My baby is totally growing up. She is such a little girl now and I just am loving every single second of it. She wild and she's sassy, she's hilarious and goofy, she's energetic and cuddly, she's totally brilliant and pretty much the best toddler ever.
This little girl is totally into pretend play. Pretend make-up (which is funny because she never ever sees ME wear any make-up), pretend cooking and eating and drinking, pretend tea parties and playing with baby dolls and stuffed animals. I love seeing how her little mind is working and the things she comes up with.
She's started dance class this past month, and totally totally loves it. She talks about it all the time. Talks about her friends and her teacher, the things she does in dance class, how much she loves it, and she practices her move while we're at home. She loves to put music on, and she loves doing her "shake your booty dance" and demanding that everyone dance with her.
She loves dressing up like a princess and accessorizing... or "getting super cute" as she calls it. She wants to pick her own outfits, from the undies all the way to the headbands she wears. She loves to sing. She sings CONSTANTLY. Everything turns into a song. She knows tons and tons of real songs, and then she makes up her own songs too. Some are to the tune of popular ones, and some are her very own version. :) And yes, she does have her very own microphone, so that makes it even more fun... and loud.
She has finally started sleeping better at night... more than half the nights she stays in her bed the whole night. The other nights she comes down the hall and climbs in our bed with us. She takes a nap 50% of the time, which I can't decide if I like that or hate it... if she doesn't take a nap, she gets SUPER tired in the later afternoon, but then she goes to bed by 6:30 at the latest. If she does take a nap, she might not go to bed until 8:30 or 9... so we take it day by day and decide what will be best for her (and us) as we go. We also started a sticker chart to encourage her to stay in her bed all night, and it seems to be working (although it has only been 2 days so.... we'll see).
She loves copying us, and picks up on every little phrase we say, whether we want her to or not. Some current faves include "Holy moly!" and "What the heck!?" (thanks Grandma for that one), "oh snap!" and many more. She loves to do "photo shoots" with her animals/dollies, and she wants to use my iphone all the time to take pictures of things.
She is currently obsessed with playing with marbles. She is not allowed to play with them when jackson is awake, so the minute he gets put in his crib, she gets excited because "now we can play with marbles!!!!" She also loves any and all art projects, particularly glitter paints. She loves drawing and painting and playing with stickers. She can draw circles and ovals (although they kind of look the same) and straight lines, and she can do a dot-to-dot if I make one for her and draw lines from one dot to the next... she was pretty pumped that she could make all kinds of shapes that way!!
She is still obsessed with Mickey Mouse, but has also decided she now likes Hello Kitty, Dora the Explorer and a few other random cartoons. She loves going to the library, to target, to the supermarket... pretty much anywhere, actually. She is SUPER awesome at riding her scooter, and can ride her tricycle pretty well too. I LOVE watching her ride her scooter it is super cute!
I've been having fun teaching her all kinds of fun and random things, and I've been teaching her different faces and emotions... so I tell her to make a happy face or sad face or mad or tired face and she does.... Mark hates it though because after I taught her her "mad face" she now goes around and practices, so randomly she will just have this sort of creepy looking mad face on.... but then she also does her super happy and excited faces, which are pretty hilarious (see below).
Other things she loves: chasing baby around the house, having races, jumping off of things (like the couch, bed, etc), talking on the phone, getting her hair dried after bath, going in the hot tub, painting her nails, listening to toddler music on spotify, and lots lots more! Aaaaaaand a video... scooter super star...
It has been a weird month. Mark was out of town for three weeks, schedules were off, Jack was in the hospital, our entire way of eating has changed... but now Mark is back, we've gotten into a rhythm of cooking gluten/egg/nut/dairy free meals, and things are settling down again. And we sure are glad to have Mark home. While he was gone, Riley would often say, "Mama I'm so sad because I can't find my friend daddy!" or "I really really miss my friend daddy." And when he got home, she told me over and over and over again how HAPPY she was to have found her daddy. And even now, if he leaves her sight, she shouts "oh no! where is my friend daddy!" Boy did she miss him.
I am having lots and lots of fun with these two little monkeys these days. Riley is just FUN. She is smart as can be, and full of personality, and I'll leave all the details for her next monthly update (tomorrow), but boy do I love her.
Little Ri Ri is going to be 31 months tomorrow... she's fast approaching 3, and the issue of preschool has come up in conversation more than a few times. Now see, I'm in no hurry to send her off to preschool at this age. We are on the wait list for a spanish immersion preschool which Mark and I (and Riley) really loved, but who knows if/when she will get in. And while it would be fun for her I'm sure, we are pretty good at finding lots of fun and different ways to learn right here at home.
We've also started dance class with Riley. I had no idea what she was going to think or how she would do, but she LOVES it. It's her first class where there is no parent participation, so she has to listen to her teacher and follow instructions, and cooperate with other kids and take turns and wait patiently, and she is AWESOME! I am so impressed with how well she does in that class!! It is the highlight of her week, she just LOVES it!!
And they dress up like something different each week, I love it. First they were snowflakes, then dinosaurs, then kangaroos... wonder what's next!
And this little guy? Will be ONE in two weeks. Holy moly. Funny thing is, at this time in Riley's life is when I found out I was pregnant with Jack. HA. We are definitely having more kids, but not in the immediate future, that's for sure!
This guy has been a bit of a handful lately. He is mama OBSESSED, but in a weird way... as in, if I am anywhere in the vicinity of him, he will cry unless I pick him up or am engaging him directly... he doesn't do this to Mark, just me. I mean, I love that he loves me, but it sure can be exhausting!! I'm hoping he outgrows this little phase soon! Also hoping he outgrows the waking up all night phase... here's to hoping, right??
I have so many more photos to share, but I think there are enough photos for one blog post! Hopefully it won't be 10 days before the next update! (especially since I plan on doing one tomorrow!)
The day Jackson turned 11 months, we were in the hospital. I was going to take him out for a little photo shoot, but really, he has been so irritable and it's been so cold, we just didn't get around to it. Plus, I'm saving it up for his big one year shoot. I have big plans. :)
My big 11 month old! He is super active, and does not stay still for two seconds! He crawls at lightning speeds these days, and is pulling up to stand and will stand just barely holding on with one hand. He's not cruising, not walking, and I think we're still a little ways away from those milestones. I don't mind one bit. :)
He loves to dance when music comes on! Especially if Riley is dancing! If we say "Jack Jack make your excited face!" he clenches his body and his face and gets, well, very excited! He gives kisses and loves to headbutt people. He is always trying to lick Riley's face when she is laying on the floor. Either that or bite her toes (with his two teeth, yup, still only 2!)
He loves computers and cell phones and anything with buttons. He loves opening and closing doors and drawers, and has just started becoming much more methodical in his play. As in, stand up, get a block, put it in a bucket, and repeat repeat repeat. He loves anything with wheels, especially Riley's Minnie Mouse scooter. He is like a magnet to the kitchen, which is unfortunate because he is no longer allowed to crawl in there due to his allergies! (Note the puff stuck to his pants in the photo below. Classic)
He still loves jumping, but not so much in the bouncer as just bouncing around while standing or while sitting on something soft like a bed or couch. He adores playing peek-a-boo. He plays with himself in the mirror, he will play with anyone that's around by ducking behind something and then popping up to see you.
He gets MAD when he can't do or have something that he wants, and he has started arching his back and acting like a floppy fish in protest. He will also just randomly throw himself backwards, with total disregard for what is behind him or what kind of surface he's on (i.e. tile...) luckily i have some darn good reflexes (or am good at predicting when he's about to do it) so we haven't had any major injuries!!
It's hard to say anything reliable about his sleeping habits, since this month has been pretty rough with all his food allergies. But the kid just does not sleep well at all. He's itchy, or he's got stomach issues, and he wakes up anywhere between 4-10 times a night. Every single night. He went through a week of screaming and fighting his naps like crazy, and I really had no idea what was going on, but clearly there was something! We're sill trying to figure it all out, I would be pretty unhappy too if my body was all flooded with toxins (well, they are toxic to his little body!).
He is still breastfeeding and at this rate, I see no end in sight. Ever. No, I mean with all his allergies, I just have no idea what's best anymore!! We will see what the allergist says, but for now I have basically cut everything out of my diet and we'll see what happens. We did try and give him some rice milk before all these allergies, which he likes, but it's not a good main milk source, so we will see!
I really want to write more details, more info, more fun facts, but this is already over a week late, AND this cutest little face does not give me more than 2 hours of sleep in a row and with Mark out of town I am STRUGGLING right now!
But man is he cute. And guess who ordered his birthday invitations today!!! Woohoo!
Photos from the 6th-9th... they may be iphone photos, but they are still photos!! I have a good reason for not posting... we have been dealing with some crazy stuff this past week, to say the least! But first... 6th: Disney store in the mall!!! 7th... Jackson in the hospital again, with severe facial swelling (that was hours after he had been on meds to combat the allergic reaction), 8th- eating a gluten-free snack in the hospital and 9th- a picture Riley wanted to send to her daddy who has been in New Zealand now for twelve LONG days.
Okay back to the allergic reaction... so we found out in December that Jackson has an anaphylactic allergy to eggs. Fast forward to a few weeks later... we had eliminated all eggs in any form from his diet and mine since I am breastfeeding him. His eczema seemed to improve, and things were looking up! Yay! Then on Tuesday (the 7th), he woke up from a late nap, and I sat him in his high chair and gave him a piece of bread. He ate almost the whole thing quite happily, and he had had this bread many times before so I didn't really think anything of it. It didn't have any eggs in it, nor did it have any traces of egg in it.
About 10 minutes later he got what looked like a bug bite on his neck. Then he got a couple more. Tiny, but definitely hives. So i stripped him down so that I could monitor his hives, and sure enough, they started spreading. And he started scratching. I gave him benadryl right away, and it did nothing. His hives spread FAST, all over his face, and to his whole body. By then we had called 911, but decided to wait on giving him his epi pen since he wasn't struggling to breathe. The paramedics got here and I told them all the details, and Jack was screaming and not only covered in hives, but his face was now so swollen he could barely open his eyes, and then all of a sudden he got super calm, and looked like he was falling asleep on me.... JUST like what happened last time minutes before he stopped breathing. I told the paramedic this, and she immediately said let's go, and we went straight into the ambulance, gave him his epi shot, and rode to the hospital with lights and sirens and everything. He was hooked up to oxygen and struggling to stay conscious, but he wasn't turning blue so that was a good sign! I think had he not been given his epi pen he would have definitely stopped breathing again.
We got to the hospital and we went through the whole routine again... they gave him more epinephrine because he wasn't getting better, more benadryl, some steroids, a breathing treatment, and at one point they were quite concerned with his blood pressure, but it resolved itself thankfully. His hives finally started to subside after the second round of epinephrine, but his poor little face was still so swollen and sad looking. I was very impressed this time around that they let me hold him the entire time they were working on him. I was on the hospital bed and he was laying on me, rather than laying by himself or sitting there with me pinning him down.
That night in the hospital was really rough. He cried and cried and was just uncomfortable and tired and he had to keep getting meds in his IV and he was hooked up to so many monitors that he was just a mess. He cried so hard and for so long that he broke a blood vessel in his eye. But finally he did get a little bit of sleep, and luckily when they came to draw his blood at 7am and he was finally sleeping, they said they would come back when he woke up later, thankfully. And no, he did NOT like getting his blood drawn! They had to take 3 vials of blood for his allergy testing, but at least hopefully we would get some answers! After that he got a decent nap (on me) and woke up almost like his normal self!
One of the pediatricians (who had not actually SEEN him the previous night) came and talked to me, and said she did NOT think it was an allergic reaction, but thought it was a virus?? I was like you have to be kidding me, but she tested him for mono, and sure enough... negative. But even when we left the hospital, she still didn't diagnose it as an allergic reaction, the official diagnosis was "hives," because she wasn't convinced it was an allergic reaction... Well, guess who called me at 7pm that night at home to tell me Jackson was extremely allergic to wheat.... hmmm, good thing they tried to give him cream of wheat for breakfast in the hospital!!! And good thing it sat untouched on the tray because I knew better!
We saw the pediatrician the next day, who sort of read our allergy test results... Verdict is, Jackson is extremely allergic to: milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, and soy. Also allergic to dog dander and cockroaches. Now, it wasn't a full panel, so there were even some common allergens he wasn't tested for, but we are seeing an allergist on Wednesday where they will do more testing and hopefully we can get some answers. Because living with a fear of your baby having an anaphylactic reaction if a crumb accidentally gets into his mouth is extremely stressful. We have FIVE epi pens, two need to be with him at all times. We took him to this wildlife museum the other day and there were food crumbs all over the place, we couldn't ever let him get down and explore. We have to wash Riley's hands after she eats pretty much anything. We can't even let him in the kitchen. I threw away any peanuts in our house. Nobody is allowed to eat anywhere but in the kitchen. We haven't given Riley a peanut butter sandwich (her fave food ever) since jack has been home from the hospital. I have cut all milk, wheat, peanuts, eggs, and soy out of MY diet since I am breastfeeding him. We are making sacrifices to keep this baby healthy (and ALIVE!), that's for sure. He's not allowed near the dogs, and we have to see what the allergist says about how bad his dog allergy is, since we are currently living with two of them.
I never ever ever want to have to use an epi pen on him again or have him stop breathing. I replay it over and over again in my mind enough as it is.
Look! No more IV!!! Yay!! We got to go home that afternoon, where Jackson finally got a good nap in and was pretty much back to his normal little self. Unfortunately back to his "normal" self means he's somewhat cranky, a little itchy, and sleeping horribly. I guess when your body is full of things you are allergic to that makes sense.
So we will see what the allergist has to say next week... hopefully something good. We could use some good news for this little boy.
Project 365 days 3, 4, and 5... i realized I can't possibly title EVERY post for the rest of the year project 365 because, well, how boring. And my mom is ALREADY giving me a hard time about WHERE ARE YOUR DAILY PHOTOS! I said I would take daily photos but proooooobably won't post them daily!!! :)
So.... January 3... was a bit of a rough day. Mark is out of town, for 3 weeks. Like, out of the country out of town. And Jackson has thrush and was tough work, and on this particular day, Riley had a massive meltdown and cried so hard she broke blood vessels under her eyes... I mean, WHAT? The best I could manage on that day was an iphone picture, because, well, it was just that kind of a day. Those dots under her eyes are NOT freckles.
January 4, 2013. I can't keep up with this little boy with his tongue stickin' out. He's going to be 11 months old in 2 days. How did that happen?
January 5, 2013. Today. Had a bit of fun with my macro lens and my little piano playing monkey. :)
And now we're alllll caught up... :)
January 3, 4, and 5, 2013....
So.... I'm pretty much incapable of picking just one picture. I'm going to have to work on that.
Is this where this goes mama??
Pretty sure this is the first photo I have of Jackson's teeth! He has two big bottom ones and 2 more bottom ones about to poke through (I think). Oh and? GO STANFORD.
January 2, 2013, Day 2 of 365.
I'm doing it. Committing to take even MORE photos than I already do, and to post a daily photo. Might not have tons of words attached to it, and there might be more than one photos, but I'm taking on this project 365, at least a photo a day for a year. So here's day 1. Riley wakes up from her naps (most days) in an AWESOME mood. She opens her door with the biggest smile on her face, and comes sprinting down the hall and gives me a huge huge hug when I see her. This time I was waiting for her...
And the hair. Ohhhhhh the post-nap hair.
January 1, 2013. Day 1 of 365!