Thursday, December 29, 2011

Jacob is 3!!!

Has it really been 3 years since we met this little guy?
Jacob at 1 month old
3 years old - oh yeah, still rocking the pictures with the elephant
The day before Jacob's birthday was when we found out that he was being admitted into the preschool program.  That was the best birthday present, even though we are pretty sure Jacob has no idea what we are saying when we tell him that he will be starting school.

I started telling Jacob a couple weeks before his birthday that his birthday was coming up.  I wasn't sure if he had any idea what I was saying to him.  But even though I wasn't sure if he understood what day it was, I wanted to make it special for him.

Lately he has really liked seeing things with Elmo on them, so when I saw some Elmo cupcakes on Pinterest I knew that I would be making them for him.  I have to say that I was pretty impressed with myself - I think they actually turned out super cute and not just a poor attempt to copy someone else.
I threw in some Cookie Monster cupcakes too that I saw the same person had done

Elmo close-up

I bought a couple packages of balloons so that I could blow them up and put them all over the floor in his room after he had gone to bed the night before.  I also bought some streamers that I cut strips about the length of his door and taped them to the top of the door frame so he would walk through them as he came out of his room.  I actually saw on Pinterest where you tape the streamers across the door and they "break" out of room but we thought that Jacob may be confused by that.
Playing with the balloons after we brought them downstairs

Gathering his balloons all in one place

I think he did understand that his birthday was a special day, which would be why he woke up EXTRA early and went downstairs.  I was hoping to see him come out of his room that morning, but when I woke at 5:15am he was laying on the bottom stair, looking at his Elmo "Happy Birthday" banner and laughing.
A game he started playing later that day of throw the balloons over the banner

We had some friends over in the afternoon to enjoy cupcakes with us, but although Jacob liked to see his cupcakes and wanted, not only an Elmo cupcake, but a Cookie Monster one as well - he didn't eat either and only played with them a little.  I knew that our oldest child doesn't like frosting, but had thought the Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes could get him to at least try it.  No dice.
Investigating this Elmo cupcake

We waited to open presents until Daddy got home from work, which was super late for a 3 year who had woken up before 5:15am and hadn't taken a nap.  He got some Mater pajamas, an alphabet puzzle and a bowling set from Mommy and Daddy and seemed to like them all.
Actually doing some of the work to open presents
Mater Pajamas

Alphabet puzzle

Bowling Set

Must break open the bowling set NOW!!

Actually, it isn't enough to just open it he must also use it

We also gave him another cupcake with a candle and although he understands the concept of blowing out a candle, all he wanted to do with his candle is touch it, which means he had a little burnt finger.
Notice the bowling pin had to come to the table as well

Needed Daddy to help blow out the candle

Showing Grandma Mac his little burnt finger

Reading a birthday card while bowling

At 3 years old Jacob can:
Count to 10 and recognize the numbers when he sees them
Recognize different words if he sees them somewhere but mainly body parts and various animals
Say "please" for anything he wants (and he says it so cute)
Be a basketball pro and as long as the hoop isn't too high, he rarely misses a shot
Play with cars and trains as intended (before he used to just throw them)
Tell us when he doesn't want something instead of just throwing a fit (this is a BIG deal)
Unbolt the backdoor (oh no!!!)
Scale the kitchen counters to get whatever he wants (yeah, I now have a gate to keep children out of my kitchen)
Get out of bed and out of his room on his own

Jacob likes:
Helping in the kitchen, especially adding salt to mashed potatoes
Having lights turned on
Elmo, Thomas the Train and Cars (Lightening McQueen and Mater mostly)
Little dogs - both live and plush
Getting water from the door of the fridge and just playing with water in general
Playing with spice containers
Playing Angry Birds
Going for walks with the stroller

Jacob doesn't like:
Not being able to play Angry Birds
Fruits and vegetables of all varieties
Anything of a creamy texture except yogurt
His brothers to get too close to him, or touch him, or touch something he has
When a show he is watching ends
Not being able to "help" in the kitchen

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Julie's family's pictures

After Jacob was born we started doing family pictures every year and I have posted some of the best ones here on our blog.  But it had been many, many years since my family had done family pictures so when we all got together for Thanksgiving we also had family pictures.  I don't see how bigger families do it - we had 5 kids aged 3 and younger and it was crazy trying to keep them from running away or crying.  Anyway - here are some of the better ones:
Some closed eyes, but almost everyone's faces are toward the camera

My parents with our kids

Our little family

The original 6 of us

The 4 kids

3 sisters

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Let me tell you - I had hoped that Jacob's evaluation to get into school would go a lot like some of his ECI visits.  That is, Jacob getting frustrated that they wanted him to sit in a chair and do different tasks, resulting in him throwing fits and trying to bang his head on the table.  Is that terrible?  But this is the Jacob that we are used to at home, and I knew if they saw this he would get into school no problem.

This was not how the evaluation went though.  Instead he was pretty good about sitting in his little chair and doing the things that they asked him to do.  When he didn't want to do something and started getting up they totally catered to him and helped him find something else to entertain him so that he would keep sitting.  

The scary part (to me) during the evaluation was how impressed they acted with him.  They acted impressed that he looked at the clock on the wall and counted to 10.  They acted impressed that he could identify pictures of animals.  They acted impressed that he could identify the stuffed bear's body parts.

To be honest, it was frustrating to me as his mom.  These are things that a child a year younger than Jacob should be able to do.  That, and these abilities are all recent - that is, within the last couple months.

And so I was nervous that they would say that he didn't need to be in the school program and that they may just offer us a couple speech sessions a week.  Because I live with Jacob and spend a lot of time with him and I know that he needs more than that.

So when I went back for the meeting with the 2 ladies that evaluated him, the teacher for the preschool program and a kindergarten teacher, I didn't know what to expect.  It had been almost an entire month since his evaluation, so we had had a month to worry about it.  They started out by going over the results of the evaluation.  In which they said that they rated his speech and language skills to be about 3rd percentile for kids his age.

3rd percentile.


I know that he is really far behind where he should be, but to hear that his language skills are only better than 3% of other kids his age is really bad.  Those are the kids who aren't talking at all.  That is where Jacob was just a couple months ago.

After hearing that I knew that they would have to let Jacob into the PPCD program (not that I remember what PPCD stands for).  And so starting on January 4th, every school day a bus will pick him up at our house and take him to school where he will be in class for 3 hours a day and then a bus will bring him back home.

I know that he needed this and that we needed this.  Seriously, when your kid is 3 and doesn't just tell you he wants to eat, but instead whines and throws a fit until you figure out that is what he wants, you need some time away from him everyday.  

And even though this is what we prayed for, I'm worried for him.  The first couple weeks I anticipate will be very rough on him.  After all, it took a year before we were able to leave him in the nursery at church without him throwing complete fits.  I know that he will be confused and scared.  I hope that he adjusts quickly - at least, a lot more quickly than he adjusts to other things.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

9 month old outtakes

Just thought these were humorous.  After I snapped a couple pictures of the babies, I hoped to get a better one where they were each giving me a big smile, looking right at me, etc.  Instead, this is what happened:

Jeremy says "Hey Joel - what are you doing over there?"

 Joel says "I'm out of here!"

Jeremy says "I guess I'll just tackle you then."

"Hey Mom, here is my Popeye look!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Trip to Florida

I am determined to blog about things that I want to remember one day, even though they seem like so long ago and not that important.

Justin knew about a year ago that in October of this year he would be attending a conference in Orlando.  When the twins were a few months old, he asked me if I wanted to go with him.  Um, YEAH!!!  But what about our kids?  So Justin called his dad and step-mom and they were willing to come and fill in so we could get away.

We left on Friday, September 30th and came back on Wednesday night, October 5th.  I have to admit, for about a month before we left the thought of this trip was the only thing keeping me sane.  So much of my day was spent trying to keep the kids from crying that I really felt like I would lose it if I didn't get away.

People told me that after a day or two I would really miss my kids.  Confession - I never felt like I missed them.  Everyday we were gone I thought about how glad I was to be away from them and to actually have time to myself.  Seriously - every stay-at-home mom should be able to have a getaway from their kids.  A stay-at-home mom with 3 kids under 3 and the oldest with development and behavior problems NEEDS a getaway.

But, back to our trip.  When we arrived in Orlando we decided to visit the Orlando LDS temple, since it had been over 5 years since we had been there.
We didn't stay long because we were tired, it was late, we needed to check in at our resort, get some dinner, run to the store; but we were glad we went.

On Saturday we had breakfast with Justin's brother and his family before we headed to Universal's Islands of Adventure.  We enjoyed going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and drinking some butterbeer (although it wasn't as good as I had imagined it would taste).

After we were tired of walking around the park, we headed back to our resort to soak in the hot tub (necessary after walking around all day) before meeting up with Justin's brother and his wife for dinner, dessert and talking.

Sunday morning we left the resort and met up with some of our friends from Tallahassee and then Tampa to have breakfast with them and their kids.

After breakfast, we headed to Epcot to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival (however, for us it should have just been called the Food Festival).  Again we met up with Justin's brother and sister-in-law as well as her dad and sister.  We tried some great food and again walked around until our feet ached.  After Epcot, we headed over to the hotel we were staying in for the conference.

Once the conference began, Justin was busy with conference stuff pretty much the whole time, however I had my days free to do whatever.  I slept in until whenever I decided to get up.  I went to the gym a couple times (oh gym, how I have missed you!  Did you know that unless Jacob or I were sick I went to the gym 5 days a week from the time Jacob was 3 months old until the embryo transfer for the twins?).  

On Monday I was able to meet up with a good friend from BYU who recently moved to the Orlando area for a couple hours, then I met up with my sister-in-law for pedicures and chatting.  I made it back to the hotel just in time to meet up with Justin and everyone at the conference and their guests headed to Universal Studios where a portion of the park was blocked off just for us (nice!).

On Tuesday I drove to Tampa and met up with a handful of my co-workers from USF.  We chatted for a while and I stayed a bit longer than I thought I would which put me rushing back so that Justin and I could meet up with his brother and sister-in-law for a visit at our hotel.

On Wednesday we had a chance to meet up with Justin's step-sister and her kids just before we returned our rental car and checked in at the airport.

There were only 2 negatives from our trip - the amount of money we spent (it costs a lot to go to amusement parks - good thing we didn't have to pay for a place to stay or Justin's airfare).  And I got a little cold that had me almost totally hoarse for a day or so.  Justin said the money we spent was a small price to pay for me to get some sanity back!

We are really grateful we got to see so many friends and family members while we were vacationing.  We are also super-super grateful that family was willing to watch our kids, they were really ready for us to come home when we did!

8 months old...9 months old

Joel at 8 months

Jeremy at 8 months

8 months old!!!

Playing "I see you!"

A weird game Jeremy started playing

So excited to have his picture taken

Joel, 9 months old

Jeremy, 9 months old

9 months old!!!
Since we are almost to the 10 month mark, I decided that I just needed to combine these posts and get it done.  Now to remember what I want to keep a record of for these boys.

First off - the stats!  Jeremy has become our "big" boy weighing in at 17 lbs 12 oz (11th %-tile), 28 in tall (48th %-tile) and head circumference of 44 cm (23rd %-tile).  Joel, who used to be our bigger baby, is now our light one weighing 16 lbs 2 oz (6th %-tile), 28 in tall (48th %-tile) and head circumference of 43 cm (5th %-tile).

About 2 weeks before hitting 9 months old Joel got his 2 little bottom teeth.  As of 9 months old, no sign of teeth of Jeremy.

Joel started pulling himself up just days after hitting the 7 month mark - so a full 2 months before Jacob ever did.  At first he would just pull himself up very slowly and we had lots of falling over, but by 8 months old he was becoming a pro.  Once he hit the 9 month mark he started doing a little cruising and acts like he would like to try to to walk to something, but hasn't been brave enough to try to stand on his own.

Jeremy start pulling himself up right around 8 months old and what a little stinker he was about it.  This little guy would pull himself up just as soon as we would put him in his crib but then he couldn't figure out how to get back down.  He would cry and cry.  One of us would go lay him back down and he would immediately get back up again.  He would be super, super tired but his want (which I guess he felt was a need) to stand up and practice his new skill was too great and he simply would not just lay down and sleep.  It lasted for only a couple days when we finally gave up on getting him to sleep in his crib and put him into a pack and play to sleep (since there were no slats, he had nothing to grab to pull himself up).  So glad we bought a second crib when it hasn't been used for so long now.

The babies synced up their schedules and started napping at the same time!!  Yay!!!  We had to put them into separate rooms to get them to take good naps though - they just seemed to want to cry and fuss when they were put in the same room.  But something else amazing happened - they started going to sleep for naps on their own when I would lie them down in their crib or pack and play.  Jacob was so difficult to get to take naps - I ALWAYS had to rock him to sleep with a bottle.  Then I had to be super careful when I lay him down because if he woke up there would be no napping.  I can't tell you how fan-tab-ulous it is to have babies who, when it is nap time and I know they are or should be tired, I can just lay down and leave them.  Sometimes they whine and even get up for a bit, but they almost always just lay back down and go to sleep.

They have both turned into pretty good eaters.  It took a while to get Jeremy to eat fruit and then there were only 2 varieties that he would go for, but now he is a good little eater and I can get him to eat anything that Joel will eat.  They are not such fans of baby foods with meat in them, but they do seem to be ok with the stage 2 food apples and chicken (sounds gross to me).  We tried to move on to a stage 3 food that was chunky and that did not go over well - both babies gagged and threw up a little.  Not sure if it was the flavor or the chunks of food that they were disagreeable with.  They do like Cheerios and some of those Gerber Graduates snacks, but to be honest I am in all new territory and don't know what I am doing.  I couldn't get Jacob to eat any type of food until he was just past 15 months old and had lots of teeth.  So I find myself unsure of what I can feed them, what I shouldn't feed them, etc.

The babies have started playing with things, being super entertained by Colby and they love to see what their big brother is doing - too bad he doesn't like to have anything to do with them.

It is hard to believe that we are getting so close to 1 year old!!