Friday, December 30, 2016

21 observations at 21 months

1: Most often heard from Luke this month "I do!  I do!"
2: Still an avid reader and delighted in his new book Planes Go from Santa
3: Loves to do puzzles and will happily sit, dump, complete, repeat!
4: Is super into songs, is a cute little dancer, and has turned our nursing sessions into Karaoke sessions, stopping to request "Tinkle, Tinkle" multiple times
5: Can sing the words to "Tinkle Tinkle" Little Star
6: Other favorite songs: Oh Christmas Tree and We Wish You a Merry Christmas - these songs were heard A LOT during our 7 hour Christmas drive to North Alabama
7: His eczema is responding well to Cerave (steroid free) cream and I'm grateful for the recommendation!
8: He was 27 lbs at his 21 month visit, 3 POUNDS(!) less than Jack was at that age but 3 ounces more than Cora
9: He still sucks his thumb and loves him some blankie - his teachers call him Linus

10: He loves doggies and "meows" and benefits from the fact that his aunts have dogs
11: Jacob has been heard saying "I just don't want him to grow up" and we both continue to get doses of peace in our life from this sweet baby and we are so grateful for his presence in our family.

12: Jack and Cora were generous gift givers to him for Christmas. Cora made him pictures and bought him a fruit bar with her own money. Jack built his name out of LEGOs and wrapped up some of his old toys.

13: Luke got a new chair from Grammy/Big Papa for Christmas and an ukulele from MeeMaw that were both big hits
Jack and Luke reading in Luke's new armchair
14: Luke didn't express much interest in present opening. He opted to nap during Christmas at MeeMaws and on Christmas morning.
15: He still loves and needs sleep and I feel like I deprived him of some needed sleep over break but after one day of him napping 10-1 and then being awake while Cora/Jack rested, I said "this does not a restful holiday break make :)"
16: He's too young to sit through church which he showed us on both Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services. Three kids in church is hard y'all!
17: We love talking to him. He has the sweetest way of responding "Yeah" when you ask him questions and he also likes to direct you by saying "Dat Way". We still think everything he says is adorable. He's an antidote to older children :)
18: But he's no angel. He's eaten a blue stamp, unrolled toilet paper, unspurled floss, dumped copious amounts of crayons, poured out our jar of cloves (multiple times) and other exciting exploits this last month.

19: He's learning a lot in his small little class and can "count" to 20 and "say" his ABCs with some skipping. The best part of it is his sweet little baby voice :)
20: He loves to play outside and to draw/paint.

21: He's blond, blue eyed, and oh-so soft and we all love him very much :)

Annual Celebration in the Oaks visit

Independent: climbs the rope barrier to find a comfortable spot under the lights

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Lucky # 7

Wow. This growing up bit is some real crazy stuff! I tried a little exercise this week of looking at Jack and trying to connect his big boy self to my memories of his brand new baby self or the little guy I see in the pictures on my wall. It was hard if not impossible.

First, let me document that Jack's 7th birthday had some definite mood swings, grumpiness, and rude behavior. How charming. He'd been planning for days to stay up until 8:38 p.m., his official moment of birth. Well by 8:33 p.m., I was torn between wanting to yell him up to bed "right now!" and not wanting any part of sending my birthday boy to bed in tears. We held out and the day ended well. In fact, I was snuggling with him and Cora in a twin bed (something we are definitely past as we could hardly fit) and Jack whispered in my ear "I love you.  I'm sorry I was kinda rude today." Bells chimed! My sweet boy! It all ended so well! But the happy ending was brief as the rudeness was back the next morning. 

How do I describe Jack at 7?

He's our earliest riser. 

He almost always enters our room in the morning with a book in hand.  He usually also has his clothes in hand as he knows the routine and can be counted on to follow it. He may grumble, but he's our rule follower child. 

Those clothes will NOT have any buttons on them or else he will be stomping in and full on snarling at us. "I hate buttons.  I will NOT wear buttons" are things we've heard often. On his "rage" list at school buttons was near the top.

Buttons can be negotiated for Sundays and very special occasions only
He asks to have the biggest bowl of oatmeal in the morning and is always open to eating more. I think he'd probably always be eating if we didn't set limits.

That's not an exaggeration. When out of close supervision + under lenient rules at his birthday play date, he ate somewhere between 7-9 satsumas + 2 grilled cheeses + dessert.

He's a hard working first grader known for his passion for a topic. He loves to read and is very independent according to his teacher, happy to follow his own interests. He loves getting to work on an iPad at school and likes to share work with us through the SeeSaw app.

At Big Papa and Grammy's house, he discovered the newspaper.
Numbers come easily to him and he gets great practice at adding during his solo football games in the driveway. He is always up to go outside and play two teams in his head, running back and forward, intercepting, passing, kicking field goals and bursting inside to update me on the score.

He's a football aficionado and has an impressive knack for recounting stats. He loves to watch full football games on the weekend but he doesn't like to cheer for the home team. Meaning he cheers for whoever the Saints are playing.

He's always interested in having me or Jacob play with him. First born. Soccer, chess, Monopoly, or football? Want to play? *For the record, I have designated Jacob as the chess player. I prefer driveway soccer and Monopoly.
I made him baseball figures for his birthday present.
In the car, Jack loves to have headphones on and be listening to a book on CD. Recent favorites have been Mary Poppins, Bunnicula!, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, and Peter Pan.

We have an orange tree in bloom. Could life be any better for Jack?

It is World War Jack &Cora. We have resorted to a sticker chart to try to draw attention to the need to be both more agreeable and more kind to our sibling. In week 1, Jack earned 17 stickers for being agreeable....and 1 for being kind to Cora. Cora was right there with him: 14 for being agreeable and 1 for being kind to Jack. That about sums things up.
A reading detente
Jack is a voracious reader. He goes through several chapter books a week and starts and ends his days reading. He's read the full Magic Tree House and A to Z Mystery series and many Jake Maddox sports books. He worked through the first 9 chapters of Harry Potter before putting that very difficult book aside for now. He's reading his third Who Was/Is... biography and I sense a new series match. He still loves to have a Reading Party (ending the day with a pile of books in our bed and the chance to both read and be read to.)

He's been a major confessor to me this fall. There was a period where I felt like his priest as he seemed to feel the need to share every thought he'd had and nudge he'd given throughout the day. A friend helped remind me how special this was and I do love how close we are and how much he trusts me.

Medically, his heart is great and he's overall a healthy guy. His struggle these past 2 years has been his sinuses. We are switching to a new ENT to see if we can figure out a way to clear up his constant congestion.

Jack is smart, sensitive, curious, focused, passionate, energetic, and hopefully will still be willing to be my baby for quite a while longer.

Luke is lucky to have Jack as his big brother.
I hope # 7 gives you the luckiest, happiest year yet buddy.