Sunday, September 30, 2007


Erica had the great idea to head to Brushy Creek Lake Park Waterscape. It was hot here, mid-90's, and we thought it would be a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon as a family. Jasper and I got dressed for the water, and we made the quick 15 minute trip to the park.

I wasn't sure how Jasper was going to do, so we started slowly. He liked touching the water jets.

Then, we slowly worked up to the sprinkles. You can see me checking to see how Jasper was doing. He really started to like the water hitting him on such a warm day.

Once he discoverd that this was fun, look out! He loved just roaming around not caring about how much water was hitting him.

Overall, Jasper had a GREAT time, and we look forward to visting the waterscape again.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mommy's Little Helper

Since we've been back in Austin, Jasper's mobility has really skyrocketed. He was commando crawling all over Grandma and Papa's house, but now he's pulling himself up onto almost every piece of furniture, cabinetry and appliance. He was fascinated by the laundry room today, perhaps because the washer and dryer were running a lot to clean up the loads of backpacking clothing from daddy or the poopy clothing we've been burning through since Jasper's been on the antibiotic. He loved the washer - just the perfect height for him.

Yesterday, while playing in the kitchen with me, Jasper crawled - for real! It was only from the sink to the refrigerator, but I praised him wildly and told him the whole while that he was "really crawling." Of course, he hasn't done it since. But now I know he knows HOW! Today it sank in how much life has changed as a result of his increased mobility. I was following him everywhere or chasing after him to make sure he wasn't getting into anything he couldn't. We have to do some more baby-proofing around here. :)

Kalamazoo Time

While daddy was backpacking in the Goat Rocks Wilderness Area of Washington, Jasper and I had a great time hanging out with Grandma and Papa Jasper, Auntie Lindsay and Uncle Chris and Daisy in Kalamazoo.

Jasper got to play with all sorts of new toys ...
wrestle with papa ...

play with Uncle Chris ...

(Jasper loves Uncle Chris's facial hair.)

hang out with papa in his office ...

go to an apple orchard with Auntie Lindsay, Grandma and mommy ...

and sit in a pile of pumpkins ...

(Despite misplacing his shoe, he's still having a pretty good time. The pumpkins are just the right size.)

This patch of pumpkins was a little bit bigger than the last, and Jasper wasn't too comfortable in it. I thought he'd get up and be cruising between them all, but he really didn't even want to touch them very much.

Going to Grandma and Papa's House

Last Tuesday, Jasper's cold had gotten bad enough that I thought, "Really, before I get on a plane and find myself in Kalamazoo for 8 days, maybe I should have Jasper's doctor see him." His nose was still a snot machine. He had developed a weird cough (and yes, I am paranoid about whooping cough). And, to top it all off, he was stopping in the middle of playing and crying. This level of irritability is just not right for our son. He had been grabbing at his left ear a bit, and the drool machine had been turned on. I thought he was teething and really wanted them to listen to his chest.

At 3:05pm we got in with the nurse practitioner. She hadn't seen Jasper since he was 5 days old, but our doctor was out. We like the NP, so I was totally comfortable going to see her. Jasper was irritable and hard to control during the visit, oh and he had a "big ol' ear infection" in his left ear. Great. Did I mention we were flying to Kalamazoo? The NP was quite concerned about how the air pressure changes on the planes would hurt Jasper's ear, so she prescribed an antibiotic, gave us a prescription for medicated ear drops and eye cream - since his eye was still red and green-goopy.

On Tuesday night, the night before our flight, administering the antibiotic was less than successful. This was his first antibiotic and the first medicine of any kind we had to administer via a syringe. We had given him Tylenol and his vitamin with the medicine dropper before, but the syringe is a bit different. And truth be told, the amount we had to give (3mL) is a bit more than his vitamin (0.5mL). Drew gave him the full dose of medicine all at once which Jasper promptly rejected and forced out of his mouth. Did I mention we were flying the next morning? Normally Jasper is an excellent flier. He's never had an issue with plane air pressure on take-off or dissent. However, traveling alone with him while he was sick, I was more than nervous. I lost it at this point when it appeared that probably 90% of the medicine didn't go into his mouth. Drew was a bit shaken as well, but we recovered and gave him another half dose and prayed that would be good enough.

Whether or not the antibiotic had any effect, Jasper was an excellent flier. He slept for an hour after take-off on the first flight and played for the remainder of the time in the extra seat next to us. He ate green beans and pears nicely in his stroller while we waited during our layover in Cincy. On the short flight from Cincy to Kalamazoo we did not have an extra seat, and he did not sleep. He was a monkey boy, but he enjoyed eating Cheerios to pass the time. He slept well and Grandma and Papa's house that night. A 1-hr nap all day is not enough for him, but despite all that, he was a great kid.

Front Window

By the beginning of the 3rd week of September, Jasper has discovered the front window in our house. It's just the right height for him to pull himself up, prop himself up and look outside at what's going on. Most of the time, there is nothing going on. We live on a quiet, 1-block street. Activity out the front window consists of looking at the vegetation and the occasional dog-walker, older gentleman riding his bike or kids walking home from school.

To him, it doesn't matter. He loves just standing there. Sometimes he brings a toy with him, and he plays with the toy while he's standing there. A friend of mine came over for tea, and she and I sat and talked in the living room while Jasper entertained himself at the window for quite a while.

His feet are so cute!

Daddy's Birthday

The Wednesday before Drew's birthday (that would be 9/12 ... yes, I am behind on updates) Jasper started to sound a little congested. By Friday he was a bonafide snot machine. His second cold had arrived. Poor thing, he was really a mess. Not only was his nose completely congested, his right eye also was red and green goopy. That eye has a blocked tear duct, so the tears have nowhere to drain. This eye is a veritable fountain when he cries, and he can definitely produce a very dramatic sympathy-inducing tear at the slightest incident.

On Saturday we did a little work on the deck while Jasper napped, and then we all cleaned up and headed out to run some errands. It was HOT, miserably hot and humid. But I think one of the best things for congestion is getting out into the heat of the day instead of staying cooped up in air conditioning. Jasper wasn't irritable, but he looked like he had lost a prize-winning fight. Poor kid. He endured a confusing tour of the I-35 exits for Georgetown on our way up to the Tractor Supply Store. Wow - that was a little bit of an eye-opener, being in that store. They did have livestock wire which we're fixin' to use on the deck, but it wasn't quite what we wanted. So, the trip was almost a bust, except that we took the 4Runner off road the back way out of the store.

On Sunday we all played hookie from church and slept in. We went out for lunch and then hunkered down for the remainder of the day. Jasper thought the gifts daddy got for his birthday were super cool. :)

** Update **

Somehow it escaped me to mention the rather profound achievement Jasper made on Drew's birthday. He pulled himself up to standing in his crib. After lunch Jasper was quite tired, and yet he fought us in going down for his nap. He was just cranky. He cried for a little while when we first put him down. This is unusual, but since he was sick - not out of the ordinary. I checked on him while he was crying, stayed just a short time and then walked out of the room. A short while later Drew went in to check on him and came out holding Jasper with a rather grave look on his face. He said "He was standing up."

Since we still had the mattress in the high position, that was something about which to be concerned. So, Drew handed him to me and said, "I'm lowering the mattress right now." The tyranny of the urgent, right? Thankfully I have an engineer husband who got it taken care of pronto. Unfortunately, Jasper still wouldn't fall asleep easily. All in all, it ended up taking us 2 hours to get him to go down for a nap ... and he proceeded to sleep only 30 minutes. Whatcha gonna do?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Making a Mess

Jasper is a really good eater. He's taken to solids well and polishes off amazing amounts of oatmeal, vegetables and fruit. Last night we introduced bananas, and they too were a hit. Feeding isn't a battle, which we consider to be a huge blessing! That's not to say he doesn't get messy.

Jasper has started trying to hold the spoon again while we feed him, and that means sometimes he grabs at the spoon and gets some type of pureed food or oatmeal in his hands. And then he invariably rubs his eyes or wipes his face with his messy hand, smearing his face with something that is bound to dry and then be difficult to wipe off. Last night it was oatmeal. If you look closely, you can see oatmeal on the eyelashes of his right eye. It was classic!
We have started giving Jasper tiny pieces of food: chicken, green beans and sweet potatoes. He doesn't reject them outright, but he generally only eats them if we're sitting there shoving those little pieces back into his mouth as he's trying to push them out with his tongue. By the third time or so, he'll chew up the piece and swallow it. He won't pick them up and eat them on his own. We try to trick him into picking them up by putting Cheerios down on his tray along with the other pieces of food. However, he navigates through the mess of food with the precision of an artillery specialist in a minefield and only picks up the Cheerios. He knows what he wants!

Last night, at the end of a very full feeding of oatmeal, green beans, bananas, Cheerios, pieces of chicken and sweet potatoes, Jasper also drank breast milk. We let Jasper hold the bottle on his own, and he can bring it to his mouth to drink. However, he hasn't figured out he has to tilt his head way back to keep from just sucking air, so we reclined the high chair to help him once the amount of milk in the bottle got really low. He did really well and polished off 4oz!

Blue Eyes

I don't think we've ever taken a photo that showcases Jasper's blue eyes so much, so I can't resist sharing it.

9 months old

The resounding comment people make about Jasper these days is how l-o-n-g his hair is. It's true. His hair is pretty long. When it's neatly tucked behind his ears, it looks adorable. When not, it can look more than disheveled. Guess how it looks most of the time.

I took this 9 month photo while Drew was at work, so please forgive the haphazard nature. It's nearly impossible to keep him sitting in one place for any given period of time. I was bribing him with his x-ray fish, but he still wanted to roll around and try to climb off the couch.

And here he is, practicing that roll. Yep, that's all baby fat on those legs. If it were muscle, he'd be able to pull himself up onto furniture. He isn't yet. Oh well. We're working on it.

see, totally disheveled:

Jasper went in for his 9 month appt last week, and his current stats are:

weight = 22lbs, 3oz (80th percentile)

length = 29inches (75th percentile)

head circumference = 47cm (95th percentile)

Less than an hour before his appointment, I was letting him practice standing unassisted. However, he can't stand like that forever, and I misjudged how close we were to furniture. Yep, you guessed it - he fell and hit his head on a table leg. Thankfully it was on the well worn, round leg of the only antique we have in the house. He only cried for a very short time and then just got mad at me for trying to put ice on it. So, no permanent damage was done, but it sure did leave a whopper of a shiner on his forehead for everyone to see. The doctor's entire office knew about it by the time we left. Oh well.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pillow Talk

Grandma Jasper made this pillow, and it's pretty indispensable to us. I used it during my pregnancy while I was sleeping. As my belly got bigger, it was my support for Jasper while he was in utero. Now it's our nursing pillow. Jasper has learned this wrestling move that he tries after he finishes nursing. He'll flip over and bury his head in this pillow, and if he finds it on the floor he'll virtually attack it. It's really funny to see. Have a look:

Dinner Table Antics

Jasper joins us at the dinner table most nights. Sometimes he's already done eating, but he just hangs out while we finish eating. On this particular evening, he was a little fiesty! :)


Initially Jasper couldn't stand Cheerios. He'd play with them a little while he was sitting in his high chair, but once he got one in his mouth he would gag. Seriously! It was hysterical to watch, but he certainly didn't think it was funny. He violently wanted to get them out of his mouth. Now he's warming up to them. He doesn't gag anymore, but he is still working on getting them into his mouth successfully. Most of them end up on his chin or on his shirt. Here is a video.

Stair Climbing

On a hot tip from my friend Ame, Azalea's mom, we bought some doggy steps for Jasper to practice climbing. He didn't like them at first, so we had to entice him up the stairs. Here is a video of me doing that. I was kind of mean, but he's tough. He can handle it! Now he goes up and down without much work on our part. check it out:

Commando Crawl

Jasper is on the move these days, and he is quick. He hasn't figured out how to get his belly off the ground while he moves, but he can still get where he wants to go with little trouble. It's been dubbed the "commando crawl" by our friend Holly Thurman.

You have to be quick to catch him in the act, and most of our photos on the digital camera catch a portion of the event or some stage just after what we wanted. Oh well. They're still fun.

In the time it took our camera to refresh between shots, Jasper made it from this spot:
to here:
check it out here:

Hanging with Daddy

When Drew comes home from work, he really prioritizes spending time with Jasper, and Jasper loves spending time with his daddy.

Here Jasper and Drew are matchy-matchy. Aren't they cute?!

I just love this photo because Jasper's face is so adorable. He loves the remote control.

Down Time

For the past two weeks we've been doing a lot of just hanging out. Our whole family has been sick at some point or another, so we've been surviving not thriving. First Drew was hit with a bad cold, and while he was on a business trip to Kalamazoo, Jasper developed a bad cough which lasted a whole week! It was a nervous week for me as I waited and watched his symptoms to see if he was getting better or worse. I am rounding out the trio with my version of this cold. Thankfully we're close to being on the mend.

Jasper is a blast to be with these days. He's full of smiles & giggles, and his personality just shines through. We have fun together these days, and he greets his daddy with h-u-g-e smiles everyday when he comes home from work.

For a while Jasper used to be completely mesmerized by my hair dryer. We could set him on the bed while I was drying my hair, and he'd just sit there and watch me. It was great! Now he's not so mesmerized, but he still likes it. He just won't sit motionless anymore.

After they left for Europe, Jasper received a cute packaged from Grandma and Papa Jasper. "What's Wrong Little Pookie" is a cute book.