Thursday, January 2, 2014

Brothers and Some Final Catch-Up

I have just a few more pictures, and I think I will be 100% up-to-date on my blogging!  Jack and Owen continue to have more fun together now that Owen is becoming more capable of keeping up with Jack.  Owen is always trying to do the things Jack is doing whether it's climbing something at the park or going down a slide together.
They also both love to help their dad with projects.
We got Jack this orchestra toy from B. Yourself toys for Christmas that is really neat.  You can put up to 6 instruments in the middle, and it plays a song incorporating those 1-6 instruments you choose.  Jack has to play it at the kitchen table, because his little brother loves to come mess up his fun by grabbing and throwing pieces.  
It's so hard to get a picture of him when he decides he's not up for it, but he LOVES this hat and wears it whenever he can.  He picked it out himself when I gave him some choices while clothes shopping online.
 I just wanted to include this one, because he is so cute.  He looks very preppy.
We had our washer and dryer hooked up in the garage at our last place, and I never let Owen out there.  Now our laundry room is back inside the house, and he got a lot of enjoyment from watching the laundry spin in the washer.
 Ok, now I can start 2014 fresh and caught up :).

We Moved…Again and Christmas

We weren't able to do much decorating early on in the Christmas season since we moved on December 21st.  We did do our advent calendar, though, and Jack was pretty obsessed with it.  All he could think about most days was getting the piece of chocolate out.  Here he is telling Auntie Amy during her visit, "Maybe you can pick me up?!" so he could get his chocolate nugget as soon as he woke up.
Jack and Owen really liked Christmas lights, so we decided to hang some up as soon as we moved to build extra excitement about our new house.
Our second night in the house we put up the Christmas tree and hung ornaments once Owen went to sleep.  There were clusters of ornaments at Jack level, and he had such a great time being a part of the decorating.
As you may notice, we had a baby gate around the tree and all ornaments at least slightly elevated due to grabby 1- year old hands :).

The night before Christmas we made and decorated cookies for Santa.  We also peeled carrots for the reindeer.  Jack helped me write a letter to Santa telling him the food was for him and where to put the presents.  We placed everything on the kids' table next to the fireplace, and Jack turned the fireplace on to warm it up for Santa.  We told him we would turn it off before we went to bed so Santa didn't land in the fire.
The next morning when Jack woke up, all the cookies were gone except for one that had a bite out of it.  All of the carrots were gone except one that was nibbled on.  Santa left a note for Jack and Owen telling them how good they had been all year and that he would see them next year.

Both Jack and Owen had a fun morning opening gifts and playing with their new toys, books, games, etc.

That night we had a special Christmas dinner and decorated a Happy Birthday cake for baby Jesus.  One of my favorite memories of this entire Christmas season is that no matter how many times we told Jack about baby Jesus, he always called him baby Joey.  I laughed so hard I cried the first couple times he said it, because it was just too cute!  We decorated a cake saying "Happy Birthday Baby Joey" (with poor spacing on my part), and I took a picture so I could have a great memory of the sweet innocence and immediate faith Jack has for the story of the true meaning of Christmas.  Whenever he would play with his Fisher Price nativity scene or do a craft about the Christmas story at MOPS, he would always be so excited about baby Joey!

As far as our new home goes, we decided to move on up to a 3-bedroom instead of our previous 2-bedroom place.  We are so happy here and loving the new neighborhood.  We actually moved into a neighborhood where three girls from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group live, so we have friends very close by.

In even more exciting news, our move finally led to Owen sleeping through the night!!!!!!  This deserves about 100 exclamation marks, because he had not ever slept through the night…not even once…even on accident.  He always woke up at least one time per night, but usually closer to twice, and sometimes up to four times per night.  Our first night here on December 21st, at 13 months and 1 day old, he slept 12 straight hours.  I woke up the next day in shock, because I was preparing myself to do a bit of sleep training now that he wasn't sharing a room with Jack.  After that night, he has not only slept through the night, but he has slept 13-14 hours straight every night that we have lived here {knock on wood}.  I feel like an entirely different person.  I've not only gotten unbroken sleep, but I've gotten to sleep in!!  Jonathan says I look bright eyed again, and I'm back to being nice :).  I'm not sure what exactly changed besides just being in his own room.  Jonathan and I have analyzed what possibly could have caused such a drastic shift in his sleep patterns, but we also don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth. Yay for sleep!

Auntie Amy's Thanksgiving Visit plus Jack's 3-year Stats

Auntie Amy came to visit over Thanksgiving!  I didn't get a lot of pictures of her visit, but the boys had so much fun, and it was nice to spend the holiday with family.  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with steak on the grill, stuffed mushrooms, bacon wrapped dates, brussel sprouts roasted in bacon drippings, mini pumpkin pies, and various other little finger foods.  It was just a casual, delicious dinner.

Jonathan had to go on a short business trip during a portion of Amy's visit, and we had a great outing with the boys one of the nights.  We went over to the Irvine Spectrum Mall where the boys got to ride the carousel and train and play on the playground set.  We had dinner at Red Robin, and the boys loved the bottomless french fries with ranch dip and balloons at the end of dinner.  Both boys were so well-behaved, and we had a great evening!

I wanted to focus solely on Owen and his stats in his 1-year post, but Jack had his 3-year wellness visit the same day as Owen had his 1-year visit.  Jack's 3-year, 1-month stats are:

Height: 37 inches
Weight: 29.0 lbs.

He hasn't quite broken the 30 lb marker, but he's so close!!  Jack has an insane amount of energy, but he eats like a bird.  We have to fight the good fight to get him to each a satisfactory amount of food.  I just can't believe how little food such a busy person can survive on! 

Owen is 1!!!

Owen turned 1 a month and a half ago, so I'm happy to finally get his birthday pictures posted.  I am so glad I was able to stay consistent with the monthly photos over this first year, because I'm not always the best with following-through on this kind of thing.  It's so fun to be able to look back and see how much he has grown in the past year.  The craziest thing is looking at his hair when he was first born compared to now!  I never would have guessed a baby with dark brown hair would come out.  He's looking more like the rest of us blondie's these days, though :).  
Owen's birthday was particularly special to me, because it gave Jack a chance to love on his brother.    Jack wanted to be a part of putting together a family party for Owen.  Jack helped to make homemade cupcakes and frosting, and we decorated them in a firefighter theme.  He also made the sweetest card for Owen.  I drew the train, and Jack painted it.  I was writing "Happy Birthday Owen!" on the card, and Jack added "Because I love you" at the end of it.  At the very bottom of the card you can see where I wrote what Jack said, because it was so sweet.
Once Jonathan got home we had dinner and ate our cupcakes with the big '1' candle.  Every birthday party in our family brings out the birthday hats.
Owen and Jack also got some great gifts from Grammy and Grampy Nichols.  Jack got an alligator kids science project, Owen got the touch and feel books he likes, and they got some amazing space themed blankets and pillows for their rooms to add to the current space theme.  Jack went into a tearing frenzy opening the box full of presents.  He is a lover of presents, and he thinks every box that comes to our house is for him :).

We went to Owen's 1-year wellness visit on December 12, 2013, because he was sick for a few weeks with croup and another really bad cold that gave him some stomach issues.  We had gone to the doctor closer to his birthday for illnesses but waited on the wellness visit until he was healthy again.  His 1-year, 3 week stats are:

Height: 30.25 inches (50th percentile)
Weight: 20.0 lbs. (around 15th-20th percentile)

At one of his visits immediately after his birthday for croup, he was 19lbs, 6 oz.  He wasn't eating much at the time so I think he lost a few ounces.

Recent Milestones:

Owen took his first two steps on November 16th.  Every day he had moments where he would take 2-3 steps and then go back to crawling.  He most often does it when I'm not looking, and as soon as I see him he'll fall down into a crawl.  On December 15th we were at the park, and I turned around to reach for a tissue in my diaper bag.  When I turned back around he was walking across the park and took maybe 15 steps.  On January 1st he started walking around the house where he would let go of furniture and walk over to one of us, a toy, down the hall, etc.  So, he's not officially walking consistently yet, but he can definitely do it.  

He eats a lot, and he eats everything!  I am actually a little surprised that he doesn't weigh more, because it's not from a lack of eating.  He definitely eats more than Jack does at every meal.  I'll give him things from my plate thinking he probably won't like it but he can try it, and he usually likes it.  His usual breakfast is fruit, an egg scrambled in butter with cheese, and toast with butter and jam.  He usually eats whatever we eat for lunch and dinner.

He recently became interested in trying to feed himself with spoons and forks.  If I put food on his fork, he can pick it up and feed it to himself.

We have a hard time distinguishing specific words, but we are always saying to each other "I swear I just heard him say _____."  We know he says "car, pretty (when looking at Christmas lights), bath, pear, boo-burr (blueberries), and park."  We joke around and say boo-yah when Jack has done things like shoot a basketball, and we've heard Owen say 'boo-yah'  haha.

He loves to dance to all types of music.  We play the Wee Sing cds in our car, and you can hear him clapping to the music and laughing as soon as it comes on.

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

Major Interests:

Owen loves climbing everything!  He climbs onto the couch and over the sides of the couch, onto kitchen table chairs, on top of the kids table, up stairs, to the top of the playground equipment, etc.  If I turn my back for even a second he is on top of something.  We call him the 'danger ranger,' and Jack will run into a room shouting 'danger ranger, danger, ranger' to alert me to Owen climbing something he shouldn't be.

He loves taking baths and playing with bath toys.  We constantly have to tell him to sit down, but he loves the water.

Owen's favorite books are the touch and feel books.  The sticky pads on the frogs fingers in one of the books weirds him out a bit.  He always has a shocked look on his face.

The only way to get him to sit still for even a second in the house is to give him a snack trap with cheddar bunnies.  He'll sit on the couch eating them quietly.  His other top favorite snack is graham crackers, but he eats those on the move.

It's hard to pinpoint a favorite food, because he just loves food in general.  I would have to say his favorite foods are blueberries and pear.

Owen loves to destroy anything that Jack builds.  Owen can stack 3 blocks on his own, but he definitely finds more joy destroying towers.  Jack will be playing something, and Owen just comes over, arms swinging, and will wreak havoc. 

Owen is not a very cuddly baby, but we call him the buddy baby.  He doesn't want to give a lot of hugs or snuggle with you on the couch, but he likes to be held constantly and be a part of things.

He likes wrestling around with Jack.  They are going to be trouble together in the near future, because they love to rough house with each other already.  Jack uses some crazy brazilian ju jitsu looking moves on Owen, and Owen does superman leaps on top of Jack clawing at his face…all while giggling.

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

Joint Birthday Party with Grandma and Grandpa Brink

I am getting way behind in blogging, and it is time to catch up a bit!  We've had so much going on with the holiday season and 3 out of 4 family members having birthdays that it is difficult to to keep up and pick which pictures to post.  To start off, my parents came to visit from November 16-20th to celebrate Jack and Owen's birthdays.

The boys love having family around, because they get extra attention and there's always someone to play with.  In looking through these pictures, my mom was left out quite a bit.  She's coming back out while Jonathan's away at military training the end of this month, so I'm definitely going to have to capture some Grandma photos.  

There was a lot of snuggle time, park time, and probably too much birthday cake eaten by a few of us (my mom and I ate cake for breakfast one morning).  

We spent one day of their trip at Irvine Regional Park riding the train, going to the zoo, feeding ducks, and playing on the playground.

Jonathan was jogging across the playground in this picture, and Owen was loving it!
We had a joint birthday party over the weekend between Jack and Owen's birthdays.  My mom made a dirt and worms cake, and Jack got to have his first gummy worm.  
 Both boys got candles, and Jack took it upon himself to help Owen blow his out as well :).

There's something about seeing two grown men in party hats that brings a smile to my face.

Owen didn't create a crazy mess, but he did enjoy his piece of cake.  With Jonathan's birthday in October and Jack's the previous week, we didn't make it to his first birthday before giving him cake for the first time.  Owen is a foodie and gets disgruntled if you don't let him have what everyone else is having.  He's a veteran cake eater in this picture :).

On the last day of my parent's trip we went to the Irvine Spectrum mall where they have a ferris wheel, train, and carousel.  My mom got the pleasure of riding the train with the boys.
We're thankful for Grandma and Grandpa's visit and capturing some pictures that I know I'll love to look at when the boys are older.