Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fun in the Sun (Toddler Style)

As I mentioned before, it’s pool time, and after some swim lessons, we were ready to go. Because Jack was SO tiny last year, this year was his first pool experience and he loved it and these pictures were from his first pool day! You can't even tell he's a rookie! Of course he prefers to be held… because he loves his mama!... but he’ll also float in his boat, play on the steps and splash A LOT.

Max is a little fish and just wants to swim to me, jump from the edge, and then swim back over and over and over and over and over! Both of my babies are so happy in the water and big brother Gabe has been a fish for as long as I’ve known him so you can go ahead and guarantee that we’ll either be pool side this summer, or home napping after our morning swim.  Between Anna’s pool, my mom’s pool, and our late summer beach trip, Jack may ever been swimming before it’s over! I kid, but really, we love it.

(And for all you who are “worriers” like me, don’t you worry, I coat us all with 70+ SPF each time we head out and the boys wear sun shirts and hats too. God gave them beautiful eyes, beautiful skins, and beautiful eyes—who am I to even think about putting that beauty in danger!)

Friday, May 25, 2012


I handed both of my boys a "pouch" which is like a smoothie of organic fruit and veggies, and ran upstairs to change out of my gym clothes. Max came into my room and said "Jack is wheally wheally wheally wheally wheally messy." I thought he was exaggerating, being funny perhaps, but in all actuality, he hasn't ever spoken a bigger truth:

Guess it's time for me to clean up- ay yi yi!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jack's Birthday Day

 So way back in May, on Jack's actual birthday, we had a day of fun that must be chronicled... ok, it actually started out not so fun, but we pressed on towards the goal, and eventually fun was had, I'll start at the beginning.

We began his birthday with a trip to the doctor for his first year appointment, in his birthday outfit from my Mamaw, of course. I was already sentimental and sappy, and so dumb mom over here should've know WAY better than to schedule such appointments because those appointments equal shots :( BUT I messed up, and I paid for it. First of all, Jack got some shots and pricks that he hadn't gotten before and it seriously broke his heart and Max stood their screaming too because that darn doc had hurt his brother, and so I was trying to dress and console my two sad boys, while packing up, and carrying them both out to our car. I was sweating, like majorly, and like I said, my heart was already on edge, so it was all I could do to keep it together. I got everyone buckled in and climbed in, cranking the AC when Max announced he had to go potty. CUSS!

So I got everyone back out, we traipsed back into the doctor's office, I got Max on the potty, while balancing Jack on my legs to save him from bathroom germs, got everyone buttoned back up, and finally back to the car. The only thing keeping me going at this point was the donuts on the horizon. As per my tradition, I am going to take my boys for donuts on their birthday until I die. (Boys, I WILL show up at your dorm room, just be ready.) Which means we were headed to donuts after the doctor-- and not just any donuts but Sublime Donuts, aka the BEST in Atlanta... maybe the Southeast... maybe ever. And so we drive all the way into the city, only to pull in and be the only car....because they are closed on Mondays and Jack's birthday was a Monday. So at 10 in the morning, I'm already at strike 3 for the day-- it's not looking good. I drove around for another 40 minutes, all within a 3 mile radius where 3 different Dunkin Donuts were situated and get this, there weren't parking near any of them.

So we had to abandon the plan. No donuts for Jack's birthday. That was equal to like 827 strikes. So we called my mom, Jack's Annie, who was scheduled to meet us at the children's museum for some birthday fun, and she brought rations for us all-- yogurt, fruit, and such. As soon as we entered the museum, we found a little snack room and all scarfed down food-- because it was practically lunch time and I had been starving my children.

Luckily, the day turned around from there. First of all, the museum was a hit and my Mom bought us a family year pass- yay. And this pass gets you into all sorts of museum around the country, including a children's museum in San Antonio (where Chad's parents are!). Anna and her girls met us there too-- it was fun for all four kids and it will be a good destination for many rainy/ too hot/ all other days ahead! From there, we went to Johnny Rockets for lunch-- yummy hamburgers and shakes and then headed back to Annie's for naps.

BUT Jack doesn't like to nap in a bed at Annie, so my mom obliged (not just because it was his birthday... she always does!) and rocked him to sleep! When everyone was ready for dinner, we had Jack's cake-- chocolate panCAKES that is! Both boys loved it, and it was an easy dinner for me... because I didn't fix it :) My Dad was out of town and Chad was working late, so really, it suited everyone. After dinner, we left Max at Annie's for the  night and headed him to meet up with Daddy-- he needed us to bring him some clothes for a basketball game he had, and although the game started at 9:45, I decided to take Jack and go with him to the game... Jack feel asleep in my arms and I just couldn't help but look at his precious face, while soaking in every moment-- I think Jack was giving me that priceless moment to thank me for a year well done.

It was a fantastic first year for my baby Jack and I wish I could do it all over again-- what a baby-- what a blessing!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Cool of The Pool

This past week, we ventured into the world of swim lessons. Chad and I both love pools and water, and it’s a staple to being in our family, so naturally, it was time for Max to sink or swim… aka get thrown out of the family or swim like a fish… I kid, kinda :)

Anna and Lizzy used this lady named Autumn about 20 miles north of us last summer and had great results so I called in April to get Max on the list. I didn’t really mention it to him much because I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about it and I didn’t want him to have time to worry if it was going to go that direction. But I did ask my brother Eli, one of Max’s favorite people in the world and a swim coach of many years, if he would be the one to take Max. The kind of lessons we signed up for was a three days in a row “boot camp” of sorts and each child had to have an adult in the water with them. And honestly, I just didn’t think I was tough enough to do what had to be done—I’m a worrier, so I’d be saying “well just let him catch his breath” or “he doesn’t like that” or “that’s scaring him” and I’m pretty sure that would go against everything Ms. Autumn was teaching, ha!

Day 1:

So day 1 rolled around and Eli had an interview surface that he needed to go to so I had to call for back—Chad!  He had the worst job of all, taking Max on the first day. We he arrived, Ms. Autumn warned that it would be “B-A-D” but that they just all needed to keep doing what she said. Chad said that the entire time, every single child, like 10 of them, screamed and cried for the full hour. The parents had to push them under, helps them use their arms and bop for air, get out of the pool themselves, and learn to turn while treading water to get to an adult or the side of the pool, among other things. Ms. Autumn’s stance is to teach them to swim—knowing how to get help, get air, and get to the edge, which are obviously survival techniques, but that’s not her goal. So on the first day, after swallowing most of the pool and crying hysterically (THANK GOD I WASN’T THERE) Max literally threw up. In the pool.  I think is scarred everyone there, but Max quickly recovered, finished the first class and came home. His report to me was “It was a little bit hard” but he didn’t push back at all about going back the next day.

Look at that post-swimming, post-throwing up face!
Day 2:

So on Wednesday, Eli came and picked him up and took him to Ms. Autumn again. Day 2 was much better. Eli said he didn’t cry at all and although he was one of the youngers, he was pretty close to the top of his class. This wasn’t really surprising considering his athleticism and his work ethic (he does it until he gets it) but on the other hand, day 1 was so traumatic that no one expected it to go this well. I later found out from my mom, that after Chad had given Eli the scoop of Day 1, Eli said “I’m not going to push his face in and make him cry, I don’t care what they say.” I guess we’re all pretty wimpy when it comes to our Max! Thankfully, he was great for Coach Uncle Eli, and they both had a great time with great results. By the time they arrived home, both were pumped for Day 3.

Day 3:

On Thursday, I decided it was time I join in on the fun... from the side of the pool. I had asked both Chad and Eli to take pictures but of course they can't do that in the pool, and a mother needs documentation of such major events in one child's life. So me and Jack loaded up with Max and Coach Uncle Eli and we all invaded Ms. Autumn's for the last day. I was THOROUGHLY impressed by my little man. He did everything over and over and over-- he'd swim to the edge, climb up on the edge, and then jump in to Eli... he did all the drills, he put his face in like a champ, he worked really hard to have big arms and good kicking legs. 

Since this was the last day, she had everyone get in a circle with their child and each kid had to swim around the circle from parent to parent-- it made you not really worry about your child and made your child sink or swim... literally. This was traumatic for some, but not for my Max! He was full of smiles the whole class!

At the end of every class, all the kids get to jump of the diving board to Ms. Autumn who is treading, then if she thinks you're up for the challenge, she has you swim to one of her helper teachers in the middle of the pool, and then you have to go over to the last helper at the ladder. Not all kids get to do this, but Max did and he rocked it!

And now my boy is all ready for the cool of the pool all summer long! We might go visit Ms. Autumn again one feel later in the summer to learn some new skills, but we've got plenty to work on for now... along with his golf game and baseball mastery too of course!

P.S. Baby J loved swim lessons too....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday sweet baby Jack!

I can't believe I am even writing this post-- my baby is a year old. A whole year has flown by since he barged into our lives unannounced on that beloved Saturday last May. I thought I was having a baby at the end of June and if I used his older brother as a marker, I thought I was having a baby after my due date-- I was seriously planning to be in the hospital for our anniversary, which is June 26th. But instead, I woke up at 6am on MAY 21st to my water breaking, sending us quickly down the road to welcoming our Jack into the world.

His early birth was easily tolerated because he was absolutely perfect and healthy despite his early arrival, and my mom was able to come for 10 days to help with the transition. The next bump was thrush which almost killed me- I can still remember writhing in pain during each feeding, just soldiering through, because I was determined that my tiny man be breast fed. Before I blinked that too had passed and I was starring into the eyes of a white haired doc (while my hubs was out of town) as he told me that he would need to put my baby under anesthesia and cut him open because of a hernia and that it was kind of a big deal and so it would need to be done right away, so if I could please be at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at 6am on Monday. GULP. But once again, it was easy, breezy, and after a night in the hospital and more of our money than I want to mention, Jack was once again good to go.  That is until Christmas... when he developed RSV while we were in Texas, which called for an emergency room visit and lots of medicine and x-rays, among other things, as well as the end of breast feeding. It was a pretty torturous few days, watching our baby struggle to breathe and holding a mask over his face for medicine while he screamed and fought tooth and nail several times a day. But again, it was only a few days, before he turned the corner on that sickness. After all that, he seemed to think that waking every 2-3 hours through the night was kosher and welcomed and before too long I was losing my mind. Even as a newborn, he only woke up once, usually between 3-4am so to find myself back at square one was rather precarious.  It was a rough patch for Mommy. To put it lightly. But with a short-lived sleep bootcamp, baby boy started sleeping 12 hour stints (AT NINE MONTHS OLD) and it's been smooth sailing ever since!

Jack's 12 month stats:
Weight: 22.4 lbs (49th precentile)
Height: 29.5 in (48th precentile)
Head: 18.8 in (80th precentile)

But no amount of fear, money, or sleepless night could ever hold a candle to the amount of love you have brought to our hearts, the blessing you have been to our family, and the joy you are in our lives. And so now we find ourselves with a one year old-- a precious baby man who is absolutely the cutest, besets, most wonderfulest baby EVER!

Like I mentioned before, Jack sleeps between 11-12 hours at night, with two naps during the day. He eats 3 meals a day, and is already transitioning to milk in a cup during the day, and only bottles of formula when he wakes up and right before bed. AND when this can of formula is gone, it's gone. The end. But I don't think Jack will even notice as he does prefer his big boy cup of milk-- because naturally he is a big boy, just like Max and Gabe :) For food, he still does some "baby food" meaning pureed, but likes finger food and will eat anything we give him from our table. At this point I've tried almost everything, except for nuts and the "choking hazard" foods, and we've discovered no allergies, yay! (We're three for three in that department!) At a year old, Jack wear some 12 month clothes, but those will only last a few moments more, and 18 month clothes are just perfect. He has 6 teeth already through (4 on top, 2 on bottom) with two more popping through as we speak. He is just starting to say words, he does "mama" and  "dada" occasionally, he's done "ball" a couple times, and he made the sounds for "Gabe" on Friday after Gabe had said it several times. But Jack knows a LOT-- I can tell him to look at something or go to something or perform certain tricks and he's all over it! But let's be honest, between me, Chad, Gabe, and Max, I'm not sure the boy has been given ample chance to get any words out :)

Jack is very active and all over the place- he can crawl faster than a speeding bullet and pulls up on anything, even if there's nothing to hold on to. He cruises around furniture to get exactly where he wants, and his number one thing to chase is balls. We're wondering if we're going to have another athlete as that's all he wants to play with and he loves throwing. Lucky for us, he's still our little lovey dovey baby. He gives kisses at any request, loves being hugged, prefers to be held and I unashamedly would like to note that he is the biggest mama's boy ever! He prefers me ALL of the time, and when I was holding baby Molly last weekend the little man lost if like he's never lost it before. And despite my disappointment of having to hand her back to Danielle, I love that my Jack loves me like that. My arms get tired, but you would be impressed by the tasks I can perform with a baby in my arms. And it's really helping me regain muscle tone and definition. Jack loves to laugh and is always watching everything that goes on. He has picked up on when/ how to laugh when anyone else laughs and has the funniest fake laugh. Anytime Gabe or Max walk into a room, Jack stops to laugh and if they give him attention, talk to him, or hug on him, he cackles. Jack is such a sweet, fun, lovable little boy. I'd clone him 50 times if I could.

This year has been so fun- besides the "big events" (such as surgeries and such) I don't remember feeling any angst over the process-- adding him to our family was pretty easy and uneventful, and I have loved the opportunity to be home with him and Max as they grow and change and learn. Loving on them and their little hearts is by far the most important and the most wonderful thing God has given me to do. Their Daddy and I just love this role we've been called to and could not be more grateful for our boys if we tried. Our little house is full and chaotic and loud and there are always balls to be found under every piece of furniture, but it's the best!

Happy Birthday to our baby boy-- you are so loved by us and your Heavenly Father-- we pray that you find your worth in Him and His plan for you and that you shine your little light and that great big smile for all the world to see, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.

We love you Jack Henry Bowman-- you made our year!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Arrival of Jack's First Birthday Gift

We are just days out from Jack's first birthday and I'm already a sentimental and emotional sap. I'm not really ready to talk about all that yet, BUT he did receive his first (as in respect to time, not age, although it is also his 1st birthday, too) birthday gift.

Last Monday, Chad's mom sent me an email asking for birthday ideas-- we went back and forth a couple times that afternoon and then she placed her order. When I got home from youth group on Wednesday night, the gift was already on our porch. Isn't that crazy? Seriously, 48 hours later, we had it??? How often does that happen??

Anyway, it has been rainy here like crazy all of a sudden-- even though summer hit GA in February, it's all of a sudden spring now that it's May-- go figure! But since the weather hasn't been cooperating with the outdoor use of the new present, the boys have been playing with "it" all the time INDOORS, ha!

Yep, Chad's parent's got Jack a water table-- how fun is that? And since the boys loved it inside, withOUT the key component, I was really excited to take it outdoors and finally by yesterday afternoon, the great outdoors was calling.

It started off like this...

Which naturally led to this....

And this:

(Yep, that is the dog's bowl!)

Then it led to this...

Which of course called for this:

Happy Birthday to Jack! What a great gift :)

(And while I am grateful for this gift, as well as the gift and cards from my grandparents (Jack's great-grandparents) that we've already received, I'm going to need the rest of you all to hold off for a bit-- I'm not emotionally stable enough for Jack to receive anymore gifts for his first birthday-- I'm not ready for his first year to be over yet, whhhaaaaaaaaaaaa. Now excuse me, while I go wipe my tears.....