Hey tornado! You are already 20 months and are finding ways to make yourself seem older and older each day. You are so attentive to what your brother is doing that you continue to pick up on things so fast! Slow down buddy, there is NO rush!
In the past few months you have discovered how to climb out of your crib. We caught you a couple times stuck on the crib railing screaming because you got yourself up there and couldn't figure out which way to come down. And yes, we left you there and took video and photographed it before helping you down. A few days after seeing you stuck for the first time, I was doing something in the kitchen in the morning and it sounded like Zane was up playing before it was time to get up. As I walked closer to the bedroom door I saw your little feet underneath and it was shocked. I opened the door to see you grinning from ear to ear so happy that you had done it all on your own. Somehow you have only crawled out of the crib a handful of times and are pretty content on staying in it for now.
You are still climbing up, down and around everything you can. You are determined to get up on the top bunk and it scares me to death. You just want up there so you can throw all the stuffed animals down. We know you'll figure out how to get up there eventually but for now I'll keep my fingers crossed that it stops at just climbing on the toy chest.
You and Zane are precious together right now. It's like you've hit the sweet spot of playing together. It's usually some kind of chasing/running game, jumping on Mommy and Daddy's bed or wrestling and laughing. Occasionally it will be more subdued with trains and cars. My favorite part has been your recent snuggle times. The two of you will sit on the couch together to watch a cartoon and Zane will wrap his arm around you and you snuggle into him. You two are melting me! Of course there's still the screaming from you when Zane takes toys away from you or Zane screaming because you're pulling his hair but the majority of the time you two are pretty content together. I think you're going to miss having your brother around so much when he heads to school next week.
You are talking soooo much now! Everyday there's new words spilling out and phrases that make us all laugh. You can repeat pretty much anything, even it sounds kind of funny, and you are slowly understanding the idea of please and thank you. You like to be ornery already and have been calling me Daddy to get me to come tease you and tell you my name is Mommy. You also do this when I ask for a kiss, saying no and then waiting for me to attack you with kisses.
There are three things I can think of that you are obsessed with right now. The first is Nemo. Every fish is Nemo or Dory, everything you want to watch is Nemo and the one book you want to read over and over is Nemo. Bubbles are your other obsession. You have pretty much cleared us of any bubbles that we have had sitting in the garage since Zane was born. You walk into the garage and say "BUBBLES," start picking things up and running for outside. The majority of the time you spill them completely but occasionally you get a few bubbles out or end up being covered in them. And your third obsession - puppies! Oh my, do you ever love dogs. You refuse to call Luna by her name and instead say "PUPPY" all the time. You can tell her to get into her cage and she listens to you. You cuddle with her, grab things you know she'll chase you for and are looking for her first thing when we walk in the door. Because of Luna, anytime you see a dog you get so excited. We're trying to teach you that you can't just go up to any dog but that will take some time to sink in.
There are so many things that I have wanted to capture in a photo that you have been doing. However, the second you see one of us with the camera you come sprinting towards us, wanting to see the back of the camera. I have so many blurry photos of you with your big head right in the lens! Can you at least let me capture your cuteness for once!?
Your emotions are all over the place right now as you try to figure them out and when you get mad, you get mad! You look to anything near you to throw, pull down or spill. Time outs have been in full affect but you need constant reminders right now. At least you are a happy little man when you are dancing. You spin and spin until you get dizzy and then fall down or hit the wall. It is hilarious to watch and you giggle along with us.
The lake was a blast with you this summer and towards the end of summer you finally would walk on the beach un-assisted. You must not have liked the way that the sand felt on your feet but after figuring out how to make piles of sand you got used to it. You loved swimming and boat rides were usually with you in the front giving PaPa a thumbs up when he went fast and made your hair blow.
We are finding it hard to do any kind of work when you are around. I guess you are trying to tell us something! You love the laptop and want to type away on it. We have learned not to leave it open or you'll be sending all sorts of emails or shutting it down. We still forget though and can tell from the other room when you are on it because you start talking a mile a minute while you type.
We are about ready to enter a whole new schedule and phase of life for our family as Zane heads to kindergarten. Daddy and Mommy will have some more one-on-one time with you and I have to say we're really looking forward to it. I feel like you haven't gotten a lot of that and it will be fun to be with you and let you explore on your own with us. The other night after we tucked you both in, Daddy closed the door to say how cute you are right now. Your personality is just bursting out of you and we want to bottle up your adorableness and keep it forever close.
We love you crazy, little man!
Mommy & Daddy
I have to admit that these might have been taken at the beginning of August. We had this idea and then July slipped by us and it never happened. Beginning of August counts right?! Good!
On some nights before the boys go to bed we blare the music and have a dance party in our living room. They dance around in their pjs and get all the energy out before heading to bed. It is a part of our family that I love. Of course as soon as I set up the camera Jude kept running behind it to watch it take the photo. Normally he is spinning wild circles until he gets dizzy and falls or smacks into the wall. It makes us laugh a ton and he laughs right along with us.
Here's to more dance parties in our house! Come over for one if you want to see our mad dance skills...or be scared by them!
At the lake this past weekend Zane and I were relaxing and watching the Olympics while Jude was playing on the floor with some cars near the kitchen. I heard a weird thud noise so I slowly walked to the kitchen to see if Luna or Jude did something. Jude was sitting on the floor with the box of muffins his GaGa had bought, one giant muffin stuffed in his mouth and he was just eating away. He saw me and gave me a look like "What? Something wrong mom?" I still have no clue how he got that high on the counter to get the muffins down but he was one happy camper just eating on the kitchen floor. Of course, being the good mom that I am, I ran for the camera.
And this is just one example of why we've given Jude this superhero name in our house, The Tornado. He is in a stage that can be described nothing short of a tornado. When we're with friends for longer than a couple of hours, they look at us and say "Wow, you guys are really busy." And they aren't talking about our calendar being packed...they are talking about keeping up with Jude! He can go through an area and within seconds find the one thing he shouldn't have, get it and take off running to the next thing.
He is just so fast! He completely thinks there is nothing that can't be touched, knocked down, thrown or spilled. It's all a game to him and then he likes to "help" clean up, which usually just makes more of a mess. Zane was busy at this age but Jude truly is at a whole other level. He sits in a lot of time outs right now as we teach him his boundaries and he fights us tooth and nail during those.
In all of this he is just so stinkin cute. He flashes his grin with his tiny dimple and lets out a laugh that makes anyone around him start laughing with him. He's totally aware of what he is doing and wants us to think it's as funny as he seems to think it is. Whew...we have lots of work to be consistent on with this little guy but darn it, we love him to death still!
We always said we'd be going to Greece for our tenth anniversary. Well considering we're starting a non-for-profit and have two businesses, that just wasn't in the cards this year. However, South Haven, Michigan was a bit easier to pull off. We committed to one another that we would RELAX while there. We left the computer at home, checked our phones only a couple of times and told ourselves it was okay if we didn't explore every detail of the town like we normally try to do.
We drove into South Haven just in time for lunch so we stopped at The Idler. Lots of people told us it was a good place to go for quality "bar food" and for the South Haven ice tea (aka. Long Island ice tea). Yikes! Good thing we each only had one because it was strong! Ha! It was fun to sit on a boat riverside and just take in the breeze.
We then walked off our lunch by exploring downtown South Haven. We had a blast walking in and out of the lake-themed shops, the blueberry store with blueberry beef jerky (no, we did not try it) and laughed at the fishing signs that reminded us of Pat's parents' cottage. We felt warm enough to head to Sherman's Ice Cream for an afternoon treat and ate it while sitting on a bench watching all the boats come into the river. The ice cream was amazing! We might, just might, have had only this ice cream for dinner on Saturday night.
Here's the beach in South Haven. After we checked into our bed and breakfast we walked down to the beach, fell asleep on our towels and read books. See...we relaxed!
And then it was our anniversary night. We scoped out all the restaurants earlier in the day and thought that Mexican sounded really good. We headed to Su Casa and stuffed ourselves silly! I have had my fair share of Mexican food and this tops all of those places by far. We were surprised by the spicy pickled carrots that came with the chips and dip. Hello! Hot and yummy! We both loved our raspberry mojitos and our meals were unreal. We were there for over two hours just talking, eating slowly and laughing at some of our crazy memories from our first ten years.
On Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast downstairs and promptly went back upstairs and fell back asleep. Again...we relaxed! I woke up around 10:30am and decided we could do something that day besides sleeping in our room. But wow it felt good to sleep that late! I can't remember the last time I've looked at the clock to see that time in the morning.
We drove up to Saugatuck to check out the little town there. If I'm being honest I'll tell you that we liked South Haven better but it was still fun to walk around. The reason we weren't such fans was that it just felt a little too touristy, which has it's good things and bad things. One store we had fun looking through was Swell Times. It was filled with old lunchboxes, collectibles and old pez dispensers.
We ate at The Mermaid Bar & Grill and tried the portobello fries. Yummy! We thankfully shared a salad because we still were so full from dinner the night before.
After lunch we headed to the Saugatuck Dunes State Park, hiked through the paths and made it to the beach. It was a really beautiful beach, a bit crowded, but still pretty. It ended up being a super windy/cloudy day so we wrapped up, laid on towels and fell asleep again.
We decided not to follow the gps on the way back to South Haven and instead took the Blue Star Highway. One of our first turns we ran into this awesome antique store. Wish we had a Uhaul to grab tons of stuff (or alot of money)!
We are weird and when we saw this abandoned motel we stopped to take some photos. Anyone driving by had to think we were crazy with a camera balanced on top of my purse on the hood of our Xterra.
When we made it back to South Haven we decided that we weren't hungry enough for dinner so we walked around some more to see if that would make us hungry. We ended up at Black River Books, an independent bookstore. I'm not sure how we always end up in locally-owned book stores everywhere we go but we made ourselves comfortable and explored the collection. They have a rare books room which I so wanted to ask to go into but held myself back for fear of spending a lot of money!
All our walking around didn't make us any hungrier but we decided we should probably have something. So we had ice cream again...because that makes complete sense! And that was a our dinner, and again, we ate it down by the river and watched all of the boats coming in for dinner and going out for sunset.
We headed back to our bed and breakfast, The Sand Castle Inn, which we adored. It was our first bed and breakfast experience and it surprised us. We spent a ton of time on this porch which just screams for you to relax.
In fact, on Saturday night we had some wine on the porch, read books, Pat sketched and we talked late into the night. Couples kept going out to party and then coming in from partying and we sat in the same spot. I love that we decided to just take in the evening.
Sunday was a bit of relaxing after breakfast before we headed back to pick up our boys. We decided we for sure want to go back to South Haven, maybe with friends or just the boys. And I'm proud to say that we relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed it.