pumpkin patch

We took Jack to the "Pumpkin Patch" the other day. Really, it's just the front yard of the neighborhood Catholic church, but I'm pretty sure he didn't know the difference.

The sign on the door explained that pumpkin prices were listed on sample pumpkins, and payment should be made by dropping money into the mail slot. It was totally the honor system. I mean, who is going to steal pumpkins from church, right?

Jack and Daddy picked out a really good big pumpkin, and I chose two smaller gourd things. One looks like a pumpkin with tiny goiters and the other is a green squash of some kind. I think we're planning on carving the big pumpkin with John's new Dremel tool bits. That should be manly fun.

Maybe next year we'll venture to a "real" pumpkin patch with hayrides and goats and apple cider. But for this year, low key and close-to-home was the way to go.



 I had such a lovely birthday today. The Boy slept until 9:30, which allowed me to wake up on my own and enjoy some coffee and quiet time before it was time to get him up. We took a little trip down to the local fabric store to get the rest of the fabric for the nursery. We had a nice late lunch and a long afternoon nap. John had a gorgeous bouquet of flowers delivered to our house. My parents brought over a pot roast, and my aunt and grandparents joined us for dinner and cake. And the Boy was extra super snuggly before bed.

It was a much needed day of love, and gratitude. A chance to slow down a bit and reflect on the things in my life that I'm truly grateful for -- the people and the things that make me happy. It's easy to forget about those things when you're in the middle of the fifth diaper change before lunch, or the tenth tantrum before breakfast. It was just lovely to love and be loved, and know that for today, that was enough.


flashback friday

These photos are from last September. Jack was six months old. He wasn't crawling, yet. He couldn't escape when I pulled out the camera. He was still relatively easy to photograph.

His eyes have lightened a bit to a beautiful hazelnut brown. His smile is just as infectious. And he still stares at his toys just as intently as he did a year ago. He has lost the multiple chins in the last year. And his hair is a bit longer.

Had you asked me a year ago if I thought it was possible to love him more than I did at that point, I would have said absolutely not. Now, I feel like my heart grows every day with love for this kiddo. I'm the first to admit that I'm biased, but this little guy truly is an amazing little human. He's got a funny little sense of humor. His curiosity can't be sated. And he's such a smart little bugger. Everyday, I'm excited to see what he'll come up with next.


milestones - 18 months

According to the NIH, these are a few milestones that the "typical" 18 month old should be hitting:

  • Is growing at a slower rate and has less of an appetite compared to months before - Definitely. The Boy has been in the same size clothes since he was 9 months. Granted, it's 2T, and he's still on the 99th percentile growth curve, but he's definitely slowed his roll in the growth department.
  • Is able to control the muscles used to urinate and have bowel movements (sphincter muscles), but may not be ready to use the toilet - Uhh, right. We are so not ready for the potty training. Truthfully, I can't even wrap my brain around it, yet. The Boy totally knows when he's having "movements" and he usually thinks it's hilarious. He loves to stand up and pee in the tub, but I don't know if I would call that control of his pee muscles - is the Boy practicing Kegels? I dunno. Oh, and he thinks farts are awesome. Total boy.
  • Runs with a lack of coordination and falls often - Yes. And might I say, what a funny little milestone. Like, "Completely spastic with no control over his own limbs." Uhh, I think we hit that milestone at week one.
  • Is able to get onto small chairs without help - Absolutely. This boy is the love child of a monkey and a mountain goat raised by Evil Knievil. He climbs everything and has no fear. Thankfully, he has yet to attempt escaping from his crib. He loves his crib. Why would he want to escape his crib? I have caught him trying to climb into the crib...
  • Walks up stairs while holding on with one hand - Yes. He loves stairs. He's getting better at going down stairs, too; although, he's having a tough time deciding on a technique. Sometimes it's the butt slide. Sometimes it's the tummy slide. Sometimes it's the "hold-my-hand-I-can-do-this-like-a-big-boy" technique. They're all adorable, and they all make him giggle. And they all take about three hours to complete.
  • Can build a tower of two to four blocks - Yes. Jack loves building towers almost as much as he loves knocking them down.
  • Can use a spoon and cup with help to feed himself - Yes, "with help" being the key phrase here. He often prefers to eat applesauce and yogurt with his hands. But he loves to drink out of a grown-up glass. On a side note, is it wrong that I can't make myself drink out of the cup after he's gotten to it? Is that part of what you sign up for when you have a kid? Drinking out of goobered up glasses and subsequently having to chew your iced tea before you swallow it? I just can't do it. Sorry, kiddo.
  • Imitates scribbling - Yup. He's not in love with coloring, yet. Mostly, he just likes to eat the crayons. But he can do a scribble. 
  • Can turn two or three pages of a book at a time - Yes. He loves books. He'll often bring me books throughout the day, and just sit on my lap and read. I hope this behavior lasts a long, long time.
  • Shows affection - So much lovin'. When you ask him to give you a hug, he'll stand in front of you, stiff as a board and let you wrap your arms around him, briefly. When you ask him for kisses, he'll gently head butt you. But on his own terms, he'll snuggle up and lay his little head on your shoulder and love on you. I also hope this behavior never ends. Oh, the sweetness.
  • Listens to a story or looks at pictures - He loves looking at pictures, but he really likes to turn pages and often doesn't have enough time to listen to the story. So, I find myself paraphrasing, or just pointing to the pictures and naming things for him.
  • Can say 10 or more words when asked - This is where the milestones get a little rocky (no pun intended). Jack babbles a lot, but he doesn't have a lot of words. He says this, that, go (which I think means good?), and sometimes mama and dada. He signs please, thank you, and sometimes more and milk. I'm not too worried about it because at this point as he's meeting all of the other language-related milestones. I'm sure one of these days he'll start conversating and just never stop.
  • Identifies one or more parts of the body - Oh, yeah. He knows head, nose, eyes, mouth, ears, cheeks, chin, belly, knee, leg, foot and toes. I quiz him on it every day. He probably thinks I'm cray-cray, but I'm just amazed at this particular achievement.
  • Understands and is able to point to and identify common objects - Yes, and he surprises me everyday with something new that I didn't know he knew. 
  • Often imitates - Yup. When he hears someone crying, he does this weird little fake cry. And he often laughs when someone else is laughing, as if he "gets" the joke. Also, when he sees people applauding on TV, he claps. Yes, the Boy sometimes watches TV. Please don't tell our ECFE teacher.
  • Is able to take off some clothing items, such as gloves, hats, and socks - Constantly taking off his socks and hat. We're going to have to work on that before the snow flies. By the way, who puts gloves on an eighteen-month old? Really?
  • Begins to feel a sense of ownership, identifying people and objects by saying "my" - Ehh. Sort of? He identifies people, but he doesn't use the word "my" or really seem to get that concept. Unless this is just fancy talk for "doesn't like to share his stuff with peers." Then, yes. We've hit that milestone.
Aside from the decided lack of soliloquies here at Chez Lushbough, I think the Boy is right on track. Now, how do we slow this train down? He's growing up way too fast!


goin' to the zoo, zoo, zoo...

Yesterday, we went to the zoo with some friends. I'm not sure if Jack is really into the animals, yet; but he loves hanging out with his buddies. We tried to get a photo of the three kiddos in front of the bear exhibit, and this is what happened:

 First, Kate was not happy about sitting still for a photo. Jack was concerned. Aidan was distracted.

 Then, Angela said, "Hey, Kate!" and that caught everyone's attention.

Then, Angela said, "High five!" which got both boys up on their feet and ready for some high-fivin' action. Kate was distracted.

 The boys high-fived each other (sort of) and Kate realized she was being left out.

 The boys make a move, and Kate decides she prefers knuckles to high fives. High fives are so 2010.

 Meanwhile, the boys catch on to the knuckles plot, and begin practicing their moves.

Aidan is definitely the teacher. Jack thinks he's hilarious.

 Aidan gives his pupil a "thumbs up" for a job well done!

Kate comes over to check out the action, and Jack claps his hands in celebration.

 Jack really wants to hug Aidan to show him how much he appreciates the knuckles lesson...

 But Aidan thinks he would prefer a nice, quiet thank you card, instead.

I love seeing these little ones interact. They've all known each other since birth, and have seen each other nearly weekly since then. It has been fun seeing how the little personalities have evolved over the last year and a half, and how that changes the group dynamic. I'm so glad that they have fun together, because I absolutely love hanging out with their Mamas. Yay for playdates! I think I'd go cuckoo without them!


flashback friday

Believe it or not, we have about a bajillion little videos of the Boy. Every once in a while, I look through them and marvel at how far we've come. Jack is no longer a helpless newborn. Now he's a sassy toddler with a 'tude. John and I are no longer rookies. I wouldn't go so far as to say we've gone pro, but I think we have a slightly better grasp on the situation than we did way back in those first weeks.

Case in point: bathtime. We had no clue. (We also had no clue that HD videos don't work well online. Not sure how to remedy that, but you'll have to believe me when I tell you that we were not that wide in real life.)

Jack is less than a month old in this one, and I'm telling him, "you gotta sit up a little." Really? He's basically a jellyfish at this point, and I'm asking him to sit up. Also, please note the fancy bucket bath. For some reason I thought this was a must-have. Unfortunately, we had no clue how to use it. Money well spent. And finally, are you pooping or tooting followed by "I need a cup?" What is going on there? Yikes.

The next video is John giving the Boy a bath. It's taken four days after the bucket movie.

I can't believe that a) Jack isn't freaking out and screaming, and b) I'm not freaking out and screaming. The propping up against the back of the sink? The dunking of the head? The getting wet of the ears? Yikes.

And then there's my shampoo technique for one-month olds. Please do not try this at home...

Uhh. lady? No wonder "we" don't like this part. You're waterboarding him. Yikes.

And just so you know it wasn't all terrifying bathing scenarios in those early days, I share with you my all-time favorite... Jack's first laugh:



Jack got to hang out with his cousins last weekend. His cousin Dylann is right around 20 months older than him, which happens to be the projected age difference between Jack and Baby Lushbough Two. He totally thinks cousin Dylann hangs the moon. She is about as cool as it gets in his eyes. He watches her, studying every move intently. After he thinks he's got it down in his head, he'll attempt a copycat maneuver. Sometimes he's successful. Often, he's not. But either way, laughter ensues.
He's not as interested in Dylann's little sister, Lexi -- at least, not yet. He sometimes notices her if I'm holding her and loving on her. He's not really in down with that action. I just consider it Big Brother training. Get used to it now, buddy, and enjoy the fact that Lexi goes home when we're done playing with her.

Seeing Jack interact with his cousins makes me really excited to add BLT to our family. I have no illusions that our transition will be without speed bumps (or head-on collisions), but I know Jack will be an awesome big brother. He's so gentle and kind to Lexi, and he follows Dylann around like a puppy dog.

I'm making a list of things he's going to have to teach his little sister:
  • how to be a rockstar sleeper -- starting from day one rather than month six, please.
  • how to use an iPhone.
  • how to think burps and farts are hilarious.
  • when to use an impish grin and a cute little giggle to get out of trouble.
  • how to be a good eater -- although, we're going to have to really focus on the awesomeness of veggies.

Some of these things may come naturally for BLT, and I'm banking on the fact that she'll have plenty to teach Jack (patience, sharing, patience, patience...). I try to picture them together and it absolutely blows my mind. When I see the two of them in my mind's eye, I can feel my heart expanding with love. I'm so excited to be on this journey with such an amazing little Buddy Man!