Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekend fun - Wedding season is here

The sun is out, Spring is here and of course wedding season is in full effect. We are lucky to have loads of family and friends getting married this year. We have a total of 5 weddings to attend between now and October. Pretty cool I know.

Two weekends ago we attended the wedding of a family friend. My mom and sister in law were also there. My brothers were invited but they bailed on us at the last minute. We left the kids at home with hubby's parents and enjoyed a nice night out

When you give my hubby the camera, this is what you get
My mom and I could be sisters
Me and my hubby posing
Red is my absolute favorite color so it was no surprise that I loved the decor at this wedding
In typical African fashion, everything was delayed by a few hours. While we waited for the lovely couple to arrive, hubby and I took a gazillion selfies :). Hubby's face is priceless in these

Lol, this hubby of mine I tell you
And then the bridal party arrived and their entrance was so awesome. They did this fun choreographed dance when they walked in. It was so entertaining and fun.
And then it was time to welcome the new Mr. and Mrs.
Me and my mommy, chilling and relaxing
Hanging out with my sister in law, I love family fun times
I was trying to convince my hubby to dance, it didn't work. He is lucky he is so handsome
We toasted the happy couple
I absolutely love weddings and what they represent. There's nothing better than two people in love celebrating their union. I am so looking forward to the next weddings that are coming our way this year. YAY for wedding season. Hope you had a great weekend too.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

10 years

10 years go, Spring break of 2005, I met the love of my life. My friend Melissa was studying abroad in England and I went to visit her. She was going on a trip to Spain with some of her friends and invited me to join them. My hubby was one of those friends. We rented a house near the beach and spent a week partying and exploring. It was such an awesome trip.

Hubby and I kept in touch via Myspace (I know right) and emails. Less than a year later he came to the U.S. and things got serious. We did the long distance thing for a year and in 2007 we moved in together. Almost 6 years of marriage and 3 beautiful boys later, I know this was the best decision of my life. To celebrate, I am sharing 10 pics of us from back in the early days of our relationship before we had kids.

Walking the streets of Barcelona in March 2005. Hubby is the kid to the left and that's me in the front. That was 10 years ago, Wowza.
Our very first selfie in Dublin May 2006. I traveled to London to visit hubby and we visited a few European cities for 2 weeks.
Laughing hysterically at a joke in Thailand in April 2007. I met hubby in Thailand and we traveled there for about 3 weeks. It was such a great trip. Don't mind hubby who looked like a delicious lobster. This is when hubby decided to make the move to the U.S. so that we could live in the same country.
Checking the sights in London Christmas 2007. We spent Christmas with hubby's family that year so he took me on a tour of London.
Hubby never used to show teeth when he smiled until he met me :). This is  him showing all of his teeth to humor me. In our hotel room in Stuttgart fin 2007
Bar crawling in Prague Fall of 2008. This was one of our fun trips. We met in Prague with some friends who were visiting from the U.S. and had a ball drinking and partying.
This is another one from that trip to Prague in 2007, we visited the John Lennon wall and took this awesome pic.
Chilling in a brewery in Berlin in 2008
 I love this picture of us at the Ikea in Hamburg in 2008
Our best angry faces in Hamburg in 2008. We received really bad customer service and we were outraged, clearly me more than hubby.
I can't believe it's been a whole decade since I met my hubby. What a great 10 years it's been. I look forward to many more decades and awesome experiences with my handsome man.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Enjoying the last days of Winter

You guys, I am so excited that Winter is coming to an end. I love the warmth and I am so ready for some heat. We had a crazy Winter this year plagued with snow galore. Could you believe that it snowed here this past Friday on the first day of Spring? Crazy, I know. Really Winter, it's time for you to go away. I know I will be back to complaining about the heat soon but man I am so ready to be hot.

Anyway, the last days of Winter were actually pretty awesome in our house. Lots of hanging out and chill time which also means lots of photos. I am so ready to take our play time outside.

First of all, how super cute is my Bean? I know, he couldn't be any cuter if he tried.

Hubby and I were fortunate to get a date night last Friday. We met some friends for happy hour in the city and enjoyed some grown up time.

I love this man. We met 10 years ago this month and I couldn't have asked for a better partner in crime.
I forgot to take pics of our dinner but our deserts were delicious.
It snowed again a few weeks ago, we got about 6 inches, yikes. Luckily it all melted fairly quickly
We did get a snow day and I spent it snuggling at home with my boys
Love these boys of mine and I am so fortunate that they return the favor :). I was nursing the baby here and the big boys wanted to get cozy with us :)
While I was on snuggling mode, hubby was on workout mode. Hubby working out with the boys running around in the background, T25 what up
I love this pic of hubby working out because the big boys joined in on the fun, they were actually copying what he was doing
Sleeping babies are the cutest and I love how Tman and Jbird always do the same thing
We also visited my niece, that little girl is growing like a weed. I promise to take more pics. Here are all the cousins chilling and relaxing.
We had a play date with some friends and their kiddos last weekend. It was so much. We had 9 kids 5 and under, it was chaotic yet somewhat organized. There is something so awesome about a  house full of kids, it makes the house so alive. The big kids watching a movie here and looking so tame :)
Tman reading to the group :)
We attempted to take a pic of everyone but it was clearly impossible with this many kids :)
We've enjoyed the last days of Winter and are now ready for Spring to show its beautiful face. Bring on the warmth, we are ready for some sunshine.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jbird's story of speech delay

My blog is totally my happy place, where I want to remember all the amazing things that we did with the kids. I also want to capture all the things that are happening in the kids' life and because of that I can't ignore Jbird's speech delay.

Last August when we took him to his 2-year appointment, his Dr was concerned that he wasn't saying much. I personally wasn't worried about it because he was barely 2 and had an older brother that deciphered everything for him. Also, if you knew my hubby in real life you would know that he is a man of few words and I was just sure that Jbird was just like his father.

Like father like son, these two are totally two peas in a pod
We decided to start working with Jbird one on one, spending more time encouraging him to use his words to ask for things, and we even bought a colorful alphabet rug to get him familiar with letters. It worked great, Jbird was recognizing colors, letters, numbers but he still wasn't using words to communicate with us. He went to barely having 10 words to having over 60 words in a 4-month span. He also started daycare at 2 so we hoped that it would be a huge boost.

Jbird is such an expressive kid I tell you

After 5 months and still no clear communication using words, we decided to go ahead and do the tests. We did a hearing test that came back perfect. Jbird can hear, he just chooses not to respond to us. That kid I tell you, we were so happy to know that he didn't have any hearing issues.

I can hear you mommy, what up?
Jbird is my mini-me, I think he looks so much like me though he behaves completely like hubby
After the hearing test we got a Reel 3 speech evaluation done. It was determined that Jbird had a speech delay, he was was on the poor scale compare to other kids his age, that's two steps below the average.

We followed up with additional more in depth tests to analyze more than just his speech. It was determined that Jbird performed at the following age level in these areas:

Expressive language - 18 months
Receptive language - 16 months
Gross motor - 20 months
Fine motor - 20 months
Cognitive - 21 months
Personal social - 13 months (I told you he was a baby)
Adaptive - 29 months

Based on these results, it was determined that Jbird would benefit from early intervention and starting in a few weeks, a speech therapist will be coming to our house once a week to work with Jbird for an hour. they are also going to give us pointers on what we can do to help and encourage him.

Jbird is always surrounded by his brothers :)
 Check out Bean hanging out in the background
We are so happy to have a possible answer and solution to our Jbird's lack of communication using words. He still acts like a complete baby, even more so than Bean. That's my mama's boy. We communicate well just without words and we want to encourage him to use words.
 The face he made after tasting a blueberry, he clearly didn't like it.
As we start this journey of speech therapy and such, I jump for joy every time Jbird says something to me using words even if it doesn't makes sense. Some of the stuff that he said recently that we loved:
"I stink ewwww" or "I pooped" clearly someone is ready for potty training :).
"mommy, mommy, baby Nathan" he knows his brother's name :)
"wipe nose"
"give back"
"I stuck"

Jbird is a happy and sweet kid. We just need to encourage him to use his words. I know one day I will complain about how much he talks non stop, I can't wait to get there. Until then, we are going to create an environment that foster and encourage Jbird to communicate with us using more words.
I love this second boy of mine to pieces and I am so lucky that he returns the favor.
Speech delay or not, Jbird is still the sweetest little boy and like his Dr said, it's the best possible problem you can have with a kid (if you are going to have any kind of problem) because there are things that can be done to help him along the way. That is Jbird's story of speech delay, I hope to come back with lots of awesome updates soon.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bean's 1st birthday celebrations

We celebrated Bean's 1st birthday this past weekend and it was a great success. We invited family and friends over and we showered our little boy with lots of love and attention. First birthdays are my absolute favorite because we not only celebrate the baby but also the family for surviving the first year :). I think Bean enjoyed his day. He did sleep for half the party but we were definitely there to celebrate him.

I ordered a cute shirt for him to wear (like I did for his brothers on their 1st birthday). Here is the birthday boy with his birthday shirt. He was 23lbs at his 1 year appointment.
I used the same theme that I used for Tman and Jbird's birthday (I am such a lazy parent). I just ordered the decorations online and added a few touches here and there. It was a prince theme and I totally personalized everything with one of my favorite photos of my little man.
The invitation, next to his brothers invitations (I saved them for posterity sake)
The cake that we personalized with a pic of the invitation
The birthday banner with the food table, personalized banners are my favorite
The favors, also personalized
Our family was there to celebrate our sweet boy, we are so lucky that they live so close and we get to enjoy them daily.

Hubby with Bean, I love this father and son duo :)
3 generations, me, my mom and Bean
My grandma, nephew and dad with Bean
My sisters, mom and grandma with Bean
Hubby's parents with Bean
My brothers with Bean
Our friends also came out to shower our baby with love and celebrate his first year with us. We are lucky to have friends with lots of kids so it truly was an enjoyable time for the big boys as they mingled with the other kids

Father and babies, no sweeter sight
My friend D and her kiddos
Me and my friend L, our youngest are 6 months apart. We've been making babies together for the past 5 years :).
J was there with her growing family
J and C came out to celebrate too. Gotta love blogger friends turned real life friends
We were one big happy family hanging out and mingling
Bean passed out while he was hanging out with his granddad and slept through the chaos. That's my Bean.
We had to wake him up to cut the cake, poor baby just wanted to sleep forever.We gathered everyone in the family room so that we could get a group picture once it was done.

I love this picture because everyone is smiling away. Check out hubby with the big boys, my mom and hubby's dad with their big smiles
 Check Tyler in this one, he was so excited about the cake
 And we managed to get somewhat of a group picture :)
Now it was time for the smash cake :).  Hubby's mom made Bean this awesome chocolate cake just for him. It pays to have grandparents around :).

I love the look Bean is giving me here, seriously mom, you want me to eat this whole cake? lol
 Ok fine, just try a little piece then
I then cut a smaller piece for Bean to enjoy
 Everybody wanted to help him with it
 I love this pic so much, Tman's hand was covered in cake and I was helping him with it :)
 Jbird enjoyed some cake too :)
First birthday celebrations for Bean were a great success. I can't believe my kids are 4.5, 2.5 and 1.God has truly been good to our family. Happy 1st birthday sweet beanie baby, we love you to the moon and back.