Friday, November 23, 2007

Monthly Recap

While I sit here in Ohio after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd take a few moments to give a monthly update. I have been lax lately in keeping the blog updated. Being at grandma and grandpa's house, with daddy here (without any house projects to which he must attend) I am honestly needed only for comforting in major distress and nursing. It's quite liberating. :)

It's been a rough two months of constant sickness with Jasper. He's a trooper, but there was still never-ending nose-wiping and general seclusion for want of not infecting other kids. In addition to that, Jasper had his blocked tear duct probed last week. He made it through the procedure quite well, but I struggled. The nurse took him out of the office, away from our supervision so they could papoose him (wrap him really tightly so he would be immobilized), give him a numbing eye drop and then do the roto-rooter procedure. Jasper cried ... HARD, and we could hear it. Being restricted from comforting my child while he was in such distress was really hard to deal with. Thankfully, it was quick, and he does not have any noticeable recollection of the event because we can apply medicated ointment to his eye without him even flinching. phew!

Going back a ways, I wanted to report on Azalea's birthday party. This is actually our reason for the surfer costume. Azalea's birthday party was a costume party. She was an adorable bunny. As our faithful blogites might recall, Azalea and Jasper are predestined prom dates. Azalea is the most proficient solid food eater I have ever seen at this age. She eats everything. She showed very specific signs of wanting to eat solids early, so her mom got her started, and there's been no looking back. While we were at her party she polished off an entire English muffin pizza ... among other things, including her cupcake. Considering Jasper does not take to new foods with any such welcome acceptance, I find Azalea's vigor just amazing! In addition to eating all that, she also sat at a kiddie table to eat ... without trying to get down. Other parents of toddlers and I, were quite sure our kids would be crawling all over the chair instead of sitting there patiently. :) (for you bookophiles out there, Azalea's mom has an online used book store that has really great deals: check it out!)

Jasper is nearly a year old, and we hadn't taken him to see the peacocks at Mayfield Park in Austin. We're bad ... I know. So in early November, we took him to see this beautiful birds. Sadly, they didn't plume the entire time we were there. Bummer - because he wasn't very interested in the birds since they weren't doing anything interesting or looking very pretty.

In addition to the peacocks not pluming, there was also a wedding taking place while we were there. So, we couldn't look at the gardens. We just hung out away from the wedding and checked out the pretty trees.

Drew's arms are longer than mine, so he's self-portrait with Jasper is better than one I tried to do a while ago. Even though this isn't in focus, we wanted to share it b/c it's so funny of Jasper.

Jasper's working on a whole mouthful of teeth right now. He's been drooling nonstop again lately, so we've just been waiting for his third bottom tooth to come poking through (front left). It's been taking forever! Then, on the plane last Wednesday I was feeling around in his mouth, and I discovered he has another tooth on the top. There is a gap between the existing four teeth and this new one on the left side. It's crazy! His gums on the top and bottom are really swollen, so it seems like more teeth are going to come poking on through at any moment.

Reading continues to be Jasper's #1 pastime. He can turn pages one at a time, and sometimes even goes back to separate pages he's missed. For our faithful blogites, he's master turning pages on Autumn Walk, despite the fact that the book isn't a normal shape.

We often have to use books as a diversion tactic while changing Jasper's diaper these days. I don't know why, but he just doesn't like getting his diaper changed. However, if we give him a book to read, he's happy as a clam. :)

What a mess! I don't even know what all this food is. Probably some green beans and cereal. Whatever it is, it's all over his face. Thankfully bathtime was right around the corner.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jasper loves to swing, and he likes the deck!

Jasper loves to swing in the park. Erica makes it a regular part of his day when the weather cooperates, but I miss these events while I am at work. Here, we went to the park on the weekend, and I really enjoyed participating. Here, you can see Jasper enjoying a windy ride in the backpack.

We continue to receive many compliments about Jasper and his glasses. We think it is GREAT that he is willing to wear them on sunny days outside, but as soon as you go inside or put him in the car, the sunglasses come off in short order.

Jasper also loves crawling around on the deck. His eyes and smiles speak for themselves.

I LOVE this picture of Erica and Jasper enjoying a nice fall afternoon on the deck. It was a great time to spend together. Jasper loves the bull wire that we used for the railing. He likes to hold onto it and just look around.

He has to be 11 months old before he can be one year old!

Before Jasper turns one, we needed to post an 11 month picture and post. We are continually amazed at Jasper's growth and development. He is so much more in control of his movements. In addition, he is really starting to respond to what we say to him. If Erica calls out, "Where is your puppy?", Jasper will look around and crawl quickly to his puppy as long as he can see her. It is fun to see.
His hair is getting pretty long. We are way passed surfer hair at this point, but it is still very cute to see. His hair gets in some crazy positions after some naps.

I think he likes the camera.

Eating with his Fingers

Jasper continues to develop his abilities to eat food with his hands. He puts his hand a little far into his mouth, but his success rate of actually getting the food into his mouth is getting much better. We purchased a kitchen island from IKEA, and we installed some casters on the bottom. The lower shelf is the PERFECT height for Jasper to use. Here, Erica used it to serve Jasper an afternoon snack.

In case you are curious, Jasper has Cheerios and sweet potato puffs on his plate.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Enlarging Pictures

I think I have figured out how to fix the pictures to allow them to be seen in a higher resolution when you click on them. It requires manipulating the HTML code, but it doesn't take too long. I will try to fix the pictures as we post updates, but feel free to send me an email if you would like a particular image corrected. The larger images should be sufficient for printing a nice 4x6 picture.

Drew : BabyGant Technical Support

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One Finger

We've noticed lately that Jasper's manual dexterity is increasing. In particular, he uses just his pointer finger to touch the piano keys, point to people in the mirror or to features on our faces, flip on / off the light switch and (his favorite) push the garage door opener button. That one he learned all on his own. After watching me hit that button every time we came in from the car, one day (w/in the last few weeks) as we were about to walk through the door between the garage and the laundry room, he reached out his hand, finger extended, to push the button (which is back-lit red). It took a little work b/c he didn't realize the amount of force needed, but now he totally has the knack for it. He pushes the button with either his index finger or thumb, whichever one seems right at the time. He loves to hear the door rumble to open or close and gets a h-u-g-e smile on his face. It's a regular part of our day. I actually look for opportunities for him to open or close the door since he loves it so much, and because it's one really small way for him to help.

Another example of his increasing dexterity is his ability now to look at books on his own. He can turn the pages by himself. He's always been able to grab the page we held out and turn it while we were reading to him. But now, he'll sit in his room and look at books all on his own. He'll carefully separate the pages with his thumbs and look at one page after the next. (This is kind of hard to do with those board books.) He knows on which side of the book to find the pages, so he can do everything on his own. He'll easily sit for 10 minutes or so and just look at books by himself. It's great! On Friday night I fed him dinner and then we went out to grab a quick dinner while the car was getting new tires installed. While Drew & I ate, Jasper just sat in the high chair at Jason's Deli and looked at page after page of his truck book. On Sunday, we brought him into our 4th grade Sunday school class (again), and he sat for a good portion of the class in his stroller just looking at his truck book. He loves that book! There is one book he has a little trouble with. Autumn Walk is shaped like a leaf, so he has a hard time figuring out which side of the book has the pages to turn. But, give him time ... I'm sure he'll eventually figure that one out too.
Kisses all around. You should see him now. He knows what kisses are and routinely gives them to his fishes (Orlando, Goldie, Leeland, Brooks, Roberta and Wynonna), to the baby in the mirror and to mommy and daddy. You do have to be careful that the kisses don't turn into bites. But generally if I tell him, "give ___ a kiss" he'll turn to face the person or thing, open his mouth and lay a slobbery smacker on the target. It's pretty adorable.

Commando who? The days of the commando crawl are slowly coming to a close. Jasper really does prefer to crawl on his knees now and can change speeds without collapsing. Previously his hands couldn't keep up with his legs, but he's got that under control now. The funny thing he'll do is transition onto his feet with his hands still on the floor for bursts of time. He has also started pushing all sorts of toys around the house (either on his knees or his feet), and he gets the most help from an empty diaper box. I guess it's time to bring the walker out of hiding and let him work on his walking since crawling is quite under control.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mr. Powell Comes to Austin

Two weeks ago our dear friend Matt Powell came to Austin for a conference. He was able to take an afternoon "off" and come hang out with us. He had met Jasper before, but not since April when Jasper was just 4 months old. Jasper certainly didn't have his fully developed personality like he does now. And he wasn't grabbing for all things electronic (phones especially) like now.

Imagine Jasper's total delight when Matt pulled out his Blackberry to show us a photo of his son, Jackson. Goodness, Jasper almost didn't know what to think of it. It was a phone with lots of cool buttons that lit up and made noise like our phones. But it had pictures, too. Matt had to keep a firm grip on it to keep from losing it forever to our gadget addict, um ... I mean his son. :)

We had a nice albeit short visit with Matt, but we're looking forward to hanging out with all the Powells when we're in Michigan for Christmas.