Monday, June 23, 2014

Niko talks

Did you know that our Nikolai talks a lot now? Here's some videographic proof: 


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Then and now

June 2012:

(oh my gosh, don't you just want to eat him up? WHAT A CUTE BABY.)

June 2013:

(he's still got dem baby legs!)

June 2014:

(looking at the fish at the grocery store)

It's funny to look back and realize that although I really loved Nikolai at those other ages, I really love him best right now. He's such a determined, opinionated, loving, vivacious little boy and we love him so! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Colorful Cupcakes

Do you like alliteration? 

I do. I also like cupcakes. Here are some I made recently:

They were yummy. 

The end.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Toddler Bed

You guys, this has happened:

Nikolai figured out how to get out of his crib, so we had to transition to a toddler bed.  The first few days were awful (in which Niko skipped naps and got much less sleep than usual at night) but he adjusted pretty quick--within a week he had stopped spending naptime playing and was sleeping normally again. Also, I've only found him asleep on the floor twice so I think we're looking at a success! 

[Insert a brief lamentation about how big my baby is and how fast he's growing up here]

In case you were wondering

(Because I'm sure you've been wondering)

The flowers I planted out front aren't dead yet! In fact, they're alive and kicking! 

HOORAY!!! Perhaps I don't have a black thumb after all! (though I'm not counting this as sufficient evidence just yet)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Din'saur 'seum

(The above is what Nikolai calls the University of Michigan's Natural History Museum)

Summer is really starting to kick in this week and we don't have AC, so lately we've been trying to escape the house as much as possible during the day. (Admittedly, the hottest it's been is 89 but that's already too hot for me!)

On Tuesday we rode the blue bus to the "Dinosaur Museum."  

Nikolai enjoyed playing in the 100 year old longboat upstairs, 

but his favorite part by far was the main room with all the dinosaurs! He walked around looking at all the fossils pointing out "fish, din'saur, din'saur, fish."

His favorite part was a smaller room off to the side with dioramas of life at different times millions of years ago. They were too high for him to see well so I carried him around to the different displays, where he continued his commentary of "it a din'saur, it a fish, fish." 

When we had gone around the room this way several times, he took one last look at an exhibit displaying massive crustaceans on the ancient ocean floor and said, "Fish....I wuv it" (followed by an almost imperceptible sigh of happiness).

Do you hear that, Papa (Grandpa Dave)? Your grandson loves Dinosaurs! You might get a paleontologist in the family yet :)

Gazebo Concert

Almost a week ago, we had our last concert of the season! This was a really fun one, held in a gazebo in the town square of Dexter. We played a lot of fun movie music like 007, Superman, My Fair Lady, Jurassic Park and the Sound of Music, interspersed with lots of John Philip Sousa classics. It was startlingly chilly that day (low 60s and windy!) so we bundled up and brought clothespins so our music wouldn't fly away. Other than my cold fingers, it went great! 

The little boys got to come for the first time, because it was outdoors and they could roam :)

From what Jesse says, Nikolai really liked it! Apparently he walked around looking at stuff and off and on pretending to conduct the music. 

Michelle and I were so energized afterward and we felt so proud of ourselves! 

A little shout out here to our menfolk for watching the boys for us for hours every week while we went to rehearsals: thanks! 

We're done for the summer (rehearsals start up again in September) but Michelle and I have decided to keep rehearsing together over the summer, to try and keep our skills up as well as refine our technique. As always, thanks, Michelle, for being such a good pal and helping me stay motivated to play! This last 6 months we've both realized how much we love playing the violin and having music be a part of our lives again, but having a friend as positive peer pressure has definitely helped. Yay!

Buried in berries

 The other day cartons of strawberries were only $1 each at the grocery store (for real!) so I bought some as a snack.

It was getting close to lunch time and Niko was getting a little grumpy, so I let him have some on the way home. 

Between the two of us (though mostly due to Nikolai's unquenchable thirst for strawberries), this carton was almost empty when we got there! (We love berries!) (This is also why I only buy them when they're cheap--because it's painful to watch Niko down a $3 of strawberries in an hour)

Little friends

Little boys like peanut butter muffins. I like peanut butter muffins too. 

These are some really cute little boys, guys. 

Once, when playing outside, I told them to hold hands so they'd stay together (we were walking back to the house and trying to get them both headed in the same direction is a lot like herding cats, so it seemed easier to keep them together). They didn't stay like this very long, but while they did it was SO CUTE!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Baby Lei

Forever ago now (probably 3 or 4 weeks ago) we watched baby Lei while his mom and dad went to see a movie (his mom is a classmate of Jesse's and a good friend of ours). 

Nikolai thought he was so cool and wanted to talk to him all the time:

Lei didn't really know what was going on but was really intrigued by the little person chirruping at him. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

We do

Nikolai and I have been spending a lot of quality time with this sandbox lately:

(Also, with lots of various sticks.)

We get to have Hyrum come play with us at least once a week and it is so fun to watch these little boys play together! 

In our wanderings around our neighborhood, we've found the place where all the little red cars go to either die or to breed (we're not sure which):

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Troll 2

We have some awesome friends, Sarah and Grant, that invited us over to watch the Best Worst Movie ever made. 

The illustrious Megan Hoefflin told me about this movie years ago (and I'm not sure I truly believed her account of how bizarre it was until I saw it with my own eyes!) and I finally got to see it!

Here's the trailer, but it doesn't really tell you anything about the movie:

The other Megan H made an awesome cake featured in the movie:

A week after we watched the movie, we watched the documentary about it, "Best Worst Movie." It was funny to see the actors' reactions to the movie (most were mortified, some thought it was funny, others actually liked the film) and to see how they ended up (almost none of them are still acting).  Anyways, if you get a chance (and really like bad movies) find a copy of this and watch it! 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Play Ball

Jesse and Jordan are on the same softball team, so often in the evenings we all wander out to a field near the apartment for them to practice catching. 

Nikolai and I usually hang out at the playground, soaking up some late evening rays (also, playing with cars, swinging, singing the ABCs at the top of our lungs, picking dandelions).

It's a pretty good gig we've got going on! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Good Eats

We've been doing a lot of grilling lately, since it's been hot enough 1) to cook outside and 2)  to make we wary of heating the house up a ton by cooking inside. 

Nikolai, obviously, has loved more time to play outside. 

(And to make silly faces)

Usually Megan and Jordan come over, because they live so close (four doors away!).  Jesse and Jordan love having time to engage in rousing theological discussions. 

Last week we marinated and grilled chicken, as well as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, zucchini and squash. 

Nikolai, as it turns out, LOVES sweet baby bell peppers and ate half a skewer's worth before they were even cooked!

I also made some potato salad for the occasion. Here's the spread:

Yesterday we grilled again, but this time we made tacos!

Nikolai sat on the stoop, saying, "Neglai ousside!" ("Neglai" is how he says his name of late) and eating pineapple. 

He wandered away a lot while we were cooking--we'd let him wander pretty far away before running off to bring him back. Eventually he wanted to wander out of sight and we wouldn't let him, so he resigned himself to sitting on the toy lawnmower he was playing with.

The spread: Pork marinated in pepper and adobo sauce, with cooked pinapple

Delicious black beans courtesy of Megan

and Pico de Gallo, Mexican rice and horchata. 

So delicious! 

I'm not a huge fan of smelling vaguely of smoke after dinner, but I'm really enjoying not heating up the house (ah the joys of an unairconditioned apartment) as well as eating outside with good company. I think we'll be doing this more often this summer!