Jacob is 5!

This is the day every single year that my heart breaks a little and I'm so completely proud of my son at the same time.  I cannot figure out why I have such a hard time with it, but for Jacob's birthday, I'm on the verge of tears for about 2 whole days.  I am seriously tearing up now.  I try to stay busy and make his birthday so wonderful, and so far it has kept me distracted enough to keep me from getting too caught up in my emotions. 

As I'm writing this at 9:00 p.m. on his birthday, I'm remembering (some incorrectly I'm sure) the total rush of emotions that we had been processing for almost 2 hours now exactly 5 years ago.  My water broke at 7:00 p.m., and we were at the hospital around 9:00 p.m.; we live literally 15 minutes away from the hospital, but Brian had to clean up and take a shower before we left.  We were told in birthing class that we had a little bit of time, and I had not had any contractions leading up to my water breaking that day.  I had been having some false labor for about 2 weeks, but nothing too major.  Anyway, it was a completely lazy Sunday for Brian, and I had spent the entire day shopping by myself.  I specifically remember a time, probably 5:30-6:00, thinking that I was thankful I had not gone into labor while I was out all day by myself.  It was by far the best day of the second half of my pregnancy!  I had not felt that good in a very long time!  So I wore myself out, and Jacob decided he had to get the eff outta there.  haha!  

Anyway, our Jacob is so amazing!  SO amazing that it has me a little nervous for teenage years. 
  • He has literally had 2 timeouts his entire time in school....we are coming up on 4.5 yrs.  He is a total rule-follower.  At home, he pushes a little bit on rare occasions, but for the most part, he follows the rules and tries to give directions to Andrew to help us.  He totally takes on a grown up role for that; we try not to let him take it that far, but I'm sure it happens a lot when we're not around. 
  • Jacob can read simple stories!  He has his favorite books around the house, and he'll read those to us.  He has memorized most of those stories, but that's part of reading, too, I think.  And now I hear him reading random things around the house and while we are in the car.  It's awesome!  To me, that is cooler than crawling, talking, or walking. 
  • Jacob can do simple math word problems.  I love this, but I'm a math girl. 
  • Jacob is at the age where you can actually explain stuff to him and he really gets it.  I don't have any real examples, but we are at the age where you can talk to him like he's a real person...all the time. 
  • Jacob's favorite things right now are Lego City Policemen.  We are officially a Lego house after the party yesterday.  He loves to build and pretend various scenarios with them.
  • Jacob is the best big brother!  He plays with Andrew so much, and Andrew can be so annoying sometimes.  Jacob takes care of Andrew and helps him a lot.  It's really amazing!  I'm sure it won't last forever, but I'm thankful every single day that my kids actually like to play with each other. 
  • I don't have updated stats. We'll get those next Monday at his 5 yr checkup.
  • Jacob rarely gets sick.  And when he is sick, there are two distinct symptoms we've noticed lately.  One is that he is incredibly grumpy in the days leading up to his actually being knocked on his butt with an illness.  And two, usually an illness will show itself by making Jacob throw up.  And once he does that, he's like a new kid.  I took him into the doctor late last year (I cannot remember why), and he ended up having an ear infection.  The nurse said his ear was "bulging," yet he never had fever, a change in appetite, or a change in his sleeping habits.  As his mom, I feel this is incredibly unfair.  How am I supposed to help him if he won't tell me/show me that something is wrong.  He's a tough kid! 
  • Jacob is finally finding his aggressive side!  In his soccer game two weeks ago, he scored 3 goals.  And in his game last week, he scored 2 goals.  He's come a long way in a very short time with that!  We have to give him a pep talk before each game to tell him that it is okay to steal the ball from the other team.  baby steps...
  • Jacob is such a sweet boy, and he approaches things in life with a logical point of view...much like Brian.  This isn't a bad thing, but its comletely different from the way I approach things.  So it is an adjustment for me to try to think in those terms so that I can prepare him for something or just talk to him.
  • Lastly, Jacob has become very curious about church and God and Jesus.  I'm not opposed to this either!  I just don't know anything about it since I didn't grow up going to church.  So I think I'll be taking the dive soon to take him to church.  Brian and I talked over the weekend, and we think he would do fine with it all.  We've told him how he's going to go to a new school and make new friends in August for Kindergarten.  He is so excited!  So I'm pretty sure he would do fine in the Sunday school setting at church and even with the service.  Stay tuned...
Since Andrew's birthday was on Easter weekend and we were in Red Oak all day (best bday party ever), I thought it would be a good idea to go to Medieval Times for dinner for Jacob's birthday.  I had purchased some half priced tickets at the end of last year, and the boys are completely into good guys vs. bad guys right now that it just seemed right.  They loved it!  Bonus: Brian felt it was worth it, too!  We plan to go back some time to see it all again. 

Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet, wonderful, amazing Jacob!

The day started with Jacob opening up his presents.

Then the boys opened the masks from Matthew
Andrew as The Hulk

Jacob as Captain America

My boys at Medieval Times

Go Red and Yellow Knight!  Jacob wanted a flag and shield.
Andrew opted not to have any.

Andrew with a blue mustache after our lunch time treats, cupcakes!

3 and 5 Year Birthday Parties

Like last year, we decided to throw one big birthday party for the boys.  They wanted it at the bounce house place, and you really can't beat the price when it's a two-for-one party.  We invited 11 of Andrew's friends, 13 of Jacob's friends, and invited 5 other family members and friend's kids.  Almost everyone showed up.  Look at all those kids!

We have become somewhat close with the families at our school because we all have kids around Jacob and Andrew's ages.  The families are so nice!  I didn't see much of my kids inside the bounce house room because I was chatting it up with the moms.  I walked around with little Abby for a while, and that really raised some eyebrows: "I know I haven't seen you in a while, but I don't think it's been THAT long.  Where did the baby come from?" 

I reused Marlene's 60th birthday cake that my mom had at Easter.  I think it all worked out alright.  The original plan was to re-ice the entire thing.  Then I got anxious that I would royally mess it up and have no cake at all, so I made the most with what I had. 

Smiling while everyone sings Happy Birthday.

Blowing out the candles

Can it be my birthday, too?!

Cousins!  Matthew, Jacob, Andrew
After the party, I had invited the family to come over to our house.  One reason is because the bounce house place, while fun, is a bit crazy.  And if you don't have kids, it's not that fun if you're just sitting around and waiting for the cake and presents part.  Second, I had decided that we were not going to open gifts at the party.  We did that last year, and we were completely crunched for time.  It was complete chaos.  So I made queso, a veggie dip thing, and had beer and wine at the house.  Jacob liked this setup so much that he is already asking if we can have his birthday party at the house next year.  Actually, as I just put him to bed, he asked if we could have a birthday party at the house for him next weekend.  I had to break it to him gently that we are not celebrating Mommy's, Andrew's, or his birthday until next April (March for me, but it was too late to get into those details). 

I feel so blessed for my kids that they have made such wonderful friends in their short little lives.

Easter & Andrew's Birthday

We survived Andrew's birthday and the Easter Egg Hunt falling on the same day!  It was a great day!  My little boy had so much fun, the weather was perfect, and we all had a really good time. 

Brian made a big deal on Friday night about how when he woke up on Saturday, he would be 3.  He woke up around 3:30 Saturday morning, and he came to find me (I had crashed in the living room watching tv).  I asked him right away, "Are you three?"  He said, "No.  I'm still 2.  It's not morning yet." 

So when we knew for sure it was morning, I started making a big deal about his birthday.  I bought each boy two small toys - Lego City Police crap ($30 for each kid...not too bad!) - so I asked him if he wanted to open his presents.  Here's the thing with Andrew - he LOVES attention but only on his terms.  So he started kind of fussing and saying, "I don't want to open presents."  I just left him alone for a while, and then he found them and became very interested.  I got him a Police Motorcycle and an Ambulance.  The ambulance is complete with two paramedics, a stretcher, and a little boy who has fallen off of his bike (bike included with a street corner that has a trash can, fire hydrant, and stop light).  It's pretty cool!  So I built the two little toys for Andrew, and he and Jacob got busy playing police and ambulance. 

When we arrived in Red Oak for the big egg hunt, I wanted to check the surprise slideshow for Marlene.  I had exchanged a few photos the night before, and I made the end a little longer for a definite beginning and end when the DVD looped.  It was just about to start over again during our preview when we heard two voices in the garage - Marlene and Bruce.  She didn't see anything because she was distratcted by the funny posters we had hanging in the garage.  Phew!  That was close!  Around 11:00, or maybe 11:30, she and I had our first drink.  I had not eaten anything, so I felt the effects immediately.  And then I maintained it all day.  It's been a really long time since I've done that. 
Jacob Hunts Eggs
Andrew Hunts Eggs
Brooke, Seth, and Jacob Wait to Hunt Eggs

Pouty Jacob - this kid doesn't need a nap at all!
My kids were so excited about the egg hunt!  They had been scheming for a couple of days about how many eggs they were going to get and how they were going to get the big chocolate bunny and share with the other one.  This year they went out in different age groups.  They did pretty awesome, too!  I went with Jacob.  That kid can run fast!  He ended up with 19, and Andrew ended up with 16.  I was pretty proud of them!  The rest of the day was filled with the band, playing on the dirt piles, and sneaking in a movie for quiet time. 

Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Andrew and Marlene.
Andrew loved it!  Look at his little face!

I took the day off on Monday to take the boys to a couple of appointments and have a fun day with them for their birthdays. 

Andrew hams it up for the camera.
First stop, Andrew's 3 year check up.  I had prepared him the night before for everything the doctor would look at and do and for the dreaded shots.  He handled the explanation very well!  He used to start to cry when the nurse would call us back.  Now, with my little pep talks, he walks in there like a little man!  His stats:
Height: 36-3/4"                     Weight: 32.4 lbs.

And, bonus treat for Mommy - No Shots!  Huge relief!  he's always felt crummy after getting shots, so I thought it might ruin Fun Day. 

Next stop, Snack at Whataburger.  We squeezed this in so that I could have breakfast and we had to wait for the haircut place to open.  Third stop, Haircuts.  They always do so well!  They danced to the music while waiting for the other, and Andrew was especially excited about the lollipop after the haircut. 

Fourth Stop, Dentist.  Again, I have to give them pep talks to make sure they know what is coming.  This is where I was super proud!  Both boys sat for cleanings and Jacob got x-rays.  Side Note: I felt like x-rays were a bit overkill, but I have horrible teeth and I'm convinced my children are doomed.  The news story the next morning about how dental x-rays are linked to a specific brain tumor really made me feel like I'm a crazy mom.  We were finished with all 4 stops by 11:00 a.m.  I was SO tired! 

Then we got into the car and I started asking them what they want to do for the rest of the day.  Chuck E. Cheese made the list, and I was totally okay with that.  I didn't think it would be as crazy as a weekend, and I was right!  They ended up spending most of their time in this little tunnel playground thing.  I could hear them chasing other children in there and, of course, they were making siren noises at these poor kids. 

The next request from the boys: Free Play.  Jacob kept talking about Free Play.  I suggested the Museum and the Zoo, and Jacob insisted on Free Play (Andrew, of course, kept saying "I don't want to go to the zoo...I don't want to go to the Museum).  So I asked Jacob what Free Play was.  This was his answer, "Free Play is where we can play with whatever toys we want to at home."  Did I mention I took the day off for this?!  Really?!  He just wants to spend the day at home playing with whatever toys he wants to.  Well, it's their fun day, so that's what we'll do.  I fell asleep as soon as we got home.  Andrew cuddled with me during the second half of the nap.  Then I ran to the store and took the boys out for dinner that night. 

It was such a full day, but so much fun!  It made me appreciate the little people they are becoming even more.  They are really good, sweet boys, but what else do you expect their mother to think of them?!  lol!

Happy Birthday Andrew!

I cannot believe that Andrew is 3!  Where has the time gone?  You know, I say that, but I think I've enjoyed Andrew more than I did Jacob at the age of 2.  Andrew was a baby during that time, so it kind of makes sense...or at least makes me feel less guilty. 

Anyway, Andrew keeps us all on our toes around the house.  He always has a smile on his face unless he is throwing a fit.  Even then he can't keep the act up.  He's just a naturally happy kid!  He enjoys being the funny one.  It's like he knows he is cute, and if he can make people laugh, too, then he really can have/do anything he wants.  It's scary how much he gets that. 

Andrew knows his colors very well!  His teacher also tells me that he is the first to name the month and day of the week every single day in class.  He participates in class, but sometimes he does not like the art assignment.  He seems to have a hard time with sudden transitions, too.  We've noticed that if we set a timer and give him a few minutes warning that we are going to do something different, he tends to handle that better.  Otherwise we end up with a major meltdown.  And let me tell you, this kid is dramatic.  We are comletely into the full body throw downs when things don't go his way.  It's a fun age!

Andrew LOVES to eat!  He is not picky at all, and I love it!  He really likes chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, chips and salsa (def my boy), and bread.  Loves his carbs! 

Andrew also plays well with his brother and plays well by himself.  He really is a pretty laid back kid.  He's more high strung than Jacob, but all in all, he's laid back.  He likes to talk you through it all.  Jacob will beg for you to play with him, but Andrew just wants you to know what he's up to.  He has always used his voice more than Jacob.  I used to know he was about to fall asleep when he would start to sing with me at bed time.  He was SO little when he started doing that. 

Andrew is my little miracle child in my mind.  I really thought I had lost him right after I found out I was pregnant.  I mean, I was very surprised to find out I hadn't.  Then his birth was a little more difficult, and of course more dramatic than Jacob's.  And I had a little bit of a hard time in the hospital in the days following his birth.  But you know, he and I are so close!  He actually seems to care (or puts on a great act) when I tell him I'm disappointed in his behavior or when he is in trouble for something.  For Brian, he just stares him down. 

Andrew loves to use his imagination!  I honestly believe we could get by in the house with minimal toys.  He and Jacob are constantly creating different scenarios.  These days, they revolve around police officers, firemen, and ambulances. 

He also really enjoys his books!  The other night he was reading to me in his own little way.  He was pointing to the pictures and telling me what was going on.  It was so fun!

I'll post pictures after tomorrow's Egg Hunt.  Happy Birthday to my sweet Andrew! 

Daddy's Weekend with Kids

If any of you follow my facebook, you've seen about 50 pathetic "I'm sick" posts since Friday.  I hate being sick!  I don't really know anyone who actually enjoys it.  :)

So Brian has been in charge all weekend.  He's so great with the boys!  I would literally be pulling my hair out by now, but he's still pretty calm and collected.  I have no idea how he does it.  (ACM random comment: Carrie Underwood is HOT!  She can sing and she is so beautiful!  The girl needs to learn how to dance, but the little hip shakes are enough for now.  Blake Shelton: talented, but kind of a dufus.  Reba: hilarious!  I love her, too!)

So after my nap today, I went out into the kitchen to get snack.  Andrew was walking down the stairs singing a little song: "I'm going downstairs.  I'm going downstairs."  So he starts asking me about what I'm making, and then I heard Jacob crying upstairs.  This conversation took place:
Me: Why is Jacob crying?
A: Because I pushed him
Me: You pushed Jacob?
A: Yes
Me: Why did you push Jacob?
A: Because he did this to me (while stomping his foot on the ground)
Jacob came downstairs in a few minutes and Brian and I got the full story.  The boys were supposed to be cleaning up the play room.  Jacob said that Andrew wanted him to clean the playroom all by himself (does this sound familiar SARAH HICKS?!).  So we gathered that Andrew was playing instead of cleaning.  Jacob asked Andrew to clean up twice, and after he did not follow instructions, Jacob got angry with Andrew and stomped on him.  In retaliation, Andrew pushed Jacob and came downstairs....apparently unaffected by what had just happened....because he was singing happily on his way down.  While we were talking to the boys (at the base of our stairs), Jacob first lied about stomping on Andrew.  When he finally came clean, he got a lecture about lying.  So, of course, the natural thing for Jacob to do is cry.  I can relate, though.  I remember when disappointing my dad was the worst thing in the world.  So it really made me sad to see him so upset.  So then it was Andrew's turn.  Brian called him to come down a few steps to sit at eye level.  Andrew was just laying on the landing, and he took it like a man.  He got up, walked down those few steps, and just sat and kept constant eye contact with Brian.  This kid doesn't care about anything!  I don't get it. 

We are still trying to figure out this love and logic thing, too.  Jacob totally gets it.  We have two gates to get into our kitchen, and I heard him ask Andrew, "which gate do you want me to open for you?"  They have been given a lot of small choices so that they feel more in control...but really we are still in control.  And we hear Jacob mimmick these tricks all the time.  Anyway, Andrew seems older than 3 to us.  It's probably because he is always shadowing Jacob.  But at the end of the day, he is still a 3 yr old.  So we are having a hard time using the new tools that we've learned about effectively.  We think we have overlooked the age gap between the boys. 

(ACM random comments: Chris Young - meh.  Zac Brown - great!  The Band Perry - awesome!  Keith Urban - love him!  I think I'd like to attend this some time.  Vegas, live country concert - what's not to love?!  Yay!  Dallas' own Eli Young Band!)

Also, boys' birthdays are coming up.  We decided that we would only get the boys one gift from us.  We are having a party with their friends in two weeks, and they are going to get tons of crap.  I am so torn on what to get them!  ugh!  Any suggestions of things that are fun but maybe not real toys would be great!  :)  Thanks team!