Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jackson's Winter ONEderland

Love using Punchbowl for all my invite needs. 
We celebrated Jacky's birthday with family on Saturday at his Winter ONEderland.  I can't take credit for the theme idea, as it is all over Pinterest and Etsy, but I didn't copy any of the ideas in pulling it together.  I kept it really simple and extremely economical (which is a big deal for me- I spend way too much on parties).  A trip to the craft store a couple weeks after Christmas and burrowing Christmas decor from my mom and MIL kept the cost low for me this time around.
I decided to keep everything white and woodsy after finding the white snow birds, snowball garland, and snow at the craft store.  For Jackson's cake display I found this great large piece of wood in my backyard and used my wood burning tool to write Happy 1st Birthday Jacky.  Love how it turned out.  And with my MIL bringing the cakes all I did was buy some donut holes for the snow balls and popped some white cheddar kettle corn for the treats.  Super simple.
For dinner I made two crock pot soups I found on interest.  Broccoli cheddar and chicken tortilla.  I was nervous because I hadn't made either before, but luckily they turned out yummy.
This year we decided to make a donation to Operation Smile in lieu of a present for Jacky (see invite above).  They are a great organization who travels around the world fixing cleft lips and cleft palettes for children who would otherwise never be able to have this corrective surgery.  We donated the cost of an entire surgery and it warms my heart to know that somewhere out there another little one now has a beautiful smile like my sweet Jackson.  I like to think of him as a chubby one-year-old boy like Jacky.  We asked friends and family to donate in lieu of a present too.  And we are so blessed that not only did they make a generous donation, but they also still brought sweet presents for Jackson.  Present opening was a family affair as big brother, Ben and cousin, Dylan opened all of Jackson's presents for him.  It was a little hectic as they both tore into the presents.  Luckily I did catch everything in the chaos and who brought what.  Jackson just hung out in the background playing with boxes and wrapping paper.
Atop Jackson's smash cake sat a very stubborn sparkler, which caused us some trouble to light, but once we had it lit, Jackson's eyes lit up.  He was all smiles again while his family sang to him the now familiar song.  Unfortunately he suddenly reached out and touched the sparkler.  He didn't cry but got a super cute pouty face.  After a moment of cooling his hand down in some water, he was 100%.  Sweets aren't really his forte.  He prefers savory and bitter over sweet and sour.  So after just a couple licks of frosting, he was done with his cake.  So no cute cake covered baby at our party.  Maybe next year?
Overall just a super melo and relaxed celebration with family.
The party was over by seven and after a little playtime with his new toys Jackson let us know that he was ready for bed.  My party's over and I can cry if I want to!  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How we celebrated the big day

The morning of Jackson's birthday started off with a FaceTime call with Daddy so we could all wake up Jackson singing Happy Birthday!  He was all smiles the whole song, staring at his daddy on the phone.  His birthday was on Friday, which means preschool day for Ben.  So Jacky and I spent the morning running a few errands, which included lastly a trip to the donut store.  We had two of Ben's (and Jacky's) buddies over for a little b-day celebration, since they weren't able to make his party on Saturday.  After lunch we sang happy birthday to Jackson and Ben helped him blow out the candle to his donut cake.  Upon leaving Beau informed me that the party was boring!  Hey it wasn't the real deal kid give me a break. : )
Jacky looks like such a big kid in this pic.

After a good nap and after daddy got home we headed to GG's cake shop (have I mentioned that my mother-in-law opened up a Nothing Bundt Cakes store?)   We started this tradition with Ben's birthday this year and I think it will be such a fun memory over the years.  What can be better than visiting your grandma's very own cake shop on your birthday.  We got there right as the store was closing so Alisa was able to join us for a yummy dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then we walked back to the shop to sing Happy Birthday once again to a cute platter of animal bundtinis.  Reminded me of a carousel.  Such a fun, simple family day to celebrate our little cutie turning one.  The next day we celebrated with even more family at Jackson's Winter ONEderland (post to follow). 

Jackson Turns One

So it happened.  My baby turned one on Friday.  We were all so excited for this big milestone for our Jacky that when the day came I was just so happy for my big boy that it wasn't as bitter sweet as I was anticipating it to be.  It does make me sad that his first year flew by so quickly, but I am just loving this stage with him right now.  He is gaining so much personality and is just a joy to have around every day.  No new teeth to report this month, just a little thing called walking!  And yes he took his first steps (other than the step and a half he took prior) while at my parents house when I had the flu.  Little stinker.  He did make sure to promptly come home and show me his new trick.  So I forgave him.  He usually takes about four steps at a time, but has walked the entire length of the living room a few times. He is very sturdy but gets super hesitant and nervous after a few steps and just sits down.  He definitely still prefers crawling to walking, but should be up walking around full time in no time.  I love it when he does walk because he is so dang smiley.  He knows its a big deal and that he is hot stuff.
While he is still such a good baby, he is getting feistier by the day.  He no longer just lets his big brother have his way with him and screams really loud at him if he's bugging him.  He doesn't throw tantrums  and continuously scream, pout, or throw himself down on the floor or anything, but just yells really loud one big scream at a time until Ben gets the memo.  He also can be super rough and tough with Ben.  He pushes him away if he wants him to back off and kicks him in the back when Ben sits on the front of his stroller.  I think the day will come soon when he will really be able to hold his own with Ben.
Jackson is such an explorer and spends his days wondering around the house.  We have to make sure all the bathroom doors are closed at all times.  He's very good at playing on his own already and plays very well with his own toys and Ben's toys.  Ben has never been good at playing with his toys, especially independently- so this is a great thing.  I love now how he is old enough to play with Ben in his room while I'm getting dinner ready.  It's fun to already see them playing together and to imagine the future of them together.  Such cute brothers.
We are still pretty much keeping to the awesome schedule Jackson has carved out for himself.  7 pm bedtime and 8 am wake up call.  Almost to the dot.  He is such a moose now and eats both a whole wheat waffle and a jar of oatmeal baby food for breakfast.  He then drinks a bottle shortly after that.  Lunch now is usually a pb&j or leftover pasta and fruit (pureed, still not a fan of fresh chopped fruit).  A bottle for 1 pm nap, which usually lasts for three hours.  For dinner he eats usually a protein jar of baby food and then table feeds from our dinner.  And then yogurt for dessert and one last bottle for bedtime.  With lots of snacks in between.  Such a good eater this kid.  We have made the transition from formula to whole milk and he has taken it like a champ.  Now to start the transition from bottle to sippy cup.  He does drink sometimes from a sippy, but I need to do better about giving him both milk and water every day in his cup.
Jackson is always happy and content.  And if he's not you can fix that in a second by either a) giving him some food, or b) putting him to bed.  Nobody can make him laugh as much as his big brother, Ben and he reserves his biggest smiles for his daddy.  His eyes light up when he sees Daddy, as if at the moment he sees him he remembers him all over again and thinks to himself: yeah, where has that guy been all day?  While his mommy might always be around and not get the same excited smiles, he certainly is a mommy's boy.  His first word was dada, and second was baba, but mama- his third word- is his most used.  He says it all day long.  Music to my ears.  We couldn't be more blessed to have had Jackson Thomas join our family just over a year ago.  We love you Baby Jacky!  We can't wait to see what year two holds.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ten and Eleven Months

Well I did it again.  I got way behind in Jacky's monthly posts.  Now we are ten days out from his first birthday, which don't get me started on how crazy that is, so I better post about his tenth and eleventh month of life.  I had to just reread my last post to see where he was with things then and not much has changed, but at the same time he has changed a lot.  He's still crawling around everywhere, but no longer drops down to the army crawl.  He has become very fast and can disappear from my sight very quickly.  Don't worry we keep the bathroom doors closed.  Learned that lesson after he unrolled three rolls of toilet paper, and caught him dipping his hands in the toilet once.  He is so close to walking but is pretty nervous about it.  He can stand for a good ten seconds or so and doesn't just fall down, but rather he gets nervous and sits down.  When we try to see if he will walk from James to me or vice versa he just gets so excited that his upper body takes off before his legs do.  I'm just fine with my crawler for now.  I know that with walking comes running and this kid is already fast enough.
Jackson now has eight teeth and they have all come in without any pain (except for the first two).  He puts those teeth to very good use and almost exclusively table feeds now.  He eats whatever we are eating and chews up meat like a pro with his all front teeth.  He is such an awesome eater.  He is not picky what so ever and he loves to eat.  While he still does snack some, he sits for four solid meals a day- breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert (yogurt).  The only thing he refuses right now is chopped fruit.  Although he will eat pureed fruits, but if I give him a small piece of strawberry, grape, banana, apple, etc. he reacts as though I just tried to feed him brussel sprouts or something.  He makes the craziest face and spits it right out.  He's really not much into sweets.  I guess he has developed a taste for the savory and bitter foods.  I'm not complaining though because he still gets lots of fruits right now with his purees and fruit yogurt combos, so I'll work on it.  Because he eats so much he has been growing like a weed.  I'm not sure what his measurements are now but he measured in the 97% for height and high 50% for weight back at his nine month check up.  He is wearing mostly 18-24 month clothing already and his feet are getting crazy chunky.  I have a lot of shoes that while they are still way to big length wise, I can barely stuff his fat feet into them.  I just hope I don't have to start buying st Stride Ride for this kid because he has a lot of cute hand me downs from Ben and his cousin Dylan. His vocabulary currently consists of baa baa, mom mom, and da da.  He says ba ba the most and calls out mom mom when he's whiny.  And his latest tricks consist of growling when you ask him what a monster says, and when you ask him to do his trick he brings his fingers to his mouth to babble.  He also shakes his head yes when you ask him if he's cute.  Smart kid.
I have to brag once again that I hit the jack pot in the sleeping department.  Jackson sleeps a whopping thirteen hours a night from 7 pm to 8 am just about on the dot.  And he still takes a 2-3 hour nap.  He just loves him some sleep.  He is always so happy and willing to lay down in his crib for naps or for the night.  I think his crib is his happy place.  And he is still such a dang happy baby.  I think its all the sleep.  The only time he ever whines or acts cranky whatsoever is if he's hungry or sleepy.  Period.  Although he does get annoyed or irritated every now and again.  And its always with his big brother.  Now he takes a lot from Ben.  He loves to wrestle around with him and can be quite tough himself, but sometimes that big brother can get to him.  He can get to all of us Jackson.  But boy or those two cute with each other.  Ben is always making Jackson laugh and still almost always wants Jackson around.  They already play fairly well together and can just play in Ben's room for a while together.  Jackson's play mainly involves pulling or dumping things out of drawers, buckets, etc.  All I do if he's grown bored playing with whatever toys I have out for him is put them back into the basket I brought them out in, and then he finds interest again taking them back out.  If he's not being tickled by his big brother or rummaging through drawers, Jackson is off crawling somewhere in the house.  He is very independent and just goes off by himself exploring (i.e. getting into trouble).  He still can care the least bit about my scolding him and doesn't respond well to the word no.  He is a super tough kid like I already said.  I cannot tell you how many times I have caught that kid smashing his fingers in the garbage can lid or his toy truck and he is barely moaning in complaint.  He's not my cuddle bug by any means.  He'd rather be down playing then just sitting in my arms.  So I cherish the times when he's either sleepy or asleep and will lay in my arms.  He LOVES to take my glasses off my face.  And finally, finally yesterday he started giving kisses.  Big open mouthed ones accompanied by a loud "muah!" sound.  Love them.  Love him.  I simply cannot believe that my baby is going to be one.  I honestly can't believe how fast this year has gone.  I don't want the day to come.  But I'm excited to throw my winter baby his very own Winter ONEderland! birthday party on the Saturday after his birthday.    

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tahoe Trip

We had set plans to go to Tahoe for New Years for quite a while and Ben was so excited about it.  He'd comment when it was raining here, "good that means there is lots of snow in Tahoe."  He told me that "I was all set for Tahoe," after picking out my present with his Daddy, which he paid for with his own money (a pair of cute gloves).  And he was excited to get a lot of new snow gear for Christmas from us and from his GG.  And what a great trip we had.  We headed up on New Years Eve at around 10.  Best part.  We hit no traffic.  As soon as we got there I bundled the kids up in their snow clothes and we trekked out into the snow.  Of course like any smart parent I asked Ben if he needed to go potty before I got him in all his clothes.  He insisted he didn't have to.  Well guess what happened five minutes after we got outside.  Yes, of course he had to go!  Jackson enjoyed sitting in the snow, but of course couldn't interact much with it.  His hands were hidden somewhere beneath his over sized gloves. He did not like it anymore once some snow got onto his bare legs (his snow suit was a little too short for him so the booties didn't cover his feet).  That was his one and only time in the snow for the trip.  Ben however kept suiting up and venturing outside.  He was completely satisfied with the sorta sledding he did around the cabin, and didn't even complain that we didn't actually "go" sledding.  Next time.
Around 7 that night we drove the couple miles to North Star Resort to check out the New Years Eve festivities.  It was pretty freezing cold, but we were all pretty bundled.  I kept worrying about Jackson being cold, but he was probably the warmest of all of us.  There was a band playing, ice skating, and an announcement that fireworks would be at nine.  Score.  It was an amazing show.  Better than the fourth of July.  So fun to see the large evergreen trees and glistening white hills as the fireworks lit up the night sky.  
Mostly we just relaxed, played a few games, ate some yummy food, and hung out.  Cabin trips are the best kind of trips because you don't feel the need to really do anything.  Ben and I did attempt to go to the Tahoe Tessie Museum (tale of the cousin of the Loch Ness Monster or something).  After we parked and walked around for about five minutes around the location my iPhone said the museum should be at, we decided to go into a little shop to ask about it.  Turns out it was torn down some time ago.  SO we got Ben an awesome pair of bear mittens, which he rocked to his first day back to school today.  
Overall another great Tahoe trip.  It is so fun to have relatives with a beautiful cabin in Tahoe because I know that the memories will keep coming.  We hope to get up there once or twice before winter ends.  And soon my Ben will be hitting the slopes with his little cousin Dylan.  So fun.  
This gorgeous view never gets old.