September 2015

September 1 – Nolan’s First Day of Preschool

Nolan’s preschool (Park Forest Montessori School) has an introductory week where small groups of children go for 1 hour at a time to adjust to the change of going to school. I was so nervous about how the first day was going to go, but relaxed (not completely, but a bit at least!) when I found out about this first week. Nolan has only been watched by family and close friends so leaving him at school with teachers and children that he (or we) doesn’t know is nerve-wracking. Nolan’s first day has 5 students including him. He’ll go back on Thursday and there will be 4 more students to join the original 5. It will be those same 9 again on Friday. On Tuesday, September 8, another 4 will join them for a total of 13 children in his class.

His sleep schedule was all thrown off with Mimi and Pop visiting the weekend before school started, so he ended up sleeping in until almost 8:00! Since it was a rough night with Spencer getting up 5 times and Nolan getting up 2 times, I slept in too. I was rushing around like a crazy person trying to get the boys fed, dressed, and out the door on time (not to mention myself!). Nolan was so excited! He was actually out the door before he was even dressed. He even let me take pictures after he got dressed:






When I drove by the school (a short 2 minute drive!), the blue door was not open and no one was parked out front so I decided to go in the back way, which is the way we came when we went for a tour back in February. Side note: When we were talking about preschool this morning, he said, “Remember when we were there and they had popcorn?” Yes, I do (the kids were eating it for snack) and that was over 6 months ago! This kid amazes me. Anyways, when we got to the bottom of the steps, the aide (Mrs. Neidigh), said “Hi, Nolan!” and he replied and giggled. He was about to walk in the room (I heard 2 or 3 other children singing on the rug), but she asked if he had slippers and then she showed him where to hang his backpack. As she got his slippers out, I hugged and kissed him and said bye. He didn’t cry (he was giggling the whole time), but as soon as I started back up the steps, I put on my sunglasses and cried. How is it possible that Nolan is in preschool already? I’m so proud of him, he makes me so happy each day, and he amazes me at the things he says, does, knows, understands, and remembers at the young age of 3. These three years have been loving, fun, exciting, surprising, busy, long, tiring, challenging, stressful, and sometimes scary and frustrating. Today is the first day of a new chapter for us. I will get to spend some much needed alone time with Spencer (as I wrote this, Spencer is crawling around the house looking for Nolan) and Nolan will start to quench his thirst for learning and exploring. I can’t wait to see how much he grows throughout this preschool experience this year. If I cried this much for 1 short hour of preschool, I better get a Sam’s Club pack of tissues for his first day of kindergarten!!!

When I picked Nolan up, Mrs. Neidigh showed him how to check his mailbox then showed him where to keep his slippers. Nolan cried when he realized the slippers had to stay at school, so we brought them back in his backpack and I already ordered another pair of the same slippers to keep at home. Maybe he’ll leave them there on Thursday. He told me a little girl left the rug, but she didn’t make a good choice “pecause” she was supposed to stay on the rug and he told me Eli is a big boy just like he is. He also said the teacher sang a song and he played with a truck and trailer. He told me he doesn’t want to go back because he wants to stay at home with me. Let’s hope he changes his mind by Thursday!

Have I mentioned how difficult it is to get this kid to let me take pictures of him?!?:




IMG_3219 IMG_3225 IMG_3224  IMG_3222



September 3 – 2nd Day of Preschool

He smiles, his eyes are closed:IMG_3229

He doesn’t smile, his eyes are open:IMG_3230

Spencer is the same way:IMG_3231

September 5 – Touch A Truck

We were really looking forward to Touch A Truck in June, but they had to postpone it due to pouring rain all day. Luckily we were able to make it to the new date. We actually almost didn’t go because Nolan didn’t fall asleep for nap until really late and Spencer was sleeping late, too. However, Nolan was really looking forward to going and we told him we’d go after nap so we didn’t want to disappoint him. Well, it was meant to be because both boys woke up with enough time to go. We didn’t get there until about 3:45 and it ended at 4:00 however, this was the perfect time to go! There were very short lines (if any) and the best part about going at the end was getting to watch the trucks drive away. Nolan sat in a snow plow, a dump truck, an ambulance, a big lawn mower, a flatbed trailer and a fire truck. The whole family also rode up in the bucket of the fire truck. Nolan was timid and was not thrilled about sitting in the trucks. He also did not want to wait in any lines so we skipped the garbage truck and cement mixer. As the trucks pulled out of the lot, they put their lights on and beeped their horns. The best was when the fire truck pulled away because he put on the sirens. Spencer cried and, in Nolan’s words, “I might have gotten scared a little.”. I’m so glad we made it at the last minute and we’re planning to go late next year as well.


Talking about the fire truck:IMG_3234

Lawn mower:IMG_3235

Dump truck: IMG_3237



September 7 – The Color Run

I ran The Color Run with my “Moms on a Roll” friends this year. Ashley was the only one of the moms I normally run with who could make it, so I met new mom friends Katie and Maggie as well as Maggie’s friend Toni. Since the first year I ran it (2 years ago because last year I was very pregnant) was so crazy and filled with thousands of people, Katie and I got there around 8:20. We walked down to the starting line to wait in line, but there was barely anyone there, so we walked back to our meeting place and met the other ladies around 8:40. When we walked to the start line this time around, people started to line up so we did, too. We were in the first wave of runners that started right around 9:00. Being first was awesome because they put a lot of color on you and there were barely any other people running around you so you didn’t have to slow down. I ran by myself for most of the run and waited for the other girls at the finish line. I ran it in about 31 minutes. We then hung out at the “party” afterwards for a bit then headed home to shower. I’m so glad I did it again this year and I’m even more glad that I made some new mom friends who love running as much as I do!

The aftermath: Maggie, Toni, Katie, me, and Ashley:ColorRun


Had to grab a picture with the unicorn:ColorRun2

Full body shot after I got home:IMG_3243  IMG_3245  IMG_3247

Nevin made me take a picture with my medal on: IMG_3251


September 15 – Kids Say the Darnedest Things

When I picked Nolan up from school today, he was all riled up and ran to me saying, “Mooooooommmmmyyyyyyy!” and told me he had alcohol and crackers for snack and I couldn’t have any alcohol. I guess it’s time we stop referring to drinks Nolan can’t have a sip of (soda, alcohol, coffee, etc.) as alcohol!

Spencer loves to bang on my laptop when I have it out, so I decided to give him my old laptop to play with. He loved it (and by that, I mean it kept him busy for 2 minutes).IMG_3257

“Can you stop bothering me, Mom? I have work to do.”IMG_3259 IMG_3258

September 19 – Spencer’s First Birthday Party 

Mimi, Pop, Babi, Grandpa, and Sirkkie were able to make it for Spencer’s party. For dinner we had pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese.

I love the way Spencer’s cake turned out! It came out exactly as I had pictured. I made the chocolate cake, but Nevin made the “1” and did the icing. Between Nolan’s firetruck and Spencer’s “1”, I think Nevin should start a business!  IMG_3261

I made this poster of Spencer’s monthly pictures from his first year. The only problem is where I’ll store this!IMG_3263

Nolan enjoyed “helping” Spencer open his presents (aka opening his presents for him), which was fine because Spencer really didn’t care to open them. He was much more interested in the wrapping, boxes, twist ties, etc. as all 1 year olds are.IMG_3265



Lovin’ that tissue paper:IMG_3267

Where’s Spencer?:IMG_3268

Look at the grin!:IMG_3269

Checking out his new bath toy from Aunt Nancy and Uncle Gary:IMG_3270

Spencer’s opening a gift on his own (Check out Nolan in the background opening one for him haha)!IMG_3271


Spencer loved his first year clothing blanket from Mimi and Pop and started to crawl on it and roll on it: IMG_3274 IMG_3275

LOVE this smile: IMG_3278


Nolan tried to run away from me when I asked him for a selfie:IMG_3280    IMG_3284

Sweet Spencer getting kisses from Mimi: IMG_3286


The best we could get: IMG_3292

I made, iced (with help from Nevin), and decorated Spencer’s smash cake.IMG_3297  IMG_3299

Too much excitement:    IMG_3304

We then sang (Nolan blew out his candle for him) and ate cake. We were once again reminded how different Nolan and Spencer are by the way Spencer dove into his cake. He started out by hitting it, but quickly realized he could put his hands into it. After he had his first taste of the icing, there was no going back. He destroyed the whole cake, getting some in his mouth, but most on the deck, in his hair, and on his shirt. If you recall, Nolan still had smash cake leftover to enjoy on his actual birthday. If Spencer wanted leftovers, he’d have to scrape if off the deck floor! Nolan decided that he wanted cake all over him too so he put his hands in the icing (red!!) and spread it all over his head.

Licking the icing off the candle:IMG_3306

Patting the cake:IMG_3307 IMG_3308 IMG_3309 IMG_3310 IMG_3311 IMG_3312 IMG_3313 IMG_3314 IMG_3315 IMG_3316 IMG_3317

Nolan had to get messy too:IMG_3318 IMG_3319

As soon as cake was done, Spencer was stripped to his diaper and Nolan was stripped to his underwear and they played like that until bath. After bath, they played a bit more and then went to bed (late)! Spencer had a great time at his first birthday party, but I think Nolan had even more fun than he did!

Petting Oscar after we cleaned the icing and cake off:IMG_3320  IMG_3322

September 20 – Spencer is 1!!!! 

Time flies. I know everyone says this, but I truly can’t believe it was 1 year ago I was trying to hold Spencer in at our house, in the car, and while waiting for the doctor to come into the delivery room. When I look back on the last year, I remember buying a house, selling a house, and moving with a newborn, wearing Spencer in the Ergo while Nolan played in the backyard for the last few times at our old house and then at inside park during the freezing winter months, Spencer napping in the stroller on jogs in the spring, and Spencer crawling around various playgrounds and our backyard in the summer. This past year has also been filled with little sleep, but lots of fun, smiles, and laughter. Spencer reminds us every day that he is different than Nolan in every way possible: From smiling for pictures, to climbing on things without fear, to dancing to every sound he hears, and to never losing the hair on the back of his head. Although they are very different, they both didn’t sleep through the night the first year, loved eating anything and everything, and were calm, quiet, easy, babies. I’m so thankful that he is healthy, happy, and fun and I look forward to the years ahead.

Spencer loves the bronco that we got Nolan for his first birthday. He holds onto the sides and makes a noise which means “press the button!” in Spencer talk. When we press it, he bounces up and down to the music and throws his head around like crazy. He can say “Mama”, “Dada”, “Ah” for Oscar, “iiiiiii” for hi, “ah” for hot, and “Mmmm” for more. He talks to the XBox in order to turn it on and blows on food when he gets it on his tray. He is a fast crawler and can stand for a few seconds on his own. He has 7 teeth, 3 on top in the middle and 4 on bottom in the middle. He loves to play in the dogs’ water bowl, climb up the stairs, open the cabinets and drawers, and move cars on the floor with sound effects. He likes to throw cars down the top step and reach over and grab them. Size 12 months clothes fit perfectly right now, but I’m glad we have a lot of 18 month clothes leftover from Nolan for the winter. He waves and claps and is in the process of learning “so big!”. He loves to look at books on his own, but pulls them out of my hands when I try to read to him. He takes 2 naps; 1 around 9:30/10:00 and the other around 1:30/2:00. He wakes 2-3 times per night.

Here are the final monthly pictures of Spencer. I can’t believe how quickly this year went!










Brothers wrestling:IMG_3324  IMG_3326

Spencer is dancing with the bronco toy he loves:IMG_3327

Reading a new book with Daddy: IMG_3329 IMG_3330

Nolan had 2 of his own gifts to open today:IMG_3331

Nolan “helping” Spencer open his gifts:IMG_3333

Spencer is actually opening one of his gifts:   IMG_3336

Forget the presents and give me the camera:IMG_3337 IMG_3338 IMG_3339       IMG_3346 IMG_3347
“Where the Wild Things Are” is the perfect book for our wild thing:IMG_3349  IMG_3351   IMG_3354      IMG_3361  IMG_3363  IMG_3365  IMG_3367 IMG_3368


Pop bought whole milk from Meyer’s Dairy for Spencer’s first taste of cow’s milk. Just like Nolan, he didn’t like it. I now know that he will come around eventually and will end up liking it, so until then, I won’t stress and research like crazy like I did with Nolan. IMG_3371

This is his “What disgustingness did you put in here?” face:IMG_3372

September 23 – Trains with Daddy



September 26 – Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

This was a great day trip! We left around 9:45 and arrived a little before 11:30. We walked around and saw some animals and then headed to the petting zoo. We bought some crackers for Nolan to feed to the animals in the petting zoo. There were lots of goats, a small cow, a camel, guinea pigs, and potbelly pigs to feed. We left the zoo and headed to see more animals. A bit after noon, we sat at a picnic table and ate lunch and then Nolan played on the playground a bit. After that we headed to the Safari ride which was, by far, the best part of the park. We rode in a school bus with the roof cut off and we got to feed animals as they walked right up to the bus. We fed llamas, yak, bison, deer, Zedonk (a combination of a zebra and donkey),  Texas Long Horns, and Emus. Our tour guide was awesome and gave lots of facts about each animal we stopped to see. After the Safari, we went to see the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) and went into the reptile area. We left around 2:45. Nolan had to go to the bathroom so Neivn pulled off at the next exit. There was a fall festival that was just about over and after Nolan got out of the bathroom, a very nice vendor gave him free cotton candy (his first time ever having cotton candy!) and free French fries! We had a great little day trip, but were all exhausted when we got home!

Mini horse and goats:     IMG_3380 IMG_3381
Tiny pig:IMG_3383

Bird with beautiful feathers on its head:IMG_3384

Checking out the antelope:IMG_3385

Posing in the petting zoo with a calf:IMG_3386

On the safari:IMG_3387

Texas Long Horn with the largest horns I’ve ever seen:IMG_3388

Here come the bison: IMG_3390 IMG_3391

There are very few yellow bison and Lake Tobias has 4 of them. This is the largest:IMG_3392

White deer:IMG_3393  IMG_3395 IMG_3396 IMG_3397 IMG_3398 IMG_3399

Petting a baby alligator: IMG_3401

Nolan got ice cream as a special treat and enjoyed it while walking to the car:IMG_3402 IMG_3403

This is the arch at the entrance to Lake Tobias. It’s impossible to get a good picture of the 2 of them together:IMG_3404 IMG_3405

October 1 – Spencer’s 12 Month Well Baby Visit

As soon as we got in the exam room and I put him on the table, Spencer cried. He cried even harder when the nurse measured his head and took his height and weight. In fact, he wouldn’t lay on the scale in the room (he kept reaching toward me and rolling off) so we had to go to the scale in the hallway and sit him on it and even then, he was crying and reaching for me. We got 20 pounds, 7 ounces (14%) which may or may not be accurate. He is 2 feet 6.5 inches long (69%) and his head is 46 cm (36%). We didn’t wait too long for Dr. Brink to come in. She asked some questions:

Does he sleep through the night? – No.

Does he crawl? – Yes.

Does he walk? – No.

Does he pull himself up to standing? – Yes.

How does he eat? – Very, very well.

Does he say any words? – Yes, mama, dada, “Ah” for Oscar, “I” for hi, “moo”, “woof”, “uh” for uh-oh.

Spencer did not cry for the first part, but when she put the stethoscope on his chest, he cried, but stopped after that. She examined him and said he looks great. I did bring up his flat head again, but she said not to worry because heads grow until 2 years and even past that age, but she examined it and said it was fine and he has a beautiful head of hair to cover it up (agree!). The nurse came back and gave me my flu shot and gave Spencer his MMR, flu, and Chicken Pox shots. He cried a bit, but not nearly as much as he used to cry. He even stopped crying before the nurse left! We’ll go back in 1 month for Spencer’s 2nd dose of the flu shot (we’ll drag Nevin and Nolan with us to get their flu shots, too) and then again in 3 months at his 15 month appointment. I bet he’ll be walking by then!