Sunday, March 13, 2016

4 1/2 year old Jackson

Jackson, you are a delight. You are almost 4.5 years old and are a nice, charming, handsome boy. You are growing taller and more agile. Your sparkling blue eyes shine with your curiosity, humor and mischievous personality. Your brown hair looks good short, leaving us at the barber every 4-6 weeks or you look scraggly. You play hard, with dirty calloused feet, skinned knees and elbows and dirt under your fingernails. Like your mother, you hate wearing sock and shoes and prefer to wear comfy pants. You would live in flip flops, a baggy tshirt and athletic shorts if we let you. You can dress yourself completely (even buttons!), although you usually plead for help from me each morning because you like the attention. 
As we have said before, you are silent J no more. Your loud, high voice echoes throughout the neighborhood as you call out for Luke and Katie or yell as you zoom along on your scooter. 
Things you say: 
Mo-veels: It's some combination between motorcycle and vehicle that you came up with years ago and still use
You say "th" now! As in THREE. We worked on it for a few days and you were very agreeable to learning that correct part of speech. 
"Won!"Whenever you win at a game, let's say UNO since you seem to beat us most of the time, you play your last card and simply say, "Won". 
Mom, this cornbread tastes like skin. Real skin. (Note: my child has never tasted skin).
Counting, math, board games, flashlight tag, scooter, running, playing, make-believe, action figures, baths with Rachel, chicken nuggets, flavored water, sprinkler, collecting rocks, TV, organizing items, trucks, I Spy, phonics, fruit, gummy vitamins, friends, zoo, park, flossing, preschool, giving money to church, wrestling with Rachel, Kashi, toys
Veggies, art/drawing/painting/coloring, naps, baths, getting your nails trimmed, time out, sitting still
Dinner with Blair, JB's college roommate
You have finally started to understand phonics and recognize most of your letters. This is a fascinating process to witness and I love watching you grow and develop more language. Your teacher, Becca, has really been a gift for you and we are so thankful for how you have responded to her methods of teaching. Whenever you talk, you either find words with the same sound like Ball and Blueberry or you find rhyming words. "There's a car. Rhymes with far and star!" You can recognize more letters and numbers when we are out driving and ear learning that we read left to right, which we practice with speed limit signs since you are much more confident in quickly recognizing numbers. The other day at the library, you colored a picture (!!) and wanted to give it to dad, so I encouraged you to write a D on it for daddy. You told me, No mom, that would be confusing. I'll write a J on it for Jonathan. (Again, note, that we do not let our kids call us Heather and Jonathan). However, Jackson wrote a legible "J" for the first time without tracing and I wept in the library I was so proud of him! Right now I'm trying to reign myself in with my excitement at his language growth and find subtle ways to work on it while keeping it fun, most of all. 
J beating us in UNO
You think that Rachel is pretty great most of the time. In the morning, you want to be the first one into her room, at which time you jump into her crib and hug her tightly. You two eat breakfast together (she only wants to eat your food). You have trouble sharing your toys but every so often will be generous and it usually sounds like this. "Here Rachel, I don't like this toy anymore. I want to give it to you". You will push her in the wagon and like to go down the slide with her. Your favorite time of day is the bath and bedtime routine. You two splash in the bath and giggle a lot. Then, once you are in PJs you two wrestle! Our favorite book is still "Tickle Time" by Sandra Boynton. Rachel picks it out and comes to me saying, 'tickle tickle' and then you jump in the action and we have a tickle fest! Rachel then starts to hug and body slam you around her room. when it's time for her to go to bed, you crouch down, reach out to gently hug her and give her a tender kiss on the cheek, saying, "Goodnight baby. I love you. You are so sweet". It is the perfect end to every day.
Cousins Riley and Piper
Here's your typical day:
You stay asleep/in your room until your green light goes on at 6:30am (what a HUGE success!). You find me, either reading my Bible or still sleeping sometimes and we cuddle for a few minutes while you still wake up. Breakfast typically consists of a bagel thin with cream cheese, fruit, yogurt and milk. We play or watch some TV before school, which is 9-12. You adore Ms Becca and your friends at school. After school we play outside until nap time and attempt to rest/nap from 1pm until at least 2. Some days you are very tired and you sleep the whole time. Other days you play (loudly...) in your room and protest the nap time. In the afternoon we play, outside, at the park, the zoo, the library, wherever! You love having Luke and Katie next door and hang with them most of the time. You play hard, stopping briefly for a snack and water break. You protest coming in for dinner but eventually comply. Dinner takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on what veggie you have to eat that night and how long it takes you to eat it. You clean up your dishes, and get ready for bath. When Rachel goes to sleep, we play games or occasionally have a movie night before reading 2 books and tucking you into bed. We pray for you, rub your back and give you "kisses and tight hugs". You still sleep with a night light and a dim overhead light on and are protesting your sound machine right now. 
Fun with Fine Motor!
You are organized, type A, have a vivid imagination, play well by yourself and with others. You are a leader. You like structure and routine but you don't like to be told what to do. You are helpful to dad, Rachel and me. You love to have a few, close friends. You are still shy and prefer not to talk to new adults but you are very outgoing with people you already know. You love face timing or being with your grandparents and easily transition to weekends away with them. Every so often, you come up to dad or me and give us a huge bear hug, gently saying, "I love you SOO much." You want multiple kisses and hugs from me before you go to school or I go to work. 
Best friend, Aurelia
As I tell you often recently, God gave you to dad and me to be our son. We love you dearly. But, if we got to choose our children, we would still pick you and Rachel to be ours. You are perfect for us and we are so blessed to be your parents. We love watching you grow and learn and are so excited to continue to see who you are becoming. 

Fun with co-worker and friend, Cass
Rachel and Grandad

Thursday, March 3, 2016

January and February 2016

Blogging has not happened recently. I've been struck with the winter blues and have been hibernating, it feels like! It's been great to do lots of good Bible studies, read some good books (currently the Cider House Rules) and enjoy time with the family. Here is a recap of some hi lights from the past few months. 
We did a Murder Mystery party with some friends from church on New Year's Eve and got to explore our Pirate sides. Arg.

The kids have loved many sleepovers with BB and Grandad. I love being able to get things done around the house and love that they have grandparents so near by. 

I just discovered that J's school has a Facebook page and I found all these cute pictures of he and his classmates. Here he is with his beloved teacher, Ms Becca, doing a craft project. He adores school this year and has really done well with phonics, improving fine motor skills, listening to directions and becoming a leader.  
Random family picture from Christmas! 
Kaely, Ally and I hosted a shower for Kaitlin who had baby Julia in late January. It's so fun to watch my friends become mothers to more children and I love how our friend group continues to grow!
This dreamy 2 year old nephew of mine has the best eyes
We loved spending a few days visiting with Grandmom, Pop Pop, Matt, Chase and William in Springfield for New Years. William is such a sweet boy and it was great to hear how much he is talking now and see him interact with Rachel, who still wants to knock him over with her full-body hugs! 

And isn't this the cutest? JB had worked a rough month of shifts and I came down one morning to find this on the dining room table when he had gotten home from work late one night (aka early one morning)