CAUTION: THIS IS A VERY LONG POST!!!
This is the first summer I've had so far that I've actually been able to get out and enjoy with my kids. Jaclyn was too much of a newborn last year and I'm not a fast recuperater (is that a word??) and the summer before I'm not sure what happened. I think I just figured Jacey was too little to do anything and we stayed inside. But I sure am enjoying the outdoors with my kids now! If the weather permits, we usually walk to a park in our community and have a picnic and then play on the playground. I haven't gotten sick of it yet! It's good exercise for me and the kids LOVE being outside!! My rule for Jacey is that he has to eat lunch before he can even set foot on the playground. Otherwise he'd never eat. He's been very happy to comply because he knows he'll get lots of time to play after. I'm so proud of him when he's out there playing, he can do everything at the park (except the monkey bars). I don't have to follow along and spot him. He climbs all the ladders, tries all the slides. He loves to make new friends and play games with whoever will include him! And because of that, Jaclyn and I can play together at her pace. Which usually includes her playing in the rocks (and me taking them out of her mouth) and sitting on the sidelines and watching. She loves ledges/curbs. She will sit and and stand and sit and stand and sit etc. It's apparantly a game for her. :) She LOVES the baby swing and can't hold back her smile when she's in it! Here are a load of pictures from the park.
My mom watched Jaclyn one afternoon last week and Jacey and I went with Heather and her kids to Calaway Park! That was a blast! I wasn't sure of how Jacey would take it all. But he tried all the rides he could go on, alone or with me and loved them all! He even cried when he had to sit one of the rides out that his cousins could go on that he wasn't quite tall enough for! The afternoon ended with the little rollercoaster. He cried the whole time because the guy running the ride did his seat belt up for him, and Jacey wanted to do it himself. I guess the whole day couldn't be perfect! Jacey talked about the rides for days though. He absolutely loved it!!! We're definitely going to have to go back with Daddy soon! I didn't have my camera with me, but Heather documented every moment (at Jeffrey's request, as he was missing Jacey's first time there). So when I get some pics, I'll post them!
The Palmer grandkids in age and height order. Works out perfectly!
So, many of you know that for the past while night times in our home did not include very much sleep! Jaclyn was in her playpen in our room and Jacey was in the crib in his own room. But Jacey would wake up every night without fail for 2-3 hours, come into our room, wake up Jaclyn and then we'd all be up for some time...and sometimes it happened more than once in a night! We felt like we were losing our minds and life was not happy for any of us. If no one gets any sleep, the next day is also a nightmare. We have tried almost everything with Jacey, I'm not even going to list all the things we've done! But I think it was 3 weeks ago that we made some bigger changes in our nightly routine that have actually resulted in ALL of us getting a FULL night's sleep!!! We put Jaclyn in the crib by herself and put Jacey in our bed with us. Now that does not sound ideal at all. I've never wanted my kids to sleep with me. Actually that's not entirely true, because I always have the kids as newborns in bed with me when I nursed them. But I never wanted that to last more than a year. But as much as I didn't want it, it is actually the best thing right now! Jaclyn sleeps like an angel and from the time we put her down until morning, we don't hear a peep from her! And Jacey, who we thought had insomnia because of his 3 hour average of WIDE AWAKE time in the middle of the night, sleeps the entire night!! I don't know if our bed is just more comfy for him, or if he just has peace of mind knowing he's with us, but whatever it is, I'll take it! It's the first time since before Jaclyn was born that I get to sleep the whole night! It feels amazing and I'm a better mom during the day because of it!! :) I really hope that we can figure out something for the near future that will allow Jeffrey and I to have our own bed, but for now, I'm just relishing in my normal nights!!
Jaclyn has discovered a new "talent". Her voice. She has always been a really sweet, easy going, basically perfect little baby. But I think she's tired of being a pushover or something, because now she fights back!! She has this squawk, screech, scream, cry...call it what you want, it's LOUD!! And if she's not happy with something, out it comes!! Sometimes it drives us nuts, and sometimes it just makes us laugh!! It's most common occurence is when there is food involved! She loves to eat. She's very serious about meal and snack time and will let you know if you're not moving fast enough! The lucky duck has the best metabolism and still only weighs 20 lbs putting her in the 25th percentile for her age and height. But I couldn't possibly feed her more, she pretty much eats all the time! She will love that about herself when she's older!! She also has this growly voice that is hysterical!! She will make all sorts of noises and sounds in a low, rumbly voice. She knows it's funny and loves to keep going the more we laugh! I still need to capture it on video, it's definitely something I don't ever want to forget! She doesn't say very many words yet. Just Daddy, Jacey, Mommy (only sometimes), bye bye, bubba (yet she won't take one), and no. Very small vocabulary. One time though, me and Jeffrey both heard it, Jeffrey said I love you to her, and she repeated it back PERFECTLY!!! It has never happened again, but we know that it happened! :) She still communicates well though, with her smiles and laughs and her screams. She loves to give kisses and blow kisses. She gives hugs and pats your back. She is so loving. Jacey and Jaclyn will kiss and hug for long periods of time throughout each day. It is such a joy for me to see!! And I've said it before, but Jacey and Jaclyn make each other laugh like no other can! It is soo wonderful!!! They are truly best friends!We try to bath the kids as often as we can at Nana's so they can actually have a tub to play in. (We just have a shower and a small baby tub..not as fun!)
Jacey is getting so big and soooo independent. He completely potty trained himself, during the day and nights too. I honestly didn't do a thing. I got this e-book that a few people I know have used and that worked for them. But before I could even read it, he just started using the toilet by himself. He had only a few accidents at the beginning, but now he's pretty much 100%. The ONLY problem he has is not wanting to go and he'll wiggle all over the place and I have to remind him that it's time to go. But even then, he holds it in. I guess life is just too much fun to take the time out to go to the bathroom! Something that Jacey has started doing in the past few days, is call me Emily. At first I thought it was funny and a little cute. But now I don't like it. Mommy is a special name and title and for all that I do for him, I feel like I deserve to be called it!! I'm ignoring him when he calls me Emily to see if he'll get the hint and switch back to Mommy. I think he's getting it. I hope so anyway!
This summer we are soo excited to take a few little vacations. Tomorrow night, just Jeffrey, me and our kids are going to BC to stay at the Palmers condo until Friday. We've never gone there just by ourselves and we're looking forward to the time alone to relax and enjoy the sun and pool/lake! Hopefully we get good weather! The August long weekend we'll be heading down to Cardston to stay at my parents' "mountain home" for a few days. I love how peaceful and calm it is out there and am looking forward to being able to spend some extended time with my parents (and all the other family members that will be out there). In fact, if I feel brave enough to part from Jeffrey, I may go down for three days at the end of July with two of my sisters and my parents. And with the kids of course. But the thought of being away from Jeffrey brings me anxiety! So we'll see. THEN in the middle of august, we're going to be going to Sandpoint with the palmers!! We're renting a big house right on the lake for about 10 days! We are so excited for that, hopefully our kids will let the traveling go smoothly! Jacey didn't do that drive very well last year when we went to Portland! Anyway, we are really looking forward to all our getaways and family time this summer!! I love the memories I have of my childhood vacations (mostly to BC and the lake) and really hope that we can always provide those experiences for our children! And of course, they'll have the added bonus of trips to Cardston too! We're lucky to have both of our parents have places for us to vacation at! :)
And just to make this post longer, a few other things I have to look forward to this summer are Michael and Alana's first baby, and my first Primary party. Alana is due July 31. We're sooo excited to meet their little one (gender unknown)!! They are going to make such great parents! The primary party will hopefully go well, we're having a birthday party for President Monson (I know his birthday's in August) and are going to be doing a few service projects for people in the ward...as per President Monson's request. I'm super excited for it!! Oh yeah, I also am looking forward to Elizabeth and Levi FINALLY moving up north once they finish renovating their house up here! It's been torture for us all who live up north, all within 10 minutes of each other, to have Lizzie in Okotoks! It'll be so fun to all be so close and to be able to hang out more often! I also have some get togethers with some close friends that should be fun! My summer is just so jam packed!! It couldn't be better!! I'll be back to post pictures and hopefully share some fun stories..so stay tuned!! And happy summer to you all!!