Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from the Weimer family!

We hope that you have a very blessed holiday that is filled with happiness, time with family and friends, and lots of love!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Objects in a book

Jacob loves reading books! So much so that I sometimes have to tell him to wait because he is constantly bringing them to me. I feel so bad turning him away when he looks up at me with those sweet eyes and says "Read book". But, I am usually doing something else that needs my immediate attention.

I try to read to him as often as I can and it is so awesome when he tries to climb up and sit on my lap while we read. I cherish those moments so much because I know that soon I will blink and he will be old enough to not want to sit on my lap anymore! Oh, that makes me so sad to think about!

Jacob's memory these days just amazes me!! He remembers things that I tell him one time. And he gets overjoyed when he knows that he is saying something or showing us something that we are really excited about.

He has a few books that are his favorites lately to point out objects in. One of them is the Slide and Find - Trucks that Aunt Katie gave him. He looks at that one so much that I have had to tape it back together. The other two are My Little Word Book & My Little Animal Book. I got them both second-hand for really cheap and I would highly recommend them to anyone with a toddler.

The other day we were looking at the Word Book and I got some cute video. It's kind of long (4 mins) but it makes me smile to watch him point out all of these things. The words and phrases that he is able to say and understand just seem to multiply every day. I just love this age!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Please forgive is a week before Christmas and I am just getting around to posting about Thanksgiving. I looked back at my post from last Thanksgiving and I was also about three weeks behind. I guess not much has changed!!

This year - like last year - we decided to go to PA and visit with Keith's family for Thanksgiving. We had decided that we wanted to spend Christmas morning at our house this year (and start our own traditions with Jacob). This meant that we would be spending Christmas with my family (since they live so close) and thought it was only fair to spend Thanksgiving with Keith's.

We had traveled to and from PA quite a few times since Jacob was born and I would not describe any of them as "happy times" in the car (for Jake or us!). This time, we decided to do something a little different! We headed up early on Wednesday morning, leaving our house before 8am. We actually woke Jake up around 7:30am, got him dressed and got the last minute things in the car. Keith and I had packed the car on Tuesday night so there were just a few things - like Jake's monitor & the things he sleeps with - to get packed up. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee & donuts and then we were off!

Jacob ate "finger foods" (animal crackers, craisins & goldfish) in the car for breakfast and he spent most of the trip watching something (usually Elmo-related) on the portable DVD player we borrowed from my parents. That thing was awesome as it kept his attention for most of the trip!! We only made one stop on both the way up and the way back - at an outdoor playset at a Burger King in Winchester, VA (which is about halfway). Jacob really enjoyed getting to run around and play on the slide.

Once again, like we have been doing for most of trips to PA lately, we stayed with Keith's mom in her apartment. Jacob warmed up to my MIL very quickly and was calling her "Gama" almost from the time that we arrived. He would often add an "s" on the end (calling her "Gamas"), mostly because I was telling him for a week or so that we were going to Grandma's house. Still now he often says "Gamas" when we are talking about her or we are on the phone with her. It's quite cute!

It really made my MIL happy that he was so comfortable around her. He did, however, experience quite a lot of anxiety during most of the trip whenever Keith or I left the room, even just to go to the bathroom. He would cry for the one of us that was "gone" and he was not happy unless we were both in the room with him. This made the trip much more exhausting and I will be very happy when he is over all of this stranger anxiety (or whatever it is!).

We decided to have some different sleeping arrangements for this trip because anyone sleeping in the same room as Jacob usually doesn't make for good sleep. Jacob got to sleep in the pack and play in Marge's bedroom, Marge slept on the couch, I slept on an air mattress in the living room and Keith slept on a sleeping bag (on top of an egg crate for extra cushion!) in the foyer area. It's hard to "spread out" in a small one-bedroom apartment, but I think we did a good job of maximizing the floor space!

For the most part, sleeping wasn't really a problem (except that an air mattress & a sleeping bag can get uncomfortable after a few nights!) There was one night when Jacob woke up crying in the middle of the night and it seemed like nothing was going to soothe him. Keith and I both went in separately to try and settle him down, and around 2am, I even tried to get him to lay down with me and go to sleep in my MIL's bed. Unfortunately, he just wanted me to keep singing songs and didn't want to close his eyes and go to sleep! Eventually, I just had to leave the room and hope that he would stop crying and not wake up the people that live on my MIL's floor! Thankfully, after a short time, he did settle down and go back to sleep and he didn't have a problem the rest of the trip.

On Thanksgiving Day, we traveled to Keith's cousin, Suzie's house to celebrate with their family. At first, Jake was acting shy around everyone, but he soon warmed up and was having a great time! Since he is the only child there, he gets LOTS of attention! (There are actually four other "kids" but the youngest is 17!)

He instantly made friends with Molly, the family puppy. Molly loved Jacob and would follow him around. Especially when Jake had food! More than once, Molly stole pretzels right out of Jacob's hand! I think he was a little confused because he isn't used to being around a dog like that, but he didn't react negatively, he just asked for more pretzels!!

I told him that if he was going to eat, he needed to sit (instead of walking around). Of course, he didn't like that, but he obliged. Here he is eating his pretzels while sitting with "Gamas".

Three Generations of Weimers...
Jacob was napping when we ate an early Thanksgiving dinner, so he ate his by himself later in the evening. He wasn't a huge fan of turkey, but he loved the mashed potatoes and the bread.

After he ate, we all went outside for the "Grand Illumination" of Suzie & Tad's Christmas lights. Just like last year, Jacob got to "flip the switch" and turn on all of the beautiful lights.

Last year he was too little to really know what was going on, but this year he liked being outside and looking at the lights. It was a cold and rainy evening, but we stayed outside for a bit and enjoyed the glow of the lights and the "start" of the Christmas season.

We spent Friday just hanging out in Marge's apartment since it was really cold & snowy outside. On Saturday, Keith, Jake and I drove to have lunch with one of Keith's friends from college. It's always nice to see Liz and she even brought Jacob some great presents! Unfortunately, Jake wasn't super excited about sitting still in the restaurant so the visit wasn't as enjoyable as we were hoping for. Anyone with little kids knows how hard it can be to take a toddler to a restaurant. Thankfully, Liz has four (grown) kids so she just goes with the flow and totally understands what we are going through!!

On Sunday, we drove over to Keith's aunt Kay & uncle Barry's house to visit more with his family. We didn't know they were going to be there, but Keith's cousin Dave and his family came also. It was really nice to see everyone and spend more time together. We also had a great time watching the Steelers-Bills game (they are all Steelers fans and I was the lone Bills fan!). Even though the Bills lost in OT, it was fun bantering back and forth while all of us tried to figure out who was actually going to win the game!

Kay had all of her decorations up, including their Christmas tree and I was a bit worried about how Jacob would act around it. I didn't know if he would try to touch it or pull off the ornaments. Thankfully, he didn't really pay any attention to it! He was much happier playing with his matchbox cars on the floor! Aunt Kay even got down on the floor to play with him!

We tried to get a good picture of Jake in front of tree, but he didn't really want to sit still. And, since I was trying to get the lights of the tree, he ended up showing up really dark. Oh well, you can kind of make out his smiley face!

On Monday morning, we left early again (around 8am) and Jake did remarkably well in the car. More Elmo videos and a stop at the BK again for some running around and he was good to go. I'll leave you with this video that Keith took with his iPhone while we were at the BK on our way back home. As you can see, Jake was super excited to be able to stretch his legs and and he loved the crown that the BK worker gave him!

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Bring on Christmas....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

18 months old

It is hard to believe that my "baby" is 18 months old today! He certainly is not a baby anymore and is growing up literally before my eyes. And, every time I think he can't get any cuter or do something more fun, he does it. He is so adorable (most of the time) and he is picking up new and exciting things all the time! This age is so awesome!!

In the interest of keeping this post somewhat organized, I am going to break it up into catergories: Likes, Dislikes, Eating, Sleeping, and Communication. I am so behind (as always) with documenting what's going on with Jake, but I want to get this all down for future reference. Forgive me if this post seems long and wordy. Here goes...

Update: Jacob had his18 month checkup on Jan 19th (he was actually 19 1/2 months old). His stats were: Weight: 28.44 lbs (77th percentile), Height: 35 inches (97th percentile), Head: 19.37 inches (82nd percentile).

Jacob has MANY likes these days. The biggest one would have to be his matchbox cars! Most of these cars were actually Keith's when he was small (except for the few that Jacob has gotten recently) and it has been really fun watching Jacob interacting with them. One of the first things he says when he wakes up (in the morning and from his nap) is cars. He runs to the living room to play with them and he will sometimes play independently with them for a good 30-45 minutes. He can even name a few of them: Tank (which he calls "Kate”), Jeep, Volvo (“Bolbo”), Train, Car, Dump Truck, Van (“Ban”), and Tractor.

He also pretty much likes anything that has wheels - Bulldozers, Tractors, Fire Trucks, Dump Trucks, Buses, etc. He has many of these items and he is most often playing with them when he is not playing with the cars.

One of the newer toys that he has acquired that he really loves is the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set and Inn at Bethlehem. Mimi (my mom) gave him these and he loves them! He can even name most of the people and will bring them to you if you ask him to. He knows: Baby Jesus (sounds like "Gezee"), Shepard, Joseph, Mary, Angel, King, Donkey, Sheep, Cow, Stable and Inn. A really cool thing that happened the other night was that he started saying Bible and wanted Keith to read him stories from his children's bible! I think having the Nativity Set and the Inn have really gotten him interested in the people and stories of the bible. Thanks Mimi!

Other things on his list of favorite things....

Books!! He is still a HUGE fan of books and enjoys reading them throughout the day. He doesn't really have any real favorites these days - he likes whatever one he can flip through or we'll read to him!

Elmo!! Yes, that cute furry little red thing has made his presence known in the Weimer household. Jake LOVES Elmo! He has a few Elmo DVDs that we borrowed from Katie and a few that he got recently from his Grandma (he pretty much only likes watching two of them, but I am trying to widen his array of options!). He would watch those things over and over and over again! And, although I definitely don't want to be a parent who uses the tv as a babysitter, it's nice that he will sit and be quiet for 30-45 mins while I need to get something done, like make dinner!

Shoes!! He loves to wear our shoes around the house - often on the wrong feet! He's really good at getting them on himself and it's too funny to see him come walking along with our shoes on!

Being outside! This kid LOVES to be outside, even when it's cold out. Mommy would prefer to stay inside where it is nice and warm, but not Jake! Here he is helping Daddy rake some leaves:

and pulling the wagon in the driveway:

He also really likes this tricycle that I got used from someone in my neighborhood. He does well with putting his feet on the pedals, but has a hard time staying on the seat. Sometimes he slides right off! Here he is with Daddy helping him:

Last, but not least, Jake LOVES his Daddy! The first word out of his mouth most mornings is Daddy. He asks about him a lot during the day and always thinks it is him when the phone rings. It is so awesome to see the two of them interact. These days they tend to do a lot of "rough & tumble" stuff and Jacob loves it. He says, "Again, Again!" Here is a cute video of them from this past weekend. I just crack up everytime I hear Jacob laughing!

There aren't too many things that Jacob doesn't like, but one that comes to mind easily is the vacuum cleaner! He is deathly afraid of that thing, although he will sometimes go near it when it is not on. If I even move it or turn it on, he freaks out! I am not sure if it is the noise that it makes or what, but needless to say, I cannot do any vacuuming when he is awake!

He is also somewhat afraid of the dust buster too, although much less so than the vacuum. He calls it the "Duster" and anytime I turn it on, even for just a few seconds, he comes running. He doesn't cry when I have it on, but he will watch me carefully and then say "Duster, Duster" over and over again until I put it away.

Jake is also having some separation anxiety issues. Unfortunately, my parents can attest to this from a few weekends ago when they watched him for us. Apparently saying goodbye to him and walking out the door (versus "sneaking" out) sent him into a complete meltdown and he cried for almost 45 minutes! We've also had this happen when we tried to leave him in the nursery at a church we were visiting. I know that we need to help him get past this by leaving him more, but it just seems so cruel! So, for now, we're sticking close by and hoping that he gets over all of this soon!!

Jake continues to be a really good eater for the most part. There are some days when he won't eat as much and then other days when I think he won't ever stop eating!! Some of his favorite foods right now are yogurt, cheese, fruit (any kind), pretzels, crackers (almost any kind, but especially the cheese peanut butter sandwich ones), raisins/craisins, and any kind of bread. He also started eating cereal with milk out of a bowl about a month ago. He does really well with it and asks for it most mornings. Here he is using a "big" spoon (which he sometimes likes to use if he sees me using one):

Jake continues to be an awesome sleeper!! He is still taking one nap in the afternoon (around 1pm) and will sleep anywhere from 2-3 hours. Lately when I say that it's time to go "night-night" after lunch, he goes right to his room. If we are in his room reading books and he is ready to go to bed, he will put his fingers in his mouth (clear sign of tiredness!) and go to the side of his crib like this:

Here he is getting ready to take a nap. He has a funny habit these days of pulling at the crib sheet and bunching it up in his hand or pulling on it with his fingers while he is falling asleep. I just think he is too cute!

His night-time sleep continues to go well too, except for the few times recently when he has woken up crying in the middle of the night and been inconsolable. I am not sure why that happened, although I usually blame it on teething (he currently has 12 teeth and 2 more are poking through on the right side). His usual bedtime is between 7:30 & 8pm and he usually wakes up around 8am.

Jacob's communication skills blow me away almost every day. It seems like he is picking up new words and phrases daily and the things that he understands amaze me! I tried to put a list together of all of the words that he is saying right now and I am currently up to over 100 words! He can point out numerous things in books (especially animals and vehicles). He knows most body parts and can point to them if you ask him (on himself and other people). He can say (and ask for) lots of different foods - I have even started giving him a choice of what he wants to eat for breakfast (his answer is usually toast or cereal).

He has also started saying some phrases like “I get it” (when he wants to be able to get something himself), “I see you”, “Kiss it” (when he has a boo-boo), “Get ‘em” (when he and Daddy are playing chase in the house). He also says "Um", "OK" and "Alright" (in the correct context!), which just cracks me up!

He also knows people's names and can point them out in pictures. He knows Mimi & Papa (my parents), all of my siblings and their spouses and all of his cousins (Pierce is his favorite, probably becasue we see him the most). He knows "Ga'mas" (what he calls Keith's mom) and Keith's aunt Kay & uncle Barry. He even started saying his own name and being able to identify himself in a picture:

The other great thing that Jake started doing is being able to understand and say possessive nouns. He'll say "Daddy's coat" or "Mommy's shoe" and sometimes he'll just point at something and say "Mommy's" (like my cell phone or my computer or a cup that I am using). It is so awesome to see his little mind working and she how he comes up with all of these things!

95% of the time, Jacob is a joy to be around. I look forward to spending every day with him and seeing what fun and exciting things he is going to say or do! Like all children though, he does have some issues that require discipline and right now we are mostly using Time-out. It works 99% of the time and when it doesn't, we (mostly I) have to revert to spanking. Both get his attention enough that he usually doesn't (soon) repeat what he had done. He is definitely getting better at listening and often does what I ask him to do without a huge struggle.

Like I said, everyday is fun and exciting and I can't wait to see what happens next!!