It's kind of shock that Jack turns two today, but at the same time it feels like he has been a part of our family forever.
We were recently visiting with some friends who have children who are much younger than Jack. While we visited it dawned on me that I am no longer a brand-new mama. I am no longer sleep deprived (at least not because of a newborn); my mom confidence has soared; and I can now offer advice based on real life experiences rather than just discussing ideas.
In the past month we have been immersed in the start of the holiday season and the traditions that go along with this time of year: visiting the Pumpkin Patch, going to an annual Hayride, and dressing up for Halloween. I think that Jack enjoyed these activities more this year than he did last year.
A few of Jack's "firsts" from the past month include his first plane ride; eating dish soap (thankfully it was minimal and we didn't have to call poison control); and enjoying his first s'mores experience.
Jack now sits in an adult chair without a booster seat. This was partly due to necessity (we were tired of carting so many items back and forth on our weekly travels) and partly because Jack decided that he didn't want to use a booster anymore. Restaurants seems to work best if we can eat in a booth... that way he can't escape.
Jack has fed himself from the beginning, but he in recent months he has become very adept at using a regular spoon and fork. Last night we ate chili and Jack ate it out a bowl for the first time. He loved slurping the soup from his spoon... he thought slurping was hilarious.
I kind of gave up on tracking all of Jack's words and phrases awhile back, but here a few phrases that stick out from recent week: I need cheese. I need water. I need 'nacks. I ride four-wheeler. Boat, I ride it. Skype Grammy? I can do it. I fix it. Carry you (meaning carry me). Watch show? Wash hands. I play games (referring to the Kindle or our phones). Flashlight on, help?
Jack says thank you pretty consistently and we are working on getting him to say please.
I'm fairly certain he doesn't understand numbers, but he does randomly recite multiples of two: 126.96.36.199. I have no idea where he picked that up.
In the mornings when Jack wakes up, he plays in his crib until he is ready to get up. He then yells, "Mommy! Mama! Mawmaw. Mom! Daddy! Daddddeeeeee! Mommmmeeeeee! Mama-Daddy!" until one of us comes to get him.
Jack recently discovered Thomas the Train. He was beside himself and kept shouting TRAIN at the television. He sat, riveted, for an hour. He now asks for Thomas the Train and Daniel Tiger by name. They are his favorite shows.
Currently, Jack's favorite animal is a frog. He loves to say Ribbit and jump. When he runs it is in the form of a funny little gallop that is half running and half jumping. Other favorite things right now include stickers and music.
Jack has become very helpful when we shop for groceries. At first it was a bit of a fight because he wanted to sit in the big part of the buggy and I didn't want him there. It turns out that he loves to look at all of the items I place in the cart. Now when we get to Walmart, he enthusiastically yells, "Shopping Cart!" When we check out, he helps load everything onto the converyor belt, all the while telling me the items he knows. And when we get to the car, he helps hand me the bags of groceries.
Several months ago, Jack learned how to first close and then open doors. In addition to this skill, this month Jack discovered that he could also lock and unlock doors. He has locked both Daniel and I out of our cars (thankfully we had keys!) and he has locked himself in his bedroom. Thankfully he listened when I told him to unlock the door. Daniel showed me how to unlock the bedroom door if it happens again.
Jack now goes up and down stairs without holding onto anything. It isn't that surprising since he started crawling up and down stairs around 10 months, but it still makes me a bit nervous. I have even caught him carrying things up and down the stairs (like a soccer ball).
When it comes to food, Jack loves to eat and he especially loves if he can persuade us to share a dessert with him. Even more than food, he loves playing with friends – especially older kids. He is slowly getting the hang of sharing, so we are thankful for that.
Jack absolutely LOVES riding on our four wheeler and he continues to enjoy playing in the garage and helping his daddy. He becomes very focused and works hard to try to mimic whatever his daddy is doing. He can now turn on the four wheeler, start it, and rev the engine by himself. Thankfully it will be several more years before he can reach the gear shift. I am also slowly starting to incorporate his help in the kitchen. He helped me make a pumpkin pie for Canadian Thanksgiving and he was very proud of his efforts.
Recently Jack has also become very interested in the potty. He wants to sit on the real potty (fully clothed). He then pretends to wipe and flush. He wants to do this over and over and over. And if one of us is not around to oversee this endeavor, he inevitably decides to "wash his hands" in the toilet.
Jack continues to be a great little sleeper – even as we travel back and forth between Central and Eastern times each week. Imagine going through Daylight Savings twice a week, that is how we currently live. We did have to move his Central bedtime back by an hour, for our sanity, but the weekly time change hasn't been a problem since we made this little adjustment.
Our little boy has been such a blessing in our lives. We look forward to celebrating his birthday this weekend with some of our family and friends. Happy Birthday Jack Jack! We love you to the moon and back.