16 months and the first fall day

I feel a bit like a traitor for wishing away summer after I about died waiting for it to come after last winter, but once that first fall-ish breeze comes there's no looking back. This Saturday was an honest to goodness perfect early fall day. Deric spent the morning at the golf course and Jake and I spent our morning in the backyard, coloring the patio (and ourselves) with chalk, cleaning up the garden beds and collecting sticks. We had the windows open, I baked chocolate chip cookies and fall decorations started to make their appearance. Of course, this week the temps are nice and high again but I have hope that fall is only weeks away! 

A little about Jake at 16 months:

These past couple months have been some of my favorites. He's such a perfect mix of baby and kid now, still cuddly before bed and babbling away,  but also putting on his own shoes (okay, just his Crocs, but still!) and becoming semi-successful with a fork. He mimics everything Deric does; I've even heard him mimic the cadence(?) of an entire sentence that Deric said. Jake walks with either one arm swinging wide or with  hands behind his back, belly stuck out to balance that big noggin of his. Just this week he's started to give me real kisses when I ask (which is every five minutes, poor kid) and he can pronounce "but(t)" as clear as day. We're so proud. 


little reader

Jake's interest in books has really taken off in the past few weeks. He looks at books more than he plays with any of his toys and will bring us books all throughout the day, grunting "uh? uh?" to us as he throws them in our lap and then tries to climb into the chair with us. Its interesting to see which books he becomes absorbed in, without turning the pages on us mid-sentence, and which books don't hold his attention past the first page before he's sliding back out of our laps to find a new book. Honest disclaimer: I filter any books that come in our house before Jake can read them, weeding out the annoying ones and any that have tons of animal sounds (except for Mr. Brown Can Moo, because from day one he would laugh out loud at that one) because I'd rather not have to make animal sounds 100+ times a day. Mother of the year.

A couple of his favorites: Hibernation Station, our first library book to suffer a casualty; The Snowy Day; Mr. Brown Can Moo; Little People Farm lift-the-flap; First 100 Words; The Pig on the Hill, and Lucy's Red Wagon.

Since we make up all our own signs for words around here, I taught him one for 'book' and he's semi-mastered it, which is good enough because I'm really the only one who needs to understand what he means. See below..(I tried to teach him to put his hands together and fold them out like a open book, but he just does the second half of the sign. Like I said, good enough!)

Proud of himself after learning to standing the book upright...

I hope Jake's love for books sticks around (for obvious reasons, like earning those college scholarships) but also because books are wayyyy cheaper than toys. But most importantly, I sincerely hope he inherits my love for the Harry Potter series. Seriously. He'd better.


coming in at two-foot-six

As you can imagine, trying to not only measure Jake but to take a picture of measuring Jake was a two-person, fifteen minute ordeal..but we were successful! I made this growth chart last summer and waited patiently to measure Jake until he could stand there on his own. My family has recorded our heights on the doorframe of the Port Hope kitchen and I love looking at how much we grew each year. But since we won't live in this house forever, the chart comes in handy because we can take it with us, ensuring that I can bribe Jake to stand still and take a picture for years and years to come. (He'll thank me one day.) I envision having a handful of these photos as he grows up, with the last one being his eighteen-year-old self standing a few inches taller than the chart (which is a six foot board set six inches off the ground, so you do the math...and Deric's 6'7, so there's a really good chance that picture will happen). According to our chart (and confirmed by the measurements at the doctor yesterday), Jake is a whopping 2'6. Two down, four feet to go!


let's just stay all summer

Deric and my sisters and their families had to head home after a week in Port Hope and while we missed everyone a lot, Jake and I enjoyed our remaining two weeks spent playing with my parents and grandparents. I miss the routine we slipped into, a routine that I would love to continue every day in the summer if it weren't oppressively hot and humid in Knoxville. But in Michigan, you couldn't not be outside all day every day. Right after pancakes for breakfast, we'd head outside and explore the backyard or walk down to the shore and play hard until lunch, after which Jake would nap solidly for three hours (which never happens at home, of course). Then we'd be back outside until dinner, followed by a bath and bedtime. I spent the remainder of each night knitting and/or reading next door with aunts, uncles and grandparents and later fell asleep with the windows open. Bliss, seriously. I am anxiously awaiting fall so we can get back into this rhythm!


Port Hope adventures

We spent most of the month of August in Port Hope with my family. It was such a relaxing break from everyday life (and everyday humidity) that it was admittedly a little hard to come home. The majority of our days were spent outside, starting immediately after breakfast...and some mornings, even breakfast was outside. Before we went to Port Hope, Jake was taking a few steps between me and Deric, but he became a full-on walker in Port Hope...all that soft grass plus cousins to tag along with was just the motivation he needed! We played with chalk, threw frisbees and played bocce ball, rode the new tractor all over town, and paddleboarded down at the lake (plus some scraping, sanding and painting, because no trip to Port Hope is complete without some house projects!).

I so look forward to annual summer trips with Jake and watching him make memories that will be so similar to the ones I made each summer in Port Hope. And man, I can't wait until he's big enough to sand and paint the house so he can take over for me! ;)

Deric had to go back to work after the first week, but Jake and I were lucky to stay for two more weeks. We missed Deric and my sisters and their families, but we still enjoyed the low-key days as we played with my parents and grandparents.

I took a million and one pictures because that's what happens when your kid is cute and the scenery is picturesque, so we'll split the pictures into two posts: here's the first week with the entire family.