Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jack: 1 Year!

I'm a little late but I couldn't let the 1 year time pass without documenting what Jack has been up to. I am trying to figure out how I'm going to document my kids in the future. I make photo books, but I want to have a place I write things down too. It seems like the electronic method works well for me, but I also worry as they get older I won't want to write things so publicly. I enjoy sharing with friends and family, and I doubt anyone else is reading at this point but I don't like the idea that anyone could at any time... even in 20 years ha ha. So, if you know of any fun computer based ways to document, please share!

Jack turned 1 on November 22, 2017. It's hard to remember exactly what he was doing at that time, so I'll just talk about him now, which is pretty similar.

Jack loves to be out and about and watch everything happening around him. He loves to go for walks and happily sits in the stroller for long periods of time (unlike his brother!) His favorite kind of walk is when Max is standing on the stroller and he can watch him, but he will happily watch anything else going on. If he is in a crabby mood at home, going out and doing basically anything is the cure for him. Even at home, he is pretty easy. He can be clingy and like to be held some days, but mostly since learning how to crawl he has been happy to explore the house, take everything out of cabinets, unroll all of the toilet paper and systematically destroy all of Max's organization ;) 

Speaking of the brothers, they still get along reasonably well. Max still likes to take toys away from Jack and he gets mad most of the time, though sometimes he lets it slide. Jack is entertained by Max and could probably watch him all day. My favorite is when one of them laughs and then the other laughs and then the laughing goes back and forth. This happened for awhile the other day except they were both making fake farting noises and laughing. That's when I really knew I had 2 boys!

Jack has really slow played the walking thing. He took his first steps around 13 months, and a week or so later started really walking around. Just in this last week or so (13.5 months) he has decided to use walking to actually get around at least about half of the time. He is a bit wobbly, but he is really into it and even picks up things while he is walking and throws a basketball into the basketball hoop. Of course I'm already imagining he will be into sports when he gets older... who knows if I'll be right. His process of learning to walk was different than Max's. Jack learned to stand first and was doing that for quite awhile before he gained the courage to take a few steps. Now that he is walking, he is pretty confident about it. Just this morning he climbed up on Max's trampoline and started jumping on it. That didn't take long!

Jack continues to love listening to books. He will now pick up a book he likes and bring it over to me and say "eh?" which I interpret to mean, "read?" He loves some of his old favorites the Mirror Me book, Dear Zoo and some new favorites including a book I made for him with his favorite people in it, a touchy feely animal book, the Dada book and the Mama book. He is even willing to sit through some of Max's books sometimes. 

Jack's first birthday party was a lot of fun! We invited his grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousin. Max helped make the decorations and the cake. He handed out all the party hats, opened all of Jack's presents and helped blow out the candles. Max loves other people's birthdays even more than his own, so he was super happy about the whole thing. It seemed like Jack was too! He didn't mind at all when we sang "Happy Birthday!" I guess he's ready for his second year of life! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Jack: 11 Months

11 months?! Seriously cannot believe this guy will be a year old in a few weeks. It's funny, I remember thinking Max was so grown up at this age and so much like a "kid," but Jack doesn't seem grown up at all compared to the almost 4 year old Max. Perspective, I guess!

Jack continues to be on the move, pulling up on everything, standing up by himself (until he notices, and then he wants to sit down), crawling everywhere. He is starting to enjoy the neighborhood park, where he can climb up the stairs and slide down the slide by himself. Jack doesn't really want to slide down the slide normally, but going on his stomach is SO much fun! He also likes to go up the slide, particularly our indoor slide which he can climb up himself without socks. He also likes the swings too!

Also outside, Jack enjoys going for walks. He is happy to ride in the stroller (especially if Max is standing on back of the stroller) and also in the baby carrier. Recently he has had to wear his winter hat for a couple of walks and he doesn't seem too bothered by it. Crossing my fingers now this lasts all winter!

Inside the house Jack has some new interests too. His current obsession is playing "catch," which basically involves rolling the ball back and forth. He will even do it with Max, which is the cutest thing to watch.

Jack also enjoys helping with household chores including pulling wet clothes out of the washer and throwing them on the floor, climbing into the dishwasher and emptying the cabinets (what? you didn't know this was something that needed to be done?)

Though he throws a lot of food on the floor, he also enjoys helping "clean" it up by crawling around and eating things from the floor.

I've probably said this before because it seems to increase every month, but he is really starting to love books now. He continues to love his "Mirror Me" book (it's a Baby Einstein book with mirrors and animals in it!) If he's upset about something, I can simply pull that book out and he will smile and get super happy. He also enjoys reading: The I Love You Book and Doggy Kisses 123- both by Todd Parr, Llama Llama Trick or Treat, and Moo Ba La La La. 

Things Jack is not a fan of include: gates of all kind, mom and dad leaving the room or going upstairs without him, when someone is eating and it's not him, being tired and/or sick. 

The toughest part of this month was Jack's nursing strike/biting phase. That was not fun, especially for me. I had to exclusively pump for almost a week while we waited out that phase. I'm not sure what actually ended it, but I did stop giving him a bottle and only a cup so maybe that was it? Or maybe it was nothing, because baby :) He still bites me on occasion but at least he also eats, so we are aiming high over here. He also bit Max the other day because he was not letting him ring a bell on their firehouse and bit Caroline for no reason at all. We got off pretty easy with Max who wasn't a big biter so I'm sure that's something we will be dealing with this time! 

Likes: playing catch, listening to books, following his brother, climbing up and down stairs, laundry, naming all of the animals on the wall in his room (or should I say, having me name all the animals in his room while he touches each one), walks, the park, food, biting everything and everyone.
Dislikes: gates
Sleep: On a good day? 8pm to 7am overnight and then 2 naps an hour to hour and a half long. Lately? Random middle of the night or early morning screamfests and short naps. I think it's teething followed by a cold, but who really knows with babies?
Eating: 4x a day nursing, 4ish times a day eating solid food, still loves most food but also in the throw food on the ground phase. Current favorite foods include curry, bread with guac or peanut butter (not together, ha), crackers with peanut butter, raspberries, apples, peas, oatmeal.

Be back in a few weeks for a ONE YEAR post. Can't believe it!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jack: 9 and 10 Months

The months are flying by around here and I'm a little behind on documenting the months of Jack! 

Jack turned 9 months on August 22nd, measuring in at 27 inches (only 15th percentile!) and 19 lbs, 3 oz. Despite his love of food, he is still a little guy! 9 months was a big turning point for Jack because he began crawling around 8 1/2 months. Jack LOVES to move and that has made him (and his parents) a LOT happier because he doesn't have to wait for us to pick him up and walk around with him all day long. 

During his 9th month, he enjoyed his first trip to Nantucket and another first trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was a big fan of both trips, enjoying the ferry ride, visiting the Cisco Brewery (where he had to take a nap in a towel, ha) and swimming in the hotel pool in NH. He loves swimming as long as the water is warm!

Jack turned 10 months on September 22nd. This month he discovered climbing, up stairs, up slides, into cabinets, basically anywhere that it's possible to climb, he will. Jack is extremely unimpressed with the gate that we put at the bottom of the stairs. He cries hysterically when he notices it, especially if I try to run upstairs for some reason and close the gate.

This is great news for him since his number 1 life goal is to be able to do everything his brother can do, so each new thing he can learn leads him closer to that goal!

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. We love Jack. It's so much fun taking him anywhere because he loves being out and about and looking at everything. He is obsessed with drinking water, particularly if he can get his hands on one of our cups. He likes to take a sip and then say, "ahhhhh" as though it was the most delicious water he's ever had. I've tried very hard to get this on video, but he continues to know when he is being recorded and refuses to perform. 

Sleep: sleeping about 8pm to 7am, 2 naps per day at 9am and 1:30-2pm. Every few weeks his sleep will be interrupted I think due to teeth, but of course it's always a guessing game. He already has 8 teeth  and got his teeth much sooner and faster than Max. They also seem to bother him more. Or I'm getting better at decoding baby issues, also possible. 
Eat: Nursing 4x per day, eating solid food 3-4 times a day. Loves all fruit especially peaches, strawberries and raspberries. Still enjoys pickles. Unfortunately, still seems to be bothered by dairy.
Likes: eating, crawling, climbing, when you help him go down the stairs, watching his brother, the pool filled with balls in the playroom, swings, sliding down the slide on his belly...
Dislikes: getting new teeth, when mom or dad leaves the room, the gate at the bottom of the stairs...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jack: 8 Months + Max: 3.5 Years

Max had a half birthday the other day and Jack just turned 8 months so it's time for a post! We are having a pretty great summer over here, at least when I can get past the fact that everything takes way longer than it should, requires way more crap than it should and involves way more patience than it should, ha!

Jack had another big month- officially crawling around everywhere, mostly army crawling but that kid is fast I'll tell ya! Not surprisingly, crawling seems to have made him happier because now he can move around everywhere and steal all of Max's toys. Max is not amused about the toy stealing but he isn't holding a grudge and seems to love Jack more and more every day. But he will grab his toys back every time.

Jack is interested in EVERYTHING, he wants to touch everything and put everything in his mouth. While he is interested in toys (particularly Max's toys), he also really enjoys cords, red solo cups and our fireplace (obviously not on). He still watches everything Max does and loves if Max (or anyone else really) is being silly. Jack is not yet interested in books, other than eating them... which is always fun. There is literally no food he will not try (and enjoy). So far I think his favorites food is pickles, which is so funny because I have always hated pickles and give Eric mine, now Eric has competition.

He is doing a lot of babbling and laughing these days. He says ba ba, da da and most recently ma ma! Unlike his brother who LOVED (and still loves) being thrown up in the air, he gives a skeptical look whenever Eric tries. He likes the car more than his brother did at this age, but he is still not a good person to bring on a road trip. He doesn't sleep for that long in the car even if it's nap time (I think because he prefers to sleep on his tummy) and when he wakes up he will only give between 15 and 30 minutes or so before he starts to yell. Just like his brother, music helps, especially 90s rap and hip hop. Don't ask how we discovered this ;)

Likes: crawling, blowing raspberries, eating everything

Dislikes: when I'm in the room but someone else is holding him, staying still (especially if the car stops moving in traffic or at a red light)

Eating: at least 2 solid food meals a day (usually 1 fed to him and 1-2 he feeds himself), nursing 4-5 times a day ish... I don't really know since he's not really on a schedule

Sleeping: 8pm bedtime, wakes up around 7-7:30... sometimes sleeps through, sometimes cries randomly during the night...I really have no idea what this child is thinking half the time. Starting to transition down to 2 naps per day, one at about 9am and the other at about 1-2pm, most naps around 1-2 hours long.

See how happy this guy is at restaurants?

Jack's big brother Max is a pretty different kid than he was a year ago- or even six months ago! Unless tired or hungry, he handles transitions pretty well now. I think I went through about a month this spring where I typed a picture schedule for him on my phone, and eventually he just didn't even ask for it anymore but would leave the house without a big fight. Thankfully! Another huge change is how social and interested in other kids he has become! Yesterday we took him to a museum and there was a small, dark room with probably 10 loud kids in it. He went right in and was laughing and playing along with all of them. Hard to believe he's the same kid who told me last summer at library storytime, "there are too many kids here, let's go home!" A combination of these two changes made his first day at camp last week a smooth one. He will only go 2 or 3 days this summer but we just wanted him to remember the routine of school/camp so September isn't too hard!

But don't worry, not everything has changed with Max! He still loves ice cream and books, walks on his tip toes and owns every truck he could ever need. He loves to "fix" things, do puzzles (yay!) and go on adventures. Every night he asks, "where are we going to go tomorrow?" He is still unbelievably sweet and unbelievably stubborn, all at once.

His love for adventure seems to extend to amusement park rides. His current favorite is the ferris wheel that he got to ride at the town carnival. I don't think he's been on a ride he didn't love. He has become a bit more cautious about swimming. He doesn't want to jump in anymore and he requires a bit of pushing to actually put his head underwater. He also is a little hesitant about animals- he refused to touch a lobster on our boat ride the other day and he will only pet a dog with some prompting. He's interested in them though!

He still brings a ridiculous number of items to bed with him and sometimes even sleeps cuddling up with his helicopter ;)

He learned how to open the gate from his room so we took it off a month or so ago. Now he comes downstairs every morning with a new story that he has usually made up. He continues to love routine, especially his beloved 3 story bedtime routine, followed by hugs, pretending to be pillows and "sleeping together" for 5 minutes... though lately 5 minutes has changed each time from 1 minute to 100 minutes to the made up time of "twenty boohaken" minutes. Then, we stand at the door (or one of us depending on who is doing bedtime), he takes a sip of his water and hugs his doggies. Then Eric says, "see you tomorrow!" and he says "tomorrow is a home day!" and then we either say it is or "it might be a school day." Since it's summer now, he says "where are we going to go tomorrow?" and we usually tell him if we have a plan yet. Good times at our house between 7 and 8pm!

I could really go on forever about Max because he has such a personality these days. He has so many interests and fascinating things that he says, half the time we don't even know where he comes up with it. Yesterday I came downstairs and he randomly complimented my shirt. He is obsessed with states and says his favorite state is Texas and second favorite state is Maine. We will likely still be changing his diaper when he is 16. He has been interested in letters and numbers for over a year now, but he's now asking me what words say. He is SO enthusiastic about everything and that just makes it SO much fun to do things with him. He's possessive of his toys. He can be wild and crazy but he still really needs his down time- watching tv, reading books and playing by himself. He loves big kids. He is ALWAYS thinking.

Alright, that's enough for now. Can you tell I love these kids?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jack: 6 and 7 Months Old

I'm a little behind, but I want to make sure I write down all the exciting things happening with Jack these days! He turned 6 months old on May 22nd and 7 months old on June 22nd.

Since there are some benefits to being the second child, Jack got a cupcake celebration for his 1/2 birthday, mainly because we knew Max would love it (we were right, as seen below!)

A few days after Jack turned 6 months I decided he needed to learn how to fall asleep on his own. Before this the plan was he nurses to sleep, and I lower him slowly into the crib and hope for the best. More and more often the "best" was him waking up a little while later wondering where my boob was. The sleep training experience was anxiety inducing again, but not as terrible as it was with Max. Jack did not prove to have the flipping out stamina that Max had, thankfully. It was also nice that since I'm home with him during the day I was able to do naps at the same time, so he now can put himself to sleep at all times of day. This has resulted in a happier guy who is getting more sleep and a happier mom who doesn't spend hours every day just getting this kid to sleep.

Another huge 6 month milestone was starting to eat some solid food. We started giving him some oatmeal a few days before six months, and he was not a huge fan at first. I noticed quickly that he really enjoyed feeding himself. I had wanted to do baby led weaning with Max too, but the fear of choking made me too nervous to start his early. I was worried about it with Jack too but I pushed through and it turns out he just LOVES feeding himself so much. It's slightly easier for us too since we can all eat at the same time, although the clean up after may take as long as if we just fed him! So far he loves everything he has tried, so we are hopeful that he will be a better eater than his older brother. Some of his favorite foods so far include banana, peaches, sweet potato and broccoli. He also loves pizza, but what's not to love about pizza really?

Around 5-6 months I was trying to figure out if Jack had a milk protein allergy. I gave up dairy for a few weeks and was slowly adding it back in. The doctor basically just said to give Jack some dairy and see what happens. So far it seems like in small amounts he is okay but if I/he has a ton in one day it seems to make him spit up a lot the next day. Of course this is all just trial and error so we will be continuing to watch this. Luckily (fingers crossed), so far he hasn't had any other bad reactions and he's had eggs, peanut butter and a few other things that kids tend to be allergic to. Hopefully the dairy thing will get better as he gets older since it doesn't seem to be a full on allergy... we shall see.

As we moved more into 6.5 months, Jack learned how to sit up independently. Well, he may have been able to do it a few weeks before that but he just couldn't sit still long enough to sit. Even now he will sit for a bit, and then move into a crawling position and try to crawl. He can kind of scoot himself around right now so basically we have a mobile baby even though he's not full on crawling yet. I think watching Max he just really wants to GO!

Speaking of Max, he has become even more interested in Jack lately. He likes to give him hugs and play with him. He also likes to steal his toys. Interestingly, if Jack takes one of his toys, Max grabs it back immediately. It's so fun to watch them play and interact.

I may or may not have bought them some matching outfits for the summer. I just love these boys!

Likes: watching people (especially his brother and dad), eating, playing with toys, going for walks (either in the stroller or baby carrier- likes both), blowing raspberries
Dislikes: being tired, sitting still,
Eat: still not really on a schedule, usually eats around 7:30am, 11am, 3pm, and a few little snacks until 7:30pm his last feeding- solid food is TOTALLY random, just whenever we happen to be eating and he is awake and not otherwise involved in something else, lol #secondchildproblems
Sleep: 8pm to 6:30-7:30am, nap around 9am, 1pm and a cat nap later (or a normal nap later if one of those other naps were short because we were out)

We are looking forward to a fun summer together as a family. Hopefully Jack won't mind being dragged on many, many adventures! 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What I Love About My Kids Right Now (Jack: 5 Months, Max: 3 Years, 3 Months)

Being a Stay at Home Mom to kids that are my kids' ages is a tough job. There is no promised time off, not even at bedtime since Jack basically sleeps when I do. The last month or so has been particularly tough- both kids experiencing some sleeping issues and both kids being at hard ages for me.

But, I'm also super lucky to be spending this much time with them during these early years. So, here are some things I'm loving at them right now. Followed by some info about Jack since this will double as his 5 month post (see lack of time above).

*Max is thinking about things so carefully right now. You can literally see the wheels turning after you tell him something. He is starting to ask "why?" a lot, and verbalize what he is wondering about.

*Jack is figuring out the concept of Peeka Boo. I mean, is there anything more satisfying than playing this game with a baby? All you have to do is cover your face with your hand, remove your hand, and then you get HUGE adorable smiles and laughs. If all of life could be this easy...

*Max is learning how to explain his feelings/wants a little, "I want to stay home and play with you" and "I don't want Miss Amanda (swim teacher) to put my head underwater" (ha ha). Sometimes he even tries to explain Jack's feelings "I think Jack is sad!" or his peanut butter sandwich's feelings (in response to "how's your pb sandwich doing?") "it doesn't want to get squished by my mouth"

*Jack LOVES having his diaper changed which is incredibly refreshing since his brother does NOT (and if his brother would like to start using a toilet anytime now that would be great too). He literally smiles and giggles the entire time. I think he thinks it is a game.

*Max is obsessed with a schedule. After reading his report card and seeing that they do not experience any of the transition issues at school that we do at home, I started making him a visual schedule on my phone (in google drive) every morning. I started it just for mornings but he loves it so much that I now basically do his day. Now in the morning he will say "what is the schedule of what we are going to do?" Just like when Max was an infant and we started an eating schedule with him, I'm finding him to be better able to handle changes in routine when most things are expected for him. And bonus, now instead of fighting me to go for a walk he suggests it! Ha.

*Jack and Max love each other right now. I'm sure (or at least hopeful) they will always love each other. But, right now I don't think they are even slightly annoyed by each other. Jack wants to watch Max every chance he gets. Max likes being adored by his little brother and often gives him more toys than he can possibly handle at once (and also steals his toys- but even this is fine since Jack doesn't even get it yet). This morning one of the neighbor's car alarms went off and Max was like, "why is that truck waking up Jack?"  I'm enjoying these times since I'm sure there are years of bickering ahead!

*Max is beginning a new phase I like to call the ENTHUSIASM phase. He is literally jumping up and down excited about almost everything. It reminds me why I used to love teaching swim lessons to three year olds. We went to a birthday party on Saturday and he was jumping up and down excited about the bouncy house, decorate a cookie, make a bracelet (I got my first bracelet made for me and I'm telling you he worked HARD on that- fine motor skills are not his strong suit!), singing Happy Birthday, eating cake etc. He is also jump up and down excited about swimming, walking the woods, reading his schedule each day, and too many other things to list.

*Jack is in the that phase where he tries to put everything in his mouth. The best part of his phase is when you go to kiss him and he tries to eat your face.

Sleeping: struggling with bedtime a bit- usually goes to bed around 8:45 and then wakes up once or twice, then settles in for the night and sleeps until 7am

Eating: still snacking all day long

Likes: his exersaucer (obsession!), grabbing the elephant on his playmat, going for walks, anyone making faces at him, getting his diaper changed

Dislikes: sleeping without a swaddle, being tired or hungry, needing to burp (this has been a huge struggle this month, a lot of waking up because he has a burp!)

New Skills: rolling over both ways, grabbing everything and putting it in his mouth, grabbing his feet

Working On: still a battle to sleep without the swaddle- I've got him napping with 1 arm out and that's about all I can do. Say some prayers I can accomplish this by 6 months. And maybe teach him to put himself to sleep by then too... that's probably asking a lot!

*Update: in the week or so it's taken to actually finish this post I am making some good progress on the swaddle ha ha

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jack: 4 Months

Man, these months are really just flying by! I totally missed Jack's four month "birthday" last week because I didn't even know the real date. Whoops! Figured it out the next day when he had his 4 month doctors appointment and I was like, wait, is he four months already?

Jack had a good appointment- he is healthy, 24 1/2 inches and 14 lbs 2 ounces. He is the exact same height as his brother at the same age, but a full pound lighter. He is 20th percentile for both height and weight. He's a pretty little guy!

Jack is super alert these days and always looking at EVERYTHING. He continues to love his play mat, so last week I borrowed and bought used some more pay equipment for him including an exersaucer and a jumperoo. He is a big fan of the exersaucer so far, but still a little too short for the jumper to be fun. He will get there though. If he's not tired, he will play in the exersaucer for 10 or 15 minutes just looking at all the toys around him.

He's a pretty active kid, always moving his arms and feet. He likes to give hugs and cuddle, but only if the person trying to cuddle with him is walking around... he wants nothing to do with cuddling on the couch. He likes tummy time a lot more these days, and learned how to roll from tummy to back last weekend a couple of days after he turned 4 months.

I talked in the 3 month update about too small problems Jack was having: witching hour and refusing to let anyone else put him down for sleep at night. Both have improved! Both Eric and his mom have been able to get him to sleep the last two Saturday nights. This Saturday Eric will be braving both kids bedtimes alone while I'm at a bachelorette party. I think he can do it- and let's be honest, worst case everyone will just be crying and that's pretty similar to a usual get Max to school or swimming lesson morning in this house. Ha. We've made some good progress with witching hour too, though it depends on the night. I'm slowly moving Jack's bedtime earlier so that is eliminating some of the time. I've also just learned that the time after 7pm which was typically more of a time to relax after Max went to sleep is now an all hands on deck entertain and keep Jack happy time. Someday I'll get to relax again!

Likes: toys and entertainment, watching his brother, taking walks, "talking,"

Dislikes: still not a fan of waiting for his brother to get in the car (don't blame him- it takes forEVER), being tired

Eating: still a snacker- at the moment he usually eats a little bit right when he wakes up and right before his next nap/bed, on repeat throughout the day. I'm just starting to think about offering him both sides again and seeing if he's interested in eating a little more at a time now that's he's getting older. We shall see.

Sleeping: I'm not sure. He is still sleeping well most nights, but we've had some long bedtimes, random wake ups etc in the last few weeks. I know I probably need to break the nurse to sleep habit soon. I also need to get rid of the swaddle soon. I'm not sure what my plans are for all of this, so all I can say is that I hope by the 5 month update I'm not worried about this anymore- lol!