Visit to the Farm

You may recall that Grandma & Grandpa Clayton have a farm in northern Missouri, which we visit from time to time.  On Father's Day weekend we took Jack for his third visit and had a nice weekend.  It was a quick trip - we went up Saturday morning and came back Sunday afternoon - but Jason got plenty of fishing in, which was the main goal.  Jack even got to do some fishing with Paw Paw and Dada.
(notice the teeny fish on their line in this one): 

Jack slept in a pack & play for the first time in months, and he did pretty well.  He needed some help falling asleep for his nap Saturday, so I had to rock him to sleep and then lie down in bed with him.  It was special snuggle time that I just don't get much these days, so I was not complaining!!  Then that night he fell asleep on his own in the pack & play after less than 10  minutes or so.  Better than I expected!

Jack took a bath in the kitchen sink, as is the tradition for the Clayton grand kids.  See how much he's grown in a year?
May 2010 - 9 Months Old

June 2011 - 22 Months Old

He loved it when Grandma squirted him with the faucet:

Jack and Dada on the lawn mower
 Jack "driving" the mule: 
 Going for a ride w/Dada and Paw Paw - they said he LOVED it!
 Happy guy!
 "Driving" Paw Paw's tractor 
On Sunday we went into town to a place where you can feed deer.  It was kind of hot, so for the most part the deer stayed in the shade rather than coming to get our corn, but Jack still loved it.  He kept yelling "Deer!  Deer!" trying to get them to come to us and loved throwing the corn into the fence.

Finally one came near us
 Nice family weekend - looking forward to our next farm visit.


Sparky Update - 29 Weeks

I had a doctor visit this week, so I figured it was time for a Sparky update.  I am 29 weeks along today and feeling pretty good.  Starting to get some aches and pains when I move too fast or do too much, and starting to lose a little of my energy, but generally, still doing well.  So far I've only had one crazy calf cramp, but I'm sure there are more of those to come.  The heartburn has continued as well - almost every morning around 4:00 I take 2 Tums, but I'm still falling right back asleep, so again, nothing to complain about.  I took my glucose test this week and they said no news is good news. Since it's now been 3 days, I'm assuming I'm in the clear.

We had an ultrasound at our visit this week and got a really good 3D picture of Sparky.  I think he/she looks just like Jack did in the womb.  
The heartbeat was 150, which according to Dr. Herrmann is a "dude."  Baby is getting very strong with lots of kicks and punches.  Sometimes we have to have a little chat about letting Mommy get some sleep.

Here's a picture of me today - getting big! 


Jack at 22 Months

We are quickly closing in on the end of Jack's second year, so I think it is time for an update on all his latest developments and skills.  This is a really fun, while occasionally challenging, age!  It's been so fun to watch him grow and learn - we've got a pretty bright little guy on our hands.

The most fun right now is the ability to carry on conversations with him.  His vocabulary has been increasing exponentially - I tried to count the number of words he says a few weeks ago and very easily got to 50, so I know he's well over that.  It seems like he's saying new words every day.  Some of his favorites are truck, bus, bike and plane, all of which he points out over and over again when we're in the car.  We routinely have some variation of the following conversation when we're in the car:
Jack:  Bike! (insert mode of transportation here)
Mama: Ooh a bike, I saw it too.
Jack: Where go?
Mama: I think it drove that way.
Jack: More
Mama: You want to see more bikes?
Jack: Yeah
Mama: Well, we'll have to just keep watching to see more of them.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that we can repeat this conversation 5 times in our 30-35 minute drive to work/school in the morning.

Other favorite words are the colors.  Jack is now able to identify and name blue (boo), green (geen), yellow (yeyyow), red (re), pink (pin), purple (pupple) black (back) and white (why); basically all the main colors with the exception of orange and brown.  We're still working on those two.  He is always identifying things by their colors - truck has now become white truck, etc.

He is also getting pretty good with his manners.  He often still needs to be reminded to say please, but very often will say thank you without being prompted.  We're so proud.  He also remembers to cover his mouth when he coughs about 1/3 of the time.  Pretty good progress for a little guy I think.

Jack's favorite playtime activity is playing choo choos.  He has a train table he received at Christmas, and he is constantly taking one or both of his parents by the hands to drag us into the toy room to play choo choos.  We are in the process of getting his big boy room ready (more on that in a later post), which includes a choo choo quilt on his new bed.  The first week we had the bed in there, the child didn't want to leave the room.  He calls it his choo choo room.  I was worried that I might regret choosing a somewhat childish theme for the new room, but given his current obsession, I'm happy with the choice.  We can always update it a few years down the road as he grows out of it.

Our little man is constantly imitating what we do, from gestures to postures to words we say to sounds we make.  Monkey see, monkey do!  It is a riot to watch him - sometimes he takes several minutes comparing his stance to ours, for example, to make sure he has it just right.  Here's a demo from tonight: sitting just like Dada was while they watched TV, hands on his feet and all.

He's becoming very independent, as all toddlers do.  My favorite example of this is his recent insistence on choosing the shoes he wears each day.  It started with him preferring flip flops to his tennis shoes and quickly moved on through his whole shoe line-up.  We've run numerous errands in our frog rain boots, have gone to the Ashers house in our snow boots  (when it was 90 degrees out) and even once wore Mama's flip flops into the post office (that added about 15 minutes onto our quick pit stop to check the business P.O. box since he could barely walk without them falling off his feet).  When we get comments, stares and laughs from passersby, my standard response is "you have to pick your battles, right?"  

He's also been enjoying wearing Mama's heels, which is quite a hoot.  Luckily he hasn't insisted on wearing those out of the house (yet!).

Along with Jack's independence has come the tendency to throw tantrums.  Lately when he doesn't like what we're telling him to do, he gets mad and then slowly and deliberately bangs his head on whatever is nearby - the wall, a chair, the floor, you name it.  He even gave himself a bloody nose on his crib the other day.  Hopefully this is a quick phase we can snap out of quickly.

I think that covers the basics.  All in all, things are great in our world.  We have a happy, loving little guy and we are enjoying every minute with him.


Race for the Cure

We participated in Race for the Cure Saturday with the Ashers and the Lades.  It was very crowded, as always, but the weather ended up being great after a full week of 95 degree days.  This year we opted for the 1 mile fun walk (instead of the 5K) since we had 3 toddlers with limited attention spans and two of us are 6 months pregnant.  It was just the right distance for us and all the kids were great (with a little help from fruit snacks, juice, etc).

Here are the kiddos enjoying a pre-race sucker (Jack, Addi & Reghan):

Our family:
Melissa, Addi & Greg:
Darrin, Reghan, Julie & Chrissy:
During the walk - people as far as you can see (and a LOT of pink):
Jack displaying his shirt, which said "My Grandma has BIG muscles.  She beat up cancer."

One Proud Mama

Jack made me very proud tonight - he went pee pee AND poo poo on the potty for the first time!!

We are by no means potty training him right now.  I realize most kids are too young at 21 months, especially boys.  But he has been curious the past few months, so we've had his little potty out in the bathroom for awhile. We read a few potty books regularly and he's sat on the big potty a couple times just for fun.

Tonight he kept tooting while he was taking his bath, so when I got him out I put him on the big potty.  Sure enough, he went pee pee almost immediately!!  I was so excited!!  Then he kept saying "more, more."  And I realized he was pushing - next thing you know he's going poo poo too!  What a big shot!  We celebrated with a popsicle (he requested a yeyyow one).

We won't be throwing away his diapers just yet, but at least now he knows what it feels like, which is a start!!