Happy Halloween 2014!

Happy Halloween everyone! This year, Jaxson was a pumpkin. We figured it was potentially the last year we could get away with putting him in a “cutesie” costume as he would be old enough next year to have an opinion of what he wants to be. He had a great time walking the mall trick or treating, and by the end of the walk he was finally getting the hang of it. We let him play in the play area before leaving the mall, and he even had his first lollipop! He had a really fun night and it was a real treat to watch him and other children enjoying themselves. He kept getting smiles from other kids and parents of course, and he even pointed out a few costumes he liked that other kids were wearing. We were just happy (and impressed!!) that he kept his pumpkin hat on the whole night without a fight. I love our little pumpkin!IMG_5813 IMG_5821 IMG_5828 IMG_5829 IMG_5833

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21 Months

Happy Halloween! Jaxson turned 21 months today! Here’s what he’s been up to this month:

New Skills

  • Ballet! I showed him some of my old dance moves and within seconds he was up pirouetting and walking around on twinkle toes. I’ve been wanting to sign him up for gymnastics since he started trying to do somersaults on his own, and I really think he’d like the physical non-aggressive outlet for his energy. He does really well following examples and instructions for things like this, so I really think that gymnastics will be perfect for him. They have a class nearby that has availability for his age group, so I think once enrollment opens for the next session we’ll be signing him up!
  • Climbing! We finally got his playset put together in the backyard and he’s mastered the ladder! I figured he was ready for it when he climbed up the metal “rope” wall at the park, and sure enough he’s loving the “park” in our backyard. He keeps going for the rock wall, but he hasn’t quite figured that out yet on his own. However, he’s also done really well with…
  • Swinging! Like on the big-kid swing! Also part of his playset, after an initial almost-flipping-backward moment the first time, he now understands to hold on and we push him. He’s getting so big, so fast, and watching him crawl and climb all over the playset really hits it home for me that Jax is quickly leaving baby-hood behind. (Time for another one!)
  • Eating like a human – this one still needs some work but Jax is getting pretty good with using a fork and we’ve even had him use plates (don’t worry, they’re plastic!)
  • Shrugging his shoulders to say “I don’t know” – and he knows what he’s doing and what it means. This kid is amazingly smart.
  • Climbing into the carseat (mostly on his own, he needs help still to actually turn around and sit down) and buckling the top belt. He keeps trying to buckle the bottom belt but keeps pinching his fingers instead. Luckily he doesn’t know how to open them yet! He can also do the buckles in the grocery cart at the store, too, which is OK because it keeps him occupied. LOL

New Vocabulary

  • Clean up! (which kind of sounds like keeeeeeeee toe, because drawing out the syllables makes everything sound more fun!)
  • Batman & Spiderman (both of which at this point are just an emphatic Man!)
  • spider
  • dark
  • toy
  • elbow
  • nose
  • cheek
  • knee
  • cheese
  • pumpkin (pum!)
  • drums
  • guitar
  • smoothie (smoo)
  • milk
  • apple (bapple)
  • meat
  • O, as in the letter, which he points out now
  • Bang Bang! (as in the song!)
  • Jaxson (finally!)
  • you
  • boo-boo
  • Boo!
  • You too! (in response to “I love you!” – which I’ve been working on with him forever!)

New Likes

  • bananas
  • apples
  • drinkable yogurt
  • mustard (like me!)
  • Subway subs, extra toasty with just meat and a little bit of sprinkle cheese
  • Mommy, Mama, and Me, which we’ve had forever, but is now his current favorite bedtime story
  • glow-in-the-dark moon and star stickers on his bedroom walls
  • “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj (he sings his heart out BANG BANG! BANG BANG BANG!)
  • his backyard “park”
  • playing with leaves

New Dislikes

  • ketchup (unlike Mama J!)
  • thunderstorms, he’ll run to us or stay close by us if there’s any sign of lightning or thunder
  • “the dark” caused by power outages. We had a situation where he freaked out because the power went out during a storm, plunging us into darkness. Mama J was in the shower and started yelling from fright! This resulted in me hunting down the flashlight (thank goodness we’d just cleared out the junk drawer!) with a toddler wrapped around my leg, yelling “Dark! Dark!” as I made my way to our bathroom to rescue J. I think he may have actually been trying to climb me, which didn’t work out so well for him.

New Experiences

  • We took Jax to the little fair set up at one of the local churches here. He loved it! He didn’t ride any rides because he was just a little too small and a little too afraid, but he loved watching all the kids laughing and screaming and having a good time. There was a giant slide and of course, that’s the one ride he really wanted to go on as he kept pointing to it and dragging us over there. He also liked all the stuffed animals that you could win as well as all the lights on the rides flashing and of course, the music. They also had a live band there and we sat and watched them for a couple of songs and he really enjoyed that, amazed at all the guitars and the drums, and dancing a little with Mama J. It was really fun and we walked around like 4 times so he could get his fill, and so we could get funnel cake. 🙂 We ended up going back with Jax’s little friend Noah and they got to ride a train and a fire truck, and we watched acrobats and daredevils on motorcycles in a cage! He loved it!
  • My cousin Tabi, her husband, and their three boys all came to visit us so we could meet baby O who is only 2 months old and soooo tiny. The older boys & Jax had a blast playing together. Jax wasn’t sure how to handle the baby and was kind of afraid of him. Honestly I think he was kind of confused why I was holding the baby – like where did he come from Mama? So we told him that soon we’d have our own baby that lives with us and we made him come look at the baby and he finally warmed up. After they left, he kept saying baby! baby! and the next morning when he woke up he started talking non-stop, chattering away. Having exposure to bigger kids is definitely good for his vocabulary and development!
  • The other night we went to a pumpkin patch in search of a pumpkin to carve (no luck! they were way too expensive) and Jax had fun running around, grabbing each pumpkin and yelling Pum!! and watching all the other kids running amok. They had a few photo op places set up and of course we made him suffer through so we could get our obligatory Fall photos (at one, he kept saying “boo-boo, knee!” because the seat made of hay was poking him).

Miscellaneous Tidbits

  • Jaxson and I got to spend a whole weekend together alone while J went off to spend time with her cousin. I was nervous and a little scared, but Jax and I survived the weekend despite a few minor mishaps. He definitely missed his Mama J and asked and looked for her a few times, but I think overall we had a great weekend together and got to spend some quality time one-on-one. It was the first time Mama J has been away from him that long and the first time I’ve had him solo since he was born! I give kudos to all single moms and stay-at-home moms out there. 24/7 care of a busy toddler is hard work! I am so lucky to have such an amazing wife that can balance both work and taking care of our boy. 🙂
  • Jaxson now has all manner of emotions, ranging from anger and delight to empathy and fear. Oh, fear. He’s now become shy when meeting new people and won’t stray far from us in new situations, which are not necessarily bad things so long as he doesn’t let it control his life. I think he’ll be just fine. If he doesn’t understand something, like a leaf for instance, he kind of does this whimpering noise while saying “oh? oh?” and comes to you for comfort. Usually once you explain, “look, this is a leaf. it comes from the trees! see them all?” he will calm down and move about his business. It’s funny to see the world through his eyes and how all these little things we take for granted can be new and exciting, but also intimidating, to our little man.
  • He very much has Mama or Mommy-only days, days where he will have close to nothing to do with me but be suffocating J and wanting her for everything, or vice versa. J is home with him all day so this can be frustrating to both of us, when she just wants a break and I just want a hug dang it, but his preferences change with the wind and we know to just cherish his snuggly ways when its our turn. The best days are those when we both are showered with Jaxson’s affection.
  • J drove him around the backyard on the tractor-lawnmower and he loved it! He wore his sunglasses the whole time! We haven’t been able to get him to wear any yet, and these were a gift, so since we live in the Sunshine State, I’m happy he finally relented and that he likes this pair.
  • Jax not only got my big feet but also my clumsiness, it seems. He walks, he trips. He runs, he falls. He sits in a big chair at the table, he is sporting a lovely bruise on his cheek from hitting the other chair on his way down.
  • He’s finally becoming more vocal around other kids, and I think we have Tabi’s boys to thank for that. He doesn’t get out much to spend quality time with other kids, so it is hard, but the last couple times at the play area in our Mall he has gone up to other kids to “play” and even talked! We are so excited for this milestone, other kids usually show interest in playing with him but of course lose that interest once he ignores them or runs back to us. We’re so glad it seems he is finally stepping out of his shell.
  • It also seems as if he’s started to understand playing pretend and using his imagination. We have no idea what he was doing, but he will play with leaves outside, bring them up to his playset, put them here, do this. It’s like we can see that he’s using his imagination to play now, which is really fun.

Tonight we are taking him trick-or-treating at Publix and then the Mall. He’s going to be a pumpkin this year and his costume is oh-so-cute! Don’t worry, Halloween costume pictures are coming soon, but in the meantime, here are pictures from this past month. 🙂

 

He's happy he has a couch all to himself!

He’s happy he has a couch all to himself!

He's getting sooo big

He’s getting sooo big

Little Man

Little Man

Look at that juice belly!

Look at that juice belly!

Dancing

Dancing

Cutie

Cutie

Silly Face!

Silly Face!

I'm not listening, Mom!

I’m not listening, Mom!

Handsome!

Handsome!

Good morning!

Good morning!

Crazy Boy

Crazy Boy

Mama B & Jaxson (don't worry, we're parked)

Mama B & Jaxson (don’t worry, we’re parked)

Mama J & Jaxson

Mama J & Jaxson

Family Selfie!

Family Selfie!

The family that duck-faces together, stays silly together! :)

The family that duck-faces together, stays silly together! 🙂

Naughty but cute!

Naughty but cute!

Playtime!

Outside Playtime!

Big boy swinging!

Big boy swing!

Swinging!

Swinging!

Bounce House!

Bounce House with Noah!

Bounce House

Bounce House (he couldn’t stay standing for long)

Train ride!

Train ride!

He had so much fun!

He had so much fun!

Riding the train

Waving Hi to Moms

All buckled in!

All buckled in!

Fire Truck Ride at the Fair

Fire Truck Ride at the Fair

Hi Moms!

Hi Moms!

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch with Pokey Hay

He loved the baby pumpkin!

He loved the baby pumpkin!

Our little witch!

Our little witch!

FrankenJax!

FrankenJax!

Pum! Pum!

Pum! Pum!

Loving the Pumpkin Patch

Loving the Pumpkin Patch

Preparation

Since September I’ve been religiously tracking my body’s signs of fertility, taking my temperature every morning, peeing on OPK sticks, trying to learn my body so that when we start trying to conceive, I’m prepared. I like doing this, I like feeling like I’m actively doing something toward bringing our next child into the world, not sitting idly by just counting the days.

Of course, my body seems to know that I’m getting ready for pregnancy and my hormones have been all over the place lately. Normally I get migraines due to hormonal changes throughout my cycle, but now that I’m tracking everything, I’m starting to see that I tend to get them twice – during my period, and then around ovulation as well. I also get hot flashes and serious nausea, and a quick visit to Dr. Google assures me that this is common due to the rapid rise & fall of estrogen around these times. Which makes sense, since estrogen-based birth control has always given me migraine attacks in the past.

I’ve also stopped taking all my medication for about a month now. Before you go freaking out, it’s okay. I was on blood pressure medication for migraine prevention, but honestly it hasn’t been working well for me for awhile now, and I’ve not noticed any real difference with or without it, other than I can now stay awake later at night instead of getting sleepy at 9. I’ve also stopped taking my Mobic for arthritis, which has actually been proven to interfere with ovulation. I had run out mid-August and didn’t have it again until the beginning of September, and get this – that’s the month I got my period! It makes me wonder if it’s been causing problems for me the whole time I’ve been on it. Both of these medications are Class C, which means they are generally unsafe in pregnancy, so I would have to stop them once pregnant anyway. And now that J and I have lost weight and become more active, I don’t really need the Mobic anymore. The only medication that I’ve kept up with is my Imitrex to treat migraines as they come, but once I go back to the doctor I’m going to ask for a pregnancy-safe migraine medication instead, at least so I can try it now and see how it works for me and what to expect. I hate taking medication at all, so to not have to take something daily anymore (besides my prenatal vitamins of course!) is really great.

I’ve also started cutting out caffeine. I’m not a caffeine addict like J is (she can’t function without her morning cup of Joe), and it doesn’t really affect me. For example, I can drink a venti Starbucks coffee and go to bed the next hour and sleep the whole night through without a problem, while J would be up all night. I was only drinking 16 oz of coffee in the mornings, but I’ve switched it out for green tea instead, which still has caffeine but much, much less. And besides, green tea is much better for you anyway, and I don’t mind the taste. My work has these fancy coffee/tea machines and they have a really good green tea, so its even free for me during the week.

Our weight loss has stalled, and there’s really no one to blame for it but ourselves. The weekends are always a diet-killer, since we’re out and about and just want to have a good time. I do keep up with my 30 minutes of walking every day at work on the treadmill, and on the weekends we’ve started doing more outside now that it’s cooling off. Plus having a nearly-two year old running around requires Mamas to run around a little bit too. I have kind of resigned myself to the fact that I may not get under 200 pounds by the time I get pregnant, but that’s okay. I think it might mess with my head to finally get there, then gain baby weight, and feel discouraged the whole time that I got to my goal and then promptly gained the weight back, even though it would be baby-related. I know this is something J really struggled with during her pregnancy with Jax, so as long as I’m eating better and staying active, I think I’ll be just fine and have a healthy pregnancy. There’s always time after this next baby to get down to my goal weight. 🙂

We’ve also started planning our nursery too, and have a little baby registry on Target started to store all the things we like as we find them. We both keep saying, “But what if its another boy?” but we laugh because we have both felt like it is going to be a girl since before Jaxson was born. Of course, J keeps thinking I’m going to have twins but I have only seen one more baby in my future, so we just might have to wait and see on that one. We already had her name picked out, and now we have a backup girl and boy name (well, just a boy’s middle name), just in case the twins thing comes true…oh boy. I’ve been wanting to get a new car for some time now, but we are waiting until after I’m pregnant so we can see how many babies are coming and then purchase a sufficient-sized vehicle accordingly.

Next up…doctor’s visit to get started on this journey toward baby #2! We want to start trying to conceive in December, because that’s what feels right to us, and what we feel the Powers That Be are guiding us toward, so we’re listening. Maybe that will bring us good luck and perfect timing, which is really all you can ask for in this journey. I told J we should go back and visit the Fertility Statues at Ripley’s in Orlando. After all, they worked for us last time! 🙂