Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Mom's 60th

Last year I attempted to surprise my parents by going home with my brother for my dad's 66th birthday. Unfortunately, my sister unknowingly spilled the beans and we arrived to happy, but not surprised parents.

This year my brother called me up to see if I wanted to go to our parents for my mom's 60th birthday. Initially my reaction was, "Umm, I just had a baby I'm not ready to travel yet." 

But the more I thought about it, I decided it would be fun to surprise my parents (for real this time) and to be there to celebrate mom's 60th. It helped that both Jack and Isaac do well in the car.

On the drive to Arkansas, it took us 9 hours. This involved three stops (including picking up my brother in Nashville), driving through three intense thunderstorms and one construction site in West Memphis. Thankfully the boys were troopers. 

We arrived after my parents were in bed and somehow made it into the house without waking anyone up. The next morning Jack was up at 6am (uncharacteristic for him). I let him play games on my phone (on silent) until my parents were up.

It was worth the drive to see the look on my mom's face when Jack ran down the hallway to say, "Happy Birthday!" to her. My folks had no idea we were there!

Jack had a blast on this visit – he ate blackberries that he helped pick straight from the garden, and he remembered getting to ride the little red wagon (he was 2 when we were last there!). 

He also got to ride around on the lawnmower (without a blade) with my dad and they spent time building lincoln logs together.

We had a lovely, though short, visit. We celebrated with our family's traditional pistachio birthday cake. We also had a blackberry cobbler – that Jack helped make.

In addition to celebrating my mom's 60th birthday, we also celebrated my parents 39th anniversary and my grandma's 94th birthday. 

I am thankful that both of my boys have now met my grandma. It was amazing how much my grandma lit up whenever my boys came into her room to visit. She was over the moon about getting to hold Isaac. I think we really made her weekend.

Sunday morning we enjoyed homemade pancakes and another visit with my aunt and uncle. Hopefully next time my sister and her family can join us as well. They were definitely missed. 

Our trip home was slightly shorter – only 8 hours of driving, three stops, no construction, and no storms.

Until next time...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day 2015

If you know us, you know that Daniel and I are not big celebrators. Of any holiday, really. We do relish experiences though. That, and spending time together. 

Daniel took Friday off of work so that he could spend some time with Jack. They started with a visit to Ace Hardware to pick up some hardware (Daniel) and get popcorn (Jack). Then they made their way to the Creative Discovery Museum to play with the Thomas the Train exhibit. Finally, they went to Signal Point for a picnic lunch – Jack was nice enough to share his snacks with Daniel. I hope Jack remembers the times his daddy takes to spend with him. Isaac will be ready for daddy days before we know it! 

We have started including Isaac in our bedtime routine with Jack. He really seems to enjoy it when we read books together and sing songs. He watches Jack with utter fascination and then Jack gives him a sweet hug goodnight before he gets tucked in. 

On Sunday, Daniel requested that we grill salmon for lunch. We invited his dad over to celebrate with us. I'm thankful that Jack and Isaac are getting to know both of their grandpas. 

While I didn't get to see my own dad on this Fathers' Day, I did Skype with him. 

I am blessed to have a dad who has always been a part of my life. I enjoy our weekly Skype chats and look forward to the visits we have throughout the year. 

My parents are where my sense of adventure comes from, especially from my dad. Hopefully I will pass along that same adventurous desire to my boys.

Happy Father's Day! I'm grateful to have such wonderful men in my life to look up to and learn from.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Isaac is Two Months Old

When Jack was 8 weeks old we thought he was huge, weighing in at 12lbs 11oz. But he has nothing on Isaac. At 8 weeks Isaac weighs 14lbs 13oz! My milk must be seriously rich.

Looking back at Jack at two months, it is fascinating to see how similar Isaac is to his big brother... He grunts like a little piggy with each feeding (though he is improving in this area). 

He wakes like clockwork at 3am and 5am each night. He can hold his head up, though it still bobbles some. And he is starting to coo and grab things.

Isaac has learned to close his fingers and grab onto my hair. And he has become fascinated with the rattle – he doesn't hold it yet, but watches intently if we shake it.

We survived his first round of immunizations. He was pitiful the day of, but a little Tylenol and lots of cuddles made things better.

With Jack we made great efforts to take him out with us, but I think that with Isaac we make even more of an effort. 

This probably has to do with 1) the fact that we are more sure of our parenting skills and 2) Jack still expects life to carry on as usual. So we just kind of expect Isaac to go along with whatever we are doing. And he does.

This month's firsts include dropping Isaac off at childcare at the Y, visiting a farm, going swimming, going on our first hike as a family of four, a trip to the Creative Discovery Museum with friends, and just continuing with life as usual (eating out, church, parks, play dates, grocery shopping, etc.). 

I'm so thankful that Isaac is an easy-going baby and just allows us to drag him along to everything we want to do!

Isaac has given us sweet smiles since he was born. Sometimes we even get a laugh. Most recently he will respond with a big grin if you grin at him.

He also has an incredible pouty lip and a pitiful whimper of a cry.

I would say that Isaac's favorite thing to do – by far – is sleeping. The boy will sleep anywhere. Even in the pool when we go swimming!

Speaking of sleeping, Isaac still sleeps in our room – he was a bit congested this month and we're not comfortable having him away from us until we feel like he is breathing better. Though he has almost outgrown the Rock-N-Play that we have had him sleeping in, so we may be moving him sooner than we're ready.

On the topic of growth, Isaac is 100+ percentile on weight (14lbs 13oz). At 23.5 inches long, he is in the 90th percentile on height and his big head is 96th percentile at 42cm. I have retired all of the newborn clothes and he wears 3-6 month stuff.

He is one big dude. As Daniel says, "I can see him growing every time he eats." Thank goodness for the weight training I have done is all I can say.

We have had quite a few people tell us that Isaac looks like Daniel. Daniel is jokingly offended since now that Isaac is big and bald, they think he looks him.

I know that Isaac is only 2 months old, but I'm wondering if he is starting to teeth already. He gnaws on his paci (or my finger) and drools constantly.

We have been using cloth diapers with Isaac about 80% of the time. Out and about, disposable seems to work better. Especially when it is hot and I plan to carry him in the Ergo baby carrier (which we do often).

Over the last couple of weeks we started sitting Isaac in the high chair (at a reclined position) so that he can be with us during dinner. He is very social and I think he feels left out when we eat and don't include him. This also works (some of the time) when I'm cooking – I just sit him in the high chair so he can watch.

Jack is a great big brother. He is very gentle with Isaac and holds him, offers to rock him, pats his head or shakes the rattle for him. 

I know he is anxious for Isaac to be more interactive, but this stage has been sweet too. 

*As with Jack, I will be posting monthly updates of Isaac on a quilt (inherited from my Grandma), next to a yellow Tonka truck (a toy from Daniel's childhood). Isaac at One Month

A Look Back: Jack at One Month  |  Jack at Two Months
(We used a quilt from Daniel's family for the Jack photos, along wit the Tonka truck from Daniel's childhood).

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...