Tuesday, November 24, 2009

He's A Big Kid Now!

Dave and I had decided early on that we were just going to buy another crib for This One, rather than making Jack give up his bed, which we picked out especially for him. When we were looking for the perfect crib for Jack, we made sure to find one that converted from a crib to a toddler bed, to a full-sized bed, so that his special bed could grow right along with him.

Another thing that persuaded us to keep Jack in his own bed is Jack's violent reaction to changing the things he's grown used to. If I forget to turn on the humidifier in his room before we sit in the rocking chair to snuggle, he tells me that I need to turn it on and cannot concentrate on our snuggle time until I do so. One time I was running late with the laundry and his crib sheet wasn't dry in time for his nap, so I tried to use a plain white sheet in his crib rather than the sheet with the barnyard animals that he was used to. He screamed and cried and pointed at his sheets, yelling at me "That's not right!!!" (needless to say, he didn't take a nap that day).

Jack has never once tried to climb out of his crib- he's always been very content to wait for mommy and daddy to come and get him and we definitely did not want that to change. Having lived with a very colicky infant that just did not sleep for the first 7 months of his life (and never truly got the hang of it until much later), Dave and I learned that in our family, and especially with Jack's personality, it was very important and very necessary to be lovingly strict about bedtime and sleep habits. Because of that and because we had always planned on buying a new crib for This One, we didn't feel any pressure to make Jack switch to a big boy bed.

However, The Belly had other ideas. Did you know how impossibly hard it is to change the sheets of a crib when you have a huge baby-belly in the way? By the time I was 4 months pregnant I realized that it would be nearly impossible for me to continue to change Jack's sheet every day as the pregnancy went on. I mean, if I could barely do it at 4 months pregnant can you imagine how hard it would have been at 7, 8, or 9 months pregnant? So I decided that it was time to bite the bullet and convert Jack's bed to a toddler bed. Yikes!

Dave definitely thought I was crazy. But he couldn't deny that I was having a hard time changing Jack's sheets, and so he said that if I could wait one more week he would make sure not to pick up any overtimes so that he could be home to help me during the sleepless nights that we were so certain would follow. Both of us were picturing having to get up multiple times at night to console our son who abhors change and were definitely expecting him to take advantage of his new-found freedom by escaping his bed, and probably his room, when he didn't feel like sleeping. We were convinced that this would be the end of naptime, as well. But, there was no way around it! We had to make the switch, and it had to be soon.

To prepare, I started telling Jack about how pretty soon, we were going to take the front of his crib off, and we were going to turn it into a big boy bed! He sounded excited when we talked about it, and a few times he even brought the subject up himself, reminding me "We change the crib and I get a big boy bed and we take the front off!" Also, my mom made Jack a special pillow case and gave it to him, along with a new pillow (he would not use one because it wasn't part of his 'normal'). We told him it was his special big boy pillow and he could use it in his new big boy bed. He loved his new big boy pillow... but when it came time to go to sleep he refused to let us put the pillow in his crib with him! You see why I was afraid it would be a difficult transition?

Finally the day came, and as soon as Jack woke up from his nap (I definitely wasn't going to start the transition with a nap, so it had to wait until after that!) I came in and showed him my tool and told him that I was going to make his crib into a big boy bed! He thought it was pretty cool, and he stood over my shoulder to supervise very closely for the whole 5 minutes it took to take off the front rail.

As soon as the rail came off, Jack yelled "It's my BIG BOY BED!!!" and climbed up and started jumping on his bed like a madman! It was absolutely hilarious!

Of course, I had to properly document the occasion ;)

(please ignore the diaper- I was so excited to 'fix' his bed that I forgot to fix that!)

Of course, knowing that it was inevitable for Jack-the-klutz to fall out of the bed, I added a short bed rail that I could easily lower for sheet-changing purposes.

Dave and I were completely anticipating a difficult night ahead of us, so in order to do whatever was in our power to avoid that, we stuck very strictly to Jack's bedtime routine that night, adding a short little speech about how excited we were about his new big boy bed as I was getting his PJs on. Everything was going smoothly, and we had made it all the way to snuggle time without any incidents! Then I said it was time for bed...

Me: You get to sleep in your big boy bed tonight! Are you excited?
Jack: Yes, I get a big boy bed!
Me (laying him down): Do you want the big boy pillow that grandma gave you?
Jack: Yes, please I want grandma's pillow!
Me (putting the pillow in the bed): Okay, it's time to lay down now.
Jack (laying down as high as he can on the pillow): Um, how do I get out of here?
Me: When you wake up in the morning I will come and get you, just like every morning!
Jack: I like the big boy bed! (looking at the new safety rail) It has lots of white circles on it!
Me: It does have lots of white circles. Okay, here is your ducky, and here is your blanket, and here is your kiss goodnight! I love you, big boy! I'll see you in the morning! Sleep well!
Jack: See you tomor-ning!

I came back out in the living room and Dave and I sat on the couch with our eyes glued to the video monitor to see what he was going to do.

And we waited...

and waited...

and waited...

and our wonderful, well-behaved, incredibly handsome and smart big boy...

FELL ASLEEP! Without making a peep or a protest, and only minimal wiggling around to try to get comfortable! We were amazed!

He slept all night long, and even 30 minutes later than usual the next morning! When he woke up, he stayed in his bed until we came to get him, just like I had told him to! And the next night and morning went just as smoothly! We were so excited, and so proud of him!

Two days later Jack got his first opportunity to take a nap in his bed (we were really busy and were forced to skip naptime for a few days), and I was really nervous. Jack usually does really great at naptime, even when he decides not to sleep. He usually would stand up and walk around in his crib, singing and talking to himself, and when he decided that he was tired he'd lay down and fall asleep. I was very interested to see how that would translate into naptime!

When our pre-nap snuggle time was over, I stood up to carry Jack to his bed... and the second I finished singing our special song Jack blurted out "Now I take a nap in my big boy bed!" And that was it! He did perfect at naptime! And when he woke up, he waited for me to come in and get him before getting out of his bed!

All that preparation, delay, and anxiety for nothing- Jack took to his big boy bed like he'd been in it the whole time! Amazing!!!

That was about a month ago. Dave is currently working on getting the nursery set up, and next we're going to redecorate Jack's room. I'm very anxious to see how Jack handles that! I bought new bedding for him, and I've told him that as soon as we paint his room he's going to get to use his new big boy sheets (we'll see how he handles me taking away his precious animal sheets)! I'm going to rearrange the furniture- one of his dressers will probably go in the baby's room, and I want to put his bed in the furthest corner to cut down on the possibility that the baby and I will wake him up at night.

It's funny, most of my nesting instincts have not revolved around preparing our home for the baby so much as it has revolved around preparing Jack to be a big brother.

And now, without further ado... my big boy in his big boy bed!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Make Him Poop!

The day after Legoland, Jack and I not-so-patiently waited for Auntie Mimi to drop of a 2 month old Baby Luke for some babysitting time! I told Jack that they were coming about an hour before they were due to arrive, and this is how he spent the hour waiting for them

As soon as Amy brought Luke in the door, Jack dove into Luke's carseat to give his baby cousin kiss after kiss! He was sooo excited that Luke was there to 'play' with him, and he insisted on holding him most of the time. I love that Jack Jack loves his little cousin so much!

He stared at him, and pointed out all the different types of sports balls on Luke's shirt...

He gave him kiss after kiss...

And then they just stared at each other...

Then, as Jack and Luke were posing for a picture, we heard a telling noise...

Jack asked "What was that noise?" and when I told him that the noise meant that Luke was pooping, Jack thought it was the most hilarious thing ever, and started giggling soooo hard!

And that's how Amy found us when she came to pick up Luke... Jack greeted her with a smile, a giggle, and "I make Baby Luke POOP!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Six Years: The Lego Anniversary

On October 18th, Dave and I celebrated 6 years of marriage! I'll spare you all of the sappy I-can't-believe-how-much-I-love-him-and-how-blessed-I-am-to-have-him stuff that I'm tempted to write, but that doesn't in the least take away from the fact that I can't believe how much I love him and how blessed I am to have him! I've dedicated many words on this blog to those facts already, so I am sure that you all know how I feel :)

Prepare yourselves, though... even though I am not going to go on and on about the past 6 years, this is going to be a long post! This year Dave and I decided to celebrate by taking Jack to Legoland! We had such a blast together, and we both got such a kick out of watching the awe on Jack's face, the excitement in his voice, and getting to experience the park through the eyes of a two-year old.

And seriously, who doesn't love Legos?!?!

Pausing just inside the gate to put on sunscreen= mommy's first chance to take a photo!

Once we got all lotioned up, we headed directly to our first ride... a boat! Jack was so excited to get to ride in a boat, and as we were waiting he'd squeal and ask us if we were excited, and he'd point out every boat that passed and tell us that he wanted to ride on the yellow one.

And then, it was our turn! And we got to ride in the yellow boat! And I got a picture of both of my boys, in which they are both looking at the camera in the general vicinity of the camera!

Jack was enthralled throughout the entire ride. He kept pointing and telling us what everything was, getting a little crazily excited when we passed the Eiffel Tower (I do not know what his attachment is to the Eiffel Tower, or even how he knows what the Eiffel Tower is, but he loves it. At the beginning of any Disney movie, when he sees the trademark blue screen and castle, he points and shouts "That's not the Eiffel Tower! It's the Eiffel Castle!"). I really wish I had been able to get a shot of the Eiffel Tower, but you'll have to settle for 2 shots of the intense look of concentration on Jack Jack's face as he took in all the Lego Scenes that we passed in that boat...

One really fun thing about being a big fat pregnant lady at an amusement park? When there was a one-adult-only situation, I didn't have to argue with Dave over who got to sit out the rides to take pictures! And I would have been so bummed if I had missed out on getting pictures of Jack's face as he rode these rides (not to mention the sight of my big strapping husband squeezing all his studliness into the tiny little seats on these rides!)

Can you believe that I was brave enough to let Jack on this next ride? Even if I weren't pregnant I most definitely probably wouldn't even have gone on it myself! I was so proud of him that he was smiling the whole time! He kept looking at Dave and laughing and then when he got off he was laughing so hard and he told me "That was so bouncy! Can we do it again?!"

One of the coolest things about Legoland was the lines. I know that sounds crazy, but whoever thought up the configuration of the lines at that park is a genius. When you enter the line, Daddy pops open a gate and lets Mommy and child(ren) go into a special area where they can play with Legos! Then Daddy waits and waits in a line that winds all the way around, and come back to the other side so that when he reaches the front of the line, he is on the other side of the special Lego area, and Mommy and child(ren) exit through a gate that lets them back into the line to get on the ride! It's such a great idea, as one of the hard parts about going to an amusement park with small children is dealing with the lines and the short attention span that most kids that age come with. This way, the child still spends the time that it takes to wait in the line, but they get to bypass all the boredom and spend their waiting time by playing with Legos! Jack thought it was awesome! My only suggestion would have been for them to put a bench in there for all the fat pregnant ladies to sit while their kids play. But, well, you know me... I probably wouldn't have sat while he played anyway, as I was too busy taking pictures and playing right along with him!

Since it was October, there were cute little displays all over, where parents could get fun seasonal photos of their kids. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of them, as, well, you know how Jack acts more often than not whenever mommy has the camera... good thing the back and sides of his head are so cute!

And then Jack spied more boats...

And so we rode them! And Jack Jack got to drive! He kept pointing at daddy's boat and saying "Let's pass daddy! Let's crash him!"

And we found a lego statue of a fireman and a dalmation peeing on a fire hydrant! I thought that was pretty freaking hilarious and apparently Dave did to, because he didn't argue when I told him to go stand by it so that I could take a picture

Then we went on yet another boat.

Jack loved that ride, as there were fog machines all over it. Each time he saw another one he'd yell "It's a cloud!" and as we went though the cloud, he'd yell "We driving through a cloud! That's so cool!" Unfortunately they said that Dave and Jack had to ride in the front and I had to ride in the back, so most of my pictures are, as usual, of the back of his head. But if you know how Jack Jack expresses excitement, you can totally see how much fun he's having, even through the back of his head!

(the clenched fist is a dead giveaway to his excitement, and has been ever since he was an itty bitty baby!)

We had so much fun after that ride, that we couldn't wait to get to the next one!

We went on a jungle safari, during which Dave insisted on holding the camera

And then, from a high vantage point, Jack stared in awe...

and declared "I want to ride that roller-coaster!"

And I let him! And they went twice! I was so brave to let Jack ride that! I mean, er, Jack was so brave to ride that! It seriously was a real roller-coaster! And he loved it!

When they got off the ride I was waiting at the exit, and Jack came running at me with the biggest smile on his face! He said "Momma! It was so dizzy! It goes so fast and up and down! I love the roller-coaster; it's my favorite!" He talked about that roller coaster for the rest of the day, and every time we mention Legoland he tells us all about how the roller-coaster was so dizzy and how much he loved it! I was seriously so proud of him for being so brave! He definitely takes after his daddy as far as roller-coasters are concerned!

Okay, we're almost done...

After the third stranger pointed at my belly and said something along the lines of "Girl, I give you props for being here while being that pregnant!" Dave and I decided that we were about done, so it was time for us to sit and rest while we let Jack experience Pirate Shores. Since Jack adores all things that have to do with water, we didn't want to miss this! I had come prepared, and so I stripped Jack down and put on his swimsuit, and then we let him loose on the splash pad!

This picture cracks me up. He takes his water-play very seriously, and makes the funniest faces as he tries to study the spray patterns of the water through the drops that are spraying on his face

This is what happens when Jack's love for water gets the better of him... there was a bucket towards the top of the tower that would fill up, and then dump over. Jack studied it, and then decided that he had found the perfect spot to 'catch' the water as it was poured out of the bucket. He waited, and waited, and sure enough, he got it just right!

Then we found the Big Kid splash ground! Jack was in heaven!

That kid just cannot resist any sort of water at all!

After Jack made it clear that he was getting cold, we dried him off and headed home. We had such a great day, and couldn't have thought of a better way to spend our anniversary than to spend it together and with the amazing son that God gave us as we anticipate the arrival of another child. I love my little family so much, and I can't wait to bring This One home. Okay, I adore being pregnant so I really can wait, but I am very excited about what a blessing This One is, and being able to introduce him to his daddy and his big brother! I just know that Jack Jack will be the best big brother!

I know, I know, I said that I was going to bypass all the mushy stuff... so I'll stop there and leave you with a picture taken 6 years ago, on the day our little family began. I was 22 and Dave was 23, we had just bought our first home (a condo in Redondo Beach), and we were so ready to start our life together. Don't we look like such babies?!