Tuesday, November 18, 2008

happy birthday jack!

I cannot believe j is 2. This year seemed more like a month than a year. We had a little party at a local pizza place. Jack received lots of great gifts -- books and learning toys (what a great community of friends we have). He was a little overwhelmed by all the noise and attention. I can't believe this but I actually forgot my camera so I have no pictures. So sad.

But we have many pics of Jack from almost every other day in his life. Hopefully that makes up for my mistake. Since J's bday is so close to thanksgiving, I'll post those pics. We had a great time with friends and you can see Jack enjoyed the dessert as usual.

Then we headed off to Guemes Island where some friends built a very cool cabin overlooking the water. It was so peaceful and quiet. We loved it in spite of the gray weather.

The latest with Jack is that he is starting to talk in complete sentences. This morning he said "Where'd my dad go?" His favorite phrase is "where did my (fill in the blank) go?" He says that almost as much as he says "binky? binky!" or if he is in a room that has a guitar "Tar! Tar!" It is very entertaining until the 50 or 60th time then I am no longer entertained but I admire his tenacity.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I attend a parent-child class at my local community college and I love this class. Every week, the parent-educator raises a different topic and we discuss as a group. This week, the topic was traditions. She asked what traditions we remember having as kids and what traditions we have created with our new families. I actually cannot remember one tradition in my family which may be a result of a poor memory of such things rather than an absence of them. Moms from the group had some lovely traditions. One woman's dad traveled a lot. Every year during berry season her mom picked a day he was out of town and took the kids to a local berry farm. They picked as much as they could, then went home and the mom made home-made ice cream. That night, that's what they all ate for dinner.. nothing else. Another family made pizza every Sunday night. Another family let the kids decorate the christmas tree by themselves with ornaments they made.

We have a few traditions.. one of my favorites is our Saturday morning walk. We choose a bakery somewhere in town then go to a nearby park for a walk. Last Saturday after our bakery run, we went to a park near our house. The weather started out crummy but then became another sunny beautiful fall day that we have been having a lot lately. Jack has really been digging the slide lately.. as you can see.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We dressed Jack as John McEnroe for Halloween. Why? Because he has curly hair and throws some mean tantrums. Unfortunately, he would not keep his sweat band on so no one really knew who he was supposed to be.. Here's bridget subtly holding his arms down:

Lately Jack has been asserting his independence (euphemism for freaking out constantly when he doesn't get what he wants even if I don't know what he wants). It has been trying my patience. After dutifully avoiding the books, I needed some help. 'Positive Discipline' has been highly recommended by many people I respect so I consulted. Jack has been demanding to be carried a lot and the book gave some great advice: instead of picking him up, give him a hug. This works. Ryan and I sometimes follow Harvey Karp's advice and get on the floor with him as he throws the tantrums.. sometimes that helps. But I have realized that just like everyone else, Jack has good days and bad. Friday (Halloween) was horrible. We were at a kid-friendly restaurant and maybe J was tired, but he bit me really hard and I wanted to throw him. It was sad. Then this weekend has been great... The weather was amazing.. we spent lots of time outside. Reading the parenting book re-energized my spirit and reminded me that the skills it takes to be a good parent often do not come naturally. Luckily, I continue to enjoy parenting more and more. Jack's vocabulary and motor skills are expanding rapidly and it's a wonderful experience watching him discover his new world.