Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Train Cake

I got home from San Antonio on Sunday afternoon and baked the cake so that it would be ready to decorate on Monday night. Al was on-call Monday night, so after I put the kids in bed I set out to deck the cake out. It took me a long time! Over two hours. Because I had to do the tracks and the grass first. And then those little train cars...even though they are tiny they took forever! There were 9 cars total, but only 6 fit on the track. I was kinda glad I didn't have to do the last 3. I guess it's kind of a cross between a cake and a gingerbread house with all of the candy on it. But I thought it was so cute! And appropriate for a boy's 1st birthday.

James smiled at first, but then it spiraled down hill pretty quickly. He didn't want anything to do with his cake. Didn't want to touch it, taste it, see it, smell it, etc. You get the idea. He finally put one finger in the icing and cried and cried. Avery just wanted to pick the candy off the train and Al had a big serving of ice cream and nothing else. So all of that work on the cake for nothing!! Nothing! How lame is that?!

James' Birthday

Here are some of the pictures from James' birthday. He was sick the day before and the day of his birthday, so he wasn't in the best of is evident in some of the pictures. Poor little guy. We took the family pictures at the beginning when he was still pretty happy. We had pizza for dinner, which is usually one of his favorites, but he didn't touch it. Then we let him open his presents. We gave James one of those little cars to ride around in. Avery has been asking for days if James could open that present. I ordered it a while ago and it had been sitting in the laundry room until the big day. So she was more than anxious for the present opening. We also gave James some sand/beach toys which he seemed super happy with. Avery wanted to help wrap presents too so earlier that day when I was wrapping James' she grabbed some random toys from around the house to wrap up for James. It was pretty cute.

I had been toying around with having some friends over for cake and ice cream, but am glad I decided not to because James was sooo ornery. He spent most of his birthday sucking his thumb, crying, whimpering, etc. At 7 o'clock we decided that the party was over for him and we put him to bed. Avery was pretty thrilled that she got the car to herself for a while.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, James!!!

Happy birthday, James!! We love you so much!

We can't believe that James is already 1! In some ways this has been a long year, but it is still hard to imagine that a year has gone by since James was born. He is such a cuddly, smiley boy and is really starting to walk. It is fun to watch him take steps. He gets so proud of himself and starts to clap...or turns around to see if I'm going to clap for him. He is starting to enjoy playing with cars, dinosaurs, and balls and loves anything that has to do with water, just like Avery. I watched him go head first into the bathtub, fully clothed, when Avery was taking a bath.

He has a ton of nicknames: James, Jamers, Jamie, Jamies, Jama-boy, Stinka-boy, Bud, Butter-boy, Big-boy, Bigger-boy, etc. If Avery were here right now she could help me remember the rest of them.

We love our Jamie!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever...

Last Friday we went to Froberg Farms with the Friday playgroup. It is about 20 minutes away. It is strawberry picking season right now. We missed it completely last year, so I was excited to go and see it. What is it about strawberries that is so homey? And cheerful and summery? There were fields and fields of strawberries. I loved seeing the bright green and red in mass quantities.

Avery and I were each armed with a bucket and we picked a row that we thought looked good...they all looked good...The plants were really plentiful and it didn't take long at all to fill the buckets. Avery is definitely a strawberry lover. She sampled a few as we picked and then as we walked through the rest of the market. I was glad I put her in an old shirt for the day. Good thinking on my part!

We brought the berries home and I decided to try to make some freezer jam. I have only ever made apricot jam, the old-fashioned way, but I was glad to see that the freezer jam is easy, just messy. I made a double batch and took a few jars to some friends. Then Al got home from work and ate a whole jar in one sitting. The next day he ate another jar. So the kids and I went back to the farm this week and picked more strawberries and I made another double batch.

There is a blueberry farm here too, but it is about 40 minutes away or so. I really want to go and check it out though...I think blueberry jam sounds good too...blueberry pancakes...blueberry syrup...Mmm...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Morning

Easter morning was a lot of fun. Avery had been looking forward to it for a while and I knew that as soon as Jamie saw the candy he would be excited too.

I just love the smiling picture of James. He is just like that--always smiling and laughing and pretty easy going. I hope he stays this way. Avery told me today that Jamie is her best friend. He thinks that anything she does is pretty spectacular.

The Easter bunny had hidden lots of plastic eggs around the house, so as soon as the kids were done checking out their baskets they set out to find the eggs. James found one and was content with that, so it was up to Avery to find the rest. I think we all spent the rest of the day in a chocolate daze.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jump House

When we were in San Antonio my friend treated us to an afternoon at Pump It Up. It was an absolute blast. Avery was in heaven and I have to say that if I was a kid I would have been too. There were 6 or so of those huge bounce house things. Some were the obstacle course ones and some were the huge slides, one was a mini basketball court, a climbing wall, etc. James didn't love it so much at first. It was pretty noisy, kind of like a vacuum sound, from keeping the bounce houses pumped up. James is pretty timid of loud noises: our vacuum, hand mixer, lawn mower, car wash (complete meltdown). So he clung to me for the first hour or so that we were there. The place we were at is pretty strict on the number of kids they let in at one time, so it made it easy to keep track of Avery, which was nice. But it was also Saint Patrick's Day and it was a sea of green in there. I took James into a couple of bounce houses and he liked when we would jump around. Then we found this little car and he could not have been happier. Sucking your thumb and driving a car at the same time takes some real talent :)

I took James down a couple of the slides. He held his ear and sucked his thumb the whole way down. My friend laughed that his expression didn't change the whole time down the slide. He still couldn't quite get over the noise.

In other news: Al started his trauma rotation. I can tell Al is really busy because I barely get a text from him. Last month was Urology. Al was miserable but I loved it because the hours were fabulous. Trauma is pretty hard core and May is Surgical ICU which is a bad one too. I guess when I say bad, I am selfishly talking about for me. Al will enjoy these two months much more than last month. He will be exhausted though and I know we are both looking forward to our vacation in May!!! Then just a month of gen. surg. in June and Al is officially a 2nd year resident!! The contract has already been signed and everything. It always feels like a big deal to cross one more year off.

James is getting closer to walking. He says Mama, Dada, still loves doing the touch down, shows you were his tongue is and loves to clap his hands. He can also bark like a dog. He likes to wrestle with his big stuffed dog. He just grabs the dog and throws himself on top of it. Then he rolls around, etc. Pretty funny. I am trying to get a video of it.

The weather has been great- low 80's and sunny. We have been wearing shorts for the past month or so. We have been trying to spend a lot of time outside because it won't be long before we can't anymore, unless it involves swimming :)