Slumber Parties, Swimming, Soccer, Stalling & Stuttering

Last weekend Charlie had his first overnight without us.  Jack and Charlie stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Clayton while we went to the Blues playoff game.  Charlie did great, and Jack did really well too, aside from not going to sleep until 10:15ish.  If that's the only issue, I'd say the overnight was a success!  AND Mommy and Daddy slept until 8:00!  Wow!

We saw a great game and the highlight was Chris Carpenter (Cardinals pitcher) sitting directly in front of us sporting the new World Series ring he received earlier that morning on one hand and the one from a few years ago on the other hand.  Talk about bling!  He's the bald head to my left being harassed by a fan (poor guy didn't get left alone the whole night).  At least our stalking was nonchalant and behind his back (literally!!).
Our niece Mia turned six on Monday, so we celebrated last Sunday with a big birthday swim party.  She invited her whole class at school (she's in Kindergarten) as well as some friends from dance, so there were LOTS of kids!  Jack had a blast swimming with his daddy and Charlie loved his first time splashing in the pool!

Watching Daddy come down the big water slide with Grandma

Swimming wore Charlie out

Birthday girl and her mommy

Lily and Ale (neighbor/might as well be a cousin/Jack's first crush)

Um, yikes!

Cousins: Jack and Lily

Jack started soccer last month.  We're doing a Parent & Me Kickaroos class at Vetta Sports and he loves it!  He's improving very quickly already: the first week he bent down and directed the ball with his hands any time it went astray and already the very next week he was patiently using his feet instead.  Quick learner!  He  tends to only kick with his left foot, so that's one thing we'll work on, but he's doing great.  He's mostly a good listener while we are there, which makes Mommy very happy.  Then there are days like yesterday where he basically does the exact opposite of everything the coach says.  That makes for a looooong 45 minutes.

You'll notice in these videos that both the hula hoop and the bouncy ball that Jack uses are blue.  He is obsessed.  EVERYthing has to be blue!  He has a panic attack if the coach gives him a yellow ring instead and has to urgently trade for blue.  Not sure what brought this on, but we pick our battles, so blue it is.

I have mentioned in the past that Jack is a master staller.  This week he has been kindly demonstrating the extent of his stalling abilities to his thrilled parents.  Almost every morning this week started with frustration as he refused to insert task here (i.e. get dressed, brush teeth, get in car....the list goes on and on).  If we wanted him to do something, he fought us.  Not a great way to start our mornings.  The worst is when he refuses to get into the car.  I eventually lose patience and put him in the car myself, which leads to a meltdown because he wanted to do it himself.  Then even if I let him back out to get back in on his own, we repeat the same process for getting into his car seat.  If I try to force him into his car seat, it literally takes every ounce of strength that I have to wrestle him in there.  He is one strong preschooler!!  So, we are really working on rewarding him when he is a good listener and constantly repeating the mantra 'this too shall pass.'   Just hoping it's sooner rather than later!

And for my last topic of the day: stuttering.  In the last month or so, Jack has developed a stutter.  It's generally when he starts a sentence with 'I', and it comes out "I-I-I-I-I-I want to play baseball," but happens with other words as well.  I haven't done a lot of research yet, but several people have told me it's nothing to be concerned about.  We're supposed to ignore it and not even tell him he's doing it and it likely will fix itself.  In the meantime it's a little frustrating - I just want to help him speak more clearly!


7 Months Old

Charlie turned 7 months old Monday!  He continues to be a happy, smiley, laid-back little guy.  He's making more and more noises and has started making some consonant sounds.  His favorite is "dadadadada" but he can also say "babababa."  Mommy is still waiting for that "M" sound.
Our little guy still doesn't have teeth, but every day I keep thinking one will break through.  He's gone through various phases of drooling like crazy, gnawing on everything in sight and occasionally (like the last couple of nights) waking up at 9:30pm crying.  It's nothing a little Tylenol doesn't fix, so we keep thinking "it's gotta be teeth."
Charlie is a pro at sleeping. His bedtime has crept a little earlier and earlier so now he generally goes down about 7:30 or 7:45 and sleeps until sometime in the 6:00 hour.  He sleeps in a sleep sack some nights and just in his jammies other nights.  Sometimes he falls asleep nursing, but usually he's still awake when I put him down and he doesn't make a peep.  This is one easy baby!
Little man is sitting like a champ and can switch to his tummy when he's trying to reach for something.  He pushes himself all the way up on his arms when he's on his tummy and almost gets up on his knees, but not quite yet.  He rolls all over the place and often has rotated 180 degrees in his crib when he wakes up in the morning.  His new favorite sleeping position is on his side with his feet poking out of the slats.  

His most exciting new skill is clapping.  He's almost doing it on command when I say "Yay!"  So, so close.  This video was from a few days ago and today I really think he almost has it nailed.  Tomorrow's going to be the day!  Sorry about the jumpiness; this is from my phone.
This month we added a third spoon-fed meal for Charlie, so he's now eating breakfast, lunch and dinner along with 4-5 nursing/bottle sessions.  My milk supply is still going strong and I have a very large frozen supply still, so I have secret hopes of making it the full year without having to buy formula.  We'll see how that goes - 7 months was when my milk started slowing with Jack and by 9 months I was finished completely, so I'm not holding my breath just yet.
We've found only one food that Charlie is not fond of: mangoes.  He made a full recovery on the bananas and now loves them, but not so much on the mangoes.  He's funny because he'll eat several bites just fine, then on the 5th or 6th bite he starts making a horrible sour face, then he starts refusing bites altogether.  He also added a few other new foods this month: oatmeal, plums, pears, applesauce, plain yogurt, puffs and yogurt bites.  With the finger foods he ends up dropping most of them on the floor or they just get soggy in his little hand, but occasionally he gets one in his mouth and it's a riot to watch him chew it with these big dramatic bites while it quickly disintegrates in his mouth.


Happy Easter

We had a nice, albeit very busy, Easter weekend.  Saturday I crammed a hair appointment and manicure/pedicure appointment in with Jack's soccer and our Easter celebration with my mom's family.  Since Jason had to work basically all morning and early afternoon, Grandma Clayton came to the rescue and watched the boys while I ran around like a crazy person.

Gibler Easter was nice and Jack got to do his first of five egg hunts while we were there.

Sunday morning we made plans with the Ashers and Minchers to do a neighbor Easter egg hunt.  Of course, Jack chose that morning to sleep until 8:00 for maybe the third time in his life, so we hurried and found the eggs the Easter Bunny brought to our house, scarfed down some breakfast (meals are not speedy with our little man) and went up to the Minchers' house at 9:00.  Luckily, the Easter Bunny forgot to bring their baskets so we didn't look at those until after we got back to our house, which saved some time in the rushed morning.  Jack really loved all the egg hunting and got really into it.  He was really cute at our house and got so excited with each one he found.
 Love this one - he's looking all around and there's a pink egg right behind him.
 We had to give him a few hints and even when this yellow one was right in front of him, it took him a minute to find it:
 Ah, found it!
The hunt with the neighbors was lots of fun.  There were 60+ eggs for Nathan, Addi and Jack to find in the Minchers' back yard.  They were funny to watch: Jack was a man on a mission running from egg to egg and quickly filling up his basket.  Nathan opened each egg that he found, usually spilling candy in the grass and then taking the time to pick each piece up and place it in his basket.  And then Addi was somewhere in the middle - not quite in the huge hurry Jack was in, but not as leisurely as Nate either.  Oh man, it was cute.  We will definitely make this an annual tradition!  I'm so disappointed because I swore I took a video but there isn't one on my camera so I either dreamt that or it got deleted somehow.  Bummer.

Charlie & Ethan observed the action (Tyson was inside sleeping)

When we got home, we checked out what else the Easter Bunny brought us, and for Jack that was a new big boy bike!!  He's very excited and is already becoming quite the bike rider.

Then Jason left to work for a little bit, and Charlie went to sleep, so Jack and I dyed Easter eggs.  Next year I'd like to get a kit that's a little more fancy than the basic eggs, but it was still fun.  He didn't really grasp the concept of writing on the white egg with white crayon so it would show up later, but he LOVED using the little wand to put the eggs in and take them out of the dye.

After that we quickly (again!) ate lunch, then Jack took a bath and went down for his nap.  By then Charlie was awake so I fed him lunch after Jack went down, then he had his bath and a little while later he was down for another nap.  Jason got home and we quickly got ready, woke the boys up from their naps and we were off to the Lang Easter.

Jack was a lucky guy there because none of the other kids were there (my cousins who have kids all live out of town), so he got to find all 30-40 of the eggs by himself.
We had a nice visit with the family, then headed over to the Knichels for our third and final Easter celebration.  The weather was decent so we sat in the backyard while the kids played on the playground and rode their bikes.  Jack got some practice on his new bike too!

After awhile Paige and Ale (neighbor) came and got the littles for an Easter egg hunt they set up in the front yard.  It was cute, they made Mia, Lily and Jack close their eyes while they led them to the front yard.

This I actually did take a video of - it's cute watching Paige help her cousin find his eggs:
Then we took some cousin pictures - love it!!
 Lily wanted a picture with Charlie, but they fell over.  Funny.
 Then Charlie hung out on his tummy for a bit
 Then the girls joined in, but Jack was off playing.  I wish I would have rounded him up because these pictures are so darn cute!
I love Charlie's expression!

 When we got home Jack was going through his nighttime routine while Daddy and I put things away around the house.  When we went into the bathroom to check on him, this is what we found.  Silly goose!
SO, as you can see, it was a very hectic weekend, as are all holidays for us these days.  BUT we had lots of great family time, and it was really fun watching Jack get so excited to find an egg filled with 5 pennies or a small handful of jelly beans.