Monday, November 23, 2015

Jackson's 23 Month Update

23 months?! THAT DOESN'T SEEM POSSIBLE!!! Less than one month from now, we will have a full-fledged 2-year-old, which can't be real... didn't we JUST celebrate his 1st birthday last month? How am I already making reservations for his 2nd birthday?! Before I begin singing Sunrise, Sunset, here's what Jacksie's been up to this month:

Weight: 23.5 lbs.

Length: 32 inches (that's a total guess...)

Nicknames: Jax, Buddy, Tinks, Stinker, Jacksie, Bubs, Buttercup, Stinker

Wearing: 18 month pants & 24 month tops (he has short legs and a long torso) and pajamas; Size 3 diapers.

Sleep: Jax is SUCH a good sleeper these days! He still stays up a little late (until about 10-10:30), but will usually sleep until around 7, when he comes into bed with me and falls back asleep for another hour or two. Last month, I couldn't get him to take naps if he wasn't in his car seat or stroller, but he's even starting to lay down on his own every afternoon!

Jax likes: Books, animals, running around with other kids, older kids, talking on his "phone" (whatever he has in his hands at that moment), watching videos of himself on my phone, taking pictures, coloring, eating, playing at the park, when daddy gets home from work, going to mass, brushing his teeth, visiting family

Jax dislikes: Time out, being ignored, when the cat takes whatever he's playing with, being told no, strangers, doctors offices

Food: Cheese, pasta of any kind, fish, peanut butter, sugar (ice cream, cookies, candy, etc.), oatmeal, Belvita, yogurt, crackers, breads, Orange chicken, certain fruits and veggies.

Teeth: We have THREE eye-teeth (finally)!!! It's been a rough month, but the end is finally in sight (after those pesky 2-year-molars, of course D:). More on Jax's dentist visit below...

Happenings: House sitting for friends; pumpkin carving party at a friends; Halloween cookie decorating party; 2nd Halloween; 2nd dentist appointment; tour of Hammond's Candy Factory with friends from church; 1st snow of the season; open gym fun at Rec Center; and 2nd trip to the cabin. 

~This boy LOVES to give hugs and cuddles, and I'm not complaining! When I first weaned him, he did not want to be touched at all (especially when he slept -- if I so much as accidentally brushed against him, he would wake up and fuss), but now he is so sweet all the time and loves falling asleep on Brandon or me.

~Jax had his second ever dentist appointment last month and did WAY better than I'd expected! His dentist is awesome and has the coolest setup in the waiting room, so he was happy as a lark playing until they called his name... anyway, he was upbeat and cheerful until we got to the exam room where he stopped and began to BAWL (he has started associating any kind of doctor's office with shots... poor guy!). The dental hygienist was so good with him and gave him a toothbrush to play -- he was even happy to open wide when the Dr. examined his mouth! She told us that his eye-teeth would be popping out any minute (and she wasn't kidding) and that his molars didn't look too far behind... I can't wait until teething is over for our poor guy!

~We went on a field trip to Hammond's Candy Factory with some of our besties from church and Jackson acted like a kid in a candy store the entire time... I wonder why?

~He is FINALLY letting me read to him!!! Every night before bed, we go into his room and pick out a few books, one of which he will take to his comfy chair (I'm not allowed on the chair so I sit on the floor) and "read" to me. Once he's finished, he will usually let me read most of a book to him before he moves onto something else... Oh well; I'll take it!

~As you can see, I went ahead and got his potty out of storage a few weeks ago. He understands the concept of it, but has yet to actually "go". I've been waiting for the teething drama to pass, so once it does, we will start to work more on potty training. 

~I cannot believe how happy and funny this little guy is -- he even sits through church without fussing (which I thought was unheard of)! Speaking of church, I have a cute story that I want to document: every week, our priest lets the kids come up and drop their money in a special basket before they begin the congregation collection. Since Brandon and I don't normally carry cash, I've been letting Jackson take our collection envelope up to drop in the basket. Anyway, a few weeks ago, Fr. James stood up to give his homily and Jax sat straight up and began digging through my purse... I figured I knew what he was looking for (and wasn't fully thinking), so I handed him the envelope to hold, which resulted in him jumping off the pew and making a run for it down the aisle! Needless to say, was pretty bummed that he had to come sit back down with us, but was overcome with joy when collection time came and he was able to run to the front with the other kids... such a stinker!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to Host a Holiday Cookie Decorating Party for Kids

Last Thursday, I Jackson had the pleasure of hosting his first ever cookie decorating party for his friends!

If you've been around the blog for awhile, you probably remember me gushing about Jenny Keller and how much I adore her and her incredible parties/dessert tables. I try channeling my inner Jenny Cookies whenever I get a chance (see: Jackson's 1st Birthday Party) and though it never turns out quite the same as one of her fabulous parties, it's still fun and gives me a chance to entertain and be creative.

Jenny is always throwing the cutest holiday parties for her friends and family, which inspired me to throw a Halloween cookie decorating party for Jackson and his friends! I am a notorious hoarder collector of all things holiday clearance, so when I opened up my seasonal box in early October, I knew I HAD to do something with all the half-off cookie cutters, cupcake liners, etc., that I purchased for 50% off November 1, 2014.

That's when it hit me -- Jackson would host his first ever cookie decorating party! Here's how I he did it...

A week before the party, Jackson and I spent an entire morning rolling, cutting, and baking our sugar cookies (this is the awesome recipe I always use) and then popped them in the freezer. Whenever I am throwing a party or having company for dinner, I like to do as much of the work ahead of time as possible to make the day before/morning of much less stressful. Later that same day, we made our way to the Dollar Tree to pick up disposable table clothes, plates, cups, etc. 

The day before the party, I whipped up a batch of Jenny's fabulous buttercream frosting, covered it, and let it set in the refrigerator overnight. I also drafted the help of my husband to line the floor with a disposable table cloth and did a dry run through of how I planned to set up the table the next morning. 

Here's how it looked:

For each place setting, I had a plate with 3 cookies, goody bags with an adorable "design-a-mask" inside, a cup full of the buttercream icing, and 3 Halloween cupcake liners to hold the kid's toppings.

At the center of the table, I set out bowls full of candy corn, gummies, and teddy graham crackers for the kids to use for decorations. 

Once the kids arrived, played for a bit, and refused to take a group picture (gotta love toddlers!), we began the decorating!

The kids made a huge mess and consumed tons of sugar while the moms all got to visit and drink coffee -- so all in all, the party was a huge success :) I think that some of the kids were still too little to get into the decorating (Jackson for one was WAY more interested in the eating than the decorating), but I am already planning the next party in my head... Christmas! Valentines! Easter! The cookie decorating possibilities are truly endless! 

Monday, November 9, 2015

{this moment}

I found the prompt for this post on one of my favorite blogs (Little Miss Momma) and thought I'd give it a go!

{this moment} – A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember
Inspired by SouleMama

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jackson's 2nd Halloween

October 2015 has by far been the BEST October of my life -- and that's saying a lot!!

Between pumpkin patch trips with friends, attending a pumpkin carving party, hosting a Halloween cookie decorating party (more on that later this week), and trick-or-treating with my guys, this has been the most fun and memorable October of them all!

For Halloween this year, Jackson dressed as a puppy. Originally, we planned to dress him as Steve Harvey (Jackson is OBSESSED with both him and Family Feud), but then decided on Mickey Mouse... and then a kitty... and then, after a friend offered us a hand-me-down costume, we decided on puppy. #welikefreethings The costume was absolutely adorable and everyone got the biggest kick out of the little tail wagging on the back -- so cute!!

Just like last year, we met my parents at my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Rolf's house, who live in Denver's gorgeous Washington Park neighborhood. A couple blocks away from their house is my favorite shopping district, that just so happens to close off the road each year for a Halloween block party/safe street. After venturing around down there awhile and fighting the crowds for candy, we picked up a couple pizzas and headed back to Nancy's, where we ate and handed out candy. 

Once we finished eating dinner, my mom, Aunt Nancy, Jackson, and I headed back out to trick-or-treat up the street, which was the best thing EVER! Jackson was so in his element and got the biggest kick out of going house to house, picking out his own candy (his decision; nobody ever offered, ha), and then saying "BAH-BAH!" (bye-bye -- his version of trick-or-treat and thank you!) We came across several other kids during our trek and Jax was in heaven -- I just love how social/funny our little man is!

After collecting a solid buckets worth of candy, we headed back to the house and watched Jackson hand out the rest of candy. 

We had such a fun and memorable night with family and we hope that you did as well! Happy (belated) Halloween and All Saints Day! 

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