The last “teen” month is upon us. (Is that even a thing?) We’re about to enter a phase where–in my humble opinion–we sound a bit ridiculous counting in months…but my loveable sister-in-law, ‘Chelle, thinks we’ve been there for about 6 months now.
Anyway…our 19-month old. Sigh.
We’ve had a fun month that I will proceed to recap in events/trips, more than actual milestones:
- Jackson got to spend a weekend with Granny Sue and Grandpa Stan at their house while Chris and I had a fun weekend in St. Louis [alone!]
- We ended the weekend with his first trip to the St. Louis Zoo…yucky weather, but fun animals and a mostly non-too-cranky toddler in a flat-tire BOB stroller. #goodtimes
- Capped it off with a [too-brief-due-to-mostly-fully-cranky toddler-mode] visit with Grandpa Charley and Grandma Peggy at their house. Good thing they love him (and us) no matter what our mood(Also, another month getting to see all grandparents! YAY!)
- Jackson took his second trip by airplane!! We got to visit family in Dallas and had such a wonderful (and hilarious!) time! I will say though…flying with a toddler is a waaaaaaaaay different experience than with an infant. Neither is without its own particular stresses, but when you can tell the “baby” to “stop kicking the seat” and they just smile and keep kicking…whew. It’s exciting. Other than that “new trick” and the reeeeallllly late and eeeeeeven earlier flight times [I chose], it was pretty uneventful travel!
- Time with Chris’s sibs and meeting our nephew/cousin Walter was seriously so. much. fun. I’m convinced you could stick us in one [relatively large, with soft furniture, puppy chow, a margarita fountain, and some cardboard books...oh, and some bibs for Walter] room and we’d be set for at least a week. With all the quick inside jokes, good-natured teasing, funny stories and baby snuggles, we had the best time and wish it were easier to do more frequently! Jackson still says “Come on, Day-bid” on almost a daily basis, and while Uncle David is convinced this has solidified his spot as Jackson’s favorite, the rest of us know better
- This month Jackson also learned that on Wednesdays when he goes to bible study at the Crossing with me, he gets pizza. Thus, he might be the youngest child to yell “PIZZA” when we get to the parking lot. Part of me thinks I should be ashamed, but I mostly find it hilarious. Here’s to hoping he’ll grow into more intrinsic (vs stomach-driven) desires to join me as he ages!
- Coming in just under the wire on the 25th, he attended his second Mizzou Homecoming game, and his first Homecoming Parade! He enjoyed the: drums, flags, dogs, fire trucks and sounds. In that order. We arrived at the game [post-post-nap meltdown] during the second quarter and managed to stay through the rest of the game! That IS a milestone and we were proud of our little Tiger. Uncle Zach and Aunt Jenn were in town and seemed to enjoy the time with their favorite nephew…I think they like him!
My silly boys.
If you liked the shot of me and Jackson on Facebook, I thought it only fair to share what the next several seconds entailed. Simply put, playground equipment is not geared for those of us past a certain age/height/weight. #awkwardslidedismount
(P.S. Family, if you’ve made it this far…know that there are more photos from this shoot, and I have plans to share them with you in due time )
[Note from the Editor: I have every intent of blogging about things other than my son's monthly updates/catch-ups, but I'm also content to have them as placeholders to keep the blog "active" until such a time as I can make good on my intentions...just so you know!]
Now, back to the expected business at hand, (Grandmas)!
I present, our precious, hilarious, intelligent, and all-other-things-moms-think-about-their-babies, 18-month-old toddler:
Oh, this kid. And he IS a kid. A full-fledged, running-not-walking, constantly bruised, always getting dirty, and growing in sassy-ness, KID! My pride and determination to get this posted before the turn of the month (only 4 days late!) will prevent me from waxing much more nostalgic this month, but we truly are having so much fun with our boy.
He continues to amaze us with his ability to catch onto things, and rather than be braggy about it (because what’s the point in that, anyway…they’re all different and change week to week), let’s just call it what it is: a cry for help, for soon we will be in over our heads with a not-even-2-year-old who can outsmart his parents. He definitely surpassed Oscar well over 6 months ago. It’s only a matter of time.
Ok, so lists are helpful to me and posterity, and they’re quick. And I don’t want this month’s “documentation” to be squandered:
- I think he’s had 5 or 6 haircuts by now. Ridiculous. (And his stylist, Staci, is a rock star. Moving targets + accurate scissors / endless patience = true professional.)
- An ever-increasing vocabulary…which Toodie seems to think comes from all the talking his mom does. I can’t argue, I suppose. And man, is he every bit as fun to listen to as I knew he would be!! My favorite development so far
- Much more steady on his feet, resulting in at least a couple of days between bruises across his forehead. Which bodes well for our parental reputation in the community.
- Still can only make it through about half of a Mizzou Football game…can definitely put away one whole hot dog, though. #priorities
- Got to visit family in Springfield this month while Chris took a CrossFit training course – lots of good time with aunts, uncles and great-grandma! Springfield is forever different since July, but we are so thankful for our wonderful family and their love for us and our boy. It is a special time…even if we were all exhausted after chasing a toddler in not-quite-completely-child-proofed situations for a couple of days! (Oh, and “hooray!!” for Chris, who passed his class!)
- Granny Sue and Grandpa Stan made a quick trip to visit yesterday – Granny Sue got to come to Jackson’s 18 month doctor’s appointment and then took over the “daycare duties” for the day. Grandpa Stan came up in the afternoon to deliver furniture for our basement (in other, bittersweet, Zoo news of the month: Kitties Calvin and Theo found a wonderful new home with a family in Booneville this month…and yes, I did cry when they left, but I know that it’s what’s best for them and am so happy they are getting the attention and love they deserve from a family who can give it to them. The Zoo was over-capacity and now we’re still overwhelmed some days (have you met Oscar?!), but have a bit more breathing room.) Annnnnyway…with our newly cat-free space, we needed new furniture and are excited to make it a place that Jackson can hang out. (See, now it’s about him again!)
- He still eats everything. Except mashed potatoes and stringy hashbrowns. He hasn’t quite developed his mother’s undiscerning, widely accepting palate for potatoes. I still love him.
These two coming up…if that’s not a preview of my 6-, 11-, or 15-year-old son…
Doesn’t meet my typical standards for a “keeper” pic, but Mr. GQ here couldn’t be tossed.
And those toes!!
I digress. Until 19.
Let’s go ahead and lead with the picture on this one. Man, that face of yours! You have got me almost entirely wrapped around your [sticky, food-covered, cute little] finger. I am having THE. HARDEST. TIME. keeping a straight face when the situation calls for it. Even when you’re in the short bursts of very intense fit-throwing mode, I can hardly keep from laughing. This is going to bode well going forward, I’m sure of it.
You still eat like crazy. The few times you don’t eat what we give you, you DON’T EAT IT and tell us about it, but for the most part you’re easy to please and eat more like a teenager than a…teen-monther.
All kinds of teeth going on in that sassy, you-know-exactly-how-cute-you-are grin of yours. Nothing seeming to bother you too badly yet, and brushing your teeth has been mostly fun.
Ummm…but you and those WORDS! Your Toodie looks at me and indicates that you had no choice but to be a verbal child…I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but it must be a compliment, right?! Toodie only says nice things. All the time.
Anyway, you are a little PARROT and it’s incredible!! I always knew I’d love this phase, and I’m still loving learning your interpretations on words and what things mean. For all of the completely discernible, multi-syllable words you pick up on, the two that still baffle your dad and I are “milk/nom” and “cup/puck”…we know what you mean, but son these are words we’ve been saying for a [relatively] long time and it’s just funny that you’re stuck on your version. Very telling, indeed
You’re VERY good at names and it’s fun for you to pick out family members in pictures without us telling you who they are. They kind of like that, too! Even Oshckar and Welma (got a little German in your blood, guess it’s starting to show!) and Pollo and Zeeuuus love that you know who they are! (Orrrr they like that you don’t always get all of your food to your mouth…as evidenced in this month’s photos…)
Nothing supremely remarkable about this past month other than we continue to take so much joy in you and pretty much anything you do…with the notable exceptions of tossing food and “pucks of nom” on the floor after being told “no”, and the whole screaming like you’ve never been fed/haven’t slept in days/someone’s pinching you thing. BUT even in those things, we’re thankful to have been blessed with such an expressive, joyful, intelligent and willful little boy. Because that’s what you are.
While your sixteenth month was full of new rites of independence, fortunately this was not the “16″ involving car keys. (Or “keeeees!” as you might call them.) That is still a ways off, indeed. Even so, here are a few of the ways you exerted and revealed your growing independence this month, as well as few other important things:
- You had your first “trip” away from home without mom and dad when you stayed a few extra days with Granny Sue and Grandpa Stan at the beginning of the month, and by all accounts you handled it like a champ.
- You still have the one speed (fast!) and have added several more bruises and scrapes to your wound history. I’d like you to learn that if you go slooooower you’ll spend less time getting up off the ground with the wind knocked out of you…and I’ll spend less time having my breath momentarily taken away as I quickly assess whether to rush to your aid or let you be a big boy. (I can’t deny that I love my when my independent boy pouts and says “mama!” with arms open for a hug…but I do love how tough you are!)
- You are a water fiend. The splash park at Stephens Lake is probably your favorite place on earth, and your dad, Toodie and I are still perplexed as to the wonder that is Rachel…who has not only taken you to the same park, but taken you along with her own three-year-old, and been in control enough to document the experience in photos. None of the three of us is capable of anything other than “chase” at this point in time, because all you do, my boy, is RUN. You are fearless as water shoots up from the ground and hits your [thick] feet, protruding belly, sweet cheeks and all over your face. You seem to be a sponge-child, gaining more energy the more time you spend soaking up the water. It’s pretty adorable…and only slightly exhausting.
- You are learning to hold your own on the ground with Velma and Oscar (no, we haven’t let Oscar sit on you yet, but the days are drawing nearer for that milestone!) – Apollo and Zeus have provided much [calmer, mature] practice for your familiarity, and your pups are learning to love you without reckless abandon. It makes me happy.
- Lastly, you had the distinct and bittersweet pleasure of seeing all of your grandparents and great grandparents between this month and last. Your Great-Mamaw June and Great-Pawpaw Chris both passed away this month and it’s been tough. However, looking through the many, many photos of you with each of them taken over the past 16 months has been such a wonderful reminder of how much time you were able to spend with them in your life and how much joy you brought them. And goodness, what a bright spot you have been in the midst of so much sadness in our family as we walk through this hard time together. I hope to tell you many stories in the years to come about your great-grandparents and how amazing they were, and making sure that you get to spend as much time as possible with each of your own wonderful grandparents to develop the same kind of closeness that I enjoyed with mine.
So I’ve been that slacker mom. Falling off the already-not-so-frequent posting schedule in your second year of life. Here’s the thing though…you move so much faster now that it’s a) harder to get you in good photos without being strapped down and b) much harder to get anything done while you’re awake and c) much harder to find time to edit any photos taken when you’re asleep because I’m either too tired or too busy cleaning up the tornado you left in the living room.
And I love it.
But, I do want to make up for lost time (and maybe prove to myself that I do still take “good camera” photos of you at least monthly), so in the interest of catching up, I present months thirteen, fourteen and fifteen.
This was the most impressive natural post-nap ‘do that I’d ever witnessed. Apologies for your still sleepy demeanor and for taking advantage of you. But LOOK at that thing. It puts Chandler’s flock of seagulls to shame! (I am determined for you to not only be familiar with that reference as you get older, but love it. No pressure.) You were also baptized this month, which was a really special celebration with family and friends…many of whom were able to make the trip to Columbia. You are one well-loved little boy!
This photo was from your Aunt Jen and Uncle Zach’s backyard in Memphis on our last overnight stop on the way home from your first trip to the beach. You are a wonderful traveler…I am still amazed looking back. Books and binks and the occasional song and funny face was good enough for you! (Of course, having me to look at from my semi-permanent post in the “way back” and having Toodie right next to you must have made for optimal circumstances.)
And ohhhh you were so much fun at the beach! You didn’t quite warm up to the ocean until the last day or so, but you were content to play in the sand, run in the sand, throw the sand, eat the sand…and take well-earned naps. Now, if your daddy had only not had to have his appendix taken out unexpectedly (ok, maybe that’s never an a “expected” operation)…anyway, you two would have spent much more time getting you acquainted with the water. (Not to worry – you have since made up for it in a few lakes and the splash park…your love for the water is well-cultivated!)
Ohhhh, your chair. It matches mommy’s and daddy’s that are outside. But yours has a decidedly inside presence, as I am convinced you could climb in and out of (and up and over and down and under) chairs all. day. long.
If only you would SIT. ON. YOUR. BOTTOM. without me having to say it 17 times a minute. Oh well, I’ve been learning that while I certainly am not a bottomless pit of patience, I have an increasing amount for you, my son. Patience has never been one of my strongest traits, and I pray for an ever growing supply, but I do find that you and your sweet face and watching you learn through repetition has made that kind of repetition almost fun in a way. Again, let’s keep praying for that!
You rock the muscle tees with flair, and your only speed is fast. Several bumps and bruises has your forehead encountered and it’s only a matter of time for the milestone of stitches, says anyone who knows you. Just make it a good story, ok? Preferably one involving minimal amounts of negligence on my part. Thanks.
What a fun quarter of the year that was…and now I can post July on time-ish!
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