Underwood Farms

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In December we went for a little adventure to Underwood Farms with Uncle Nick and Aunt Bryce but also with Cousin Bret, Sara, and little Brody. I’d heard this was one of those stereotypical young kid outing spots so I wasn’t overly excited at first but by the end of the day it was clear that we all had a blast.  There was a tractor ride that took us to the farm where we got to pick any food that was in season, there were all sorts of sweet animals to see and feed, good food, play areas, and of course great company. Jack was the perfect age for here but even the little guys had a blast.

November Recap

November (1 of 1)November was full of fun, family, and friends.  As we saw in past posts we had been to Disneyland and Jack had been very active photographing Can Jam in Santa Barbara.  The other highlights were an early Thanksgiving dinner with the Willoughby side of the fam.  My cousin and his family recently moved to Portland to work on his beard growth and develop an affinity for coffee and overcast weather.  Keegan was particularly smitten with Cooper and it’s clear next year she’ll have all the kids wrapped around her fingers.

We had our actual Thanksgiving up with the Ross clan where we got the super exciting news that Aaron and Courtney are going to have their first kid, sadly the only moment we caught of that reveal was a quick hip shot I took when they surprised us, but you can see the joy in Courtney’s face. After Thanksgiving we headed back to SB to get to spend more quality time with Uncle Ben, Aunt Megan, and Uncle Ned, oh and those grandparents the boys like too.

The month ended with us doing our annual Christmas tree purchase with the Ungers, a special time we’ve done for at least 5 years now but the first time we didn’t get to buy it at classy OSH. I should also point out that Jack started getting Highlights magazines which has really been awesome, he loves the surprise of when they arrive but he really loves all the activities and stories in each one.  I don’t think I could have been prepared for how much we all enjoy that subscription.

10 Months of Cooper

Dear Cooper,

You are 10 months old!

You:

-Finally got that 8th tooth.

-Are sleeping a lot better because I sleep trained you again, and it is mostly working. You were waking up around 10, 12, 2, and 4 every night, but now you can almost always put yourself back to sleep on your own. You still wake up a lot around 4 AM, and usually sound a bit unsettled for a while, but thankfully you are not crying.

-Love to raise one and sometimes both of your arms when music is on so you can “dance.” You seriously love music.

-Have another cold and cough. Does it ever end?

-Will sometimes stand up and let go of whatever you are holding very briefly.

-Are still obsessed with eating

-Have done well with babysitters that are not your grandmas while I’m at work but have had to be brought back to us from church care. It seems like if you are not as familiar with your environment it makes separation anxiety worse, which makes sense. You do have people preferences but are able to go to someone new or not as familiar for a time.

-Rarely stop moving. You have periods where you will stay in the pack, but I don’t use it nearly as much now.

-Still put most everything in your mouth, maybe a little less than before?

-Still want every single toy your brother plays with but put up with him yelling in your face daily.

I:

-Did some biking at the very end of January before all the rain, and it was so fun! However, since then I have not been exercising much at all. Swimming has not been going well either.

-Went to Griffith Park with the Fischers and was reminded how much I love the observatory.

-Learned a lot about baking bread this past month. Jo taught me her method, and I want to a class with Jo, Chris, Bryce, and Nick on making different kinds of pizza dough

-Had a few girls nights out. One at The Raymond with Hilary and Lauren and one at Otono with Katie and Andi.

-Took Jack to a bunch of birthday parties this past month, which was even enjoyable for me too.

-Felt cooped up because of the rain on one too many occasions. Rain and kids don’t mix.

-Finished two books, one for book club, and attended book club.

-Visited Santa Barbara for a few days, and it was great to see my parents.

-Had Brandon’s cousin Jon and his wife Michelle stay with us for two nights. It was fun to be able to hang out with them after the kids went to bed.

-Still feel pretty tired most days, but I think it is and will get better?Cooper 10 months

August 2018 Recap

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We get it, it’s been forever since we posted a monthly recap, but you need not worry, we’re back in the game.  It hasn’t been that we stopped our daily photos, it’s just we stopped cataloging them daily and wound up with months worth of undated photos we had to organize and title, a brutal task.  But we did it and our marriage survived so we should be getting the backload of monthly recaps in the next week, exciting stuff I know.

So August, I almost had a hard time remembering what all happened.  For one I was on my last few days of paternity leave so Jack and I did some housework including painting a door, he did a great job and also helped get the door back together.  Jack and Addie continued to maintain their deep friendship and we also enjoyed having the Sunday dinner crew over to our house for music and fun.  We celebrated Courtney’s birthday with the Ross clan down at the Ballast Point Brewery where they all got a heavy dose of Coop and Jack.  We had our last fun week day breakfast outing and I said goodbye to my paternity beard. Crazy to think 4 months are gone but even more wild is that we have 5 more recaps to go until we’re caught back up. The last photo in the bunch is also one of my favorite photos.

3.5

 

Dear Jack,

You are 3 ½, and you’ve gone through some big changes since turning three. At the time of your birthday, you had been going to preschool, half day, for almost two months. But in September you started preschool 3 days a week, for full days. I spent a lot of time worrying about this transition and wondering if I was doing the right thing, signing you up for three full days. Of course, I should not have worried so much because you transitioned well, and your summer preschool camp really helped your transition, I think! You probably have more fun at school than you do at home a lot of the time. Your teacher Mrs. Jean is wonderful.

The only downside is that you nap at preschool. NAP! Seriously? You stopped napping for me last February. The only way I could get you to sleep during the day was drive you in the car. Then preschool comes and…boom… you nap 1 ½ hours almost every time. You don’t always fall asleep right away (according to teacher notes), but you still end up napping! Even if you nap just 40 minutes, your bedtime changes from about 7:15 PM to 9:40 PM because you don’t get tired until that much later.

You love, love to count anything and everything and are able to count above 20 now. You also love to name all of the letters in the alphabet. You can spell out your name now, too.  I’m sure our nightly reading sessions have helped you with some of this, but I also think going to preschool has helped so much, and you know what? TV shows these days can be pretty educational. Not all screen time is bad, in my opinion.

I still lie next to you until you fall asleep (I can’t remember when this even started), so the late bedtime makes the nights feel long. Because preschool is every other day, and you won’t nap for me, it means that you feel exhausted, especially in the afternoons, the days you are home with me from staying up so late the night before. And you wake up at around the same time each morning, no matter the time you go to bed. The cycle of it can feel exhausting for both of us, but I definitely believe the benefits of preschool far outweigh the nap aspect. But I’ll admit, this nap business has been challenging!

We also started a new semester of PCC classes. We are taking two classes: one for 2-4 year olds with Angela, and one for 3 year olds with Gia. Both of these teachers were new to me at the beginning of the year, and I like both of them. Gia told me that she has noticed that you are very self-motivated and don’t let distractions get to you like some kids. She said this is the quality of a good student. And if you don’t happen to be a good student, that is OK, but I thought what she said was interesting.  Gia talked about how you can’t teach self-motivation—something she thinks you have. She said she thinks you will be ready for kindergarten as a young 5. I’m still not sure, but it is nice to get affirmation that it will be OK if that is the case. I remember when you were 2, and in Judy’s PCC class, and she was so impressed with your ability to construct a long sentence. I didn’t even know to feel proud until she told me! Anyway, I’ve really appreciated your PCC teachers and the chance I get to be in class with you.

You still love to play with all of your friends, even if it takes a while for you to warm up, and it usually does, which is OK! You talk about Addie, Rhett, Ezra, Royal, Avery, Riley, Whit, Harper, and Liv, to name a few. And now you have a preschool class full of friends such as Kei and Harrison. You’ve mentioned all the kids in your class at some point and even kids in other classes.

The biggest difference this year from previous years taking PCC is that friends matter to you more this year. Luckily, both of our classes are with your bud Riley! You’ve taken great leaps in this area because you no longer have to stay by my side and like playing with other kids. It’s been an interesting year because each class has its own social dynamic, and in one of the classes you like to do your own thing at certain times, but at other times love playing with one or more kids. I appreciate that you are able to withdraw from a situation when you feel overwhelmed, even if you don’t realize that is why you are doing it. I’ve noticed that you tend to be reserved in situations with a lot of people and action, just like me. Sometimes you have a hard time even greeting good friends when they yell excitedly at you. I’m trying to teach you the difference between being rude versus letting someone know you need time on your own before you start to play. Three is an interesting age for emotions because actions take precedent over processing feelings—and there are a lot of feelings you don’t understand yet!

And yes, there are so many feelings, and a lot of them are directed at Cooper. You’ve had to adjust to a lot this year, especially as Cooper has grown more mobile and can physically get into your toys. There is a lot of stuff to share. You test all the boundaries with Cooper (pinching him on the cheek, grabbing a toy from him), and do not always stop when we tell you to. You also ask about Cooper all the time, and always include him when you talk about our family. The other day you thought I had left Cooper in the car (he was safely in the house), and you said “What about Cooper! He’s still in the car.” I realize you care a lot about him!

Some nights you will wake up and come sleep on a mattress in our room. At first, we would come lie down next to you in your room, but now it can be easier to have you sleep in ours. We may start to work on phasing this out.

You love riding your scooter at the park. It is one of your very favorite things to do. I believe you were doing this six months ago, but it still remains a favorite activity. You are showing more interest in your balance bike these days, so we are hoping to get you on it more. And of course, you love riding in your seat on the back of Butcheq’s bike. Now, Cooper and I are able to join as well because I have a seat for Cooper on my bike.

There is so much to say, but I will end with the relationship you have with your grandparents. It is so very sweet. You love them all so much and talk about them unprompted all the time. I am so glad for this. The love you show them and they you is one of the best gifts.

And now Jack(isms):

-Adding an o to our names, “Dad-o” and “Mom-o”

-“Girl” becomes “Grill” so he might say, “There are four grills in my class.”

-“Bible Adventures” is a class Jack takes at school and it becomes “Bible Benchers”

-“Paw Patrol” becomes “Paw-ah-Troll”

“Living Room” becomes “Libbing Room”

Basically all v sounds make a b sound

Update as of 1/30/19 – I spilled a little of a spice I was cooking with in the kitchen the other day. Jack was helping me cook. He loves to do this. Butcheq was really the pioneer in cooking with Jack and being patient about all things with him. Anyway, after the spill Jack looked at me and said, “It’s OK, Mom. Accidents happen.” I about died right there on the spot. This kid!

 

Love,

Mom