Really? Two years?

Has it really been that long? It seems Jack has been in our hearts and lives forever.

Family photos just before Jack's second birthday were certainly, um, interesting. Lots of running around, pulling on the backdrop fabric, running behind the backdrop, and generally very little sitting still and actually smiling. It was just not the best day on earth for obedience. The photographer was sweet and patient and bribed him with cookies. So we have various photos in which he is obviously chewing, but at least he looked at the camera from time to time.

The company likes to print extras and try to convince you to buy them (which we never do) when you go pick up your order. It says something that the photographer said, "Oh, you can have just have these." Yikes.

Anyway, we are happy with them because we have something by which to remember our 2-year-old family of three (authentically, for sure) forever. And what fun would life be without a rambunctious little boy?


Caution: Fun Zone!

Jack loves trucks (and cars). He races big ones around the house at high speed and plays for a long time with little ones, driving them over tabletops and furniture and Mommy and Daddy and himself. He calls each a "ruck." So this year his party was all about trucks and other construction vehicles—and dirt, of course.

We had various snacks, including Muddy Buddies (not shown), served with a toy shovel. Yum! I had never made them before, but I may make them again :-). The tablecloth was the "road" (thanks to a creative mom  for this and other party inspiration). And I was excited to find truck balloons at the dollar store. 

It was a super fun party to plan. (I have to admit that I adore planning parties. It's just got a whole lot more fun since I've had a little guy. My husband teases that I start planning one party before the current one is even over. He's exaggerating—but just a bit.) While I love to spend plenty of time collecting ideas online and finding thematic products to make the party extra splendid, I still have a ton to do the week before the actual party. Ha! (I'll probably never quite kick my super-ingrained procrastination habits.)

Of course, a party's not a party without people to join in and celebrate, and we're really grateful for everyone who made it fun.

Some of the loads of fun we had:

Eating dirt (crushed Oreos, pudding, cake, gummy worms) cake!

We had games, a craft, a pinata and trucks for play.  A wonderful friend let us borrow her stoplight for extra fun.

We decorated with caution tape and "road signs" (and balloons and streamers of course). (I found some signs at Mardel and printed some off that I found online or adapted.) All of the kids got a construction hat and a party horn.
Favor bagsI love having fun with candy molds; these ones were dump trucks. And candy rocks, as it turns out, are delish!

Now, off to third birthday party planning! Just kidding (sort of). I do already have a possible theme in mind...


Life's a changin'

In the last several weeks, we've experienced two major changes in our little family. First, our baby boy became officially not a baby any more (sniff, sniff). He turned the big 2!

It's been great fun to see him develop physically, mentally and emotionally of late. He has learned how to save "Love you," and loves to give hugs and kisses. He'll come running at me and my husband full-speed, saying "[h]ug! [h]ug!" He's got his foibles for sure, but he's a sweet little boy. He says "Thank you" most of the time when he's given something, and he says "Hi" and offers a big grin to nearly anyone—especially to characters who look like they might be criminals in their free time. His vocabulary seems to expand daily; it's always fun to hear him say a new word he picked up on his own.

Celebrating with dirt cake. Shortly thereafter, he attempted to eat the candle.
That is, he took a huge bite of it before I had him spit it out.

Second, we moved. It was just a few blocks away, in the same town, but it was quite the experience! It was the first time we had moved as a family (when we married, I simply moved into my husband's home), and so we had plenty of stuff to sort through and toss. We ended up taking a very long time to move everything since we were under no pressure, and that made for some extra stress. But all in all, we're fairly settled now (except for a few last pesky boxes). And we are enjoying the perks of our new home.

The move came with a move to Jack's big-boy bed. He loved it—and we loved that he loved it.  Next up, potty training...

 Moving time! I told him we were moving his toys so he picked these up and headed out the door.

We are keeping busy celebrating others' life changes, too—graduations, a good friend's wedding, baby showers, birthdays. It's that season of the year when I'm reminded to be so thankful that life's a grand adventure!
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