Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Two Years Old

Nathan, you are two years old!

Two whole years. How did that happen? In just a blink my world changed forever and it continues to change and grow for the better each day with you. I never knew my heart could grow as big as it does each time I look at you. You challenge me, frustrate me, and test me daily but you also make me laugh, swell with pride and stop in awe to appreciate the wonder that is you.

You are all boy and all toddler. I no longer see my little baby but a little boy who is growing to be independent ("no, self mommy"), silly yet serious, and oh so smart. It still amazes me all that you know and take in - I have to be careful and am constantly reminded that I need to guard my words and actions to be a better example for you. You are a parrot and will repeat anything your Daddy or I say to you. It's pretty adorable!
Showing your muscles
You love staying busy and I am constantly challenged to think of activities to keep you occupied and out of trouble. You still love hitting the golf ball in the house but we will soon put an end to that because you are just too good and are bound to break something before too long. You've started to play more by yourself and I love hearing you make different toys interact or role play. We spend a lot of time outside, in our yard or at various playgrounds, where you are always bound to find a stick or rock to play with. You run, you jump with both feet off the ground, you climb - you are a busy little boy!

Feeding you is a challenge and I find myself preparing the same meals over and over for the assurance that you will actually eat them. Now that you're communicating better you ask for specific meals or snacks and you're even telling me that you're hungry or thirsty which is helpful. Sleeping has been consistent (napping pretty well and sleeping 10-12 hours a night) but I'm worried we're about to mess that up by taking your pacifier away. The beloved bubba will soon be gone - we've been transitioning you to only use it in bed and you've been compliant but I know it's going to be tough for us all when they finally go away.

Oh, the things you say! You're speaking in three- to four-word sentences now and I can understand most of what you say. Some of my favorites of late:
  • "Um..." when you are thinking
  • "[name of food], eat it, mouth"
  • "Oh, no, Bobo Bird" (a favorite song)
  • "[name of person], are you?" for "Where are you?"
There is so much more that makes me smile and melts my heart. I love hearing you speak and watching as the wheels turn while you're trying to formulate what to say next.

Such a devilish grin!
You are so friendly and say hello to people we pass while we're out. You recognize so many family members and friends by name and will even pray for them specifically when we say our prayers at night. You're getting more comfortable with staying in church nursery and have started interacting more with friends your age. Don't be fooled, though. You can be sweet as honey but you can also throw a mean tantrum and can be quite dramatic about it. The terrible two's have certainly begun and the whining and crying are a daily (hourly) occurrence. Thankfully, you're really good at taking deep breaths and calming down if we can talk through things (most of the time).

I am so grateful that God chose me to be your mom and that He has trusted me and your Daddy to raise you and watch you grow. I am so excited to see what the next year brings and how many more great memories and experiences we will share. I love you so much buddy!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Addison's Second Birthday

It's hard to believe another round of birthdays has begun and we're celebrating our kiddos turning two! Addison's birthday was today and we got to share in her Lilly themed park playdate. It was a hot morning, already climbing in the 80s (gross) but a gorgeous, sunny day and we had so much fun playing with friends, especially after being cooped up all last week from the Easter bug.

The birthday girl
Ben and Nathan, sharing snack time
We got plenty of playground time in, bouncing between slides and swings and chatting with our buddies. N particularly got a kick out of the swings today and was giggling up a storm as he mimicked the kids next to us.

We gathered together to sing "Happy Birthday" and watch Addison blow out her two candles. Then, shocked of the morning, N asked for a cupcake...

Ate it...

And even asked for more! This boy usually avoids all sweets (even spitting out chocolate cake!) so I was super surprised. I guess he is my child after all!

We love these friends oh so much and are so grateful to have them in our lives! 
Happy Birthday, Addison!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Weekend

I was over the moon when my mom told me that the whole family would be coming down to visit for Easter. We love to host and having everyone here in Orlando for a holiday is a special treat! It's a little cozy with everyone here at once but we make it work and wish it would only happen more often.

Everyone got in on Friday afternoon while N was napping so when he woke up and everyone got settled we spent the rest of the day hanging out and enjoying the sunshine in the backyard.

Saturday morning began with a cousin breakfast for the boys before packing up and heading to our church for their Easter egg hunt. It was a whole spring carnival with bounce house, petting zoo, pony rides and face painting.

Carter was a pro at finding the very well-hidden eggs. N, on the other hand, had a toddler moment just before the hunt began and insisted on being carried the whole time so we were a bit slower at finding any.

It was still fun and a beautiful day to spend time outside with the family.

Lolly even joined us for the festivities.

After the hunt we took the boys back over to the church to check out the other attractions. N was drawn to the petting zoo, saying hello to all the animals including baby goats, ducks, chickens and bunnies.

He even got to pet a baby duck. He was so gentle and the girls even commented that he was the sweetest child they had seen all morning interacting with the animals. My little animal lover!

We headed to the playground next and enjoyed some of the Easter egg candy while we waited for our lunch reservation on Park Ave. We all ate at Prato, our new favorite spot, and had a great meal trying new dishes and watching the kitchen prep everything.

By the time we walked back to the church, C was feeling a bit more brave and stopped to chat with the animals at the petting zoo.

Both boys even sat on the horses (N for a split second, C took a couple spins around on them!) before saying goodbye and heading home.

Of course, a family day would not have been complete without a quick photoshoot when we got home.

We grilled out that night for dinner and had another great evening relaxing at home together, walking around the neighborhood and playing golf with the boys in the backyard.

Unfortunately, that didn't last long and the next morning (Easter Sunday), we woke to the stomach bug. Poor N got sick while I was getting ready for church so Ryan stayed home with him. Lincoln stayed back with the Hamilton boys, too, just to keep things simple so just the Nathan clan made it out. Dad started feeling ill at church and by the time we got home both he and Ryan had caught it.

There is nothing worse that having a sick baby and not being able to do anything about it. It's even harder when hosting and trying to keep germs away from the healthy while tending to those who need nursing. We used up every set of sheets I own, making up beds around the house to keep the sickies quarantined. 

On Monday, those of us that were feeling okay made it out of the sick house and out to Islands of Adventure. I tried my best to fight through it but by then I was feeling pretty ill myself and ended up having to take a cab home to go back and rest. Everyone else managed to have fun and escape without catching the bug so for that I was very grateful.

Thankfully, it seemed to pass the adults relatively quickly and everyone got back on their feet in time for the visit to be over. Poor N spent the week more lethargic than I've ever seen, with no appetite and high fevers. I am so sad that our much anticipated visit was spoiled by such a rotten germ but I'm still more than thankful that we were all together and that we got to see family for Easter. Hopefully the next time will be a much better trip and we'll all get to enjoy each others' company for the full time!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

First Prez Egg Hunt

To help get into the Easter spirit, we were excited to join some of our music class buddies for the First Presbyterian Egg Hunt at the church downtown. Since this was N's first mobile egg hunt (he was still crawling last year), I was excited to see how he did with his basket and the whole concept.

We waited with our buddies for the call to start and N was very eager to get going once he saw the field covered in eggs. His basket was almost as big as he is but he was a champ and carried it himself the whole time!

When we got the go-ahead, he raced to the lawn and began gathering well over our quota (I kept throwing them back out when he wasn't looking). He didn't even care to stop and check what was inside.

After the hunt, we joined our friends in the shade for a picnic lunch while the church led a sing-a-long for us. N was more interested in kicking the remaining eggs (there were still hundreds left unpicked) and gathering treasures than eating but we still got to enjoy our time with our buddies before heading home to welcome company for the weekend.

It was a nice event and we had a great time!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Corey and Liz's Wedding

It's been a while since we've had the pleasure of attending a wedding but we got to go as a family last weekend to celebrate the marriage of Ryan's cousin, Corey, and his bride, Liz. They held the ceremony and reception at the Lake Mary Events Center and it was a beautiful setting!

The ceremony was in an atrium overlooking a lake, which was perfect because it had the fantastic view without the threat of the elements (it was really windy and threatened to storm after really bad weather the night before). The sun peeked out just as the couple said their vows - it was perfect!

Nathan was very well behaved during the ceremony, squirming a bit towards the end but staying relatively quiet. He was really interested in the string quartet that played during the ceremony and cocktail hour. While we had drinks and apps, he danced around the girls and showed off!

He loved having the freedom to run around and didn't stay still once the ceremony was over!

The reception was in a ballroom with a live band and buffet dinner. The bride was very sweet to order a special kids' meal just for the bubs even though he preferred the PB&J I packed just in case.

We had a great time celebrating the bride and groom and spending time with some of Ryan's extended family. I even got to slow dance with my hubby, so the night was a success for me! I'm looking forward to wedding season and getting to celebrate more in the coming months (and maybe stealing a few more dances)!