3!

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Dear Jack,

You are three! A lot has happened in the last few months. You got a baby brother! You started preschool! You stopped wearing diapers during the day! You have opinions and constantly ask, “what are we going to do ah-day (aka today)… and after that… and after that?” You want to be in-the-know all the time. You also stopped sleeping as well as you used to – right in time for Cooper to be born – timing, people!  You dropped your nap on most days, a little after turning 2 ½. The only thing that will put you to sleep during the day is driving around in the car. It’s a tradeoff because then you are up much later than your original bedtime.

You started waking up in the middle of the night about three weeks before Cooper was born – did I mention timing?! At first, Dad or I would come lay next to your bed until you went back to sleep. Some nights this became too much, because you would wake up multiple times, so now, sometimes, you get to sleep at the foot of our bed on your mattress. I think part of this change in sleep habits is because you are so much more aware of your surroundings now, and you realize much more the distance between your room and ours.

This awareness also makes you so much fun to be around. You don’t miss anything. You know all of your play cars by memory: “Where is the red car, with the broken engine, and tiny wheel?” you might ask – and this is out of about a hundred match box cars you own, 20 of which are red. You recognize when we drive a different way to someone’s house. You notice which exits on the freeway go to certain locations. This was not inherited from me!

You loved watering the garden you started with Dad (you two were growing tomatoes, lettuce, and strawberries, among other things), and you had lots of questions when most of it did not survive the extreme heat of this summer. “Is this another crazy day?” you will ask. This is how your dad and you talk about really, really hot days, which have been most days this summer. Ugh. This weather has also solidified your love for swimming. After I took you to swim lessons on and off for a few years, your dad was able to take you because of his paternity leave this summer. You loved this, and you’ve loved getting to spend so much time with your Dad. You two enjoyed bike rides to bagels, park days, Kidspace, swim days at JoJo and Papa’s (I was there for those), and endless imaginary play at our house. Dads are truly the best and have endless energy.

You do seem to love hanging out with your brother. A lot of the time you show that love in a somewhat forceful way: hugs that are a little too tight, pats on the back that might be interpreted as a hit, cuddling that looks more like wrestling, and sometimes a forceful little roar or song in his face—but I legitimately think you love being around Cooper. It’s just hard to contain so much emotion and newness when you are 2 ½ – 3. You have a new fascination with boobs (after breastfeeding for two years yourself) now that Cooper is breastfeeding. Your artwork now includes people with large “boobs” and long stick legs. You are very matter of fact about it. And I mean, breastfeeding is a fact of life! It’s why humans have survived for generations, but I digress. Another favorite drawing subject of yours is balloons. You draw them pretty well. Who knows what will be next!

You are also interested in music. Your favorite song is not exactly age appropriate: Timber by Pitbull, featuring Ke$sha. You LOVE to dance to this song. You’re also pretty into Homecoming by Josh Ritter. You used to love this song when you were close to one. The buildup at the beginning got you, and it still does! Your dad is so happy because you like to watch me play the piano and sing along. You also like to listen to your dad play the guitar. You have a little ukulele that you like to play and sing with as you dance.

You have so much fun playing with other kids now… well most of the time – it’s still hard to share sometimes. You’ve been known to burst out crying when it’s time to go after a play date. Your best friend is Addie – she is almost 6 and this match will not last forever, but it’s very sweet the way she plays with you and is genuinely excited, and how you both jump up and down yelling when you see each other. This friendship was made even more special at your birthday as Addie decided to give you that memorable first kiss as a birthday party. Addie’s brother, Rhett, is also starting to join your little crew. You also started to make friends in your PCC class. Riley (a boy) is your best friend there. You two will hold hands and run around wildly, finding excitement in your shared painted toe nails – you wanted them painted “just like mommy.” Riley has a little brother too, and you both like to show off your baby brothers to each other. Another friend, Ezra, has introduced you to transformers and Star Wars. You two can be prickly at first but then fall into a rhythm and truly enjoy each other’s company.

Lastly let’s not forget how much you love your family. From uncles and aunts, to your Mimi and Grandpa, and Jojo and Papa.  You love to be with all of them and always ask if we are doing stuff “with our family?” You have even gone so far as to say you have 3 houses because you love going to both your grandparents house as much if not more than your own.

Favorite phrases:

“Member when…”

“Ah-morrow will we see our friends?”

“Ah-day are we going to play that?”

“Berry quickly I will watch this show.”

“Where the blue crayon is?”

We love you Jack. The magic of seeing life through a child’s eyes is truly a gift.

Love,

Mom

Coop’s First Dodgers Game

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Thanks to some kind friends we were offered 4 free loge level tickets to the Dodgers game last week.  It was a night game but paternity leave was close to ending and we figured why not be some cool parents and keep our boys up late.  For Dodgers fans this was fun because we got to see Brian Dozier’s first game in Dodgers Blue and they ultimately won, although we were long gone before the win was in sight.  Two kids at a game is incredibly hard but it was still a ton of fun and I’d do it again in a heart beat.  It also helped that it was $1 Dodger Dogs night so I didn’t mind that Jack and Coop didn’t touch theirs and it wasn’t so bad that Sarah tried to eat one an inning.  Jack remembered that last year he got a frozen yogurt so he demanded one of those until he finally got his way.  He also was super into taking photos with the DSLR and actually used the view finder.  Surprisingly some of them actually looked artistic, I was tempted to do another set of photos he just took but I decided to just save that for another day.  Looking forward to many more games with the family like this in the future.

 

Jack the Photographer

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You may recall that we had to upgrade our old t2i to the latest t7i, which didn’t bring us anything revolutionary or that exciting in terms of camera technology but given our t2i was so old we do now have the luxury of having touch features on the screen of  the camera.  Thanks to these new bells and whistles Jack has actually taken some interest in taking photos.  He’ll often say “i take a photo?” and immediately ask “i see it” after he’s taken one.  I’m sure part of this is due to his skills with an iPhone but it was also spurred by a staged family photo we did for Easter.

It’s pretty fun to have him show the interest in taking shots but it’s also challenging to keep him from button mashing or getting frustrated when the camera can’t keep up with his crazy ideas.  Rather than delete all his shots i thought it would be fun to post the shots he took in April in May which sadly include a lot of yours truly’s ugly mug.

April Recap

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Well I’ve finally done it and got my life together enough to get some April photos uploaded.  Two kids has proven to be quite the foe to my efficiency but so has our laziness as we have taken forever to organize our “polaroids”.  One thing to note on that front is that our old fujifilm camera broke and we had to buy the latest one and we have found the new one to be much more challenging to get a steady exposure which has proven to be quite frustrating as well as expensive.

Jack has proven to be a big fan of his new little brother Cooper and it’s surprisingly made Jack quite the photo fan as he’s started trying to take photos but especially has made him want to be in each and every photo. I don’t know if it’s technically true that you take less photos of your second child or instead that you just take more photos of them together or the first one just keeps getting in the way of you taking photos of the second child.

Hopefully we’ll have March together shortly.

Brothers

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*This was supposed to be posted over a week ago. Two kids, man.

Cooper’s been here for almost seven weeks now, which is hard to believe. There have definitely been a number of challenges that come with having two kids, but I can honestly say it’s also been such a sweet time for our family. I know I would definitely have a different tone if I did not have Brandon’s help this past month and a half. His paternity leave has been a lifesaver for our family.

One of the hardest parts about two kids has been entertaining Jack All. Day. Long. Jack is going through a stage (or is it personality?) where he wants constant attention and people to “play with me!” nonstop. Luckily Brandon (I do not know how he keeps up) has the energy to play with him constantly. And Jack is starting a preschool summer camp next week (we are hoping he doesn’t get kicked out because of his current lack of consistency with toilet training – I think we are getting close!), but I digress. The camp is in the morning for a few hours, and hopefully it is just what we need in order to have some breaks and downtime at home! Side note: How does having one infant feel so much more manageable the second time around when your toddler is gone for a few hours?! Perspective, I guess! Because I remember one infant felt so overwhelming the first time around.

Anyway, these days Jack goes from being such a fun and sweet big brother to a huge challenge – all in a matter of minutes. Potty training combined with always doing the opposite of what I ask combined with “no” and “why” and needing constant attention make these days feel difficult. And honestly, Brandon deals with most of Jack’s outbursts right now and I still feel overwhelmed by it.

Cooper has been such a chill baby. His biggest issue has been how gassy he gets, especially at night. He makes such loud grunting noises at night that it makes it hard for us to sleep – poor little guy. This aside, he is a pretty easy going little one. He’s even smiling these days! People ask if he is like Jack, and at this point the biggest differences I see are in their looks. Cooper did not look like Jack when he was born. He is very fair (I know we all are in this family, but Cooper is even fairer than everyone else!) and has a different facial structure. We’ll see. Maybe they will look more alike as they get older, but right now, where Cooper gets his look is still a mystery.

I’m trying to relish these early days with Cooper and Jack when we are all together most days. I know it will be gone in what feels like an instant when I look back on this time. And I will probably miss the sweet times and forget about many of the challenges.