Halloween 2014

I figured I better get this post up within at least 7 days of the actual holiday.  Plus I couldn’t deprive anyone of the Harry Potter cuteness.

IMG_20141031_181758I almost didn’t bother drawing the glasses on and I am SO GLAD I did! :)  I kind’ve want to do it every day.

I spent the week before Halloween teaching him essential life skills. (video below)

IMG_20141031_184818The costume came together fairly inexpensively, around $45.

  • I ordered the robe from the Willsie Company (it’s a pre-school graduation robe) for about $22 with shipping.
  • The Gryffindor patch came from an Etsy store (Patchnpatterns) for $6.
  • A friend crocheted the scarf for free (MANY THANKS, LORA!)
  • I cut the collar off one of Josh’s dress shirts (he never wears them) to create the collar and put his own grey shirt over it.
  • I bought the tie at Dillard’s for $16.
  • Lightning bolt and glasses drawn on with black makeup (I knew he’d never keep glasses on)
  • Wand was a stick from the yard

I realize that some people don’t think $45 is inexpensive, but it’s pretty much impossible to find a 2T Harry Potter costume because all of them were for older kids.  Etsy was the only place where I saw 2T Harry Potter robes and while they were much nicer, but they were $40 + just for the robe.  In the end I think I pulled it together fairly well.  (I considered painting yellow lines on the tie so it would be accurate, but in the end I didn’t want to ruin a $16 tie.)

IMG_20141031_183027Unfortunately, Josh got stuck at work and missed all the fun so we swung by the precinct before heading home.

IMG_20141031_202424I told myself I would self the costume next year, but I don’t think so.  I’m not particularly sentimental, but this costume is going to go in the bin of things to keep for the future.  Perhaps a grandchild will wear it someday.

P.S. Nolan now points his wand at us, says “Abracadabra” and expects us to act like various animals complete with hopping, nose wiggling, mooing, barking and armpit scratching.


Wicked 10K

Training Plan Thoughts

I don’t know if anybody looked at the training plan page (I already took it down) during the process, but if you did, you’d have noticed I got most of my runs in, but not necessarily on the planned days, and you’d have also noticed I managed to get almost no cross training or strength training in.

Work has been crazy busy and I haven’t really felt like I could take the time to go to the gym at lunch which is pretty much my only time for gym activities like weights, elliptical, etc.  Runs are a different story because I can put Nolan in the stroller and do them after work.

My longest run was 5 miles two weeks before the race.  I attempted to do 5.5 the week before, but SOMEONE was over it at 4.5 miles.

IMG_20141018_175144(He’s standing up in the stroller and I’m just walking at this point)

The Race

IMG_20141025_073938Got there with plenty of time to spare, picked up my t-shirt and packet before depositing them back in the car and then going to scope out the costumes.

This one won second place for best group costume.  When the sub “came apart” the Beatles’ faces were painted in portholes.  Also they had bubble guns, which was pretty cool.

IMG_20141025_074004This one, though?  This one was awesome!  I thought it was just a Sleepy Hollow costume, but I looked on the Wicked’s website and it was a group costume with like 10 people all dressed as Johnny Depp in his various roles.  They won first place for group costume, of course!

IMG_20141025_074304IMG_20141025_074344This is an old Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue car that they were actually using up until about 8 years ago when it became hard to find parts (bet you can’t guess who found out that piece of info).

IMG_20141025_073246Took this picture for Josh, the Eagle Scout.

IMG_20141025_080231The race started at 8AM and, as usual, I made the mistake of dressing for the 30 minutes before the race instead of the actual race, which meant if I didn’t think it would blind other runners I seriously considered stripping off my shirt(s) at multiple points.

My Garmin didn’t charge (and now won’t charge at all :() so I didn’t know my pace.  I had debated not wearing it anyway to see what my body could do without my head interfering (thinking about what I HAD been running at vs. what I COULD run at).

At one point I thought we were approaching the 4 mile mark and I hadn’t actually seen any mile markers, yet.  I caught up to someone with a GPS watch one and she told me we were at 2.95 miles. :(  O_o  Not the answer I was going for.

But I kept at it, feeling slow, with a stitch in my side, which thankfully went away eventually.  The race course has you run down to Atlantic Ave. from the Conference Center, take a right, then onto the boardwalk then back onto Atlantic. Oh, Lord, that last run down Atlantic was hard and I was like WHEN DOES THIS END!?  I looked down the road to my right at one point (with a view of the boardwalk) and saw the 5 mile marker, only we were still on Atlantic and I couldn’t see where people were turning to get on the boardwalk.  Ugh.

Finally we made it onto the board walk. Only 20 blocks to go. Ha.  There was a water station and I decided to walk through it, i.e. grab a water (two actually) and walk until I was past the water station and then run again.  I NEVER do this because I usually feel terrible after walking in the middle of a race.  But that day, it was exactly what I needed to make it that last mile or so.

I picked up the pace and made it through the finish line, collecting my medal, hat and banana.  I felt rough, but not as rough as the girl puking in the trash can that I passed.

IMG_20141025_115448Initially I thought, well at least I finished, but it wasn’t my best time. It couldn’t have been because I felt so slow.

Then I looked on Athlinks (see the Race Results page) and realized I PR’d!!! What!? I guess that’s why it was so hard.  I was pushing hard.

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certificateAfter the race I met up with Josh and Nolan and we walked around (trying to keep me from tightening up) and checking out all there was to see.



Finally we grabbed some breakfast and enjoyed a beautiful view on a beautiful day.


IMG_20141025_104054(Nolan making goggles out of empty creamer cups…hey! Whatever keeps a toddler happy when at a restaurant!)

Thank for all the encouragement and well wishes on Facebook.  Next up is a 5K in November with Josh and I’m also hoping to do a 5 miler in December, but it’s possible we’ll be out of town.  After that…half-marathon training.  Hold me. I’m scared.

Ikea and a show

A co-worker/friend and I drove up to Washington D.C. this past weekend to see a comedian that we both love.

Her name is Anjelah Johnson and if you haven’t heard of her, I’ll do you a favor and show you some of her work (both stand-up and MadTv):

The show was awesome and a great excuse to have a girl’s night weekend in DC.

My one requirement of the trip was to go to Ikea.  I haven’t been in years and I wanted to take advantage.

The one thing I KNEW I wanted to buy were these spice racks:

BEKVÄM Spice rack IKEA Saves space on the countertop Solid wood can be sanded and surface treated as needed.

Not to put spices in, but to put in my bathroom to hold toothpaste, hairspray, contact solution, etc.

In fact, once I put them up, it will look a lot like this.


Of course that’s not all I got. I mean, is it even possible (or reasonable) to go to IKEA and not buy ALL THE THINGS!?

Okay, not really.  but, I did buy a some random stuff like scissors (3 of $1.49!), an oven mitt, tealight candles, a cutting board, blah, blah, blah.

I also bought this for Nolan to “help” in the kitchen in hopes of avoiding those evening before dinner meltdowns.

BEKVÄM Step stool IKEA Solid wood is a durable natural material. Hand-hole in the top step makes the step stool easy to move.

I also got this:

MÅLA Tabletop paper holder IKEA Tabletop holder for paper roll, pens and paints.  Place on a level surface.

to go with this:

MÅLA Drawing paper roll IKEA

Not sure how I’m going to set it up, yet, though, but I’ll be sure to post when I do.

Hoping to get organized I also purchased these “cups” in orange and white:

I don’t know why it’s so much easier to focus on things for Nolan. His room and playroom are generally (when cleaned up) way more put together than our bedroom.  I have some sort of decorator’s block when it comes to our bedroom.

Maybe it’s because most of his stuff is consigned or thrifted and that’s not as easily done for an adult room.  That stuff adds up.  But it’s time…

Operation “spruce up our bedroom” shall commence!

Moving on Up…

…to the next room…

So potty training is going so well that it looks like Nolan is moving up to the next room at daycare.

When I left you last, we’d instituted bribes and Nolan had only had a couple of accidents over the weekend.  Last week he went 3/5 days with 0 accidents.  And so far this week he’s gone 2 days with 0 accidents.  He hasn’t had a poop accident in over a week.  He tells us when he needs to go and he goes.  The only accidents we’ve had are if he can’t make it to the potty in time (like he’s outside on the playground at daycare) or in the mornings when he’s grumpy and doesn’t want to get on the potty because he’s hungry.

We have even tackled some successful outings with no accidents! :)

I’m amazed at how fast this has all gone down. In fact, I’m getting ready to sell most of my diapers (not the overnight ones).  I was even more surprised when his teacher told me they’re planning on moving him up next month. He’ll be the youngest one in class, for sure, but they assure me he’s ready for it.  I guess we’ll see.  Not looking forward to the transition.  He’s going to miss his friends.

…to the next distance…

Well, I’ve been feeling like my old self again and done a couple of 5k’s this year, so it’s time to move up to a 10K.  I’m registered for the Wicked 10K and I’ve got a training plan and everything.  I posted the plan on its own page: CLICK HERE TO VIEW MY 10K TRAINING PLAN.  I’m trying to keep it up to date with completed workouts, including times.  I broke out this bad boy last week:

I’m amazed it still charges after 2.5 years of not being used.

Once the Wicked is done, I’ll have some down time and then plan to start training after the holidays for my first half marathon in March, the Shamrock.  I haven’t registered, yet, but I’m feeling pretty committed.  Starting to get excited about tackling something new, actually.

I’ve also added a Race Schedule page and a Race Results page. The race results is just an embed from my profile on the Athlinks site, so it should stay up to date.

I think that’s about it for now.  Talk to you soon! :)

End of Watch Foundation 5k – Run for Hope


8-4-2014 12-03-15 PM

9-8-2014 12-31-57 PMThat’s 70 of 195 women.

There’s not a whole lot to recap here.  I don’t have any pictures of me and Nolan (I ran with him in the stroller).

Here are a few pics I stole from other people’s FB page, though.

IMG_179772605000678[1]I ran as part of a team in memory of Officer Brian Jones, a Norfolk Police Officer, killed in the line of duty in May.  This is a picture of the current academy class running the race in formation while singing cadence.

A couple of the memorial t-shirts worn by team members.

IMG_179719794760230[1]The race medals

IMG_179703691165340[1]Team Brian Jones – I circled my face in the picture. :)

It was humid the morning of the race, threatening to rain, though it never did.  The race course at Mount Trashmore is hilly compared to most of Hampton Roads so it was challenging, especially considering I hadn’t been running much.  I’m happy to say I ran the whole race while pushing the stroller with the toddler AND even a portable potty in the stroller pocket. LOL

My next race is the Wicked 10K on Oct. 25th.  I have a training plan and everything.  I was doing so good following it by running 2 miles Monday, the day after the race, even in more threatening rain. But then a stomach bug hit Tues and Wed.

I’m hoping to get back on track with a run tomorrow.  Thankfully Josh is off on race day so I don’t have to push the stroller.  Whatever stroller training runs I do, though, will help me stronger without the stroller.

I plan to post a page soon with upcoming races and all my previous races and times.  Stay tuned!


Progress* is pretty much the name of the game these days.  Starting with…

Nolan’s 2nd birthday

Here’s a slideshow of some of my favorite pictures. (Photos by KT Nichols)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The party went really well. We had a great turnout and the weather was beautiful, if a little windy. No complaints here.  The only thing I would do differently would be to have less food next time. I don’t think people were expecting a “meal” at this time of day (4-6) and we had tons left over.

I really appreciated everyone coming out and celebrating with us.  Every year I tell myself the next year will be smaller, but then when I think about it there’s nobody I invited that I wouldn’t want to be there next year. If anything it might get bigger. Back to our house, next year, so we don’t have to worry about how many people we can invite.

Other points of progress…

Bye-Bye Paci

We got rid of the paci a week or so ago over Labor Day weekend.  We had always said that age two was our deadline, but I was reluctant since he only got it at night and for naps (on the weekends), but finally Josh and I agreed to go for it.

I threw away all the pacis I could find except one (so I couldn’t weaken and give in). That one I cut the end off of and put in his bed.  When he went to get it before bed he said, “uh oh, broken!” We said, “Oh, no! it’s broken. You better put it in the trash.” He cried for a minute and then threw it in the trash.  He then reconsidered and though about getting it back, but didn’t.  He asked a few times that night and for a few more nights, saying “Paci broken?” I said yes and he seemed fine with that.

He has seemed a little off the past week, crying in the middle of the night (not enough to go get him), up a little early, shorter naps, but who knows if the two things are related.  On Labor Day he had an elevated temp and was really grumpy so he may have just not felt well.

Also, there’s the other point of progress, that could be affecting his mood…

Potty Training

I dropped Nolan off at daycare last Tuesday and his teacher told me that had a potty training “opening” so if I wanted we could start the next day. I agreed, a little caught off guard, but not wanting to let a window of opportunity pass. He’s been pretty good about going when we randomly put him on at home, so I figured we’d go for it.

We went out to Target as a family for some big boy undies and easy on/off (and cheap) pants.  Nolan is pretty small for his age so I was worried we wouldn’t find any undies that fit. I bought some 2T/3T from Gymboree earlier in the day, and the same size in Hanes boxer briefs and Disney Planes at Target.  After washing and drying they all fit him, surprisingly. (We have some from H&M that are too big).

Wednesday went okay, with 4 accidents at daycare (one where he just peed on his clothes while on the potty) and none at home. Thursday he had 5 accidents (some, again where he was on the potty but peed on his clothes) and another two or three at home (but Josh had him, not me, if that matters).  At this point I decided to go get a bunch of bribes at the Dollar Tree: stickers, candy, and toys. He gets stickers for sitting on the potty (his stool and potty seat are now covered).  Candy or a toy when he pees or poops, although by the end of the weekend if he didn’t ask I didn’t give him a reward.

Friday at daycare he had 3 accidents and none at home. Saturday 1.5 accidents (he peed outside so who cares, but it was still an accident). Sunday only one accident.

This morning was our first poop accident at home. He pooped in the potty and said he was all done so I took the potty insert downstairs to clean and told him to come with me, but I should have kept him on longer. He already said his tummy hurt.  He may have pooped on the stairs.  Then he pooped MORE on the potty. Poor guy.  It was partially because I was in a rush to get to work.  I’m going to start getting him up a little earlier if I want to be on time to work while we’re in this process.

So, we’re definitely making progress.  The key for us seems to be regular undies. I mean he ran around naked plenty, but the undies seem to be a reminder not to pee unless on the potty. Trainer undies, though, are too absorbent and he’ll pee in them and doesn’t care.  He can easily get regular undies off and yesterday I walked into the playroom and he had taken them off and was sitting on the potty and had peed.  Yay! We’ll see how it goes at daycare today when he has more clothes one, more distractions, less one on one attention and no candy/toy rewards.

I’m sure I’ll keep you posted on how he does (luck you!).  In the meantime here are his 2 year stats:

  • 24.8 lbs (10%) weight
  • 33.16 in” (24%) height

I’m trying not to stress about it.  He hadn’t felt well the day and hadn’t eaten much the night before or that morning so I know he was down a few ounces.  Also, they did the laying measurement for height which is so inaccurate it’s ridiculous.  The doctor wasn’t worried, but it’s hard not to get stressed when he refuses everything for dinner (or barely eats breakfast and lunch).

So that’s the progress we’re making round these parts. Stay tuned for more exciting potty training adventures. (Like this morning when he went to flush the toilet, slipped and caught himself by putting his hand in the unflushed bowl. Ew.)

*Josh is encouraging me to call it progress so I don’t get sad about my baby growing up. It’s not working. ha.

We Survived

We made it to Florida and back in one piece! :)

Josh dropped us off at the airport and I was glad that Nolan didn’t throw a huge fit when we had to leave Daddy.


He was SUPER excited about seeing the airplanes.  I had been prepping him for it for a few days. Also, the “tractors” (TUGS) are pretty cool, too.

We landed in Atlanta around 8 and I could tell Nolan was tired and clearly so was I.  This picture is pretty funny because I think I looks so frazzled.  But, honestly, he did fine.

IMG_20140807_222402I had hoped Nolan would fall asleep in Atlanta, but that didn’t happen. Even with a weather delay and it being nearly 11pm, there was just WAY too much going on to sleep.

Until…the second flight took off.  Immediate head bob and the out like a light.  That’s my “Thank God he’s finally asleep!” face.


IMG_20140807_230121My mom picked us up at the airport and took us to the hotel.  After myself and the front desk person lost our fights with the pack and play, Nolan just slept in bed with me and my mom slept in the other bed since it was already past midnight.

The next day we went to the Pensacola Children’s Musem and then headed to lunch at Flounders on Pensacola Beach which made me reminisce about my college days. Ahhh…Diesel Fuel.

Things are a little different these days. :)

IMG_20140808_122350We all three napped when Nolan napped (a good 3.5 hour one) and then there was some pool time and dinner at Outback.

That night my mom stayed at her place and Nolan got a bed to himself (after I laid with him until he fell asleep).

IMG_20140808_220109The next morning we had breakfast and then walked to Starbucks while we waited for my mom.  I brought Nolan’s legos so there was some play time, too.

IMG_20140809_084741And some selfies.


IMG_20140809_090405My mom was having some car issues so there was a little excitement at the dealership and car rental place, but Nolan didn’t mind. He liked checking out all the cars.

Lunch was had at La Brisa next door to the hotel (Amazingly delicious considering it’s at a motel).  On the weekends they have a brunch menu so you can get breakfast for lunch which is what we ordered for Nolan.  I had soup and a spinach salad that were both excellent.  My mom also really enjoyed her chicken thighs and spinach and artichoke dip.  Good food and full bellies led us right into naptime, after which, we drove down to Pensacola Beach again. so my mom couldget Nolan a hat and a t-shirt.

IMG_20140809_162819IMG_20140810_091610She wanted to treat Nolan to some ice cream and I picked out Superman since I figured he’d like the colors (NEVER AGAIN!)

IMG_20140809_164442 IMG_20140809_164450My mom needed to rest so Nolan and I went down to the beach for a little while before dinner.   We actually stayed at the Hampton Inn in Gulf Breeze, but the Quality Inn was behind us and had a little beach that they didn’t seem to mind us using.  In my opinion it worked out perfectly to pay a little more for a better hotel with free hot breakfast and then use the beach at the Quality Inn.  If we’d had time I might have used their pool area, too, because they had a kiddie pool.  Cheaper than staying on Pensacola Beach, but still with a little beach access.

IMG_20140809_173244 IMG_20140809_174720After the beach, Nolan and I showered and then had dinner in Pensacola with my mom and her boyfriend before hitting up the Dollar Tree for some stickers for the flights the next day.

Since our flight was at 6:15 the next day we were all in bed by 9PM for our 4:30 wake up time.  My mom stayed with us again since it was such an early wake up time and she was our ride to the airport.

Nolan, however, for literally the first time ever, woke up at midnight and was awake until 3AM.  I’m guessing having me in bed with him and being well-rested was just too much excitement.   That and the Superman ice cream dyes (did I mention NEVER AGAIN!?).  Still…we made it to our flights and they were uneventful.

IMG_20140810_091553I was actually glad he didn’t sleep during  these travels at all because I appreciated his 4 hour nap when we got home.  Despite the wakefulness, he behaved pretty well (thank goodness for stickers). :)

I’m really glad we went and loved seeing Nolan and his “bebe” together.  Unfortunately, I suck and didn’t get any good pictures of them together.  I think this just because she can’t pick him up or hold him so it didn’t occur to me. :(  We’ll have to make a point of it next time.


So I promised you an update on me in my last (before last, I guess) post.


Well, I’m signed up for 2 5ks, 1 in September and 1 in November.

The one in September is for The End of Watch Foundation and I’ll be running in honor of Ofc. Brian Jones.

8-4-2014 12-03-15 PM

The November one is a brand new race in Norfolk.  Can’t beat special $25 registration for the inaugural event.

Might sign up for the Crawling Crab in October, and I’d like to do the Wicked 10K, also in October, but these things add up and get $$$.

I went running twice last week, but haven’t run since despite unusually cool weather.  I am not and never will be a morning exerciser, so I might as well stop setting myself up to hit snooze for an hour (Sorry Josh).

Josh’s schedule makes it hard, even if I were a morning exerciser because there are many mornings he isn’t there early enough for me to run before Nolan wakes up and I have to be at work.  Then I have all kinds of excuses for not running at lunch. I did run once in the evening last week with the jogging stroller which is good, because I know the September 7th one I’ll have to take Nolan to and if I do the Crawling Crab then it’s the same story.


I re-joined Weight Watchers for the millionth time.  I was down 6 lbs at one point, but then it jumped back up a bit because I wasn’t following the program.  I was pretty proud for weighing in a our Atlanta office meeting when I was down there last week and owning up to the gain.  Hopefully I’m down this week, thought I still don’t think I’ll be down to where I was a few weeks ago. Oh, well, it’s a journey, right?


1) Josh and I are participating in a no-spending challenge from July 31st – Aug 14th.  For us, it’s more of a stick to the budget challenge.  It’s been going pretty well and really makes me re-think my spending.

I downloaded an app called Mealboard to my iPad and it is pretty cool.  You can meal plan, add recipes from the internet fairly easily, keep an inventory of your pantry and create shopping lists.  Some of it takes a good bit of initial effort, like inventorying your pantry, but there is a barcode scanner for brand name items.  You can even keep track of prices at your favorite grocery stores. I’ve been mostly importing recipes from Skinnytaste, a website for healthy recipes that includes the WW points values.

2) The no-spending challenge ended up with an exception…

My mom and her boyfriend were supposed to come up at the end of the month and we were all going to DC for the weekend.  Unfortunately, my mom isn’t going to be well enough to do that and while there’s still a slight chance they’ll at least still come up here, I didn’t want to waste time, so Nolan and I are flying to Pensacola, FL this weekend.

As you can imagine it’s expensive to travel at the last minute, so I used Priceline’s Name your Own Price tools for the flights and hotel.  I’m pretty sure that was a mistake and wish I had just paid more for more convenient flights and hotels.  The Thursday flight gets into Pensacola at 10:30 PM. Not ideal with a toddler.

I also thought I was choosing a hotel on the beach and sacrificed a suite, which would be easier with Nolan, for that convenience. I was wrong and it is NOT on the beach, which totally sucks.  I hadn’t planned on renting a car, my mom was going to be our transportation but I don’t know if that’s feasible at this point.  I’m pretty stressed about the trip at this point. How the hell am I supposed to get Nolan to nap/sleep in a one room hotel room when there’s nowhere for me to go?  He’s not the type to fall asleep if you’re around. I mean, he sleeps great at home in his own crib, with the light off, no one in the room, etc.

I know that one tiring weekend won’t kill me, but it’s still stressful.

Yeah, yeah…I know…

Anyway…that’s about it for me, lately.  I’d appreciate thoughts and prayers for my mom and our trip this weekend.  In return I’ll give you a dose of cute:

IMG_20140802_101646[1](If you’re curious, that’s a Blueberry Simplex 2.0 diaper on Nolan’s little behind. The print is called messy hands, but it’s discontinued, so the only way to find it is second hand.)

My genius husband found a 40 minute video of a “construction” site manned by RC dump trucks, diggers, etc.  It’s probably the longest I’ve ever seen Nolan be still for. It was amazing to watch his face as he watched the video.  I’m going to try to hold off on letting him watch it again until our flights this weekend so the novelty doesn’t wear off. I violated the no spending challenge to get him some headphones.


Nolan reading “his” (i.e. Josh’s) Hot Rod magazine.  He told the hot chick posing in the car to get her feet down off the door…lol.



Birthday Invite

So here it is! Almost everyone has their invite (I have one left to send out!)  I made these invites in Photshop myself and then uploaded the file into Vistaprint.

I had them printed on 5 x 7 glossy paper and it only cost me about $13 for 50.  I didn’t need that many, but it was the minimum order.  In a lucky turn of events I still had enough envelopes from Nolan’s first birthday invites so I didn’t have to spend a dime on those.





This is the back of the invite.  Vistaprint gave me the option of adding a QR code, so I thought it would be fun to do that and have it direct them to the event on FB.  Of course, if we’re not friends on FB (I DO NOT do friending work people) it won’t work, but it was a fun way to fill space for no extra cost.


So…total cost with stamps and everything was less than $25 for what I think are pretty awesome invites! :)

Almost Two

Nolan will be two in just over a month. The birthday invites are ordered. The deposit is down on the “venue” (that sounds so fancy – it’s not, I promise) and the photographer is booked. I debated on the photographer, but I was SO happy to have one last year.  I never picked up a camera or my phone and would have been so sad not to have pictures.

I told myself that this year was going to be smaller. I cut out almost everyone on the list who didn’t have kids of their own, not wanting to subject them to a toddler birthday party outside in August (only you my childbearing friends get that privilege). But then I ended up adding more people and once again we’re back at pretty much the same size party as last year, with around 50 people to be invited.

I also booked his party at a place other than our house, thinking it would be cheaper than renting tables and chairs for our place. Nope. I was wrong. When you have to have it “catered” (again, not that fancy) because you can’t just grill, it’s not cheaper.

That said, I know it’s going to be a blast and I can’t wait to celebrate his birthday with all our friends. (I’ll be sharing his invites with everyone probably in a few days or next week. I mailed them a couple of days ago and want to wait until everyone has received them.)

In our heads, though, Nolan has been two for a while. For months, when people ask, I’ve been saying “two in August” or “almost two.” The idea that he’s one is just…nope. His language has exploded to the point where I have stopped keeping track of new words on the “First Words” page. I just can’t keep up.  He can identify his school friends by name, says grandma and grandpa when he sees their pictures, tells us what to do ALL.THE.TIME., and gives us a hug and says “Sowwy” when he’s released from time out. He’s definitely two.



Had some more pics done last weekend

Currently he is obsessed with screwdrivers. Yes, I said screwdrivers.  I am constantly swapping big, long ones out for little stubby ones trying to humor him a little. But the epic tantrums that ensue when he can’t take his “driber” somewhere or we try swapping them for less lethal ones are wearing on my nerve.


No, mom, two small screwdrivers are not the same as one big screwdriver.

I’m terrified that he’s going to fall one one or scratch his cornea or stick it in an outlet.


Yes, hearing protection is required for this task. Of course.

I know…you’re thinking I sound like Mother of the Year here. Why don’t I just take them away? Well, Josh has a LOT of tools and there are screwdrivers everywhere. Nolan likes hanging out with Josh in the garage and obviously he can’t keep all his tools out of the way.

I’ve never seen Nolan attach himself to anything, really. No stuffed animals or loveys. Until now. He wakes up asking for his “driber”. I had to create an elaborate bedtime routine for it so he’s let me take it away for bed time. He asks for it as soon as I pick him up from daycare. It’s RIDICULOUS.


The screwdriver’s blanket and Mr. Owl watching over it.

And he knows exactly how to use it so God help us when he gets the strength to use it properly.

UPDATE: I wrote all this screwdriver stuff last week and we’ve been able to keep him from them since then and he hasn’t really been asking for one though he’ll pretend something else is a “driber.”

Other than obsessing about hand tools, we’ve been spending the summer out and about mostly.  At the pool, at the zoo, at the beach…




IMG_20140718_194153-MIXWe really are lucky to live in a place with so much to do and relatively inexpensively.  A yearlong membership to the zoo is $85 with unlimited access and special members only events.  The beach can be visited for the price of parking.  There are festivals all year long and splash pads at the parks.  It really does seem like a wonderful place to grow up. I hope Nolan thinks so, too.

I’ll leave you with some of Nolan’s favorite things.