April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Jack was the first one up on Easter morning and was thrilled to see a trail of Easter eggs outside his room. He quickly found where the Easter Bunny had hidden his basket and eagerly began to pull out all of the goodies. He loves his new sippy cups, forks, books, and toothbrushes. Charlie woke up shortly after Jack, and I heard him squeal at the top of the stairs when he saw the egg trail leading downstairs. With Daddy's help, he collected the eggs that led him to his Easter basket. The look on his face when he discovered his basket was priceless. He has quite a sweet tooth, so his eyes were bugging out of his head as he opened each egg in his basket. The Easter Bunny even put dollar bills inside some of the eggs because he knows how much Charlie loves money.

Both boys were even more excited that we let them have a piece of candy before breakfast. Jack's expression was hilarious as he shoved the tiny piece in his mouth. He quickly tried to grab another piece and run away with it. Charlie stashed all of his candy and money into cups to display in the kitchen. We had to keep a close eye on him all morning so that he would not inhale all of his candy.

Later in the morning, we welcomed Mimi, Baba, and Uncle Adam for brunch and a second round of Easter baskets. There was more candy and goodies for both boys. Jack enjoyed the new books and a very cool light up egg, while Charlie fixated on the candy yet again. We are really going to have to find a good hiding place for the candy...this kid is obsessed.

After brunch, I insisted on trying to get a family photo. All of my boys moaned and groaned about it, but seriously, this momma needs pictures of her beautiful family. Of course it was a challenge to get everyone looking at the camera, smiling, and happy, but we managed to pull it off for the first time in a loooong time. See, it pays to be persistent!



































Easter Egg Hunt
































Yesterday we took both boys to the Roswell Easter Egg Hunt at Sweet Apple Elementary. It is a great event and had a huge turn out this year. Mimi and Baba joined us this year to help the boys find the perfect eggs.






The week leading up to the hunt, we practiced our egg hunting skills in the family room. Charlie seemed to be really excited about it this year, but when the mad rush for eggs began, he got a little scared. He recovered, but for the most part he was much more interested in eating the candy. Jack got the concept of putting the eggs in his basket right away, and he liked trying to put the broken eggs back together.






















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February 18, 2011

Ughhhh!

I am well aware that it has been a long time since I have blogged on a regular basis - since last year to be exact. Okay, I know it's only February, but seriously, the fact that I have not updated the blog gives me major anxiety for some reason. Mostly because I feel like I am going to forget a sweet moment that my family shared, and it will be lost forever because I was too busy to document it.

So, for those of you who have been wondering where we are, I promise we are still around. Life has been super busy in a wonderful way since the New Year, and the day-to-day craziness has caused me to become a little slack in terms of writing. In the next month, I plan to catch up on all of the blog posts that should have been written. I will be updating for January and February.

Tonight, however, is not the night. Instead, I am going to clean the kitchen floor, finish a load of laundry, wrap some birthday gifts, gaze a my sleeping babies, and turn in early on this Friday night.

Now that I have confessed my blogging sins, I feel better. Thanks for listening!

January 22, 2011

Jack is ONE!!!



Happy Birthday to our sweet, baby boy! Jack is one, and I can hardly believe it. He has grown and changed so much this year. Right now, he seems much more like a toddler considering he has been walking for seven weeks. He runs everywhere, and is so happy now that he can hang with the big dogs (Charlie and Samson). Jack has discovered a love for shaking his booty to the music and dances in circles with Charlie. It is hilarious watching him try to keep up with his big brother, and Charlie is taking very well to Jack being so mobile. Sure they have their rough moments, but I have to say they are really starting to get along very nicely and play together. Jack adores Charlie and laughs at him all the time. I love watching them together, and I know that it is only going to get better.
Jack is growing up so quickly. He weighed 21 lbs, 14 oz (25-50th percentile) and was 29.75 inches long (50th percentile) at his one year check up. The doctor said he looked perfect, and it was the first time I have not had any questions prepared for a well check up. It was such a welcome change from the first few months of Jack's life when it seemed like we lived at the pediatrician and all I had was questions. The happiest news I have to report is that Jack is completely off of his reflux meds. He was weaned off of the Prevacid by his GI specialist, and it is been about three weeks since his last dose. So far, there has not been one sign of reflux, and I can't tell you what a huge relief it is to be done worrying about Jack's belly.
This month, we have seen a big jump in Jack's cognitive ability. He is copying gestures and movements, pointing to what he wants or where he wants to go, and just getting so smart. I think he says "bye-bye" and "Dada", but it is not consistent enough for me to consider them his first words yet. Charlie did not say his first word until 15 months, so I am curious to see when Jack will start to talk. Jack loves to be read to and likes to flip through books. He reminds me of Charlie when he was one. They both love a good book. Jack is a happy little guy most of the time, but he is quick to let you know how he feels. Recently, he has taken to throwing himself back in protest or going limp in my arms when I try to move him away from something. He is a mama's boy, but he is also very independent. I have to keep my eyes glued on him, and I swear I have lost five pounds just since he started walking. I love watching his little personalty unfold.
In other news, Jack has cut his two bottom molars this month. He now has a grand total of ten teeth. His mouthful of teeth makes it easy to introduce him to all types of foods. He has gotten better about trying new foods but is still picky. He is not a fan of meat and only likes a few veggies (carrots and green beans). He loves fruit and is particularly fond of berries. Specifically, he loves blueberries. He starts to get excited as soon as he sees me take them out of the fridge. He loves his carbs and dairy, too. He'd be happy to live off of cheese and pasta. Both of my boys definitely inherited that from me. Jack is drinking whole milk from a bottle now. He is not taking to the sippy cup and usually tosses it around in protest. He also refuses to hold his own bottle. He is a head strong little bugger, and I can see power struggles in our future. Good thing he is so stinking cute!
This year has gone by faster than I could have ever imagined. Jack has gone from a tiny baby to a little person, and all the while I have fallen more and more in love with him. He stole my heart the second he was born, and I think he knows it. Every morning when I walk into his room and he flashes me a big grin, my heart skips a beat. He is my little love, and I am so blessed to be his mommy. Happy Birthday, Jack! Getting to know and love you this year has been a true gift. Mommy, Daddy, and Charlie love you very much!

January 21, 2011

A Love Letter

Dear Jack,

As I sit here on the eve of your first birthday, I am overwhelmed with emotion. It is so hard to believe that an entire year has gone by, and my baby has grown to be such a big boy.

Your presence in my life has filled a place in my heart that I never knew was empty. That's why it is so hard to believe that a year ago this night, I was terrified that I would not be able to love you enough. I have a confession to make, sweet Jack. It pains me to admit this, but before you were born, I was not sure that my heart could possibly love another baby boy as much as your brother. These feelings of doubt caused me great guilt and anxiety leading up to your birth.

But Jack, the most amazing thing happened the moment you were born. As soon as the nurse placed your tiny body in my arms, I was in love. It was love at first sight - the kind of love that makes you dizzy, takes your breath away, and leaves you longing for more. In that split second I wondered how I could have ever questioned my ability to care for you. I took one look at your beautiful face and knew that I was yours and you were mine for the rest of time. You had my heart and always will.

I was so smitten with you, that I had a hard time letting you out of my sight. You had to be taken to the nursery shortly after you were born for your first bath and in order to take your measurements. My heart ached at the idea of being without you for even a minute. Reluctantly, I passed you over to the nurse. In the hour we were apart, I must have asked about when we would be reunited a dozen times. Once I had you back, I had no intention of letting you go again.

During your first few days, you and I spent hours together just cuddling. I watched you sleep, played with your tiny fingers, listened to your squeaks, touched your delicate skin, kissed your head, and just studied every inch of your perfect little body. All that time, I fell more and more in love with you. Our time together during those first few days will always be among my most cherished memories.

Jack, you have been such a happy addition to our family. I can't imagine life without you in it. Thank you for all of the love you have shown me! Happy Birthday Eve, Little Love!

Love,
Mommy

December 25, 2010

Merry Merry

Christmas was extra special this year. Not only was it Jack's first Christmas, but it was also the first year that Charlie really understood the concept. We have been gearing up for the holiday all month by doing crafts and reading stories, and I could not wait to see Charlie's reaction on Christmas morning.

Our holiday traditions started on Christmas Eve with the baking and decorating of cookies for Santa. Charlie can be a great helper when he is in the right mood, however, this was not the case while decorating Christmas cookies. He managed to pull it together in the end, but phew, I thought Santa was going to have to miss out on cookies at our house. Of course, Charlie's favorite part was dumping sprinkles all over the cookies. I will be cleaning up nonpareils until next Christmas. Jack was a good helper, too. He volunteered to test a cookie to make sure it was good enough for St. Nick. After cookies we got the boys in their matching snowman pajamas (thanks Mimi), and read The Night Before Christmas. Charlie was definitely excited and kept saying that he thought he heard Santa. We let the boys open one present each and play for a little before it was off to bed.

On Christmas morning, Jack was the first to wake up as usual. We waited for Charlie to get up before we opened presents. The look on Charlie's face when he came down the stairs and saw his tool bench from Santa was priceless! He did not say anything but had a huge grin on his face. Both boys loved the tool bench so much that they kind of forgot about the other gifts. Next year, I think we will hide Santa's gift and wait until the very end to make the grand reveal. We eventually got around the rest of the gifts and stockings. Charlie was very appreciative of all of the new toys, and Jack was more interested in climbing the stairs and getting a hold of the video camera.
After presents and a yummy breakfast as a family, we got ready to visit with Nick's family. We ate Christmas lunch and then opened more presents than you could ever imagine. It's actually impressive how quickly we can open the mountain of gifts under the tree. The boys loved the gifts that they received, and I had a hard time trying to explain to Charlie that we needed to wait to get home before opening everything up. I caved and let him open one gift, his very own camera. He took our picture the entire 30 minute car ride home.
Once we got home, the boys took naps before round two with my family. Then, Mimi, Baba, and Uncle Adam came over for dinner and presents. The boys loved all of their gifts but spent most of their time playing with the kitchen that Mimi and Baba gave them. It was much like the tool bench, once they saw the kitchen, it was hard to divert their attention to anything else. After presents, we enjoyed a Christmas feast made with love by the fine people at Honey Baked Ham. My only contribution to the meal was steaming some asparagus.
After dinner, Charlie kept telling everyone that he was tired and that he wanted to go to bed (this NEVER happens). I knew we had had a busy day, but this was very out of character for Charlie. Turns out, Char was getting sick. At least he held out until the end of Christmas.
After my family left, we got our two exhausted boys ready for bed. Based on Charlie's comments, we thought he would pass out. But, a little Ibuprofen gave him a second wind. He was so excited about his new loot that he could not sleep. I ended up letting him get out of bed so that he could play for a little longer...hey, Christmas only comes once a year, right?
Our Christmas was amazing, and our boys received so many wonderful gifts and love from their family. We hope that all of our friends and extended family had a wonderful Christmas, too!
Here are just some of the 200 pictures I took. Click on the collage to enlarge.


December 23, 2010

Cabin Fever

The weather has been nasty, and the boys have had one illness after another, so playing outside has not been happening lately. A few weeks ago, I mentioned playing outside, and Charlie just about jumped out of his skin. I know that he must have some serious cabin fever, and the idea of going outside must sound amazing.

Right before Christmas, the weather was great. Nick happened to be home early on a beautiful afternoon, and he took Charlie out to play. He used the box from Jack's new headboard to pull Charlie up and down the large hill in front of our house. The look of pure joy on Charlie's face was so wonderful to see, and I am sure it helped give Nick the energy to pull him all over the front yard for about 30 minutes.




Gingerbread House



I bought a gingerbread house kit at Target and was so excited to put it together with Charlie. Unfortunately, Charlie was much more interested in eating the pieces of the kit than putting it together. He helped decorate the house for about two minutes, and then it became a battle to keep candy out of his mouth. I gave up trying to keep any sense of order to the decorating. I kept the control freak in me at bay, and let Charlie squirt frosting all over the house. It may not be a pretty gingerbread house, but it is truly the creation of a toddler.

December 22, 2010

Jack is 11 Months

Words can't even come close to describing the sense of shock that I am experiencing as I sit down to write this post. Jack, my baby boy, is now 11 months old! How in the world did that happen so quickly? My baby is almost one!

Jack's big accomplishment this month has been taking his first steps. Initially, he was very brave and could not wait to practice his new found skill. Then he face planted into my metal laundry basket, and he became a little hesitant. A few days ago, he really started choosing to walk over crawling. It is such a wonderful feeling watching him toddle all over the place. I absolutely love the drunken sailor look as he wobbles around. You can tell he is proud of himself, because there is a huge grin on his face every time he takes off. I am sure it helps that we are cheering for him each and every time. At the rate he is going, he is going to be running around the house during his birthday party.

In other big news, Jack is now sleeping through the night. I can't say that I have been able to fully appreciate this milestone since both boys have been sick, and Charlie has been waking up screaming recently. My hope for 2011 is that I will be able to sleep 8 hours uninterrupted. Wouldn't that be nice? Jack still wakes up early and usually rises about 2-3 hours before Charlie. Even though I hate getting up before the sun rises, I have to admit, I like my alone time with Jack. It is like the calm before the storm. We cuddle, eat breakfast together, and play until Charlie wakes up. Many times, he is going down for a nap when Charlie is waking up. He still naps three times a day, and I am just so ready for him to drop at least one of those naps. It just makes it so hard to do anything. He is one of those babies that thrives on his sleep schedule, and if we deviate from the norm, he lets us know.

Jack is learning new things every day. He mimics everything and can wave bye-bye, clap, and shake his head. I happen to believe that he is saying "bye-bye", but Nick thinks I am crazy. I'll have to post a video later so that you can decide for yourself. Jack is also starting to shake his little booty to the music just like his brother It is so fun watching him become a little person. He is definitely not shy about letting us know how he feels. If you tell him not to touch something, his first inclination is to move faster to get to the forbidden object. When you take something out of his hand, he gets a death grip and gives you the evil eye while refusing to let go. Changing his diaper has become a total struggle. He arches his back and writhes around and screams the entire time. My happy camper has a strong little personality, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for him.

December 20, 2010

Jack's New Do

Jack has been looking a little shaggy these days. He has so much more hair than Charlie did at this age, and it has just gotten out of control. His bed head is shocking! So, I decided that it was about time to go in for a hair cut. I had no idea what to expect, but I did not think it would be pretty. He does not sit still for very long, and he can't be bribed to sit still with lollipops and DVDs. I literally told the hairdresser to take off as much hair as possible before he flipped out. All of that worry was for nothing, because sweet Jack sat still munching on a Mum Mum and watching Elmo. He looked so stinking cute sitting in that chair. I wanted to cry when I saw my little baby with his big boy hairdo. But, I have to admit, it is a lot better than the Grandpa Munster hair he was sporting.