Thursday, January 31, 2008

Eating Us Out of House and Home

Not long ago Drew said, "I'd really like to take a picture of all the food Jasper is set to eat for a meal - because it's just so much!" So here are a couple snapshots.

I wasn't quick enough to get this completely recorded for posterity. This tray is actually his second installment of quesadilla pieces. (And yes, he has multiple quesadilla pieces shoved in his mouth - perhaps three. I wasn't watching closely.)

This is the remainder of the food (pears, peas, quesadilla pieces & yogurt) ... of which he ate almost all of it. I think he actually only had some peas left over. :)

And then for you inquiring minds, this is a typical day's food:

1/2 banana
1 medium-size grapefruit (whole thing, minus the extra juice)
1-2 strawberries
~1 1/3 package of instant oatmeal (a 2-1 combo of regular and apple/cinnamon)
sips of whole milk
chased with a handful of Cheerios or cut-up waffles

1 slice sandwich meat (turkey) or 2 meatballs or 2 silver dollar-sized slices of ham
1/2 sweet potato or ~1/3cup cooked peas (not much variety in the veggie department)
1/4 - 1/2 pear
1/2 cup plain pasta or more macaroni and cheese or 1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2-1 oz cut cheese: monterry jack, colby jack, cheddar or havarti
sips of whole milk (sometimes gulps)

afternoon snack
8oz whole milk and/or ~3/4 cup whole yogurt (fruit yogurt mixed with plain)

This is often very similar to lunch, just in a different configuration of items.
However, a current favorite item is: chicken & cheese quesadilla (the size of 1/4 a large tortilla). To this we'll add pears, peas and milk.

Recently we've been able to get him to eat just what we were having for dinner. There was no special meal made up for him. I don't generally cook things that translate well for him, especially since our main vegetable is a green salad. But I made a chicken and rice cassarole with cheddar cheese, carrots and ... peas. He generally does not like to mix his food. He will go around the high chair tray and stack up like things, but not dissimilar things. However, he ate the casserole - a lot of it. I realize it's a small thing, but we were pretty excited. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jasper Loves Peas

We have talked with a few of you about how much Jasper LOVES to eat peas. It has been the solid food that he has consistently liked from the beginning. He never would "give pureed peas a chance," but once he took to the real thing he never looked back. We have noticed that Jasper sometimes picks up the pace a little while eating peas. Erica caught him motoring through some peas during a recent evening meal.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Haircut

Although we know many of you love seeing Jasper's crazy hairdos, it's come to that point in time when we really needed to get his lovely locks clipped. We were getting too many questions of "is it a boy or a girl?" And really more significant is that his hair was hanging in his face way too much. I was often surprised that he didn't spend more time trying to wipe it out of his eyes.

So ... we took the plunge yesterday.

Before the haircut we took Jasper to get professional portraits taken. We don't have thousands of photos of him already, but of course professional ones are considered compulsory. So, to document the last day that he looked like a baby instead of a little boy, we did the deed. Then at lunch, I took Jasper down to the salon at which Teri Burchfield works so the salon owner could trim Jasper's hair. We wanted to retain all the curls in the back and just trim the front and the side pieces that flip out the most.

Jasper did pretty well but definitely didn't like something about the process. He didn't cry the whole time, but it would come in fits and starts. Overall he did pretty well. Teri documented the event for us. Here's a quick recap of what his hair used to look like:

Here we are at the salon. Jasper was not comfortable sitting in the chair alone, so I held him in my lap.

Immediately after the cut was over, Jasper was fine. Here he's making eyes at our photographer, Teri.
Back home Jasper is doing one of his favorite things - playing with my cell phone.

This photo is from this morning. It's not only a look at his hair after it's been washed at home, but it shows off his new molars well too.

Here is a short video of the haircut.

Sunday at the park

On Sunday afternoon (Jan 13), our friends Mark and Teri Burchfield called and invited us over to spend some time at the park behind their house. It was another lovely day, temps in the 50-60's and sunny. It was a little windy, but nothing bad. We haven't spent much time with them together since we finished the deck on our house, so we had a nice time hanging out. Mark and Drew walked all over with Jasper, letting him explore the area.

I guess it's unspoken, but a new year's resolution I have is to do a better job of chronicling our entire family instead of just Jasper. So, Teri took a quick snapshot of the three of us at their house before we left.

We were even kind of coordinating even though it was completely unplanned.

13 months

Jasper is not generally this squeaky clean, but he had just come out of the bath so we decided to go au natural for his 13 month photo rather than take a shot in jammies. You can see from this sequence of photos how active he is these days.

check out that belly!
even with being sick around the holidays and on a reduced diet, he still weighed in at 24.8lbs when we were at the doctor's office last week.

Last year, we took the very first "couch photo" the night of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Jasper sort of stayed up for that game, although he didn't watch any (lucky dog). The photo is nice to commemorate. The game was not. This year we did not keep Jasper up for the BCS championship game (lucky dog), and again that game is nothing to be relived in our memories. Let's just hope next year is better. (sigh) Apart from thinking of the games, I thought it would be fun to take another walk down memory lane and compare Jasper one year later.
January 2007:
January 2008:

In addition, Jasper's announcement photo (taken at 9 weeks) is with his little giraffe, so we took that out and tried to position Jasper for a comparison photo. Getting him to lay still is like asking an Aggie to paint their house burnt orange. So ... I think we got really lucky with the shot we have. Enjoy!

January 2007:

January 2008:

Not My Finest Hour

Last Thursday afternoon we took an excursion and went to the park for a quick trip on the swings and the slide. We both needed some fresh air. While we were there, Jasper was trying to get up onto the playground equipment. The step was really too high for him, so as he was bracing himself to get up I tried to give him a little boost. You can probably see where this is going. Jasper wasn't prepared for the outside help, and his arms buckled under the extra force. His face went straight into the step, and his top lip was busted. I didn't actually realize this at first ... not until I saw the blood on my shirt while I was trying to comfort him. Isn't it interesting that kids are so trusting? Here I had just caused him pain and he was turning to me to comfort him from the very same pain. Poor kid! But, to my surprise, after he cried a few minutes and the bleeding had stopped, he went on to keep playing like nothing had ever happened. And, he actually did get up that same step later. What do I know?

Here's my very disheveled, swollen-lip boy:

and there's more ...

After his nap, we had a short time to get ready to head downtown to meet a friend for dinner. Since Jasper had gotten his hair all messed up at lunch time, I needed to comb through it. (A bath would have been better, but there was no time for that.) So, I took him into the bathroom to comb his hair. I thought it would be a struggle, but to my surprise, Jasper was entertaining himself and didn't mind. He was so into what he was doing that he literally let me comb through crusty stuff. I was ecstatic. This never happens. I didn't realize what he was playing with until the cap slipped under the door, and he started banging on the door to get it. I looked, and then to my shock I saw that he was playing with a plastic jar of Vaseline. Both hands were covered with Vaseline, and the jar was all slimed. Oh my, and his pants were covered in Vaseline! That doesn't come out in the wash, you know. Those pants are now officially "play or sleep pants." As I tried to get him off the floor to clean him up before he did more damage, he slimed my jeans. How nice. I deserved that for ignoring what he was doing while he sat literally under my nose.

Thank goodness for grace.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fun Stuff

It surprises me sometimes when I stop and think about how much Jasper has changed. I see him all day all the time, so I forget what things used to be like. Here's a snapshot:

  • Jasper no longer walks with his arms in the air. His balance is good enough that he can walk normally (arms down) and even stop to pick up toys.

  • He also can stand up from a seated position without support. I'm not sure how he figured it out. Just one day he started.

  • "I'm gonna get you" does not instill the fear that it should. Instead, it's my new magic tool to get Jasper to come back to me. Drew's tried to explain to Jasper that you're supposed to run when someone says that to you, but instead he turns and walks toward us ... laughing the whole time. It's great!

  • He's responding more to things we instruct him to do - like drinking milk from his cup.

  • He waves at almost everyone these days, as long as he's warmed up to them. Although he's still shy at meeting new people, and last night cried when Amar and Kim came to visit.

  • He loves to greet daddy when he comes home from work. Usually it is with a h-u-g-e smile.

  • He can walk on uneven surfaces without falling down. This is a good thing, because he headed off from me at the park yesterday and walked down a slight incline, headed directly toward some big, ragged rocks. Thankfully Drew had been working with him over the weekend, so he handled it without missing a beat.

  • He lifts his arms up when we say "up" and even responds (most of the time) to "so big."

  • He's been getting into cycling. Drew's borrowed some cycling accessories from co-workers to try out - a trailer and an iBert. To get ready to ride, we bought Jasper a helmet. It's pretty cute!

Fever ... or something more?

If it's not one thing, it's another. Last week Jasper had a fever. He had not been in the church nursery since before Christmas, and since he spent the previous week with grandpa and grandma - he just wasn't around kids. So on Tuesday afternoon when he got up from his nap and was just screamin' hot, I was concerned. He was restless overnight and awake every 6hrs ... just as the motrin was wearing off. At 7am his temp was 102.4deg. It's not high enough to warrant a trip to the ER, but it's the highest he's ever had. So we were off to the doctor for a visit first thing in the morning. After ruling out an ear infection, pneumonia and a urinary tract infection, we just had to sit and wait. For about two and a half days Jasper was unusually cranky and clingy. Goodness he clung. I couldn't walk around in the morning without him clinging to my leg.

When we were in the doctor's office on Wednesday, while Jasper was crying hard, I noticed something new ... his molars were coming in - both bottom ones. So when the fever broke, no infection materialized and no rash appeared, we started to look for alternate options. We figured his crankiness must be from teeth pain, and as I've told every mom about this week, they have all immediately said "oh, the fever must have been from teething."

Now Jasper now has a full mouth of teeth - eleven!

Happy New Year ... with Grandpa & Grandma Gant

On New Years Eve, Grandpa and Grandma Gant came to Austin to visit us. Drew picked them up at the airport, and then Jasper and I met them all at Central Market for lunch and our regular shopping excursion. It was a lovely afternoon, and we all sat out on the patio to eat. Jasper made a bit of a mess of the food we offered him, and we all remarked that the birds which hover around the patio were going to be very happy when we left.

On New Years Day we awoke and celebrated Christmas with Jasper. Drew and I left a couple big presents in Austin for him to open when we got home (and because we didn't want to transport them to Michigan and back on the plane.) One of them was this toy wagon. Jasper thought it was really cool and spent some time exploring it's capabilities.

However, his interest in the wagon soon disappeared once the Racin' Ramp Garage (from grandpa and grandma) was opened. He wanted to play with it before Drew finished puting it together. I was thrilled that almost all of his cars and trucks fit on the ramp and in the elevator. He spent a good portion of every day that grandpa and grandma were here playing with the garage. H enjoyed pushing things down the elevator shaft. I don't know why he enjoyed tormenting himself with dropping things down the shaft b/c they almost always got stuck ... but perhaps there is just some inexplicable draw to elevator shafts. (... What is it Lassie? Jimmy's trapped in an elevator shaft? And water is starting to fill it? And he has a broken leg?)

Jasper's chomping on this spoon as if it has something special on it ... like seafoam salad. :)

This activity table is from nana and papa Jasper. Grandma Gant taught Jasper how to put the rings through the slot. He got to the point during their visit where he couldn't walk by the table without messing with the rings. :)

On Saturday before they left, we all went out for a walk. We drove down to Whole Foods for lunch and walked around Town Lake (aka Lady Bird Lake). It was a glorious day! I mean, seriously ... we all regretted not wearing shorts! This photo is taken shortly after passing the park area where dogs can run unleashed. There were a TON of dogs, and Jasper had fun watching them play.

Grandpa and grandma gave Jasper his bath each night while they were here, and they enjoyed it.
One final activity before their departure: grandma wanted to show grandpa how Jasper dances when we read Hippos Go Berserk. As we read the page which says "All the hippos go berserk," while sitting in our lap, Jasper will start wiggling in his seat and bobbling his head back and forth. That's his version of dancing, and it's cute!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kalamazoo Christmas

After a rough week before Christmas and an even rougher flight into Kalamazoo, by Christmas morning Jasper was able to have fun again. He loves spending time with his cousins, Karin and Linnea, who love spending time with him in return. They were such great girls on Christmas morning who patiently waited for all the adults to get up before they looked at their stockings. They then helped distribute all the presents so we could open them one by one. Did you know there was a monster truck at the nativity? I had no idea, but Jasper assured us there was. This nativity set is a gift from his aunties, uncles and cousins. It plays "Away in a Manger" when you press on the angel on top of the stable. Jasper likes to dance to the music.
There was no shortage of people to love on Jasper over Christmas. Here he's spending some quality time with Uncle Chris.
His cousin Karin let Jasper play with her new Bitty baby doll stroller. This is as close as he's come to playing with dolls, and really it's only because it's on wheels. :)
Jasper got new Robeez from Nana and Papa. They have lions on them. Jasper does know who a lion is and what it says. His roar is quite tame but quite adorable.

Oh my, the girls got a microphone for Christmas. They loved it! They're both quite excellent singers, so we were given concerts all week. It was great!

Here are some videos of a church service the girls held for us. (the videos are broken up for length but meant to be viewed sequentially.)
The Jasper girls (Britt, Erica and Lindsay) in '07:
The Shively family (Adam, Linnea (age 5), Karin (age 3 1/2) and Brittany)
The Atkinsons with Daisy:
In her shopping through little kid toy catalogs, Nana came across an updated version of Rubik's Race. This is Lindsay's trophy game. She routinely whips us whenever we play her. I don't know why she felt the need to practice.

I have no idea what it is about midwestern weather that makes Jasper's hair go CRAZY ... but he woke up from almost every nap looking like he'd just performed some science experiment.

Even though it was a busy week with lots of people, nana got some cuddle time with each grandchild. (Papa was unfortunately sick on Christmas eve and Day. He was a trooper to hang out with us despite not feeling well. We stayed home with him from church on Christmas eve. Jasper still wasn't back to normal and wouldn't have made it through the service.)

An excursion while in Kalamazoo was to the mall to check out the carosel. It was actually really nice. It turned out to be a gorgeous west Michigan day (translation = the SUN was shining). First daddy rode the carosel with Jasper.

then mommy rode it with him.
Cousin Karin was nearby on the carosel. All the kids loved it.
And Linnea loves helping take care of Jasper. She's often looking out for him.
The day we flew out of Kalamazoo we got snow. Snow that came down in big thick flakes. It quickly coated everything with a beautiful white blanket. On their last afternoon together, Linnea and Karin sat with Jasper and read him a book. They all had fun.

One really nice side effect of all the snow is that BIG snow plows were out clearing the runways at the airport, so in the long wait we had for all the passengers to get on the plane and during deicing, Jasper was quite entertained looking out the window at these big trucks. He actually had his face plastered to the window pane. It was adorable!