A Fun Family Saturday

We had a great Saturday today. Sometimes my favorite days are the unplanned, go with the flow, stick around the house kind of days.

Today we started by waking up and heading over to my dad’s barn to check out the horses. James has always been a bit fearful but Charles loved it and did not want to leave. We saw horses, miniature horses, ponies, goats and donkeys. I love that my boys get to grow up around this, even though I am not a horse person.


  
After that Austin made some delicious blueberry pancakes. I love this weekend tradition. The boys are always busy helping and I even got a chance to read while they were working.

Rain on the front porch.

Charles and I stayed home to rest while James and Austin went off to do some projects on our rental house. I love that James loves to accompany Austin while he is fixing things.

I whipped up a quick lunch and the boys returned. Austin then brought out a large box from Ikea and decided that he wanted to make a rocket with the boys. He is so creative and has an incredible ability to actually make what is in his mind a reality, no matter the project. The boys all worked together while I read my book on the porch during a beautiful thunder storm. After planning, drawing, cutting, and painting we had a rocket! 3,2,1 BLAST OFF!!!


  
  
 We then decided to take a family bike ride for dinner. We live very close to a main drag that has tons of restaurants. The boys hopped in the baby trailer and away we went. We stopped for a pizza dinner and sat on the porch. The sunset was bright orange tonight and was breathtakingly beautiful. We headed home but not without stopping at the store for a quick ice cream treat.

Charles wasn’t happy about having to share his seat.

Look at that orange! The picture really doesn’t do it any justice.


When we arrived home, we threw the paint covered boys in the bath. We then enjoyed some ice cream. I finally got my act together and got my exercise for the day in. Simultaneously, the boys passed out in their daddy’s arms.


I am so grateful for days like these. I am in no hurry for the boys to grow up and want to continue to soak in slow, family days.

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Front Porch View

When Austin and I were dating, he told me that he always dreamed of having toys scattered all over the front yard in the future. At the time we knew we were not ready for kids yet but it was great to know that he wanted something I wanted. Fast forward six years later and that dream has come true. The other day he pulled me aside to simply gaze out the front window and admire the scattered toys and relish in this season. Although parenting has been the most challenging (while at the same time rewarding) phase in my life so far, I am so thankful for our boys and the evidence of them through greasy fingerprints on the walls, food smashed on to couch cushions and toys on my front porch. 

 

Charles is 1.5!

Charles is 18 months! One and a half!!! Gah! My baby is growing up so so fast!!!

Here is what Sir Charles is up to these days….

-Talking non-stop. Repeating anything and everything you say. String cheese, apple, Jamesy, Unkie Drew ‘unk drew,’ water please ‘agua deese’ and so many more. He has really taken ahold of the work no and given it some personality. He says no all of the time to anything he does not want. My current favorite word is umbrella. It comes out ‘Um bum buh.’ It is adorable.

-He gets super happy when something he likes happens and holds his breath gasping with excitement. This could be for his morning breakfast banana that he loves so much, bath time, ice cream and anything else he deems exciting.

-He is an eating machine. He still eats all day and will eat just about anything. However, if you do not feed him he is grumpy! I just need a shirt for him that says ‘Feed me every 2 hours and I will be happy!’

-He loves to read! We have an alphabet book that he loves to go through and can repeat or name almost all of the pictures. It is quite impressive. His favorite books or pictures currently involve horses. He starts doing his excited gasp when there is a horse to point out. He will make you go back to the page with a horse on it over and over again. Maybe grandpa will have a cowboy to share the love of horses with after all.

-He is a dare devil! He is jumping off of the coffee table on to the couch, climbing stools and ladders, jumping into the pool with no warning, and many other dangerous things. He recently split the side of his tongue coming down off of a stool and bonking his chin. It bled for awhile! He seems to perpetually have bumps and bruises. He is tough though so that helps.

-He is an instigator. He initiates play with his brother and dad all of the time. He loves getting all riled up.

-He continues to love music and dancing. He is constantly singing and saying ‘mo mo’ when you stop singing or turn off the radio.

-He currently loves being on your back, or bouncing up and down on your feet while you hum the classic Lone Ranger theme song.

-He has a fierce scowl that is sure to make you frustrated and laugh from ridiculousness at the same time. He is very clear about what he likes and does not like.

-He continues to love his nanny. Watching them together is so fun! They adore each other and it is so nice knowing that he is so well loved while I am at work. He gets super excited every time he sees her!

-No one makes him laugh quite like James. They feed off of each other’s energy and their laughs are contagious for all of us.

-He now understands the concept of praying and if we ask him to pray at the dinner table he will muddle a few syllables and then shout Aaaaa….men for a big finish. Pretty cute and he gets a good rise out of anyone at the table.

-He is mister friendly these days. Saying hi, batting his eyelashes or waving to just about anyone who will look his way.

-He loves finding small ledges or stools to sit on. He uses my guitar case a lot for this right now. He will turn around and say ‘beep beep beep’ as he is backing up to his favorite spot. Once there he will just sit and enjoy the view or eat a snack completely content.

He is a joy and seeing his strong, decisive, silly, opinionated personality come out more and more is so much fun! We love you sweet Charles! You are such a blessing to our family!

Watermelon dancing at the Racquet club.

Those lashes!!

He loves playing with balloons!

Eating crayons. Everyone’s favorite past time.

Devouring some sweet corn.

Not into getting his picture taken.

    

Growing Boys!!! 

My goodness! I feel like my boys are growing up so fast lately. Mostly so I don’t forget this sweet phase I am documenting what they are each up to. 

James- Such a crazy/joyful time with him right now. One minute he will be happy as a clam and the next he is in total melt down mode over the slightest thing. It could be someone praying before him, not getting to be the line leader, putting his outfit on in the wrong order, or a hole in his toast. It feels much like I imagine a dramatic teenage girl house to feel during these moments. Then the next moment he is sweet as could be so happy about anything. He continues to love school and his friends at ‘school time’ as he affectionately calls it. He has an attachment to an orange soccer ball on campus that he claims is his, even though it is the schools. Everyday he comes into my office to ask me to pump it as it has a hole in it. I gladly do it and I’m thankful to have the opportunity to see him throughout the day. 

Lately he has been saying in his prayers things like ‘Dear Lord my mommy was not being nice but now her nice.’ This is of course after he has gotten in trouble for something. His prayers are more matter of fact prayers. 

Although he eats his entire breakfast and lunch we cannot get him to eat much at dinner. We never force it but he does miss out on special treats because of it. 

He LOVES to take a bucket or tin full of toys wherever he goes these days. He also enjoys picking up rocks and saving them for ‘later,’ never to use them again. 

He still loves to cuddle me and he and Charles fight over my lap. We always split it one leg for each. How do people with three do it? He has been wanting me to hold him lately and keeps saying ‘I’m not too big for you too hold me. See!’ I’m a sucker for this as I know one day soon he will be! 

We love reading books and going to the library together. Lately we have been reading Amelia Bedelia books which he finds funny and take me back to my childhood. 

When you ask him a question he will respond ‘Sure sure sure’ or ‘yes, yes, yes’ a few times in a row very quickly. Not sure where he got this from but it is a funny thing for a three year old to do. 

He is a love and I’m so thankful for him. I cannot believe how big he has gotten. 

  

Charles-My sweet baby is growing as well. He is almost 16 months. He is talking up a storm. He squeals ‘mama’ happily when I get home which makes me melt! He says agua instead of water and many other Spanish words as his loving nanny only speaks Spanish. It’s pretty awesome. He does a whole body nodd if you ask him if he wants something. He loves to tickle you and be tickeled by you. When he is tired for the day he will point to his crib and say ‘nigh nigh’ and wants to be placed in the crib right then. 

He is still super content while eating and can eat james under the table. This evening while James ate a hand full of noodles Charles finished three large bowlfulls. He asks for applesauce ‘apple-dauce’ often. 

Charles loves our dog Charlie and will pet him and lay on him randomly throughout the day. 

He still is super attached to mommy and wants to be held if I am around. He reaches his arms out and says ‘Uh-buh-ta’ not sure how Up became a three syllable word but it’s what he says. 

He loves going to the park and sliding down the big slide with me. He is fearless and will climb more and more these days. 

He loves to get dirty and play in mud and dirt. It makes my motivation to bathe him very low. As soon as I bathe him he is covered again. 

He too loves to read and says ‘buh’ whine he wants to. He likes to read on his own terms though. He holds the book, he turns the pages (or doesn’t). 

He loves to hear the sound of his loud voice bellow out. Through the vuvuzela, a cup or anything esle where he can project sound. It brings him great delight. 

He loves to dance, spin and sing. Our nanny will say ‘cantame mi Nino’ and he will go on and on singing. 

Our nanny has been teaching him to be gentle saying ‘carrinito’ if you say this to him he will gently stroke your cheek. It is the sweetest. 

He too is a joy and I’m so thankful for them both. 

  

  

That’s was a lot of update but I know one day I will miss these things. I love being their mommy!! Im so grateful for the blessing of motherhood. 

  

Happy 3rd Birthday Jamesy!!!

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Rockin’ on his guitar.

 

Birthdays just keep getting more fun in the Baum household! James was all about celebrating his birthday this year. In the days leading up he kept saying, ‘My birthday is coming, I feel so happy!’ with a ginormous grin on his face.

It is so hard to believe it was three years ago that we welcomed James into this world, and joined the ranks of parents. It feels like yesterday, and forever ago all at the same time. I have gotten close to the point of happy tears multiple times the past few days as I am feeling so grateful for my sweet James, and the gift of parenthood.

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Helping grocery shop at Trader Joe’s, with a helmet on of course. : )

James is such a JOY! He is loving his school and his sweet teachers. He has easily slipped himself into the role of ‘kid who follows the rules and makes sure everyone else does too,’ and ‘always has to be the line leader kid.’ He is a typical first born. He even wants to be the line leader at home, all of the time. Walking to and from the car to the house, ‘No Mommy, I’m the line leader.’ Going to take a bath, ‘No Charles, I’m the line leader.’ He gravitates to the children who are older than him on the playground, particularly the kindergartners as they are the oldest. He loves playing soccer with them. Thankfully, they indulge the cute little one who wants to play with them. He is so mature for his age and his vocabulary constantly amazes me.

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‘Cowboy’ James.

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Brothers.

He is very particular. For example, the other night we were eating Lettuce Wraps and he had a melt down because ‘my lettuce has holes in it’ (insert dramatic crying tantrum). The fact that the lettuce had holes and the sauce and chicken were falling out of the lettuce wrap was just too much for him. He also does this if his socks are turned one slight turn wrong on his toes. When buckling him in his carseat he likes to buckle the plastic buckle himself but wants us to do the metal buckle. However, he wants it in that order, and if you try to do the metal one before he gets to the plastic he says, ‘No mommy, One at a time!’ There are plenty of things we stand our ground on with him but seat buckling is not the battle I choose to fight so ‘one at a time’ it is.

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Making cookies with mommy.

He is still so very independent. He spreads his own cream cheese with his own (plastic) knife. He packs his own lunch. He dresses himself pretty much completely everyday. This of course ends up in underwear, pants and shirt on backwards, but I’m cool with it.

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When you dress yourself at age two, you might end up with backwards pants and shoes on the wrong feet.

He loves to ‘neak’ (sneak) in our bed every night. Truthfully, I love it. I love the little pitter patter of his feet as he comes from his room. I pick him up from my sleepy stupor and lay him in between us. Thankfully he sleeps well and we are able to continue a good night’s rest. I know these days will be gone so fast, so I think him still sneaking in allows me to soak in these moments.

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His favorite monkey towel.

He is starting to really be able to recognize his letters and even drew his first J recently. He thinks that every word that starts with a J is James. He will randomly point out letters he knows on street signs and papers that he sees. I Love that he is making these small steps towards literacy already. Watching his brain process it all is so incredible. We love reading books together, and he is starting to read books to me through the pictures which is fun.

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His first time writing a J. His is on the left.

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Bookworm.

He loves riding his bike and is getting really good at balancing. We are hoping to transition him to a real bike in the coming months. He also loves running, and gets very sad when mommy goes for a run that he cannot go with.

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Mastering his balance bike.

He is such a sweet brother most of the time. He will go over to Charles when he is crying and say ‘It’s okay Charlesy’ ‘Look at this funny joke’ and then will proceed with some sort of funny action. He does of course have his moments where he will just hit or knock down his brother, but what brother doesn’t.

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In case you are under the impression he is always happy, he has his grumpy moments too.

He is really into knock knock jokes these days, as in ‘knock knock’ ‘who’s there’ ‘hope you don’t pee on a wall!’ Followed by ridiculous laughter. Oh brother, pee and poop jokes start at such a young age.

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Enjoying the rain splish splashing with his batman boots.

He loves to pray at meal time and before bed. His prayers regularly include, ‘thank you for super heroes,’ ‘thank you for farting’ ‘thank you that my cheese is floppy’ and other such things that throw us into a fit of laughter every time.

He is a cautious boy and has a sweet heart. He gets worried for other kids when they are sick or hurt. He always moves to the side of the road as soon as he hears or sees a car coming. The other day he hit me when frustrated about something. He of course was in trouble immediately and went to time out. After a short while of crying out his frustration. He stopped crying and came over to me and said ‘I’m sorry for hitting you mommy, Now I’m going to be a good listener.’ I was in awe of his ability at such a young age to calm himself down and realize how to handle the circumstance without any prompting. Of course we have prompted him in similar circumstances before to do just this, but he was able to put it into motion himself, which I think is pretty cool.

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Classic James expression. Goggles necessary at all times.

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Snow time!!

We could not be more proud and thankful for the young boy James is becoming. He is loving, welcoming, funny and smart. James we love you so much and we are so so thankful for you. We pray that you continue to grow to be a bright, funny, and loving young boy and that Jesus will be the light that guides your every step.

Celebrating at his ‘school time’ with his friends and teachers.

Blue birthday cupcakes, his request.

CHEESE!!!

‘I’m Swree’

Happy Birthday Sweet Jamesy!!

Checking In

Hanging out at the #whyilovewhereilive community mural project my creative friends dreamed and made happen!

Hanging out at the #whyilovewhereilive community mural project my creative friends dreamed and made happen!

It has been awhile since I have posted, and lately I feel like I have so much I want to record about life. I don’t want to forget the little moments. Life with little ones is fast paced, fun, exhausting, challenging and so much more. However, there are so many moments each day that just make me want to pause and soak it all in. I find myself wanting to write it all down, but never finding the energy and motivation to do so. James’ third birthday is next week, NEXT WEEK! AHH! Where did the time go? I find myself so sentimental about it and wanting to write everything down. For tonight I will jot down some snapshots of life currently.

-James is so so funny. Recently he has learned Knock Knock jokes. They usually end in something that has to do with poop and him laughing hysterically. Tonight he was praying and said, ‘Thank you that I farted today.’ It amazes me that two year olds already think poop and farts are funny, and also makes me realize how many more years I have to go with my boys and their scatological humor.

-I am a hot tan (as Austin has dubbed it) minivan LOVING mom and SO proud of it! Seriously, I cannot say enough how much easier it has made my life as a mother. I never thought myself too cool for a minivan, but also never imagined it to be so life changing. Not kidding. There are so many reasons moms love them.

-Charles is really growing and showing his fun personality. He is talking so much lately (more, doggie, ranny for granny, cheese, and lots more.) He even has some Spanish words, including papa and agua, due to his Spanish speaking nanny which is fun. He loves to read books and point at the pictures. He loves being in your lap at all times. He is so methodical and particular. He is walking and climbing everywhere. Although he has his challenging moments his cute moments overshadow them for sure. He and his long lashes and captivating eyes melt me completely.

-I have been reading a book called ‘Make It Happen’ by Lara Casey and meeting with a local group of like minded, goal oriented Tucson girls to help set goals and MAKE THEM HAPPEN! It has been super fun and a great way to hold me accountable.

-Austin and I currently love ending our day relaxing and laughing with Jimmy Fallon. A good dose of laughter is SO healthy.

-My motivation to workout since starting my job in October has sadly diminished. Ugh! This has never happened to me for such an elongated time period. Mostly I think it is because I have very little extra time and the time I do have I want to spend with my boys because I work full time. Such is the life as a working mom. I LOVE working and feel called to my job but I do prioritize my non-working hours with my boys. Anyways, enough excuses. I just registered for a quarter marathon in a few weeks, so HERE I GO!

-This time of year in Tucson is one of my favorites. The weather is PERFECT and there are endless things to do that are so much fun including hiking, the Gem and Mineral Show, the Rodeo and Rodeo Parade, horse races at Rillito Downs, MLS Soccer games, snow on Mt. Lemmon. It all makes me so happy!!!

Charles is One Year!!!

My baby is one year old!! In some ways I feel like jumping up and shouting ‘Hallelujah! We SURVIVED!!!’ On the other hand it feels like yesterday that we were bringing him home just a few days before Christmas.

Charles has been so precious lately and brought so much joy to those around him. On the eve of his birthday he took his FIRST STEPS! So cute! And he is so proud of himself. He is cutting his first two teeth, finally. He loves to watch what you are doing and repeat whatever it is that you are doing. For example putting laundry in the laundry basket, or coloring on paper. He is as feisty as ever and always makes it known when he is not liking something. He talks about ‘Da Da’ or ‘Daddy’ all day still. He uses ‘ma’ for more and is using signs a bit more frequently which has been great because it cuts out a lot of the screaming I was hearing previously. He is getting much better at playing on his own and exploring his surroundings. For his first birthday we took him to the zoo. He was enamored with the otters and the gibbons.

We are so thankful for this year with our sweet Charles! We love you you dear son and are excited to watch you grow and learn more and more each day! Happy Birthday!

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