Saturday, September 25, 2010

15 (1/2) months old

Jacob turned 15 months old on the 7th of this month. Wow, where has the time gone? Everyday I see more "little boy" in him and less "baby". He is such a joy to be around and we have so much fun everyday!

We went to the doctor for his 15 month checkup on Friday. He weighed in at 25 lbs, 4 oz (60th percentile), his height is 31 3/4 inches (70th percentile) and his head circumference is 18.8 inches (70th percentile). All in all, the doctor thought that he looked great. She did still bring up the issue of him seeming to cock his head to the right more than to the left and that his face doesn't seem to be entirely symmetric (sometimes his right eye doesn't open as wide as his left). She talked about the possibility of getting a CT scan done so that we could be sure that there was nothing wrong with Jake's head, but in the end, we decided against it. I am 100% confident that there is nothing wrong with him, but I understand that the doctor is just trying to cover all of the bases. She said herself that he appears to be right on track (or even ahead on some things) regarding gross & fine motor skills. And, when she said that at his age he should be saying 2-3 words and I told her that he has 20-30 words that he can say, she agreed that he is doing just fine!! She did give him an antibiotic (amoxicillin) for a sinus/ear infection that he has been battling for a few weeks now. (We have all been sick and I was just waiting to see her for his well baby visit instead of scheduling a separate appointment).

Developmentally, Jacob is doing awesome. He is literally running all over the place and he LOVES to be outside. He would swing all day if I let him and he really enjoys playing in the dirt or with the stones in our driveway.

He is also pretty fearless and loves to climb on pretty much anything! Just the other day, I watched him climb up onto the chair in our living room (I tried to get video of it, but of course he didn't do it again once I had the camera on). He can jump, clap, dance, turn around in circles (and make himself dizzy!), play "chase", go up (but not down!) stairs by himself, do a "sort of" wave bye-bye, and get on and off some of his ride-on toys. He also loves music and will try and "sing" along sometimes. He is also now proficient at buckling the top buckle of his carseat (and he insists on doing it himself - like a lot of things these days!!) He is very independent! And, he will play very well independently too. Sometimes he will sit in the living room and play with his toys or look at books for a good 15-20 minutes. I love watching him play by himself. In those moments, I can just see his imagination flourishing!!

Speaking of books, Jacob LOVES to read! It is the first thing he wants to do when he gets up in the morning - he goes straight for the bookcase and starts pulling books off the shelf! He will pretty much listen to any book, although his attention span is not really that long so the shorter books are better. I sometimes think his favorite part is turning the pages to see what is coming next. He will pick out a book, hand it to me and then climb into my lap to listen to me read it. Then when it is done, he'll either put it back on the shelf or drop it on the floor and go pick out another one. Those are some of my favorite parts of our day!! He is such a cuddle-bug and is super affectionate when he wants to be!

Jacob is also very good at listening to direction and doing what I tell him such as "Go get X and bring it to me", "Sit down", "Stand up", "Drink some water", "Let's go into your room" or "Give Mommy a kiss". He also understands some questions such as "Do you want to eat?" (he'll go to his highchair), "Are you ready for night-night (or a bath)" (he'll go into this room), or "Where is the [insert toy name here such as ball, car, etc]?" (he goes and gets the toy that you are referring to). It amazes me every day to see the things that he understands and knows that I am saying. His mind is such a little sponge right now and he is taking it all in!!

Jacob's sleeping habits haven't changed much and they are still great. He did drop his morning nap in early August (right after we came back from our beach trip). It was a hard transition at first (he wouldn't sleep in the mornings if I put him in the crib, but then he was super fussy around 11am). It took about 2 weeks to get to a point where he could stay awake (and not be really fussy) long enough to eat lunch before his nap. For awhile, I was feeding him lunch around 11:30am and then he was in the crib by noon, but now he is on a much better schedule. His daily schedule looks like this: wake up between 7:30 & 8am, eat breakfast and then play/go to playgroup/run errands, eat lunch between noon & 12:30pm, go down for a nap around 1pm and (most days) sleep until 3:30pm, play & eat snack after nap, eat dinner between 6pm & 6:30pm, bath (every other night), brush teeth, read stories and in bed between 7:30pm & 8pm.

Jake is still eating great too and it helps that he now has 11 teeth! He has the eight in front (four on top and four on the bottom) and three in the back. He is definitely a drooler and therefore he has to wear a bib everyday so his shirt doesn't get soaked (sometimes we go through two bibs in one day!). I will be VERY happy when all of his teeth come in this drooling stops!

As you can see, Jake is getting much better at feeding himself with a spoon and fork. He's still not perfect at it and it makes quite a mess sometimes, but he loves doing it by himself (and it makes it a lot easier for me too!)

And sometimes he insists on using a "big" fork instead of a little one.

He is pretty much eating anything and everything that we eat. He has his standards that he eats every day for breakfast and lunch, but at dinner he usually eats a little bit of what we are having. These days his breakfast consists of every other day either oatmeal (the flavored instant kind) or toast. He also always has some sort of fruit with those things. For lunch, he generally has cheese, meat (either deli turkey or cut up pieces of chicken), raisins or figs, some sort of cracker (ritz, animal crackers, or goldfish) and fruit. For dinner, in addition to eating some of what we are eating, he usually has yogurt and/or avocado. He loves carby things like mac n cheese, bread & crackers, but he'll also eat things like spinach that you wouldn't think a 15 month old would eat! I haven't given him anything to drink other than water or milk. He gets a cup of milk when he wakes up (in the mornings and after his nap). Sometimes he drinks all of it right away and sometimes he only takes a few sips. It just depends on the day. If he doesn't drink much, I give it to him either for breakfast or dinner so that he can finish it.

The most amazing thing to me about Jacob right now is his vocabulary. He is talking, talking, talking!! Of course, some of it is gibberish that I do not understand, but he is also saying a lot of words. In the past month or so I have heard him say the following: dada, mama, outshide (for outside), toes, shoes, no, yes, uh-oh, night-night, car, truck, down, hot, cold, bye-bye, cheese, sharp, shout, cacker (for cracker), fishy, snack, teeth, eyes, nose, shirt, stick, milk, t-t (for tv), splash, a-n (for amen), itch, duck, quack, dog, stuck, toast, kitty, tiger, nice, hat, bath, eat. I would say that some of the words are things that only Keith and I would understand since we are around him so much, but he also says some very clearly (and correctly in context).

And, it amazes me at the number of words he will try to repeat if I say "Can you say X"? He will usually try to say whatever I said and a lot of them come out correctly. Like on Friday when he repeated "doctor" while we were in the waiting area - I was pleasantly shocked! We are working on animals and their sounds, but the only one he will really do right now is duck & quack, that is his favorite (and apparently the only animal living on Old McDonalds Farm in Jacob's world!!). He will also pant like a dog if you ask him what a dog says (and he loves dogs and has no fear whenever he sees them!!) I am also trying to get him to say peoples' names, but he doesn't seem to want to do as well with those.

In the behavior department, he has gotten better with some things and worse with others. He still sometimes tries to push the limits with touching things he isn't supposed to or doing exactly what he tell him not to do. His favorite "defiant" behavior these days is throwing his food or cup off of his tray when he is finished eating. He will hold a piece of food over the side of this tray and when I say "Don't drop that!", he looks right at me and drops it (and then says "uh-oh" all innocently!) He does it a lot and it is very annoying!!! But, he has also gotten better about not throwing a tantrum every time I tell him no (for awhile he would throw down whatever he was holding or slap at me or Keith if we told him no). He doesn't get as upset now when we tell him no and he often just stops whatever he is doing and walks away.

We have started using the "time out" method of discipline and it seems to be working somewhat well. I am more of a proponent of spanking, but Keith wanted to try this first. I am not 100% sure that Jake understands what time-out is or why he has to sit there, but we are working on that. Whenever Jake is defiant, we sit him down, tell him why he is sitting in time out and count to 30. At first, he would try to get up or cry when he sat him down. But, now he will actually sit there and wait until we tell him to get up. I will even walk away from him or do something else while I am counting and he is good about not getting up most of the time. There are still some times when we have to lightly force him to stay seated, but these are few and far between now. We are working our way up to making him sit for a minute (things we have read say that you should make a child sit in timeout for one minute times their age. For example, a one year old sits for one minute, a two year old sits for two minutes and so on.) Like I said, I am not sold on the "timeout" method of discipline, so we'll see how this goes. All in all, Jacob is a really good child (and I am not just saying that because he is my kid!). He definitely has his moments, but for the most part he is a good listener and he does what we tell him to do.

I am sure that I am forgetting something about Jacob that I really wanted to get down on paper! I have been such a slacker lately at posting these monthly updates but I don't want to forget all that he is doing at this age. His personality and abilities change so quickly that I want to be sure to capture everything so I can go back and re-live these moments in my mind. This is such a fun age and although I would love to stop time, I am really excited about seeing the future and watching Jacob change and grow into more of a little boy. I've said it before and I'll say it a million times more....I am SO blessed to be Jacob's mom and I truly cannot remember my life before he was a part of it. Life is definitely different now, but I wouldn't change a thing!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Deals & Free Finds

Now that we are living on only one income, I usually try to only buy things when they are on sale or if we really need them. In the last week, I have been able to score some pretty nice things for either really cheap or FREE! I get really excited when I can find great deals!!

My most favorite find of all is this awesome playset. It is a Little Tikes Clubhouse Swingset and it retails for $350-500! Guess how much we paid for it?! was absolutely free!!

There is a family in our neighborhood who was moving and they were giving away a bunch of stuff that they didn't want to take with them to Arizona. I just happened to respond to the email that the woman sent out (I don't know them personally) and luckily, I was the first to respond about this awesome playset! The only stipulation was that we needed to move it ourselves. So, yesterday, Shaun & Keith moved it from their yard to ours in just a matter of a few hours. (Thanks for helping us Shaun!!) Jacob had a blast playing on it today!! [Note: the red swing came with the playset along with two other "regular" swings. The blue swing was a birthday present that Jacob received from Keith's aunt.]

While I was at their house on Friday to look at the playset, the husband asked me if there was anything else that I wanted that they were trying to get rid of. He offered me a little table with an umbrella and three kid-sized folding chairs. I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with them, but Jacob enjoyed climbing on one of the chairs today while we were outside.

The man also offered me a "bounce thingy" (that is what he called it). He said that once it was blown up, the kids could jump in it. I wasn't quite sure what it was going to look like, but I said "Sure" and threw it in my car with the other things. Today, I was going to try to inflate it while we were outside, but Jacob got really scared when I turned on the electric pump. So instead, I just pulled it apart a little to try and envision what it was going to look like once it was inflated. I saw that it said "One Step Ahead" on it and anyone that has kids is familiar with their products.

Later, once Jacob was down for his nap, I looked on the One Step Ahead website to see if I could find this particular "bounce thingy". When I saw that it was the Bounce-A-Round Bouncer, I got really excited. According to their website, it retails for $100! And I got it for FREE!! I am really excited to get it blown up so Jacob can play in it (even though the website says it is for 2 years & up, I think he'll still have fun in it as long as I watch him closely!)

Last Friday evening, Katie & I had a "Girls Night Out" of sorts. First, we went to an awesome local Children's Consignment Sale (a friend of Katie's gave us pre-sale tickets so we got to shop before the public!). Then, we went out to dinner and to the Sugarland concert. It was a very enjoyable night!! In addition to spending some good "quiet" (meaning: no kids!!) time with my sister, we both got some great deals at the Consignment Shop. Here are a few of my great buys:

I have been looking to get a gate for our front porch stairs for awhile now. Jacob loves to be outside, but being out on the front porch is always stressful because he wants to go up and down the stairs. I didn't want to pay a lot for a gate nor did I want anything fancy. I was able to find this Evenflo Position & Lock gate for $8.

Something else that I have been looking for are snow boots & pants for Jacob. Realizing that we live in Virginia and there is no guarantee that we are even going to get snow this winter, I certainly didn't want to pay a lot of money for them!! I was able to find these snow boots for Jacob for $8 and I got a pair of snowpants for $6 (I bought them both a size bigger than he is now so that he can hopefully use them for the next two winters!)

The boots on the left are my new snow boots (my old pair were WAY too small thanks to my feet growing a whole size bigger when I was pregnant!). I scored these not-so-stylish, but very practical boots from and I only paid $11.45 for them! I used both and to save $30!!

While we were at the Consignment Sale, I grabbed these two awesome toys for $10 each. We have put them away so that they will be Christmas presents for Jacob.

This is the Mega Bloks Firetruck:
And this is a Keyboard & Stool (The one I got is not exactly like this one, but it's pretty close). It's really cool because it plays many different instrument and drum sounds & the keyboard comes off of the legs if you want to just use it on the floor:

On Saturday night, Keith's coworker, Carla, hosted a game night at her house. Unfortunately, Keith was sick so he didn't go, but Jacob and I went for a little while. While we were there, Carla's husband got out this little toy for Jacob to play with and he loved it. When we were getting ready to leave, they put the toy in a bag for us and told me to take it home. Their kids are eight and eleven now so they are too old to play with it. It's a really fun toy and a learning tool also. As you can see, some of the pieces are missing because Jacob was playing with it and they were in his room where he was sleeping when I took the picture. Thanks Carla & Hector!!

Last, but certainly not least, is something that we have been trying to replace for some time now - the area rug in our living room - but we haven't been able to find the right rug for the right amount of money. As you can see from the picture, our loveseat has multiple colors and it has been hard to find something that would match well. Also, it's hard to find a good quality rug that isn't pricey (we were hoping to pay less than $100). Luckily, when I went to Walmart on Saturday, I found this green rug on clearance for $35. It was one of the only rugs that was marked down 70%. I am not sure why it was marked down, but I am certainly not complaining.

All in all, it was a week of "Great Deals and Free Finds" for the Weimers! I love when we can get nice things for a reduced price (or free!). It makes up for those things that are worth paying full price for!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

Jacob is at such a fun age right now. He is walking/running all over the place and he definitely has a strong personality. Like most toddlers, he knows what he wants when he wants it. And we are constantly working on him not having a tantrum when he doesn't get what he wants.

He has a lot of "favorite things" that he enjoys playing with or doing throughout the day. It really makes for fun and interesting days!

Here is a photo montage of some of his favorite things...

Pots & pans (and really anything in the kitchen cupboards!)

Helping Mommy with household chores like...

Using the dustbuster


Folding laundry

And, sometimes just playing in the clothes basket
(with or without clothes in it!)

We watch it at least once everyday.

We are working on him not standing too close to the TV

I much prefer him sitting on his Giraffe (backwards!)

Looking at pictures and pointing out who is who
(he points, we say who is who)

Playing with cars, trucks, bulldozers...
really anything that has wheels

Wearing Mommy & Daddy's shoes.
He's so proud of himself when he can get them on and walk around!

Reading books!! This boy LOVES books.
Must be taking after his Daddy!!

Remote controls...
He loves playing with them (and hiding them sometimes!)

Being outside!
Jacob would be outside all day every day if he could.
He especially likes taking walks, picking up sticks,
playing in the dirt and being in the wagon.

The bathtub!
He loves the water, really enjoys playing with his toys
& is especially fond of splashing!

I cannot believe that it is my job to play all day with this fun little boy. Every day is such a joy and I love watching him grow and learn. It's awesome to see life through the eyes of my child!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Playground Fun

This past weekend we made a trip to Richmond. Our main reason for the visit was so Keith and I could go out to celebrate my birthday. We spent most of Saturday together - shopping, having an awesome dinner at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, and just spending time together. My parents watched Jake for us and it was really nice to get away and have some time together.

On Sunday, Keith, Jacob and I took a walk to the playground in my parents' neighborhood. Jake had also visited the playground on Saturday afternoon with Mimi & Papa (my parents), but since he LOVES going for rides in the wagon, he certainly wasn't protesting visiting it again. It's so nice to have a playground that is within walking distance (it's about 1/2 mile away). And, the weather was really nice so we didn't get all sweaty just standing still.

Daddy pulled Jacob in the wagon so Mommy could take some pictures

Jacob goes straight to the swings.
He would swing all day if we let him!!

Happily being pushed on the swings by Daddy

Jacob loves to climb stairs these days
(and he's pretty good at it even though
we don't have any at our house!)

He loves to try to figure out how things work
so he loved this part of the playground

Walking through the tunnel -
he kept hitting his head because he was just a little too tall.
But he made it all the way through!

Enjoying the bounce of the suspension bridge

Having fun on the slide!
Jacob is kind of a "bruiser" and really isn't afraid of many things. He will try anything and go anywhere. I am both happy and a little scared about this. I am hoping that as he grows older he will learn when to be fearless and when to be cautious. For now, his personality makes for a lot of fun at the playground!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A boy and his shoes

For as long as Jacob has been able to move, he has always sought out shoes to play with. It's a fascinating, yet slightly odd, obsession!

Our bedroom closet has always been one of his favorite places to play because there are so many shoes!!He also really enjoys playing in our entryway from the garage where we keep a lot of our shoes on a shoe rack. He will pull all the shoes off of the rack and look at them, throw them, or just take them to other areas of the house. (You don't know how many times I have had to search the house for the match to a pair that I was planning to wear!)

Whenever he sees someone while we are out, whether it is at the grocery store or the playground, he always looks down at their shoes! It can be kind of embarrassing but cute. I usually have to explain to people when they ask what he is looking at. "He is just looking at your shoes. He is sort of fascinated with them." And then, that usually leads to the stranger saying something like "Oh, do you like my sparkly sandles?" or "Nothing fancy here - I just have my boring sneakers on today." It's kind of comical and creepy all at the same time! He also seeks out shoes at other people's houses. He obviously isn't picky when it comes to the quality, color or smell of the shoe. He likes all kinds!!

Over the past month or so, he has really started to understand that putting shoes on means we are going outside or in the car. Since he LOVES to be outside these days (even in 90 degree heat!!), he is constantly bringing Keith or me our shoes. That is a sign that he wants to go outside. This often happens first thing in the morning and numerous times during the day. When Keith is home, he is really good about taking Jacob outside to play in the yard, take rides up and down the driveway in the wagon (which he could do all day!), or to go for a walk. I, on the other hand, will go outside but I don't like to stay out in the heat very long. I am definitely looking forward to cooler weather so we can enjoy more outside time!

Whenever we are going to go somewhere lately - outside or in the car - I have been telling Jacob to go get his shoes. He is really good about going to the shoe rack, getting them, and bringing them to me. And in the last few weeks, he has started sitting down so that I can put them on. (In all honesty, just me saying the word "outside" makes him run from whatever he is doing and grab his shoes. The whole time he is saying "shoes, shoes, out-shide, out-shide". It's too cute!!)

Well yesterday I was doing something in the kitchen and he was in the entryway being very quiet (always a sign that he is either concentrating really hard on something or is into something he shouldn't be). When I went to see what he was doing, this is what I saw:

Aww, my baby boy is growing up so fast!!! I was so excited and proud to see him trying to put his shoes on. Clearly he still has a long way to go before he can really do it himself, but this is a start! And, the fact that he thought to do it all by himself without me prompting him makes me happy (and sad!) that he is gaining so much independence. As you can see from the video, whenever he gets frustrated, he throws whatever he has in his hands. But, it was good to see that he didn't give up and he continued trying even though he was having trouble. I am so proud of you little man!!

If that wasn't enough, today he decided he was not only going to put his shoes on, but Mommy's too. What a silly little boy!

I have joked that maybe Jacob will be a shoe salesman or a shoe designer when he grows up. Someone else said maybe a podiatrist. I think that whatever he grows up to be, he will always know a good pair of shoes!!