Friday, October 29, 2010

Jake Johnson: 1 year old/12 months/365 days!!!

Is anyone seriously as astounded as myself that this little one just celebrated his first birthday this week?

Second children must grow up faster than the firstborns because I totally don't remember Brooklyn growing up this fast.

So what's Jake been up to the past few weeks?

*MOBILITY: He started standing pretty firmly right at about 11 months....and this week he's been taking one step and lunging at me. :-) Not walking yet, but definitely on the right track. He is cruising like a champ all around the furniture and even using the walker toys a bit on carpet. No hurry, though, on the walking, Jake...STOP GROWING SO FAST! :-)

*SPEECH: The talking has really taken off this month. Words that Jake is occasionally/consistently saying: ball, bird, more, nana (for Nanny AND banana), mama, dada, Ba (Brooklyn), bye bye, and no.

*FOODS: This may come as a surprise to you, but Jake loves EVERYthing. :-) He's done with babyfood now (oh, praise Jesus!), and eats pretty much whatever we are having for dinner. Favorites include bananas, applesauce, mac and cheese, baked beans, black beans, rice, yogurt, cheerios, Gerber cheese puffs, 'Nila wafers, and most of all.....SPAGHETTI! (He loves, not so much, due to the extensive clean up it requires afterwards.)

*B-MILK: I wasn't really sure how this whole weaning process should go, but we have been dropping one feeding a week for the last 4 weeks. As of today, Jake is only nursing in the morning, but takes whole milk in a cup the rest of the day. The plan is to drop the morning feeding this weekend. He also drinks water and juice throughout the day.

*ACTIVITIES: Jake loves to wander around the upstairs but always ends up in his favorite room: Brooklyn's. She has a guitar and other musical intruments...and Jake loves banging and making noise. He also loves baths. And swinging outside. He likes to hold and throw a ball, but then he doesn't want you to roll it back...he just crawls over and gets it from you. He gets very excited when someone new walks into a room...and has a precious (yet semi-ear piercing) scream that accompanies his excitement. He loves to be read books. And sing songs (especially "Wheels on the Bus," "ABC's," "Head Shoulders Knees Toes," and "If You're Happy And You Know It"). He's continued to be a pretty laid-back kid, perfectly happy playing with toys in the floor and looking up to watch the occasional Moose A Moose on Nick Jr.

And finally, Jake's 12 month stats:

Teeth- He has had two bottom teeth since July and is finally starting to sprout the beginnings on the top two.
Clothing Size- 12-24 months (usually shirts are 18-24 months and pants are 12-18)
Diaper Size- 4
Weight- 24 pounds 11 ounces (and if you are keeping track, which I am sure you aren't :-), that is actually 1 pound and 1 ounce less than his 9 month stats- we're all trying to slim up in the Johnson house- ha ha! That's 80%.
Length- 30 3/4 inches (this is exactly the same as he was at 9 months- also 80%, so he is now perfectly proportionate)

And boy, I am kinda glad these monthly updates are done, because Jake has definitely lost interest. :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jake's School Birthday Party

I am still working on Jake's 1 year post, but here are some cute pictures from his "school party" on Tuesday.

'Nilla wafers and Gerber puffs- yummy!

He has definitely become a "Daddy's boy!"

His best girlfriend, Ansley, had a great time, too. :-)

The class minus two kids

I was so glad that Chad, Brooklyn, and I could all make it Tuesday afternoon for his party. That was actually the only time all day that all 4 of us were together (and awake), so we enjoyed the time. We'll celebrate with family and friends on Saturday as well.

Happy birthday, once again, to my sweet baby Jake!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Way Back When-esday: Halloween Edition

Here's my sweet little pumpkin on his first Halloween (October 31, 2009).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jake!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

My 2 Pumpkins

We took the kids to do our "annual pumpkin patch pictures" this Sunday afternoon. The weather was NOT putting us in the fall spirit as the temps were about 80 degrees and the sunshine was blaring. But, the kids had a great time rolling around the hay, pumpkins, and grass. These were some of the better pics I got. (I am not good with dealing with shadows and sunshine.)

Zoe brought her newest "little brother," Jack. :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's a tough life...

...being the children of rockstars. :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rockin' Out!

On Sunday, our band, Grace Reigns Down, once again had the opportunity to play our largest show of the year, Greensboro's CROP WALK for Hunger. We played on a stage set up right outside the Grasshopper baseball stadium for a crowd of SEVERAL hundred people. It is always an awesome afternoon, but with spectacular weather, it was a perfect day.

Thanks to Chad's 5th grade teammate, Lauren, who snapped some pics of us that day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Post About The Ta-Ta's...

If the post title didn't make it clear enough, the following post is about boobs and consider yourself warned. :-)

I honestly can't remember the last post I made about breastfeeding, except an occasional mention in Jake's monthly updates. Why blog about boobs, you may ask? Well, it's partly for journaling purposes (for my sorry-ass scrapbooking self) but also for any new mamas, mamas to be, and even mamas-going-through-this-right-now. We are a group that likes to talk about boobs and breastfeeding. Common vocab words in most conversations among these ladies: lacatation, latch, production, wean, supply, suck, pump, let-down, and yes, the ever-popular, nipple.

So, on the 51st week of precious Jake's life, I will do a post about one of the hardest things you will ever do. Period.
Breastfeeding is HARD. Super hard. And sucks sometimes (pardon the pun). And HURTS. Like a mo-fo. It's time consuming. It takes away your modesty (whatever modesty you had left after childbirth). And it's HARD. Super hard. Did I mention that already?
Some people forget to tell you that. Some people don't want to scare you. I say "Scare me, people!" I would rather be scared than caught off guard. I don't like surprises. :-)
Before I had Brooklyn, I had two people tell me that "breastfeeding was challenging" and "give it two weeks before it starts to feel comfortable." I'm glad I got that much advice, because I am telling you, people, if I hadn't heard that "two week" part, I would have been done about Day 6. Sure enough, after about 2 weeks, several painful feedings, and a transition to a bottle for a short time, things came around, and I successfully breastfed Brooklyn for a few months. But, I was a new mom...a working full-time mom...and a modest mom. And I wasn't ready to do the whole "pump at work" thing. I went home everyday for lunch and pumped...but since that wasn't enough, I had to supplement formula at about 3 months. I then made the decision to completely wean Brooklyn to formula at about 4.5 months. And she was a great baby- perfectly happy, healthy, and brilliant! I was happy, she was happy, but our bank account was not happy. Holy Similac, Batman! Formula is EXPENSIVE! But, we survived financially, and she is a happy, healthy, and brilliant 5.5 year old today. forward 4 years later. I had decided that I would try breastfeeding again with Jake and just see how long I could last. My first goal was 2 weeks. Because I was a second time mom and knew what to be looking for and what to expect, those 2 weeks were (though still painful and challenging) MUCH easier than the first time around. Then, I gave myself a goal of 6 weeks...then 2 months...then 6 months (when I returned to work full-time in the office). Well, by then, things were moving right along. I was producing plenty of milk, pumping three times during the day, and freezing extra bags. And I have been much less modest this time around. My breastpump is just another accessory that I carry around with me to staff meetings. I rinse everything out in the work sink. I put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my door. And I have pumped in the strangest places- including a Girl Scout camp bathroom, several churches, and various bedrooms in people's homes. It just worked for me, so I embraced it.
I never expected to be able to exclusively breastfeed Jake for 12 months- especially working a full-time job. Around 9-10 months, I saw my supply diminish...but I just supplemented Jake with more solid food and kept right on going. He transitioned great to a cup for water and juice, and I plan to start introducing whole milk this week. In a cup. Bottles are gone soon, too. Oh, happy day! (We did "cold turkey" with Brooklyn at one year, and it worked for her, so I am hoping Jake will be just as easy. HOPING.)
It's been a sacrifice. I've basically given up my body (and somewhat freedom) to my precious baby for now- not just 40 weeks- but another 52 weeks. Almost 2 years. But, as any of you new mamas, mamas-going-through-this-right-now, and soon, you mamas-to-be, know, they are totally worth it. I may not have the highest paid job in the world, or have the time to make extra money for the family, but this sacrifice did save us roughly $2,025.00. And you know I am all about the savings, people. :-)
I'll never say "breast is best" because I have two beautiful, healthy children who were raised completely differently as far as their liquid diet goes. Whether you choose Similac, Enfamil, or mother nature's milk, as long as you are feeding with love, it doesn't matter. Everyone is different. We all have different situations...and we have all been dealt different hands in life. Some people don't have a choice in the matter, because their bodies tell them otherwise. We can't always control this decision. I have been so blessed to have been given the opportunity to make that choice with both my kids. And I am happy to say that, because of my different choices, they are both thriving in their own little worlds.
And now...I am going to sit back and enjoy this last week of breastfeeding my child. Of breastfeeding period. Yes, we are DONE with babies and breastmilk. (Please God, don't make me eat those words!) And I will REALLY enjoy watching that breastpump and all its many attachments leave the house for good!
So...who wants to invite Jake to his first sleepover? :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do you believe me now?

Ok, blog readers! I've given you all ample opportunity to get on the Brendan James bandwagon before his career skyrockets and you can say "Oh, I knew him waaaaay before he was famous."

Brendan made his national television debut on the CBS Early Show several Saturdays ago, but I don't think even then he got as much exposure as when he was seen on the Rachael Ray show last Friday. Here's a link to his spot:

Chad and I had the opportunity to take my parents and see him perform in Charlotte last Monday night. Let me tell you, folks, I have seen Brendan many times. From a crowd of about 12 in a small bar in Chapel Hill to a full house at the Carrboro Arts Center...with his very first cheap keyboard or with a full band...Brendan never disappoints. He has always been such a true professional artist with both a dream and a down-to-earth approachable disposition that just makes you hang on every word- spoken or sung.

He's on his way to becoming a household name, but I will always remember him as the sweet guy who made me laugh in Communications class at UNC, who snuck downstairs in the music department to "borrow" the pianos, and who was such a special musical part of one of the happiest days of my life.

Chad and his "boys" on our wedding day: August 3, 2002.

(Dad, Chris Cobb, Chad, Brendan, and brother, Drew)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Special Moments

Thanks to my MIL, who remembered where we had that photo of baby Chad and his grandmother! It's so neat to see Chad and his grandmother at Lutheridge...

And then Jake with his grandmother...definitely family resemblences all around!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The wait is over...

Holla! The tooth came out last night as Brooklyn was eating her egg roll. (Nothing like mom having to sift through cabbage spit out on a napkin to find a teeny tiny tooth.)

Here's the precious new grin!

And here's Brooklyn ready for bed with her Tinkerbell Tooth Pillow...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Way Back When-esday: Lutheridge Style!

In honor of our fabulous weekend, today's Way Back When-esday is brought to you by Lutheridge. :-)

Year: 2005
*Brooklyn's 1st trip to Lutheridge (8 months old)

And just for fun...

Year: 1997-98ish
Back when we were young, skinny, and shared the same bottle of hair dye...

And going even farther "way back"...

Year: Mid-late 1980's
*Chad (about age 10), his brother Drew (about age 4) and their dad, Larry

Year: 1987-88ish

*Our first family trip to Lutheridge...I was about 7 or 8. We participated in the traditional "Saturday Night Live" production and lip-synced to "Kokomo." Yeah, we were too cool for school with those shades.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Place Apart...

This past weekend was spent in Arden, NC- a small town right outside of Asheville at a retreat conference center called Lutheridge.

Lutheridge has been the spot for 31 family congregational retreats for our church. Chad has attended all 31, and I have attended 21. This was Brooklyn's 5th year, and obviously, Jake's first. This place is very special to all of us and our families. Chad and I marveled at how amazing it is to have attended these annual retreats as kids, high school youth, college aged, newlyweds, and now, as parents. It's a different experience every time- but always somewhat magical. So many memories each time, but probably my most special memory was after the 1997 retreat, when we returned home and 20 year old Chad called 17 year old me that Sunday evening and told me he loved me for the first time. Who could not cherish a place that helps along young love!? ha ha!

Speaking of memories, I am kicking myself for not being able to find the picture of Chad with his Grandma on his first retreat as a baby, but we were able to capture a freakingly similar picture of Jake and his Gramma. (Though I don't believe 32 years ago Chad had a paci on a clip dangling from his Target jacket.)

Here are just some random pics of the no particular order.

A bunch of us parents hanging out while all the kids enjoy the playground in the most BEAUTIFUL fall weather.

And the kids...(Brooklyn with her friends, Avery and Madeline)
The Johnson Family (v.2010)
And the extended-Johnson family (missing an uncooperative Brooklyn who will probably be photoshopped in later)
Nanny with her two Lutheridge babies....wearing eerily similar expressions. I rarely think my kids look alike now, but this changes my mind somewhat.
Sweet baby Jake sporting his first Lutheridge sweatshirt (and what we like to call "banker hair").
All the kids loved getting golf cart rides!
My two favorite men!
And my precious girl!

Pure cuteness
Brooklyn and her best Kindergarten buddy, Avery.
Goodbye, Lutheridge! See you next Fall!


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