Friday, August 31, 2012

Week From HELL

Everything that could go wrong this week did.  Daycare, doctors, family, school, juicer...all a disaster.  Thankfully, I have incredible sisters and a supportive 5th grade team.  At least I know things can only get better!

That's all I can muster right now...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Daycare Update

First, I'll admit I've totally slacked on blogging this week.  Can you tell it's the first week back to work?  Oh, August.

Blessedly, Jackson has transitioned to daycare flawlessly.  Both Jesse and I dropped him off on Monday with Ms. Tina.  He had tears streaming down his red face.  My stomach felt very uneasy.  We were told he cried for about 10 minutes before settling down.  Jackson ran to Jesse as soon as he saw him when Jesse picked him up.  He slept a grand total of 25 minutes all day, but was so very hyper at home.

Tuesday involved more tears during drop off and more smiles during pick up.

Wednesday included a few sniffles and his pacifier when I left. 

By Thursday, Jackson literally runs to his classroom into Ms. Tina's lap.  The adults adore him and tell us so each time I see them.  The number one comment I've heard is what a good eater he is.  The director is in disbelief that Jackson has never been in daycare before. 

Most of the time we spy online on Jackson, we see him with a pacifier and holding Clifford.  He still gets cranky around 10:30 but has trouble napping.  He only slept longer than an hour once last week.  Despite struggling to transition from two crib naps to one nap on a mat, Jackson seems very comfortable and happy.

Surprisingly, I see Jackson more often now because I wake him up, feed him breakfast, and play in the driveway for a few minutes before leaving.  I seriously missed my happy morning Jack last year. 

The daycare provides us with a daily "Toddler Tattler" that provides detailed information on his diaper changes, eating habits, and any special notes from the teacher.  I love the communication, the caring staff, and Jackson's reaction to school. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Milestones at 16 Months Old

At 16 months old, Jackson has:

--Eliminated his nighttime bottle.
He no longer has any milk before bed.  The transition was easier than expected, with only a few nights of crying.  The last thing we do is brush his teeth and kiss him goodnight.

--Mastered climbing
Jackson has been climbing stairs for a few months, but he has just learned how to climb cabinets and the coffee table.  He has also taught himself how to safely climb down by turning around and going backwards.

--Learned to say "kitty"
Our cat lover points and waves to his feline brother and sister, calling "kitty, kitty, kitty". 

--Started having tantrums
Jack gets easily frustrated when he can't move an object (oftentimes furniture) where he wants or if something is too heavy to pick up.  He will fuss and throw his whole body down, kicking his legs.  If I'm holding him and put him down, or if we won't let him go outside, he makes this face and starts to "cry".

--Got his first haircut

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Haircut

I absolutely adore Jackson's curls, so much that I've kept putting off his first haircut.  Unfortunately, his hair was going in his eyes and down his back. 

Jesse and I took him to Great Clips this morning. He cried and tried to climb down as soon as we put him on the booster seat, so I ended up holding him in my lap the whole time. The hairdresser very kindly warned us that if he moved too much or kicked a lot he would have to get a buzz cut for safety reasons. I was so relieved that he cooperated!

I imagine Jack's favorite part of the haircut experience was selecting a Dum Dum.  Despite being a sticky mess, he enjoyed most of the sucker before using it as a spoon to stir the cat food around.

He still has a few curls!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Animal Lover

Jackson absolutely loves animals.  On Sunday night he went to visit his MiMi and PaPa.  We went to their next door neighbor's farm.  Jackson was initially timid but happily pet the goats. 

He was especially fond of the ducklings, though you can't tell in this picture.  He kept pointing to their cage and smiling.  He laughed each time he touched their soft feathers.

 A few days later Jack's MiMi let him walk the dog.  He thought he was hot stuff holding the leash. 

We are still working hard on him being gentle around other animals, rather than pulling fur and tails. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Daycare Trial Run=Success!

Jesse went to the pediatrician's office yesterday to get the immunization records and medical form completed for daycare.  We turned in all of the forms today, before spending time in Jackson's classroom.  Our whole family spent the morning playing with the other children in an effort to get Jackson comfortable with the setting and people.  We all had a blast!  I really do love his teacher.  I was relieved to see her rocking, dancing, and tickling the kids in her class.  She already labeled his cubby and cot with his name.  (He starts next Monday.) She was also totally fine with us spending so much time there and kept thanking us for helping to make his transition smoother.

Even though Jackson will be 16 months old this week, he is in the upper 1 class (18-24 months).  The director recommended placing him in the toddler class so we could avoid transitioning him to yet another class in two months.  The little kids were very familiar with the routines.  Jackson helped himself to playing with every book and block he could reach while his classmates lined up for the gym.  He was running around smiling.

Due to the rain, the class went to the gym with the beginning two-year-old class.  The children were absolutely precious during their free play.  They held our hands, sat in our laps, hugged us, and tossed balls back and forth.  Since everything is at the kids' height, they pulled out scarves, yarn balls, bean bags, and cones.  Every child that cried or threw a tantrum was immediately comforted and over it quickly.  Jackson was so busy playing with his peers or toys that he rarely acknowledged Jesse or I.  It was hard to get pictures without other children in them.

Jesse and I were impressed with how well trained the kids were. They all sat down with their legs spread apart and rolled the ball back and forth with one another. They lined up against the wall and raced one another across the gym. Jesse and I can't even get Jackson to stand in one place. Because Jesse and I are both teachers, it's easy for me to think that we know more than we do. I have to remind myself that my degree is in elementary education, not early childhood.  I am so excited about the potential for Jackson to accelerate in his development. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Holy Fat Face!

It has been two weeks since we ended the juice fast, and we have maintained our healthy eating.  I've been a bit more strict with my eating than Jesse has.  I have abstained from soda, sugar, white flour, and fried food with the exception of two spoonfuls of peach cobbler, one cupcake, and some chips and salsa.  We haven't lost exceptional amounts of weight (about 10 lbs each), but I've noticed that we look better.  Here's proof:

This photo was taken on June 18.  Our diet revolved around soda or beer, ice cream, and processed carbs.  I had no clue how bloated our faces looked!

Whereas this photo was taken last Friday, about a month and a half after the first photo.  Our diet has changed tremendously and we go for 4-mile bike rides around the neighborhood 4-5 times a week.  We've both noticed increased energy.  I can't believe how different our faces look!

Goodwill Greatness

I took advantage of tax-free weekend by purchasing some work clothes.  I've always loved back-to-school shopping.  I was able to buy four full outfits (4 shirts, 2 skirts, 2 pants) for $35!  FYI, the last photo looks different because Jesse was standing up instead of sitting down. 

Jackson picked out two items: a pirate hat and a small rocking chair.  Total purchases cost $7.

We love some bargain shopping!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lynyrd Skynyrd and Allman Brothers

Jesse won second row tickets to see Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers.  This was our third date night in the last month, thanks to Jesse's mom for watching Jackson.  I was shocked at how close we really were to the stage.  There were literally thousands of people behind us!

The music was absolutely deafening.  I ended up begging a security worker for ear plugs.  The people around us were the stereotypical redneck fans drinking multiple cans of Bud Light, wearing Confederate flags, and waving lighters around.  Lynyrd Skynyrd played their biggest hits, including "Sweet Home Alabama", "Freebird", "Comin' Home", and my personal favorite, "Simple Man". 

Our camera battery died before we could get any good shots of The Allman Brothers.  Jesse and I had very different opinions of their performance.  Jesse was completely absorbed in the music and in his own world loving every minute of it.  On the other hand, I was completely over it.  The Allman Brothers had a full 1-2 minute silent transition between each song.  The songs they performed were literally 20 minute instrumentals in between a few lyrics.  They seemed like an amature garage band who were just jamming on stage with bizarre lava lamp images projected behind them.  On a positive note, I really enjoyed "Soulshine".

Random evidence of how drunk or rude people were includes:
  • Witnessing a guy puke outside of his car
  • Seeing another guy flash himself while he urinated in the parking lot
  • Having security remove a man who literally jumped over rows of seats just to get closer
  • Giving the same guy high-fives a dozen times
  • Getting alcohol sloshed on my feet repeatedly because the girl beside me couldn't hold her drink straight
It was a pretty unique experience being so close to the stage, listening to thousands of people sing along to the music.   

Loose at the Library

While Jesse frequents the library weekly, we don't typically allow Jackson to pick out his own books.  Yesterday we let him have free reign up and down the children's aisles. 

He selected several books and sat down as we showed him the pictures and read.

Jack also explored the kid's corner.  He picked up all of the magnetic letters that were already on the floor.  He was most excited to discover the crates of a hundred or more board books.  I love my little reader!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I ♥ My Teams

I had the pleasure of working with these lovely ladies for a few years before the district closed our school.  They literally held my hand during the most challenging moments of my first year teaching.  They forced me to eat saltine crackers with peanut butter when I was sick and pregnant.  I'm the same age as their children and I've always thought of them as mother figures.  I will always be indebted to them for showing me what it means to be a good teacher.  Even though we all work in different schools now, we still get together monthly for dinner and attend workshops together.  One of our teammates had her knee replaced so the three of us prepared dinner for her and visited at her home.  Like always, we laughed 'til we cried.

I never thought I could have as close of a relationship with another team.  Thankfully, I absolutely love my fifth grade family after working together this past year.  We work just as hard as we play and we laugh constantly.  This morning we ditched our science workshop to go see Magic Mike before coming back to my house for lunch.  (No one asked us to go to the workshop.  We decided to go because we incorrectly assumed it would be helpful with the new standards.)  It's so nice to hang out with people my age and relax away from school. 

(This photo is a year old, but we look the same.)

Our incoming fifth graders are a large class so we interviewed several teachers a few months ago to join our team.  We are excited and nervous about our fourth teammate. I pray that he will share our same work ethic and sense of humor.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hide and Go Seek

Jackson thinks he's hot stuff climbing into corners, behind furniture, and inside cabinets.  He gets this big grin each time you "find" him, then starts to run away, all the while looking back to make sure you're still following him.  Oh, how he cracks me up!