The fall got off to a big start with the kid upgrading from the infant day care room at school, where he spent three days a week, to the curriculum-driven toddler room, where he now spends five days a week. At first he resisted the change, of course, but within a few weeks he began to love the new class. It's good for him to hang around with older more advanced kids and he's learning a lot from them and his new teachers. And the changes we've seen in the kid have been enormous! The improvement in his self-confidence (at home, in public, and on the playground) have been the most impressive. But his advances in language and behaviors (especially his new tendency to pick up after himself) have been equally welcome and surprising.
And when it wasn't raining like the end times, we even had time to get out of the house. We had a blast at the Oakland Park Victorian Festival, introducing Jack to his first bubbles, his first horse and his first horde of Zombies. And we also got back to Monkey Joe's, solo or with Haley and the twins in tow.
But highlights of the fall were certainly our trip the New York for our sixth wedding anniversary, Jack's first costumed Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
We were fortunate to have some holiday options this Halloween—an orange NASA spaceman suit GrandMary got Jack for his first birthday and a Darth Vader outfit Uncie Ed got him for Christmas last year. Ultimately we went with the Darth Jack option, matching his costume with some black Chuck Taylors and a plush red lightsaber. And while the 'lil sir was a little overwhelmed by all the festivities and older kids in costume (at least three of which were also representing the Anakin/Vader theme).
As for Thanksgiving, we were thrilled to get Ann's whole family up from Florida for a big multi-family gathering at JJ's house. And while Jack decided to reject all the fantastic Thanksgiving food until they made it home as leftovers, we had a blast just having everyone together (and letting the other six family members take their turns chasing Jack around while Ann and JD relaxed on the couch with a beer).
And, of course, the 'lil sir had some big firsts for this fall:
- Jack went up to the toddler class at school.
- Jack started using new two word/syllable constructions a lot. In addition to his previous "all done" and "hot dog" he now drops "big boy," "out-side," "one more," "up stairs," and more.
- He's also trying out some long words, like "ambulance" (ambu-ba-du-ba), "elephant" (ele-ba-du-ba), and "buttercup" (be-de-be-de-be-de-be-de).
- He's begun using the phrase, "Oh, Mommy" instead of "uh-oh." Ann regrets this trend. JD encourages it.
- He's knows his farm and zoo animal sounds. Especially "oink."
- He's developed an unhealthy, all-consuming obsession with trucks.
- He's also developed an unhealthy, all-consuming obsession with hats.
- He's begun sitting at the kitchen table to read his book.
- And then he puts them away!
- He used his first booster seat at a restaurant.
- His first candy—Kit Kats and Oreos. He loved them.
- His first ride on a tricycle. He's getting' the need for speed!
- He played the Wii for the first time with Uncie Ed.
- Jack started using the big slides at the playground—this is especially entertaining since he still clocks in at only about 30lbs, so he catches some killer air on the bumps and turns. But he LOVES it!
- And he knows his name!
Ann introducing Jack to his first horse at
the Oakland Cemetery Victorian Festival.
(Apparently, this horse was really a big dog in disguise)
Space Captain Jack!
(Jack's welcome to be anything he wants when he grows up
so long as he's a space captain)
Rockin' the big cart at Home Depot.
Darth Jack in full costume!
Darth Jack lookin' a little bewildered at
the 'hood's Halloween party.
Still a little overwhelmed...
But back in the safety of his own home,
Jack was all about the kids coming out for candy.
Mounting the tallest slide at Riverside Park...
...and the payoff.
Ed and Jack playing Wii.
Jack and GrandMary reading their favorite story.