2014 Goals.

Last year, I didn't set specific goals. I tend to go overboard, and while I do fulfill some of them, I mostly forget them. Instead, I chose "one little word" to live by: persevere. 2012 was tough, and I wanted to keep in mind that I could do hard things. This year, I've chosen both a quote to live by, and I have set just a few simple goals. I feel that this will help me to accomplish specific things, as well as cut myself some slack.

October 2013.

In October, we took Jake to NAU's Homecoming Parade. He kinda liked it, but I think the loud bands were a little overwhelming. We ran into our friends the Farnsworths (also Jake's babysitters), so we sat with them. They actually told us they were expecting their third baby! My favorite part was the Wells Fargo carriage with the horses.

I've said before that I'm not very into Halloween, but TJ loves it. Having a kid does help to make it more fun for me. I made a couple of simple decorations, which was also fun for me. This year, we went to a couple of trunk-or-treats and Jake was a skeleton. Once again, his costume was last-minute and coincidentally, based on a turtleneck and sweatpants from Walmart. I actually got him ready in the car on our way to the first one, even painting his face and applying the duct-tape bones to the black clothes. He had fun with the people, but didn't really understand the trick-or-treating aspect yet. We plan to go trick-or-treating for real next Halloween, especially because it will be a little warmer.

Jakey Lately.

I started writing this post a few months ago, and already so much has changed. Here are a few things I want to remember about Jake from the last few months. Right now, he's 17 months old.

-Dance moves: This started with just moving his shoulders, and has progressed to hip swinging and bouncing, turning in circles, and stomping one foot. The kid loves to move.

-Loves music in general. Favorite song of the moment: "Itsy Bitsy Spider." He "signs" more when it's done, trying to mimic the spider and combining it with the sign for more. It's pretty darn cute.

-Games: Someone will say, "How big is Jake?" and he will put his arms above his head and we will say, "SO big!" We will also say, "Where's Jake?" and he will hide his face in his hands. Then, he will pull his hands away quickly and we will say, "There he is!" (aka, Peek-a-boo). Speaking of games, he has his own Xbox controller that he will promptly get whenever daddy plays. He is very animated while he's "playing," shouting at the TV and talking, moving the controls.

-Eating us out of house and home: He's a great eater for the most part. He loves almost all kinds of fruit, with apples being his recent favorite (and one word he can say). He also loves almond milk, and can also request it. Other favorites include: whatever we're eating, sweet potatoes, chicken, black beans, Cafe Rio nino quesadillas, string cheese, "cacka" (crackers), greek yogurt with honey or jam, and chocolate. He prefers feeding himself, and almost always must have a spoon or a fork, even if he ends up using his hands anyways.

-Also loves to be in the kitchen and "cook" with mom.

-Words: mama "mom", dada, dog-"gog", hi, ball/book "bah", no "Nnnah", *barks*, wow "wahw," bye "bah," hello "hi/'ullo,"grandpa "papa," grandma "Ma-mah," baby "behbee," pretty "pee-ee," poop "poo-poo," walk, remote "mote," fish "shish," shoes "shoosh"

-Uses several signs. Signs "thank you," and says "Nay" while signing, as well as "more" while saying "moh." Also signs "please," "food," and "all done" without speaking.

-Speaks lots and lots of gibberish, dubbed "Jakenese" by Grandpa Troy

-Waves hello and bye-bye, claps for himself. Sometimes will take the keys and head to the door saying, "Bah!"

-Walks everywhere, carries things from room to room (shoes, blankets) -this started at about 13-14 months and we thought it was super cute. His new thing is throwing things in the trash.)

-Gives the cutest glare/pouty face. His mouth goes into an "O" and his eyebrows go down.

-Throws all-out screaming on the floor tantrums, whines

-Picks his nose

-Not afraid of strangers. Loves to talk to people and "tell them all about it." Definitely a flirt and a charmer.

 -When asked to say his name, says, "NO."

-Is becoming frighteningly proficient at using a smartphone. He can unlock an iPhone, open and close apps, find Netflix and play shows, and work the camera. The photo below is a self-portrait.

 -Has no fear. I blame dad.

 -Will "give loves" upon request, and especially loves to snuggle blankets and stuffed animals. Also, the picture below was taken when we tested out nursery, which he loved, but were asked not to come back until he's old enough. (One more month. One more month.)

 -Tolerates hats, but has a true love of sunglasses.

 -Has recently discovered his climbing skills and will climb onto furniture and scare people.

There is probably a lot that I'm forgetting, but he keeps us laughing and keeps us on our toes. He's adorable and exhausting and full of "spit and vinegar," as Grandma DeeDee likes to say. I like to say he's just got a big personality for such a little boy. TJ and I are constantly in awe of how big he is and how much he is learning. We are so happy to be his parents even if we want to scream sometimes. He's truly a joy.