Friday, June 5, 2015

15 month check-up

Another three months have flown by here in the Jackson household.  Theo is morphing from the kind of toddler who waddles around and is just happy to see you to the kind of toddler who needs a certain thing right now or he will hurt you.  Theo is a tantrum guy.  It's funny the kind of hysterics he showcases when he can't get a second snack or steal his brother's toy.  I say funny, but I'm not doing a whole lot of laughing at the time.  Emmett was not a tantrum guy, so this is new stuff for me and I'm working on my patience!!

One thing that hasn't changed is that Theo is still the big kid on the block.  He is taller than most two year olds, according to his doctor.  I didn't even ask about his weight percentiles, but he's a full 8 POUNDS heavier than Emmett at the same age.  I wonder where he hides it all?  #BELLY.

So, yeah he still likes to eat.  Fruit is a favorite (watermelon a new fave), along with cheese, oatmeal, mac and cheese, pasta, greek yogurt smoothies, and snacks of all kinds.  You know it's easier to just tell you what he won't eat, which is most meat (unless it's hidden in something or a Chick-Fil-A nugget) and a lot of veggies.  He has a lot more teeth now (4 on bottom, 6 on top, including two molars), which is helpful when you like to shove a handful of food into your mouth at a time.  Isn't someone teaching this kid any manners?

Weight: 32 lbs. (over 95th percentile)
Height: 34.5 in. (over 95th percentile)
Head circ.: 47 cm (50th percentile)

Also, I must mention that weighing Theo at the doc was a total pain.  He wouldn't stand on the big kid scale, so we had to try and put him on the baby scale.  As I was trying to put my hands under him to place him on the scale, he leapt out of my arms!! I grabbed his ankles and the nurse grabbed his arm and body to prevent him from hitting the floor.  Still, it was a pretty traumatic experience for all of us. I have the feeling that won't be the last time this kid dive bombs.  He has no fear.

It's hard to believe that at the last update I was talking about him learning to walk.  That feels like a lifetime ago.  Since then, Theo has mastered walking and moved on to running and climbing and jumping.  The kid can jump like a foot in the air in his crib.  Going down steps is still a head-first situation though, which means I'm carrying this lug downstairs every day. #workoutplan  Theo also loves to dance and we can always count on him to do it when Wild Kratts comes on.  See for yourself:

Another thing you should know about Theo is that he sweats...a lot.  Even just playing inside our house for like 5 minutes.  He is the sweatiest kid ever.  He plays hard.  I bet when you're as big as he is it's no small feat to move around, but he manages just fine.

Theo loves to go outside.  Lately, he will find his shoes and bring them to me and throw a fit until he gets me to put them on.  That's the cue that'd he like to be outside now please.  He likes to go in our backyard and wander around.  He loves going to our neighborhood playground, but again mostly he just wanders.  He'll do slides but he's not a huge swing fan.  He also loves to go out front when Eric leaves for work and he'll wave and say "eye!" and walk around barefoot for as long as I'll let him.

Theo has gotten so much hair over the last 3 months.  It's the most fine strands of blonde hair laying haphazardly all over his head, especially in back where it also has some precious curl to it.  It's approaching mullet-ness, but I can't bear to do anything about it.  Those curls are my weakness.  Plus, with a little sweat we can get a real nice pompadour-like style on the top.

Theo doesn't say many words, but he's constantly babbling in his own little language.  He says a nonsense word "oohhh daaayy" several times a day.  He can say "uh-oh." In fact, that might have been his first real word.  He said "mama" and "dada" but more as a babble and less as names for me and Eric.  He will not repeat either of them if asked.  He also says "hiiiii" all the time, especially when he sees someone for the first time, but also when he gets his play phone and puts it up to his head.  We are working with him to say "please" and it sounds a lot like "piss" or "sssss" right now.

Theo understands a lot of what we say, even if he can't talk back.  A few words he definitely knows are no, eat, outside, inside, bath, hi, bye, snack, and night-night.

More skills: 
• Shakes his head no (learned this from example) 
• Claps after he hears applause on TV or if he sees people clapping
• Growls or grunts to indicate most sounds (car, dinosaur, cat, etc.)
• Does what we've termed the "chicken wing" - he waves his right arm from side to side as if to propel him forward faster, or punch somebody out if they get too close.
• Fake cries when Emmett cries
• Has very expressive eyebrows and does a decent side eye

In the past few weeks Theo has morphed into full-on toddlerhood, with a temper and subsequent tantrums.  He knocks things over when he's mad, he'll push, pinch, swat, cry and collapse on top of me.  It is SO dramatic!  Who would have thought that this sweet, easy-going baby would turn into such a drama king?  

Theo is also a "messer."  He just gets into things.  He reaches up to the counter #hidetheknives, opens the pantry, is constantly opening drawers and cabinets, tries to climb up the stairs on his own.  If it gets too quiet, it most certainly means trouble.  

That said, Theo is also adorable when he's happy.  He's pretty social and not very afraid of new people.  He has a killer smile and droopy eyelids, a particularly cute combo.  He's a good sleeper and good eater.  He always makes us laugh and can cheer me up with one little eyebrow raise.  He may be a handful now, but he's gonna make the ride a lot more fun. 

PS. Emmett at 15 months!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Emmett's dinosaur birthday party

This year we decided to throw Emmett a big birthday bash!  All of his previous birthdays have been at my parents' house, crazily enough.  Number five just seemed like a big deal and worthy of a large celebration.  He's made some friends around our neighborhood and my friends Kari and Brittnee even loaded up their families and made the trek to Dallas!  I will admit that the thought of 15 kids at my house had me a little (lot) scared.  So we looked into other locations...

We are members of the Perot Nature and Science Museum and Emmett loves it there.  The birthday party package that we chose included an erupting volcano and some fossil digging and imprinting.  Plus we got our own birthday party coordinator (Charlie) who helped lead the kids in the activities.  He was a little strange, but the kids liked him. ;)

We brought in all of the food.  The museum doesn't allowed any food boxes with logos on them (including pizza boxes), so the options for restaurant food were very limited.  Thankfully, my mom helped me cut up fruit, veggies and cheese and make sandwiches and brought up a bunch of her serving trays.  

The kids dug for fossils with paintbrushes.  Charlie asked them a bunch of dinosaur questions and the answers were awesome. For example, "What type of food did dinosaurs eat?" "Bacon!"

Making fossil prints.

Little Connor and his mama.

Look at Emmett all nonchalantly pouring the vinegar into the "bacon soda" (this is how Charlie pronounced it).  He had to do a few pours before it really erupted.

Then everyone got a turn at pouring!

Once the activities wrapped up, we ate some food and then it was time for cake!  I had seen a few photos on Pinterest and sent my favorite one to the bakery.  I think they did a great job!  I ordered the small dinosaurs on Amazon and found the candle at Target.  The cake was delicious!  Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, per Emmett's request.  Although it must be said that Emmett really doesn't even like cake.  I baked brownies (Ghirardelli from a box!) for his actual birthday when we celebrated at home.  He was very excited about those, plus sour gummy worms on top.  :/  He maybe at 2 or 3 bites of his piece of birthday cake.  BUT he was super excited about how it looked and he called dibs on the T. Rex slice immediately. 

My friend Heather took this video of Emmett while we sung Happy Birthday to him.  He seemed a little embarrassed about it! 

This was the first year Emmett seemed to really want a party and he had a blast.  He doesn't really like being the center of attention, but he was more than willing to tell everyone he saw (including strangers) leading up to his birthday and party that he was turning five.   

Later that night we had the out-of-towners over for pizza.  I borrowed a neighbor's bounce house and the kids went nuts!  Even little Drew held his own against the big kids.  For the record, Theo tried the bounce house the next day and hated it. But the kids went strong for several hours and then we finished up inside watching Mary Poppins.

I know he doesn't realize it now, but he's gonna be in big trouble surrounded by all these girls!

After the party I wanted to get a couple family pictures (minus Theo, he went up to "nap" and never went to sleep) with our now FIVE year old!

Momsie and Pops with their oldest grandkid.

Happy birthday, Emmett!  We love you, bud!

To see all the photos from the party, go to the May photo album.

Check out all of Emmett's birthday parties: One, Two, Three and Four

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

5 years old


Emmett's new favorite saying perfectly sums up my feelings about him turning 5 years old today.  Although, honestly, Emmett has always seemed older than his young age would imply.  His love of books and puzzles, his quiet nature, his ever-increasing memory, his thoughtful eyes.  Even as a young baby he looked more like an old man than a cherubic angel.  Now, at five years old, I feel like he has grown into the kid he was born to be.  Obviously, he still has a lot more growing to do, but he has been ready to be 5 for some time now.

Often times Emmett will say something that makes me do a double take.  Usually, it's a saying or expression he's heard on a TV show or from a friend.  And every time he sounds like a teenager because of his inflections and a sassy, confident delivery.  Other times, it's because he has remembered a random fact about dinosaurs or lizards, or asked me to re-read a specific line in a book and can tell me where it is on the page!  Truly, his memory is astounding to me, maybe even more so because I have never had a strong memory and these days it's a joke trying to remember much of anything.  His dad, on the other hand, is just like Emmett.  Always spouting off random facts, either trivial or some mathematic formula from back in high school.  It's a little eerie to watch Emmett do things that remind us of Eric and I.  

If you were to observe Emmett for a day you'd notice that his life revolves around what Theo is doing.  If Theo is asleep Emmett is content to draw, watch TV, do PlayDoh, essentially just chill out.  In fact, he has said to us several times, "I just don't feel playful without my brudder."  Once Theo wakes up, he comes alive in ways both good and bad.  He is a constant watch-dog.  He lets me know when Theo is doing anything bad.  But, he also loves to try and play with Theo, which is still a little tough at this stage.  Emmett is always trying to give Theo hugs, it is clear that he's in love with his little brother.

Emmett is still quite obsessed with dinosaurs and animals.  He loves Wild Kratts and nature documentaries.  He can name a ton of dinos and can tell you just about any random fact you'd care to know.  He also likes to pretend to BE wild animals and his growl is actually pretty scary - he fully commits.  He growls loudly and his long limbs just flail about as he tromps across our living room.  

This year he's also had an interest in drawing, in the last month alone his drawings have become much more defined and elaborate.  His favorite things to draw are people (usually him and sometimes his family), our house, monsters and animals.  He has also been learning how to write his letters and numbers this year.  His preschool program was a good fit for him, his teacher especially was wonderful and helped him make good progress through the year.  He can write his name and he loves to write when we tell him how to spell words.  He also loves "journaling" - writing squiggly lines in blank notebooks until he fills them up.  

Another big step for him was beginning to read!  He has gone through several Hooked on Phonics worksheets from school with 3 letter words and he's doing so well.  He's especially proud of himself when he reads.  I think he's going to be in a good place going into Kindergarten next year!

This Christmas we gave Emmett a lab set for beginning scientists and he loves to do experiments, even if that just means adding food coloring to water and mixing in cheerios.  He also loves to watch cooking shows.  The irony of this is that he's still pretty limited as to what he will willingly eat.  But he loves to watch people cook and he also loves to help me when I'm in the kitchen.  He's helped me make scones 4 or 5 times!  His favorite shows are America's Test Kitchen, Martha Bakes and The Great British Baking Show (all on PBS). 

Another quirk of Emmett's is wearing pajamas all day long, as long as he's in the house.  He changes clothes to go outside (to play or go to school, etc.) but as soon as he comes back in the door he is looking for the pajamas to change into.  Being "cozy" is very important to him. 

Emmett goes to the doctor next week for his yearly check-up so I'll add in his stats then.

Height: 46" (95th percentile), up 3.25" from last year
Weight: 47.7 lbs. (90th percentile),  up 4.2 lbs. from last year
Blood pressure (!): 90/62

Funny things he's said:
"constructions" - instructions
"poison idy" - poison ivy

A conversation with mama:
Mama: "You sure are talkative."
Emmett: "Yeah, I have other questions but my mouth is tired. I'll ask the rest at bedtime."


We are so proud of the sweet, smart, thoughtful boy you are becoming.  Keep on telling jokes, digging in the sand and playing pretend.  We love you.  Seriously.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

House tour: Emmett's room {updated}

I shared pictures of Emmett's room almost a year and a half ago.  In that time, he has grown several inches, gained some independence and started to learn how to read!  My little boy is growing up right before my eyes.  We didn't change a whole lot in here, but we did remove some of the "little boy things" that he has obviously outgrown.  

I bought two matching blue task lamps from Target a while ago (thinking ahead to the two boys sharing a room!).  I picked up the little bench from a garage sale and the chair from an estate sale (it will be really cute when it gets recovered one day!).

The big red "E" is new from my favorite antique store in Dallas.  The three books are new from the recently discovered antique store across from Kroger.  The dinosaur fossil/figure were both put together by Emmett over the past year.

I added this "zone" to his room in the fall.  He needed a place for his backpack and I've always wanted to use a big photo of him somewhere.  This is from our trip to Yellowstone, he's in front of Old Faithful as it erupts.  I also printed out a few 4x6 photos and let him pick his favorites.  Come to think of it, I should probably do that again.  Gotta replace that 4-year-old birthday cake pic with a 5-year-old birthday cake pic! 

We removed a lot of things from his dresser.  Now, it looks less cluttered and really showcases the awesome books I've picked up over the years.  

I mean really, who doesn't want to Double Your Child's Grades in School??  These books are perfect for a boy's room.  The small blue free mason book is new (to me), it dates back to 1908!  

That's all the house tour photos I have to share.  Thanks for indulging me.  I've got a boy who's about to turn five that I need to write about and I'm sure Theo will soon be breaking the scales at his 15-month check up.  I'll keep you informed. ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

House tour: den and playroom {updated}

The last time I shared pictures of the den it looked like this (and you can also click here to see more):

I liked that look a lot, but I lived with it that way for over a year and I got tired of it.  Change is good.  I don't change things up in my house very often, but when I do I like how things just feel fresh and new, even if it's all stuff I already owned.  So, that was what I did in the den while my mom was here a few weeks back.  I asked her to help me simplify and lighten things up.  This is what it looks like now:

We started by turning all the books on the mantle so that the pages faced out.  Voila!  Same books, new look.  Then, we went looking for all the white decorations I owned.  Turns out, I have surprisingly few plain white vessels.  So, I did what any wanna-be DIYer does, I bought some white spray paint.  Those former red beauties got a new life.  I liked the red (I have owned those since my very first apartment), but my tastes have changed.  I think they still need a few more coats of spray paint, because there is a slight pink cast to them.

The fireplace got a big overhaul.  I think all the books and the basket and everything was just too much.  Especially with the way I'm feeling about all the stuff in my house these days.  I just want to pair down and reduce the clutter.  I also replaced the table from before with the former little ottoman from the living room.  Hard to believe that tiny thing lasted in the living room for so long.  It's a better fit in here.  The print above the wicker chair is also new.  It was from my Daddy Sid and Mama Rita and had not found a home yet.  I think the colors are just right in that spot.  

On to the playroom!  This room is the quiet beast lurking in the house.  It's off to the side of the living room behind french doors.  If we keep them closed we can just pretend that it doesn't even exist!  So, our desk is often a mess and the toy baskets are overflowing.  Recently, I took some drastic measures regarding the toy situation (I'll write about why and how and the results so far in a future post). 

The desk is still a mess and since taking these photos I have had to remove the two red boxes from the bookshelf.  A certain curious toddler likes to get into every single thing I own and hold dear.  Please note the filing cabinets sealed with masking tape.  #childproofing  It makes filing so much fun!!  That's why I do it all the time and there's never a huge stack of papers on the desk.  

This room is far from done, but I'm never quite motivated enough to tackle it.  It is a disaster zone all day every day, so just picking up in the evening feels like a vast improvement.  

As it stands there are fewer toys in here now.  Although some days it still looks as though we own a million toys, I know that we've reduced in this room, too, and that gives me some joy.

Emmett's room also got a little refresh, I'll share those pics soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

House tour: living room and foyer {updated}

I want to say for the record that I don't think I'm a fancy decorator blogger or anything.  I promise.  I do love reading fancy decorator blogs, though.  Maybe you'll put up with me sharing a few photos of our house after a bit of redecorating?  

I like having photos of my house in various stages of living here.  I go back through photos of our apartment in Ann Arbor and there are literally only two things that we still have and use from that time: our couches.  Bless those couches; they've stuck it out for 10 and 12+ years (and it shows).  Our (my) tastes have changed so much since that time that I've given away or sold everything else.  Even since we lived in Nashville, when I kinda/sorta started to get into decorating - even though I look back on those photos and I cringe with embarrassment.  At least at that time I could honestly claim ignorance, since I had no idea what I was doing.  

It's a bit different now.  I actually like decorating and going out with my mom especially looking for a new piece of art or furniture or whatever.  I'm finally beginning to figure out what kind of style I have and it's fun, if not challenging, to see that take shape over the years.  

As with many previous instances of redecorating, my mom was crucial to this little revamp.  It's always so nice to have her here and look with fresh eyes and really help me execute a plan.  This time around I told her I wanted to simplify, get rid of clutter and make things brighter.  I felt like a lot of the spaces in my house were dark and just too full.  So, she listened and got to work.  It is one of my favorite things to have my mom here and get to "work" with her.  Once she gets going (and she wastes no time!) it gets me motivated and then we get into a place where one knows what the other is thinking.  Or someone's suggestion will inspire another, better option.  It's just magic.  I love it.  And I really love what she helped me accomplish in the house.  Thanks, mom!

I'll start off with my new favorite view of the house, courtesy of a few new finds.  A rug from an antique store, a fiddle leaf fig and a white planter.  Plus, in hopes of keeping it a little bit real, I left our pack n play in this shot because that's life right now.  I did clean up all the toys, though. ;)

I'll start in the foyer because I changed a few things since the last time I shared photos

This chest is in a new spot (it was up in Theo's room) because it's a favorite piece and I wanted to get to see it more often.  The artwork is new from Christmas.  My mom found this and a couple other pieces after I told her I was interested in watercolor sketches.  

I found this brass pig at an antique store in town.  Being a hog fan, I couldn't pass him up.  Bonus: he's also a piggy bank!

Moving onto the living room.  Take a quick peek at the last photos I shared of this room, because there are some big changes!  Most notably, it's that there is nothing on top of any tables anymore.  No, young Theodore has prevented me from displaying any books or knick-knacks of any kind.  He's what we call a "messer" and he does it on the daily.  Gets into all the things.  I actually don't mind it too much because it's less clutter around my house and that's what I am aiming for.

My favorite little spot in the house!  It came about by accident.  While at Home Depot looking for a fern, I spotted some fiddle leaf fig plants.  As a faithful decor blog reader, I know that these little guys are #ontrend right now and that they can be quite hard to find and afford.  So, when I saw them I got a little excited and went over to take a look.  There were a ton of them all crowded together and they weren't in the best shape.  Lots of brown spots, broken leaves, just kinda sad looking.  But, when I looked at the price tag and saw they were only $17, I knew I had to get one.  These babies can cost as much as $40!  So I dug through a bunch of sad figs and found this guy who was less of a fixer-upper, but still needed a little TLC.  

When I got him (her?) home, I dusted the leaves with a damp cloth and that made a big improvement. Then, I cut off a leaf that had been torn and one that was bent and broken.  He looked a lot better.  I hope he does well, I know they can be very finicky to care for.  I'm going to do my best.

The planter was a Home Goods find, which was a total accident.  We went looking for pillows and lamp shades and instead got into a near brawl with a lady who wanted this planter for herself (she had a matching one and wanted two).  Ok, so maybe it wasn't a violent exchange, but there was tension in the store as she secretly stalked us around hoping we'd put it back.  Her husband even asked us to trade him "2 small ones for 1 big one" at the check out.  But, we held on tight to this little guy and made it out safely.  What a rush!

The rug was an antique store find.  Side note: this antique store has been right across the street from my neighborhood Kroger the entire time we've lived here.  Almost two years, people.  Never noticed it before.  My mom spotted it as we were driving past and I was like, "WHUT??"  So, needless to say, I was at once thrilled to find it and baffled at my lack of observation.  Imagine all the things I could have found in two years time!?! Eric is no doubt devastated by this discovery, as he should be.  

So yeah, this store was pretty cool.  It had a couple good booths (out of like 40?), but sometimes that's all you need.  My mom and I both found some things at one particularly cute booth and then this rug was right by the counter.  It was my mom who pointed it out, master that she is.  I have been enjoying the blog House Tweaking and this rug is a bit similar to the rug she has in her kitchen.  They are like rug cousins.  

It took me a while to be fully convinced that I should get the rug.  In fact, I took a picture of it and the dimensions and went home to think about it.  We had thought it would go in the kitchen, so we mapped it out and my mom even put my phone on the floor and, in a moment of pure hilarity, pretended to jump inside the phone.  It was definitely one of the funniest things that I've ever seen my mom do, and I want to remember it always. :)  

Long story short, I got the rug.  My mom bought it as an early birthday gift and I hope I will always think of her jumping into the miniature version of it when I see it.  After trying it in the kitchen and den, it seemed this little rug was the perfect host to my new white planter and fiddle leaf fig.  Emmett called it a magic carpet.  That works for me.  *Sings "A Whole New World" in the distance..."

Two more big changes: a new ottoman and new shelves.  I didn't get a full picture of the ottoman, but it's from World Market and it's still available.  I used a coupon on top of a furniture sale, so I saved about $50! It's such a better fit for the size of the room and I love the color, plus it's super kid-friendly.  We've been very happy with it.  

The shelves seem like they should have always been here.  My mom helped me hang these on a previous visit, and this time around she helped me re-style them.  That picture hanging under them is also from her for Christmas, it's a beautiful watercolor of the Colosseum.

I added a few new pictures to the gallery wall, too.  Emmett asked me if I added new pictures and I told him I added 3 new ones.  Then I asked him to guess what they were and he did on the first try!  Later that night I asked Eric if he knew which ones were new and (aside from his Girton crest in the top left corner that he already knew I'd hung) he was unable to figure it out.  Men!  I wonder if my boy will lose the power of observation as he grows??? ;)

Another angle of the new shelves.

Thanks for indulging me today and letting me share some house photos.  I took some more of the playroom, den and Emmett's bedroom, where we did some more redecorating.  I'll share those in the days to come.  


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