Sometimes a guy just needs to snuggle with his mom.

Today's Quote

"Those are hexagon crackers! I didn't know that those weren't going to be square crackers."


Sad and Happy

Sad:  I threw up lots of times yesterday morning.  Daddy was on a business trip, so it was a great time to do it.

Sad:  Even though I perked up afterwards, I had to cancel my playdate with Ella.  I think Mommy was even more disappointed than I was because she was looking forward to seeing Ms. Jen.

Happy:  We saw a hummingbird drinking from our fountain yesterday for the first time in awhile!

Sad:   The air is so unhealthy here (from wildfires) that I can't go outside.  This has never happened before, even when mommy was little.  Even when my grandparents were little.  Never.

Happy:  My dad came home while I was sleeping!

Happier still:  My dad and I get to snuggle right now and watch Lightning McQueen!  What could be happier than that?

And, today's quote:  "I know how to pucker my lips now!"


Guess what!  Our post about the tree for the nursery was mentioned here today at Rocks in My Dryer.  Thanks so much, Shannon!

Tractor Pillow

You might remember that Mommy had planned to make a pillow from my tractor bandanas from Lou and Lionel.  Well, she finally did it, and here it is!  Thanks, Lou and Lionel, for understanding how important John Deere green is!

(And, if you're visiting my blog at a relaxed pace, here's something fun to do:  type "tractor" in the white rectangle at the top left of my blog and then click "search blog."  You'll soon see how important tractors have been in my life!)

Togo: from Mommy

I've mentioned to Jonathan's readers that I've been reading Compassion's blog.  They've recently written four posts about their brand new work in the country of Togo.  In just a couple of minutes, I've been able to learn about the people there and the challenges they face.  If you're curious, just click here.  I've linked to the posts with my favorite one at the top, which is an inspiring story of a mother and father successfully parenting their six children in a more challenging environment than I've ever seen.

How Feet Have Fun

Between the Saltwater Sandal tan and bruises, my feet look especially boyish and summertimey, don't you think?

So Much for Swimming

If you live far from here, you might not know that our air is really dirty.  There's lots of smoke in the air because all the trees and grass are too dry and it's easy for them to catch on fire, and that's what they've been doing.  Yesterday our air quality went from "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" (which includes me, since I'm a little kid) to "Unhealthy."  Yuck.  So, Aunt Corinne and Mommy have agreed that we don't need to be out swimming in the smoke.  And water.  Too bad for me, because I had already explained to Mommy that I was going to swim with my "swimmies" and float around in the water.  Maybe next time.

And, for those of you who live far from here, we should let you know that we can't count on a big, beautiful, refreshing rainstorm to come through here and clean everything up.  We don't expect any big rainstorms until the fall, so we just have to wait and hope that some wind will come through.  And we also hope that the wind is not coming from the direction of the fires.

We will try not to complain about this because we are very thankful that we are not near any fire danger, and we hope the people near fires are OK.

Swimming Lessons, Finished!

Have you been waiting to find out how my swimming lessons went? I'll tell you all about it! But I'll have to share some background first.
I used to live near an amazing water park. We could walk to it from our house and see my little buddies there.  I used to be really comfortable getting my face wet and even going under water.  Not so much now.  But I had a breakthrough last week.  Mommy and Daddy took me swimming for fun a couple of times, and I got more comfortable in the water.  I even blew bubbles out my nose and got the back of my head wet.  I still don't like to get my eyes wet, but I'm working on it.  And I have to work very hard to remember not to whine and fuss when I have to try something that makes me a little nervous.  Here are some pictures of me at my swimming lessons.  They're with Ms. Monique because Ms. Chelsea was not feeling well.

I'm not afraid of being in deep water...just of getting water in my eyes and nose.

Ms. Monique is in the water with me and Ms. Chelsea is on the side helping us.

On the last day of lessons, we just played.  I got to wear a life jacket and swim around blowing bubbles like Nemo.  I think I get to have more swimming lessons later this summer!  And guess what...Uncle Todd and Aunt Corinne have a pool at their new house.  I think I get to swim there later this week!

Being Nemo

Chico, Isaac, and Me

A Great Morning with Isaac

Isaac and I have been little buddies for a long time. Over three years, acutally...almost a lifetime! Click here to see a picture of us when we were babies that's super cute.  Anyway, Isaac and his mommy, Ms. Kathy, came to see us this morning.  I'm not who enjoyed it more:  me or Mommy.  Isaac is three months younger than me and loves the same things I love.  We played with toys all morning and did a fabulous job sharing.  (Can you believe it?)  Here are some pictures of our time together.

I'm sure you're not surprised to know that Ms. Kathy has a picture just like this on her camera except that it has Mommy reading Isaac's ABC book to us.  (Ms. Kathy is a teacher just like Mommy used to be.  I'm sure they both thought their conversation about our future kindergarten experiences was interesting!)  Isaac got an ABC book for his third birthday just like I did.  All around, it was a great morning!  Thanks so much for coming to see us, Isaac and Ms. Kathy!  (And watch for my next post, which will be above this one, to see how Isaac and I took turns on Chico.)

The Mighty Jungle


Today during the children's message at church, the pastor talked about what names mean. Jesus' name means "God saves." I also found that my name means "gift of God." Would you believe that my parents had never mentioned this to me? And my middle name means "beloved." So, I am "gift of God...beloved." (And I am also named after both my grandpas. And important people in the Bible.) Mommy's names mean "beloved...beloved." Daddy's names mean "God's peace...from the road crossing." So, little buddies, do you know what your names mean? Have your parents told you? Are you named after someone? I'd love to know! Maybe you could leave me a comment and tell me.

What Daddy Did Today

Daddy didn't bring the camera today, so this was taken on a phone, as you can tell.  We hope you still get the basic idea of what Daddy did today!

Two Projects

This spring, Mommy and I were inspired by Jamey, Jack, and their mommy.  So, I got to paint some things for Mother's Day.  (This isn't my shirt.  It's my wrong-side-out pajama shirt, for those of you who are worried.)

I painted two sets of these.  One for each Grandma.

Mommy saw these on Design Mom yesterday, and thinks this might have been a little simpler.  Maybe next year?

Here's something else we'll think about in the future, when I'm past Duplos and well into teeny-tiny Legos.  A Lego table!  Maybe my dad would make one for me.  This table is way up high above little fingers and mouths that curious babies have, and hopefully we'll have a new baby come be a part of our family before I'm too far in to teeny tiny Legos.  I like how each kind of Lego stays in its own spot.  You can read all about it on Ikea Hacker.

Freebies and Familiar Faces

Yesterday, my mom got this amazing coupon in her email inbox.
Now, you should know that my mom does not like to go to Toys R Us unless she absolutely has to, but she loves me more than she dislikes Toys R Us.  So, she surprised me with this coupon, taught me that F-R-E-E spells "free," and off we went.

Here I am looking at the trains to choose one to take home.  This is Jack, but I had to take lots more down and put them up before I chose...

The Musical Caboose.  I told Mommy that this was the one I wanted.  Then I put it back.  I had to spend a looooong time looking at the trains.  Mommy realized that, since I don't generally get to pick out toys to take home when we're at the store, I didn't know exactly how it worked.  Finally, I really chose...

Mighty Mac!  It was a great day at the toy store.  And Mommy found out that they now carry large Duplo Building Plates, which means that she can get one in person instead of ordering through Amazon.  So we both had a great time, and it didn't actually hurt Mommy to go into Toys R Us.

After that, we had a bunch of things to get at Target.  As soon as we went into the store, we saw a lady holding a tiny baby.  As we were admiring the lady's grandbaby, the lady kept talking about how Mommy looked so familiar, but she really couldn't be that familiar.  The lady told Mommy who she looked like, and as it turns out, it was Grandma.  Apparently Mommy looks a lot like Grandma.  This isn't the first time a stranger has approached Mommy knowing that she must be Grandma's daughter.  It just hasn't happened in a long time since Mommy spent a long time living far away from Grandma.  I guess I should expect it from now on!  Anyway, the lady was really nice and used to ride horses with Grandma when Grandma was a little girl.  Here's a picture of Grandma when she was just a mommy and not a grandma.  She was about 10 years younger than Mommy is now.  (The baby in the middle is Mommy, and Grandpa is on the right.  So confusing.)  Do you think they look alike?

A New Link

Our friend, Ms. Dorothy, has opened a shop on Etsy.  You can see it here or click on her link in the list for grownups.  (Mommy and Grandma have been toying with the idea of opening a store there, too...we'll see if they do it!)  Enjoy!

In My Spare Time...

I've become interested in knots.

The Global Food Crisis: From Mommy

Hi, Jonathan's mom here.  You've probably noticed the widget on our blog for Compassion International.  It's a cause that's becoming nearer to my heart, and I've been reading their blog to learn more about the needs of people all over the world and what we, here, can do about their needs.

It's so easy for me to become numb to the pressing needs of people in other parts of the world as they can seem so far away, but the rising price of gas and food for my family are right here in front of me.  So, I think that reading about life from other perspectives helps me to remember what life is like for people who live in poverty.  I am reminded that some people in the world are living on $1 a day and eating just a meal a day.  As fuel becomes more expensive, food becomes more expensive (as we all know.)  However, if your family is already spending 80% of its dollar-a-day income on food and food costs rise, then your family simply does not eat.

Sometimes I see the images of poverty and read the stories and feel so helpless.  For my own family, I can drive less and be more frugal, but what can I do for the families on the other side of the world?  Compassion International gives me a way to help with the Global Food Crisis.  First, I can pray.  June 25 is a special day to pray for those families affected by the spikes in prices for rice, wheat, and other basic foods.  And if I choose, I can also donate to help those in need.  I hope you'll consider how you can get involved in helping children and families all over the world.

One More Thing

I am still obsessed with rhyming, so if someone says something to me, I like to rhyme what they say.  Like today when Mommy said, "Take off your shirt," I said, "Spake spoff spour snirt."

Quotes from This Week

What I usually say when Mommy and Daddy come get me in the morning (or after a nap:)
Hi! May I please read a book with Daddy.

But I sometimes say:
May I please have Mommy not frighten me. I heared a loud noise when she opened my door and I was a little scared.

After seeing several emergency vehicles pass by our car, I said:
A fire truck ambulance police car parade! A short parade.

And, last but not least:
May I please snuggle close with Mommy. May I please have your face not be too big.

Micah's Voice

If you've been praying along with us for Baby Micah, you will enjoy clicking here to hear from him!

"I Want to Be a Singer"

Aren't these neat?  My mom found them on Design Mom.  The photographs are made by an artist who takes children's drawings and interprets them in real life.  If you need a smile today, you can see her other pictures.

How to Spend Father's Day

After you show your dad how super special he is and give him the pictures you've been keeping secret for a month...

call your faraway grandpa...
watch racing with your nearby grandpa.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

Swimming Lessons, Day 5

I didn't blow bubbles today.  I can't remember how, and I don't ever plan to do it again.  I don't plan to get any parts of my head wet, either.  It's a good thing we have a weekend break before I have to try again.  Even though today didn't go so well, I still love Ms. Chelsea and look forward to seeing her again.

Swimming Lessons, Day 4

Here's an update on swimming lessons for you.  Yesterday, I did the unthinkable:  I got wet up to my nose and blew bubbles out my nose.  Ms. Chelsea and Mommy were so happy!  Ms. Chelsea is very patient.   She spends most of each swimming lesson carrying me around and getting me deeper into the water.  I think that's really fun.  She also holds me on my tummy so that I can kick like a fish.  That part is fun, too!  But when she wants me to lay on my back and kick like a fish, I just won't tolerate it.  Somewhere along the line, I've become scared to get my face into the water and terrified to lean my head back into the water.  I haven't gotten the back or top of my head wet yet this week.  So, I'll keep putting up with a little bit more of her persuasion each day, and we'll see how it goes.  I really do like swimming lessons and Ms. Chelsea!

Another Playroom Project (from Mommy)

I have a new project completed that makes me smile every time I see it, so I have to share. I was inspired a few months ago by the Picture Perfect Wall. I loved the idea of a system for making a picture collage on a big wall, and I had a big, blank wall in the playroom that needed some help. Here's just one thing you can do with their amazing system.

My playroom budget didn't allow for the price tag, however. Thank goodness for Ikea Hacker, which has been inspiring me to do things myself for just a little bit of money. I decided to make my own wall collage using Ikea's Ram frame series. They are super cheap and paintable. Instead of glass, the clear part is plastic. I figured that would be great for the playroom both because they'd be unlikely to break and because a kiddo would be less likely to get hurt in the event of any wild playtime. Ikea's website lists the dimensions of the frames, so I cut out some little models with graph paper and played around with them until I had a plan that I thought would work on the wall. (That may sound silly, but I figured it would be sillier to drive all the way to Ikea, pick out some frames I liked, and get home to find out that I needed different ones.) Here's what Jeff and I chose.

So...we purchased the frames, and I painted them and distressed them a bit with sandpaper. I used painter's tape to map out the boundaries of my plan on the wall and started hanging pics. Here's what our collage looks like:
I have to say, I had so much fun choosing the pictures! I had to leave out a lot of special ones, so if you are a close friend and don't appear on the wall, it's not because I love you any less. :) These pictures include our parents and siblings, some of our favorite hikes, and some faraway friends. They make me happy. (And here's a little secret: I put velcro dots behind the frames to keep them straight. I don't think it would be relaxing to have to straighten frames every time I come into the playroom.)

And this is what our "picture perfect wall" looks like on the far wall of the playroom. It would have taken a lot less time if I had ordered the system. But, for a tenth of the cost of ordering one, I'm thankful to have come up with an "Ikea Hack!"

(To see other playroom projects, click here, here, here, and here.)

Edited 2/25/09: Thanks to Jules for mentioning us here! So fun!
Edited 5/25/10:  Thanks to Laurie for mentioning us here!  Yay!

Catching Up

After Daddy got back from camping with Mr. Rob and Mr. Perry, they were at our house for a little while. It didn't take much work to convince Daddy and Mr. Rob to play trains with me. They even brought the trains downstairs.

When you look at these pictures, you might think the grown-up guys are enjoying the trains even more than I am.  And you might be right.
Just look at their smiling faces!

I've been going to swimming lessons every day this week.  As it turns out, I'm the only kid in the time session that Mommy chose.  Some sessions have as many as 15 kids my age, so I got a pretty good deal having the teacher to myself.  Her name is Ms. Chelsea, and she's really nice, even though she thinks I should get my face wet.  She hasn't convinced me to do it yet, but I'm getting a little more comfortable each day.

Mommy picked some squash from Daddy's garden today.  They're pretty!  We'll eat them tomorrow.  In this picture, I'm trying very hard to convince Mommy that every squash must stand up in the bowl without leaning.  Mommy is not a very good listener sometimes.

Back to Normal

My dad has been on a trip. This time it wasn't a business trip, but a trip doing guy things like camping and hiking and getting dirty. Someday, I'll be big enough to go along, but this time I stayed home with Mommy. 

Mommy showed Daddy her love by letting him have the camera all to himself on his guy trip.  As you can imagine, this took a lot of love.  But Mommy really loves Daddy, so it wasn't so hard.  

I showed how much I love Daddy by helping Mommy miss him.  And the way I did that was by keeping Mommy on her toes the whole time Daddy was gone.  I have learned the fine art of arguing, and Mommy doesn't seem to appreciate it.  So, I'll keep trying to get her to appreciate it.  At any rate, we've very glad Daddy is back, and the guys had a good time.

For today, we're just going to share a couple of pictures that we thought the grownups would appreciate.  They show how much gas costs at Daddy's camping destination.

Dont' worry, Daddy filled up the tank close to our house where the prices were not quite as shocking.  Still unpleasant, but not quite so bad!

(In other news, I have started swimming lessons this week.  I go every day this week and every day next week.  I'll tell about it in another post!)

How to Sleep

I've been doing this for a week or two, and it works great.  First, take your pillow and lay it at the foot of your bed while the bed is still made.  Next, pull your comforter and sheet over you so that the comforter is next to you and the sheet is on top.  Finally, snuggle in with your lion and seal and pretend you're in the house or bed of your favorite animal.  It makes for a great night's sleep!

The first night I tried this, my dad let me go to sleep this way.  Then, late at night, he came into my room and put me back in bed the "regular" way.  When Mommy and Daddy came to get me the next morning, they found me snuggled in the new way.  I guess they didn't realize how serious I was about my idea!

Because of Compassion

Three Reasons to Celebrate

I think I forgot to tell you about some reasons to celebrate around here.  The first one was Monday:  Jared's birthday party.  

Here I am watching the other kids play in his pool. I didn't feel like playing in the pool until a couple of hours later. Mommy made me go be with the kids, but she couldn't make me play until I was good and ready.

Jared likes vehicles and had a lot of them for me to look at.

His mom likes to make cupcakes inside ice cream cones, and I really like them that way, too.  Happy birthday, Jared!

The second reason to celebrate was that we had Natalie's birthday parties on Tuesday.  My mom had me wear some cute clothes, but I was not in the mood for posing.  So, she strapped me down to take this picture.

Natalie has a cool water table that I got to play with.  I loved the water wheel.

And, she has an amazing bubble machine.  The last time I saw one of these was at Emma Claire's first birthday party.

Here I am clowning around with Grandpa and Doreen.  Happy birthday, Natalie!

The third reason to celebrate came yesterday, and it doesn't involve cupcakes, but we're still very excited.  You can read about it on our adoption blog!