Archive for the 'Babyman' Category


Jack is full of goofiness and I could no longer go without documenting it somewhere.  Rather than using my blog to report these tidbits of genius (what else could they possibly be?), I set up a Twitter account for him (which is alternately updated by Joe and me).  If you are on Twitter, go!  Follow him!  If you are not and don’t want to be, check out his latest quote on the right-hand sidebar of this page.  The kid’s a crack up!



I’ve never much liked surprises.  I am a planner and I like to know what is going to happen next.  Maybe that is why I feel so in sync with this stage of Jack’s development.  Every night around 8:30 I tell Jack “soon we will go read books.”  He brushes his teeth and does whatever he feels like he needs to do and then announces that he is ready to read books.  We usually read three.  I can switch out one or two but it’s good to keep a standard book in there (right now it is “Underwear Do’s and Don’ts” by Todd Parr).

After reading through two of the books, I announce, “Okay, Jack, this is the last book.  Then we will turn out the light and go to sleep.”  The last book is read and Jack lays down while I turn off his light.

“You’ve gotta lay with me and snuggle, Mama,” Jack tells me.

“Okay, I will lay down with you for a little bit, but then you have to go to sleep and Mama goes to her bed.”

I tuck him in and lay down beside him.  We snuggle and hold hands for a bit, and then I tell him goodnight and walk out.  He usually tosses and turns for 20 minutes or so and then falls asleep.  Occasionally he calls out for me and I go back in to reassure him that everything is okay and he can go to sleep.

I’m continually amazed that this process works.  I think preparation is the key.  I let him know, sometimes several times before actually doing anything, that we are going to do XYZ “soon.”  Most of the time I do not even have to tell him when it’s time to do these things…he tells me HE is ready.  (Lest you think he is always this easy going, a random “okay, time to go!” will elicit tears at the drop of a hat.)

I actually feel like I know what I’m doing these days as a mom.  I have my moments, of course, and I still struggle with guilt over various things, but I have Jack right there to show me that I’m doing a pretty good job.  He is happy and healthy and smart and sweet and everything that I could hope to have in a kid.  Bizarrely, I never prepared myself for that, and I’m totally enjoying this surprise.

Dreamboat Sunday

I was drawn out of bed yesterday by the announcement, “I want buhwaffles!”  I brought out the waffle iron and Jack helped me stir the batter.  Waffles are so incredibly easy and tasty!  He wanted whipped cream, as well, but we had no cream.  Next time!  Crazily, Jack ate his entire waffle.

Determined to get out of the house and enjoy a bit of sunshine before the fog rolled in again, I asked Jack if he wanted to go on a boat.  He started shaking with excitement and shouted “yeah yeah yeah!,” which answered that question.  We got dressed and I made a PBJ sandwich to take with us, then we headed down toward the Marina to visit the SF Maritime Museum.  It was a gorgeous day, warm but breezy, and after parking at Ghiradelli Square, we headed to Beach Street.

Admission for the museum is uber cheap (especially since Jack is free), which is why I picked it.  We got our pass and boarded a schooner named Balclutha.  Jack was a little nervous at first because he could feel the ship rocking a bit, but he soon got used to it.  When he saw another kid exploring (a fellow pirate-shirted boy), he decided they would be pals and Jack followed him all round the boat.  He didn’t want to leave after that.

We explored the boat for a while and then I enticed Jack off the boat with promises of cupcakes from Kara’s Cupcakes in Ghiradelli Square (although first we stopped on a park bench and ate our PBJ sandwich).  I needed my parking validated anyway, so why not get cupcakes out of it?  We ended up buying 7 because the minimum purchase for validation is $20.  For what I would have paid for those two hours of parking, I got three cupcakes.  That’s a great deal in my eyes!

Ready, Set, Potty

We are very suddenly potty training. Well, training isn’t really the word. On Sunday Jack came to me and announced that he wanted to use the potty. I pulled out the Baby Bjorn potty, pulled his pants and diaper down, and read him a book about peeing and pooping while he did both on the potty. It was surprisingly easy. We clapped and were proud!

Monday night the same thing happened, so yesterday I sent Jack to daycare armed with pull-ups training pants. He used the potty five times! I had only one item to put in the laundry yesterday and that was a pair of cloth training pants. Yay! Last night he did not want to use the potty, but this morning at daycare he couldn’t take his eyes off the potty. Funny kid.

I am amused by this turn of events. Mostly I think it’s interesting that I didn’t have to do much at all – that Jack told me when he was ready to use the potty. I love it when things just fall into place like this; I’m a huge fan of parenting along the path of least resistance!

Birthday Time

Jack is 3 today! I can hardly believe it, except that he woke up in a cantankerous mood and declared that he did NOT want to be 3. I’m pretty sure that the mere disputing of being 3 plants him squarely at that age.

I got lucky Thursday night and found a ton of space-themed items at The Party Stylists store here in San Francisco. There were space shuttle plates, planet party favors, space stickers, star candles, and even a Happy Birthday banner with an astronaut on it. Bingo! I bought some decorative icing and used my mama skills to draw a rocket on his cake, too. I hadn’t intended to have a themed party but it all worked out that way. Don’t ya just love it when that happens?

Friends and family gathered at our home in San Francisco on Saturday to celebrate. We even met some new friends (some of you may know VDog and she is featured in the video below if you have a good eye). Toddler-geared lunch was served in the form of PB&J sandwiches, carrot sticks, cucumbers, goldfish crackers, and juice boxes. Could it get any easier?

So what does a three year old like to receive for his birthday? I think the answer is everything! But here are the biggest hits for the Jackonaut (whose little gems of wisdom can now be found on Twitter, by the way, under that name):

Mobi Tyke Light (aka Glow Alien), accompanied by glow-in-the-dark stars that we stuck to his ceiling (not pictured)

WALL-E and Eve plushies

Space Shuttle
I made the mistake of handing this one to him too early and he did NOT want to open anything else afterward. I tried everything I could think of, and finally told him that the other gifts had rockets in them, too. Luckily he was not disappointed by anything he saw!

Remote control “land shark”

And legos, of course. No need for a picture of those! Other great gifts were hermit crabs from Jack’s dad and a tricycle from David. Those will both take a little growing into but they were a bit hit. He got two space-themed books entitled Roaring Rockets and Space Boy. Space Boy is a bit wordy for his age (or maybe just for this lazy mama) but Roaring Rockets is perfect.

There are still a few items to come (Buzz Lightyear & Woody with a rocket and a LeapPad) and I’m sure those will be hits as well.

Here is the video of Jack’s friends and family singing the birthday song to him.

Leaving toddlerhood behind

My baby turns 3 in less than a month. Can I even call him my baby anymore? He is so far from being a baby, I know, but he is the only one I’ve got!

Jack is the same kid he has always been – bright and shiny and creative. Funny and sweet and stubborn. As he gets older he just developes these traits more and more. I never realized before he came into my life that parenthood is its own kind of love story. I loved that little guy immediately but that love deepened, evolved, and continues to surprise me with how profoundly it affects my life. My existence is intricately tied to Jack and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Jack is rapidly leaving toddlerhood behind. While this is great, it is also a little sad. His carefree attitude is starting to fade a bit. He now has nightmares about the things he used to love (spiders, monsters, dragons) and has developed a fear of the dark. He is more aware of illness and aches now; although he skinned his hand a few weeks ago, he still insists on wearing a bandaid. He is now less adventurous about trying new foods, as well. He was never especially good about it but we could get around it by placing a bit of food on his lips where he had to lick it off. Now he runs off yelling if we try to do that!

The boy has a pretty good sense of order now. He stayed the night with his dad this past weekend because I knew he wouldn’t be okay with Aunt Holly and Cousin Sabrina sleeping in HIS bed. And no way would he consent to sleeping in our bedroom! His dinner must be eaten in a particular place, his “sleeping blanket” (which he also calls his sheep – aka sheet) is the only thing he will sleep with, and if he holds the rail while going up the stairs everyone else has to! He declares that I am HIS mom when I pick him up from daycare and he doesn’t like it when I hold other kids. It’s a good thing I don’t have a second right now!

Although he is possessive of me and his things, he is also much happier these days to go between his two homes. It helps a lot that we have a steadier schedule and instead of four trips back and forth a week, it is only 2. As everyone knows, toddlers like consistency and routine.

I am working on planning Jack’s third birthday party. I am thinking of doing a rocket theme seeing as that is what his main focus is these days. He still LOVES George but we did that last year. I can just see the look on his face when he sees a big rocket on his cake. So much fun!

He’s at it again!

Jack has been drawing again! I love watching him draw. He didn’t pick up his magnedoodle for a few months and I worried that he didn’t like drawing anymore. When he picked it back up his drawings got even more amazing!

And here is a video of him drawing a “bad guy.”

Rocket Ride

I finally caught Jack on camera with his imagination running rampant. Now you can experience the rocket obsession for yourself!

Rocket Ride

No Embarrassment

When we left the house this morning Jack was carrying a broken crab toy (last night’s bedmate), his magnedoodle (he is drawing again!), and a rammekin full of honey nut cheerios.  He was happy as can be wearing a Superman costume shirt under a red and black plaid jacket, with David’s bike helmet turned backward on his head so that the piece that normally braces the back of the head became a mask through which he breathed loudly a la Darth Vader.  He looked very “special,” especially considering that his hair stuck up out of the slits in the bike helmet.

My kid is awesome.  I love this stage where he has no self-consciousness.  I know it is too short a time in a person’s life and I rue the day it starts to fade (although I am still not embarrassed to goof off publicly…).


I was having issues trying to get Jack to go to sleep.  We would read our bedtime stories (three books usually) and lay down and snuggle and then he would climb all over me or kick me or hit me or whatever until either he fell asleep or I lost patience completely.  A few nights ago, after about an hour of trying to get him to go to sleep, he decided to up the ante and started stripping…I left the room and hid in the dark dining room, head in my hands, shaking with anger while listening to Jack yell for me.  David stepped in and distracted Jack, diapered and clothed him, and got him in bed.  Jack asked for me so he told him to wait there and he would get mama, then he walked out.

Here’s the unbelievable part – Jack fell asleep almost immediately.  I didn’t go into the room.  Yesterday was a similar situation – after an hour of trying to get him to sleep and fed up with being treated as a bounce house, I left the room and grudgingly asked David for help (yeah…it’s hard for me to ask for help).  He repeated his previous experiment – went in and got Jack to lay down, told him to wait for mama and walked out, closing the door behind him – and Jack fell asleep without a peep.

Tonight we changed it up.  I gave in to the awesomeness that is ‘David the natural step-parent’ and on his suggestion, I read to Jack and got him to lay down, told him I’d be back in a bit and to wait for me, then left the room.  I fluttered around outside the door for a bit waiting for him to call or cry.  I didn’t even hear a peep.  He fell asleep without making a sound.  When I looked at David he had a huge grin on his face and I guarantee he was thinking, “Yeah, I am so rocking this step parenting thing!”

I’m in awe of both the males in my house.

Grateful for imagination

Jack was not happy about getting up this morning.  From the moment he opened his eyes he was upset.  “We have to close the door!  We have to go to sleep!”  I wish, kid!  He spent the next 45 minutes or so yelling at the top of his lungs because he didn’t want to get dressed, didn’t want to watch George, dropped his piece of friendship bread, and then OMG my chocolate egg is broken and I wanted to crack it open but now I can’t!!!  Yeah, you can see how I tried to use bribery when all else failed.  And even the bribery didn’t work.

What did?  A SPACE HELMET.  I told Jack that if he got dressed he could wear the space helmet (David’s bicycle helmet) and we could go to outer space.  He changed his attitude immediately.  We got out of the door within 10 minutes.  I convinced him my car was my spaceship and we were going to take off!  He counted down to lift off at every stop sign.  He was smiling by the time we got to daycare.  I then told him he needed to find some rockets and teach his fellow astronauts about space.  Off he went to look for rockets among the daycare toys!

I lied to my kid – a huge, bald-faced, complete lie.  And I will do it again and again if it gets him out of the house in the morning and saves my sanity.

A story from Jack

There is a car and it goes into the street.
When the car goes faster it goes FASTFASTFASTFAST in the road.
And when the rocket goes up it goes way high up.
When the car goes down and crashes it turns into a dragon.
And the space ranger says “and beyond!”

Not always sunshine and lollipops

Jack slept terribly last night perhaps due to nightmares?  It’s hard to say but he cried out in his sleep without actually waking up.  I stumbled to his room and lay down with him for a bit and he was fine.  Who knows, maybe he was just cold (he refuses to sleep with a blanket).

This morning, he woke up cranky as heck.  He yelled for me at the top of his lungs (getting louder the longer I took to drag myself out of bed).  When I went into his room, he told me he needed to snuggle and take a nap.  I told him it was time to get up and he started crying (well, more like whining as there were no real tears).  He walked over to his bedroom door and tried to shut it several times, slamming it against the frame because he neglected to turn the knob.  When I helped him out he was upset and made me open it again so he could do it.  Then he decided he DIDN’T want it closed – instead he wanted to look for his rocket in the dining room.  He cried that he didn’t want to stand in front of the heater to get warm when I huddled next to it and even went so far as to insist that I take my sweatshirt off (crying when I refused).  I was able to get a shirt and socks on him, but then he didn’t want to wear “that diaper” and would not wear shoes or sandals.  Furthermore, he got upset when my cell phone was referred to something other than a spaceship, did not and then DID want friendship bread, didn’t want to go outside or to daycare this morning, freaked about not having his cup of milk on the way to daycare and then asked over and over again where his friendship bread went (“Dude, you ate it!  It went into your belly!”)…this all in the span of about 45 minutes.

Needless to say, it’s days like this that make me insanely happy that I work.  Now if I just had a sleeping bag with me…

Nearly Three

Wow, I can’t believe Jack is almost 3.  Is he even still a toddler or is he now considered a preschooler?  Holy crap, where did the time go?  I am suddenly so aware of the fact that he is growing up quickly and even though I love the stage he is in, I also miss my baby!  (This is how it starts, isn’t it??)

Here are some notes on Jack at 2.75 years:

  • His favorite foods are Babybel cheese rounds (“little red cheese”), Fuji apples (whole, not cut or peeled), almonds, “cupcakes” (usually banana muffins), and chocolate.  He loves to peel things – the wax off the cheese, the shell off an egg, the skin on an orange (although he doesn’t eat the orange).  He even throws wrappers and peels away.
  • He can count to at least 13 forward and backward, can identify many letters and all colors, and knows right from left.  Also, he has learned where Canada, the United States, and Mexico are on a globe (no joke).
  • He likes three books to be read to him before bed: Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia (original), and The Way Back Home (in that order).  Sometimes we will add A Color of His Own or How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight?
  • He is a favorite at daycare because he is super sweet, funny and quirky, and he always naps and eats and follows the rules.  For whatever reason, he doesn’t have bad days at daycare.  Also, everyone is his best friend.
  • He loves rockets, space, and astronauts.  He will watch any movie with space related things in it – Star Wars, Toy Story (Buzz is his favorite, of course), Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • His imagination is growing rapidly.  We had a discussion about what day it was and I cracked up when he said “no, it’s not Wednesday, it’s Mensday!”  He then went on to name many days that I have never heard of.  He also tells stories.  They usually begin with what happened at daycare and then get progressively unbelievable when he makes up new kids that were there or tells us he went to outer space.  And, of course, everything is a rocket from pens to carrots.
  • He spreads love all around.  Hugs and kisses and I miss yous and I love yous.  He asks for snuggles with me in the morning and throws his arm around “my cat Wicket, my best friend.”
  • His favorite song is No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.  Any time I try to sing anything else, he cuts me off to tell me “I don’t like that song!”
  • Physically he is much more agile than he was just a few months ago.  He is a better runner, is starting to figure out how to catch himself if he trips, and in his quest to grab things out of his reach (as in light switches) he has learned to use various pieces of furniture as stepping stools.  Oh joy.
  • He is pretty independent.  He insists on getting the things he wants out of the fridge, takes off his own shoes and puts them away, climbs into his carseat and walks up/down the stairs while holding on to the railing.  He of course gets frustrated when he can’t do something, like when someone beats him to opening or closing a door.
  • He sleeps well most nights.  More often than not, he sleeps through a whole 10 hours and still takes 2+ hour naps.  Can we breathe a sigh of relief?  ahhhhhhh.

There is so much more…I wish I could capture it all.  I am just lucky that I get to witness it all first hand most days.  :)

Happy Spring!

Egg painting
Egg painting

Click to go to Jack’s shutterfly album and see more pictures of our fun!

What Jack’s Saying

  • Dad: facebook recognized a face on a rock. Jackonaut: Of course it would; it's FACEbook.| 3 weeks ago
August 2014
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