Friday, November 15, 2013

Jack's Birthday Survey- 3 years old

I've seen some sites where people do the same survey with their kids each year starting at 3 years old, and I thought it was a cute idea.

These are his verbatim answers (my interpretation is red):

1. What is your favorite color?  Red
2. What is your favorite toy?  Basketball
3. What is your favorite fruit?  Apple & Banana
4. What is your favorite tv show?  Curious George & Max and Ruby
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Apple and Banana again
6. What is your favorite outfit?  A red one
7. What is your favorite game?  Soccer
8. What is your favorite snack?  Graham Cracker
9. What is your favorite animal?  Moo.  Cow.
10. What is your favorite song?  The Do Da Song  (Old McDonald)
11. What is your favorite book?  Olivia
12. Who is your best friend?  My daddy
13. What is your favorite breakfast?  Apple
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Backyard  (He just likes to play on our back porch)
15. What is your favorite drink?  Apple Juice
16. What is your favorite holiday?  Birthday Party
17. What do you like to take to bed with you?  My Blanket  (I'm shocked he didn't say his dog)
18. What are you good at?  Soccer.  Kick!!
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?  Cado  (Avocado)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Big

Jack is 3!

Jack turned 3 yesterday, and we were so excited about his birthday since he loves birthday parties.  The morning before his birthday I asked him what special thing was the next day and he said, "My birthday party!!!"  We started his birthday off with chocolate chip pancakes, apple juice, and fruit...all his favorite breakfast items.  After Owen woke up from his morning nap we went over to the mall.  I bought him one of his gifts, we had lunch, rode the carousel, and I bought him a chicken balloon.  Jack had a hard time deciding on what animal he wanted, because they had dinosaurs, zebras, giraffes, miniature dachshunds, and a bunch of other funny animals.  He kept changing his mind, so I steered him in the chicken direction, because he loves making chicken sounds.  He ran through the mall with it shouting, "cock-a-do, cock-a-doodle-do!"
We did facetime with my mom, and I just had to share this photo!  She wore a special hat to say Happy Birthday :).  Jack also was excited to open their birthday card that afternoon, because he loves opening mail.  He took the liberty of opening one of Jonathan's birthday cards last month while I was in another room.
That evening we had Jack's birthday party.  I chose a meal that I knew he would eat so that we didn't have to have any dinner time battles over food and could just enjoy ourselves.  We had chicken tacos with guacamole, shredded cheese, and fresh pico de gallo.  Jack jumped right up to the table to start spooning food onto his plate, so I was so happy he was excited about the dinner.  We even got some birthday plates to make it a little special.  

After dinner Jonathan took Jack and Owen on a walk around the block so that I could do a little decorating for cupcake and presents time.  I hung up streamers he could run through into the kitchen, put some balloons on his chair, set up the cupcakes with his '3' candle, and put his presents on the table.  When he got home he was so excited to run through the streamers and sit in his seat for a cupcake.  The Happy Birthday song was an improvement from last year.  Last year he cried really hard the entire song.  This year he just looked down and wouldn't make eye contact with us :).
One of the many things I love about Jack is that he really loves every present he gets.  He doesn't open a gift and throw it to the side quickly to move on to more presents.  He always plays with each gift before opening the next.  He's a fun person to give gifts to.  

He kicked his soccer ball all over the house the whole evening.  He also played his woof, woof guitar.
Jonathan's friend, Chris, got Jack another puzzle similar to the transportation puzzle he is obsessed with.  Jack and Jonathan put together the puzzle, and Jack was excited to show me the finished product.  He is a true puzzle lover.
His actual birthday is over now, but the celebration will continue through the weekend.  Grammy and Grampy Nichols' gift is on it's way, Chris is getting him something else, and my parents come in town tomorrow to have a fun birthday weekend for both Jack and Owen.  Owen's birthday is on Wednesday, so we have a lot more celebrating to do!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Halloween with our Pirate and Pumpkin

I'm getting to this post late, but I wanted to get it posted before Jack and Owen's birthdays!  We had such a fun week leading up to Halloween with how excited Jack was.  Jack wanted to watch any cartoon with a Halloween theme, particularly the Halloween Curious George 1-hour special.  I heard "Halloween Curious George?" asking to watch it more times than I can count.  We also did some fun Halloween crafts.  I posted the spider hand print craft on the last post, which are still hanging on our window, but we did a few others as well.  Jonathan and Jack painted a mason jar with a pumpkin face on it (can't really see it in the picture) and put a candle inside for our kitchen window.  Jack and I painted the small pumpkins that we got at Tanaka Farms.  
I found the idea for a toddler Halloween wreath on pinterest, and Jack had a great time with this craft Halloween morning.  I wrapped the wreath in this orange tape-like material that Jonathan had in the garage and bought Halloween stickers and ribbon for Jack to put on it.  It was a super easy craft, and Jack loves anything with stickers.  The wreath has since been pulled apart by Jack and the stickers have been stuck on our sliding glass door frame outside on the patio.
The night before Halloween Jack and Jonathan did some pumpkin carving.  Here is Jack with the finished product:
Jack chose his costume this year, and he chose to be a pirate.  It's fun that he is at an age where he has an opinion on it...opinions start young :).  Owen was a pumpkin, and a cute one at that.  It is so hard to get a picture of them where someone isn't moving.
We were a little nervous Jack wouldn't put his costume on for Halloween, because he refused to try it on in the days leading up to Halloween.  It was pretty easy to get him to put it on that night with the promise of chocolate!
Jonathan told me when we got the pumpkin costume in the mail that it swayed more towards girly, but I thought he was crazy and it was 100% unisex.  Well, little Owen was mistaken for a girl at about 6-7 houses.  We were asked "her" name and if "she" wanted candy, so I guess Jonathan was right :).  I stand by my pumpkin costume choice, because he was just too cute!
Both last year and this year we started at our neighbor's house to get a feel for how to trick-or-treat.  I have a pretty much identical picture (minus the presence of Owen) from last Halloween :).
I was the photographer for the night while Jonathan went up to the doors, but I did get one picture of me with the pumpkin:
I've never been big on Halloween, but it is definitely a lot more exciting when you have kids.  It's just fun seeing how excited they are and dressing them up!

Friday, October 25, 2013

11-Month Update and Jonathan's 32!

Owen turned 11-months old this past Sunday.  It's so hard to believe it's almost been a year since he was born, because it seriously feels like yesterday.  He was a good participant this time for his 11-month photo:  
Owen is very busy, and he's trying to keep up with his older brother the best he can.  He's always crawling behind people following them around the house.  On Monday 10/21/13 he stood in the middle of a room all by himself for a good 8-10 seconds.  That same day he also held on to my pinky with one hand and walked next to me, so he's coming close to walking.  Owen's other cute 'trick' is that he loves to give high 5s.  If you say high 5 and hold your hand up, he knows exactly what to do and laughs while doing it.  

It's so fun to see how different Jack and Owen are at the same age...truly different personalities.  Owen is more clingy where Jack was always trying to get away from me at this age.  Jack is also a very visual person who likes colors, etc., and Owen is very tactile.  Owen LOVES the texture books.  In the collage below he was just sitting in the corner quietly feeling the different textures in a book.  
These pictures were just two that I thought were so cute.  I had to wake him up from a nap one morning to go to MOPS, and I found him sleeping with his little blankie in his mouth.  He didn't even wake up when the flash went off.
Jack and Owen have been playing together much more often.  I'll be in the kitchen and hear them out in the play area giggling with each other.  It's nice they have someone to play with when I have stuff to do around the house.  Even when I hear them talking/laughing in their room early in the morning, you can't be too irritate that one woke the other since it's just so cute to listen to.
In this picture Jack asked me to put Owen next to him and take a picture:
Both boys love their dad, and they both try to capitalize on the weekends and evenings with him.  
We've had some great family outings recently.  Both boys love riding in the BOB with drinks and snacks, and you can't beat the scenery in Laguna Beach.
We got a rare family picture on top of Laguna Canyon overlooking the ocean.  
Jonathan and Jack did the same hike a week earlier by themselves, and Jack had a great time with his dad exploring little cave areas and just having one-on-one time.
Jack has been REALLY excited for Halloween this year.  He always tells us how much he loves Halloween, and he likes anything Halloween themed (ie cartoons, decorations at stores, crafts, etc.).  It was a hot day so we had a short, but fun trip to Tanaka Farms to get pumpkins.  We got a bunch of tiny pumpkins and two big pumpkins to do some carving and decorating.
We've been doing some Halloween-themed crafts.  I sewed the seams, but Jack glued on the face for the bat puppet.  Jonathan and Jack made some kleenex ghosts, strung them together, and hung them up.  We also did hand print spiders and glued on some googly eyes.  I'm not the craftiest person, but I have a few more things planned since he loves it so much...thank you pinterest :).
Jonathan's birthday was this past Monday, and Jack LOVES birthdays and birthday parties.  We spent the day while Jonathan was at work decorating our kitchen, making a special birthday card, and shopping for and preparing a big meal with cake at the end.  Jack also insisted on party hats, of course.

This is a random picture, but Jack really likes balloons.  Jonathan bought him a balloon when they were at the grocery store a couple weeks ago, and he said it was his 'friend.'  He tried to bring him to bed with him two different nights, so we had to have Jack 'put the balloon to bed in the pack 'n play before going to his own bed.  Here's Jack watching tv with his 'friend.'
I have had to find ways to keep Jack busy during Owen's morning nap, because if Jack is bored he goes a little bit bonkers in the house and turns mildly destructive.  I know he's bored when he starts throwing toys around, turning couch cushions, or smashing things :).  He loves 'helping' so I've tried to get him involved with baking/cooking and housework.  
We're looking forward to Halloween and the rest of the holiday season since Jack is so excited about everything and loves party prep.  I'm most excited for Jack and Owen's birthdays next month!  

Monday, September 23, 2013

10-Month Update

Owen turned 10-months old on Saturday, and it is definitely getting much harder to take a picture of him in our usual spot.  I didn't get a chance to take his picture until right before he went to bed, so he looks a bit sleepy.  
Owen's development seems to be rapidly changing by the day.  He now cruises around using anything to hold onto including kitchen cabinets, furniture, grabbing onto our legs, etc.  He loves standing and moving around the house.  He's been commando crawling the past few months, but he transitioned to a standard crawl on 9/14/13.  I think he finally figured out he could move around faster if he crawled the normal way.  This past week we started standing him up, making sure he was stable, and then letting go.  He can actually stand on his own without holding onto anything for about 5 seconds.  
We brought out the walker for our little cruiser, and he's starting to get used to it.  Sometimes it gets moving a little quick for him and he falls, but each day he gets better with it.  He can walk slowly across the room now taking very careful steps.
I've taken a few random pictures of Owen and myself recently.  The bottom pictures are two of our recent EARLY mornings.  This past Thursday night/Friday morning he woke up 4 times throughout the night and woke up for the day at 4:15am ready to play.  Thankfully the past 2 nights he has only woken up once, so it's not a consistent thing.
Jack and Owen are becoming more and more like buddies as Owen gets older.  They make each other laugh all the time, and with a little bit of guidance for Jack on sharing they can have fun playing with toys next to each other.  
They started sharing a room two weeks ago, and it is actually going really well.  I was really nervous about it, but their ability to tune the other one out is pretty amazing.  Jack normally doesn't even wake up when Owen cries at night.  There was one night where I let Owen cry for 10 minutes two different times since he was waking up so much that night, and Jack didn't even move.  If Jack does wake up he will just look at me, roll back over, and go to sleep.  There has only been one time the first night that Jack cried when I came in, but he stopped and went to sleep when I walked out.  Jack goes to bed after Owen, and Jack likes to talk and play in his bed before falling asleep.  I thought this would be a huge issue, but Owen rarely wakes up and just goes right back to sleep if he does wake up.  Jack will sometimes talk pretty loud and talk to Owen, but Owen sleeps right through it!  The hardest thing to coordinate is naps, because they have to go down at the same time for it to work.  If they aren't ready for naps at the same time I just do alternating naps, but we have had successful co-napping days!  Overall it is working great, and it is so nice to have our room back.

Jack is turning 3 in the next two months, and his abilities and interests amaze me every day.  He is a lover of pretty much any mode of transportation, and we went to a birthday party a little over a week ago at Waste Management.  Jack got to wear a hard hat and vest and sit in a garbage truck, which he was really excited about.  The party favor was a mini garbage truck that he sleeps with most nights now.
Jack's attention span for games/activities is getting really good.  He loves playing a Dr. Seuss matching game, and his memory is pretty amazing.  He is also obsessed with playing Candy Land.  I don't even know how many times a day he asks us to play.  It's become our nightly activity after Owen goes to sleep.  He gets really excited about the colors and is good with taking turns.  I included a picture of him with his sunglasses on below, because it makes me laugh every time he wears them.  He tells me he needs his sunglasses so he doesn't get sun in his eyes.
I've been trying to get Jack outside even more lately so he's tired at night and won't stay up talking in his bed too late.  We've had fun with chalk on our front walkway, the patio, and the garage.  We've also gone to our neighborhood bike park a lot.  Jack is getting so much better on his balance bike, and he's super cute with his helmet.  We have also been building a lot of forts with couch cushions.  We've gotten pretty elaborate with them, and he loves taking his flashlight in.
About 9-months ago I let Jack use the tiny cart at Trader Joe's, and it really just did not go well.  I decided that I would give it another try recently, and the difference 9-months makes is amazing.  He was such a good helper!  He follows directions on where to go and what to grab, and he didn't get in the way of other shoppers.  He also doesn't grab at things he's not supposed to.  When we got up to the line, I went to the credit card pad, and he stayed back to hand the cashier each of the items out of his cart one-by-one.  It was so cute!
I think those are most of the highlights from the past month.  I'm excited that fall has begun with some good activities planned and MOPS is getting ready to start.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

9-Month Update and Some Catch-Up

Owen turned 9-months old yesterday, and he had his 9-month wellness visit today.  I couldn't choose the cutest picture yet again, so here is his 9-month photo collage:
Here he is at his doctor visit today:
The 9-months stats:
Weight- 17 lbs., 14 oz. (25th percentile)
Height- 28 inches (50th percentile)
Head Circumference- 45 cm/17.7 inches (50th percentile)

So, his body type is now like his older brother's measurements...long and lean :).

Owen is really on the move this past month.  He moves from room to room, he climbs up to the train table, he climbs under the island in the kitchen and the coffee table, and he tries to go outside on the porch to play with Jack.  He's very busy!
He's still only commando crawling.  He'll get up on his hands and knees like the picture above with the ball and lunge forward with one knee, but then he decides the commando crawl is just quicker I guess.  Jack was the exact same way, so I guess it's just their preferred mode of movement.  I like to give him the chance to try things out, within safe limits of course, so the picture below is one of his first attempts trying to come off the landing.  He struggled there for about 15 seconds and managed to get down.  He's a champ at it now, so practice makes perfect. 
This month he learned how to go from his stomach into a seated position on his own.  He started off using furniture, the landing, and toys to get up.  He also goes from the seated position back down to his stomach so he can move around the house.
Owen also learned how to pull-up into a standing position on 8/11/13.  He's very excited about it!
We practiced in the crib to start off with, and he started off making it this far:
The thing that finally helped him perfect his ability to pull-up was his obsession with the train table.  He is like a baby Godzilla with it, but he could seriously stand next to it  He just bangs the pieces on the table, destroys the set up, and eats all the pieces, but he loves it.
Now he just pulls up to play and leans against it for support.  He lets go with both hands to play with the tracks.
Just yesterday morning he started pulling up onto the toy storage unit and trying to scoot along grabbing what is on top of the shelf.
Owen is a lover of food!!  He'll eat just about anything, but his favorite foods are pear, cantaloupe, blueberries, plum, watermelon, avocado, green beans, and carrots and sweet potatoes cooked in bone broth.  He also likes chicken, egg yolk scramble with cheddar cheese, and salmon!  He fully feeds himself, so if I want him to eat yogurt or something like that I just dip little finger foods in the yogurt.  You can maybe get one spoonful of something in his mouth before he just knocks it away and won't open his mouth anymore.
We've been doing the signs for 'more' and 'all done' so he can communicate with us.  Just this week we realized he knows it.  Jonathan had an ice cream cone and gave him a taste this past Saturday, and Owen kept giving the sign for 'more' and grunting until Jonathan gave him another taste.  Ice cream really brings out the best in everyone :).

The only other major milestone I can think of is he started to do a wave hello on 8/7/13, but it's not really consistent.  

I wanted to include these two cute pictures of him in his pajamas.  Don't let this cute face fool you that he is an amazing, sweet sleeper.  He is still waking up at least once per night, but usually twice.  We had a four day streak where he was going to sleep at about 7:30 or 7:45pm, waking up at about 4am, and then waking for the day around 8:15am.  The past few days he has been back to twice a night, around 1:30 or 2am and again at around 5am.  I will say, though, he sleeps about 12 to 13 hours total.  
I think the longest stretch of sleep I've personally gotten since he's been born, since we obviously don't go to bed at 7:30pm, is about 5 hours at best...sigh.  

Anyway, we have been having a fun summer with beautiful weather.  This summer has been much more temperate than last summer's unusually hot days.  Owen loves swinging:
And Jack loves climbing:
Jack has been in love with sand for the past couple of weeks and digging for 'treasure.'  I mentioned above that Owen will eat anything, and that includes sand.  I spend a good deal of our time knocking sand out of his hand as he tries to throw it at his mouth before I can get to him.  His few times successfully getting it into his mouth have not deterred him.
It's fun seeing Jack and Owen play next to each other and thinking about how it's not too far in the future that they actually play together.
Before Owen started eating solids I didn't really make Jack sit at the table for lunch, but now that Owen eats at the same time it has been really nice to spend lunch with both of them.  We turn on Pandora, dance a little bit in our seats, and eat lunch.  For some reason simple lunches together remind me how lucky I am that I get to stay home with both of them.
After lunch I now have two helpers in the kitchen while I clean up.
There are two things that happened this month that I want to get into the blog for memory sake.  Last month was my birthday, and Jack gets really excited about birthdays and birthday parties now.  He is still telling me happy birthday almost a month later :).  We did a little family birthday party at home, mostly for Jack.  Jack and Jonathan got balloons, beaded necklaces (Jack's choice), party hats, and candles from Party City.  4 of the 6 balloons popped on a palm tree on the way out of the store, but 2 made it home haha.  Jonathan also got me red velvet cupcakes from my favorite cupcake place here.  I would definitely say my 29th birthday was the best I've had so far celebrating with my boys.
The other thing to mention is Jack's most recent dentist appointment.  We tried to watch a Peppa Pig cartoon about going to the dentist, but alas, he's still petrified.  Here he is before the major meltdown when the dentist came in.  
Owen started screaming because Jack was screaming.  He was probably like 'what terrible thing is happening here!'  haha.  The dentist said it's a 50/50 chance if kids let him do a cleaning at this age.  He said the majority of kids like the dentist by 4-years old.  The dentist just looked at his teeth and did a fluoride treatment.  Maybe a cleaning next time.