Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break...or Just Break...

Well tomorrow is April and spring has still not sprung here in Chicago!! I'm SO over winter...I refuse to wear a winter jacket-I'd rather just freeze! We have our moments of going a little stir crazy in our condo and are REALLY going to appreciate the warm weather when it decides to get here!

Troy started his final quarter of classes this past's hard to believe how close we are to being done! He had spring break last week and part of the week off before that too since he only had one final during finals week. It was great to have him home so much! We tried to do some fun family outings but the weather did prevent us from doing much of anything outside. I think we got out for a long run/park outing only once in a period of two weeks! We made it to the children's museum, made a few trips to open playtime at gymboree and also made a few trips to Home Depot and Lowe's doing research for some things we would like to buy when we move back to MN. We also took Jack outside one day upstairs to the big balcony and played soccer with him. He had so much fun! He actually gets the concept of kicking a ball...but mostly just had fun running around freely and watching the trains go by. All the other day's were spent inside at home or at our pool....

One of the reasons I love our condo building - among many - is that we've had a pool and workout room to use. That has saved us from having to pay for a gym membership these past two years and has provided endless hours of entertainment for Jack!! He LOVES that pool! He asks to go swimming multiple times a day now! He is fearless (which we realize isn't the best thing) in the water. This past week we got him this flotation device that he wears which gives him a little more independence in the water. It's basically two boards strapped onto him. He still needs help to keep his head out of the water but it allows him to move around by himself a little more freely.

Some other fun facts about Jack at 17 months...

  • He loves going around the house and picking up any diapers that haven't been thrown away. He can't stand to have dirty diapers lying about!

  • He loves my hair brush but hates hair! He will pick each hair out one by one and throw them away before he plays with the brush. Same with the bathtub...he hates hair in there and will pick it out!

  • He knows how to give Sam a nuk all by himself and he seems to take great enjoyment in trying to make Sam happy

  • Today he figured out how to turn on the tv all by himself...watched it for 5 minutes then said "bye bye" to the tv, turned it off completely and put the remotes completely away! Who knew he was that self sufficient! :-)

  • He likes to clean up after himself - he takes a wet paper towel and wipes the table after he eats

  • Basically he's got a little bit of Troy and my OCD going on...

  • His favorite songs are "Itsy bitsy spider," "The Wheels on the Bus," "The ABC's" and "Rubber Ducky"

  • He loves his brother more than life itself and can make Sam smile anytime/anywhere

Sam turned 3 months yesterday! I can't believe how time has flown! He is a rockstar baby...we are so blessed! He slept over 12 hours straight the other night!! Most nights now he will go at least 10 hours so Troy and I are feeling really caught up on sleep and even managing to wake up to exercise/have quiet times/do homework before the boys get up!

Some fun facts about Sam at 3 months...

  • He loves his playmat!! He was not a fan at first but now he will play for 30 minutes straight if we let him! He coos, smiles, kicks and squirms while interacting with the octopus and the bug hanging above him

  • His lovee!!! He has a little frog lovee and snuggles with it all throughout the day! We noticed one day that he was holding a burp cloth up against his face while riding in his carseat so we decided to try the lovee and he is so happy sitting in his boppy and snuggling up to the lovee for as long as we'll let him!

  • He is a big eater!! The kid loves his milk! He drinks 4 five oz bottles and 1 eight oz bottle per day and sometimes more!

  • We think he must weigh about 13 pounds, has fully transitioned into 3-6 month clothing and is already to long for some of his jumpers and pajamas

  • He loves to smile! Seriously you just have to make eye contact with him and he bursts into a huge smile!

  • He still loves bathtime everynight and never cries even when we take him out and put lotion on him

  • He's super laid back...happy in pretty much any situation

  • He is taking about 3 naps a day and some are over 2 hours!

  • He is starting to sit in his bumbo...his head isn't quite strong enough yet but he tries. When he isn't sitting in it, Jack has made it into one of his favorite chairs too!

Below are pictures from the last few weeks...hope you enjoy them!

Sam in the bath! Jack playing with Tad who sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider" Listening to my shuffle His new favorite hangout...the boppy with his lovee! Playing soccer on the roof outside!

Sam is hanging out too while Jack plays relaxed...
Watching the train! (on the right side in the middle)

Hanging in the boppy again...
With his lovee...
Trying the bumbo seat out!
My boys...
Brothers snuggling on the bed together
So happy!

And now Sam is being used as a table for Jack's cracker...

Kisses for Sam!

One of Jack's new favorite stuffed animals...a Panda Pillow Pet

Jack's new favorite chair...the bumbo

Swimming to the ledge almost all by himself!
Hanging on the ledge by himself!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Plenty of fun updates on the boys from these past few weeks coming up! Life has settled down quite a bit. I feel like I have finally started getting enough sleep each night which makes all the difference in the world! Troy has still been able to be home a lot which has been so fun...and Jack just absolutely loves playing with his Daddy all day long!

My parent's and my sister came last weekend for a visit. They actually let Troy and I leave and we had our first night away from Sam! Troy and I spent the afternoon doing research on mini vans (I can't believe I actually want one now!!) and saw our first movie in like 9 months! We also did some grocery shopping sans kids...which makes a big difference these days! Not too romantic but so fun and greatly needed! We totally reconnected as "Katie and Troy" and not just "Mommy and Daddy." Meanwhile, Jack and Sam went to the park and the next day to the Children's Museum and had a blast with Nana, Papa and Auntie Amy! It was a win/win for everyone!

It looks like we will be moving back to MN as early as the end of May! With the extra time off from school for Memorial Day, and skipping only one day of class, Troy will be able to take a week and a half to go up to MN, help settle us in, run back down to IL to finish his classes and check us out of our condo and then be back up to MN before June 10th! We want to maximize our time in the townhouse getting set up and spending time transitioning the boys as much as possible before Troy starts work.

As excited as I am to move back to MN and start our life as a family there, I am incredibly sad to leave Chicago. It has been an amazing experience and one I wouldn't trade for the world. I have discovered some of my best friends here. We are also going to miss our church SO much and feel so blessed we were able to be a part of it these past two years. Chicago is an amazing city and the fact that we had two of our children here will ensure it has a special place in our hearts forever!!

Okay, now updates on the boys...

On February 25th Jackson turned 16 months old...and we decided it was time for his first haircut! We took him to a place called Snippets at a mall nearby. It is specifically for kids. They video tape the "first haircut", let the kids sit in fun chairs while watching Sesame Street videos and of course, give you a box with some of the "baby hair" after it is cut. Yes, it is a bit overboard, but we thought it would be a fun memory. Jack did amazing. They couldn't believe he didn't cry and not only that but that he basically seemed pretty indifferent the entire time! I'm convinced it's because Elmo was on... Either way it was a really fun experience. Troy and Jack played in the giant tree house playground area afterwards and we all ate dinner at one of our favorite cafe's. It was a great afternoon!

Another fun "new" family adventure was going to our first "kids concert." It was called Slugs and Bugs Live and was held at our church on a Saturday morning. We went with some friends and Jack and Wyatt had a blast together - it was super cute!

We also started Gymboree classes with Jack a few weeks ago. It's basically a little kids gym and they learn through music, play, exploration, etc. We go once a week to a class and then are able to go to open gym throughout the week as well. Jack has come SO far since he started. At first he was pretty timid with all the equipment but now he goes full steam ahead as soon as we walk in! He loves it!

Jack has changed so much recently. I started making a list of the new things he's done and it ended up a lot longer than I expected!
  • He has officially transitioned to one nap a day
  • He is learning to's super cute because he doesn't get his feet off the floor yet but tries so hard!
  • He loves playing pretend with his Little People Farm and making his horses eat and drink!
  • He taught himself to drink out of a straw - and the look on his face was priceless the first time he did it!!!
  • He eats cereal, yogurt and cottage cheese out of a bowl with a spoon by himself now everyday
  • He has figured out how to open doors in our house now...which adds a whole new element to letting him play on his own
  • He LOVES stacking! He has blocks that he stacks. He stacks his bath toys and will literally spend minutes at a time until he succeeds!

Our little Sammy is over two months now! He is just the sweetest little guy ever! He loves to cuddle and sleep on us still if we let him. He started smiling a few weeks ago and his face just lights up a room! He is sleeping pretty good during the nights. One of us only has to usually get up once in the nighttime to feed him and then he goes right back down without a peep! He loves it when we smile at him (especially Jack). He smiles right back and it's just the cutest thing! We are so blessed! Other fun things about Sam:

  • He finally loves being on his playmat. He is interacting with the octopus and likes the's so fun to watch him enjoy playing!
  • Loves the bath! He isn't afraid at all and even tries to push his legs straight and get out of his chair!
  • He hates tummy time recently...a lot of times he throws up but other times he just grunts and fusses letting us know what he thinks!
  • He reacts to us and gives us eye contact! We LOVE it!!!

Here are some pictures from this past month!

Jack's first haircut!
Watching Elmo
Waving to the video camera
Mommy and Jack

Playing in the treehouse with Daddy
Trying to climb the treehouse...
Jack and Wyatt at Slugs and Bugs Live!!
Daddy and Jack at the concert
Crosby (Wyatt's little brother) and Sam at Slugs and Bugs
Jack at Gymboree
Wearing Daddy's earmuffs...
Reading with Daddy
Jack doing "I Love you THIS much!"
Smiley Sam...

Goofy Jack
Jack entertaining Sam - Sam's smiling at Jack
Jack stacking!
More smiles...
Eating cereal with Daddy
He thinks our bed and pillows are his "fort" where he reads books and watches the trains go by...
Reading in his fort...
Climbing at Gymboree
Balance beam...
More climbing...
Loves the tunnels...
Dancing to the music! Super cute!
Shooting hoops!
More dancing...

Mommy, Jack and Sam
Mommy and Sam
Sticking out our tongues...
Our nightly bedtime routine...
Going out on a date!
Nana, Jack and Sam
Nana, Papa and the boys
Jack playing with Amy's ponytail - he thought it was SO fun!
Mommy, Daddy and Sam
Mommy and Sam
Crazy Jack hair...
Serious Sammy...
Jack loving on his brother... Pushing the swiffer with his mouth...
Troy and his boys
Reading to the kiddos
Snuggling with Sam