Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Surf's Up on Halloween

As you have seen in previous pictures, Jasper's blonde hair is getting pretty long. He definitely has some curl in the back, and the hair in the front is long and a little wavy. We often say that he has surfer hair, and that was the inspiration for Jasper to hang-10 as a surfer dude for Halloween.

The surf board is a piece of foam that Erica picked up, and I painted it over the weekend. Erica also found the stamp to make the pattern down the center.

Here we are as the Hawaiian family to support our surfer dude.

For those of you who know Erica from way back (half her lifetime ago!) ... yes, her costume is from the Miss Portage Pagent. :)


Jasper is a carbivore. Not a carnivore, but a carBivore. Almost every solid food we've given him he's rejected the first time out ... except BREAD. This includes a high class French baguette from Panera, relatively bland croissants from Costco and earthy, drab 100% whole grain, whole wheat sandwich bread (sans HFCS). Each one he's eaten like it's manna from heaven.

A couple days ago I decided to try introducing beef again. He's had the pureed baby stuff, but not real beef. So I made some fairly bland meatballs which Drew and I had for dinner. Check out what his high chair looked like after dinner:
Perhaps I shouldn't have made the meatballs so bland. :)

Climbing 101

For the past week I've noticed Jasper's been trying to climb up onto things. When he stands at the window sill or pulls himself up against a big box he'll eventually lift one leg like he's just going to climb on up. Generally his leg doesn't get even halfway high enough for him to climb up, but he naively thinks he's gonna make it. The only thing in the house he can actually climb up are the doggy steps. It's only a matter of time before he finds other things to scale.

Earlier this week, after I put Jasper down for his morning nap, his normal talking/fussing all of a sudden changed and became a cry that immediately says "I'm hurt." (I've become skilled at learning this cry since he's pinched his fingers twice in the last week, and each time he's let out a piercing scream.) I quickly got into his nursery to find his leg stuck between the spindles of the crib. Apparently he thought he could climb out of the crib. Thankfully he can't.

I've accepted the fact that he eventually may learn how to climb in and out, but I don't want him to accidentally climb out and fall as opposed to scale down.

Oops, I forgot that there is one other thing he can climb onto in the house.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Church Nursery Strikes Again!

Up until today we had enjoyed a week of relative wellness. Drew's still hanging on to something, but I haven't needed to wipe Jasper's nose free of anything since last Tuesday. (Yippee!) We decided to risk it and put Jasper into the nursery on Sunday. He loves the socialization, but we don't have a good track record with the nursery and getting sick ...

and now we're 0 for 3. Jasper has yet another cold. I've lost count. Is this 3 or 4? Ugh! the poor little kid is suffering with restless breathing and fighting me with every nose swipe. (And he's getting stronger all the time.) I decided to forgo the nasal aspirator this time and try saline drops. I thought Jasper would be ok with this approach. ... He's not. He still screams and goes into a silent sob as I try to administer the dreaded drops. It must be akin to torture. If only he knew this was in place of the yucky bulb sucker. I think he'd be jumping for joy. Oh well.

On Tuesday Jasper crawled the furthest distance to date on his knees: from his bedroom door to the front door, so - all along the hexagon tile hallway. I think it's because I've been dressing him in pants these days (since it's been beautifully cool here this week), and the pants drag when he army crawls and cover his feet - so he can't use his toes to push off. If only I knew this before! Anyway, he's very deliberate as he crawls. I think this is a good thing, and I'm sure Auntie Lindsay will agree.

Jasper's also taken quite a liking to this "Cowboy" monster truck he got from Mr. & Mrs. VanderHorst when we were in Kalamazoo in September. He gets on the floor and crawls as he pushes it along (like with Googley Eyes). When I drive it up his arm, down his back, etc. it tickles him and he nearly doubles over laughing.

We had to rearrange the nursery and move the crib away from the windows. Jasper is big enough that he can reach the curtains and the curtain pulls, as well as the light over the rocking chair. So, to do this we had to remove the futon, and this freed up a good amount of space in the room. Yesterday when Jasper got up from his afternoon nap he was totally content to sit in the corner of the room between the rocking chair and the window, just looking at all his books. It was the sweetest thing.

The windows in our living room and dining room couldn't be at a better height for Jasper. They are just perfect for him to crawl up and look outside. The dining room window is a perfect perch for him to monitor the progress on the deck and have some contact with daddy while he's out there working. He also loves the shutters and spends a good deal of time opening and closing them.

Today Jasper and I spent a little time crawling under the dining room table. Yes, "we." He discovered this spot yesterday and started crawling then, but today I crawled underneath it too and got him to follow me. Then on another pass through, he met me halfway, laughing the whole time. The space between the chairs is just the right size for him, and he's even discovered he can crawl under the chairs, too. I expect this will provide hours of entertainment as he grows.

Yesterday we saw the opthamologist. It was a long wait for a terribly short appointment. He gave us more antibiotic and wanted us to apply it, do the tear duct massage the way he suggests and then come back in three weeks - at which time if the tear duct isn't freed, he'd do a "roto rooter" style procedure on him. From the sounds of it, it would be all hands on deck to keep him immobilized while only his eye is numb from drops. I don't really see a great likelihood of this duct clearing between now and then, but I'll be praying for that. I don't know who the procedure will be worse on - him or me.

Jasper just woke up after 3 hrs of sleep and needed to be comforted a little before he fell back asleep. This is completely abnormal and all because the poor thing can't breathe through his nose. ugh. I hate colds! I really wish there was some type of immunity booster we could give him when he gets sick to help it go away faster. They really need to make something for kids. honestly!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Growing Up

Lately it's become very obvious that we have more of a toddler in the house than a baby. It's lots of fun around here, but it's bittersweet for me too. Ah how the time flies.

These days Jasper's trying his best to get into all sorts of trouble. It's not really trouble, it's just pointing out how much our house is NOT baby-proof. I'm still tracking him down everywhere to make sure he doesn't injury himself too badly. His new fascination is opening and closing doors. He'd do it for a while if I were at all interested in staying in the room with him. But alas, we move on. He loves to watch me blow-dry my hair, which turns out to be a good thing since I can barely get a shower in during his nap and have to finish getting ready for the day after he's awake. I've move the mirror in our room on to the floor so he can see in it, and he comes crawling over at warp speed to look. He smiles anytime he sees himself in the mirror and today gave his best slobber kiss to the mirror baby.

Speaking of kissing, I'm trying to teach him that. Today when he got up from his morning nap we played in his room for a little while. We were wrestling, roaring back and forth and kissing (on the cheek). After kissing him again and again, I got him to kiss me ... and then he really got into it and gave me a big ole' slobber kiss. Oh my goodness I was laughing so hard I couldn't control myself. It was hysterical!

Jasper is pulling himself up onto any and everything. He pulls up onto the refrigerator door, all our cabinets, the bed, etc. He's also nearly perfected the butt flop. So when he's done on his feet, he just plops down on his bottom and then flops over onto his belly to crawl - either on his knees or his belly. We've been all-hands-on-deck for the last week (even our friend Teri) working on helping Jasper crawl on his knees. Jasper can definitely do this, but his preference is certainly the commando crawl. Auntie Lindsay pointed out that there is some talk among children's development folk that kids who do not crawl before they walk have a higher incidence of developing learning disabilities. No causality has been demonstrated, just a correlation. So ... we've laid off the walker and are constantly saying "on your knees, Jasper" and running to prop our hand under his belly to get him converted into the "proper" crawling position rather than the commando one. I wouldn't run except that he moves so fast, if I want to do it at all I have to move at his speed. Aside from the learning disability issue, upgrading from the commando crawl could mean less laundry to do. :)

Another key phrase in the house these days is "feet first!" After weeks of letting Jasper explore the doggy steps head first, we figured out that wasn't good for when we let him loose in the "real world." And he's already taken a nose-dive off the couch ... so getting the proper dismount established will go a long way in giving me peace about leaving him in a room alone for longer periods of time. He learned this phrase quite quickly. I think in less than a week. Last Saturday I took a minute to do something in the kitchen and came into the living room just in time to see him trying to go head first down the doggy steps. I shouted, "No Jasper. Feet first!" He was startled, excited and with a giggle turned around and headed down ... feet first. Since then he will show us he knows what it means, but he'll also show us he wants to defy us. More often than not when we say "feet first" he laughs. So, we're still working on that one.

With all this activity, Jasper has quite an appetite. I think he's going to eat us out of house and home. He'll plow through Cheerios, chicken, cheese, cereal, vegetable, fruit and sometimes yogurt ... in one meal. It's phenomenal! He's also teething like MAD! When we're nearing the end of eating, we'll give him one of his spoons to chew on. He gnaws on those spoons like there is no tomorrow. He also had a few rough nights sleeping, so we're quite ready for these additional bottom teeth to get the show on the road and break through. We'll send photos when they arrive.

Lastly, Jasper made a foray onto the deck this evening. Laying the decking is taking longer than we hoped, but we're in the home stretch. Jasper played in his ultrasaucer for over an hour while we got some more done. It was great!
(fyi, the outfit change was because I noticed mosquitoes hovering about him.)

Pumpkin Patch

Last Friday Jasper and I headed out to Elgin to a pumpkin patch. He was still fighting off a cold and was contenting with a somewhat red eye ... but despite that he was a really agreeable kid. He got to ride on a (plastic) horsie which he thought was a kick!

And he got to zone-out for a little while.

And then he realized how much fun these pumpkins are ...
and had a good laugh!

Mommy's Little Helper, part 2

Jasper is no longer just interested in the inside of the washing machine. He wants to touch all the buttons, too! He can just about reach the buttons when he's standing on his tip-toes. Of course, the nearest button to him is the "cancel" button. It's only a matter of time before he's trying to wreak havoc on the laundry, too. Looks like I'll have to keep the laundry room door closed ... or else.

Now that he's explored the washing machine, Jasper has decided to move on and take up dishwashing. He figured out that the dishwasher is just the right height for him to climb into when it's down.

Amazingly it can hold his weight, even though I was pretty scared it might tip over. Of course I was also laughing pretty hard during all this. Jasper grunted his way up and then was ready to grunt his way over the other side.

He thinks this is pretty cool! I plan to pull out these photos when he's older and protests cleaning up after dinner. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Zoning Out

Sometimes in the evening, even after a good long afternoon nap, Jasper can be really sleepy and completely zoned-out at dinner. Here are some photos that show this:

Of course, when we get him down and let him play before bathtime, he is full of energy again.

Crunching Numbers

Jasper loves anything with buttons. The calculator is no exception, although it does not have the magical powers that the remote control has. It still cracks us up how he can turn on the DVD player and start playing music without knowing what's going on. The look on his face when music starts playing is so funny. It's like "where'd that come from?"

Waking Up

This is how we find Jasper when he wakes up from almost every naptime and even in the morning. Most of the time he makes noise to let us know he's awake and generally only cries when he's been woken-up prematurely or if something is actually wrong. Otherwise, he's quite content to just hang out til we come in to get him.

(I think he might have been dancing here.)

(here he's making faces at daddy)

Friday, October 05, 2007

10 Months Old!

Here Jasper is sporting his new shirt from Grandma and Papa Jasper, brought back from Sweden. Drew dressed him this morning and brought him to me saying (speaking for Jasper), "Mommy, I want to be called Lars today." :)

This week Jasper got another cold. I'm nearly losing my mind with recurring sickness at this point. I think we're going to boycott the church nursery for a few weeks and see if we can have a normal life for a while. Normal as in: no flaming red eye, no snot-machine nose, no yucky cough, no crazy sleep pattern, no excess irritability. Where did my sweet child go? He was nabbed by the sickness boogie monster, and I want him back!

On the first day he was sick, Jasper started out his happy self. Here he's playing with his cement truck which I've dubbed "Googley Eyes." She rolls her eyes up and down as the wheels spin. Jasper loves to get down on the floor right next to her and watch her eyes. It's adorable!!!

Jasper also still loves to climb up the doggy stairs and play on the ottoman. His favorite thing to do is try to go over the edge head first. I'm working on training him to go down feet first.

These days, Jasper has started crawling and climbing up the stairs with a toy in hand. He clutches it pretty tightly and can maneuver around various obstacles still clutching the toy. He's also started climbing up the stairs on his feet, not on his knees. He's improving at maintaining balance.

You can see I need to get Drew on board with the whole feet first thing.

Each night after work, Drew plays with Jasper. He climbs all over his daddy, grunting the whole time.

Jasper is captain of our neighborhood watch committee. He vigilantly watches outside our front window and likes being entertained with the passing cars.

I bought this train at a second-hand store and got it out for Jasper to try out this week. He likes pushing it, as he does all his trucks. He crawls next to the toy, pushing it along the floor. As for the train, I don't think he's really figured out it can be taken apart. He's not quite taken an engineering approach to it, but given time I'm sure he will.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It is only a matter of time...

...until he doesn't need any help to walk around our house.