Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Little Guy is 1!

This past Monday was Jack's first birthday. I can't believe it's been a whole year since we met this sweet, sweet new baby:

It feels like the time has flown by but that we've known him forever at the same time.

Even though it felt like just another day for Jack, we had a great time on his birthday. My parents were in town to celebrate with us, and Jack loved having more people around to play with him. He and my dad spent a lot of time playing with blocks. Grandpa built them up, and Jack tore them down :).

My mom and Jack got some good snuggle time in each morning while I got to sleep in a little bit.

After Jack's morning nap, we opened presents since that is the peak of his mood and activity level during the day. He did a great job tearing the paper!

Jack really enjoyed all of his gifts, and we made sure to hide the last one before opening the next one so that he could focus on each individual gift.

Jonathan and I bought Jack the Howdy Cow. It's an inflatable cow that you can bounce on. He's a little young for it, but kids up to age 6 are supposed to get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Right now he pushes it over and sits on it trying to bounce even though his feet don't touch the ground.

After gifts we headed out to the beach so Jack could utilize his new walking skills in the sand. It was a little chilly, but he had a great time with his dad running out towards the water and splashing in the shallow part of the waves.

Jack is not even kind of afraid of the water. When you put him down, he was off! He looks a little bit like baby Frankenstein walking with his arms out :).

I ordered cupcakes for his birthday dessert. They were super cute, and the little medalion is made out of white chocolate.

Jack was not a huge fan of the cupcake. He tried a few bites, but he wasn't that interested.

He did munch on the white chocolate a little bit, though.

Even though Jack didn't want his cupcake, his mother is a cupcake fiend so I made sure to eat both of ours!

All the excitement and people in the house got Jack revved up, so he stayed up later than normal. We got one last family photo before the little man went to bed.

In the background is his new solar system mobile from Jonathan's friend, Chris.

The day after Jack's birthday we went to the doctor for his 1-year appointment. Here are the updated stats:

Height: 30.5 inches (75th percentile)

Weight: 22 lbs., 10 oz. (50th percentile)

Head Circumference: 18.1 inches (50th percentile)

It's amazing how he has almost tripled his weight in only one year!!

Recent Milestones:

Jack took his first steps on 11/8/11 and was officially walking on 11/9/11

He feeds himself food sometimes (yogurt bites, baby mum mums, etc.), but he also still likes to be fed and eat out of fruit and veggie puree packets

Jack says "hi, bye, doggy, Izzy, and dada"
He mimics pretty much everything that we do and our tone when we say words

He also mimics Izzy by growling when she growls

Jack dances to us singing, cds, commercials, and any other time he hears music

He is constantly pointing at things (trees, lights, fans, trucks, and buses are the top objects he points at)

Major Interests:

Jack could pretty much spend his entire day at the park playing in the sand, climbing, and coming down the slides

He loves the beach, and he flaps his arms when the waves come up to him

Jack's favorite book is 'Snuggle Puppy' by Sandra Boynton

Jack likes classic rock, Sandra Boynton storybook cds, and Baby Einstein classical music cds

His favorite shows to watch while I drink coffee and wake up are Little Einstein and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
He eats Baby Mum Mum Veggie sticks like they're going out of style

His favorite food is yogurt, both regular and frozen

Jack is super loving and stops in the middle of activities and walking to give hugs before continuing on with what he is doing

He loves shutting himself in our closet and going through our bathroom drawers

I think that covers all the major stuff. For those who don't get to see Jack all of the time, it's just a glimpse into who he is :).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Playing Catch Up- Halloween

I'm a little behind on posting, but I wanted to share some Halloween pictures of our cute little monkey.

Overall, we are not a huge Halloween-celebrating family, but we still wanted to get Jack into costume for his first Halloween. We had the best intentions this year to carve a pumpkin. We went to a pumpkin patch at Mariners Church to pick one out, but this is as far as we got with it:

It's more of a fun toy for Jack...haha. Oh well, maybe next year when Jack is a little bit more interested in pumpkin carving.

Jayne and Zack (my sister-in-law and newest brother-in-law), came out to visit us right before Halloweeen. Jayne captured this fun photo :). Jack looks less than amused.

On Halloween my Stroller Strides class had a play date after the workout where the kids dressed up in their costumes and trick-or-treated to all the strollers in a circle. Everyone brought little treats for the kids and moms. Jack had a great time, and he tolerated the costume really well even though it was a little warm outside. All the kids were so cute, and it was a great way to get toddler/baby friendly treats and stickers.

Instead of going door-to-door, we decided to go get frozen yogurt and just walk around the neighborhood to see all the older kids in their costumes. We still got our fill of candy on top of our frozen yogurt. Plus, Jack loves frozen yogurt, and he can't do much with the candy.

It actually turned out to be a great, relaxing night for the family. We're looking forward to next year when Jack will be running around the neighborhood screaming trick-or-treat at people.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

Each night I go to bed knowing that I have to get my rest for the following day, because this is what I do all day down the little billy goat that will not give up on the stairs. When we make eye contact, he laughs and takes off up the stairs so I can chase him. The plus to all this stair time is that he has figured out how to come down the stairs as well (feet first on his stomach). We still have to watch him carefully, though, because he also likes to come down face first every once in a while. I know you may be thinking 'why not just get a baby gate,' but it's a super wide staircase to find a gate for, and he loves the stairs!

I also spend a good portion of the day cleaning up this mess. Jack loves going into the cabinets, so we put child locks on most of them. We left this one open so that he had something to hunt in. Once he loses interest and crawls away, I clean it up. However, I don't think he wants it put away since he comes right back to mess it up again for fun.

My dad was in town last weekend for a business trip and stayed over for two nights. He and Jack had some fun at the mall's coy pond.

While at the mall we were looking at fall clothing for Jack. I couldn't help myself looking at all the cute kids' Halloween costumes :)

Jack and I were at the grocery store earlier this week, and they were handing out balloons for the kids. Thank goodness for this balloon, because it kept him occupied for our whole grocery trip. Usually I'm trying to keep him from trying to climb out of the cart or grabbing produce.

On occasion we are looking for new fun things to add to the nursery. I found these cute subliminal message pictures online, and then made a trip to Ikea with Jack where I found the perfect frames. This was a fun little DIY project that's hanging over his crib now. I was hoping Jack would get the hint about what we expect from him...jk :)

We had our first rainy, chilly day here in California in a while, and I was sooo excited. It made it feel like it's actually fall instead of forever summer. Jack and I got into our snuggly/comfy clothes, and Jack looked so cute all bundled up.

Today we took a family trip to the beach, and it was the perfect day. Low 70s and sunny with a nice breeze off the doesn't get much better. Jack enjoyed some time at the park right on the beach. He is a true lover of sand!

Jack and I braved the chaos of the older kids playing and crawled through one of the tubes on the playground, and we went down the slide.

Developmentally, Jack will walk with us holding just one of this hands now on a consistent basis. The other day my hand slipped out of his, and his momentum carried him forward for 2 steps on his own before he sat down and cried. So he's still a little apprehensive about the independent walking. His favorite finger food is the HappyBellies cheddar/carrot puffs that look like mini Cheetos and taste a little bit like the blander version of Cheetos. He loves to empty any drawer he can get to, especially the lower drawers in the bathrooms. And if you give him the opportunity, he darts for the toilet paper roll and tries to pull all of the toilet paper off and tear it into pieces. Oh, and he likes to play tug-of-war with Izzy's rope, but Izzy still does not want to play with him as much as he wants to play with her.

Fun Parenting Survey

I found this parenting survey while I was looking at this evening, and I thought I would share it. It's a fun way to reflect on life as a parent!

1. How long have you been a Mom? It will be 11 months in 6 more days!

2. How many children called you (or will call you) Mommy? 1

3. How old were you when you became a Mom? 26

4. How long were you in labor? 23 hours before a c-section

5. What's your favorite thing about being a mom? There are a ton of things to like, but I would say the special bond I have with Jack and he has with me that you can't understand until you experience it.

6. What's your least favorite thing about being a mom? Not being able to sleep in every once in a while and eating breakfast and lunch while standing up following Jack around.

7. Do you want more kids? Yes.

8. Do you plan on having more soon? Not really sure when.

9. Does daddy change diapers? Yes! Being the one who stays at home, my numbers are much higher, but he does change them when he's home. He changed far more than I did the first 2 weeks Jack was born.

10. How many times have you been peed on? I don't think I've ever been hit, and he's only peed once in front of me on the changing table. I think Jonathan got peed on once a long time ago. I did get pooped on once when I got in the bath tub with him...easy clean-up though!!

11. Barfed on? I've been spit up on a bunch, but I think I've only had him barf on me once.

12. Is your child named after anyone? His middle name is the same as Jonathan's middle name, and it's Jonathan's dad's name (Steven).

13. How did you come up with his name? We just spent several months throwing out a bunch of names, and Jackson was the one that stuck.

14. When your child gets in trouble, who is the bad guy? He doesn't really get in true trouble yet, but I'm thinking I'll probably be the bad guy.

15. And who is the good guy? It will probably be Jonathan, because he is more of a free spirit :)

16. What is the longest you have been away from your child? A couple hours.

17. Bedtime routine? Yes. We usually start turning all the loud distractions off and turn down the lights, diaper, pjs, book, bottle, and bed.

18. Are your toes painted? No...not a priority for me when I have free time :). I'll work on it, though.

19. Last movie you saw in the theatre? Iron Man 2 when I was in my 3rd trimester. I fell asleep sitting straight up with my mouth open for an hour during the loudest parts of the movie.

20. Last time you had a date? A month and a half ago when my parents were in town. We ran out to Target together for like 30 minutes 2 weeks ago when my dad was in town and Jack was sleeping for the night.

21. One thing you will not give up just because you're a mom? It's hard to think of something. I guess working out, but I just find things to do where I can bring Jack along like Stroller Strides classes.

22. One thing you did give up now that you're a mom? Working, which has its pros and cons.

23. Best mom perk? People are so nice to you, and they always smile at you when you're with your baby.

24. When he's napping, you are? Usually cleaning and/or showering.

25. If I could do it over, I'd do this differently. I wouldn't have let myself get so overwhelmed with the small stuff when Jack was first born, and I would have tried to enjoy things more. Difficult stages pass so quickly, and I try really hard just to be in the moment and enjoy it now.

26. What is the craziest thing you have said/done/taught since becoming a mom? Probably just making weird sounds and faces in public to keep him entertained.

27. What did you think would be different about being a parent? I thought that once your child started sleeping through the night, they would always sleep through the night. It has surprised me that things like teething, wanting to spend time with you, or other developmental things interrupt sleep as much as they do. Just when you think you'll be getting a full night's sleep all the time, babies throw a curve ball.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Play Time at the Park

Jack and I went to the park the other day for the first time for Jack to actually play instead of just watching other kids play...he's getting so big! Keeping Jack couped up in our condo all day makes both of us go a little bit nutty since he wants more space to move, and I spend my day keeping him safe from himself. Sometimes I get distracted by my to-do list around the house, but I knew I had to let the little man loose :).

The park in our neighborhood has about 4 different sections that get more and more advanced, so it's a great place for all ages. The smallest park area is probably best suited for new walkers, but Jack is old enough and has the abilities to play on some of the equipment. In the background of the first picture, you'll see some stairs that Jack was able to climb with a little assistance, and came down the slide on the other side holding my hands.
Jack was immediately drawn to the sandy area:

The desire to climb is definitely there. He already climbs everything he possibly can at home, and he made a few unsuccessful attempts at pulling himself up this:

Lately, Jack has been mimicking a lot of the stuff that we do and say. The other day Jonathan opened and closed his fist, and Jack did it right after him. I'll sing la-la-la-la to him, and he'll try to sing something similar back to me. So, while we were at the park, I was burying his feet in the sand. He would kick his feet out, and then he would bury his feet in the sand himself.

I've always loved spending time with Jack, but it gets more fun each day to do activities with him. He's such a funny and social baby, and it's great getting to know his personality better each day. I'm sure this was just the first of many days that I'll take him to the park to try to wear his little booty out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Grandma and Grandpa Came to California

As I mentioned before, my parents came out to visit about 2 weeks ago. Last time they were out here Jack couldn't quite roll over yet, so it was a big developmental change. The week prior to their visit my dad went down to Greenville, SC on a business trip, and he stopped by Clemson to revisit old memories of my time there. While there, he picked up a few Clemson shirts for Jack. Here's Jack and Grandpa in matching Clemson gear.

Jack got a chance to get some snuggles in with Grandpa after a long day of activities.

I got a little break from the day-to-day responsibilities such as feeding Jack, because Grandma was on it :).

We of course had to hit up the beach while they were in town. Jack loves watching the waves and putting his feet in the water.

And of course Jack had to get some snuggles in with Grandma too!
We are thankful for several new two-piece pajama sets that are super cute from Grandma and Grandpa. I'm sure you'll be seeing a few pictures on the blog in the future of him in his jammies. It was a great trip, and we hope to see them out here again in November.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Helper

Jack turned 10 months old on Wednesday, and I can't believe how fast the time went. He is turning into such a toddler instead of an infant. I am so tired at the end of the day now with all the energy that comes out of this small person. I pretty much eat breakfast and lunch while following him around our place, because he doesn't like to sit in one spot. Instead, he likes to push and walk behind anything he can get his hands on (his walker, toy bin, high chair, desk chair, ironing board, etc.), climb the stairs, destroy toilet paper in the get the picture :).
I swear he can hear the dishwasher opening from a mile away and rushes over to help. I was letting him play with the dishwasher while I cooked, but the other day I left the door down for him. When I turned around from the stove he was standing on top of the door trying to pull up onto the counter dangerous! (That's my mom in the to come about their visit).

As an infant, Jack didn't really like the vacuum cleaner. Things have changed, and now he loves to chase it. He was my little road block the other day while I was trying to vacuum the rug in the living room.

Due to this new level of busy-ness, we decided it was time to get serious on the baby proofing. Jack was of course there to help his dad put the locks on the cabinets and hand him tools.

Jack is very interested in walking now, and he wants you to hold his hands to help him walk everywhere. The other day I let go, and he stood there by himself for about 5 seconds before making a controlled fall onto his butt and crying. He did that twice, so I think the concept of standing by himself scared him a little bit.

Here he is walking in a shopping center courtyard:

After exerting a lot of energy, he passed out on a bike ride with Jonathan.

He recently got a new life vest from Jonathan's mom, and he finally let us put it on him. He was a little hesitant at first, but he had fun floating.

Enjoying the pool with his dad:

We've gotten Jack a few pairs of shoes recently since he's more interested in practicing walking holding onto us and various other things while we're out. When we first put this new pair on in the car, he liked playing with them like little toys.

Another fun gift is his new Jellycat Aardvark from my parents. We went out to get breakfast on a rainy day, and Jack stayed in his pjs with his stuffed animal on our outing.

Jack is much more involved in everything we do. No longer just a bystander in his baby carrier or stroller. He dipped his feet in the chilly waters, and he loves the waves!

One last thing I wanted to share...You may remember Jack's weiner lamp in his bedroom from nursery pictures before he was born.

Jonathan carried on the theme by painting Jack a weiner picture. He used a weiner dog stencil made from a picture on the internet to put together this cute little creation:

My parents came to visit us for a week recently, and I am going to do a post for that soon. Right now, there's a baby crying to get out of his crib :).