Wordless Wednesday {19}

Chris and I have been excited to become even more active as a family, and much talk has been about biking, hiking and the like.  We went through the garage at my Mom’s house and found my old 18 speed bike from my teen years, and we also found another bike for $5 at a neighbor’s garage sale over the weekend.  Two bikes.  Done.

Following tune-ups, new tire tubes and a new Topeak baby seat for the back of my bike, we were off for our inaugural ride!

Jack loved his new Elmo helmet and riding around town with Mommy.  No tears, just excitement!  We stopped at the park to have a quick and impromptu playdate with Jack’s friend, Ryan.  After playing for about 20 minutes, Jack was running back to the bike to be put back on and to head on out again.  Looks like we will be hitting the pavement a lot more this summer!!

Getting ready to head out with Mommy


The Dogs Made Me Do It

Last week was the first and hopefully only time that all three dogs in this house will ever have this K9 virus.  Each dog was ill the entire week, which made for many occasions of picking up the mess after the bug invaded their tummies.

We bought ground beef and rice by the truckload and after visits to the vet, the dogs seem to be on the road to recovery.  Between cleaning up the aftermath, giving each one a bath because they were a mess, cooking the food and caring for Jack, we were utterly exhausted.  Chris did the majority of the dog issue stuff while I kept Jack away from the mayhem.

Just another reason why I love my husband through thick and thin.  He and I work together as a team and can accomplish anything.  Sorry for the gross details, but that was truly our week the entire week.

Jack: 18 Months

So much has happened since right before you turned 18 months on Thursday.  Mommy went back to work, you started at a new daycare near where Mommy and Daddy work, and Mommy left you for the first time (for more than just a few hours) for a business trip.  You handled it all so well, although you miss your 2.5-3 hour naps at home in lieu of your 1.5 hour naps at school.  (The other kids wake you up)

Daddy and I have noticed the leaps and bounds that you are making in your speech, your fine and gross motor skills and especially in your socialization with other people and other children.  Mommy and Daddy are still your favorites, but we find that you cry less if you are dropped off at school.

Mommy swears that you grew a few inches this month and are still slowly losing your baby face and gaining your toddler/big boy face.  Certain people say that you don’t have Daddy’s exact face anymore and that features from Mommy are starting to appear.  We will see with time.  Either way, you will always be my handsome boy.

You love it when I carry you in the Ergo and especially loved it a few weeks ago when we would buy flowers at the greenhouse.  You were in your element.  Cuddled up to Mommy as tight as could be, you would reach up with your chubby, dimpled hands and play with my hair or kiss me on my back as we walked.  I melted into a million puddles each time that you did it.

I never thought my heart would be full of so much love for another person, other than your father, but I am amazed how absolutely gaga crazy I am for you.  It’s like I am love-drunk and I need my daily fix of Jack each day to keep myself sane.  I love you more than words or expressions could ever say.

18 Months Old on June 9, 2011

Clothing: You are still wearing 18-24 months clothing, and a few things are size 2T. (same thing, only pants fall off at the waist because you are a little skinny mini!)

Shoes: Still wearing a toddler size 6.

Diapers: Size 4 all day and all night.

Teeth count: 4 molars and 8 other front teeth.  Your incisors have been giving you issues, but none have cut through yet.

Favorite foods: You will truly eat anything that we give you.  New foods this month are pineapple, fish, and french toast sticks.  The only thing that is different is that your new favorite thing is to chew up food in your mouth and then spit it out.  It drives Mommy and Daddy crazy.  Oh!  And you love to dip your food in condiments while saying “Dip, dip, dip.”  “Uh Oh” is also a new favorite word, although you like to do something just to say uh oh.

Favorite toys: Trucks.  You line up all of your trucks on the back of your chair (according to size) and you have them all facing the same direction.  You make truck noises whenever you see a truck and point.  It is trucks all day long right now.

You have learned to: Take off your pants.  Yep, I spoke too soon last month.

Words you are saying: New words: Hello, “Ack” for yourself, and if you are asked how old you are, you put up your finger and say “one.”  (Grammy Maureen taught you that one)  Oh, and you love to say “My Moo” when referring to Killian.

Sleeping: Since our schedules have changed, you are now going to bed around 7:30 during the week and have been waking up around 7:00am.

Naps: School has you sleeping around 12:15/12:30pm and sleeping until 1:30 or so.  At home, you sleep until 2:30 or 3.

Accomplishments: You can use utensils very well and can march, follow two-step directions and hold hands while walking in public.

18 month stats: (estimate because the appointment is next weekend)

Weight: 25 pounds

Height: 32.5 inches

You had a little virus last weekend but are feeling so much better now.

STATS via BabyCenter:

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
• Will “read” board books on his own – Oh yes!  Most of the time it is baby babble, but he occasionally says hello throughout the book.
• Scribbles well – He has been coloring and finger painting at school.  He enjoys both activities and is slowly improving.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
• Strings two words together in phrases – He will say “My Moo” or “No, Daddy/Mommy” but that is it so far.
• Brushes teeth with help – Jack will cry if you are the one to brush his teeth.  He only wants to do it himself.
• Stacks four blocks – He can stack up to 7 blocks.  (He’s also had a lot of practice!)

Mastered Skills (a few kids can do)
• Throws a ball overhand – Has been doing this for months and has never thrown underhand.  Daddy is thrilled and wants to enroll him in private left-hand pitching sessions ASAP.
• Takes toys apart and puts them back together – He can take apart the shape containers and put the shapes in the right holes.  It may take him a bit of time, but he can do it.
• Shows signs of toilet training readiness – He has been holding his bowels much better and is still interested in the potty, but unfortunately, due to space and facility restrictions, his day care will not assist with potty training until age 2.  He knows when he is wet and brings me a fresh diaper on occasion. He loves to flush the toilet and sits on his potty when in the powder room with Mommy and Daddy.  Just 6 more months, and he will be on that potty in no time.

Happy 18 months JackMan!

Funny boy

Long & lean

Lining up his trucks

Trucks all in a row

The Best Things About Home

You know the feeling.  You pull up to the house and open the car door, and the smells from your childhood come pouring into your car.  You walk up the familiar walkway and into the front door that you have entered countless times before.

You sit on the couch that used to be the hangout for friends, the place you would camp out in front of the TV when you were sick, and the place that you used to curl up with a good book on a cold winter day.  The feeling?  There is nothing like it.  You are in your purest form and soaking up every single second of home just brings back a flood of memories of your childhood.  First dates, proms, family dinners, game nights; they all come in a wave.

My favorite things are the initial hug and kiss from my mother, although I am now second in line to Prince Jack, and the happy feeling in my soul that I am home.  Truly home.  The great thing about now is that I get to experience this feeling every single day since we are now living with my Mom.

I still cherish every hug and am reminded of the awkward prom photos on the front porch and pictures in front of the azaleas.  I am reminded of walking down the path to the limousine and finding that a bird just pooped all over my wedding dress.  (I was calm and a baby wipe took it off without a circle stain.)  All of these little thoughts and feelings are the lyrics that I would sing in “My Favorite Things.”

I just love being home.

Elmo Update

I just wanted to say that I feel like a jerk because I just found the Elmo tickets starting at $13 on Ticketmaster.com for the same show.

Lesson learned. Always check Ticketmaster first before ordering any tickets. And yes, we will now be going to the show. However, requiring children over age 1 to have a ticket when they can’t even sit in the folding seat anyway is a little ridiculous.

Anyways, we will be taking Jack to see Elmo’s Green Thumb in March! 🙂

Stepping Out Saturday- Week 1

My family went out on Saturday night for my sister, Colleen’s birthday.  We went to a local Italian joint and settled in. Unfortunately, my Mom started to feel ill after we ordered our dinner, so she headed home early. Nonetheless, we all enjoyed our dinner and shared some laughs with each other.  It was nice to spend some quality time and celebrate my sister’s 27th birthday.

Chris, Jack and I at dinner

We so rarely get a decent shot of the three of us, so I am thrilled that this turned out so well.

Jack was wearing:

Red sweater- Ralph Lauren Polo

Denim (not pictured)- Baby Gap

Shoes (not pictured)- Stride Rite

My sisters and I at dinner

In order, Me, Colleen and Kate.  I can only give account to what I was wearing at dinner, although I do know about 90% of what Colleen was wearing.

Necklace- Tiffany & Co. (My push present from the Hubs)

Black shell- Banana Republic from 4 years ago

Grey cardigan- J.Crew

Black skinny pants- Minnie pants from J.Crew

Boots- Banana Republic from about 4 years ago

Can you see that we are related?

Linking up this post to Mandy at Harper’s Happenings for her Stepping Out Saturday because I am too dumb to know how to add her button.

Mo Anam Cara

I swear that I won the jackpot when I married Chris on May 17, 2008.  Born and raised for a short time in the Bay Area in California, I think he inherited the notorious “laid back California attitude” that I had heard people mention.  The house could be on fire (God forbid), and Chris would take a breath, tell me to calm down and to follow him as he carried the baby and the dogs out the door.

Since my Mom’s grim diagnosis with Stage 4 Cervical Cancer, he has been there for her and for me no matter what we needed.  The truth is, I can’t say enough great things about him.

So, what does the subject line mean?  Mo Anam Cara literally translates to My Soulmate in Gaelic.  I had suggested engraving it on the inside of our wedding rings when we were getting married, but Chris said that he didn’t need the phrase to be in his ring to know its true.  God, I love that man!!

Chris and I on our wedding day

Jack’s Birth Story, A Year Overdue

After reading Suzanne at Bebehblog‘s beautiful birth posts while she had Sweet Caroline, it got me thinking about Jack’s Birth story.  While thinking back through the day, I realized that I am starting to forget some of the wonderful things about Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

The story of Jack’s birth day was actually supposed to be on December 3.  From 20 weeks in my pregnancy on, my OB group said that I would not be able to deliver vaginally because of a large fibroid that is growing on my uterus and blocking the exit.  Although I was upset, I came to terms with my birth.  A Baby Story was running on repeat on my DVR and I longed to be able to feel all of the aches and pains of a natural delivery, but I understood that it was best for the baby.

The day before my C-section, my Mom came down to Philly, my in-laws were flying in from California for the birth and I sent Chris off to work.  My Mom accompanied me to the ultrasound to see where they were going to perform the C.  The ultrasound doctor came in and told me that he saw no medical reason any longer for me to have a C section.  I damn near fell off the table.  If I woke up with my head sewn into the carpet, I couldn’t have been more surprised than I was that minute.  After a quick lunch with Chris and my Mom to break the news, I headed home with my head in a fog.

We spent the next week trying every wives tale to get me to go into labor.  My in-laws and my Mom extended their stays and we got to spend some nice quality time with each other.  The decision came from the doctors that the baby was rather large (estimated 10lbs at the ultrasound) and my best chance of giving birth vaginally would be following an induction.

Last belly photo before heading to the Hospital

I was induced with Cervadil at 7:30pm on December 8 with hopes that it would jump start my labor and bring my contractions closer together.  We slept the whole night with only a little change, so at 9am, they broke my water and started me on pitocin to rev it up and MAN did it ever!

Around 11am, I was breathing through the very strong contractions and progressing normally.  My nurse said that the floor was hopping that day, and that if I wanted an epidural, it was now or never.  So, in came the anesthesiologist with the epidural.  I don’t remember it hurting or being afraid of the needle.

After the epidural, we invited my Mom and my In-Laws to the room to spend some time with us before the baby was born.  We talked, watched movies and watched the clock tick by.  My Mom stared at me in amazement because she had my sisters and I without epidurals, and she kept saying that once she saw how I was once having the epidural, she could kick herself.

I was checked around 3pm and was about 7cm.  They guessed that I would deliver around dinner time.  So, my Mom decided to head back to our house about 15 minutes away to let the dogs out and be there for the birth, and my In Laws headed to see a movie at the theatre down the street.

Chris and I decided that we should try and nap before the baby came to have a nice rest in before the chaos.  So, we closed our eyes and within 10 minutes, I began feeling the contractions again and started to breathe through them again on top of the epidural.  I told the nurse that I had the urge to push, and she told me that she just checked me and I wasn’t ready to go yet.  At that very second, my OB walked in and saw how I was breathing and decided to check me again after I told him that I needed to push.  Sure enough, I was 10cm, completely effaced and ready to rock!

Chris called my Mom and his parents to return to the hospital ASAP.  (My Mom had only made it to our front door when Chris called her to return!)  After the OB asked me for a trial push, he guaranteed that the baby would be born within 20 minutes!  They began changing the room around for delivery, and I remember the excitement hitting me all at once.  I was going to be a Mom in a matter of minutes!  I was jumping out of my skin with anticipation.  As I prepared myself to start pushing, my room phone began ringing and my cell phone began ringing.  My sisters were calling to see what was happening and to see if the baby was born yet.  Chris kept hanging up on them and told them that I was pushing and to wait for us to call.  Even in the excitement, it was really funny!

Chris was a fabulous labor coach.  From the beginning, he was there rubbing my back, getting me ice chips, saying encouraging words, and just being very supportive.  Looking at him and listening to him, I would believe that I could walk on water if he told me that I could.  God blessed me with one of the most wonderful men on the planet!

Within 20 minutes of pushing, Jack Curtis was born at 3:49pm.  He looked so big when they laid him on my chest, and I couldn’t believe that he fit in my belly!  While the OB was fixing me up, I told him that I can not wait to have another one.  We thought he was going to fall on the floor!

Mommy & Jack

It was by far one of the most wonderful days of my life, and I am so fortunate that I was able to experience it the way that I did and to come home with a happy, healthy 8lb, 13oz 20.5 inches long baby boy.

Chris, Jack and I after arriving home for the first time