Thursday, July 24, 2014

siblings, 1980s + 2014

Before our trip to Florida, NJ and I took pictures of the kids in poses and surroundings to replicate pictures of my brother and I as kids.  We then framed them and gave them to my parents.
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summer vacation

We drove to Pensacola to visit my parents in their new house at the end of June.  The kids had their own room with 2 twin beds but we quickly decided that wasn't going to work.  ZJ wakes up randomly and we didn't want IJ's sleep affected so NJ slept on a twin in that room and ZJ and I slept in the other room.  But, here's a pic of ZJ in the  bed she was supposed to sleep in.
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My parents found and kept a baby turtle.  It's cute.
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We gave IJ an early birthday gift by bringing his new 20" bike with us on the trip.
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We played at this unique park a couple times.
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We visited downtown Pensacola and checked out a few shops.
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We went to the beach twice also.
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We went back downtown for the 4th of July day time kids activities.  The kids got to build toys provided by the hardware store.  IJ chose a recycling truck and ZJ chose a florist truck.
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ZJ visited the petting/feeding zoo while IJ jumped in the bounce houses.
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We went out to lunch.
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After lunch we returned home to continue IJ's birthday party festivities (we started the day with him opening his presents).  He got to watch the LEGO movie and then we had cake.  I brought a sparkler number 5 for his cake which he apparently thought was a candle.
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As soon as it was lit and started sparkling he dove back away from it in terror.  It took some coaxing for him to sit back up.
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I tried a new cake and icing recipe and he didn't love them.  He has had the same cake for birthdays 1-4.
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Token picture to prove NJ was on this vacation trip too.
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After 6 days in Florida we drove back to TX after a short park visit.  Included in my bag of car entertainment was IJ's first ever lollipop.  It kind of blew his mind.  He knows we don't eat candy so he kept asking what it was and how I had made it.  I explained that it was not the average lollipop in that it had no food coloring chemicals and only natural ingredients but it still wasn't healthy and a very rare treat.  He thoroughly enjoyed it but hasn't asked for one since.
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Monday, July 14, 2014

IJ's new room

For IJ's 5th birthday we wanted to redo his room. He was still in his crib turned toddler bed with original custom NJ artwork (seen here).  We turned his room into an outdoor/bike themed room which allowed us to reuse his cool curtains.  NJ worked for several weeks building his twin size bed.  We took the twin mattress from ZJ's room and gave her the toddler bed.

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NJ collected used bike parts from a few bike shops for art.  A wheel was painted green and placed over the dresser to be used as a piece to display pictures and other things.  Another wheel, gears and brake disc was painted blue and hung above the bed.  To the side of the bed is a framed picture of IJ on his new bike (another birthday gift from us).
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IJ's new bedding includes star sheets, a wood grain quilt and a green, bike wheel pillow sham.  We ordered the sham fabric and a friend sewed it for us.
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We hung an orange, magnet board above his play table and relocated his name right above it.
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We ordered 3 bike prints to place above his bookshelf.  The original art is made from old maps.  We also gave him his first clock.
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We hung a full length mirror in the closet (the only one in the house).
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IJ's 5 year pictures

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See last year's here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

IJ is 5 years old!

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IJ is now about 38 pounds and 41 inches tall.  He is still wearing mostly 4t clothes and size 10 shoes.  His favorite colors are blue and orchid, a change from his original fave, green.  IJ loves music.  His favorite CD for the car is the Chorus Line sound track (which I skip a few songs of).  His favorite toys are his legos and they are only toy he spends regular, significant, alone time with.  Outside he likes his scooter, bike and digging.  For his 5th birthday we moved him up from his 12" bike to a 20" bike.  He is just as good at riding it but due to his stature struggles with starting and stopping a bit.

IJ's coloring and drawing skills have improved and he is also reading now.  We borrowed a friend's simple 3 letter word books at the beginning of summer and he blew through them.  They helped with his confidence and he will now read along in our regular books and sound out more words.  We are practicing daily this summer.

IJ had a great year in pre-K and a real graduation ceremony at the end of May.  He loved his teachers and loved to learn.  I think he's a bit bored this summer without it.  He is in swim lessons and soccer for most of the summer and we have a few play dates but otherwise it's just me and his sister.  He is doing well in swim lessons and is able to dive down for toys and swim but needs a bit more work to propel himself forward faster.  He improves quickly and still has 5 weeks of lessons so he should be quite good by summer end.  He is in his 4th season of once a week soccer practices and has improved a lot, understands more of the concepts and enjoys it.

IJ will be starting Kindergarten at the end of August.  He is excited and I'm nervous.  We applied for the school's dual language program and IJ got in, on sheer luck.  There are 7 Kinder classes at his school and 1 is dual language.  80% of instruction will be in Spanish and half the class are native Spanish speakers.  Most of those students speak English and Spanish but students who do not know English are put in this class as well.  These kids will be together through 5th grade.

IJ had his second road trip to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa this summer and he traveled quite well again.  This time we had a little family birthday party for him on July 4th.  We drove home the day before his actual birthday in time to finish his new room, his big birthday gift.  NJ build him a bed and he's now in a twin size and off his crib mattress for the first time in his life.  He has an outdoor/bike themed room now.

We're having a lot of trouble with IJ hurting his sister this summer.  It seems every time I leave the room or stop directing the play/entertainment he hurts her.  He needs constant attention and direction to follow our rules.  Keeping him busy and active works best but is not always possible.

IJ is a great sleeper.  He sleeps from about 7:30 pm till 6:30-7:00 am.  He is finally, consistently waking, taking himself to the bathroom and going back to his room to play quietly in the morning.  He is getting more and more picky with his eating but he's only given healthy choices.  He just had his first ever lollipop (natural/organic) on the drive home from Florida and was shocked he was having candy.

IJ had his second dentist visit and everything looked great.  They were again amazed at his cooperation.  He still has a few compulsions such as touching his nose when he needs to be patient or is zoned out like watching TV and smelling things, like his sister's hair or his pillow.  He's had 4 colds in the last 6 months.  One of which progressed to a bad cough and then fluid in the ears or an ear infection evidenced by his waking up and crying and complaining of ear pain.  Luckily a couple days later he was feeling better.  He's had zero doctor visits in the entire last year.

Here's his 5th year at a glance.  See last year here.
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Here are the pics from all his birthdays.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ZJ is 33 months old!

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ZJ loves books and puzzles.  She's more into building with duplo now and always wants to play legos with her brother.  She loves the water and has enjoyed our visits to the pool this summer, Barton Springs and going to the beach during our week in Florida.  She likes to swing and climb at the playground.  She loves to cook and bake with me and pulls up a chair whether I've invited her or not.

She's a lot busier now that it's summer and we don't have to work around her brother's school schedule.  She always wants to play with him when we're home and at the playground.

ZJ speaks in full sentences with ease but still has adorable toddler speak.  She is finally labeling her colors correctly for the most part but still working on it.

ZJ has been more picky about what she eats lately.  Oddly, she's limiting her fruits which used to be her favorite thing.  She's even been refusing strawberries lately which have always been her favorite fruit.

ZJ started sleeping in her own room in May.  She goes to sleep between 7 and 7:30.  She's still not consistently sleeping through the night.  On rare occasion that she does sleep through the night she's usually up by 5:30 am.  Otherwise she wakes 1-2 times a night and either yells for me to come to her or she comes to my bed.  She's usually up before 7 am.  She always nurses to sleep and back to sleep but usually only asks to nurse 1-2 times during the day now.

ZJ had her first dental appointment but didn't allow anyone to look at her teeth.  After playing at the YMCA daycare twice she decided she would no longer do so.  We have not tried again since a really awful experience during which would have been her 4th time there.

ZJ has been peeing on the toilet for over a year now but still pees in her diaper/underwear regularly.  She's still refusing to poop on the toilet as well.

She has been very difficult lately, prone to fits and argumentative.  She's often rough with her brother but that's expected when he's been rough with her for so long.

ZJ has been sick twice in the last 3 months.