Friday, March 30, 2012

Tough guy on the move!

I've been trying to get some good video of Josiah crawling. I did ultimately get some (which you'll see below), but I was also able to put together a "highlight" (lowlight?) reel of a day in the life of Jojo. Notice that he really doesn't fuss about any of this--once in a while he does, but mostly he's just a happy-go-lucky, take-my-blows-and-keep-on-truckin' kind of kid. Sort of like any little brother, I'd imagine.

And here, standing. Check out the smooth up and down action. He's getting cocky about standing and just starting to do a little furniture cruising.

And here, his new trick, waving. Along with a bit of crawling action. I was baiting him with, what else, but the remote control. It's still amazing to me how these little ones zero in so early on technology. I tried getting his attention with toys, but he didn't bat an eyelash. Bring out a remote control, a phone or a camera, and he's all over it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Girls' & Kids' Weekend

The guys weren't the only ones having fun! The little boys and I came to Mequon and spent the weekend with mom and Jenn, enjoying the glorious weekend.

 Outdoor dining--Jojo's first time in a big-boy high chair at a restaurant. He ate baby crackers, TJ inhaled rice and beans, the three of us sampled different tacos at COA, enjoying the outdoor seating.

Blowing bubbles on the patio with Aunt Jenn Jenn. In the photo above, you can see his tongue sticking out as he concentrates on catching the bubbles. Anyone who knows me well will know who he got that trait from!

 Grammy and the boys

 We took the boys to the playground at the local library. Jojo loved the swings and the slide. Look at him balancing on the tire swing like a big boy!

 Can't miss out on a stop at Kopp's for ice cream! Thomas initially insisted he didn't want any ice cream. I knew better, so I chose chocolate (rather than Bailey's Irish Cream) because I figured we'd end up sharing. See the cone above? I never got my hands on it again. Sigh...

 The teeter totter at the park. And if you're wondering about the abundance of different shades of green clothing, yes, it was St. Patrick's Day!

Loving the swings! Now we just need to teach him how to pump his legs.

We also brought TJ's new bike to Mequon. Check him out in action--he's pretty speedy!
And a little explanation about the cones. Thomas has been taking a soccer class on Saturdays. During one of the drills, the kids are encouraged to knock over cones by kicking the soccer ball at them. I'm sure that's the only reason that TJ is using his bike as a one-man wrecking machine; yep, that's right. Otherwise I'm sure he'd be swerving amongst them with great skill! :) 

Bros & Dads weekend

Bros & Dads weekend: What started as Pat's bachelor party in 2010 has become an annual tradition. Each March, the Ellestad guys, brothers-in-law and dads head up to Pearl Lake to watch basketball and hang out for the weekend. Last year (and most years) the lake is frozen, and they have played hockey, hit golf balls at targets on the ice, etc.

This year the activities were a bit more summer-focused in amongst the basketball games. There was still golf--aiming for the raft--and shooting (aiming at the cans sitting on a mini iceberg, being pushed further out into the lake below).

And, swimming. Yep, swimming. Pat and Ed jumped in (and quickly jumped back out, I heard!). Nothing like chilly Pearl Lake in March!

 The guys all together. If you're wondering what's on the flaming shovel, that would be a muskrat. Apparently it was swimming near the iceberg and became a new target. Also apparently, since I'm hearing this all second hand, there were not many crack shots among the group and pretty much everyone had a chance before it was finally hit by dad. I heard that the guys ate extremely well the entire weekend, but muskrat flambe was not on the menu.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Summer weather in spring

LIke the rest of the country, we've been relishing the nice weather lately--plenty of time outside, walks through the neighborhood, etc. Ed has been super busy working long hours at the brewery lately, so being able to take the boys outside after work has been a huge help to avoid feeling stir crazy. 
 I put Josiah in this box just for fun, because he was trying to use it to stand. TJ joined him. Tight fit!


 The first sign of spring in our front yard--love the crocuses! What's notable about these pictures is that TJ took one and I took one. Can't remember which is which. Not bad for a 3-year-old, huh?

One late afternoon we had a picnic outside--cheese and crackers for me and Thomas and puffies for Jojo. Thomas couldn't decide if he wanted to be in or out, and every time I got up to open the door for him (it has a tricky handle that he hasn't figured out yet), Jojo lunged for the cheese. Another cheesehead in the making.

 TJ also wasn't quite ready to embrace the warm (80ish) temperatures. I couldn't get him to put shorts on, and he insisted on wearing his monkey boots.

 More Thomas photography.

 Thomas wanted to make the puffies more accessible to Josiah. Gee, thanks! That's a FEW too many.

 Totally unrelated, but one fussy night Jojo just wanted to be sitting up in bed. We finally left him that way. I came in half an hour later to find this. It might be hard to see from the angle, but he's basically sitting Indian style and then folded over in half, so his face is resting on the mattress in front of his feet. Oh to be that flexible!

 A three-boy nap, one of the advantages of having a large couch. Where's my spot, you ask? Apparently moms don't get naps. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Grammy & Buppa come to visit

The grandparent visits (and therefore the unpacking!) continued, with my parents coming the following weekend. A second weekend of help for which we were very grateful! I noticed I didn't have many pictures from Tom and Alice's visit or my parents' visit--too busy unpacking, I guess!

 Thomas helping Ed, using his new tool belt.

 The "Jojo corral" that Tom invented is continuing to be a big hit. And Jojo doesn't need the leg support anymore. Check out his hat--this was an outfit Thomas got that never fit him. The hat just cracks me up. He's so darn cute!

 Grammy & Buppa with Jojo. Thomas opted out of the picture.

 A very hairy Ed. He's been growing this since Christmas and finally shaved while mom and dad were here, to celebrate the first brew in the new brewhouse. No one was happier than me when he was smooth again!

 Thomas loves his play-do! And loves playing it when Grammy visits since I don't play it much with him.
 TJ wearing his new tool belt. He also got a play kitchen for his birthday, but for some reason there's no photo yet. The belt was to even out any potential "girly-ness" of having a kitchen. :) He loves both.

Buppa and his boys watch Chuggington in the foof chair.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Random pics

With so many "new" toys arriving from St. Louis, TJ has been rediscovering old favorites, and Jojo has been exploring uncharted waters, as he certainly doesn't remember any of these from his first six weeks of life!

This might be Jojo's favorite toy, basically because he can use it to stand up. He and Thomas both like playing this little piano, and Thomas frequently helps Josiah out of the way so he has a better angle for playing. However, they both look sweet and like they're sharing here!
 Jojo push-ups. His precursor to crawling!

I've referenced TJ using my camera a lot recently. He continues to do so. Here are 3 shots he's taken in the last 2 weeks or so. First, a happy Jojo. Then, tulips from our realtor. And finally, what I like to call "Still-Life of the Stove," a close-up of part of the burners on our gas stove. There are about 15 versions of each of these shots, but when I'm cooking dinner, him taking pictures is better than some of the other options! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Grandma & Grandpa come to visit

Grandma and Grandpa were our first overnight visitors in the new house. Their timing was great--they arrived 5 days after our belongings did and spend a long weekend entertaining the boys, helping unpack, and, in Tom's case, stripping wallpaper in the kitchen (thank you Tom!). We're so glad they could come see the house and we're so grateful for the help! 
 We also celebrated Thomas' 3rd birthday. It's a Transformers fire station! It came complete with a coordinating book (called Optimus Prime!), which has been read approximately 297 times and I think both TJ and all of his willing readers have memorized it.
 I made dirt cake in his dump truck. I was very excited about this. As it turned out, more excited than Thomas. But it was fun and it tasted good!

 Grandma and her boys

 Thomas has become quite the photographer when he gets his hands on my camera. This is one of about 30 similar shots that he took, but it's pretty good!

 Grandpa created the "Jojo Corral," fencing the little guy in between his legs, the couch, and the stool. Jojo could stand to his heart's content with support when needed. A great solution!

 Jojo's checking out Thomas' train tracks.

 We got a little snow on Saturday (Sunday? I can't remember.) and Ed took TJ sledding on our hill again.

Thomas had so much fun one day and skipped his nap. He fell asleep while Grandma was reading a story before dinner.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our new house

It's time to officially introduce the new house...I kept stalling until a few more rooms were "photo worthy," but realized that might take too long. So without further ado, here we go...some photos from marketing the house before we bought it, and some taken by us, boxes and all! 
 Our new house! We love it!

 Side view, with the big sunroom windows

 Here comes our moving truck! Thomas watches it round the corner. (Yep, note the snow...that wasn't in the other pictures!)

 Our stairs--two short sets with a landing in the middle, perfect for 3-year-olds who want to slide down because there isn't time to gain momentum!

 The kitchen--this was one of our big requirements--a large kitchen for lots of cooking, and an adjoining family room/play area so we could keep an eye on the kids. 

Another angle on the kitchen

 The eating area, just off the kitchen, filled with boxes. Note that the wallpaper has already been removed. Hoping to paint this next week...

 Jojo sitting among the packing paper, wearing TJ's Davy Crockett hat. 

 Our bedroom, with one entire wall of (mirrored) closets. 

 Plus a bed, dresser, and boxes!

 Ahhh...the master bathroom.

 The toy room. Needless to say, it was no-brainer to unpack this room first. Previously, this was the family room and the adjoining room was the living room. We don't really need both, so this room, straight off the kitchen, is the kids' room, and the former living room is our family room/tv room. There's a fireplace that opens both ways, into this room and the family room.

 The family room, looking into the toy room

 This was probably the only house we looked at that could comfortably house our enormous couch. The drapes came with the house and will stay for now.

Here's your bedroom, when you come visit. Please do!

 The boys' room. Haven't done much in here yet because I'm planning to paint it next week. 
Then we'll finish unpacking and get it organized. 

 The guest bathroom.

 This photo is out of season, but gives us plenty to look forward to. Here's our back deck! The kids have been having picnic lunches out there these past few warm days. Can't wait to eat outside all summer long. (There aren't mosquitos in Michigan, right?!)

 The sunroom, complete with toasty southern exposure and openings into the playroom and family room. The plants are not ours, which is good because I am not known for having a green thumb. 
At the moment this room is primarily filled with boxes, both empty and full.

Speaking of boxes...the bonus room, which will serve as my office and sewing studio. (Yes!) Somehow I didn't get a photo of this room after the movers left. This is only partway filled. We have closets along both sides, so we're storing baby/kids' clothes and Christmas decor up here, as well as ALL of my fabric, so the room was pretty packed. I'm making headway on sorting it, but as anyone who has unpacked knows. it gets worse before it gets better. 

This isn't every room, but the ones I didn't show are not really worth seeing right now. We've actually made great headway on the boxes, but it's still a work in progress and will remain that way for a while. Just wait until I get my hands on some cans of paint. I have great color plans for inside this house and cannot wait to get started! I've come to realize that I must think a house isn't truly mine (ours) until I've changed the wall color in at least half the rooms. :) Since only two rooms in this house have any color at all, I have a 2-month, 6-month, and 2-year plan to get all the painting done. And that includes exterior trim this summer. It doesn't look it from the first photo above, but the trim is a bit flesh colored and the front door and garage door are rose colored.