Right now, the big phrase is "by yourself" - Emmett chants it and wants to do EVERYTHING himself. And surprisingly, he CAN do most things himself. Sweet! He also enjoys trying increasingly more daring jumps - which again, he does pretty well - and his vocab is out of control. Like he's almost speaking full sentences. So proud of him, and at the same time being ever more aware of what's coming out of MY mouth since he repeats a lot of what we say.
His second birthday was a blast! We had about 20 kids and their families to a nearby park where we rented the pavilion, in case it rained, and then spent most of the time partying on the playground. The morning was dreary but mild, which was perfect because we pretty much had the place to ourselves! The kids and adults enjoyed kolaches (that we kept warm in the crock pot), snacks, fruit and homemade vanilla buttercream cupcakes. E mostly played by himself and with his grandparents who came in, but I think he was glad all his pals were there :D
The next weekend, I got a text from my sister that her second baby boy was on the way! I frantically whipped up a few dinners that day/night and the next morning after breakfast, left my guys and drove to Houston to meet the baby, stock their fridge and spend time with my mom/Lauren's older son. Everyone was doing well, so they headed home the day after the baby was born. Love sweet Zach already!!
Emmett met Santa at a little fundraiser at his school and was NOT A FAN. I wasn't surprised since the Easter bunny didn't go well either. Oh well, maybe next year! He did love decorating the gingerbread house we got there, so that was a win!
During the brief cold snap we enjoyed some chilly outdoor hiking and biking. We are rain or shine outdoor folks for sure!
My mom joined us for Christmas for a nice, quiet weekend. We snuck away to downtown Austin to see the Nutcracker. I haven't seen the Austin version yet so it was a treat! We used to go ALL THE TIME since my sister was a ballet dancer growing up. But it's been a good 5 years. I was impressed at how many young kids - like Emmett's age - who attended, and behaved themselves! There's NO WAY I could get my kid in the door, let alone to stay sitting down, for a two hour performance. Bravo, parents!
I hope you had a Merry Christmas - we did!
6:10 a.m. I wake up to the sound of Emmett singing Jingle Bells in his crib over and over again. HOW FREAKING SWEET. It's been my dream to wake up to him singing instead of crying, and I lay in bed a little longer listening and doze off. He wakes me up at 6:30 crying, so now it's really time to get up!
6:35 a.m. I let Luke sleep in since he's been up with Emmett he last three mornings. Our kid HAD been sleeping til 7 most mornings and still taking a 2 1/2 hour nap both days which was EPIC, but not so much this week. Definitely my turn! We head downstairs and immediately start playing with his garbage truck. I sneak away to make coffee, and smell a dirty diaper so we get him changed. Then, he helps me whip up some blueberry pancakes with leftover pancake batter from the other morning. He's been fun in the kitchen lately and enjoys helping/watching - I love it!
7:00 a.m. Luke comes downstairs right as we're sitting down to breakfast, so the three of us enjoy breakfast together, per usual. E has a mix of pumpkin and Greek yogurt sprinkled with pomegranates. He asks for Wheat Chex, so I pour some in the box with a splash of milk and he pounds it. He also has a few strawberries (hotly contested as Luke is convinced they give him diaper rash. This is the final test, so fingers crossed we're all clear tomorrow!). Luke and I each have a few small blueberry pancakes and strawberries, then split a waffle leftover from Christmas morning. Fat kid breakfast - oops!
7:15 a.m. E is itching to get down from the table, so it's time to play. We take turns playing with him and cleaning up from breakfast. The guys head to the backyard to run around and I go upstairs to get ready. I come down and get Emmett dressed and pack a bag for the day while Luke gets dressed.
8:20 a.m. E is "ready go" and walking around the house in his preschool backpack (our current go-bag, I need a new back pack for me in a big way). We hop in the car and drive south towards downtown to the Austin Nature & Science Center, located on the edge of Zilker park. There's zero traffic so we arrive before it opens, so we enjoy horsing around on the Town Lake trail and going over the Mopac pedestrian bridge to look at boats and ducks. Fun for all!
9:00 a.m. Time for the Nature & Science Center! I've taken E there a couple times over the past year, but always on weekdays so Luke has never been. Not surprisingly, he's a fan (science geek :) ). We head straight for the animals (they have a handful of animals they've rescued like a bob cat, several foxes, birds and raccoons that E enjoys watching) and then the bird section that Emmett and I hadn't visited before. The owls were so cool!! Then we head over to the "dino pit" where there are fake fossils in sand pits for kids to dig up. We had lots of fun over there and hung out for a while before snack time (some whole grain Goldfish and half a graham cracker) before walking around the small lake and visiting the animals one more time.
11:00 a.m. We say goodbye to the nature center and hop in the car. We're mildly hungry, jonesing for coffee and not quite ready to go home, so we head out in search of sustenance. We decide on Sweetish Hill Baker on west 6th street at the edge of Clarksville. I'd walked past it several times on my way to lunches back when I worked at Whole Foods, but had never stopped in. It was super gentle and just what we were looking for! Luke and I each ordered big lattes and sandwiches, we got E a slice of veggie pizza and we got a small slice of baklava to enjoy with our coffee. E housed his pizza, and I ate half my sandwich (in-house made pimiento! I wasn't super hungry though) and we enjoyed watching cars go by for a bit. We wander down the strip center for a bit and Luke pops into the liquor store there for more rum for his holiday faves (eggnog and apple cider!).
Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem) while he enjoyed "outside milk" and then he wants to go in the backyard, so we forget about biking for now. We run around with Benji for a bit and have a grand old time.
1:25 p.m. It's way early (naptime has been 2:15-2:30 lately but since he has been waking up earlier this week I've been able to start nap a bit earlier) but I ask him if he's ready to brush teeth and he says yes. We head upstairs and brush teeth, then read an Elmer book in bed and lights out. Score!
1:30 p.m. I pop in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Luke bought me the blueray complete set of HP DVD's, which is nice because some of my DVDs are super old and scratched) and start working on this post. Then I do a quick clean up around the house because it's still a total sty after Christmas. I fold a mountain of laundry and throw some black beans in the instant pot to cook for some chili I'm making tomorrow. E stirred around 3:15 but fell back asleep - score!
3:45 p.m. Luke has been working on some deck railing between the deck and garden (Benji sneaks in with our current sad fence) so I sneak out to the Domain to grab a birthday gift for my mother in law (she's got a New Years Eve birthday - fun!). I also get myself a cute holiday apron on sale at Sur La Table - never enough aprons, right?!
4:30 p.m. I arrive back home and Emmett is awake. He's sitting on the couch watching Daniel Tiger with Luke and snacking on Kix, happy as can be. I take the opportunity to assemble some Christmas ham, brie, cranberry sauce and spicy mustard on olive bread sandwiches for dinner that I'll put on the panini press when it's time to eat.
4:45 p.m. We suggest a bike ride to E and he's game. He happily climbs in the bike trailer while we get set up, then we head out weaving through neighborhood streets. We eventually end up at the playground and E gets to run around for 20 minutes. It's hopping (this time of day tends to be the most crowded), but he likes watching older kids play. We hop back on the bikes to head home and run into our friends Liz and Phi and their kids Thurgood and Ellsworth and chat on the sidewalk for a few minutes. A happy coincidence since we had plans to meet up with them at our mutual friends' house tomorrow but they had to bail.
5:58 p.m. Dinner time! We sit down to our paninis with some apple slices and leftover green beans with crispy onions. E has ham, a roll, peas, oranges and apples. Kid isn't interested in the ham, but eats half his roll, the apples and peas (after begging for applesauce - we told him if he ate all the peas he could have a pouch. We haven't had those around since the spring but he's suddenly back on the applesauce train).
6:15 p.m. All done! E and I play on the piano for a bit then we go out to help Luke finish bagging the leaves we racked since pickup is tomorrow.
6:40 p.m. Everyone heads upstairs. I get changed to go to Body Jam and the guys horse around. They wave bye bye to me from the window and I zip away. Apparently tubby time was lots of fun and bedtime was a breeze, phew!
6:55 p.m. I arrive at the gym and head up to Body Jam. It was an awesome class and I was feeling really energized - despite tired legs from biking. The core group convince me to stay after for squats which we do sometimes. My legs were screaming but it was fun and I'm glad I stayed!
8:30 p.m. Back home, Luke and I catch up for a bit before I grab a much-needed shower. He decides to play a new computer game he got himself for Christmas and I put on an episode of Elementary while I finish up this post. And of course I have my post-Body Jam bowl of Great Grains Raisins, Dates & Pecans cereal :)
9:45 p.m. I limp upstairs (ouch legs!) and get ready for bed, then read some of my book.
10:30 p.m. Lights out!