Lately,

we’ve been doing a lot of playing outside,

lately1

a lot of learning new things,

lately2

a lot of getting some sun,lately3

a lot of being handsome,lately4

a lot of being potty-trained too (!),lately5

a lot of chatting with friends,lately6

and a lot of having adorable feet.lately7

Love these days.

Jonah’s Second Birthday

Let’s go back in time, shall we? Jonah turned two on October 1st, about a month after Miss P was born.  I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that Jonah would not be having an elaborate birthday like last year’s.  The week leading up to his birthday, I invited immediate family for cake at a nearby park.  That was it.  No other plans. No theme. Just Jonah turning two.

Well, then the mommy guilt set in.  I had to do something.  So, I asked him what kind of cake he wanted.  I figured we could at least make the cake extra special.  He wanted a Brobee cake from the show Yo Gabba Gabba (one of his favorites over the summer).  I decided I would pick up a few decorations to go along with his cake.  Then the ideas started spilling, one thing lead to another, and a rainbow colored, Yo Gabba Gabba birthday was born! Yep, that’s mommy guilt for you.

We still kept the party really simple and the guest list small, but adding some extra special touches really made the party fun and made Jonah feel like a king! And since I’m better with pictures, I will just describe the party photo-style and add my thoughts as they come.

The party took place at a nearby park.  It was pretty empty that day (thanks to an LSU game on TV), so we had our pick of the pavilion and picnic tables.  To start the party off with a bang, we set up a yarn installation right before the guests arrived.  I got the idea here and knew that a rainbow colored birthday would be the perfect place to do this.  The yarn trail began at the parking lot, looped around trees and benches, and circled around our pavillion. Josh’s brother and his girlfriend were a huge help in getting this done! The kids absolutely loved it.  When they arrived, I told them to “follow the rainbow” to Jonah’s party.  They couldn’t get enough.

Oh, my sweet birthday boy…chewing on skittles.  In addition to those chewy little gems, I had colored goldfish, veggie sticks, and a fruit plate for snacks.  I told everyone just to come for cake, so people weren’t expecting a meal, but it was nice to have a few little things to munch on.

As you can see from the table, Yo Gabba Gabba was not an understatement.  Along with YGG tablecloths and balloons, we had the coolest Brobee cake ever, with a bonus sheet cake (in case an extra 20 people showed up!) Josh’s dad made AND decorated both cakes.  Is he amazing or what?!

I made a few YGG-inspired cake pops.  I loved the googly eyes.

For drinks, I chose an assortment of rainbow-colored sodas in glass bottles. I think the adults had fun choosing their favorite flavor.

Having the party at the park was really great for all the kids.  They were free to run around and play.  We brought a couple of bouncy balls and a little bike to ride.  I also planned an activity that would bring all the kids back together.  Painting is one of Jonah’s favorite activities, so I set up a paint-your-own-pumpkin table.  The kids LOVED it.  By the end of the party, their pumpkins were all dry and ready to take home.

After painting, we sang happy birthday, and Jonah blew out his candles!

My sweet boy.  I’m so proud of him and amazed by him every day.  He is sensitive and caring but can be so funny and silly.  He is so smart and such a fast learner.  He brings joy, singing, and laughter to our house every day.  We couldn’t imagine our lives without him.  We love you Jonah! Happy 2nd birthday all over again!!

So there you have it!  A rainbow-colored, Yo Gabba Gabba birthday party made just for Jonah! I’m so glad I took a little time, spent a little money, and made a few extra special touches.  The party was simple yet memorable, and most importantly Jonah had a blast and knew he was special and loved! Thanks again to everyone who came and who helped.  We love you guys!

I’m Back!

It’s been a long time since I’ve touched this thing.  I don’t even want to look and see the date of my last, real post.  A LOT has happened since then, so instead of making excuses and hoping that this time will be different, I am just going to start writing and hope it sticks.

I do have to make one excuse.  Her name is Penelope.

Penelope Marie was born on August 15th, weighing in at a whopping 5 lbs, 12 oz.  Our sweet, baby girl entered the world very dramatically (a story for another day) and has made our family so much brighter.

Jonah is so in love with his little sister.  I imagine them being best friends in the future.  They already “play together” in their own way. She watches every move he makes, and he gives her kisses and tells her that he is a “sweet big brother.”

Penelope, or “Penny” as we like to call her, is 16 weeks old now! Wow, that flew by! She has made up for her birth weight like you wouldn’t believe.  Baby + squishy rolls = mommy heaven.

We are finally getting a nice, little routine around here.  Going from one to two kids was as challenging as I’d heard.  Jonah became king of the tantrums for a few weeks, which I’m assuming was his coping mechanism for all the “new” around here.  Josh also started working a TON more, which has made my days very long.  Now, the days are fairly predictable, Jonah is over his extreme behavior (with the occasional meltdown here and there), Penny is sleeping well, and I’m used to the long days.  I’m so happy to have two kiddos to hang out with!

Life is good right now.  We are healthy and happy.  With Christmas in the air, our days are full of fun and excitement.  And lots of art projects. I can’t wait to catch up and show you a little of our world.

All photos (except the first) were provided by the oh-so-talented Landry Photography!

Learning French

Jonah turned 18 months on April 1st.  What a big boy! He is a true, blue toddler– into everything, full of personality, and talking a ton.  We have been raising him in a semi-bilingual household since birth.  I speak English and Josh speaks to him mostly in French.  It has been really cool watching him learn both languages, and we have seen some incredible progress. This is just my little update on how he has been doing and what we have learned from this experience so far.

His first baguette

Our basic routine goes a little like this: When Josh is home (after work and on weekends), he speaks to Jonah strictly in French.  He talks about things they are doing, asks him questions, and now that Jonah is talking– he asks him to answer him in French.  Josh reads Jonah French books before bed.  We listen to French children’s music in the car every so often and have even found a few French videos that Jonah enjoys watching.  When Jonah is with me during the day, he rarely speaks French.  He may count or say some words in French, but for the most part he seems to know that mommy speaks one way and daddy speaks another.

Goodnight Moon-- in French!

We have not noticed any confusion or speech delay because of this, which many people seem to worry about when teaching young children another language.  Josh has done a lot of research on the topic and has found that multiple languages actually can improve a child’s speech and language recognition.  Jonah understands both of us perfectly.  And he can easily switch from one language to the next when we are both home interacting with him.

Now that Jonah is starting to talk and say his little phrases, we are really excited to see how his French develops.  From the words we have heard him say in French, we have already noticed a perfect little French accent.  It really is incredible how well he is doing.  This video is his most recent display of his French skills: counting to ten!

As far as where we plan on going from here, we really aren’t sure yet.  There are only a couple of French-immersion schools in the Baton Rouge area, so it is hard to say if we will have French as part of his school day.  I know Josh will continue what he’s doing because he loves doing it, but beyond that we just aren’t sure yet.  As long as Jonah is still enjoying French and responding well, we will continue.  So, I guess we will just see how it goes!

Here is another cute video of Jonah making animal sounds when asked in French.