Sunday, March 30, 2014

Third Year Update

We have a three-year-old.  Oh my.  I was super nostalgic with the first birthday, less so with the second, and now I am just enjoying my fun little boy for this third milestone.  Maybe it helps that I know we have another baby on the way and I really need my three-year-old to be my big helper!

First up, our regular growth photos with Mr. Elephant:

Two Years:
 Two and a Half Years:
 Three Years:
Three-Year Stats:
Height: 38 inches, (62nd percentile)
Weight: 37 lbs, (91st percentile)
Number of Teeth: 20 (a full set of baby teeth)
(The Dr told me at his 3-yr well check that Palmer has "good muscle mass" and looks like he will be an athlete.  I am hoping he isn't a star athlete.  Too much worrying is required from a mom if that happens.)

Palmer is very good about playing outside on his bicycles, riding toys, scooter, etc.  He is also happy to play by himself in the garage and always comes out with all sorts of random fun objects like a croquet set or a wheelbarrow or a stick to go bang.  Bad weather days are tough in this household because Palmer is happiest out in the sunshine playing alone or with the neighbor kids in the front yard.

Palmer has had a love with fire trucks for a long time.  He has every area station memorized on our regular in-town commutes and usually has a lot of questions about the particular truck in the station depending on if the station doors are open or closed.  (IE "Is the fire truck sleeping because he had a busy night with a fire last night?", etc.)  If you ask Palmer what he wants to give somebody for Christmas or their birthday, his answer is always a fire truck.  Also, Palmer always wants to wear his fire truck shirt and underwear, if it is clean.
The stuffed little George is still Palmer's buddy and regularly "goes to work" with Rick.  Palmer likes to call Rick and check on what George is up to.  Rick loves to tell tales of George getting into the copy room and making a mess or helping Rick draw on his office white board.  Curious George books and shows are also a favorite in this household.

Rick and I got Palmer a train table with many Thomas trains for Christmas and Palmer regularly entertains himself at the table while I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner.  Palmer is slowly learning how to put the tracks back together if they come apart, but for now the role of the table is mostly imaginative play.

Overall, our little guy is pretty happy-go-lucky.  He loves to say in the morning, "What do you want to do today, mommy?"  He is just as happy out running errands with me as he is playing on the floor with toys.  Palmer is a joy to have as a companion no matter what we choose to do on any given day.
Overall, I would describe Palmer as confident, outgoing, independent, and fearless.  He is not scared of new situations and is the first to try just about anything without thinking twice.  He is an entertainer and knows no strangers.  The best thing you can do in his mind is laugh at Palmer, the ham.  He also gets bored and craves regular stimulation and interaction.
Palmer is a good listener and follows direction extremely well.  He also is one to want to do everything by himself, almost to a fault.  I've mentioned before that he often insists on going upstairs by himself to take a nap.  The independence makes me both proud and sad that he doesn't need my help.  However, I know the independence will be extremely helpful when we soon have a baby in the house.

Palmer knows how to be very nurturing to little ones, but doesn't always understand the concept of "gentle".  I expect it to be a little frightening to have the two children in the same vicinity for a little while.
And how could I not mention the infamous Palmer smile?  Most pictures look something like this:
Palmer, we love you.  You are such a fun three-year-old.


Friday, March 28, 2014

My Brother is Married, Part Two

The big day was filled with lots of preparation.  Holly has amazing vision and worked hard to have personal details throughout the entire day.  The reception was decorated with vintage family photos and antiques on all of the tables.  I loved everything about the event.

Luke and Holly aren't big fans of cake, so they opted for peach cobbler and cookies on the dessert table instead.  My mom did such a good job of making a 13-layer cookie cake for the happy couple to cut instead of the traditional wedding cake.  I would've been terrified, but she handled it like a pro.
The ladies getting ready:
The groom:
Holly was so good about staying true to who she was throughout the whole event.  Holly loves the shoe company, TOMS.  All of us bridesmaids wore adorable crocheted cream TOMS.  Check out Holly's precious blue TOMS:
We all wore either cream or peach dresses of our choice, which made life a little easier for my 31-week pregnant belly.
Have you heard of a new trend in the wedding world called "The First Look"?  Samantha said this has happened at many of the recent weddings she has attended.  It was a first for this old fogey.

Basically, the bride and groom see each other in a private location (with a photographer) before the ceremony.  Then, this moment allows them to get photos out of the way before the ceremony.
Some of us may or may not have creepily watched their "First Look" from afar.
Let's talk about the ring bearer.  Specifically, let's talk about how the ring bearer got to hang out in the groom's suite with the boys and showed up for pictures with Doritos all over his face, hands, and crisp white shirt.  Mama was NOT a happy camper.
During the ceremony, I had no worries that Palmer would walk down the aisle.  I had very valid concerns about his expectation to stay still up front during the ceremony.  As suspected, he walked down easily and hammed it up to the crowd (see below).
Then (as expected), he got bored standing with the flower girls, went across to stand with Rick, got bored, went back to the girls, got bored, waved to the crowd, went back across to Rick, and threw a fit when he couldn't walk around more.  Then, I saw Rick walk Palmer off into the woods, small boots flew into the air, the guys had a stern talk, and reluctantly, Palmer walked back to the front for the last few minutes.  Whew.

Who, me?!?
The reception was gorgeous and included one little boy having a ball running around with his cousins for hours and hours:
 We are so thrilled to have Holly join the family.  Luke, you did well.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Brother is Married, Part One

After "the most dramatic engagement ever" (please read that in Chris Harrison's voice), last weekend was finally Luke and Holly's wedding!

The entire weekend was perfect and beautiful.  We could not have had more fun in Austin for the occasion.

Holly's friend, Amye, threw a delicious bridal luncheon on Friday:
My mom, sister, and I quickly scurried to the infamous downtown Scholz Garten after lunch for rehearsal dinner set-up.  We were going for a casual Texas wildflower theme.
A special shout-out goes to my stepsister, Erin, who put together all of the floral arrangements.  Mom and I brought all of the flowers home in bulk from the florist and then kinda looked at each other and said, "Now what??"  We all have different gifts.  Mine is vision, but not execution, of a floral arrangement.
Luke and Holly's wedding was south of Austin in the hill country, but they were so smart to have their rehearsal in town near the rehearsal dinner.  We set-up on Town Lake for the practicing.  I just love Austin so much.  This is one of my favorite areas in the city.
Ever the entertainer, Palmer the ring bearer decided it was appropriate to "fist-pound" the pastor, the groom, and each of the groomsman on his way down the line:
Practicing standing by daddy:
Holly altered her mother's wedding dress to wear for Friday's rehearsal festivities:

I tried my best to embarrass Luke at the rehearsal dinner with a slideshow filled with baby photos and a speech of childhood stories.  My favorite story is when Luke was about 8 years old and declared he wasn't planning on getting married because he had a very important unsharpened pencil collection.  Luke was afraid that a wife would come into the picture and sharpen his pencils.  Just in case Luke was having any last-minute doubts, I gave Luke and Holly their own set of unsharpened pencils.
 Samantha was in town from DC!  Samantha, it's time to move back to Texas.
My groom:

Saturday festivities to come in a Part Two post...


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Palmer

After counting down for weeks and weeks, March 25 finally arrived.  Palmer was so excited about his birthday and had big plans for the day.

As has become a new tradition, we started the morning with lights on the stairs...
...and birthday pancakes with candles.
Palmer learned how to cut properly with a fork and knife last week and is very big into practicing.  Look at the concentration.
Next up was present time.  Mid-Christmas morning, Rick and I looked at each other and decided that Palmer had enough presents, so we snuck away with one unopened big present: a guitar.  Three months later, Palmer got to open this present.  And yes, I left the Christmas paper on.  This child could care less and does not know the difference! ha.
 The guitar was a huge hit and Palmer quickly made Rick go upstairs to get his guitar.
Too bad neither guy has a clue how to play...
At school, Palmer was welcomed by a birthday sign and learned that he shared a birthday celebration with another little girl in his class.  Palmer was very proud of the M&M cookies that he picked out for the morning snack.
In the evening, we celebrated over cake with some neighborhood friends.  As requested, Palmer had a "vanilla on the bottom, chocolate on the top, M&Ms and strawberries on top" cake.  It was a dry run for the full cake that I'll put together at Saturday's party.
 This boy was a tad excited about his cake!
One more present from Palmer's friend Charlotte: a child's digital camera.  I recently mentioned Palmer is a fan of taking pictures and already loves this new toy!
What a fun day!  We'll continue to celebrate our three-year-old with a party this weekend.