Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3 year photos

We headed out to some nearby gardens tonight for a quick session.  It only took 4 M&Ms, and in between about 30 goofy “cheese” faces, I got the photos I was looking for.  Not all perfect smiles, mind you, but all photos that represent Russell as he is now.



We see this face a lot when he’s thinking:







Russell, you may not ever care about these photos, but I’ll love them forever!  Thanks, buddy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Russell is 3!

How are you three, little boy?  Sometimes I feel like you were just born; sometimes I feel like you’ve always been here.
One year:
Two Years:

3 years old!

  • Russell is wearing 3T clothes and size 8 shoes.  He is a solid kid; bigger than some 4-year-olds we know.
  • His height is 38" (70th percentile) and his weight is 35 lbs (75th percentile).
  • Favorite foods: anything sweet; CARS Graham Bites; cheese; PB and J; mac and cheese.
  • Favorite drink: “apple juice” (really, any kind of juice, he just thinks it’s all apple juice)
  • Favorite song: Peekaboo, I Love You from Meredith’s Kindermusik CD
  • Favorite movie/show: CARS
  • Favorite book: Cars, Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
  • Favorite toy: all of his cars (Matchbox, Pixar CARS, etc)
  • Food dislikes: potatoes (any kind except fries), meat
  • Other dislikes: haircuts (there is not a strong enough word for how terrified he is of haircuts); pulling his shirt over his head
Russell is such a boy!  He loves to crash into things/people – so much so that now we make him ask before he does it so he doesn’t catch anyone off-guard.  He loves to play chase with his friends.  He loves to play cars.  He loves to play with diggers/construction trucks in the sandboxes at the playground.  Other (not necessarily boy) things he enjoys: swinging, playing picnic or tea party, reading.
Russell keeps us laughing.  He must have some Yankee in him because he says he has something for “each of ya’s.”  He tells us things are upside-down or “upside-up”.  He likes to go to “Old McDonald’s” (not McDonald’s) to eat.  When answering a question to me, he often says, “okay, my best friend!” which melts my heart! 
Recently, two different people have complimented Russell on his eyes.  He said (both times), “Thanks – my mommy made them for me!”
Russell can: recognize most of the uppercase written alphabet and some of the lowercase; recognize written numbers 1-5; spell his name out loud (sometimes); count to 12; recognize all colors; recognize basic shapes.
Russell has a wonderful personality.  There’s no other way to put it.  He rarely throws tantrums, he is loving and funny.  He has lots of energy, he loves his sister, and he is not usually intentionally mean.  He “goes with the flow.”  Of course, he is nowhere near perfect – he is definitely at a “testing” phase with us and he’s so easygoing that it’s hard to find a punishment that really bothers him.  We are working on that!
We love you, darling boy!  We are so proud of you, and you are such a blessing to us!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

iPhone this week

This week, Russell used his phone to take a picture of me Winking smile


This week, our sweet friends had us over for dinner.  Everyone had the best time!




This week, we went to Lily’s 3rd birthday party at the Natural Science Center.  Lily was Russell’s first friend; they met in the hospital when they were born!




And this week, without going into detail (per my husband’s request), we were definitely under the Lord’s protection.  We could not be more grateful.

“The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8 NIV

Monday, June 18, 2012

All About Russell’s Dad

For Father’s Day, I had Russell answer some fill-in-the-blanks about Jason.  I thought it was pretty funny!

All About My Dad

My Daddy’s name is Jennifer. {haha!}

My Dad is 3 years old.

His hair is red and his eyes are brown. {well, at least he got the eyes right!}

My Dad’s favorite food is lollipops. {I doubt he’s ever seen Jason eat a lollipop; I think Russell just wanted one!}

Daddy’s favorite color is blue.

My Dad likes to wear shirts to go to church.

My Dad’s job is something at work with cars. {nope.}

He loves to eat a sandwich.

He’s smart because he knows a hard one. {not sure if he understood this question.}

My Dad works hard at work.

Daddy always tells me a sweet, great word.

I’m happy when Daddy plays old-timey cars.

I love my Daddy because I gave him a big hug.

By Russell, Age 2 (almost 3)

Father’s Day, June 17, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Set of Wheels

Russell got an early birthday present this weekend: a trike from Paw Paw and Kacki!


Since our driveway is not conducive to riding toys (meaning, it’s gravel), we took the trike to a close-by, unused basketball court for a test drive.  Russell enjoyed walking it around as much as riding it.



Trike riding is definitely an acquired skill, but we were so proud of Russell as he kept trying and successfully pedaled and steered by himself after a while!

When Russell got tired of riding, Meredith jumped at the chance.  She thinks she’s just as big as he is.  Russell loved helping her along.


(Jason wanted a vintage edit.)


After they got tired of riding, we went to play at the park.  Lots of energy expended and a few moments of sweetness in between.  Precious!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Science Learning

I found some interesting frog-related items while shopping, so I thought it would be nice to do a little science with the kids this week!

Russell got the general idea of the frog life cycle from a book we have and some YouTube videos (love them!). 

I found this cool toy at the dollar store: the bucket is originally empty, then you pour water into it and the frog “lays eggs!”  Russell loved it and even took it to the gym to show the girls that watch him there!


Another Dollar Store find: a frog bucket and flies and tongs.  We “fed” the frog flies using the tongs.  Both the kids enjoyed this.



F is for Frog page – Meredith just had to be included in all of this – needless to say, I watched her very carefully with the magnets!


It was a fun little learning experience!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First Movie

I am determined to have lots of fun with the kids this summer!  Every summer for the past 3 years, I have been pregnant or had a newborn, so I feel like I’m now breaking free a little!  Things are getting (a very little bit) easier as the kids are getting (a very little bit) bigger.

In the vein of “summer fun,” I made our family a little summer bucket list.  Yes, that’s right, I made a to-do list for our fun.  Smile One of the items on that list was to go see some of the summer family movies with Russell.  At a couple theaters in the area, they show year-old, family-friendly movies for very cheap at 10 am on some weekdays.  So yesterday, I got a sitter for Meredith and Russell and I headed off to see The Smurfs!


We went to the theater by the mall, where the tickets are $3 each and include popcorn and a drink.  Russell loved the popcorn! 


He said he liked the movie, but it was definitely over his head, and was not animated like I thought it would be.  So when he started getting restless and a little too loud after about an hour, we left and went to the mall play area.  Even though he kept saying “I don’t want to go” as we left the theater, I know this was a good decision.  He ran around like crazy in the play place because he had so much energy to burn off!


So our first movie experience was not exactly what I thought, but he lasted longer than he really should have considering the bad movie choice I made!  Next time, I’ll pick an animated movie for sure.  But it was still nice to have a date with my little guy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Just Keep Swimming…

Russell took 6 weeks of swim lessons at our gym, and had his last one yesterday.  It was the perfect set-up, since I could just drop Meredith off in the gym childcare and didn’t have to pay extra for a babysitter for her. 


Each lesson was 20 minutes long.  They were semi-private (it was Russell and one little girl) with one teacher.  Parents didn’t get in the pool – it was nice for me to just sit back and watch!


Russell was so happy in the beginning for each lesson, but didn’t really want to go to the last two.  The only reason I can think of for that was that she made him go underwater, which he didn’t like.  He hates getting water in his eyes, and wouldn’t keep the goggles on.  But generally, he loves the pool.


I had high hopes for him learning how to swim this year – at least doggie paddle – but that didn’t happen.  I don’t know if he is too young, or if she wasn’t the right teacher for him, or what.  The lessons were still a good experience for him!  And he will get (hopefully) plenty of time to work on his skills at the pool this summer.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


In the car today, Russell looked over at the church on the corner of our street.

R: Mommy, that’s a cross right there.

Me: Do you remember who died on a cross?

R: Jesus did.

Me: Why did He die?

R: ‘Cause he took my sins away!

Knowledge of truth in such a little heart!

Friday, June 1, 2012


Two peas in a pod:


Meredith sometimes enjoys playing mommy to her baby dolls, and every caring mommy knows when her baby needs a bottle: