the house and asked if we could go to our neighborhood park. I grabbed my camera and we went.

One HUGE advantage to waiting almost four months to take these photos is that for once he has "birthday" photos in a different season. Nothing tops the colors of autumn! That and Evan has an exceptional eye for where to take photos. A few of these spots were entirely his idea.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Evan is 7 (The In Between)

Life is what happens when you're busy making plans. Isn't that the saying? I've been intending to write a post for Evan's 7th birthday, well, since he turned 7 at the end of May. I still need to take his 7 year photos, but those will have to come later when all our schedules align and the weather cooperates. In retrospect, waiting to write this post has given me a little more insight into the life of a 7 year old boy. Lately I have found myself thinking a lot about the huge changes I've seen in Evan. I subtitled this post "The In Between" because that's exactly how I'd describe Evan at 7.

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He's in between doing it all himself and wanting us to be part of (mostly) everything. Who is this boy who takes showers, ties his own shoes, jumps off the high dive, and rides a two wheel bike? Oh, there he is, the one who still snuggles up for a bedtime story, a ritual we set practically the very first day we brought him home.

He's in between the innocence of simpler words and the exploration of tween-hood. He calls his sneezes "bless yous" and mirror is still "meer-yer," but in nearly the same breath he might give me a smirk and a "really, mom?"

He's in between the picky stage and trying new things. Who is this kid asking for rice, broccoli, and cauliflower? It's as if, suddenly, trying new stuff is cool. He just gives this "no big deal" shrug and I am totally rolling with it.

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He's in between being a silly rambunctious boy and being a focused, push-himself-to-be-better performer. He started taking martial arts classes this summer (Tae Kwon Do and Jiu Jitsu) and he can go from getting called out for talking to getting called out for setting the standard in form. I watch him in awe sometimes at what he can do. What happened to my clumsy little preschooler? Oh, you know, just doing the splits all non-chalant like.

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I am trying to soak up every last ounce of these next few years before my little boy is too big to sit on my lap, too tall to be carried, or too old to give me a hug in front of his friends. Right now, in this in-between, I can begin to see a glimmer of the adult he might one day be, and he's pretty awesome. I just hope he doesn't get there too quickly!

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