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Happy Third Birthday, Ryder Joseph

Right when he walked out of his room to discover the decorations.
 The boys walked around for two minutes just smiling and playing with the balloons.
 First order of business, opening his presents that he has been dying to open.
 Next, Brandon made a wonderful birthday breakfast of chocolate chip waffles with sprinkles.  I also gave them a little watermelon.  It made the biggest mess you could imagine.  Up to the bath they went.  For a little extra fun we added some water balloons.  The boys had so much fun with them.  I might have to do this more often.
 Later that evening we headed down to Logansport for a little get together for Ryder.  Grandma Susan brought balloons and tractors.  Laura was nice enough to let us use the most adorable dinosaur tails that she made.  The kids hardly took them off the entire party.
 Jack sat like a big boy in between Aunt Lindsey and Uncle Robert to eat his dinner. 
 The guest of honor with his buddies.
 The tickle monster book was a big hit.
 After a little melt down, Ryder quickly cheered up when he realized it was time for cake and ice cream. 
 Happy Bday, Ryder.  We love you to the moon and back. 


My Handsome Fellas

Yes, that is baby boy sticking out at the bottom of the picture.  He stole all the flash and made the others dark.  He's learning to make his presence known already.


The Shedd Aquarium

In place of a typical birthday party, we decided to take Ryder to the Shedd Aquarium for his third birthday.  It worked out well because kids two and under get in free, so we just went a few days before his birthday and saved thirty-five dollars.

We set out a wee bit later than expected.  Since we were planning on the boys napping on the way to Chicago, they were quite tired by the time we actually got on the road.  Jack fell asleep clutching his lunch.  He would wake up and cry if I tried to take it away.  Then proceed to take a bite and fall back asleep.
 The napping only lasted about thirty minutes though.  Thankfully, they found ways to entertain themselves and were happy the entire car ride.  Here they are making hats out of their shoes.  This game was a big hit.
 While it is a lot more work to take two toddlers on a trip to a big city, they were elated about every single new thing.  Here they are looking down from the parking garage.  I think they would have been happy if we just spent our entire time here.  
 We settled into our hotel and had a little time to kill before dinner time.  Brandon and I bravely made the mile long trek to the Millennium Park sans stroller.  We carried the boys most of the way because they were too enamored by all the people to walk at a decent pace.  They didn't mind at all because there was so much to look at.  
 Ryder requested we ride the El back to the hotel and since it was his birthday celebration, we obliged.  The thought of not having to carry the boys as far was a good reason too.
 Ryder was quite the people watcher.
 I was able to catch Jack's reaction when the train first started moving.
 Our picnic dinner in our hotel room.  
 Swimming!  Ryder was more timid in the water than last summer.  We'll have to work on that.  Jack was a fish.  
 The hotel didn't have a bathtub.  They had the biggest shower with a floor to ceiling glass door.  Ryder spent at least twenty-five minutes in there playing.  And requested and took another long shower in the morning.  Here they are all squeaky clean and ready for bed.  I had to capture them sharing the Ipad so nicely.  This is a rare occurrence.  
 And early the next morning came the Shedd.  I'm not posting many pictures of the actual time in the aquarium because really they are just  the back of their heads with different marine life in the back ground.  Ryder got to see sharks (his highlight of the trip), and Jack got to see a pair of dolphins jump in unison (judging from his reaction, I'd guess this was his highlight).
Look at that teamwork.
 We had ourselves a pair of tuckered out boys on the trip home.
The entire trip was short and sweet.  I look forward to our many journeys to come.


Happy 60th, Papaw Joe!

"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest."
~ Reverend Larry Lorenzoni
Here's to your best birthday yet!  Can't wait to celebrate with you on Sunday.  We love you very much.  
Brandon, Alex, Ryder and Jack


Let the Bday Celebrations Begin

Papa and Gsa Gsa are going to be out of town on Ryder's actual birthday, so they threw him a mini party at the South Bend Chocolate Company.  Instead of cake we had fondue.  You can imagine how much chocolate Ryder put on every little piece of fruit/ pretzel/ marshmallow.  I didn't get one good picture the entire time we were there because my kids were in party heaven.  They were running around all over the place.  
 Then we headed back for present time.  Jack was game for the party hat.  I don't even ask him to smile anymore.  I just point a camera at him, and this face appears.  
 He was a little excited about his new tricycle although he has lots of practice with pedaling ahead of him.


Buzz and Woody

Aunt Kylee got these pjs when Ryder was just a baby.  Now I have two toddlers who are about to grow out of them.  Crazy!


Just Twenty Minutes

Dinner was ready, but Brandon wasn't home yet.  The boys were really fussy which is pretty typical for the time of day.  So we headed outside, and it changed all of our moods for the better.  I heart warm weather.   
Between Curious George and their older cousins they have learned about hopscotch.  It's really cute to watch them try and jump on one foot.
Then they started finding bugs.
Then as if being outside playing in March wasn't enough of a treat, a fire truck drove right by our house and the firemen all returned the boys' waves.  


Jumping the Sprinkler

Daddy led the way.
 Jack wasn't so sure.
Then Ryder agreed to try if Daddy held his hand. 
Which finally convinced Jack to give it a go. 
I took pictures and enjoyed being dry.  I think jumping things at 20 weeks pregnant is frowned upon.