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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Caleb's 4th Birthday

On July 8th Caleb excitedly awoke and dressed himself for the day.  I hung balloons in the entrance of his room, which I think for him was the first time I had done it...  Caleb's reaction to the balloons when he woke up, still a little groggy:  "Mommy why are there balloons in my doorway?"  The boys always have fun playing with the balloons all morning :)

Showing off his new shorts, new Paw Patrol pup, his favorite color green balloon from his room, and wearing mommy's headband.

Showing his serious side, as he waits for us to finish singing happy birthday...

Our neighbor, Katy, sometimes wears a tie-died shirt, and apparently Caleb must have either told her he liked it or that he wanted one, too, because for his birthday the neighbors got him this shirt, which he was very excited to wear!

Our old neighbors, Ron and Yvonne, who used to live across the street came by in Ron's corvette.  We thought Caleb might enjoy taking a little drive down the street in it since it sounds like the engine of a race car.  Turns out he only wanted to sit in the front seat, but we were able to snap a quick shot of him at least!

Monday, July 21, 2014

4th of July

This year David, Dana, Deacon, and Delanie were in town for the 4th.  We all started the day off early with our usual tradition, going to the pancake breakfast at the Lake.  

(Hands in the pockets like daddy)

A man we know was sitting at the tables near us and was holding this silly Goofy hat.  The boys wandered over, and each of them took turns putting it on, with lots of smiles, too!

After the breakfast we stopped by to visit Grandma Stanford.  The boys were being boys, wrestling with each other on her floor.

And then after naps we headed straight for the pool!  The boys were really excited to swim (as usual), and especially excited because some of their cousins would be there, too.  

Exhausted boys after three hours of swimming

Dr. Landon taking care of daddy... 

My Papa Jack :)

After dinner we headed back to our own house, where some of the neighbors joined together for an impromptu mini-block party, with sparklers for the kids, slightly larger fireworks for the dads to enjoy, and even another neighbor's super big, loud, and crazy ones that rocked our houses!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

June 2014

This month has been full of firsts...  Potting training, swimming, nail clipping, and broccoli!  Let me elaborate...

Potty training - we started this in May with Landon. He has continued to do amazingly well, and he even went straight to undies at nighttime, too, within a week of starting training.  Very nice to be able to use the diaper money elsewhere!

Swimming - We signed the boys up for two weeks of swim lessons at the beginning of June with Haley Ring, a neighbor and family friend of a friend.  I really had no idea what to expect from them the first day... Caleb did two days of swim lessons at Lodi High at the end of last summer and screamed his head off the whole time, so I prepared Haley for the worst before arriving, just in case.  To my very pleasant surprise, he was eager to meet 'Miss Haley', as we called her, and hopped right into the water with her. Landon did well too, other than constantly wanting to throw all her pool toys into the water during Caleb's lessons.   They practiced putting their faces in the water, kicking, crab walks along the wall (moving along the wall holding on - Caleb really liked these), rolling onto their backs and floating, and Caleb also did a lot of swimming toward Miss Haley and back to the wall.  He likes having goggles on, and has good strong kicks when he puts his face into the water to swim.

During the weekend after the first week of lessons we went swimming at Papa and Nonni's house and Caleb decided he wanted to swim a short distance over to me to show what he had been learning.  During the course of our swim time that afternoon, he just took off swimming from one side to the other and back and doing it over again - so frequently that we had to remind him to take a break if he needed to catch his breath, but he seemed excited and eager to keep going.  Then he and Landon decided to jump off the diving board with the donut inner tubes around their bellies, submerging their heads under before bobbing back up.  A few minutes later Caleb said he wanted to jump off toward me and swim to the side, and that he did!  I was able to get a few videos for us to keep of his first swimming, and to send to daddy to see during his work trip to Central and South America.  We are so proud of him!!

Nail Clipping - this probably sounds very insignificant, but the boys finally realized that its not a big deal to have their nails clipped.  As babies I used to do it while they were having a bottle, but since their awareness of things increased as toddlers and bottles have long since been done, they won't let me get near them with the nail clippers, and I have had to clip them with a flashlight held in my mouth while they are sleeping!  I had it down to a science, and had discovered that it had to be done between 20 and 30 minutes of them falling asleep because that was the only time I could know for sure that they were asleep enough, but not at a point in their sleep cycle where they would stir awake feeling me clipping.  The silly things we do...

Broccoli! - The boys ate a whole head of it between the two of them!!!  They have never given any consideration to this vegetable before, and in my mind (though I would never say it to them out loud) it seems like it would be a harder one to try since it has such a funny texture. Maybe that's my own hangup since food textures can sometimes be a deterrent to me.  Anyway, I had made a stir fry for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I put one piece of broccoli on each of their plates just for the sake of exposure to something different.  Caleb balked at it, but once he calmed down and started eating the other parts of the meal I shared with him that when I was younger I first started eating broccoli with balsamic vinegar and Papa's seasoning on it.  Caleb said he wanted to try some, and Landon said "Me too," so I put some in a ramekin for them to dip it in and the devoured the piece on their plate, ate the pieces off my plate, asked for more and ate all the pieces in the pan, and STILL wanted more so I quickly sauteed the remaining broccoli pieces from the fridge and they finished those too!  Our boys have always been good eaters, though not so much with veggies, and certainly not a wide variety of them so I was shocked after they so eagerly ate this broccoli!

Current Interests:
- "Force cars", as he calls them... We are still trying to pinpoint what exactly falls into this category, but I think its anything that is a super cool looking race car or vehicle...

- Rescue Bots - these are like a preschool-aged transformer cartoon that Caleb really digs right now.  He got one of the figures for his birthday, and used some birthday money to buy a second one.

- His blue aviator-style sunglasses - we taught him recently that you can wear them on your head if you don't want them over your eyes, which he now does regularly!

- Talking about his daddy.  As Nana Gigi pointed out recently, Jimmy is totally Landon's hero right now. Landon wants to do a lot of things with daddy, and sort of brags about daddy to other people, telling them very matter-of-factly different things about his daddy as he tilts his head to the side.

- His monster piggy bank that he painted on our date (and his first trip to) the Mud Mill (see date pictures at bottom of this post).  He is very proud of it, but the problem is that he wants to carry it around like a toy.  Well, as you might imagine, it fell out of his hands this week and broke.  Poor guy cried for 20 minutes!  Hoping we can fix it with a little super glue...

- Riding his balance bike, with or without one or all of the following items: shoes, shorts, or a shirt.  He has gotten really good at the balance of it and flies around our cul-de-sac.  He was also just given a regular bike with training wheels so he is learning how to pedal on that and use the reverse-pedal brakes.  Maybe both boys will be taking training wheels off at close to the same time!

Other recent fun...
Story time at the Library with Mr. Jim - this day he was telling about the Three Little Pigs, and the boys are still laughing hysterically when either of them says "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" like Mr.Jim did.

We sure have gotten a lot of use out of last year's firefighter Halloween costumes!  These boys love putting them on and running around the house :)


Still not quite ready to take off the training wheels, but he has had a few days when Caleb wants to try without them.  This day his buddy Jake was trying to help teach him.

For Father's Day this year we went to a Sacramento Rivercats Baseball Game with my parents, Papa Jack and Nana Dee, and my Uncle Jack, Aunt Gwen, and cousin Christa.  It was a fun time, and the boys enjoyed themselves as they sat eating fun food the entire time we were there.

Caleb told me afterward that this was his favorite part of the day - high fives with the mascot, Dinger

If one word could sum up the month of June this year, it would be SWIMMING.  Swimming, swimming and more swimming - by ourselves, with friends, whatever - as long as we go swimming about 5-6 days each week the boys have been happy!


On a lazy day at home we got out some butcher paper and paint and let the boys go to town with it - a year ago Landon wasn't so into this activity, but this year both boys had a blast rolling around in, painting with, and then rinsing off the paint...

Running straight toward the hose spray repeatedly until all of the paint washed off :)


Firefighters Landon and Tessa!

One of our babysitters lives around the corner from us, and she walked the boys over to her house recently and let them jump on the trampoline in her backyard, kicking around soccer balls and sitting underneath it having strawberries for a snack (see blanket under trampoline).  They had a blast! :)

Landon has always loved coloring, pretty much always with his left hand, and this day I showed him how to write an "L", which he copied perfectly on the first try, and then did two more backwards ones after it.  His first written letter!

Farmer's Market with Nonni and Papa

Playing with waterguns in the front yard when Uncle Ben and Auntie April were visiting.  The boys got daddy, and daddy got the boys all nice and wet, clothes and all.
Water gun shooting competition.  I think Uncle Ben won this one.

Uncle Ben and Aunt April took Caleb on a birthday date to a place of his choice while they were in town.  Caleb's first choice when asked where he wanted to go for his date was "Disneyland".  I clarified that I didn't think that was quite what they had in town, so his next choice was Rick's Pizza.  They enjoyed their lunch and played the racing video games and had a great time together. 

Meanwhile, Landon and I had our own date, to Taco Bell for lunch and to the Mud Mill for his first time.  He chose a Monster piggy bank, and was done painting it all of ten minutes.  He was very proud of his monster and talked about him for a week while we waited for it to be fired.  

That night the boys shared a room for the first time in our house while Uncle B and Auntie A stayed the night. :)