Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two Teeth!

It's official! Jasper has multiple teeth ... and he can really inflict damage if you get in his way when he is chomping. But - they sure are cute!!!

Here is a short video from this morning. Jasper was just lying on the living room floor making all kinds of noises that are pretty common these days. He cracks us up all the time!

Sweet Potatoes

On Monday evening we introduced Jasper to sweet potatoes. Apart from rice cereal, this was his first introduction to solids. You can see below how well he liked it.

Yep, we're going to have to get a real high chair for him. This bumbo seat tray doesn't hold up to his back-arching.
And yes - he's not big on sweet potatoes. So far, he pretty much gags on them.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Everyday Adventures

Since we've been back from Michigan, we've been doing a whole lotta everyday stuff:


(After multiple naps where Jasper was kicking against the side of the crib so much that he kicked his leg between the spindles - and got it stuck, we bought a new bumper pad that is velcro-strapped across the spindles so he can't stick anything through them anymore.)

... and waking up with crazy bed-head hair.

Reading some magazines

Playing with the Girls

The kiddos hang out and play (aka try not to have a melt-down if they've missed their nap) at the tail end of our hour-long Baby Steps work-out with Sarah Clow. Here Jasper is playing with Sadie and her big sister Mallory.

Having lunch with friends

Denise Mayen invited us over for lunch at their new house, and Jasper had a great time taking a nap in one of their multiple guest rooms. :)

Joel, Ann and Johnny Ziegelbien came to visit us while in town (from IOWA). We had a great time of catching up and meeting little Johnny. He's a great kid. We miss these guys!

Playing with / Tormenting Daddy

Jasper has very few poopy diapers anymore - maybe 2-3 a week. However, one drawback (which we think is related) is that his toots are silent but very deadly. Isn't it funny - he doesn't seem to mind!

Thinking about getting on the move

Jasper plays on his own a lot. He is sitting up really well but not crawling yet. It's perfect! I just stay within earshot and make sure I can hear him playing, and I check on him quite a bit ... but then I can actually get a couple of things done even while he's awake. He has a set of stuffed animals that he chews on mercilessly. He plays his piano and he unloads the dump truck if it's been loaded up with small toys and balls. Then he'll take something small and examine it over and over in his hands. He can pick things up pretty well - but his pincer grasp is still not well defined. However, the big change is that he is willing to get out of his "seat" to get a new toy. He propels himself forward and reaches for what he sees. Sometimes he topples over, and then sometimes he still wiggles a little to get it. If we're around we try to help him learn to crawl. If not, he'll stay on his tummy a little while and then eventually roll over onto his back. Then he kicks for a while (still one of his favorite activities) and eventually starts making more noise which will draw me into the room so I can sit him back up again.

Father's Day

On June 17th, we three celebrated Drew's first Father's Day. It wasn't full of big fanfare, but it was homey and quiet. It's nice to have special time that is reflective and personal. Drew really enjoyed feeding Jasper his cereal, especially since Jasper was so interested in eating it! He loves to help his daddy feed him, now.

The three of us also went for a walk in the neighborhood ... unfortunately we also got caught in a little rain storm. We didn't melt - so we're ok! I think Jasper went through a minimum of three outfits this day, possibly four. I think this was the last one before bed. :)

Little Man, Playing Around

Our little boy's personality is really starting to shine through. He laughs, squeals and smiles most of the time, and it is GREAT! We just love playing with him. He even seems to joke around and play with us. Other than laughing and squealing, the other sound he loves to make is the raspberries. On Sunday we tried to get him to take a nap in the nursery, but he didn't. When we came to pick him up we found out he had been competing in a raspberry competition with one of the nursery workers ... and he won!

Bathtime is Getting More Adventurous

We moved the baby tub into the big person tub in our bathroom so that Jasper's splashing would be contained in the tub. Well, it's not really contained but at least here there is less concern about everything getting wet - it's a bathroom! The only issue is that it's a pretty small bathroom, so just about anyone in the room gets wet from his splashing.

He definitely still loves taking baths, and you can see he really likes playing with his toys, too. You might also notice that it is a lot of work to give him a bath. Drew does a great job with his entire nighttime routine. Whenever he is gone and I have to do it alone I am completely wiped-out when I get Jasper into the crib.

The draw-back of Drew managing the entire nighttime routine, is that we sometimes get hairdo's like this:

Wah-Wah Street

I took this photo when Jasper wasn't yet 3 months old. He was fitting into this 6mo onesie his daddy bought on a business trip back to Kalamazoo. We had just returned from a walk in the neighborhood, and yes it was February.
The similarities and differences between Jasper then and now (two weeks ago - see below) we think are pretty fun to see. For one, he loves chill-axing in his stroller and generally rides with one leg up on the bar. Sadly, he no longer fits into that hat. "Look at the size of 'is head!" I don't think he stands a chance of having a small head with the noggins both his daddy and his Papa J have. He's gettin' it from both sides.

You'll notice below that Jasper is very animated. He has become much more expressive these days. He especially loves squealing now. He'll open his mouth as w-i-d-e as he possibly can and squeal until he coughs as if he's nearly about to choke. It's the funniest thing. I don't know what has prompted it now - unless he's figured out that opening his mouth wide like that can alleviate ear pain ... ear pain associated with teething that is.

Thankfully Jasper likes going for walks. He just chillaxes the whole time, looks around and listens to Jack. :) He also wears his sunglasses. I know we have a cute kid, but never in my wildest dreams did I think the #1 reason people stop to look at him is because of those glasses. However - it's the truth. They are show stoppers. We were at Rudy's on Sunday, and I was speaking with the manager about Gladys Hardy t-shirts & the Rudy's radio commercials with Gladys, and Drew said no fewer than 5 couples stopped to look at Jasper wearing his sunglasses.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Adventure with Rice Cereal

We realize that we are on the later end of the typical time to start our son on rice cereal, but we started offering this to Jasper last Saturday. Here is Jasper in preparations for the first attempt.
He had no idea what was coming. We started with the typical rice cereal, and we were surprised to find out how runny the recommended mix ratio makes the cereal. As Erica prepared the mix, I prepared the digital camera to capture the moment. As most parents would feel but often don't admit, I was confident that Jasper was going to eagerly take the food. After all, he was showing quite a bit of interest in Erica and me when we eat. As you can see from these photos, I was wrong...very wrong.

"What is that, mommy?"

"I'm not sure I like this."

"I really don't like this...stuff."


I then reacted like any good parent would when they are blind sided by their child: you read the books that you should have read before you did what you did. I found a theme in the sections I read. The experts recommended that you let the child have some freedom during meal time. That freedom includes letting them use their hands and tolerate the mess that occurs. So, I setup the next meal in the bath tub.

We made a mess, but Jasper still didn't like the cereal. It was fun to let him explore the cereal with his hands, and I "explored" the cereal as well. We needed a new plan.

Jasper rejects the bottle if it is too cold. I wonder if we need to find a way to keep the rice cereal warm during the feedings. Tonight, I heated some water in the container we used for the cereal; I dumped out the water; Erica mixed the rice cereal, and...


Here is a video of the successful attempt. We guess that Jasper ate about a table spoon. We will see how he does tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Traveling Man

I've been lax in getting an update on the blog of all our travel adventures. There is plenty to share of the fun we had when we were in Michigan (the first week in June).

Jasper enjoyed getting to know Mrs. Wall. She read to him and sang him a pony boy song. He liked getting bounced around, like he was riding a horse. Jasper also liked getting to know Mrs. Wall's grandsons (2 of 3): Garret and Grant (seen below). Garret is 8 months old, exactly 2 months older than Jasper. They are both close to the same size, but Garret for sure plays with his toys in a more advanced way. Grant is a great big brother! He also loves to dance and couldn't wait to hit the dance floor at the wedding reception earlier in the evening.

Jasper introduced Garret to his jumpy seat. Grandma and Papa Jasper also have a wide opening into the dining room so Jasper could have a big space for jumping during our meals. He loved it!

Two of the outings we took while in Michigan were to the Kalamazoo Nature Center and to the Lake Michigan beach at South Haven. Jasper liked seeing the cow, horse and goats at the Nature center.

He also liked playing at the beach. It was really windy that day, so Papa's golf umbrella was critical to keep him from being blown over while he played. Jasper didn't get many "real naps" this day, but he was still a great kid. We're very lucky in that Jasper can adapt pretty well even when his "schedule" gets disrupted.

Jasper feels pretty comfy hanging out with Uncle Chris, and his cousins love to hang out with Uncle Chris, too!
Some photos with Papa and Grandma:

How much do Linnea and Karin love their cousin? A LOT! I look forward to the day when Jasper is really big enough to play with them more interactively and can enjoy how much fun it is to have cousins.

Karin and Linnea wanted to enjoy breakfast at the Yellow Rose Cafe (Papa and Grandma's porch), so Jasper joined them, too.

A couple of evenings Jasper really struggled with teething pain and didn't go down well for bed, so he got to spend a little extra time with Auntie Britt and Uncle Adam. Adam tried to explain some physics principles to Jasper that evening. He liked listening to Adam's deep voice. :)

Jasper got to eat al fresco the last day in Michigan.

This is one of my favorite photos from our trip. I didn't notice when I was taking the photo that the horns on Jon's shirt look like they're coming out of Jasper's head. It makes Jasper look like a little elf. :)