Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just Jack

So in case you haven't noticed, there haven't been any posts with just Jack lately. I guess it's partly that whole second child thing. Life was pretty much rolling along for Sophie when Jack made his appearance, and while we do enjoy some one on one time when she's at pre-school, he hasn't done as many scheduled activities as she did at his age, mostly because of the logistics of Sophie's increasingly busy life.

That's not to say that Jack doesn't have a good life. He loves to tag along with Sophie and while he has a few of his own little guy friends, the majority of his friendships and playdates revolve around Sophie's friends. Thankfully, all of these families have gradually been expanding since Jack was born, so there are a wide variety of ages involved, and Jack is never without someone to taunt or be taunted by!

I'm a little sad that Jack will start pre-school in the fall. Don't get me wrong, I'm also relieved that I will finally get some time to be on my own, which is a rarity these days. This will be a good step for him AND me, but I just can't believe that he's already past the age that Sophie was when he was born. He's almost too big for me to rock in his rocking chair but never to0 big for a sweet cuddle. One of my favorite times of the day is when he wakes up early and will hang out with me and Eric in our bed. It's a nice time for us to give him our full attention before the day gets into full swing.

Jack is clearly ready for some school action. Every day when we drop Sophie at school, he insists on going into her classroom instead of driving through the very convenient carpool line. So most of the time, as hurried as I always am, I oblige him for a few minutes in her class. He loves her teachers and knows the names of all her classmates. His favorite thing besides the train table are the cymbals in the music section of the room. After a few good cymbal clashes, I can usually scoop him up to head out, and can also be assured that Sophie and her friends are wide awake and ready to learn.

We are really enjoying this age. Eric and I were talking recently about the fact that when Sophie was at this same age, we were most likely too tired and overwhelmed by our newborn that we may not have relished it as much. So I am really trying hard to soak him up right now. I often catch myself just smiling at him and cracking up at his hillarious stunts.

Despite the popular opinion that Sophie would end up talking for him since they are so close in age, and since she's always been a talker, he gives her a run for her money. Lately what I hear most often is her telling him to stop repeating himself. He's very intense with everything he does, which is sometimes not a good mix with Sophie's more tender and sensitive side. And despite his cuteness, he sure does have some moments :). It has been quite an adventure to figure out the best way to deal with his strong personality and we consider it a work in progress.

Unlike his sister, Jack is not too fond of structured meals. He'd much prefer to graze all day. On a daily basis, he'll return to a mushy bowl of cereal that's been sitting for at least an hour and finish if off, only when he's good and ready. This morning as I was racing around the kitchen doing my usual breakfast duty, I looked over to see him with this clever tower. He couldn't have been more thrilled with himself. I love it when small moments like that can bring smiles to your face that last all day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day. One of the best days ever!

Believe it or not, this was my 5th Mother's Day since Sophie was born. And it was truly one of the best yet. I was lucky enough to have a wonderfully balanced weekend of family time and "me" time.

The weekend kicked of with a special Mother's Day Tea at Sophie's pre-school on Friday morning. To ensure that I could truly enjoy the morning with just Sophie, Eric was sweet enough to meet me at school where I handed off Jack to go with Eric to a nearby playground. Sophie was thrilled to serve me donuts, muffins and bagels. Thankfully they were all in small portions because you and I both know who truly got to enjoy all those treats. Sophie had made a beautiful flower our of her handprint that was laminated and came with a sweet poem. The kids in her class all gathered together to perform a song to honor their Mom's. It was such a fun morning. Here's a picture of her with her artwork.

On Saturday we enjoyed a fun family pancake breakfast and after doing a few household chores, I set out for some shopping and errands...all by myself which is a rarity these days. I even got to listen to my own music in the car!

Sunday morning was a morning of leisure while Eric covered for us with nursery duty at church and I just decided to stay home and enjoy the quiet for a few hours. Later on in the afternoon, we hosted a gathering with 4 other very special families. All in all we were 10 adults and 10 kids (3 of those kids being born in the last 3-4 months). It may sound like total chaos, but here's the catch. These 5 fabulous guys planned, prepped and served a gourmet meal from start to finish AND watched the kids while us Moms enjoyed it all out on our back deck, away from all of the action. Everyone had a fabulous time (even though the guys did mention something about going to Vegas for Father's Day). We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such great friends! They have truly become like family to us.

Here's a picture of all of the Mom's and the little ones...

A couple more...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Little Sunshine

Last week we had the privelege of attending Sophie's Spring Ballet Recital at her pre-school. It would have been hard for me to imagine a year ago that she would not only enjoy ballet (she expressed absolutely no interest at that time), but also that she would actually have learned as much as she has and be able to perform in front of a fairly big crowd without so much as batting an eyelash. One of the best things about her class is that it is fun and laid back, unlike some of the more traditional ballet schools that are a little more high pressure.

Sophie's ballet teacher Miss Meredith was able to cleverly incorporate all of the basic ballet positions into a fun performance of "You are My Sunshine". Given that Sophie was pretty much in motion the whole time, I didn't get a lot of pictures of her in action. I was also just so overwhelmed by it that I wanted to soak it up and not watch it from behind the camera. Plus Eric had the video camera going which better captures the whole experience. Sophie got to lead her class out onto stage with a priceless smile that never left her face until she took her final curtsey.

Here's our trick to keeping Jack quiet during the recital.

Unfortunately we gave him the lollipop a tad prematurely not realizing there were 3 short drama presentations before the ballet portions of the recital. Luckily, I had a stash of other snacks so he enjoyed a smorgasborg of food while watching his sister perform. Sophie's biggest fear was that Jack would charge the stage, and thankfully Grammy was with us to help contain him.

Here's a picture of Sophie with her very proud Grammy and Miss Meredith.