Friday, September 19, 2014

Jackson is walking!

I am happy to report that Jackson is finally walking all on his own. He's been taking a few steps here and there for the last couple of weeks, but has never really fully walked. Then just yesterday he started walking everywhere. I am incredibly happy about this seeing as we will have a new baby in roughly 4 weeks and it will definitely be helpful for him to be able to walk on his own so I don't have to carry 2 babies at once. I'm so thrilled to watch him grow before our eyes and I can't wait to see what kind of little boy he becomes. Here's a video of my little walker :-)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Houston, we have a Kindergartener!

I know I always say this, but it is hard to believe we have a Kindergartner in this house. It feels like just yesterday James was a baby and now he is an almost 6 year old Kindergartner! James has almost completed his first week of Kinder and he is loving it. I was pretty confident that he would adapt well, but you never know. He is in Mrs. Rodriguez's class and I am thrilled we got her. I have heard nothing but positive things about her and she is so sweet and caring with the kids. James is also in class with a few of his friends from NPDS, Christopher (yes, the same one he got kicked out of Magik Theater camp with), Ellen and Caroline (the little girl he claims is his girlfriend :-)). I was very happy that he had some friends in there that he already knew, but it should make for an interesting year seeing as Christopher is in class with him. Fingers crossed it goes better than Magik Theater camp :-) So far so good!

James with his teacher Mrs. Rodriguez on the first day

James at his desk
I thought it would be a nice surprise to have lunch with James on his first day of school so I went ahead and joined him at 10:45 for lunch. I know they have lunch so early! James was very excited about the opportunity to eat in the cafeteria and much to my surprise he chose a salad for the first day! I was so proud of him for making such a healthy choice, although I have a feeling it may be the last time he does that :-)

With my favorite Kindergartner for lunch
James is absolutely loving being a "big" boy at the "big" school and I am so incredibly proud of how well he is doing. It is my hope that he will continue to thrive and learn as much as his little brain will allow. Here's to a great year at Northwood with many many more to come!

Summer of Camps

With summer officially over I thought I'd do post about all of the wonderful camps James was able to attend this summer. I was torn between putting him in day school at NPDS for one last summer or putting him in various camps. Although it was more expensive, I opted for the different camps because I knew it would keep him more engaged and allow him to experience new fun things. I also buddied him up with a friend for all of the camps so that he would know someone at each camp and feel more comfortable. He had an absolute blast at each and every camp and we will definitely be returning to some of them next year.

Camp 1: Zoo Camp
This is the first year James has ever attended this camp, but I had heard nothing but great things about it and it definitely did not disappoint. James learned so many things about the animals and met a lot of new friends. We will definitely be returning for this camp next year.

James with his buddy Lyla all ready for camp

James and his class in front of the hippos

James' class riding the train

All the little campers


Camp 2: Artworks Camp
We signed the kids up for Artworks camp this year, but only for the morning session. Note to self: for the extra $50 just sign them up for the full day. I think James would have enjoyed it more if he could have stayed all day, but we just weren't sure they would fully enjoy it. It definitely was a fun camp and I'll probably send him back next year.

James with all of his artwork from the week


Camp 3: Aerial Athletics "Out of this World" Camp
This was the first year we went to Aerial Athletics because we went to Olympia Gym for camp last year, but at the recommendation of a friend we decided to try out a new gym. James had a great time and they even took a field trip to a nearby park and went out for ice cream on the their last day. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures from the camp. I'm not sure if I would return to this camp next year however. I was happy with it, but it didn't seem much different than the camp at Olympia Gym and the location of that gym is much more convenient to our home. We'll probably do gymnastic camp again next year because it's such a great way to get the kids energy out, but I would likely go to Olympia Gym instead.

Camp 4: Magik Theater Camp--Camp Showbiz!
This was probably my favorite camp that I sent James to. This was his second year to do camp at Magik Theater and he loved it just as much this time around as he did last year. They do an amazing job at this camp and have the logistics of it down to a T. At this camp they put the children into different age groups and each group does their own play which is showcased at the end of the week on Saturday morning. I think this camp is amazing for developing the children's confidence and allowing them to play out a make-believe world for entertainment purposes. Last year James played "Abu" in a play which was based off of Aladdin. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the performance because we were in the hospital having just given birth to Jackson. Much to my chagrin, we were unable to see James do a performance this year as well. You see, James was in class with not only Lyla, but also another friend from his soccer team, Christopher and they tend to get into a little bit of trouble together and this was no different at camp. We got called a couple of times about their behavior and unfortunately the camp directors felt it was better if they weren't in the performance because they were a disturbance.  I really do love this camp, but I was a little bit disappointed in how they handled the situation. I guess they really just have a no tolerance policy for not listening and obeying the camp counselors. We are currently undecided if we will go back to it next year which really makes me disappointed because I truly did love this camp the most.

James and Lyla all ready for camp on their first day

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jackson's 1st Birthday Party

This past Sunday we celebrated my baby boy turning 1 year old with some great friends and family. Thank you to everyone who made it a very special day. Although Jackson will likely not remember it, we will and it meant a lot to us to have everyone there.


The table decor

Lyla, Logan and James

The birthday cake and smash cake

Front yard sign

Entry table

Yummy party favor cookies

The birthday boy and me

My little cutie

Jackson playing with his friends Ruby, McKay and Tristan

Jackson all ready for his cake!

"Yay cake!"

Digging in

I think he liked it :-)

Opening his first present!

 
I just have to include a video of Jackson going at the smash cake. It definitely lived up to it's name! Enjoy!

Jackson is 1!

It's hard to believe, but my precious Jackson turned 1 year old this past Saturday. We just had his wellness check-up and he is doing great (other than being on the small side). Here's his stats:

Weight: 19 lbs. 15 oz.
Heights: 28 inches
Clothing size: 9-12 months
Diapers: size 4 (although he can still wear size 3)
# of Teeth: 8 (4 bottom, 4 top)
Feedings: 6 oz. bottle & 6 ounces of baby food every 4 hours and evening feeding of 8 oz. bottle with rice cereal

I've starting working on feeding him finger foods to get him to feed himself, but he is just not quite getting it. I'm not sure if it's a texture thing that is bothering him or if he is just being lazy and wants me to feed him. I'm just trying different things to see if I can get him to start feeding himself. He does pretty well with the snacks, like the Gerber cookies and puffs, but isn't as interested in real food. I just need to be patient and work with him little by little, which is easier said than done. We have also tried to introduce him to milk in hopes we could get him off of formula...nope, he wasn't going for that either. So we have started to make him 4 oz. formula with 1-2 oz. of milk to slowly get him used to it. So far that has been working well and we are hoping we can wean him off of the formula soon. Anything to save a buck or two, especially since we'll be buying Newborn formula soon!

He is so close to walking, but not quite there. We've gotten him to stand alone on his own without holding onto anything, but he just won't take that first step. He's just cruising around furniture like crazy and loves his push toys. James was already walking at this point (actually at 11 mos.), so I was hoping that Jackson would do the same. Oh well, I guess it's better...I don't want him growing up too fast!

He's not really talking yet either. I'm working on getting him to say "mama", but I feel like he just babbles, "mamamama" and isn't truly saying the word. We're getting there though. He definitely recognizes me as Mama and Mike as Dada though because when either of us say, "Where's Mama?" or vice versa, he looks to us. He's learned the word "No!" really well also as we are using it often to keep him out of things. Gotta love this age where they are into absolutely everything. Definitely keeps us on our toes. Oh how fun that will be in a couple of months when we have a newborn here.

Jackson hit another milestone...he has started preschool for a couple of days a week to give me time to run errands and to start fostering his socialization skills. He's only been twice so far, but he is absolutely loving it. I'm very proud of how well he is doing at adapting to a new schedule and everything. I definitely miss him when he's gone, but it is time I think we both need separate from each other.

Here are some of his favorite things:
  • Baby TV (still)
  • Tickles from Daddy
  • Pulling every piece of Tupperware out of the big kitchen drawer
  • Opening and closing any type of door, especially cabinets
  • Pushing any and all furniture all over the room
  • The beach!
  • My big brother
Ready for our 1 year checkup (little does he know shots are coming!)

Wearing brother's tiger hat

Fully engrossed in Baby TV

All ready for his first day of school!

Loving the beach

He loves his big brother!

Ready for his birthday cake!

My handsome little 1 year old!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

James' Surgery

As many people know James recently developed a cyst on his right cheek. At first I didn't think anything of it and thought it would just go away, but it just kept getting bigger and bigger. I feel partially responsible because cysts are something that run in my family. I had one removed from my temple when I was a super young and most recently I had one removed from my right upper arm which had grown to the size of softball! My father gets the all the time as well, so it's really his fault ;-). I guess I'll take cysts over malignant tumors any day. My brave little boy did amazingly well leading up to the surgery and after the surgery. We were incredibly proud of how well he did at being brave. I had a little bit of a rougher time with it...he is my first born baby after all. I already knew Dr. Novick was a great plastic surgeon because he had done a number of surgeries on my father with fantastic results, but it was the anesthesia that always freaks me out. Luckily we had a wonderful anesthesiologist who was able to put most of my fears aside. After James was given his "happy" medicine the doctor asked him to tell him a joke, which resulted in one of the funniest videos. I'm not necessarily proud I took the video, but it definitely will be something fun to show his future wife ;-).

 
James before surgery

James after surgery

Jackson's 1 year photos

It's hard to believe but my sweet baby Jackson is almost 1 year old. He will turn 1 year this coming Saturday on August 23rd. After losing Maddie I wasn't sure I would ever get over the pain and sorrow I was feeling, but Jackson has helped tremendously to heal the pain I was feeling. He is an absolute joy and brings me happiness everyday. I still grieve the loss of my sweet baby girl everyday, but having Jackson has shown me that some things are truly meant to be even if we never understand them. On a brighter note, I recently had 1 year photos taken of Jackson by the extremely talented Brenda Marafioto and they couldn't have turned out better. It helps that the subject is probably the cutest baby ever to walk on earth (I'm not biased at all ;-)), but I am so pleased how these turned out. Prepare to be overwhelmed with cuteness :-)

My precious blue eyes

He's always sticking his tongue out

I'm shocked he left the hat on

Too precious for words!

What a cutie!

black and white

"Hey Ladies!"

Jackson with his smash cake

Going for the candle

"Hey!"

He's so serious about cake

The face plant

Loving it!

Happy Baby!