March 15, 2011

18 Months....Slow Down

It really is hard to believe that Garrett is 18 months old already, where did the time go?  With baby on the way so much of what he does just makes him seem so much older to me and I know he will seem HUGE once the baby does arrive.  He is a little sponge when it comes to picking up things from his big sister.  She is learning quickly that she needs to be a good example because he mimics everything she does.  He continues to have a very fun personality, laid back and most of the time very sweet.  He jabbers non-stop and is talking more and putting more and more words together while still signing a couple that we taught him.  My favorite at the moment is when Jenna plays the song "If You're Happy and You Know It" on her radio and he dances around doing all the motions, melts my heart!

Right now he loves reading Elmo books and playing with trucks, cars....anything that makes noise.  He thinks body parts are fun to point out....eyes, nose (he says beep beep), ears, belly button, is so fun to watch them learn.  We laugh that he is a neat freak like his dad.  If something spills he runs for a towel to wipe it up, if he finds a piece of trash he has to bring it to the trash (although we're certain a few non-trash items have found their way in there as well).  He is also getting the hang of being gentle with a baby.  Big Sis usually lets him play dolls with her and shows him how to be gentle.  Lately he has decided that he doesn't need a high chair and sippy cup...he wants to be a big boy!  To top it off he has a naughty little grin that makes it so hard to get mad at him :-).  He is a cuddly little boy after his nap and I will cherish these moments as long as I can because they pass all too quickly.  Love you so much little, big guy!

Great Wolf Lodge

As a family Christmas Gift, Dave's parents took the entire family on a weekend trip to Great Wolf Lodge!  It was a great way to break up the cold of the Michigan Winter.  Jenna left with Grace, Hannah, Papa and Grandma on Friday afternoon already and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with just them!  The kids had an absolute riot playing in the water, playing in the arcade, eating ice cream, going to story time and just running around!  Both Jenna and Garrett loved the water, and Jenna even talked me into going down all the water slides (only later did I see the sign suggesting pregnant women not go down two of them...oops!)

Needless to say both the kiddos were tuckered out on the ride home and it only took a couple miles before both were sound asleep.  Unfortunately Sunday morning Garrett had woke up and just wasn't acting like himself.  He had been fighting a cold but his ear infection and respiratory infection had been cleared by the Dr. before we left.  On the way home he grew more and more restless and as his temp continued to rise his breathing also grew worse.  We ended up dropping Jenna off and heading to urgent care.  The poor little buddy had developed the start of pneumonia.  We spent the next several days at home, just trying to get better and fortunately he was able to kick it.  His one cold for the winter turned out to be a real doozie but fortunately he's laid back and took all the medicine and neb treatments in stride (mommy and daddy were, however, thankful for the return of sleep)

Reptiles, Really?

I had the opportunity to drive for one of Jenna's class field trips last week.  I should have known better that this was going to be "just another field trip" when the destination was the Animal Lab at Hope College.  It's not that I have anything against animals, I just tend to prefer the cute and fuzzy kind.  We were given a parent "pep talk" by Jenna's fabulous teacher. Before leaving school she encouraged us to engage with the children and animals and more importantly, set aside all out own fears so that the children could get the very most from this experience without being held back by our reactions to the animals.  I REALLY DON'T LIKE SNAKES, and I knew that it was going to be a very difficult task to pretend that I did, yikes!

The children explored the room for awhile and then sat so quietly in a circle while they were shown carious animals which they were encouraged to touch.  While it was ok if they said "no thank you", they were strongly encouraged to just try to touch them.  Jenna was up for the challenge which was shocking to me!  She is normally like me, not a fan of reptiles, but for some reason she showed no fear....even when it came to the huge Boa Constrictor (I on the other hand, was about crawling out of my own skin!)
Even though it wasn't exactly my favorite field trip, I'm glad I didn't miss seeing Jenna love something I never thought she would.  Watching the eagerness to learn of these little ones is priceless!

Princesses on Ice

Last week Thursday night Jenna and I enjoyed a very special "Girls Night".  We went with 4 other 5/6 year old friends and moms.  The night started at Red Robin for some yummy dinner.  From there we headed to the VanAndel Arena with all the little girls packed in our minivan! Jenna absolutely loved the show and I'll admit, I did as well.  She was on the edge of her seat for most of it, singing her little heart out along with the cast of characters from Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and The Beast, Mulan and The Little Mermaid.  Everything from the theatrics to the stage on ice were amazing.  What a fun and memorable night.
All our little "princesses" lined up for a quick photo. (Emma, Jenna, Kennedy, Kailynn, Isabella)