Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall Fun

Here's Jackie at his second visit to the Pumpkin Patch. I'm guessing he doesn't remember much of his first visit, spent in the baby sling, asleep at just 6 weeks old. This year, the boy ran around, played in the dried corn, rode in the wagon, and sat among the pumpkins observing the bigger kids. Here are some photos to show the fun.

Here's a couple more photos-- first, of Jackie with Aunt Betty. Although he didn't want to be held by her, he loved on her a lot while she was here, even giving her like 10 kisses in a row when she left our house. I think she fell in love a little bit.

and here's my little one wrapped in a towel after his bath. I love that slippery worm!

and here's Jack with his big sis, playing babies together.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh, boy!

This one is a quick shout out to our baby cousin in IL-- a little boy who is getting bigger everyday in his mama's belly. We can't wait to meet you in the Spring! Jackie is going to love having a little partner to do daring things together, like climb up on stools when you're only 13 months old, etc...

Mazel Tov, Aunt D and Uncle Marty. We love you, we're excited with you, we miss you!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mostly September

Here's the family at the top of Dome Rock. Jack was glad to be tethered tightly to Mama up there, and I was glad to hold him securely on my hip, too!

Jack and Harper are becoming great buddies. The girl has always said that he's her best friend, but now that Jack is 100% mobile and talking more and more every day, they are playing more and more together. Here are a few photos documenting this deepening friendship.

(eating Dada's next-day Challah with butter, mmmmmm...)

Jack is a real family man. He's begun loving on baby dolls, giving them kisses, humming little lovey songs to the baby and rocking dollies, too. Here he is with Harper's famed "Haffie".

Although Harper's been the one up on the counter cooking with Daddy lately, Jack has absorbed some of the learning, too. Here he is whisking away.

Ever since Sue and MaryAnn's wedding a couple weeks ago, when Jack met his first horse (their "Class"), Jack loves to say "Neigh Neigh" to refer to horses. He's been so obsessed with horses that he began to call cows "neigh neigh"s, too. In an effort to correct his mislabel, we took a field trip with some buddies to the COS farm, where Jack met some real cows, sheep, pigs, a goat, and (to his delight) more horses. Here's the group: me and the kiddos, Chloe Clark, Cat and Jovie, and Erin and her boys. Grandma Arlene also came with us (she's taking the photo).

These shots show his joy. There was a bounce in his step, many smiles, signs, and animal sounds. He had a great time checking out the farm.

Jack loves being outside, and he really loved seeing the real, live animals that we've been reading about and mimicing in his board books. Here he is keeping up with the big boys.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jack is One!

Our good boy is getting big, and he's as curious and adventurous as ever.

He's trying to talk more and I wish I could replicate for you the sound little Jack makes when you ask him how old he is. He holds up the single finger and swallows the word "one". It's clearly in his throat. And since he turned one, this kid has turned some sort of corner and all of a sudden, he's a big boy. They say the official threshold from babyhood into toddlerdom is when the kid walks and that was a big change for us. But seriously, the birthday marked a major transition for Jack. He can basically run now, and he is just tons of fun. He fake reads, much like Harper did, but his is full of 'g' sounds rather than z's. He's beginning to follow directions (i.e. "Give to Mama", "Close the door", "Put it in the hamper.", "Don't touch!")and he's trying to mimic words more.

We made Jackie's 1 year old words list (all of the words he could communicate at his birthday, including spoken and signed words). Here's the official list(as far as we can recall right now), the asterisks mean signed words:

kitty cat, said and *
car (bbb)
all done *
owl (hoo hoo)
cow (moo moo)
sheep (aaa aaa)
flower *
Itsy Bitsy Spider (puts arms up to cue us to request it)*
Twinkle, Twinkle (opens and shuts hands to request it)*
one *
sing/song (sings)
pig *
yum (mmmm)
yay *
hot, said and *
grapes (gggg)
elephant (trumpets)
bye bye
boo, said and *
beep *
phone *
bonk a head *
knuckles *
high five *
cheers *
shake *
ear *
nose *
tongue *
eye *
hair *
hat *
blow a kiss *
light *
quiet *
loud (laaaa)
lion *
bite/eat (smacks lips)*
monkey *
baby *
talk-talk (while holding a phone)
"flap those wings" * (and makes wings' flapping sound)
crab *
silly *
cold * (and says "brr")
song/dance *

That's fifty four words. He is clearly a communicator and very involved in his world around him, but he cannot enunciate words very well yet and this is his biggest block toward acquiring more. He has a classic, ascending "uh?" sound that he uses often to get us to name things or answer whatever question in whatever context. Sometimes it means "hand that to me", sometimes it means "what's that?", sometimes it means "put on a song".

He's also a man of many faces. Here's some of our favorites that we've captured.
making the bbbbb sound, look at those lips! Ha!

rooting for Michael Phelps-- go USA!!!

doing snorty nose, the sign for flower

just the regular interested Jackie face

the upset Jack face

clapping after Uncle Marty played a song on the piano for him

Jackie adores his sister. He often gives hugs and kisses to the girl, but mostly prefers to initiate these lovey acts himself rather than have them pressed on him. When he isn't hip to the idea, he will swing his little arm to create some personal space for himself and say, "uh uh, uh uh!" This sometimes upsets the eager-to-"queeze" Harper, but she still says Jackie is her best friend, so it must not be too damaging. For as sensitive as Harper is, she has really done well rolling with Jack's babyness and they have more and more fun together all the time.

Here's Jack imitating Harper. I watched as Jack climbed up onto Harper's bed (he's quite a climber, that Jack), scoot over to the head of the bed to where girl usually sits, and pull out one of her books and pretend to read it. This is the way Jack first sees Harper every morning as we ALWAYS find her already awake, reading quietly to herself when we open her door to greet her. They say imitation is the best form of flattery...

Jack is still a Mama's boy. Here he is doing his regular lovey lean, typical of the after 7 P.M. hours.

Jack had two birthday parties: a family one and a friends one, what a lucky, loved guy. When my kids have birthdays and my house fills with the people I love, I get really grateful and happy. I am reminded every year at the end of the hot summer months that I am a part of a "village" that is remarkable. Such great, salt of the earth but simultaneously smart and sophisticated people. It's why we're still here in Visalia; we love our community. Here's a couple shots of the festivities.

And last, but not least, our boy got his first haircut yesterday. Here's a couple befores (it's getting pretty long-- looks like a rocker)...

during... (notice the red, wet face from crying... he wasn't stoked on this)

And... dum dum dum duuuuum... here are a couple after shots.

Special thanks to Erin Largoza for "cleaning up" his messy, hacked hair cut. I did my best, but it's thanks to Erin that the boy ended up cute. With two boys of her own (and a brand new baby girl, born yesterday), she's experienced and quite capable.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

11 months old!

Jack Jack is officially a walker! He is getting better and better all the time and can now walk across the room, pivot and turn himself 180 degrees and return. His only trouble is standing back up after he's fallen down. If he isn't near something he can pull up with, he will scoot his way to something. The result is that he's doing about 90% walking, 10% scooting these days. It is crazy how quickly the scooting/crawling phase is gone. I am going to miss his peculiar crawl-- that downhill skiier style pulling forward with his feet, dragging on his bottom. He's gotten fast at it, too! Those days are waning and as excited as I am about his new walking confidence, I am also savoring the scoots when he does them.

Here's one of the last looks at Jack doing his classic scoot.

Jack continues to be a super musical guy. He can't help but bounce to any rhythm (musical or not) that he hears. Last night we took Johnathan to dinner at Big Bubba's Bad BBQ restaurant and at some point toward the end of our meal, a rockin' song came on and two guys dressed in black did a routine of mostly popping and locking. Jack LOVED it; he bounced along and even turned around twice during it to smile proudly at Dad, as if to say, "Are you seeing this, too? Isn't this great?" Harper's about to start ballet, but we're thinking maybe Jack will be a dancer, too! Or maybe he's just very musical... he also sings a lot and even has a favorite song ("This is the Way We Get Up in the Morning" by Hap Palmer... curious thing that my two kids' first favorite songs were both by Hap Palmer-- he must have some sort of special baby appeal). That song has a lot of "ooooo"s, and Jack sings along with those parts, ooooing from his little car seat and bouncing wildly.

Meal time is definitely more finger foods lately, but he still eats some baby food (snuck in between his cracker bites, when his mouth sort of involuntarily opens in anticipation of his next bite). He doesn't eat as much thick or chunky stuff as Harper did at this age, but that is because he has half as many teeth! To keep him regular, he has some pureed prunes about every other day. Here he is with a prune mustache.

He still only has four teeth, but he's clearly working on the bottom two to flank the two in the center. His left is further along than his right... maybe he'll have six teeth by his birthday.

Jack communicates more and more as he gets bigger. He's definitely been focused on conquering the walking more than talking the past month, but he's also picked up a few words. Besides the things I've previously reported, he can do "cheers" with his sippy cup,

swing his arms for "monkey", open and close both sets of fingers together to make the pinching arms for "crab", hold a block or other object by his ear when I sing "I called you on the telephone", knock on surfaces when I sing "went to your house, knocked on the door...", splash in the bath when I tell him to, say "boo" when we play peekaboo, smack his lips to tell you he's hungry, direct his eyes at a person when you ask him, "Where's ________?" (He knows all of our families and most of our friends' names, apparently.) He's also pointing a lot more and makes it very clear that he wants something by pointing right at it, bouncing and vocalizing his impatience. The other day I showed him a few shapes with the wooden blocks: the square, the circle, the triangle, and the rectangle. I left many blocks out around him after I'd repeated it a couple times and then I asked him to put each shape in the box. He got them right about 90% of the time. I thought that was pretty good for not having the same kind of undivided lesson time that Harper used to enjoy. She learned her shapes right at age 1, so I definitely think Jackie is just as cognitively capable, but he's a different kind of guy.

Jack doesn't perform as much. He isn't as eager to please, much more internally motivated. However, he is definitely easily upset if he thinks he has displeased you! He knows the words "no", "don't", and "not post to" mean that he's done something he is not allowed to do and he will often burst into some crazy crying when he hears it. The result of that is that I don't like to see him so upset and I am tending to just divert or distract Jack from the things he can't/ shouldn't do.

The boy remains very lovey and enjoys giving kisses. Last night, Jack alternatively gave me and Ethan kisses-- back and forth between the two of us. He leans his head over on us when he feels tired or wants reassurance. Despite our attempts to put Jackie in his crib at night, he wakes pretty quickly and joins us in our bed. Knowing he's our last baby and having been through this before, E and I have more patience about things like sleep and we know he won't be in our bed forever. I am soaking in his babyness because already (little walker!) it's passing us by and someday I know I'll miss it.

Here's Jack giving Daddy his "bye bye" kiss in the morning as E leaves for work. Jackie always gets excited and gives kisses, says bye bye and waves to E. He even wants to follow Daddy outside and watch him until he's gone down the street each day.

Here's another lovey with Daddy picture. Look at that contented face.

And here's the boy with one of his best friends, Jovial Blair. We had the Blairs over for dinner the other night and it was funny that the two little ones looked like they were dressed for Sadie Hawkins dance... extra funny because after they said that, we remembered that I had taken Heath Blair to Sadie's in high school! Crazy.

Here's bathtime Jackie showing us his fish.

In preparation for his upcoming first birthday, the boy (quickly) learned how to answer the question "How old is Jack?" or "How old are you?" with the classic one finger point. It's charming!