Happy 2nd Birthday!

Today is Jayden's second birthday. I really can't believe that he's already two, but at the same time, it seems like coming home from the hospital with him was decades ago.
Here's a little flashback of what he looked like when he was a day old. I could post pictures of his actual birth day, but it was late at night, so the only pictures are from when he was really really new which aren't necessarily the cutest pictures.
Last year, on his actual Birthday, right before I cut off his curls.
And here he is today...well, not today, a couple of weeks ago...I dont' have a fresh Birthday picture just yet :)Needless to say, Jayden has changed a lot. He's becoming less of a baby and more of a kid each day. He is very active, always running (usually while screaming), jumping, and climbing on everything. He loves other children, and unless he's playing shy, he'll walk right up, say hi, and start playing. He's a very sweet little boy, he's always giving kisses (if asked for) and big squeeze hugs. He'll do anything if he thinks someone is sad, and he'll worry if he thinks you're hurt ("no owie momma...no owie").
Jayden has a very ornery way of staying out of trouble. He'll listen if he is told no, most of the time, even if he does throw a bit of a tantrum. By this time he also knows whats allowed and what isn't. But in his mind, if no one sees him doing it, then it isn't wrong. So as soon as he starts saying "Bye bye mommy" or "Mommy, in there," which is him telling me to leave the room, or we hear a door close, we know to be on the lookout.
He is also doing very good on his development. His fine motor skills are coming right along, he can do a perfect rock n roll sign. He can understand pretty much everything you say to him, if he'll actually listen is another story. He's been using more and more sentences. The sentences are a lot of fun, because they aren't always sentences he is repeating as he's heard them, he's putting words together to make his own sentences. It's just a really neat stage.
Some of his current favorite things to do write now are driving (playing in someones car), swimming, climbing, and exploring. He is still a fan of Pee-Wee, we've been stuck on Pee-Wee's Christmas Special for a couple of weeks now. He also enjoys Caillou, Sesame Street, and Blue's Clues. He hasn't really got a favorite food right now, but he does love apples, bananas, pancakes, and McDonald's french fries.
Well, there's our Jayden update. And my fall back for his lack of scrapbook that I've been meaning to get started for two years now.

We love you very much Jayden, and we can't wait to see what the next years will bring, but are hoping that they won't go by too fast like they have already. Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Happy Birthday to my mom also! Love you!

Saint Louis Trip

As most of you know, my mom decided to take us on a weekend trip to Saint Louis last weekend. We all had a wonderful time! We arrived on Friday afternoon, and just took it easy. We ate and went swimming at the pool. Jayden loved swimming, but he wanted to be a little too independent, attempting to jump into the deep end and trying to get us to let go of him in the deeper water. It was a little nerve racking, but we were really proud that he is so comfortable in the water.
Most of you know that Jayden is an early riser, it can be a little irritating on regular weekends, but on vacation, it really pays off. On Saturday we got up and went down to the Gateway Arch. We were pretty much the first people there...
This was great, because we pretty much had the place to ourselves at first!
And we had no waiting time to get up in the Arch. From the Arch we went straight (through the ghetto) to Grant's Farm. This was such a wonderful place to go for a family vacation, all you really pay for is eight dollars for parking, and any food you want for yourselves or to feed the animals.
You get to the actual farm by taking a tram ride through the deer park, which is completely open, and allows you to see the different types of deer close up.

This is the open deer park:

I think our favorite part of Grants Farm was simply feeding the baby goats. Jayden was a little standoffish at first...
but he soon warmed up and tried to hug any goat he could get to!

Jayden also was able to see Josh's favorite birds, the bald eagle, close up. They stay put because they are injured, and cannot fly away.
After Grant's Farm we made it back to the hotel so Jayden could take a much needed nap. We didn't really have any specific plans for the rest of the day, so we just grabbed a bunch of brochures so we could see what else the area had to offer. We were planning on going to an aquarium downtown, but we wanted to drive by the City Museum first because the brochures made it look really really cool. Once we drove up to the museum, we knew there was no turning back. The place was freakin awesome! I highly recommend it to any family. My pictures won't do it justification, but you can see better pictures on their website.

This is the view from the outside. It was an old shoelace factory that was converted to the museum in 1997. All of the parts of are of recycled material, there were two airplanes, a bus hanging off of the roof, and countless tunnels, passage ways, and slides. You could spend days here!. You could get to both of the airplanes which were stories high through mesh tunnels. Pretty much everything you see (except the roof I think) could be crawled to in numerous ways.
This is Jayden in Toddler Town, a place just for little kiddos to climb and slide and play in the balls.
This is a view of the outside from a different viewpoint. On the bridge in the middle, are Josh and Jayden.
One of the many bridges...
Inside was a whole other experience. Everything you saw, was climbable. There was a gigantic fish which you could enter through it's mouth, and find a series caves. Whenever we were separated, it was almost impossible to get back together because of the crazy passageways, even if you were within site of each other.
After the museum, we just had to take it easy. We swam a bit more, but basically just lounged around a bit. That place wears you out!

Sunday morning we got up, packed up the Jeep, and headed for the Saint Louis Zoo.
Once again...first ones there...look at those lines!
It seemed beneficial at first, but we were there before the animals were up and the train was running, so it did take awhile before we were able to see too much.
We did get to ride the carousal for free though!
Jayden was very happy once the train opened up!We really enjoyed seeing the animals once they decided to wake up and come out.
There's our little monkey, watching a monkey eat his breakfast.
At the end of our zoo trip, we went to a Sea Lion show. They would jump through hoops, ring bells, throw Frisbees...really anything you can teach a dog to do...except sea lions are a bit bigger.

All in all, we had an excellent time. I wasn't sure about Saint Louis as a vacation destination with a toddler, but it was a blast. There was so much to do, I can't wait to get back!
Thanks mom!!

House, what house?

Another catch up post, to let you all know that we're still here. We're just really busy! I've been pretty busy with work, I've actually started showing houses! It's a ton of fun, but a little stressful when you've been used to dealing with a toddler and are suddenly dealing with adults.
As most of you know, we have a new nephew! Colin Michael was born at 7:40 am on August 10th. He is absolutely adorable! I've got a video of a lot of little videos I took during our visit to the hospital. I've also been trying to update ALL of our YouTube videos, so be sure to check them out!

We had our first ultrasound last week to determine our exact due date. It will be February 18th! I've been asking Jayden if he wants a little brother or sister, like Taylor...his response is always a big "No way!"
We went to my dad and Debbie's house in July, and were able to take advantage of the great beach nearby. It was SO much better than Geode! It wasn't icky green! Jayden had a great time, and you can catch a video of him experiencing his first waves on YouTube.
Here he is getting buried by Daddy:

The sand was too hot for him to walk on!
We also made it to the Des Moines County Fair, here are him and Taylor getting a first hand experience with some of the livestock.
Last weekend weekend we went to the Sweet Corn Festival, Jayden LOVES corn on the cob! He also loved the slide, the bumper cars, and the jump house (another YouTube video). I got a lot of great pictures, I just had to have a cut off point for this post.Last years Sweet Corn Festival:
Lastly, we've been growing tomatoes this year. It may not sound exciting to everyone, but we've had a lot of fun watching them grow. Jayden has been a big help!

That's all for now. No, no updates on the house. We're just enjoying ourselves. Plus, we've got a new baby, and a new job to think about...so we're taking advantage of free time.

We'll be going to Saint Louis this weekend, hopefully I'll get some pictures up within the next month!

Want to renovate a house?

Check out my other blog for some info on a really neat old house that is currently on the market that is in need of a lot of TLC. Burlington Blog.