January: Philip was obsessed with Toy Story and his Toy Story toys, especially Jessie. We bought our van. We took a trip to Virginia Beach to celebrate Christmas with Phil's family and Greg and Tessa announced they were pregnant. Andrew turned five months old, started rolling and we started giving him solids. The boys really started to interact with each other. We moved Andrew to the convertible car seat in a (failed) attempt to make him happier in the car. We had our first big snow of the year. Philip started thinking Andrew was more fun. Phil and I both got miserably sick.
February: Andrew turned six months old and started sleeping through the night here and there. He got his first tooth and started on some fruits and veggies. Philip started really expressing an interest in helping us cook and bake. Andrew got his first hair cut. We introduced Philip to Play-Doh. Andrew started cruising around in the walker and bouncing in the jumperoo. We began our potty training efforts with Philip, which were mostly unsuccessful.
March: Philip had his first trip to the dentist. No tears or cavities! We sold my old Honda and bought the boys a kick-ass swing set. Philip turned two and a half. We continued introducing new fruits and veggies to Andrew who continued to be a great eater. Andrew started crawling. We weaned Philip off his nighttime bottle. We ditched the baby tub and started bathing the boys together. Philip climbed out of his crib for the first time so we took the side off of it to start the transition to a big boy bed, thus putting an end to our ability to sleep in for many years to come. Andrew got his second tooth.
April: In true Andrew style, he said goodbye to always having his bottom on the floor and started pulling up on things and standing with assistance. He continued to make strides towards consistent sleeping through the night. We took a trip to the Children's Museum of Richmond. We checked out the new playground at the W.A.R.F. for the first time. We started potty training efforts with Philip again this time with more success! We spent Easter with my mom and family at her house.
May: Andrew was baptised in our church. A lot of family came and we held a reception at our house afterwards. Virginia forgot about spring and went straight to summer. We brought out the kiddie pool and took the boys for a swim. Andrew LOVED it. Philip hated it. We took the boys to our towns annual Firemens' Parade. We took a trip to Colonial Beach. We went to Old House Vineyard with our neighbors for some wine and fishing for the boys. Philip officially daytime potty trained! We bought both of the boys twin sized beds. We took the crib down in Philip's room and set up his twin bed. We took the crib down in Andrew's room and set up Philip's crib.
June: Andrew started walking! We enrolled Philip in St. Luke's School's Summer camp program, OASIS. It was a tough transition for him in the beginning but by the end of the summer he was having a great time. I marked my three year anniversary with USIS. Phil bought Philip his first fishing poll and started taking the boys fishing at Mountain Run Lake, which Philip thought was great fun. Later in the month, we spent a week in Myrtle Beach at Phil's parents' house and had a great time going to the pool, to the beach, out to eat, shopping, and generally relaxing and enjoying our time away.
July: We took the boys to the Richmond Zoo and had a great time! We'll definitely be going back in 2012. We made a trip to Smith Mountain Lake to visit Phil's family, including the boys Great Grandpa and Mom-Mom who were visiting from Iowa. It was their third time seeing Philip and their first time meeting Andrew. So glad we made the trip! During that trip, Andrew took his first boat ride and we had our first stay in a hotel room as a family which was fun. Andrew really got the hang of self-feeding and started mostly eating table food. Phil had his two year anniversary with GMU. We went to Tessa's baby shower for baby Callan Marie. We took the boys to the Fauquier County Fair.
August: Andrew started trying to talk. We began the daunting task of cleaning out the basement. The boys took their first spin on a bicycle together. Andrew turned one and we celebrated his birthday with lots of family and friends at Mountain Run Lake Park. We had an earthquake that shook the whole house for a good ten seconds and damaged a lot of historic building in Culpeper and surrounding areas. We finished the month off with a hurricane that ended up being just a lot of hype out our way. Philip had his first day as a preschooler at St. Luke's School and he did great!
September: Philip turned three! We scrapped our original plan to have his party at the park and instead held it at our house which ended up being a lucky move as it rained during the entire party! Nana and Papa treated the boys to their first ever trip to Chuck E. Cheese for Philip's birthday which Philip still talks about. They had a great time! I increased my working hours from twenty to thirty. Callan Marie was born on September 17 and we made the trip to Virginia Beach that day to see her. Philip continued to thrive in preschool!
October was a busy month jam-packed with fall fun! We went to Carter Mountain in Charlottesville to pick apples. We went to the annual chili cook off at Old House Vineyard with friends. We took the boys to the mountains at Skyline Drive for a picnic and to take in the gorgeous changing leaves. Andrew took a spill and busted his forehead open on a wooden train box right about his eyebrow which sent me into hysterics and us to the ER where it was glued back together. We went to Cox Farms and spend an afternoon playing on slides, going through a corn maze, and taking an awesome hay ride, among other things. We picked out and carved pumpkins with the boys. I took the boys to St. Luke's Halloween movie and trick or treating. Phil, my mom, and I went to Philip's school for his fall festival party and hay ride. We took the boys trick-or-treating dressed up as Piglet and Tigger. Philip and Andrew both got hand, foot, and mouth disease, presumably from one of Philip's classmates. Hope we never have to deal with that again!
November: We stayed home and made crafts with the kids while they were sick with HFM and Philip missed a week of school while he recovered. We went to see Philip perform some adorable songs in his Thanksgiving Chapel, our first ever "school play" type of experience with our kids! Philip did great singing his songs and we were so proud of him. Phil had to work on Thanksgiving so the boys and I spent the morning together watching the parade and then I drove us to Phil's aunts house in Fairfax for Thanksgiving dinner which we spent with most of Phil's family. Phil was able to get away from work for a little while and joined us for dinner which was really nice. He got off work a little bit early and came back to spend the rest of the evening with us.
December: We picked out our Christmas tree from Meadows Farms here in town after changing our minds about going to cut one down at a farm. Maybe next year! Philip enjoyed the Christmas tree so much this year. He loved helping us decorate it and Andrew left it alone for the most part which was pretty shocking! This year, we adopted our elf Clark, who came to stay with us from early December until Santa's arrival Christmas Eve. The boys loved coming downstairs and trying to find him every morning. Philip really got into Christmas traditions this year. Every morning he helped put an ornament on our Christmas tree Advent calendar that Phil's mom made for us a couple of years ago. He loved helping make and decorate Christmas cookies. I went to Philip's school to help him make a gingerbread house which was a lot of fun. About ten minutes into it he realized that eating icing was way more fun than decorating so mommy may have done more than her share of the work, but it was still a great time. The next week, Philip had his Christmas Chapel which was just adorable with all of the preschoolers dressed up like sweet little angels. Phil couldn't go with us, but I managed to juggle wrangling Andrew and video taping like the Super Mom I am. :) We went to DC to see the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. We talked all month long about what he was going to tell Santa he wanted for Christmas ("the shark toy" "for Winnie the Pooh and Piglet to come to my house" and the "Christmas cars" for Andrew. Still not sure what those were). When it was time to go see Santa, the boys didn't cry, but they weren't overly happy either. We got a family picture with Santa in an effort to just have one shot where no one was screaming. On Christmas Eve, my mom, her boyfriend Ernie, my sister, and her boyfriend John came out to our house to visit with the boys and exchange presents. The next morning both boys were super excited to see all of the things that Santa had left for them and they had a great time opening presents and playing with toys, especially their Thomas the Train table and train set that was waiting for them to discover in the play room. Soon after opening his gifts, poor Philip started feeling under the weather and by nap time he was crying and saying his ear hurt. He was pretty out of it most of the day and so we passed a quiet Christmas day at home as a family with Philip taking frequent rests on the couch and in my arms. The next day we took both boys to the doctor and they were both diagnosed with colds and Philip with a double ear infection, our first ever in this house. He got started on antibiotics and didn't complain about his ear hurting again, thankfully. My dad, Melanie, and Sergio came out the following Wednesday and we had a spaghetti dinner and celebrated Christmas with them at our house. We had a nice time opening presents and watching Christmas Vacation together. Phil had to work New Year's Eve day and we decided we weren't going to wear ourselves out unnecessarily staying up until midnight so we had our champagne and went to bed at the normal time. It was great waking up refresh and not exhausted from staying up too late and it was still 2012 when we got up in the morning, despite not staying up until midnight to welcome in the year!
2011 was good to us and I have a feeling 2012 will be even better! I can't wait to see what the year has in store for us and I look forward to making more memories with my sweet family. :)