Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!


P.S. Jackson's adorable shirt is from my cousin's shop (ShopMelissa) on Etsy- check it out!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

23 Months!

Weight: 27.5 pounds
Height: 35.5 inches

Well, we made it through another COLD, snowy month! I'm already counting down the days until spring. Luckily, we've kept busy with music classes, ECFE, and lots of indoor play-dates.
We also escaped to the Como Conservatory. It was fun to pretend it was summer for a little while...
On top of that, grammy White came to stay with you for several days when daddy and I took a trip to Seattle. Daddy had to go for work and I tagged along. While he worked, I had two whole days to explore on my own. I have to admit, although I missed you terribly, it was extremely refreshing to have so much time to myself! Daddy and I also enjoyed several dinners out on the town, a tour and tasting at a local winery, and lots of sightseeing. After a plentiful happy hour I even talked daddy into his and her pedicures- he loved it! We are so thankful to grammy White for using her vacation time so she could babysit and for taking such good care of you while we were away! We're so lucky!!

Daddy and I also had the tough task of deciding what to do for you for preschool next year. I toured one school, that I had heard great things about, and fell in love! Most importantly, I think you will love it, too! The hard part was deciding whether to send you for one or two mornings per week. We went back and forth trying to decide what would be best for you (and our family). Well, it turns out we didn't have to worry about making a choice because there was only one option left when it was my turn to register. This preschool is really popular and slots fill up quickly, but I didn't realize just how determined some parents were to get the spots they wanted. I had planned on getting there at 6:30am, when the doors opened. I naively thought this would be plenty early because registration didn't start until 8am. Boy was I wrong! I got a text around 5:15am, from another mom, telling me that the parking lot was starting to get crowded and that I should get there soon. I jumped out of bed, got dressed, and headed over. I didn't get there until about 5:45am because, of course, my car was just about out of gas and I had to stop to fill it up on the way. Ahhhh! Because I was such a slacker you got into my very last day/time/location choice, but at least you got in. As of now, you will go Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-12... (I'm hoping we can switch to Tuesdays and Thursdays). Anyway, it was a very stressful morning and mommy was very tired that day.

Back to you... Your talking has continued to impress (and amuse) us. New words this month include sorry, silly, tickle, broccoli, sleep, wake-up, etc... While your vocabulary has grown and your annunciation has improved, you still have quite a bit of difficulty with the "f" sound. You typically just substitute it for the "sh" sound. For example, fork=shork, phone=shone, and fart=shart. You're a little more off with the word fish...

This is particularly embarrassing when you shout "shit" at the doctor's office (which has a large aquarium in the waiting room). You also created a spectacle at your friend Christopher's Nemo themed 2nd birthday party. As soon as you saw the fish decorations, you shouted "shit"! Throughout the rest of the party, people would point to one of the many fish around the house and a ask you what it was. It was pretty entertaining... Besides swearing up a storm, you had a great time running around with the other toddlers and playing in the aquarium,
eating "shit" sticks, gold-"shit", and cupcakes,
and posing in the photo-booth (okay maybe you didn't enjoy this so much).
I think you're going though a growth spurt because you have been ravenous lately. The other morning, you had two pancakes, an entire banana, a piece of turkey bacon, juice, and milk for breakfast!! Thankfully, you're not a very picky eater! I've been afraid to even write about this because I don't want to jinx it, but you'll eat almost anything (at least when it's on your terms and you can take your time). Some of the surprising things you like include brussel sprouts, shrimp (with cocktail sauce), tofu, cherry tomatoes, beets, pickles, curry, and chili. You also had your first Happy Meal (shame on me). Daddy was out for the night and you and I were on our way home from a failed trip to Target. Shopping is nearly impossible with you these days (even when you get to ride in the cool car carts at the grocery store).
Anyway, I had planned on getting something to make for dinner at Target, but that didn't happen. You wouldn't get in the cart and demanded to "help" me push it. It was during the after work rush and we crashed into a few people (who were mostly understanding). That sort-of worked until you started taking things off of the shelf and putting them in the cart. When I would put them back you would scream at the top of your lungs. We quickly ended our trip and headed home (with nothing from my original list). There was no way I was getting you out of the car again, so we went through the McDonald's drive thru. As soon as I passed you the first french fry, your cries and whines turned to yums! Whew! I was so relieved I didn't even feel guilty.
We've had a few "warm" days where we got out to play in the snow. You're finally getting more used to it and particularly enjoy being outside while it's snowing.
On a particularly blustery day, you rode your little tricycle in the garage. (When it's hardly above zero, you do what you have to do).
I just can't get over how quickly you're growing up. A friend of mine, who hadn't seen you in a few months, commented that you had no baby left in you. Most of the time, I completely agree with her. You want to do everything yourself, you're talking and growing like crazy, and are constantly (fearlessly) investigating your environment. This grown-up Jackson, was even more apparent at a recent play-date at Edinborough park. You quickly made friends with a group of little girls (who were about 8 years old). The helped you and Christopher in the bouncy house and down the slide,
they pushed you around on a scooter,
and even helped you make a basket (are you kidding me?).
I kept a watchful eye, from a little distance, while you were playing in the gym; you were clearly enjoying all the attention. I decided that I better follow more closely once you and your entourage ventured into Adventure Peak. You weren't very happy with this, however. You said "mommy go" and "bye-bye mommy" while shooing me away. I guess I'm already cramping your style... When it was time for the girls to go home, you chased after them and had to give them all hugs. It was a riot!! However, I think I deserve at least a few more years as your leading lady...

Thankfully, every once in a while I see little glimpses of baby Jackson. You'll come plop in my lap and rest your head on my chest for a brief moment or cuddle up with your "me" (the name you have given your most favorite blankie). One afternoon, after a busy morning, you even nodded off in your high chair...
I cherish these moments, because they are growing farther and farther apart, but I also love seeing glimpses of the amazing little boy you are becoming.
Happy 23 months, peanut!
Love, Mom

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Shooting 101

A few months ago I joined an amazing website called Clickin Moms. I have always been interested in photography and hardly ever leave home without my camera. (Even after we upgraded to a large and clunky camera that I can't just throw in my purse). I have become particularly obsessed since Jackson was born. He's growing up so fast and I don't want to miss a thing!! Getting better pictures of him was my primary goal. I also joined so that I could become more proficient shooting in manual mode and to learn more about the business in general. John has gotten behind my hobby/aspiring (maybe someday) career and bought me a fancy new lens and first online course for Christmas. I spent hours waiting for my class to open for registration because they have limited seats and fill up within minutes of opening. It was definitely a "bad mommy" morning. I plopped poor Jax in front of the television with a box of goldfish, so I could sit and refresh my screen every minute. Thankfully, it paid off and I got into Shooting 101.

The class consisted of four weeks of material, assignments, and reviews. I was a little nervous and intimidated because many of the women in my class had far more experience than me... From day one, we had to shoot in Manual mode which I had only tried a couple times. It was extremely overwhelming, but got easier and easier as the weeks progressed. The class ends this week and, while I am far from an expert, I am so much more confidant shooting in manual. I've also seen a dramatic improvement in the color and clarity of my pictures and learned several tips for successfully photographing wiggly toddlers (like Jackson).

Earlier this week, when the temperature was actually above 30 degrees, Jackson and I had a photo-shoot for my final. Here are some of my favorites:

And the one I chose for my final assignment...
I'm so sad for the class to come to an end- I learned sooo much and throughouly enjoyed being in "school" again. (I know I'm a dork). I can't wait to take more classes!