Category Archives: Milestones

Mason’s 4th Birthday – The Cakes

Mason’s 4th Birthday is going to be forever remembered as “The Year of the Cakes.”

We decided to have a separate “friend party” and a “family party” this year as I knew Mason would have a hard time playing with his friends and giving his relatives attention at the same time.

So on the 22nd, Mason celebrated his birthday with his friends with a “Jake the Neverland Pirates” themed party and cake.

Jake and the Neverland Pirates Cake

Mason Blowing out his Candle

Then on the 23rd, we had a small family party at our house and Mason had a construction site cake.

Construction Vehicle Cake

Mason Blowing out the Candle

Mason’s actual birthday fell on Sunday the 16th, but I remembered last year that he was sad that they didn’t sing Happy Birthday to him at daycare and have a treat (I had dropped the ball thinking the daycare took care of this) so I sent him to school with monster truck cupcakes the Friday before his birthday. I unfortunately totally forgot to take pictures of them. #fail


Since his birthday party was a week after his actual birthday, we couldn’t just let the big day go by without any fanfare so we also had a tiny little cake at home as just the three of us.

Mason with a tiny cake

We definitely need to figure out something different for next year since four separate birthday celebrations seemed absolutely insane, but at least we can say we’ve had our fill of cake!!?

How do you guys handle it when a kid’s birthday falls on a different day than their school celebration or birthday party day?

Mason at 4

I keep meaning to sit down and survey Mason for what HE thinks life is like at four years old, but I keep forgetting. So today, I bring you MY take of Mason at four – styled like my old monthly updates I did his first 2 1/2 years!

At four years old, Mason is

  • Still wearing 2T clothes, although some of the pants are getting a bit too short
  • weighing in around 36 lbs
  • still rear facing in his car seat
  • suddenly remembering he skipped the terrible twos – we’re all about screaming “No!” and throwing horrible tantrums these days
  • addicted to Wii golf
  • convinced he’s going to be a speedskater and a snowboarder when he grows up. Thank you Winter Olympics!
  • wondering when it will ever be Spring
  • getting the hang of riding his bike without training wheels
  • into Paw Patrol and Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • looking forward to going to “Big Kid School” this fall (aka 4k)
  • great at playing the kid’s version of “Uno”
  • napping some days at daycare and never ever at home
  • taking karate classes
  • having a love/hate relationship with Sunday school.
  • STILL using a potty seat *sigh*
  • more particular about which pair of undies he’s wearing vs what pair of socks
  • always playing with monster trucks or construction trucks or tractors.
  • still the king of bedtime delays (It’s 10:10 and he just finally fell asleep
  • the boss of Charly – he’s the only one the dog ever listens to!
  • knows all of his primary colors and can count to 12 reliably and 30 with help.
  • very into giving hugs and saying “I love you”
  • “Can I tell you something?” is his most used phrase
  • playing with his first Lego sets (birthday presents ftw!)
  • convinced that any time it’s light out that it’s morning.

At four years old, Mason’s favorites are:

  • Favorite breakfast is pancakes or Kix Cereal
  • Favorite suppers are chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and pizza
  • Favorite drinks are milk and water (he’s not allowed to drink anything else)
  • Favorite snack is graham crackers with butter and/or peanut butter on them
  • Favorite vegetable is green beans.
  • Favorite movie is The Little Mermaid.
  • Favorite song is “The motorcycle song” (some adult rock song with motorcycles in the video)
  • Favorite friends are Aaron, Liam, Chloe, and Ethan
  • Favorite stuffed animal is his penguin collection.
  • Favorite game is golf
  • Favorite toy is the remote control digger he got for his birthday
  • Favorite thing to do is play games on the TV (aka Wii Sports) or play with his golf toys (sensing a theme here?)
  • Favorite treat is Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins or M&Ms
  • Favorite thing to do outside is play with his digger (which hauls lots of snow these days)

I’m really curious to see what Mason says are his favorites compared to what I believe they are. Stay tuned next week for HIS answers to his bi-annual survey!

What are your kids up to these days?

Mason’s Summer Bucket List

Even though temps were in the 40s today, I guess it’s officially summer so it’s time for…

Mason’s Summer Bucket List

  • Camp in a tent (backyard counts)
  • Go swimming at the outdoor pool at least 4 times
  • Go fishing
  • Learn to like corn on the cob (a girl can hope?)
  • Go see Thomas the Train in Duluth
  • Learn to pedal his tricycle
  • Run a foot race
  • Go to Irvine Park
  • Eat an ice cream cone
  • Conquer bedtime in undies
  • Find big rocks to climb
  • Have at least 6 play dates
  • Get his face painted
  • Make popsicles
  • Draw with chalk outside
  • Go out of state
  • Play at the new splash pad weekly once it opens
  • Play with his cousin Chloe
  • See a movie at the drive in movie theatre
  • Wear his raincoat and boots and play in the rain
  • Go to a petting zoo
  • Make a friend at church
  • Go down a waterslide
  • Go for lots of bike rides
  • Play in a lake/river
  • Get a new furry brother/sister
  • Watch the fireworks (without terror this year)
  • Play in a pool in the yard
  • “Paint” outside with water
  • Go to at least three parades
  • Play in a sprinker
  • Go on a picnic
  • Go to the fair
  • Dance at an outdoor concert
  • See his Uncle Russ & Aunt Jen
  • Try three new parks/playgrounds

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Mason’s First Train Experience – (Not Quite) Wordless Wednesday 1/30/13

In December, a passenger train rolled into our town to bring a special guest and help teach everyone about train safety since a busy rail line has recently reactivated after being shut down for 15 years.

Mason LOVES trains. LOVES LOVES LOVES trains. Taking him here, even though it meant pulling him out of school and taking off from work was a total no brainer.

Behold, Mason and the train…

Getting on with the help of the train staff

Looking out the window

The train’s very special passenger! (A Santa picture at the end of January! Score!)

Me and Mason and his big bag of train goodies

He had just as much fun playing in the snow around than train as going on it…. Toddlers!

This time last year – A Typical Weekend Day / Mason Makes Words

Two years ago – Breakfast at Perkins / Reasons I Blog / Balance

Lesson NOT Learned the First Time

Saturday morning, Mason was playing in the kitchen while I sat on the couch in the connected living room, reading my book. SuperDad walked in the room and said “Have you checked on Mason lately?” and my response was “Yeah, he’s in the kitchen playing with his trucks. He just moved a chair a few seconds ago.” Much to my dismay, SuperDad walked in the kitchen to find Mason up on one of our super tall chairs, coloring on the kitchen counter… with a black permanent marker. Oops.

Later in the afternoon, I was in the process of buying shoes online for Mason while he played in and around the computer room. He’d rotate from playing with his tractors on the floor to climbing up into SuperDad’s computer chair and poking at his keyboard, to bringing me “food” that he had cooked (usually chunks of pocket lint or animal crackers in a pan). I was pretty amazed at the fact that I had actually managed to accomplish something on the internet without him begging to sit in my lap and bang on my keyboard or demanding train videos.

I kept surfing and Mason kept playing. After a while, he was back at SuperDad’s desk, scrubbing away. He likes to help clean and can often be found rubbing a paper towel or rag across a surface until it shines. Definitely not a behavior I discourage! A few more minutes pass and Mason says “Mason all done. Mason color! Mason color!” and I reply “Okay Mason, you want to go color? Let’s go color, you’ve been a really good boy!” I get up from my computer chair, turn around, and see this…

Yeah, he didn’t want to GO color. He’d been coloring the ENTIRE TIME. And again, with permanent marker. Crap.

Did you know that while 409 can clean permanent marker off a kitchen counter, it doesn’t touch marker on wooden desks? Thank goodness for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers!

Yeah, we’ll be finding a new place to store our permanent markers, that’s for sure…. Lesson learned, a bit slowly, but learned.

This time last year – First Finger Painting / Happy Birthday Chloe!
Two Years Ago – Happy 1st Birthday, Chloe!

Easter Egg Hunt #1

Quite possibly the thing I hate most about being a working mom (for the record, there aren’t many – I really enjoy being a working mom and think daycare enriches Mason’s life) is missing the chance to do special activities with Mason. Book babies at the library, a one day petting zoo event, etc etc. This year, the Easter Bunny was at the mall only one day – Friday from 1-5 and the Easter Egg hunt was in the park on Saturday at 11, and of course, I worked 8:30 – 1. Ugh.

Thankfully, Grandma B was able to take Mason to the egg hunt this year (his first time!) and when she told me she took pictures, I nearly cried from happiness.

So, Mason’s first official-not-just-in-someone’s-backyard Easter Egg hunt:

 Just getting to the park. Grandma made him wear his ridiulous swimming hat and now of course, he wants to wear it everywhere he goes.

And the egg hunting is ON!

Something tells me his attention to detail could have been better LOL

As quickly as it started, it was over and all of the eggs was found. They spent three times longer looking through Mason’s stash than they actually spent hunting for it. Even though Mason doesn’t really know what candy is, he was still excited to get some!

Mason says “I hope YOU had a good Easter too!

“Want an eggie?”

This time last year – A Visit with Cousins / Won’t Be Long Now
Two years ago – An Important Lesson
/ Babies are Fickle

Mason’s 1st Haircut!! – Wordless Wednesday 4/4

Two days before his second birthday, we decided poor Mason needed a real haircut. A better one than three snips at the kitchen table like we’d tried a few months ago.

Disclaimer: The red flushed skin was caused by a toddler who had been playing incredibly hard in the sandbox in 75º temps right before coming to the salon. No tears were shed or toddlers traumatized during this haircut. The stylist MIGHT have been traumatized by the amount of sand in his hair, but we tipped her well.

This time last year – Spring in Wisconsin / March Park Trip

Two Years Ago – Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood / Happy Easter

First Trip to the Dentist

Last week (on Valentine’s Day!) we took Mason to the dentist for the first time! It’s recommended by most of the big associations that children go to the dentist by their 1st birthday and this was something we’ve struggled with – it seemed like Mason didn’t really have that many teeth then, we couldn’t imagine him cooperating for such a thing, and most dentists around here don’t see kids before age 4 unless there is a problem. One of my friends told me of a recent trip to the dentist with their 27 month old where they were charged $90 for an “exam” that involved the child spinning in the exam chair and get a toy. And while I see the point of making the clinic a “friendly” place for children, I wanted more than that for Mason.

And then we found Smiles in Motion – a pediatric dentist that JUST sees infants, toddlers, and children.  We were pretty impressed with their website and the information they sent us in the mail and the trip did not disappoint.

A view of the kid’s lobby area right when youw walk in. Mason played in here and I read him books (including “Teeth” by Dr. Seuss) while we waited for a few minutes.

We started off with a complete tour of the clinic, from the x-ray room to the exam room and then started off with an x-ray. We didn’t think Mason would sit patiently enough for the two second x-ray while wearing the x-ray “bib” so he got to sit in my lap instead.

After that, we went into the doctor’s office. Had Mason been a bit older, we could have went to an exam chair where he would have had his choice of over 20 movies to watch (Including Cars 2, Tangled, and Rio!) on his very own video screen. Instead, he had a room with his very own slide to play on while we talked to the dental assistant.

She was very happy to hear that Mason’s teeth get brushed 3 times a day (Thank you daycare!), that he doesn’t drink chocolate milk, and that he has less than one cup of juice a day. She also gave us their blessing to not be concerned about him still sleeping with a Nuk and as long as we get rid of it by his 3rd birthday, we’re good. I’ve been waiting until he was a old enough to understand the concept of “the binky fairy” or making a trade, but had always heard the rule of thumb was age 2, so this made me feel a bit better.

Dr. Spitz came in next and we got started on his exam. He sat on my lap facing me and then the doctor and I sat knee to knee and he laid back into her lap. From that vantage point, she cleaned his teeth, checked his gums, took a look at his tonsils, and applied a fluoride treatment. He held his daddy’s hand through the whole thing and was a trooper and Dr. Spitz said everything looked great! She figures his final four teeth (those evil back molars) should come through in the next 2-3 months, which I’m not too excited about, but what can ya do!?

He got to pick out a toy afterward and was pretty proud.

All in all, the appointment was a great success. Despite some of the older folks we know telling us that taking a kid his age to the dentist was a waste of time and money, I’m very glad we went and it’s always good to hear that the things we’re doing are the right things and that everything is looking good!

He played in the play area while SuperDad and I took turns using the restroom before the drive home.

We’ll be seeing Dr. Spitz again in 6 months. We asked Mason if he liked the dentist and he shouted “Yeah!!!” so I think it was a success!

This time last year – 11 months / Tantrums Before Two?

This post was not sponsored or prompted by Smiles in Motion in any way. We just had a great experience there and totally recommend them if you’re in the Chippewa Valley!

Mason Makes Words

Mason has officially reached the stage where you have to be really careful what you say around him because he is repeating everything! I’ve caught myself saying stuff (Such as shouting “Okay!!” down the hall in an annoyed voice) and he immediately parrots it, tone and all, and I realize that it’s not only the words I say that I need to watch, but the tone of my voice and the way I express myself. It’s a whole new world – here I thought I just needed to avoid the curses!

Mason is so curious and is always asking “Momma doIN?! Daddy doIN?!” “Joe doin?!” and has started asking about people who aren’t around – this morning he asked “Grandma doin??” and then when I said Grandma was at home, his next question was “Papa (aka Grandpa) doing?!!?” and then when I say “Papa is working.” he sadly repeated “Papa workin…”

We did a random outfit change this weekend and we usually don’t change clothes unless we’re getting ready for swim class or bed. He instantly said “Simming?? Simming Ray-ray??” (His pronounciation of Aarron sounds like Ray-ray to me) and then when I said we weren’t going swimming, he said Simming? Ray-ray doin??” It’s a good thing their next swim date is less than a week away!

Anything that isn’t like it should be is broken. “Light broken!” “TV Broken!” He also demands “Light on” when he walks into a dark room, but doesn’t understand off yet.

We’re working hard on please and thank you and for the most part, he will parrot it when you say it or if you say “Can you please say please?” half the time he says “Peeez?” and the other half the time he says “Yah!!” and nods his head like “Duh mom, I can say that!”

Last night we stopped at a sub shop and when he saw the pizza spinning in the warmer, he said “Pizza! Pizza runnin!!” which totally cracked me up.

He has randomly said “Excuse me” after burping and if he bumps into you, he’ll pat you nicely and say “Sowwy” which is adorable. Those things must have been learned at daycare, because we haven’t worked on them at home.

He loves pointing out things he knows in books. His favorite things to point out are lights (of course), trees, kitties, tractors, and cows.

The other day his computer started playing the ABCs and he sang the “ABC” part right along and I about died from the cute. We tried to encourage him to keep going, but he was off and running with something else.

I really want to start taking better notes about what he’s saying because he cracks me up at least once a day, but when I sit down to write about it, I only think about the stuff I hear all the time. He’s saying a lot of 3-4 word sentences and I definitely want to share more here, so my goal for the next month is to get more down on paper!

What were some of the cute first things your kids said?

This time last year – Balance (one of my favorite posts)

22 Months

Today, my little man turns 22 months old. 22 months really means “Can you believe he’s two… just TWO months from being two!!!”

I totally missed his 21 month update, so  forgive me if this list is longer than usual. He’s been a a busy little boy!

  • Wore size four diapers and size 5.5 shoes
  • Wore mostly 18 month tops and pants, although 12 month in both still mostly fit
  • Obsessed with lights – tree lights, Christmas lights, lamp lights
  • Celebrated his second Christmas
  • Pretending to cook is his favorite passtime
  • new words every day that we don’t know where he learned them – such as horsie and snowman
  • Celebrated 6 months helmet free
  • has totally given up on getting to play outside (sad, yet a blessing all at once)
  • Constantly asks “Mommy doin’??” “Daddy doin’???”
  • Answers  yes and no questions very clearly and determidly
  • Unfortunately most of the no’s are about food I offer him
  • Attended bedtime story time at the library
  • Went swimming three times with his daycare friend
  • Has days where he babbles/talks all day long
  • Loves giving people and pets their things – is always bringing us our pop bottles or the pets their toys
  • Threw up for the first time
  • Started thinking it was funny to throw things. Every. thing.
  • Wants to watch his choo-choo video every single moment of the day
  • Loves drinking milk
  • Got his photo taken with Santa
  • Seems to have all of his teeth other than his back molars (dentist appointment soon!)
  • Loves saying hi to strangers unless they say hi first
  • Is starting to show interest in playing with smaller sized cars
  • Loves watching you tube videos with Daddy
  • Got his first haircut
  • Loves loves loves being chased
  • Cried for 45 minutes straight after leaving the Christmas light park
  • Spent one night at Grandma & Grandpas
  • Loves bananas. Except sometimes he wants to smash them instead of eat them
  • Spent 4 hours in Urgent Care
  • Sleeps with his blue puppy and a yellow wooden mouse shaped car
  • Spent the day with his only cousin (first time since July 4th)
  • Likes wearing “middys” (mittens)
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy is his favorite food
  • Favorite book of the moment is his Frosty book from Auntie Sarah
  • crawled through a giant digestive system at the Children’s Museum
  • suddenly likes wearing hats (ballcaps, not winter)
  • Loves reading books, but only on his terms when he feels like it
  • Donned his first suit
  • Have a love/hate relationship with his rain boots

Two more months till the big birthday #2! Right now we’re up in the air if he’s having a Yo Gabba Gabba birthday or a Choo Choo birthday.  Talk about a big decision?!

This time last year – Five Fingers of Thanks