Happy 4th of July

We heart patriotic holidays!  The somewhat brief but solid unity that surrounds our nation on these days is becoming more and more rare and something to be cherished.  The flags that line our neighbors yards, the gathering of masses for parades and salutes and celebrations.  If nothing else, we are all grateful as a nation for the sacrifices of those who made it possible.  Also there are so many adorable patriotic outfits for the littles.

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We celebrated the 4th in our usual low-key ways.  In the morning we hung out at our favorite park with Pawpaw before he headed back to Louisiana.

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In the afternoon we swam at a friend’s pool and enjoyed watermelon and barbeque and visiting with all the littles.

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We skipped the fireworks and will likely continue to skip them for the foreseeable future.

I have some personal qualms with fireworks and will likely continue to avoid them whenever possible.  Ike is more or less in agreement with me, being that he has always been rather sensitive to loud noises.

Fireworks are beautiful displays and a wonder to watch.  The problem is the audible similarity that they bear to a battlefield.  Holidays like the 4th of July and Memorial Day are meant to honor serve men and women and thank them for their sacrifice to ensure our freedom and pride in this nation.  However, service men and women who have given the ultimate gift in serving in the line of fire often return home with severe PTSD as a result of their experience.  The sounds of fireworks akin to bombs and gunfire can often set off episodes of traumatic fear and anxiety in our veterans.  These brave countrymen (and women!) have given so much so that we can have and celebrate these patriotic holidays, far be it for us to create any more suffering to them by the way in which we choose to celebrate.

This is my soapbox PSA and only my opinions and views.

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Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow

Ike’s hair has become a major part of his little identity.  This is in large part due to my attachment to said hair, but lately it is becoming more and more about his attachment to his hair.  As in, it is his hair and he loves his hair.

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It is becoming more undeniably chaotic every day.  We have a variety of hair care products especially for Ike that rivals what you see on a teenage girl’s vanity.

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So I have been trying to gently broach the subject of perhaps getting a tiny trim.  His answers have remained the same, simply NO.

“Ike do you want to get a haircut?” “NO!”
“Ike do you maybe want to trim just a little bit of your hair?” “No”
“Ike maybe you’d like to go and see one of your friends get a haircut? I hear they have a car-chair?” “No”
“Ike what if mommy just cuts this much (shows him an inch of hair between fingers)?” “No”

When asked why he doesn’t want to cut his hair his response is usually, “It’s my beautiful hair” or the less articulate “don’t touch mah hair!”

Nevertheless, it is July in Georgia and as someone with an abundance of hair on her head I can attest that something must be done to save my child from heat stroke.

Ike went to my hair stylist (so now in addition to a collection of headbands, curl milk, wet and dry brushes and special gentle curl shampoo, Ike has a hair stylist).  I prepped her by asking for her to 1. Do no wet his hair, he hates that 2. Do not even show him scissors, he will run 3. Be as quick as possible, he has the attention span of a gnat.

He did very well in the chair, although it was clear from his face that he was not enjoying it one bit.

The result was wonderful and after the initial “where’s my hair?” concern he grew to like his braids quite a lot and is already asking when he can get his hair done again.

 

Easter 2016

This Easter I questioned, and not for the first time, if taking a toddler to church is worth the trouble.  Off we went, nevertheless in our pastel Sunday best.  I accidentally brought a fire truck that makes noise, and Ike was ready to leave about 10 minutes into the service, and we ran out of GRANOLA BARS!  Anyway, we didn’t get asked to leave, so I’m gonna call that a success.

My dad was in town for the holiday and was gracious enough to prepare the meal and a bonus one on Saturday too.  We were well fed for the whole week.  So grateful.

There was egg dying.

 

And Easter Baskets.

And a rained out/indoor Easter Egg hunt where Ike discovered that there are TREATS inside those plastic eggs.  Locating and then taking them in and out of a basket is just the beginning of the fun!

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So a few days later this happened.  Naturally.

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Ah, I love this little guy, even when he behaves like a heathen in church.

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Last year Ike’s birthday party theme was the book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.  As a keepsake to him, everyone who attended signed his copy of the book.  It was such a nice keepsake for him, I wanted to have another book for him this year.

Harold Party

Harold and the Purple crayon is a great toddler sized book, since coloring is becoming a very hip thing to do at two years old, and because there’s simple illustrations and a simple story within the book  Harold takes a giant purple crayon on a moonlight walk and draws a big adventure.  There’s only a few words on each page, making it a very manageable book for a kid who likes to “help” by turning the pages.

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Taking elements from the book was fairly simple as the book is illustrated entirely in purple and white using simplistic shapes to create imaginative scenery.  I took three scenes from the book and recreated the lines using purple streamers on white easel paper.

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Since my main party guests were two and under, I decided to forgo the organized games for free play.  We rolled up our area rug and replaced it with more easel paper to make a giant coloring mat.

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With purple balloons for some added fun.  Ike was laying and bouncing on them before the party and I was briefly concerned that someone would pop one and all hell would break loose.  There were some nibbles but all the balloons survived and no one went home screaming.

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More purple decorations.  A monochromatic color scheme proves for endless decorating options.  But we kept it pretty minimal.

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I printed a few coloring sheets from a free education website for the more advanced coloring kids.

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I baked and decorated his cake myself.  I think I’m pretty good at free hand doodles, if I do say so myself.  I did not free hand the number two, I used a cookie cutter and purple sprinkles.

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There were also chocolate cupcakes.

 The food was relatively simple, and kid-friendly.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly AND cheese sandwiches

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Mexican dip, Mixed Fruit, and roasted vegetable pasta salad

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Honest Kids in sippy cups and Lemonade.

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Fun coloring on the floor.  Ike did this for approximately 30seconds before running off to police the other kids away from his favorite toys (all of his toys and also while he’s thinking of it don’t touch his crayons!).  Two is super fun already guys.

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This shirt!

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I made shape crayons as favors from all the “vintage” crayons I found around the house while collecting purple (and blue) crayons for the party.  They were complimented by farm animal coloring books.

And one final craft, was this #2, which sort of ended up blending in with our other photos on the built ins, but I still love it.  What a year!

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Two!

He’s been two for over a week now, and I still cannot believe how time has flown!

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For real little guy?!

You’ve mastered so many new skills this year, taking your amazing little personality to brand new heights!  You’ve learned about a hundred words, so many new songs, you can get dressed (and undressed), you can feed yourself, you can dance, you can jump, you can climb, you can do puzzles, you can say your ABCs!  You amaze me every day and I am so excited for what you have in store for this year!

Ike’s Favorites:

Favorite Foods

  1. Avocado
  2. Blueberries
  3. Strawberries
  4. Noodles
  5. Broccoli
  6. Ice Cream
  7. Most other food put in front of him.

Oddly enough he asks for cake after singing Happy Birthday to everyone but does not care for the actual cake, he also frequently requests pizza for dinner but also does not appear to like that either.

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Mommy I need cake, sing happy birthday need cake.

Favorite Songs

  1. Old MacDonald
  2. Wheels on the Bus
  3. Happy Birthday
  4. Baby Bumblebee
  5. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  6. One two buckle my shoe
  7. Row Row Row your Boat

Favorite Toys

  1. School Buses
  2. Airplanes
  3. Slides
  4. Guitar
  5. Play kitchen (also real kitchen)

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Favorite TV shows 

(Please don’t judge us)

  1. SuperWhy
  2. Handy Manny
  3. Harry the Bunny (Aka “a bunny”)
  4. Thomas the Train

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Favorite Pieces of Clothing

  1. Helicopter Pajamas
  2. Dragon Shirt
  3. SuperWhy Shirt
  4. Spiderman towel
  5. Koala bear hat that is way to small for his giant head

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One week into being two and we have found that Ike is behaving, very TWO-ish.  I can see how this phase may be misconstrued as terrible.  Personally, I think you just need to have the right mindset.  You see, I am completely prepared for this to be the most difficult to take him places, hard to get through the day, patience-testing year.  Now that my bar is set low enough to need a shovel to bury it, things can only go up from here!

Cheers to Two!  It’s going to be amazing (or at least not as terrible as I already think it is).

PS Ike had three total birthday celebrations, zero of which were on his actual birthday.  He had a Montessori birthday “lesson” at school, a Harold and the Purple Crayon party at home, and a SuperWhy birthday over Thanksgiving at Grandma’s.  More to come on the party animal another time.

Point Clear Wedding

My cousin Christina got married a few weeks ago.  Welcome to forever coupledom cuz!  It’s really great, nearly all the time.

Anyway, the party ceremony was in Point Clear, Alabama at a beautiful beach resort.  Although it was October, the weather down there was beautiful and Ike and I took every chance to be outside.

Here’s that handsome guy all dressed up for the outdoor nuptials.

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All three of the most important men in the world to me.  As much trouble as they may be some times, they sure do clean up nice, I’m lucky to have every single one of them.

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Oh, and I was there too!

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Most importantly, Mr. and Mrs. Ferrell were there, stunning and beautiful among the most enchanting back drop I’ve ever seen.

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During the service the pastor compared marriage to the beautiful open water behind them.  He said that it’s beauty and vast majesty were things to cherish, but it’s strength to withstand the occasional hurricane is what makes it last.

After the serious/official stuff and about a hundred dozen raw oysters later, it was time to party.  You don’t have to tell my crew twice.

Here’s Ike teaching Uncle Michael how to drop it low low low low.

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And of course there was more touching moments like this one.

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And all the Thompson women in one place, including the tiniest one still cooking in my belly.

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I’m so happy that we were able to share this day with Christina and Wesley.  I’m glad they found each other and are wise enough to hold on tight, for ever and ever.

PS I’m glad I am that wise too.

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Apple Picking

So we went to an Apple Orchard.  Ahem.  Several weeks ago.  See, I’ve been very busy chronically baby Nugg-ette’s growth and progress, but Ike’s still around being generally awesome.  So we went to the big family Apple Orchard in Ellijay, GA with cousin Mei and Ivanal.  It was a beautiful day for hanging out at an orchard.  This particular one had so many activities to do.

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We took a tractor ride.

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We rode on some tin garbage can cows through some mud around the corn maze.

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Ike rode a pony.

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Ike also petted some goats.

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I did neither of these things, because ew, livestock.

There was also a huge inflatable pillow that Ike loved.  I also did not do that, because, so many kids and giant pregnant belly um no thanks.

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We spent pretty much the whole day there and we did pretty much everything.

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Everything, except pick apples.  Not a single one, not even on from the ground.  There were just too many other fun things to do.  So we stopped at a stand on the way home and purchase a peck of the most delicious locally grown apples.

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Ike weighs about two and half pecks, fyi.