Sunday, April 29, 2012

Big Shoes to Fill

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lazy Saturday

We had a nice relaxing Saturday at home today. The boys let me sleep in, Justin mowed the lawn, and we straightened up around the house. We read a lot of books, played with leggos, and were just lazy most of the day. It was nice! After dinner, we went outside to play on the patio until Jackson's bath time.

He got this water spraying beach ball last year for his birthday and he thoroughly enjoyed it last year, but this is the first time we brought it out this season. He LOVED it! So thanks, Emily, for the awesome gift that keeps on giving! By 7:30 this evening it was in the 70s and breezy. I was cool in my shorts and tank top so I know Jackson was cold once he was soaking wet but it didn't seem to faze him.

And then a bit of excitement came hopping through our yard! A tiny little bunny rabbit! The rabbit was smart enough to hide when it saw Jackson. ;)

We thought we would try to catch it and then go release it down by the woods near our house. We succeeded in catching it in this bucket. Isn't it cute?

Jackson enjoyed his up close and personal interaction with the bunny!
But then it hopped right out of the bucket and tore across the yard and slipped behind some pavers we had stacked up along the fence. We decided at that point to just leave it alone.

After the bunny left, I think Jackson realized he was cold and went and stood at the door saying "House. Open." So he had a warm bath and then got ready for bed. Tonight while I was rocking him, he sang along with me during "In a Cabin in the Woods" which is currently his favorite bedtime song....he won't let me sing anything else! He didn't sing every word but most of them! I was seriously impressed and a little sad...he's getting so big!

We are looking forward to an equally relaxing Sunday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baby #2 16 Week Update

How far along? 16 Weeks

How big is baby? About 4.5 inches (crown to rump) and 3.5 ounces.

Best moment this week: Starting to feel some movement! Little taps and what I can best describe as a swirling feeling.

Movement: Subtle but definitely there!

Sleep: The 24/7 exhaustion has thankfully subsided. I started feeling better sometime during the 13th week and have been progressively feeling better and less worthless. I'm sleeping pretty well now that I have been reunited with my giant, C-shaped pregnancy pillow. The vivid dreams continue though. Last night I dreamed I was an extra in the next Chainsaw Massacre movie. Yuck.

Food cravings/aversions: Comfort food has moved way up on the list of cravings....fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese....mmmm. I had similar cravings with Jackson too around this time in the pregnancy. I'm also wanting chips and salsa nearly every day but trying to make it a little healthier by baking a wheat tortilla and then cutting that into "chips" to go with my salsa! Aversions....none really right now--the guacamole/avocado aversion has pretty much passed. So I'm back on quesadilla duty for Mr. Jackson!

Gender: Unknown. We go to the doctor on Friday where we will schedule our "big" ultrasound for sometime next month. We are having a really hard time coming up with a boy name though, while the girl name is pretty much decided...we'll see!

Symptoms: My belly button is getting pretty shallow. I'm wearing all maternity pants and probably about 1/2 maternity tops. The other half of my regular shirts are getting too short. Thankfully I think I'm starting to look definitely pregnant and less like I just ate too much! I've had some episodes of irrational crying like when I found out that Dick Clark died. Again, I experienced the same thing almost at the same point in my pregnancy with Jackson...I remember crying when Charlie Gibson retired. Ha!

What I miss: Can't really think of anything.

What I am looking forward to: Hearing this little one's heartbeat again at the doctor on Friday. It's just so reassuring!

On the to-do list: We are working up the courage to break Jackson's pacifier habit. He only gets it at night, but our bedtime routine is so easy and I know all hell will break loose if we take it away. I want him to be completely disassociated with the paci before the baby gets here though so I know we need to bite the bullet and just do it...and soon. Ugh.

Daddy is...thankful that I am able to help out again and not falling asleep on the couch every time he turns around!

Jackson is...becoming such a fun companion. When we drive home from school, we have an actual conversation about his day. I always ask him "what did you do at school today?" and he gives me a variety of answers about what he actually did. If it was pizza day, he usually tells me about the "Pizzi!" Or he will tell me the name of a certain friend followed by "bite" in a very serious tone. To which I say, "Oh, so-and-so bit someone today?"  and he says "uh huh. ouch!" He likes to paint and "marker" and he often tells me about that too. So fun!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Important entries for the memory book

We started our weekend with an event many in the Aggie family have been anticipating for a long time. The re-dedication of our student union, the Memorial Student Center. The MSC was closed for major renovation nearly 3 years ago and campus just isn't the same without it. I would argue that there are few people more excited than me for it to re-open since it is where we do much of our major programming during the New Student Conferences. There just are not very many other places on campus to host major events for 1500 or so people, which we do about 15 times throughout the summer for New Student Conferences. We have been making it work for the last 2 summers, but we are more than thrilled to be back in the MSC! It is the living room of campus and basically the hub of so much of the student activity.

So on Saturday, we, along with thousands of other Aggies, visited the new MSC for the first time. I've been able to tour the building during the various stages of construction for planning purposes but seeing it finished and once again buzzing with people and activity was surreal! It's beautiful and provides so many new opportunities for students!

We walked through with friends Amber and Jillian and Jake and Christen. We even had lunch in the new MSC Cafeteria. I know Jackson won't personally remember this day, but maybe one day he can write about it when he fills out his admissions application to Texas A&M. =)

Jackson and Justin standing on the 2nd floor breezeway overlooking the new 12th Man Hall.

We had our typical domestic Sunday but it ended with much excitement. Before getting in the bathtub, Jackson sat on his potty as is now part of the routine. He sat down with his book for a few minutes and lo and behold when he stood up there was actually pee pee in the potty!! There was major celebration in the Malnar house! I totally think this event was just a fluke but maybe now that he knows what a big deal we will make of it he will be encouraged to do it again.

And finally, just a quick video. I captured Jackson's typical response to the question of "where are you going?" (you might need to turn up the sound a bit...I am super loud but he is pretty quiet.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

22 months

Jackson is only two months from the big T-W-O! The birthday party planning is underway and he is busy being a total sponge....

He knows SO many words now. We sat at the dinner table tonight playing the "what's this?" game and he was able to name every object we asked him. He can repeat anything we say and he babbles all the time. He has started "singing" along to favorite songs--really just throwing in his favorite words here and there as I sing. He's combining two words more often now, with the first word often being "my". "My cup. My shoe. My candy". He's very possessive these days! He likes to chant certain words and phrases too. On Saturday, we were eating lunch and I had some chips with my sandwich. I gave him one. For the next 10 minutes, he chanted "Mommy chip. Mommy share. Mommy chip. Mommy share." He would stop briefly when I gave him another one and then start right back up again. 

With all of that talking comes a few cute "Jacksonisms". Here are a few for posterity:
Jackson: Jack-jack
Juice: Moosh
Pizza: Pizzi
Monkey: Monk-monk
Pancake: Paycay
He also has a few favorite responses to common questions:
Us: "Jackson, what color is the cup/ball/car/etc?" -- Jackson: "Red".
Us: "Jackson, how many grapes/fingers/books/etc do you have?" -- Jackson: "Two"
Us: "Jackson, where are you going." -- Jackson: "HEB!" (Do you think HEB may be looking for a super cute 2 year old spokesman? We know just the guy for the job!)

"Jackson, where is your belly button?"

His imaginative play has grown more sophisticated. Last week he crawled around barking and acting like a dog. He has an opinion about EVERYTHING, from the radio station playing in the car to the shoes he wears. We took him for a walk last week and only daddy could pull the wagon. Every time I even touched the handle, he started yelling "No! Dadda push! No!" Usually it's easier to just shrug and do it his way. But he can't always have his way, so this is going to be fun...

There's not much this boy won't do for a popsicle!

We are learning not to let him do something one way even one time if that is not the way we want him to do it every time. For example, Pop let him ride in the big part of the cart when they went to the store rather than in the child seat up front. Now every time we go to Target, he pitches a fit when we put him in the child seat, insisting to sit in the basket part. No such luck buddy. Another example is the first time we brought out his water table this Spring, he decided he wanted to climb into it and got completely soaked. Since he was wearing his regular clothes and shoes, we just stripped him down and let him go. So last night when we were going to play with the water table, we changed him into a swim diaper, crocs and a swim shirt. He wanted nothing to do with the clothes. He screamed and cried and tried to undress himself. Oh my.

Conveniently, he is very interested in babies these days. He always notices them when we are out and about and will usually comment on what the baby is doing. "Baby seeeeping. Shhhhhh!" We are using these opportunities to talk about what babies do versus the fun things he gets to do as a big boy. He also loves animals of any kind. Favorite foods these days include grilled cheese and quesadillas, of course, but he is also digging pizza and chicken strips with ketchup!

He's a total mess and a total joy. So trying but so lovable. He's the absolute highlight of our days, but man, are we relieved when it's bedtime! We love you more with each passing day, sweet Jackson!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Highlights

We had a fun weekend! On Saturday morning, we went to the A&M Vet School Open House. There were a ton of people there and the lines for some exhibits were just too long. But the petting zoo was the definite highlight and the crowds were surprisingly thin there!

He loved the alpaca--the largest animal in the pen! He wasn't the least bit scared of it even though it almost knocked him over a time or two.

The pygmy goats were a hit as well.

He was pretty excited to see the ducks too!

Mommy's favorite was the kangaroo!

How cute is the little joey?

Jackson also enjoyed the agility dog demonstration. He watched mesmerized and would say "jump!" as the dogs jumped over the hurdles. And he loved clapping at the end.

Another major highlight of the weekend was his new potty! We are not really going to begin potty training in earnest until he moves up to the 2's class at school. There's no point if they are not reinforcing our efforts there, but we figured that it doesn't hurt to let him get comfortable with the idea of the potty. So for now, he just enjoys sitting on it each night before bath. And other times as well...this morning when we were getting ready for church, he was sitting and watching his cartoons in the living room and when we checked back in a few minutes later, he had brought the potty from the bathroom into the living room. At least he likes it!

I think I have finally turned a corner as far as how I'm feeling. On Saturday, we spent the morning walking around at the Open House, came home for lunch, I put Jackson down for his nap and instead of taking a nap myself, I actually had the energy to vacuum the house, clean the baseboards and our bathroom! Woohoo for the second trimester!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Weekend

We made our usual trip to East Texas to my parent's house for Easter weekend. We picked Jackson up from school on Thursday and headed out. Apparently, he had been very excited all day to go because when I told his teacher where we were headed, she said, "oh, Jackson must call your dad Pop. Jackson has been saying 'Pop! Pop! Pop!' all day!" Yes, this boy was very excited to see his Pop! He is mildly obsessed. For probably 30 minutes in the car on the way he just said "Pop, Pop, Pop" over and over. But we would ask him "who else are you going to see" and he would say very sweetly "Grammy". He's finally decided to actually say Grammy and the way he says it is just so precious.

On Friday, we had our annual Good Friday crawfish boil. Jackson was a tiny bit apprehensive at first when he saw the live crawfish crawling around...

But he warmed up to them quickly and couldn't get enough!

He kept trying to stick his fingers in and we were afraid he would get pinched! I said, "Jackson, that crawfish is going to bite you! OW!" And he thought that was hilarious.

So he continued to stick his fingers in and then yank them out saying "OW!"

We couldn't keep him from trying to splash in the yucky crawfish water, so while we waited for the crawfish to boil, we found a better place for him to splash! Mommy fail...I forgot to pack his swimsuit and swim diapers...turns out that he loves skinny dipping!

A little while later, my mom found an old swimsuit and he and Annabelle had the best time playing together in the pool!

Finally it was time to eat!

Later in the afternoon, Jackson and Annabelle had their Egg Hunt. This was technically his second egg hunt as they had one at school on Thursday. But I wasn't there to witness or photo document, so we will just say that this was his FIRST egg hunt. He did awesome! He knew exactly what to do! I was amazed. We pointed a few out to him, but he found some all on his own, and held his own with Annabelle who is 4 and obviously an egg hunting pro.

He enjoyed opening all of the eggs and what's Easter without a bucket on your head?

Jackson and Annabelle had so much fun playing together! I am continually surprised by how well they play together. I would think the age difference would just be too much, but Annabelle is so sweet to him and they just have the best time!

Here they are playing in their "fort". (Justin had draped a blanket over the bench and they were hiding out underneath playing with flashlights.)

The next morning, Saturday, all the kiddos got their Easter baskets (from my parents) a little early because Marc, Mel and families had to leave early.

Jackson enjoyed all of his goodies but I think the big bucket of sidewalk chalk was the biggest hit!

After all the other kids had left, we had a relatively quiet day with Grammy and Pop, a trip to Lufkin to try and find this little boy some sandals for church (do you know how hard it is to find non-athletic sandals for a little boy? 5 stores is what it took us to find some!), and a visit later that evening with Jackson's Granny and Papa.

The next morning while I was getting ready for church, Jackson had a great time playing "One Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed" and hiding in the pillows in Grammy and Pop's bed.

We attempted to snap some pictures before church but Jackson wasn't really feeling it. Posed pictures are NOT his thing these days.

We know how to make this boy smile though!

But it was short lived. Alas.

After a nice church service, Jackson got to check out another Easter basket (this one from us). Doesn't he look like such a little frat boy here? Pop told him he had to wear his sunglasses on the 4-wheeler, so he kept his sunglasses around his neck basically all weekend so he could go for a ride at a moment's notice!

He was most excited about his Curious George video!

After lunch, a nap, and one last  ride on the 4-wheeler, we packed up and headed home. Jackson asks us every day about Grammy and Pop. He has such a wonderful time at their house--watching Elmo videos with Grammy on her iPad, playing with Pop's train, running around in the woods, watching the deer that come up in the front yard, and of course, riding on the 4-wheeler. Just wait until he finds out about Pop's boat too! When he gets a little bigger, I think we will go weeks at a time during the summer without seeing him because he will want to stay there all the time!

Monday, April 9, 2012

3 Very Important Reminders

I am working on a long Easter post, as well as a much belated Spring break post that I just can't not document. But in the meantime, here are three very important reminders that Jackson shared with me today.

Reminder Number One: You should always take the time to stop and smell the roses. He does this most every day as we leave his school. I just love the way he stops at the rose bush, scrunches up his little nose and audibly "sniffs". But even more, I love that he reminds me to stop and appreciate the joy and the beauty in the little things.

Reminder Number Two: It's always important to wash your hands before you eat. Tonight we were headed out to go grocery shopping, so we stopped for a quick dinner at McAlister's on the way. As we walked in and discussed what we were going to order, he declared "Wash! Wa-wa (water)! Soap!" and demonstrated how you are supposed to rub your hands together. Smart boy.

Reminder Number Three: You can never give too many hugs. As we were shopping in HEB, Jackson decided he wanted a hug. And another. And another. At least a dozen demands for hugs from the produce section all the way to the checkout lanes. Every time he would look at me with those big blue eyes and order sweetly request "Mama, HUG!" How could I possibly say no? Daddy requested a few of those hugs to which Jackson would reply "no, dada, no!" ;)

So tomorrow, take some time to smell the roses, be sure to wash your hands, and share a hug (or 10) with someone you love. You'll be glad you did.

He's pretty wise for someone who's not quite 2, isn't he?

Clowning around in the booth before our food arrived.