Monday, February 23

Finley's Lego Collection

We dove into the world of Legos about a year ago... and its been a quick descent in the absolute depths of Lego mania. We have more Legos than I ever wanted Finley to have--and they are his main motivator to do just about anything. They are his reward for anything we need him to do. Which has become kind of an expensive form of bribery, as he's pretty good about getting himself to do anything when Legos are on the line. I told him he could have a Lego set when he could buckle himself into his car seat--and he figured it out pretty quickly once Legos were promised!

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Finley and Braden are sharing a room now, and there's a little nook that's the perfect size for a Lego center. I made him a Lego table to (attempt) to keep him organized and hung up some Lego Movie prints I whipped up in Photoshop. I saw a bunch of cool tables on Pinterest and put this one together from an IKEA toy storage shelf and one of their countertops. Then we just glued some Lego plates on top. The Legos have also managed to take over the window seat as well. I seriously considered setting up a second table for him... but he doesn't need the storage, just the surface area. The storage bins are basically empty because I'm not sure he's EVER put a piece away. I'll sit down every so often and sort the miscellaneous he's pulled off... but its kind of a lost cause, which kills my Type A heart a bit every time.

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He loves playing with them so much--and I love to watch him build his own little creations and also be able to follow the directions. I'm glad he loves something that's (somewhat) educational. Braden and Keaton are both relatively good around them--Braden likes to play with them and rarely breaks them. And Keaton... well I don't think he's swallowed any, but we can't be sure. Braden's current favorite are the little Doctor Who set--which Finley will be quick to tell you, isn't actually Lego brand. But exciting news--Lego is coming out with a Doctor Who set later this year. It was really cute to watch him fly the little TARDIS around with Matt Smith and Amy!

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So Legos. So fun and also, so painful... on the feet and on the pocketbook.

Tuesday, February 17

Zoo + Karbach

We haven't taken advantage of our proximity to Houston as much as we should--so when my cousin Nick let me know that our cousin Joey was in town visiting, that was all we needed to plan a quick day trip over!

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It's about an hour and a half drive--we spent the morning at the zoo before meeting everyone for some amazing tacos. The boys love the zoo--I think their favorite part is holding the maps and telling us where to go. I was trying to show Finley some animals and he told me he needed to "focus on his map." Priorities.

Braden mostly wanted to see giraffes (or "the Tuckers" as he calls them) and the zoo has a great platform where you can buy lettuce to feed them. The big boys loved it!

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The carousel is so fun--the boys rode an armadillo, fish and raccoon. I mean, those are not your average animals. We've been reading the Kissing Hand a lot, so Braden was REALLY excited to ride Chester the Raccoon. Sweet smiley boy.

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After seriously delicious tacos, we headed to the Karbach Brewery (yes, with our childrens) to hang out at a Beer Garden. It was a gorgeous day, so it was PACKED. The tables were filled with cool people playing games and eating snacks and responsibly drinking beer. We didn't ever find a table--so the boys played on the floor with their new Lego boxes I made them. Best time killers ever! Little metal lunch boxes filled with a new little set for each of them. It was so fun to catch up with Nick and Joey and meet Barbra!

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Monday, February 9

Finley's 100th Day of School

Finley's 100th Day of School was last week which apparently, is a thing.  All the kids were supposed to make a shirt with 100 somethings on it. I turned Finley loose on Pinterest and let him pick something--naturally, he picked the house from UP.

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I put dots of glue on the shirt and he stuck the pom poms on--I only had to remind him a few times to NOT put ones next to each other that were the same color. And then, being the Type A mom that I am, I didn't let him draw the house. After like eight practice sketches, I finally put Sharpie to to shirt and drew it. And it wasn't too bad.

100 Days of School UP Balloon Shirt

He really loved the shirt--and claimed that he won best shirt in his class and got a crown. Then he said that he won best boy shirt. Then he said everyone in another class won, so I really have no idea if he won or not, but I was really proud of us for a few minutes.

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Braden wanted to get in on the fun too--he's going through a Daniel Tiger phase and insisted on wearing a red "Daniel Tiger" shirt. Isn't he cute? I kiss him a lot because his cheeks are still chubby. That Finley is like a bag of sharp sticks. And Braden is still like a sack of marshmallows.

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Saturday, January 31

Keaton is One and Half!

Cough Cough--is this thing on? I really didn't want to have zero posts in January, so here I am sliding one under the wire.

I'm really kicking myself for not continuing to write a bit about Keaton every month--I still go back and love to read about Braden and Finley to compare them all. (That's good parenting, right? Comparing your kids?) But for now, here's 18 months.

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If there's one thing Keaton excels at--it's hugging. He is an aggressive hugger. He loves to put his arms around your neck and squeeze and to lay his head on your chest if you ask for "sweet hugs." He thinks it's so fun to go up to the boys and grab them for hugs--and they will sometimes let him. Whenever he sees someone laying on the ground, he takes it as a cue to go sit on them. Maybe it's a third child thing... an intense need to be close to someone.

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We moved him upstairs to his own room (the first time since he's been born that he had his very own room!) and he's been sleeping pretty well--as long as we remember to turn the heater on in his room. It gets cold! He generally goes down between 7:30 and 8, and I get him up around 7... he'll wake up earlier sometimes but is pretty content to play until I come to get him. I still can't decide if he needs one or two naps. Lately, he's been falling asleep in the car on the way home from dropping Finley off at school... and he's been falling asleep in his highchair more than is normal. So I try to squeeze in two naps when I can, and he seems happier.

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He's had all his teeth for months, so the teething drama is past us (until those two year molars come in.) He went through a few weeks where he was extremely, inconsolably mad about sleeping, which I'm attributing to an undiagnosed ear infection. Lately he's become a better talker--he FINALLY says something for my name... either "mum" or "muma." No Texas accent here. I think he says dada too... and maybe something for dog. He also makes a sh sound and says GO but not really at appropriate times. He'll do the sign for MORE if he's really in the mood to be cooperative. He surprises me often with what he understands--he definitely knows when he's NOT supposed to do something, based on the way he'll walk towards something forbidden and stop to check if I'm looking and grin every few steps.

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He's a full time walker these days! I'll catch him crawling occasionally, but for the most part, he loves to toddle around after his brothers. Braden is slowly becoming more fond of him... and Finley pretty sweet to him when he remembers that he exists. Keaton LOVES his brothers and just wants whatever they have. His newfound realization that he has his own opinions has resulted in more tantrums which is entertaining, for sure. He's a pretty happy kid, but you don't want to get in between him and what he WANTS.

Basically, he oozes sweetness and is adorable. He frequently gets compliments on his pretty eyes, which are really compliments for me because he's the only one with my eyes. He also gets lots of compliments on his zany curls--he has a mix of Finley and Braden's hair, and the dirtier and more peanut butter he gets in it--the crazier the curls get. He's the sweetest.

And that's basically all I got. My new 2015 plan to take more pictures is clearly failing since I'm slipping right under the wire here for January. Whoops. Maybe better next time. :)

Wednesday, December 31

Skiing at Wolf Creek

Ready for a very picture heavy post? I barely want to type words to go with it... but I will. Because our ski trip was

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Sol and I hadn't been to Wolf Creek in seven years--traveling to Colorado from the east coast was a bigger trip than we can manage. And skiing with small children? Tricky. We ended up skiing two days--the first day my mom kept Keaton and Braden at our condo, and the second day Keaton and Braden hung out in the lodge with a rotating cast of caregivers.

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We put Finley in ski school both days. The first day he was still a little worn out from all the travel and possibly a little overdressed. He came in after about an hour of skiing and ended up taking a nap... and then was back to it after lunch. He went down the little lift once the first day and thought it was so cool.  And we were so proud.

The second day he did great--we took him down one of the big lifts and he did great. Everytime he fell or did anything he'd yell THIS IS AWESOME!!! or BEST DAY EVER!!! Gotta love his enthusiasm.

After ski school wrapped up for the second day, my whole family went down the little slope with him. It was so fun and special--I love these pictures with everyone in the shots!

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My dad has taught many small children to ski--and I loved seeing him break out his tricks with Finley! And also, the light was gorgeous.

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We were so proud of Finley--he worked so hard to figure it all out, and of course, loved to recite all that he'd learned to us. About how to ride the ski lift, what to do with his skiis... all the rules.

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Braden was too little for ski school, but once he figured out everyone else was skiing, he wanted to as well.  We stuck him in Finley's boots and coat (major tantrum, he wanted to wear his snow boots and ski) and stuck him on the lift (major tantrum, he didn't understand how to get off and thought we'd have to jump.) But once we got him down--so happy.

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He obviously had no idea what he was doing, Sol basically carried him down the mountain. Which was adorable.

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At first, Sol took Braden down cautiously and slowly... and then they went FAST. Which B-town loved.

While everyone was skiing... B and K were in the lodge playing. Braden pretty much played the iPad the whole time. And Keaton did whatever he wanted. Pushed chairs around. Tried to eat fries off the floor. Took a nap on a smelly sweatshirt.

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We skiied Christmas Eve--and Santa stopped by all the lodges to pass out candy canes to the kids. (Keaton is still skeptical of Santa.)

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We had so much fun and I want to figure out a way to come back... every year. I loved that we grew up skiing together and hope my boys can do the same. Sol and I love skiing together--I always claim that running and skiing are the two sports that I can beat him at... and he pretends that it's true.  Either way, we love it.

Tuesday, December 30

Christmas in Colorado

It was so fun to spend Christmas in Colorado--even if it meant a little extra coordinating with Santa. Santa left the boys big gift in Texas and his elves delivered a few goodies for their stockings. The boys still got plenty of presents from each other, Sol and me and the other Grimmers.

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We tried to keep things minimal--we got them each a puzzle, book and another little gift. Finley loved his National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia and Braden was so excited about his Little Critter Christmas Book. Like, so excited. It's super long and we've read it SO MANY TIMES already.

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My sweet cousins brought tons of goodies for the boys and were the BEST at entertaining them. They decorated cookies, colored, built snowmen, went on sled rides... Braden and Keaton ran them ragged.

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I loved everything about the trip--but seeing my brothers and grandparents and extended family love my boys, that was pretty special.  Keaton is always pretty smitten with my dad--and tennis balls and putting small things in bigger things.

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Also, the taxidermy.  Next to seeing my grandparents play with my boys... is the taxidermy.

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Grimmer Family Picture

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Our recent ski trip to Colorado was the first time my whole side of the family had been together in 2014--so my mom waited until our paths converged in Santa Fe to get a family picture to send out in her Christmas card. We pulled over and took a quick picture a little north of Santa Fe, at a place called Ghost Ranch.

After our final day of skiing we also got a great shot--I set my camera on top of the van and somehow got a picture where everyone was looking at the camera and no one was doing bunny ears--no small feat.

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Monday, December 29

Christmas Card 2014

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Merry Christmas... a few days ago. The best part about designing your own Christmas card? Making sure the colors match your shirt. Kidding. The best part is getting to include as any pictures as you want--I loved the ones of the boys with Santa and was excited to include them with some of our family shots.

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright and full of love and remembering our long expected Savior.
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