Sunday, January 30, 2011

Playing at the Park

This weekend, the weather has been beautiful - it's actually felt almost spring-like!  After spending what feels like the entire month cooped up inside, we decided to load up the double stroller and walk over to the playground in our neighborhood for some climbing, sliding, and swinging.  Katie Anne had a great time and got tons of energy out, and even SJ got in on the action with his first trip in the swings!

Katie Anne had a great time playing tag with Daddy ... but she busted it hard on the pavement and cut her little upper lip up.  She completely manned up and didn't even cry about it!

The playground trip totally exhausted the little man - he spent the last hour of the trip snoozing with me holding him!  Look at these sweet sleeping baby pictures... and how light his hair is in the sun!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Katie Anne the Writer!

This morning, Katie Anne woke up bright and early... as in 5:15 am early.  SJ woke up and was crying loud and proud, and he woke KA up.  So, this made for a challenging morning for us since Saunders and I hadn't even had our showers yet - and all four of us were wide awake!

To keep Katie Anne occupied while we got ready for work, she watched two episodes of Arthur, but then she got bored and wanted something else to do.  She was supposed to draw a picture of weather as her homework for school this week, so I suggested that she draw a picture of the weather to fill the time.  She was excited to do it, but she wanted to go in the living room and color.  So, she headed into the other room while we got ready for work.

About 20 minutes later, Katie Anne came back into the bathroom and announced, "Okay, I'm done with my picture!  I drew our house in the rain."  She showed me this picture:
Very nice drawing of our house ... happy sunshine ... one lonely cloud sprinkling rain on our house ... two neighbor houses ... and her name at the bottom!

I was shocked that she'd written her name - but I just assumed right away that she'd copied it from somewhere.  She's been good at copying letters for awhile, although we have not worked on writing any particular thing.  Whenever she's written something, I usually write the letters (sometimes one at a time, sometimes all at once), and she looks at the letters and then writes them on her own.  Other times, I write the letters with a pencil or pen, and then she traces with a marker or crayon.  Apart from copying her name on a few cards, we haven't really worked on writing her name.  In fact, the last time I even asked her to write her name was on September 13 (thank goodness for blogs to help you remember specifics!), and she just copied letters that I'd written with a pen...
At that point, Katie Anne couldn't even spell her name on her own. 

So, I asked her where she'd copied her name from, and she said, "I didn't copy it.  I just wrote it."  I started to think of any place that she could've copied it, but I couldn't think of anywhere where her name is written in all caps around the house.  When I write her name, I always write it with a capital to start and lowercase letters to follow (see picture above).  I asked her if she was serious, and I think she was kind of insulted that I asked!  She said, "I wrote it by myself.  I didn't copy it!  I know how to write my name all by myself."  I just couldn't believe that she'd done that in the living room all alone, with no one to help her come up with letters or show her how to form them!
 Saunders and I thought this was a huge accomplishment, and we praised her to the high heavens.  Katie Anne didn't think it was too important - she said, "I wrote my name yesterday, and no one cared."  She ran to get the paper where she'd written her name ... and then colored over most of it with a navy blue marker.  So, technically this is the second time she'd written it by herself.  :)

Then, I noticed that her name ended with "RITI".  I thought she might have been trying to write Jones, but she told me that wasn't what she had written - she said, "I wrote Katie Anne and then Rainy because the weather is rainy."  So, she sounded out the correct initial sound of R and the correct final sound of I - not too shabby for only three years old!

*I'm behind on blogging, so it's been about a week and a half since Katie Anne wrote her name on January 27.  (I've backdated this post so I'll remember the exact date she wrote her name later.)  Since these pictures were made, Katie Anne has written her name by herself on everything - school papers, coloring pages, three birthday cards, a baby shower card, and lots more!  She's an official name writer!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

SJ's First Haircut!

Do you remember this wild haired child with his natural fauxhawk?
Well, that hairstyle is just a distant memory now ... because Daddy convinced Mommy that it was time for SJ's first haircut today!
 It was a true family project.  While Dad made pictures with the still camera (hence no pictures of him), Mom did the trimming and buzzing...
and big sister was in charge of the video!  Look at our little videographer!
Katie Anne was so excited and proud to be involved in a big milestone for SJ!
  I was fine with giving SJ a little trim around the sides and back... he'd started to grow a little baby mullet, so he definitely was in need of a trim.  I was even willing to cut his mohawk down a little bit because it had been flopping over* and not standing up nice and neat.  However, I was not ready to totally give him a military style buzz cut ... which is what Daddy wanted, and which is what I finally caved under peer pressure and did!  Here's the results - our little recruit is all ready for basic training!

*When I first cut the mohawk, I knew it was a mistake.  When I saw the finished haircut, I cried!  SJ didn't even look like himself - he looked so grown-up!  Saunders totally thought it was a good idea, but I thought it was a horrible mistake to cut SJ's signature 'do.  But, Saunders was sure he'd been right - he said that SJ would be made fun of if he kept rocking his floppy mohawk.  Apparently, Saunders am not the only one who thinks so.  After the haircut, I heard that people thought SJ looked like Conan O'Brian ... 
 or a Baby Tidal Wave ... 
 or -gasp- The Lorax.
(Just for the record, Josh McWhorter... the Lorax is bald.  When SJ is rocking a mighty mustache like Wilford Brimley, you can call him the Lorax.)

However, I later changed my opinion and had to admit that Dad had been right on this one ... SJ looks much, much better with his short hair.  And, now that I know he was quickly developing some crazy hair-based nicknames, I'm very glad we cut it!  
Regardless of the hairstyle, he still looks totally cute!

Monday, January 17, 2011

5 Months Old!

SJ is five months old today - hard to believe, but true!  The past five months have just flown by, and SJ has definitely "grown up" a lot in the past few weeks.  He's really changed from a passive baby into a little person with his own likes, wants, and opinions!  He is such a sweet, smiley baby who loves to play, talk, and eat, eat, eat!  His favorite person is definitely his big sister, and they play together all the time.  He also loves to look at Abby and Ginger.  Unfortunately, he's still not sleeping through the night consistently, but he makes it from 7:30 - 4:00 between feedings on most nights.  I still have to get up once or twice between those times with him, but I can usually settle him back down to sleep in a few minutes without going through the whole changing and feeding process.  He's a very slow eater - especially at night! - so giving him a bottle usually takes around an hour in the night/early morning.  During the day, he eats baby food, rice cereal, and takes bottles, too.  He's currently wearing 9 months clothes most of the time, but he fits comfortably into a lot of 12 months things, too!

In honor of his little five-month birthday, I took a lot of pictures - and a video! - to show some of the things he loves to do these days.

At five months, SJ...
 has learned to roll over front his tummy to his back:
In that video, you can also hear him talking ... he talks all the time!  SJ has lots of different little "voices", and you can really tell his emotions from the tone of his baby talk.  He loves to have conversations with everyone and tries really hard to mimic the tone of the person that's talking to him.  Normally, he kind of waits his turn and has a little "conversation" with you, but when we're in the car on the way home from school every day, he talks loud, long, and non-stop.  Katie Anne tells me all about her day in the car, and I say he's telling me about his day at school, too.  Katie Anne gives him a minute or two to talk, and then she wants her turn - but he just keeps on going!  It frustrates Katie Anne to no end because he'll just talk louder and louder to try to talk over her.  She says, "SJ, stop talking!  It's my turn to tell Mommy about my day now!"  I think we're going to have two very chatty kids on our hands when SJ really learns how to talk!

SJ has also decided that he can sit up.  He grabs his little feet and tries to hold himself straight up.  He actually does pretty well if he has a little support from the bed or couch, or if he's sitting on someone's lap- he can hold himself up in a sitting position for a good while.  On the floor, he can't do quite as well, but he still tries and gets very frustrated when he can't do it the way he wants - or when someone tries to help him!
Here we go...

Grab the little feet and struggle up:

Mom, don't help me - I've got this:

See?  I'm up!
Whew - and I'm down.  Too hard!

Along that same line of thinking that he's a little man, SJ has decided that he is too old for his bouncy seat.  As soon as you put him in it, he's trying to sit up and get out.  He grabs the edge of the seat and pulls himself up into a sitting position, and he just about flips the seat over.  He's a daredevil baby!  So, these pictures were just for documentation purposes, and now the vibrating seat is put away!

How many times have I said I'm not a baby?!  Let me just get out of this silly seat...
 I'll just grab the edge and work my hands down...
A little further and I think I've got it!
 There we go!  Now I'm sitting up!
 Now, if I can only figure out this darn buckle, I'll be out of here!

At five months, SJ is such a happy, cheerful baby.  He has the sweetest smile and a great little laugh.  He smiles at everyone and loves attention from his big sister!  SJ also loves to play with toys.  He loves to grab and manipulate things - and like any baby, everything goes straight into his mouth!  This is his present from Ella and Colin, which he plays with while I get his dinner ready every night.

 SJ is a great eater who loves his baby food.  He's eating a Stage 1 fruit and cereal for breakfast, a Stage 1 veggie and cereal for lunch, and either a fruit or veggie and cereal for dinner.  He also takes 6 oz bottles throughout the day - he goes about 4 hours in between feedings.  He loves to eat - especially the fruits!  He doesn't like green vegetables at all, but he loves all the yellow ones like squash and sweet potatoes.  SJ is a very neat eater - he eats quickly and doesn't make much of a mess at all.
I had my finger over the top of the flash, but I love this picture of his little face!
 Yum yum!
 All done!  SJ cleans his plate every time.

SJ also has this new "motorboat" sound that he makes.  I thought at first that he was making this sound when he was hungry, but I actually think he makes it when he's showing his displeasure about something.  It is kind of confusing because sometimes he laughs while he's doing it, and sometimes he gets upset and cries.  He does his little motorboat periodially, but he consistently does it when you feed him rice cereal without baby food mixed into it, and he definitely doesn't like it when they're not mixed together.  This is the only time he makes a mess when he's eating!

SJ has turned into his own little man at only five months old!  We can't wait to see what he'll do next!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Playdate with the Jolly Family!

Today, we got together with the Jolly family for a playdate!  We headed to the Jolly's for a big lunch and playtime.  We actually had not exchanged Christmas presents with them yet - Katie Anne, SJ, and Ella were all sick during the holidays, so we'd put off exchanging until all the kids felt better.  We had great BBQ from the Big Green Egg, yummy sides like cucumber salad, pasta salad, and baked beans, and tasty desserts, too!  The girls played with Ella's kitchen, play dough, dress up, and a crazy game called "Beat the Ball" that tired both them out big time!  The boys enjoyed sitting around and gumming their new toys.  

 Time to open presents!

 The boys just hanging out

 Ella got Katie Anne a Leapfrog Scribble and Write, and she loves it!
 SJ discussing his gift - an adjustable playbar that he uses every day! - with Colin.
 Dress up time!  Everyone got in on the fun!
 The girls loved styling our hair.  Erin got a very fancy princess 'do ...
 while mine was a little more avant-garde.
 SJ dressed up, too!
We had such a great time - I literally laughed until my face hurt at one point over "the word we don't say"!  I hope we don't put off another Jolly-Jones playdate as long as we did this one because we always have tons fo fun when we get together!