2.23.2012

Charlie's Accident and Other Updates

Let me begin this post with saying Charlie is 100% fine, BUT we did have a little scare last week.  He was sitting in a booster seat on Thursday when the whole kitchen chair fell forward.  He hit his head and had a red mark and small bump on his forehead, just over his right eyebrow.  We watched him closely but he didn't show any signs of head injury.  However within a few hours it was clear that he wasn't putting any weight on his left leg - eek!  When I called the doctor they said to bring him in.  They did an x-ray, which came back negative, so they said it was probably just a tissue injury or bruised and tender.  By Saturday afternoon, Charlie was back to normal using both legs equally.  Phew, what a relief!!

Charlie getting a leg x-ray
In other (and much happier) Charlie news: he's pretty much sitting up!!  We started with sitting with the Boppy pillow around him and he did great.  Then Monday night I took away the pillow and voila! he sat for a solid minute unassisted.  All week he's been sitting on his own for longer and longer stretches and tonight he sat for a good five minutes before toppling.  Wowzers!


The big guy has been cruising through the veggies and loving every bite.  He's now eating sweet potatoes, acorn squash and peas.  I'd say peas are the favorite thus far - he gobbles those down!!
Acorn squash


This look is very deceiving - he LOVES the peas!
The only other Charlie update for now is that I finally decided to take a stand against the cradle cap that has been plaguing him for months.  I shampooed him with Selsun Blue Saturday then spent our nursing sessions over the next couple days picking the scales off with a fine-toothed comb.  Sadly, chunks of his baby hair came out during this process, but I figure if the hair came out that easily, it was destined to fall out anyway.  I also gave him a little trim on top - the hair on the back part of the top of his head were getting a little long.  Jason was convinced he was headed for his big brother's hairstyle (see below), so I went ahead and trimmed it.
Jack in January 2010 demonstrating his crazy hair!


2.20.2012

2 1/2 Years Old!

Jack has logged another 1/2 of a year!  It's amazing how much has changed since he turned two!  His vocabulary alone is impressive!  I looked back at the two-year update and he was just starting to string together a few words at a time.  Now the kid speaks in complete (and often grammatically correct!) sentences!  He's pretty good about remembering to say thank you and often says please without being reminded, but now we're working on stepping up his manners a la "may I please have some milk."  He's catching on, and it sounds so much better than "I want some milk."

Jack's favorite hobbies right now are basketball, baseball and of course, playing choo choos, which, by the way, are now called trains (but it's pronounced "toins").  We hung the basketball hoop he received for Christmas in his toy room and he loves it!  He gathers all his basketballs, shoots one after another and gets so excited when he makes a basket!  Baseball has been a favorite for awhile, but now instead of the tee, he wants to be pitched to.  Specifically, he asks one of us to be the "pitcher man" while he is the "batter man."  Love it!  Last week he hit two home runs while Jason was pitching to him (for those familiar with our house, he was standing in his toy room and hit the ball OVER the kitchen wall and into the dining room....TWICE!!).  We were impressed!
Goofy guy!!
He's still loving the train table he got for Christmas too and loves to put together the tracks after they fall down.  He's becoming much more independent in this play and doesn't need us sitting by his side the whole time he's playing anymore.

Another new thing: riding his tricycle everywhere!  Time to go brush his teeth?  Better ride his bike from the living room to the bathroom.  Putting his shoes away in his room?  Put those puppies in his "trunk" and drive them in there.  EVERYwhere!  Which brings me to another important skill Jack has developed: Master Staller. He has gotten so creative in ways to stall when it's time to do something he doesn't want to, especially at bedtime.  A key examples telling us he doesn't want to go potty then waiting until we've gone through the whole routine (teeth, turn music on, turn light off, close door, get in bed), then decides he wants to go potty.  Of course we can't tell him no.  Another one: requesting a drink of water after he's in bed.  Of course we oblige, but if you bring him ice water, he wants no ice; if you bring just tap water, he wants ice.  Oh boy.  We've learned that to ease transitions for Jack (when it's time to leave, go to bed, or eat) we set a timer on our phone.  He knows when the timer goes off, it's time to do whatever activity.  It seems to be working - he just needs some warning!

Our big guy's imagination has really been blooming too.  He loves to pretend!  A favorite is on the weekends when he rides his bike to run errands for us (into the other room and back): "I go to gas station and get Daddy's coffee," or "I go to Mia & Lily's house," or "Mommy I go get you a Diet Coke."  So cute.

Jack is a pretty good eater.  I wouldn't say he's the most adventurous toddler on earth, but he likes many foods.  Some nights he needs constant reminding to take bites of his dinner and even some assistance, but other nights he'll eat everything on his plate without much nagging.  He's recently developed more of a sweet tooth and likes most desserts; he used to not really eat chocolate - I'm not surprised he came around on that one - who doesn't like chocolate??
Daddy taught him to spray whipped cream directly into his mouth

The big shot is loving school!  He's always talking about his friends at school, especially Grier and Cooper.  Drop offs have gotten easier and easier, and now after I play with him for a few minutes, he likes to escort me to the door and "push me out," which is apparently a thing they do (I've seen other kids doing it to their parents too).  I'll take that over tears any day!  He comes with me to drop Charlie off at his classroom but rarely comes in with me, preferring to stand out in the hallway and watch through the window instead.  Silly guy.

Speaking of Charlie, Jack LOVES his baby brother!  He's always kissing him and playing with him.  We discovered the other day that Charlie laughs when he hears Jack laugh, which Jack loves.  He's now taken to fake laughing to see if he can get a response from Charlie.  Of course he gets pretty disappointed when Charlie doesn't react the way he wants!
He loves to climb into Charlie's exersaucer

 We weighed Jack this weekend and think he weighs about 35.5 pounds.  He's making his way into size 4T clothing and wears a size 6 diaper, which, by the way, is the largest size they make I think.  Time to get that boy on the potty!  He has started going on the potty in the morning and before bed, but other than that, he doesn't have a ton of interest.


We had the Ashers and Lades over for dinner Saturday night and Jack had fun laying with his friends Addison and Reghan.  Here they are being silly.  Jack and Addi got excited when the Little Einsteins came on, and decided to get up and dance to the theme song.  Too cute!!

I had to share this photo and video.  Jack and Grandpa built a snowman last Tuesday when we got a couple inches of snow.  Then Jack was apparently begging to destroy it with his favorite baseball bat, which he calls "my cool bat."  Luckily, Grandma and Grandpa held him off until I got there to pick the boys up, so I got to witness it (and take this video).
Jack, Grandpa and Frost
And destroying Frosty with his "cool bat"
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2.14.2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from the Most Eligible Bachelor and the Heart Breaker.

We found this fun idea for Valentines for Jack's classmates at this blog that I read regularly.  The idea originally came from this blog.  I think they turned out super cute!  When we got to school yesterday Jack was very excited to hand the bouncy balls out to his friends.  Of course only Jacob and Cooper were there (it was early-ish), so we just put the others in the kids' cubbies.  I love this alternative to candy, especially for 2 year-olds!
 We also made some Valentines this weekend: one for each of Jack's three teachers and one for each set of grandparents.  It was a lot of fun working with construction paper, glue, glitter and stickers!
Glitter all over his face!
Finished products

We got Jack and Charlie two new movies to add to their Disney collection....Cars and Toy Story 2.  Jason also picked up a fun Disney activity book for Jack - he loved pointing out the different characters from The Little Einsteins.  He also received a Mr. Potato Head from Grandma and Grandpa Lang and some yummy chocolate covered strawberries from Grandma and Grandpa Clayton.  Lucky guys!!  



Silly guy playing with the ribbon from his present
Hope everyone had a nice day!!

2.10.2012

Charlie at 5 Months



Well another month has passed us by, and Charlie is five months old now.  We've had some big developments this month.  Most importantly, he's eating solid food.  I mentioned last week that he started cereal in the mornings.  We decided he's also ready for vegetables, so I started making food for him like I did with Jack.  On Monday night, he tried his first veggie: sweet potatoes.  He loved them!  I gave him one cube (about one ounce) and it seemed like he would have eaten more if I'd have let him.  So Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I thawed out two cubes and he ate almost the full two ounces each night.
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A wonderful side effect of this new evening meal has been glorious, full nights of sleep!!  I mentioned recently that we've been struggling with Charlie waking up early.  More specifically, the entire month of January, he started waking up at 4:00 nearly every morning.  We were able to get him back to sleep quickly by giving him his pacifier, but he often woke every 15-30 minutes until it was time to get up at 6:30 or so.  Since Monday night, Charlie has been going down without a problem after I nurse him around 8:00pm and doesn't make a peep until he wakes up at 6:00am or 6:30am.  Happy times at the Clayton house!!  I do feel guilty because that suggests to me that I should have been feeding him more for weeks now, but I'm just happy we've found the problem!

We've also completely ditched the swaddle this month, and Charlie is sleeping at night and during naps in a sleep sack.  He keeps a lovey and sometimes when I check on him it's in a different spot, but he doesn't seem to hold onto it for dear life like Jack did at the beginning.  Now that Charlie's arms are free, he almost always sleeps in the muscle man pose, with both hands in fists on either side of his head.  Surprisingly, he hasn't started rolling in bed yet although he still rolls from back to tummy when he's playing on the floor.

Another breakthrough this month has been (dare I say it??) a significant decrease in spitting up.  Don't get me wrong, the little guy still has his moments.  I still don't get dressed for work until after he's eaten, but he is definitely spitting less now than he used to.  Yay! 

Charlie loves making noise, as demonstrated in this video:
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He's still constantly gnawing on his fingers and drooling like crazy.  No teeth yet though!!  He's also started sucking on his bottom lip, which of course is adorable, but it made his 5-month photo shoot a little difficult because he basically wanted to make this face the whole time:
Jack wanted in on the photo shoot yet again.  Such a loving big brother.

Just another little video of play time at our house and Jack being a silly guy...
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2.04.2012

Gymnastics....Again

Jack started yet another trial gymnastics class using yet another Groupon purchase.  This one is a Tumble Bees class at Olympiad Gymnastics.  We have five classes on Saturday mornings and he is really enjoying them.  The first class was a little rough because the class is only 30 minutes long and it took Jack about 20 minutes to warm up to the group.  The final 10 minutes were spent having a blast on the trampoline and jumping into the foam pit, but then, too quickly, the class was over.

The second week, Daddy came along with us, which was a lot of fun.  It still took Jack a little while to warm up and he was more interested in wandering around doing his own thing than sticking with the different stations the teacher had set up for us.  Still he got lots of energy out and had a great time trying lots of new things.
Climbing a ladder (slight incline) - I was impressed at how well he did at this!

Tall balance beam!
Bars!

Swinging like a monkey

In the big foam pit with Daddy!

Action shot!  Fearless little guy

Seat drop on the trampoline
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This week was our third class and it was the best one yet!  Jack opened up right away and for the most part did the stations that the teacher set up, which included: hopping through some hula hoops, somersaults, different activities on the bars, walking on the beam, climbing a wall (hands on the floor with back to the padded wall and walk your legs up behind you - he really impressed me by doing this one without my assistance), and of course, some more trampoline/foam pit time.

We've now tried three different places with our various online deals.  The first was My Gym and while it's not a gymnastics place, per se, it was probably my favorite for the fun activities we got to do.  The downside is that it's in Chesterfield, which is about a 30 minute drive from our house.  The second was GymQuarters, which was fun, but the gym was PACKED while we were there on Tuesday evenings and there was just too much going on for a 2-year-old to focus.  Olympiad is great because during our early Saturday morning classes, we pretty much have the whole place to ourselves, AND it's less than 10 minutes from home.

While I don't think we have a budding gymnast on our hands, I like having the special "Jack-only" time, he's practicing some important skills (balance, somersaults, etc) and most importantly, it's a fun way for  him to burn energy during the cold, gloomy winter.  I may consider extending our sessions for another month or so to get us through some more weeks of being trapped indoors, but I also want to enroll him in swim lessons again, so we'll see when those start.