Sunday, December 12, 2010

30 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,

I missed your monthly post day due to work, but it is only a day late. Maybe it will give you some consolation to know that I received this message in my email today:

We're totally ready for Christmas! The house is decorated to the point that your Aunt Gagi would be proud! The tree is gorgeous; the mantel looks like a wintry wonderland; there are little pockets of Christmas cheer all over the house, including a fiber optic snowman in your room and tiny spruce bouquets in all of the bathrooms. We even bought Christmas cacti from the AHS FFA and they are in bloom! Jack, you inspired and helped with all of it!! We even made Christmas cookies and hot cocoa on the day we hung the lights outside!!

Needless to say, your Dada and I are so looking forward to Christmas this year, especially now that you are more aware of the holiday. You remind us of the magic and wonder Christmas brings. :) Happy 30th month, baby!!

I'm proud to be your Momma!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

29 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,
Hi! This has been a very eventful month with all the Halloween goings on and such. In fact, I'm exhauseted and so are you most days. We both give everyday our all and by the time our heads hit our pillows, we're out. I'm going to keep this letter short and sweet.

Here are some things that have happened this month:

*You went trick or treating for the very first time!! It was awesome! You were a blue "color" and Momma wore her striped hose and a witches hat. We held hands and walked around the neighborhood. We looked for "porch lights on?" and you were in charge of ringing the doorbells. Sometimes you weren't very enthusiastic in your doorbell ringing, but as soon as the door was opened, people melted at the sight of you! "How cute!!!" they would exclaim. You would whisper, "twickotweet?" and folks dropped candy in your pumpkin bucket. Then you would say, "I'm goin' to the park!" I don't know why you felt the need to tell people that. Still, it was pretty cute.

* You are especially eager to play in the dirt lately. When I say "play in the dirt" I mean that you dig in a flower pot and shovel the soil into your dump truck. You're such a boy.

* This is probably too much information, but everytime you toot, you mention that you've done it, and then Dada reminds you to say "e-choos me."
(Dada's input here)
I love you, Baby Boy! I'm proud to be your Momma!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

28 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,
Hi! I miss you. I suppose this is a milestone in that it is the first time that you are on vacation without Mama and Dada. You're in Amarillo (and have been for almost a whole week) visiting your Grammy and Grand Schmob and all of your thousands of cousins and people who love you. In a way I'm very jealous, but also Dada and I are going on a vacation too. The house has seemed too quiet without Dora and Diego in the background, your percussion practice, and the lovely, continual chattering you do. But I do know that you are happy and having a great time thanks to your grandparents. And I can witness it for myself thanks to Skype!!!
In the mean time, here are some noteworthy happenings this month:

1. You went on your first field trip with Ms. Laura!! She took you, along with two other kids, to a farm in Burleson where you got to play in hay, see animals, and pick out your very own Jack-sized pumpkin. You had a great time! For me, it is a reminder of what a big boy you're becoming!!

2. We taught you how to "Eskimo kiss" where we rub noses. I don't think you've quite figured out that you are supposed to actually touch, though. You mostly just wiggle your head back and fourth with your nose in the air. That's worked out well since that's about as close as a Momma and her boy can get on Skype. Did I mention that I miss you??
3. Your language skills are incredible. It shouldn't come as that big of a shock since language acquisition is the milestone that is agreed upon in all of the parenting books. Still, it's fascinating to watch you learn language! I can't even keep up with all of the words that you're learning, words like: mailbox, ambulance, ice cream truck (the vehicle you confuse with an ambulance), and no way! You speak in complete sentences sometimes which sounds really nuts coming from our sweet baby.. ahem.. big boy.

4. Speaking of "no way!",you say this. Often. Especially when you emphatically don't want to do something. I haven't taught you that sometimes being concise is best. A simple, firm "no", for example, would probably be more effective than a "no way!" which actually is cute and endearing, probably the opposite effect of what you're going for.
5. You're afraid of the potty. Damn. I mean, you're interested in it, as long as you aren't the one having to use it. Anytime we ask you if you want to sit on the potty, you say, "Sure!" The non-negotiable part of that "sure" is that you meant you wanted only to look at the potty, and if forced to sit upon it, you would very much like to leave your diaper on and your pants fastened at the waist. If Dada or I try to actually sit you on the potty properly, all hell breaks loose - screaming and gnashing of teeth, darkness descending onto the planet, monsters devouring babies, etc.. You get the picture, and it's not pleasant. What are we going to do?

6. You're the most wonderful kid on the planet. All of your grandparents marvel at how pleasant and happy you are - that you don't mind taking naps and wake-up happy in the mornings. They are curious as to how you - our phenomenal boy - could possibly be part of our brood. But Dada and I know the answer. It's because you are all the best parts of both of us combined, and by some miracle your genetic code didn't pick up our vastly annoying character flaws.

We love you, Jack. I can't wait to see you soon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

27 Months

Hi Jack B'Hat!
You are so happy! Seriously! Ever since we switched babysitters, you've been over-the-moon happy! Everyday you go to Ms Laura's you run to her and squeal her name. When I buckle you into the car on the way home from her house you look at me with big, concerned eyes and ask, "Lawa? Lawa?" I'm pretty sure there is lots of dancing at her house which is your favorite activity, but also she has two little girls who dote on you - they pick you up, hug you, kiss you, and pet you. You LOVE them. Also, you get to sleep on your nap mat which, coincidentally, is your new favorite word. You walk around the house saying, "Nap mat? Nap mat? Nap! Mat! Animals!!"
Needless to say, I am thrilled with our new arrangement. It is so much nicer to be around a happy boy rather than a sulky, fit throwing one. I'm sad to question the idea that perhaps it's because you disliked your other sitter and that I made you go there anyway. But then, the weather is cooling, you know more words, we're back on schedule, and things generally seem to be looking up. Maybe you're through another phase.

Here are some tidbits about you this month:
1. You like the word, "Mud" - Mud i' duwt n wadder. Twactor inna duwt. Mud. - Translated as "Mud is dirt and water. Tractors are in the dirt. Mud."

2. You love to read. We have a new coffee table book , courtesy of your Aunt Renee, about the Cotswolds in England - little cottagey towns with gorgeous church steeples, pastoral fields of sheep, and sleepy kittens sitting on stone walls. You adore this book. You point at each page and ask, "What's that?" And I say, "sheep" or "church" or "flowers" or whatever it is. You concentrate really hard and respond, "Oh. Yes." And then I question you.

3. We've gotten into the good habit of reading before bed. The bad habit is I let you take your books to bed with you. Dada does not. When Dada was working late the other night, I tucked you in with the aforementioned Cotswold book and I turned on a nightlight so you could see. For an hour I could hear you turning pages and quizzing yourself, "Oh. Yes. That a road. Cow, Moooo. Church." What's the harm?

4. You really enjoyed playing with your cousins, Duncan and Bobby last week end. You called Bobby "Body" followed by something that sounded like "the wonder duck." We had a great time and it was fun watching you interact with the bigger boys, and of course with your Mamaw and Aunt Renee and Uncle Gerry.
5. Favorite show - Dora

6. Favorite book - Oakey

7. Favorite food - (nothing) Please eat, baby! You make me nervous!

8. Favorite possession - Nap! (your beloved blankie)
You're a happy, healthy kiddo, Jack! I love you so much and am glad to be your Momma!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

26 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,

You are growing so quickly right now! You often surprise us with things that we know we haven't taught you. Probably we will get used to it since once you're at school that will happen all of the time, at least until you're a teenager and decide to quit telling us things. But for now, it's surprising and wonderful and scary.

I have to be frank and tell you (for the integrity of the record) that things are kind of tense around here. Some of the reason is you wield the word "no" like a ninja samurai in the middle of a heated battle. This is the battle: we have the audacity to suggest that you eat a snack, or watch a show, or play with your cars. Any request/suggestion/demand/idea is treated with the same abhorrence. Simply put, you've gotten a bit of an attitude. And when Dada or I respond with a "yes" to your "no", you throw yourself in the floor and scream bloody murder. Shrieking din might be a better description for the sound that comes out of your mouth. This happens anywhere and everywhere and is such a shocking change from your usually even temperament.

Tonight, for example, we interviewed for a new babysitter/preschool since your current one decided to resign. Suffice it to say, it did not go well. At. All. In fact, the new sitter suggested that you weren't ready to come to her house because you would possibly be a distraction to the other kids. I begged her to give us a chance - all of us since you are a reflection of us and we lovingly and proudly represent you, fit or no fit. She is going to give us a two week trial, and hopefully by then we'll have some things ironed out.

We don't understand the sudden change. It's been a long, difficult summer mostly spent with just the two of us since Dada was away working. I probably allowed you to break more rules than I should have. Still, you didn't throw these kinds of fits. Also, we've had some tough times recently: the new daycare that didn't work, schedules that kept changing, the air conditioner that broke (twice - we spent the night in a hotel last night..*), your molars are probably coming in, etc.. I don't know.

Momma and Dada are exhausted and stressed to the max, so I can only imagine what it might be like for a little one like you who can only express yourself through actions. I just wish I knew how to make it better for all of us.

I love you baby. I know it will get better as soon as everything calms down some. Sorry to be a downer this time, but I figure that our relationship has to be genuine. When you are big enough to truly understand these letters, I trust you will also be big enough to understand that life isn't always perfect.

Still, with all of this challenge, I am so proud to be your momma. I love you more than I can explain. My heart is just bursting!

*Reason why this is a late post

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

25 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,
I'm not sure when my monthly letters should become semi-annual ones or even yearly posts. There is so much going on in our lives that it's hard to keep up. Pictures, too, are fewer and far between. Some of that is because it's summer and Dada has been away for most of the time. That means that you and I have spent lots and lots of time together. That's a good thing, but it also means it is more difficult to take and upload pictures. That, plus you threw the camera into the kiddie pool during a moment of passion - as in you were pissed about something and needed to throw something. It ended up that the camera was the closest thing, and the pool just happened to be in front of you. It is ruined. But not to fret. We got a new camera and as soon I learn how to upload pictures on it, I'll post some. (sigh)

Here are some things that have happened this month:
1. We started at Ms. Kay's, the new daycare. You seem to like it ok, and have made some new friends.

2. You've had your first official play date with Connor. It was an interesting experience. Connor came over to our house and for the first time in your life, you became a little bit protective of your stuff - as in Connor wasn't allowed to touch anything, especially your "colors." You also did not want Connor to eat. Hmmm. Could this be the face of an only-child toddler rearing it's ugly head? Perhaps. I feel overcautious about that being the case. It also could've been a bad day. Or maybe it's just part of learning to be social. In any case, we had to do a little bit of time out, and then you were back to your charming self.

3. This morning, you decided that your breakfast would make a really funny hat. Unfortunately, your breakfast was yogurt, cereal, and juice.. Tonight will be a forced bath night, even though you generally only get one every other day.

4. You had your 2 year check up a few days ago. The doctor says that everything looks great and that Dada and I are doing a good job. You've only gained a pound since you were one, but it's ok, because you've started running and climbing and jumping. You're in the 85th percentile for height and the 10th percentile for weight.

5. One of the cutest things you've started doing is when we suggest doing something you love - playing at the park, going on a bike-ride, playing in the water -you become the most agreeable person on the planet. I say, "Let's put on your shoes," and you say, "Ok! Sure! Alright! Ok."

6. Something else that is cute, but only because it's so toddler-ish, is when you are testing a limit (i.e. getting in trouble for something), you get down in the floor and lower yourself slowly into a face-down position. You watch us as you do it to see our reactions. We have to try not to laugh..

7. You love wanting to play in water, but you don't actually want to play in it.

8. You have started jumping - in place, off of window sills and porches, off of footstools, highchairs, etc. The great part is, you announce "jump!" before you do it, so if it's not safe, Dada and I can get to you before you do it.

9. Last night for the first time ever, you turned the doorknob and opened a door. YIKES.

10. You LOVE LOVE LOVE Toddler Time at the library. You sit at the front of the mat, right in front of the teacher. You sing loudly, clap passionately, and dance your heart out. Your the friendliest one there, and I can tell that you're the teacher's favorite. If school is anything like this for you, you'll be a great student.

I can't think of anything else at the moment, though I am positive that there is more to share..
I'll try to post pictures soon.
I love you, Jack. You're the best, most wonderful 2 year old on the planet!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Jack's 2nd Birthday

This is being posted a little bit late - my apologies!- but we've been busy, busy!!
I love you, Jack. Here's what we were up to on your second birthday!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

23 months

So here we are - 23 months.
Just shy of two.
Almost Terrible.
And so it begins…

Mom’s out of town for the weekend so here’s one from me, dear ole dad. Of course you’re not terrible – at least not yet. Maybe when you hit 13 or so. But you are exploring limits. My guess is you’re just trying to figure things out. I try not to get too upset when, after being reprimanded for banging your sippy cup against the window, you stop but immediately move six inches to the left and smack it again and then turn with a look that says “Is this OK?” “No.” So you then move six inches to the right. “How about now?”

As a result of this drive to explore, and the fact that “slow” is not a speed that exists on your transmission, you have discovered the world of scraped knees and bruises. I’m not quite sure how you managed to scrape the bridge of your nose right between your eyes. But I do think, whatever hit you, you should have seen it coming.

You also love to help with things like loading/unloading the dishwasher. Sure, when you ‘help’ it usually takes about three times longer and quite often you are helping unload when I’m trying to load or vice versa. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

So here you are finding new exciting places to hide the remote, making random calls on the cell phone (Sorry Mrs. Kubinski), and raging against the injustice of a closed door. All I can say is fight on little man, be bold, be strong… but bed time is still 8:00.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

22 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,Happy 22nd month!! You are so close to two and have already begun what grown-ups call "the terrible twos." When they say this they mean that their children are no longer able to be contained as they once were, and they get into everything they can possibly get into, even though their parents spent a tremendous amount of time and money making sure that they couldn't get into anything. (shaking and rocking) But they do...Anyway, you're there kid. We've learned that you laugh in the face of the baby-proofing industry and you openly mock anyone who calls himself an expert on toddler rearing. It's a really good thing you're so freaking cute since you are testing both the limits of what you can and cannot do and also the limits of your parents patience. (!) (Right now you are standing in a chair, defiantly looking at me..)Sadly, Momma has been pretty sick this week and couchbound as a result. Even now my body is wondering why I'm vertical. I'll have to post some pictures and leave it at that this month. But please know that I love you with all of my heart. It makes my heart warm when you say it back. The best is when you bring your nap to me and ask to snuggle. You're the best kid on the planet!!
I love you!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break 2010

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

21 Months: Vlog

Thursday, February 11, 2010

20 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,
I miss you. Today you are 20 months old, and I am not with you. I am in Boston (and probably by the time I post this, will be in the airport or on the airplane) making huge decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. I suppose this space is where I can be most honest. Dada and I are at a job fair interviewing and negotiating positions and livelihoods in international schools. One of the ones we are looking at is what I would consider the perfect community. As I type we are waiting to here whether or not we are picked. Then we have a decision to make. There is another option on the table, as well, in a place we like less, but that would still be an incredible experience for our family. We are excited and nervous and afraid and optimistic, all at the same time. You are so important to us- we love you so much - and we want what's best for you.

Anyway, enough about that. I'll talk about some things that have happened this month:

1. You said your first sentence this month! (sort of) You asked, "Where shoes go?" and you shrugged your shoulders, your palms up. It was adorable!!

2. Speaking of shoes, you've decided that shoes are awesome. You don't want to take them off. It could have something to do with the fact that your dad says things like, "Look! Jack's wearing shoes like a big boy!" And then everyone claps. It's great when we're going somewhere, but taking naps in shoes is a problem.

3. You've become really good at celebrating. You throw your arms in the air, your shirt popping over your belly, and you cheer! You may or may not combine this with a happy dance. It depends on the celebration. Shoes=arm raise and happy dance. Fruit=arm raise only.

4. You recognize people in photographs, especially Yaya. You open photo albums and start naming people, just like you do with baby animals in picture books.

5. You say "Christine" and "J", or a version of these anyway. This warms their hearts. They love you very much.

6. You got more teeth, finally. It's been a while since anything happened on that front. I firmly believe that getting all four i-teeth at the same time is what made you so sick this month. We had to skip a lot of Nanny time because of your illness. Oye. Molars are next.

7. You can almost turn door knobs. You understand the mechanics of how it works, but you aren't quite strong enough yet. This is going to pose a problem..

Ok, Jack B'Hat, I have another interview to attend. I have to go. But I love you very much, and as always, I am proud to be your Momma.

p.s. We decided to stay where we are at the moment..

Thursday, January 7, 2010

19 Months

Dear Jack B'Hat,

You're 19 months old and I don't think I can account for all of the new things you are doing! It's like all of a sudden, someone switched on the "learn" button, and you're running at hyper speed. I'll do the best I can. Here goes:

1. I suppose the most important thing is you learned how to say the word "no". I blame your Uncle Dutch for this because over Christmas he showed you where the piano keyboard was and all you wanted to do was play. Uncle Dutch got bored of the game before you did and kept telling you "No, not right now."

The weird thing is the way you say "no". I say, "Jack, do you want to eat?" You cock your head to the side, like you're really considering the question, shake your head and say in a considerate tone,"naw". It's very pleasant, actually. But then pretty much everything you say is sweet to me.

2. You make up games. For example today you had a ball and two (plastic) golf clubs. You hit the ball into the grass and then looked at me. If I started towards the ball, you would run past me to get there first. Then you'd swat at the ball until it was back on the concrete. You giggled to yourself, like you were getting away with something, but it was clear that I, as usual, was a pawn in your little game. I love the creativity, though!

3. You're learning words like crazy! You say "nano" for piano, "caw" for car, swing, show, nap (the name for your blankie), Yaya, Nana, "Gandy" for Grandy, bath (which you despise!), green, red, blue, roar, baby, etc. This is in addition to all the words you know already!

4. You're starting to recognize people in pictures. Well, you only recognize one person in pictures: Yaya. In drawings, you call anything fuzzy "Casey" unless it's a duck Then you yell DUCK! Sometimes you point at pictures of Gramps and say, "baby." I think it's because he's bald. If you pet Casey, you say "sweet" even if you are pounding on his back. This is a result of us cautioning you to be sweet to Casey since you mostly tend to pound on his back.

I'm sorry to cut this one short, but you're crying because you've just finished a bath which was, apparently, your worst nightmare come true. Your dad sounds frustrated and keeps saying, "Oh, Baby Jack, oh Baby Jack.." Bath time is tough time which is why we usually tag-team it. We love you, though.

Happy 19 months, Baby Boy! I'm proud to be your momma!