Monday, July 20, 2015

Life lately {June + July recap}

Summer is in full swing here in Dallas.  After a rainy spring and early summer, we've settled into the HOT-HOT-HOT temps that the Big D is known for...and we've been staying busy.  Here's some of the fun stuff we've been up to so far this summer...

Road trip to Fayetteville 

My cousin Hannah got married in early June and we used it as great excuse to drive over and see family.  It was a quick weekend but we made time to see cousin Cooper and get a pic with all three boys together.  

And while we were at it we decided to get all the adults in the picture, too.  

The wedding was later that night and Em wasn't too put out over his outfit.  A couple of classic lines, though: 

"But I don't wanna look handsome!"
"I don't wanna wear a belt.  I'm not a man!"

I think he looked quite handsome and especially big (I mean look at those feet!).

We grabbed one family picture (minus Theo, he was home asleep with the sitter).

And later we took selfies on our way back to the car.  Em lasted until about 10pm! 

Father's Day

Emmett presented Dadd-o (what he calls Eric) with a card he made at school that featured Em in a hat and tie, just like all dad's wear!  Plus, it included some classic "My Dad loves to ______" lines.

Happy 8th wedding anniversary!

Eric and I celebrated 8 happy years by going out to dinner downtown at Savor and then dessert at Stampede 66 - the butterscotch salted caramel pudding is made from melted down Werther's candies!  And it's amazing.

4th of July in Fayetteville

We traveled to Fayetteville over the 4th weekend, however we only had Theo with us.  Emmett was up in Idaho with his Grandma and Boppa living it up camping in Sun Valley.  I have pictures that Karen shared with me that I will post soon!  

We decided to push our luck and asked my parents to watch Theo for a day so that we could have 24 hours with no kids.  It was as relaxing and rejuvenating as it sounds, trust me.  We stayed close and booked at room at 21C in Bentonville and also took in the sights at Crystal Bridges museum.  

First, we caught up with Aunt Sara and Cooper over lunch at the museum (Cooper slept through it like a real champ).  Don't ask me why Eric feels compelled to put his glasses on every baby he is pretty adorable.

After lunch we went through the museum and checked out the special Andy Warhol exhibit.  This was taken in a small room wallpapered in the cow print from floor to ceiling.  There were also huge rectangular mylar balloons filled with helium that floated around the space.  It was...interesting.  A commentary on the dairy industry, perhaps?

The Warhol exhibit focused on his flower prints but also had those cool animal portraits that I don't think I'd ever seen - and I did a research report on him in high school.  #justsayin'

The two other portraits were done by Eric and I at a self-serve station where you could put yourself into the art experience of Warhol or Andrew Wyeth.  Eric's pumpkin head was the clear winner!

After the museum, we high-tailed it downtown to catch Crepes Paulette before they closed and just barely made it!  I had a turtle crepe and Eric the chocolate/strawberry crepe and both were consumed with reckless abandon.

Here I am trying to capture my inner Warhol against the cool wallpaper by our hotel elevator.  I really think I nailed his weird loner vibe.

Eric saluting next to the Court House for the perfect 4th of July photo op.

Don't worry about ol' Theo, back at the Davis house he was getting spoiled by Momsie and Pops.  Here he is instructing Pops on how he likes his sausage grilled (well done).  Please note the matching Crocs.

Theo's other favorite activity? Sweeping with any broom or long-handled object in the garage.  Pops said he pushed that thing below for 30 minutes!

After we returned home on Sunday morning, Theo went through a nice little whiny meltdown that lasted the better part of an hour.  My parents said he was totally well-behaved the entire time.  Then when we came home he loses it?  Kids are strange.  We took him outside to play and he settled down soon after.  Then we decided to get out a giant metal bucket and Theo sat inside it while a hose gradually filled it with water.  

He was in HEAVEN.  I neglected to put a swim diaper on him so when he got up 45 minutes later his diaper was as big as my head and probably weighed 5 pounds.  It was crazy!

Then, naturally, we let him go dipe-free for a while because this:

Those are some cute buns right there.  This feels like the perfect way to end a post.  And done!

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. ;)


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