Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Poorly documented projects

There were a lot of crafts and projects completed this summer.  I'm not lying.  I swear.  But I really suck at documenting our accomplishments.  I stained the fence and the swing set but have no proof.  We ripped out part of the deck and rebuilt the remainder and stained it.  We landscaped many, many, many square feet of flowerbeds, vegetable gardens and a bunch of potted plants.  Here is the proof.  We suck at documenting before and after shots:(

Here is the proof that I do have.  Seriously, be patient.  The comparison is very random.  Guys, this is going to be a real challenge if you've never been to our house, because the before and after pics don't match up.

This is the best BEFORE picture I could find.  There's the picket fence I repurposed in last week's post.  Also notice that the left part of our deck had fencing for railing.  The previous owners were clueless.


This is where we are after a few days of work.  We removed all the railing, steps and lattice and started to remove the flooring on the left, lower portion.  This portion we eventually removed completely.  The deck was much too big and made for a very awkward space.  We also constructed a temporary fire pit close to where the permanent one would go.  Men love to burn things.  I don't really share this love, but I respect it.  So, now we have a fire pit.


Then, there was a break.  A three week break that you may be familiar with.  Three weeks later we were back on track and had removed the entire foundation of the left portion of the deck, plowed the dirt to make a large garden and began assembling the new railing and steps.  I have no "in progress" photos to share of this phase.  We were rushing to prepare for Jonah's birthday and for Adam to start his new job.

So skip forward to sometime in June.  The fire pit is complete.  The railing is up on the deck.  The large walking garden is [kind of] finished but will take a few years to completely fill in.  The steps are done.  We did get most of it stained before leaving for California but we, of course, have no pictures of that.  Here's what we do have:

View of the new garden and in the top left corner is the fire pit.  Next
year we will be replacing the black edging with stone.

Another view of the garden and fire pit.  The plants will fill in nicely
over the next couple years.

The garden has a couple walking paths and so many different plants
like daylillies, coreopsis, lamb's ear, peony, boxwood shrubs,
euonymous, tall phlox, creeping phlox, black eyed susans, azaleas, a
couple different varieties of spruce bushes and a bunch of others.


A terrible picture but a view of the railing.  To the right are the stairs
that lead down to the garden.  

Another view of the deck and railing, side opposite of the stairs.

Sorry for the confusion.  We'll do better when we start on the floors and kitchen in January!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Movie Night

Jonah loves movie nights.  It's something we try to do with him once a week.  Typically, this involves us dragging our comforter, blanket and pillows down to the living room to make a cozy bed in front of the TV.  Sidebar, I miss my living room oh so much.

Anyway, this summer we put together an outdoor movie night.  We mounted a sheet to the outside of the house and made a cozy bed on the deck.


We used a projector to watch a good ol' Scooby Doo movie because we are a Scooby-loving house!




We popped popcorn and made pizza and a fire.  It was kind of great.  The boys loved every second of it.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation...

Well, not really a vacation, but I did have a lot of fun.  I'll share a couple projects with you over the next couple of days.  The biggest project to share, our outdoor remodeling project, will not be nearly as grandiose as I had hoped because we didn't take final pictures before we left for California.  So I'll share what we have later this week.

But today you get to see what I made out of a few sections of garden picket fencing left behind by the previous owners.  Before, it was used as a perimeter for what we guess was a vegetable garden because nothing EVER grew in this dirt.  So we yanked it out of the ground and put it in a pile, hoping that we would find a use for it.


The deck looks nothing like this anymore.  We tore half of it out and made the area to the left into a large garden with walking paths.  It just kind of terminated into the grass and was lacking something.

View of the garden terminating into the grass

Garden from the other side

The salvaged fence was perfect for this space but it needed to be white because that's what picket fences do...they're white.  Jonah helped me prime and paint it.


The fence is a little "less than perfect" with some crooked sections but I'm okay with that.  What do you think now?  Pretty cute, huh:)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Time Machine Trip 3: Don't Call Me a Housewife!

Today's Time Machine Trip will summarize my first three months as a stay at home mom, leading up to October when we left for LA.  Notice that I didn't refer to myself as a housewife.  Or a homemaker.  Terms I am okay with are stay at home mom, butt wiper, nose blower and fight defuser.

I won't lie.  My first two weeks at home with the boys while Adam traveled were less than awesome.  At the time, I was still working 20 works per week from home for my employer to help them through the transition of me separating from the company.  They are a small company and needed time to find my replacement.  This alone kept me very stressed out.  Add to this the transition that the boys were feeling after leaving the babysitter that they really loved, the fact that Adam was never there and I NEVER got a break and that, probably most importantly, I was L-O-N-E-L-Y.  I had no adults to talk to throughout the week.  I truly appreciate "me time."  I need it.  But I neeeeeeeed people.

Of course, I didn't realize that I was lonely for a few weeks.  I just thought I had been hit over the head hard with the transition.  Once I caught on to what was happening, though, I found people and was right back on track.  Which people?  My amazing friend Crystal (who is also housesitting for us in Ohio) had just moved back from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She needed somewhere to stay, and I needed a lover.  I'm kidding, of course, but she did stay with me most nights while Adam was out of town during the month of August.  She was a life saver.  I also stalked my neighbors.  The boys and I would take bike rides or walks around the neighborhood and talk to anyone that would say hi.  I'm sure I quickly became the neighborhood nut job.

In September, Jonah went back to school for his final year at Minds in Motion Academy.  We had been looking forward to it all summer.  Having to get up, ready and to school by 9:00 every morning was great.  I saw adults everyday and had a break from being alone with two kids by myself.  I still had Jude but he's so easy, especially without Jonah to fight with.  Jonah is pretty awesome by himself too, but together they are a real handful!

Social things just kept happening.  I got several party planning jobs (I'll blog more about this later).  I met a new friend, the mom of one of Jonah's classmates.  We actually met the previous school year but really hit it off this year.  We would get together to let the kids play while we drank coffee and talked about the bizarre number of things we have in common.  In the month before leaving for LA, we would meet each Friday morning for coffee WITHOUT KIDS (well, she brought her newborn daughter but she didn't throw tantrums or run around the coffee shop so it didn't count).  And she lives right down the street!  And her husband is a big computer geek just like Adam.  Super great!

Once I got over the shock of the transition, learned to stop getting involved in every sibling fight and found my people, I was really enjoying the new SAHM gig.  I stayed super busy with our new landscaping that we planted (I'll share all these pics in a separate entry), staining the deck, fence and swing set, doing various crafty projects and then, towards the end, getting everything situated to leave for LA.  I like things busy so I guess this was just the right pace for me.

Adam and I tried to be realistic about this new life.  We knew it was very likely that he wouldn't like traveling and being away from us.  We knew there was a possibility that I would lose my mind at home with the boys and choose to go back to work.  However, so far so good.  Adam does miss the boys and me but enjoys his work and handles the travel soooo well.  And I don't want to go back to work, although I think I do lose a little of my mind each day:)

Alright, I think we may be done with the Time Machine trips.  I have a few more things from the summer to share but I'll just blog as usual about those.  And I promise they will be shorter blog entries.  Then, I'll catch you up on all of our adventures here in LA.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time Machine Trip 2: The Life of a Traveling Businessman

Last week's time machine took us back to the spring to explain how Adam changed jobs and I quit mine to stay home with the boys.  Today, I've turned on the flux capacitor and will take you to the summer to give you an idea of what Adam's days are like at his new job.

Adam leaves the house at 3:30 am on Monday mornings to catch a 6:00 am flight out of Cincinnati to Los Angeles.  The three hour time difference allows for him to get to work by 9:30 am California time and get a full day in at the office.  By the time 5:00 rolls around, Adam is EXHAUSTED from the long day.  Monday nights usually involve him passing out in his hotel room at 6:30.  His Mondays suck way more than most people's!  Tuesday and Wednesday are regular work days for him followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant or one nearby, sometimes an evening workout and then he's off to bed.  Not too exciting but he gets to catch up on all of his TV shows:)  He heads home on Thursdays around 2:30 pm and makes the long trip back to Ohio, and with a 3 hour time change, to arrive around 1:00 am Thursday night/Friday morning while we're all sleeping.

The boys are always thrilled to see him bright and early on Friday mornings.  Jonah is ready to rough-house with Adam immediately.  He visits with the boys a bit and then usually heads back to bed for a couple hours.  Adam deals with the jet lag sooooooooo much better than I would.  Jet lag sticks with me for DAYS, but he's usually right on track by later in the morning.

He doesn't have to work on Fridays so we've really enjoyed the three day weekends that come along with this crazy travel schedule.  Overall, it's been a positive experience for him.  The travel is not always pleasant and he misses the boys and me, but it's all very manageable.  We've tried to make some aspects as easy as possible by buying an entire second set of toiletries so those things never have to be packed and an iPad for travel entertainment.  At times, he even takes his Playstation with him to pass the time in his hotel room.

Visit soon to read about the next time machine trip to learn about my transition into the role of a stay at home mom.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Snippet


It's a rainy day here in California, a pretty uncommon occurrence.  We snapped this picture of Jonah and his best little bud Brady before we came out to LA.  The boys were so thrilled to be playing in the rain.  I overheard Brady say, "This is the best day of my life!"  So sweet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Time Machine Trip 1: Setting the Stage

Wow!  Look at me blogging two days in a row!

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had so much to catch everyone up on that I didn't know where to start.  So, I'm rewinding to earlier this Spring and setting the stage for the sequence of events that brought us to spend three months in LA.

---------------

Adam was working in Cincinnati in healthcare IT and really enjoying it, and I was in the marketing department of a medical software company where I had been for almost 6 years.  The boys were with a babysitter (the 11th sitter in the previous 5 years - lots of drama).  She was taking great care of them and they loved her very much.  Life was super hectic but manageable.  When recruiters started calling Adam about new opportunities that required extensive travel, he told them "Thanks but no thanks."

Recruiters continued to hound him for another 3 months or so until he really listened to what they had to offer.  Although the new opportunities required him to travel every Monday - Thursday, it also allowed me to be able to quit my job and stay home with the boys full-time.  I've always wanted to do this, but it's really just never been an option.  And while Adam would be traveling so much and away from the boys, the chance to keep our boys home and raise them "our way" was just too tempting.  We couldn't refuse the offer.

After we made the decision in early summer to consider these new possibilities, everything started to move really quickly.  I put in my notice at work and continued to work with them from home for nearly 5 weeks to ease the transition for them.  Adam was assigned to a customer site in Pasadena, CA.  His schedule from July until we left in October required him to leave VERY early Monday mornings and he would return late Thursday night.

Ok, so now you know the background story.  The next trip in the time machine will take us to my first summer as a stay at home mom (don't call me a housewife - blah) and Adam's experiences traveling across the country and back each week.

Our summer project - a huge flower and vegetable garden.  Watering the flowers and grass kept me busier
than I expected!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

6 weeks is too long

It's been a very long 6 weeks since my last blog entry.  That's much too long.  And I'm sorry.  It's been crazy.

At first it was the big transition of me quitting my job to stay home with the boys and Adam traveling every Monday-Thursday of every week.  And then it was kind of boring because there wasn't much of anything going on.  I was just trying to keep it simple while we all adjusted.  And then we decided to come out here to LA to spend three months with Adam and things got crazy again.  And then it felt like I was too far behind to just start blogging again.

So here's the plan.  I'm going to hop in my time machine and spend a few days catching everyone up on a few crafts I did in late summer, some great pictures of the boys, a brief overview of what it's like to take care of 2 wild children all by myself while Adam travels and finally what it's like here in Los Angeles.

Thanks for sticking around!

Lots of love!

Jonah at Angeles National Forest, just before Jude threw up from motion sickness.  Good times.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary

So, Hello everyone, this is Adam writing for a change, and because I have the time, I thought I would create a post to show you what Mandy and I did for our 10th wedding anniversary.

As you probably know, I have been spending my weeks in Pasadena, CA for work and coming home every Thursday.  I miss Mandy and the kids quite a bit and now I have the opportunity to possibly bring all of them out here for a few months.  In order to make sure that Mandy liked the area, we decided to combine our 10th anniversary celebration with an apartment hunting excursion out here in California.

I should also point out that this is our first "no kids" trip together since Jonah was born and probably our first actual vacation since we were married.  The mere coincidence is that almost exactly 10 years earlier, we were in the western U.S. for our honeymoon and actually went through LA and up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Day 1 - 1:00 P.M.

I decide to rent a car from a local Enterprise where I think that I can get a vehicle upgrade.  After speaking with Mandy the day before I know that her preference is a convertible.  I plan on dropping the name of a co-worker who regularly gets luxury cars for low prices at this Enterprise location and I am please to see that this co-worker is actually dropping off a car when I walk into the store.  So I was upgraded to a Mustang convertible which is due back on Saturday morning at which time I will switch to a different car.

Day 1 - 2:00 P.M.

I check into our hotel, The Langham, Pasadena.



The hotel is beautiful but when I get to my room, the temp inside is 80+ degrees and it won't cool down.  They promptly switched me to another room which was not as nice but much cooler.

Day 1 - 9:00 P.M.

Mandy arrives at the airport tired and hungry.  We head back to Pasadena for a quick bite to eat before returning to the hotel.  We ate at a small pizza place in Pasadena called Tarantino's.  The pizza was great!

Day 2 - 10:30 A.M.

We went to Old Town Pasadena for some food and shopping.  We ate breakfast at Russel's and then toured the streets.

Day 2 - 2:00 P.M.

After telling Mandy how nice our first room was, we decide to complain.  I'm glad we did because we were upgraded to the "Club Floor".  Here, rooms are much nicer but the biggest benefit was the Club Room where they serve 5 "Presentations" of food per day FOR FREE!  It's safe to say, we went there A LOT!

Day 2 - 3:00 P.M.

Pool Time!  By the way, I traded in those goofy glasses for a different pair.



Day 2 - 8:00 P.M.

Dinner at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine - Excellent!

Day 3 - 7:00 A.M.

Mandy wakes up because I'm snoring so loud so she goes to the gym / spa and works out.

Day 3 - 9:15 A.M.

I wake up in a frenzy because the car has to be swapped out at Enterprise before 10:00.

Day 3 - 10:00 A.M.

It all works out when I'm upgraded to a  Mercedes C-Class :)  I quickly fall in love with this car and I think I have it worked out so that we will have one the whole time that Mandy and the kids are here!

Day 3 - 11:00 A.M.


We tour the Archstone at Del Mar Station apartment complex.  We really like it.  It is literally a train station.  The boys will LOVE it.

Day 3 - 12:00 P.M.

We leave for a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.  Our destination is Point Dume State Beach.  I have an idea of how to get there but decide to let the Garmin direct us .... MISTAKE.  It takes us 3 hours to travel 40 or 50 miles.

Day 3 - 3:00 P.M.

We arrive at Point Dume State Beach.  It's very beautiful.  There are a lot of people rock climbing which looks really fun.  There is also a remote section of beach that we attempt to get to.  It's blocked by large rocks that we have to climb over and the tide is coming in.  Waves are crashing against the rocks every few minutes and we are warned that what we are about to do is very dangerous.  We turn back.  We'll try it some day when the tide is going out.  Here are some highlights:

video




Day 3 - 8:00 P.M.

Dinner at Mi Piace.  Good food, bad service.

Day 4 - 11:00 A.M.

Leave for a hike in the Angeles' National Forest.   THIS...WAS...AWESOME!  The roads to the hiking trail are on a winding road that twists and turns through the canyons.  Here is some video that we took of the road when we were done hiking.

video


Day 4 - 12:00 P.M.

We arrive at the Switzer Picnic area. First we drive about 1/2 mile down a road that winds down into Bear Canyon which is part of the Arroyo Seco. At the bottom of the drive is a large parking lot, this is the Switzer Picnic area.

We begin hiking the trail that leads to Switzer Falls.  It's a 2 1/2 mile hike to the top of the falls.  Here are some videos that we took on the trail.

video


video

The falls consist of 3 pools that stretch along 1000 vertical feet, each with a waterfall flowing into the pool.  Pool 1 is 2 1/2 miles in, pool 2 is 3 1/2 miles in and pool 3 is 4 1/2 miles in.  We made it to the first pool but didn't think that we could do the others and still get out comfortably.  We only had 3 liters of water and the temperature was 103 degrees in the sun.  Here are some highlights from the first pool.  It was seriously one of the most amazing things that we have ever seen or done.

video




Here is a topographical map of the hike:


This is an image of pool 3 at the bottom of the falls.  MUST, MUST go there.  I'm thinking I will take Jonah.



Day 4 - 8:00 P.M.

We ended up back in Pasadena and finished our day at Celestino's.  We ordered an appetizer that looked like cat food, which we didn't like but otherwise it was great food.

Mandy returned home the next day and was thrilled to be back with the kiddos.  I have one week of work to finish and then I will be home for 10 days before coming back.  This ends our California adventure for now but hopefully we will have some fun stories to come.
























































th

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Snippet

Jonah's first soccer practice.  Rockin' out a super cool soccer outfit too!

Jude was excited too!  He played with his soccer ball the entire time Jonah practiced,
even in 94 degree heat!





Monday, August 1, 2011

Tommypalooza

We had a blast at our family reunion this weekend.  It's been 10 years since my mom's side of the family got together for what we lovingly refer to as the "Tommypalooza!"  It was awesome 10 years ago when Adam and I were newlyweds and it was awesome this time too.

We rode 4-wheelers, go-carts, horses, took a canoe ride, swam, rode bikes, played soccer, ate food that was prepared for at least twice as many people than were there, chased kitties, pet bunnies and, of course, visited with family that we don't spend enough time with.  It was just so much fun.  Once every 10 years just isn't enough.

There are a few people missing but this is the majority of us.  Special thanks to my cousin Amy and her husband Scott for hosting this event for 60+ people.  Scott never stopped working the entire time we were there.  He saddled horses and walked up and down their long drive way with the little kids, cut firewood, tended to the grill, food and clean up, gassed up and tended to go-carts and 4-wheelers, made beer and ice runs.  He had to be exhausted!  Thanks to everyone that made this event possible.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's amazing what I DON'T get done

My new role is keeping me BUSY.  I've been spending every second of the day with the kids, mostly just playing but also setting up the "new ground rules."

Things have greatly improved since last Monday when I spent the ENTIRE day diffusing fights between Jonah and Jude.  It was miserable and exhausting for everyone.  We made some changes and we're on our way to a more peaceful arrangement.  They've even been sleeping in until 7:00 every morning.  That's late for our kids.

Adam left for Pasadena today and we're getting into the swing of things without him but miss him madly when he's gone and love it when he arrives back home.  Overall, I think we're adjusting nicely.

This week will involve a little craftiness, fixing the Jetta, hopefully a playdate (for me and the boys), maybe some swimming and surely the evenings will be filled with moving sprinklers around the yard.

Stay tuned this week to unveil the craftiness!  And, yes, I know I STILL haven't shared the exterior remodel project but I plan to do so.  I really do.  Seriously.  Promise.  Okay?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Poppies

A coworker of Adam's gave him a huge container of poppy seeds from her garden from the previous year.  Adam was so excited to grow poppies.  To our surprise, there was a huge variety of poppies in this container that produced at least 30 flowers from about 7 different varieties.  They are the strangest looking flowers.  

Once we realized that there was such a huge variety of poppies, it was really fun to step outside everyday and see what new shape and color would appear.  Unfortunately, the flower lasts 24-48 hours, the green plant part looks like a weed and you can't mulch around it or it rots.  So, next year the poppies will be moved to the vegetable garden and out of my flower area.

Here is a sample:







Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My new glamorous job

The new stay at home mom gig is going as expected.  Jude peed on my foot today while attempting to use the potty.  Jonah threw a baseball at my shin.  I'm pretty sure this is going to be par for the course from now on.

Overall, no surprises other than how frustrated I am with their fighting.  They fight over EVERYTHING!  If anyone has any good solutions, let me know!

In between fights, though, we play and swim and play and eat and play and chill.  It's pretty great.  I'm taking it easy this week but next week I'm going to get it in gear and actually do something productive like organize the toy explosion in the basement and weed the flower beds.  But for now, I'm just trying to figure out how to juggle the kids, their fighting, my continued commitment to my employer to help them make the transition to my replacement and all the other household responsibilities that come with this new situation.

I'm already feeling a little starved for adult interaction and looking forward to my Wednesday night slumber party with friend Crystal.  There will be sangria!

Adam is living the glamorous life in LA.  Last night, he hung out with the cast of X Factor.  Poor thing!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Next Chapter

For the past six years, I've been working in the marketing department at a medical software company in Miamisburg.  I started there in October 2005 and 30 days later we found out we were pregnant with Jonah.  Two and half years later, Jude came along.  They were always very accommodating and flexible with my schedule to allow for doctor's appointments, babysitter snafus, preschool drop-off and pickup and all the other things that turn your career into a train wreck when you become a mother.

Meanwhile, Adam worked a short while at my dad's wood shop before moving onto a kitchen design position then to the hellhole that was Reynolds and Reynolds and finally to Cincinnati Children's Hospital with my brother Jason and sister in law Kate.

Things over those six years were great but busy with 2 pregnancies, 2 babies, 7 birthday parties, 2 houses, countless home renovations, 11 babysitters, many business trips, far too few family vacations and date nights, MANY sleepless nights with two of the worst sleepers on earth and logging on to work after the boys go to bed more than we should have...

Well, we're making a change.  Adam has taken a new job that requires him to travel.  A LOT.  Like, a lot.  But it's given us an opportunity that we never imagined could ever be a reality.  Yesterday, I said goodbye to my employer and co-workers and am starting a new gig as a stay at home mom.

Adam just returned from his first trip to Pasadena where he'll be traveling to for at least the next three months.  He will take off for his next trip soon.  There are lots of changes in store for us but we're excited and ready for this new chapter.

My goodbye present from my co-workers.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Vegetable Popsicles

Our first substantial broccoli harvest of the summer

The boys loved it so much that they ate it like broccoli popsicles

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Parade Party Report

Thank you to everyone who attended Jonah's 5th birthday celebration.  He had such a wonderful time and so did we.  Maybe this is something to be debated, but I think this was the best party we've ever thrown.  It was less insane than usual and no one had the crazy eye.  I'll call it a success.

We were very rushed to get the party set up that morning because the rain didn't stop until about 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the party.  Such a bummer, but we have very few pictures of the decorations and they were pretty awesome.  There were tons of decorations everywhere but oh well.  We even cut "5's" and stars out of watermelon and cantaloupe.  You can catch a glimpse of a few things in the background of some of the pictures.

The parade was a huge hit.  We decorated the bikes with tassels, balloons and streamers and rode around the block.  The kids were thrilled to ride in the street.  They were troopers too because our neighborhood block is hilly and the longest block in history.  Everyone was sweaty and tired by the time we returned.

Ok, onto the good stuff.  We have tons of FABULOUS pictures to share from the party.  Leah from SquidMommy Photography was on site to capture all the smiles and sweat.  It was really hot and humid.  Go here to look at all the pictures.  You can order prints at this site as well.

Photo by SquidMommy Photography

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Questioning the effectiveness of TSA

Adam texted me this picture of contents he found stuffed in his carry-on back pack when he arrived at his hotel in Pasadena, CA.  A toy gun, 2 telescopes and a laser spy pointer.  TSA did not even inspect his bag.  This gives me little confidence in that system.

Jonah must have stuffed a few toys in daddy's bag for his business trip.  Of all the toys he could have put in Adam's bag...a gun, really?!

Why is Adam in Pasadena?  Because.  I'll tell you in a post later this week:)

Snippet

Jonah & Adam at a family wedding

$15!!!  Adam, it's hot pink, NOT red:)

Jude is 2.  2 year olds don't get to go to weddings anymore.  They did when Jonah was 2.  Now we know better.

Adam's parents Steve and Candy

Monday, July 11, 2011

The 5th birthday present surprise

A week and a half have gone by since Jonah's 5th birthday.  Bad Mommy-blogger!  Bad Mommy-blogger!  I have no excuses other than just letting the dust settle. 

I'm going to break up the birthday posts and the party posts.  They are two distinct instances this year as we celebrated his birthday on June 30th but his party was not until July 2nd.

Jonah received a bike for his 3rd birthday from us.  It was a cute little thing.

Jonah with his birthday bike at his 3rd party.
He learned to ride without training wheels on this bike.  Jude probably will do the same someday.

But he has definitely outgrown the bike and the rest of us didn't have bikes so family bike rides weren't possible.  We surprised him with a new KILLER Raleigh and a way cool helmet for this 5th birthday.  To sweeten the deal just a bit, we also fixed Adam's bike, bought a new bike for me and a carrier for Jude.  We took a ride to the pond together and enjoyed a picnic dinner.  It was a perfect birthday.  Here are some pics and video from the day.
Jonah on his new bike

Jonah's first ride.  Look at that rad helmet!


Jude anxiously awaiting his first ride in his carrier.  

Birthday cupcakes and Jude's cookies.  Cupcakes + Jude = pukey mess
Here is the video from the moment he received his bike.  Listen to little Jude say "bike bike bike" over and over again.  He was so excited.