Category — Jackson
Jack has grown up by about 10 years in the past few months, or so it seems. He’s reading novels and biographies, teaching himself algebra and geometry, and continuing to be such an awesome kid all around. His brain baffles us constantly, and if you think I’m exaggerating, here ya go…the first 2 videos are of Jack doing algebra, then you can hear him reading MLK Jr’s biography:
When we were down in Florida, my little sister, Angela, joked (or so I thought) that Jack corrected one of her math homework problems. Somehow he taught himself the concepts and basics of algebra too. He started asking us questions about “the variable” when we got home, a concept I assume he got from Angela, or from reading her math books. Anyway, he is 100% accurate as long as the variable is <6. He is so smart is scares me sometimes.
Jack is also the most rewarding kid on the planet to parent. Travis and I have talked a lot lately about how proud of him we constantly are, and not because of how smart he is. He is loving, emotionally connected, and intuitive once you have “cracked his code.” By that I mean, he is not a kid who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s also not a kid who is going to love everyone he meets right off the bat. It’s almost like in some ways he is inherently mistrusting and disinterested in anyone who is not willing to WORK for a relationship with him. I think he feels like anyone worth his effort has to prove him/herself before Jack is going to invest anything, emotionally, in a relationship with them. It doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t, it just means he’s not gonna give it away easily.
He’s also an awesome, doting big brother to Griff. This baby has Jack wrapped around his finger:
February 29, 2012 8 Comments
Warning: it’s possible not everyone will share in this humor. It is also quite possible our families with be praying for us after they read this. Still, it’s too cute, too Finley, too hysterical not to write down so we can look back at this and laugh someday after she joins the convent.
Jackson has been asking a TON of stumper-type questions lately. I’ll recapture a few of our discussions to put Finley’s funny moment into context for you. The other day, Jack asked me “how did humans get on earth after dinosaurs disappeared?” After fumbling my way, quite awkwardly, through a lecture on evolution, I noticed a quizzical look in Jack’s eye. Like he sorta bought my bullshit for the time being, but he was mounting a response that would scatter my bullshit like rabbit feces. He was examining his body’s structure as he then asked “why do we have fingernails?” To which I answered something like “Weeeell. Ahem. Because, we used to be apes. Err. We used to have claws. Uh. We once hunted and gathered.” Then he asked me something I didn’t even have the energy to bullshit about, so I resorted to my lazy line: “because that’s how God made it.” If that line doesn’t always come back to bite me in the ass…
Jack then said “mom, who’s God? Where is he?” I sighed, realized I was digging myself a deeper and deeper pit, and said “He isn’t any of us; He is the creator of the whole universe.” Then Jack pointed out “but you taught me that anything I can’t see is make believe. So if I can’t see God, he’s not real.”
Call me ill-equip, but I didn’t realize I needed to be prepared to answer these types of esoteric questions when my oldest kid is 5.
Anyway, that was the backdrop of Finley’s shining moment, which occurred yesterday at the zoo. We were walking towards the elephant exhibit when she stopped dead in her tracks, pointed straight ahead, and yelled “LOOK!!! It’s GOD!” And behold, Finley’s interpretation:
The child was dead serious. And I nearly peed my pants.
September 19, 2011 14 Comments
These pictures are from a random “free zoo” behind a BP gas station on the way to Madison. It was one of the highlights of that day, especially when Griff and the pig made snorting noises back and forth at each other.
August 12, 2011 5 Comments
August 11, 2011 2 Comments
Some hysterical things are said around here on a daily basis, too funny to not write down. I’ll do a few cute comments by our little meathead, Finley, first.
Travis and the kids watched Bambi for the first time on one of my call nights recently. Shane grasped the sadness of Bambi’s mom’s death but still asked “where’s Bambi’s mom?” Finley responded: “oh, she’s probly at work.”
Fin: “look mom, there’s coffee beans in the middle of my apple!”
Fin, caught red-handed, drooling with a mouthful of Easter candy she wasn’t supposed to be eating: “it was an accident!!”
Finley to Griffin: “you silly baby! You can’t eat popcorn…you only eat boobs!”
Lately, she’s been talking about her imaginary family that lives far far away. She’s usually reminded of them when Travis tells her “no” to something like “can I have more juice?” She’ll launch into her other daddy who lives far far away and I’ll watch her push all of Travis’ buttons. It’s hysterical. After she did that the other day, he stood up and said “ok, I’m going to get all my kids a dessert. Hey Fin, who’s your daddy?” She held out her fist for a fist pound and said “YOU ARE!” Then they both giggled. Here she is rambling about her imaginary grandparents who live “fa fa away” and have a little doggie…sort of based on reality I guess!
Here’s some of Fin’s funky dancing she says she learned from her Gramma! If I were her Gramma, I don’t know if I’d take credit for these moves.
Then there’s Shanie, who is OBSESSED with the idea of getting a snake for his birthday this summer. Travis, of course, has been lobbying hard for a ball python, so now we’re on the hook to get Shane a snake. I cannot tell you how excited Shane is about this. Here’s the funny part – he has already named the ball python he plans to get for his 4th bday. It’s name? It’s a ball python named “BALLS!” So the kid runs around all day talking about “my balls” this, “my balls that. It goes right along with his other obsession – his Toy Story doll. He refers to that frequently too, with “my Woody” this, “my Woody” that. Niiiiiiiice.
Shane heard a naughty phrase in a kids’ movie and repeated it in an appropriate contexts. I almost peed my pants when I heard him yell “ahhh! INDIANS!” (what he really meant was, “ahh! IDIOTS!”).
Shane has become an AMAZING biker. His new thing is biking hilly dirt trails.
And a funny one by Jack…he has this busted up stuffed baby duck that he named “Pizza Pie.” He brings it everywhere. The other day, he set Pizza Pie on the floor facing the bathroom and announced “I’m going to do a big caca, and Pizza Pie’s gonna watch!” Mostly though, Jack just says freakishly intelligent things. Today he was coming up with original riddles for me to solve. He had some awesome ones, including “what has 4 legs that don’t move? A table.” I thought I had a good one for him with “what weighs tons, is old, and has a trunk that doesn’t move?” He thought it was lame, rolled his eyes, and just pointed next to himself at a large oak tree. Not much I can do since his IQ is nearly twice mine. His latest craze is geography – he’s obsessed. He knows North American geography very well, including the Caribbean and Central America. He learned most of it from “Stack the States” and “Stack the Countries” on his iPad, but he also studies maps. I don’t know if I’ve written this anywhere or not yet either, but Jack reads now (not just 3 letter words now). He’s truly amazing. I’ll never forget the text I got one day while I was at work, prob 4 months ago. It was from Travis and said “holy $hit, did you know our kid can read?!” So yeah, we didn’t teach him; he taught himself and surprised the crap out of us as usual.
Here’s his recent artwork, the 1st picture he drew on a Doodle Pro (essentially an etch-a-sketch with a pen), the 2nd picture he painted on a canvas all by himself:
Here’s a letter he wrote me that kinda broke my heart. It also inspired an “I’d never leave you” talk:
And as for Griffie – best baby ever. He’s getting really big, still breastfeeds (yay for pumping!), is starting to eat solids (so far just bananas), rolls all over the house, and loves to do tummy time. He’s such an easy going little guy. Here’s a video of him being himself – cute and smiley. You get a quick glimpse of his “holy shit” face too:
May 15, 2011 2 Comments
Nothing melts my heart like watching Jack with Griffin. I’ve never seen anything so sweet and adorable. Jackson is the best big brother and takes so much pride in having Griffin as his little brother. He’s gentle, thoughtful, and genuinely interested in Griffie. He’ll stop whatever he’s doing to come and sit with Griff, show him a toy, or try to make him laugh when he’s fussy (which is rare, admittedly). He brags about his brother who never cries, etc. For being so indifferent towards Griffie as a newborn, Jack has truly embraced his big brother role these days; it’s so precious.
May 10, 2011 5 Comments
Just a quick kid update. Griff is rolling around and becoming slightly demanding between the hours of 8pm – 7am (but still the perfect baby during wakeful hours). He is still the happiest, most easy going little thing the rest of the time! It pretty much just means I don’t sleep, since even when I’m home and not on overnight call in the hospital, I’m still up all night rocking and nursing this little tank. But it’s worth it. I love this goofy baby.
These pictures will make Yiayia barf a little in her mouth!
The boy makes the funniest faces!
Finley is obsessed with princesses, dresses, the color purple, and all things hideously girly…but still not the least bit hesitant to wrestle, roll in dirt, or collect her roly poly pill bugs. Shane is fearless, he befriends spiders and names them all Rosey, loves to twirl his “pincess Finnie,” still sucks his binky at nap and bedtime, and is a super sweetheart. Jack is a walking talking brain who memorizes every single fact thrown his way and asks “what does that word mean” whenever he hears one that’s not yet part of his excessively large working vocabulary. He’s also an athlete and an amazingly loving child.
April 17, 2011 10 Comments
Finley: “caca is gross.”
Shane: “yeah, we don’t eat caca.”
Jack: “no, but dung beetles eat caca.”
It’s just a simple, yet perfect demonstration of my kids’ thought processes. Finley’s is usually centered around bodily functions, Shane’s is around eating, and Jack’s is around his encyclopedic knowledge.
Warning: annoying “my kid’s a genius” talk ahead.
Travis recently had his parent-teacher conference at Jack’s school, which is an international school where he is in a language immersion program. It’s 100% Spanish-speaking except for a 30 minute English lesson they have once a week. Music class is in Spanish, art is in Spanish, etc. He only attends part-time, since we didn’t want him to be “out of the loop” with Fin and Shane. Travis told me that he sat outside an open door while Jack’s teacher chatted with several other parents before him about their kids. Then it was Travis’ turn. When he went in the room, the teacher shut the door behind the two of them. Travis was concerned, especially considering Jack has been coming home high-fiving us with the great news that he “only got THREE warnings at school” that day.
But then the teacher proceeded to tell Travis something we, as his parents, realized awhile ago: Jack is one of the most unusual children he’s ever encountered and his mind is not typical for a 4 year old. He’s uniquely gifted. In his broken English, he continued to validate what we’ve also seen. Jack is exceptional for his attention to details even adults wouldn’t notice, his remarkable artistic talent, abstract thinking, ability to read and speak Spanish with as big a vocabulary as anyone in his class, despite being only a half-timer without Spanish spoken in his home. He asked Travis to please consider changing him to full time.
While we’re not interested in full time school for Jack at this point, we are interested in nurturing that beautiful mind of his. However, we couldn’t enter the Milwaukee school system lottery since we didn’t have a WI address in time, so as it turns out, he won’t be going to school at all…
Today is my day off, the kids are waking up, and Travis is out of town (on his way home from Milwaukee / Chicago actually), so I’ll continue this post later with our modified plan for Jack’s education (and Shane’s/Fin’s/Griff’s of course too;). It hasn’t exactly all come together yet, but we’re working on it.
April 5, 2011 4 Comments
Thanks for all the Finley well-wishes. She’s doing great; you definitely wouldn’t think she was sick just looking at her. Travis bought the kids a huge trampoline the other day, which fits in our basement. It’s essentially a wrestling pit. The kids refer to it as “the snake pit,” don’t ask me why. Anyway, she’s all about wrestling in the snake pit – business as usual. When something grazes her face it clearly hurts, but otherwise she’s the same rough and tumble kid as always. But the size of the mass is unchanged after 24hrs on antibiotics. We’re holding our breath and hoping for a huge improvement by tomorrow. We’ll see. Thank you for your prayers…keep ‘em coming.
Anyway, this is just a little photo dump. SO many adorable pictures of Jack & Griff…and their daddy too. Here are just a couple. This is my favorite recent picture of Jack. Honestly, they don’t get any cuter than this boy.
Below are some pics of the world’s most contented baby. Seriously, we just look his direction and he smiles. Apparently, when you’re #4 you have low expectations! Sad but true. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve come home from someplace, gotten the “big” kids settled, and then one of will be like “uh, where’s the baby?!” And we’ll realize he’s sitting in his carseat by the back door, right where we’d set him down an hour earlier when we’d walked in the house. He’ll just be hanging out, still strapped in, cooing at the ceiling. I adore this child.
March 23, 2011 9 Comments
This is a phrase we hear all the time. And it’s FREAKIN HILARIOUS. Shane is always looking for some reason to command our attention and take the stage, and he does it in the funniest ways. He’ll interrupt to say “oh, oh, oh, EH-COOME! EH-COOME!” So we’ll pause our conversation to allow his interjection. After he hears the “what is it Shane,” he’ll say whatever he can think of on the spot, like “are you a girl?” or “do you have ears?” It cracks us up.
All 3 of my little boys are growing up fast. Yesterday was my day off, so I got to take Jack to school and pick him up afterwards. His teacher was telling me how his mind is just different than other kids’. In his limited English (he’s from Spain), he told me how other kids draw boxes and call them houses while Jack is busy drawing the doorknobs on the doors and the shingles on the roof. He’s incredibly artistic and his mind is so unique.
And then there’s the little guy. I can’t stand how freakin sweet this baby is. He’s gotten SO verbal, smiley, and imitative. Can you believe he’s 3 months old?!
His big brothers are adorable with him lately. Shane asks me to lay Griff in his bed with him while Travis reads their chapter book at bedtime each night. It’s their snuggle time. Jack will just randomly come over and plant kisses on him throughout the day. Finley has been going through her own thing lately, which is her reaction to me going back to work. She’ll tell me she feels angry at Griffin because she’s not the baby anymore and I hold him too much. She’s having a tough time and has taken it out on him in sneaky little ways (true Fin style;). I just wish I were home more, and that there were more of mommy and daddy to go around.
Here’s my littlest man:
This is Griffie’s “holy shit” face:
This next picture looks EXACTLY like a baby picture of my brother, Jeremy. But my dad saw it and said it looks just like my brother Alex. My mom, however, tells us he looks like a Good – just like his Grandjoe. Usually though, I can see a little of Travis’ dad and a lot of my brother Alex.
Love the drool in this last one! He’s such a little angel, slobber and all.
March 3, 2011 8 Comments