Saturday, February 23, 2008

Antics of a 14-Month-Old

Jasper is a funny kid. There are some things that he just loves. One of those happens to be the school pictures of his cousins, Linnea and Karin. I have them attached to a clip magnet on the refrigerator low enough so he can reach them. He loves to come up to the frig, pull down the pictures until the magnet hits the break between the frig and freezer and is free for him to take with him. ... and take them with him he does! He carries those pictures all over the house. Generally they stay together, but sometimes I find them separated. They're beginning to show their wear, but he still loves to carry his cousins with him.

This green collapsible sac generally holds all his animals. Lately he's been picking up the sac and, with great flare, emptying it completely. He doesn't generally do much with the animals once they're all on the floor ... but he loves to empty the sac anyway. Yesterday I decided to see what he'd do if I put the sac on his head. Turns out he loved it! It fit perfectly over his head. He walked around blinded by the sac, but he also figured out if he pulled on the front of the sac a little he could see out the bottom to see where he was going. He walked around the ottoman multiple times this way.

Lately I've been working with Jasper to recognize and respond to the command "come." Most of the time he would just stare at me. I knew he could recognize by the tone of my voice that he was suppose to do something. However, he either didn't know what to do or was just going to be obstinate. I don't know which. We're making some progress currently, and I'm happy to say he comes more often than not. I praise him and thank him generously when he starts coming to encourage him to come all the way. This generally works the best.

So he's also started splashing at the sink. No longer is hand-washing the low-key activity that dominated our past months. Now it is an all-hands-on-deck effort to get him clean and keep the sink area from getting drown in water. Never a dull moment.

Yesterday Jasper also learned how to use his spoon. Lately he's been showing interest in using his spoon when I feed him yogurt. So I decided to let him try using it completely. I got a little yogurt on his spoon and then handed it to him and said "take it to your mouth." He quickly figured out what to do, and it was pretty funny to watch him. Our spoons have a small spoon surface, which is great for his small mouth. However, they are long - so it took him a long time to get it spun all the way around to his mouth. His anticipation while the spoon was turning was visible, and I was pretty much on the edge of my seat waiting for the spoon to make it to his mouth. It did, and we both were thrilled! This is how his tray looked after the yogurt (and after multiple interim wipe-ups by me). It was a mess.

Tonight Jasper used his spoon again to eat the yogurt. Now that he's done it once, he's not interested in just being fed by me. This should be interesting because he's still not getting much into his mouth. It didn't work too well to record this myself while helping him eat. We kind of made a mess. :)

Tonight after dinner Drew started doing some "wax-on, wax-off" moves also similar to the motion Jasper makes to clean off his tray. For whatever reason, Jasper thought it was hysterical and laughed and laughed. Here's a clip.

Friday, February 22, 2008

To Stitch or Not To Stitch?

Yesterday morning Jasper took a tumble. He was in his bedroom, and I was in the kitchen - so I did not witness the actual deed. However, the cry he let out definitely alerted me to his pain. I ran in to comfort him, and after holding him only a short time noticed the cut on his face near his eye. It really bled only a tiny amount. No blood ran down his face, so initially I didn't think much of it. Well sort of. ... I did freak out initially and took a photo on my cell phone which I immediately sent to Drew (on a business trip to Michigan). But in the time in took for Drew to call me back (and after I had considered calling Uncle Jon to get his medical advice) I had recovered my senses a bit and felt it wasn't too bad.

So then I spent a little (lot) more time thinking about this cut. I looked up in the childcare books what was to be done about cuts and read that face cuts should be stitched for cosmetic reasons, especially ones over the eyebrow and lip lines. This cut did not cross the eyebrow line, so I didn't think it was of much concern. However, I considered that this cut might leave a scar on Jasper's face. I'll admit that "chicks dig scars," often quoted by Ryan Connelly, ran through my head over and over throughout the day as I contemplated the risk of leaving the cut untreated. I mean, was this really true? What if my son wanted to be an actor or a model? What if my decision to not have this treated left him with a really noticable scar? Or would he grow up (hopefully) with no vanity about his gorgeous Scandinavian-inspired good looks? How could I know?

So I called the pediatrician's office and was advised after multiple phone conversations that I should take Jasper into the ER to get stitched by a plastic surgeon. (The nurse did actually call multiple plastic surgeon's offices to see if we could get in, but we couldn't.) After a tearful phone call to Drew I gathered up my confidence to stock our diaper bag for a potentially long visit to the ER. Our friend Teri Burchfield was heading to our house for a visit, so together we conferred about the cut and examined it more carefully. It was no more than 1/4 inch long, and the fact that it did not bleed much led me to believe it was pretty superficial. Because I just didn't want to expose Jasper to the ER if we didn't need to but was concerned about my selfishness getting in the way of taking care of him completely, I couldn't decide what I should do. Therefore I thought I'd leave the decision to our pediatrician. She wouldn't be able to stitch it up, but we were really hoping she wouldn't even think it needed stitches.

Thankfully Dr. Sharp didn't think we needed stitches! woo hoo! She cleaned it, tried to pry it apart to then get it closed more tightly with steri-strips - but she actually couldn't get it to pull apart. So she covered it with a steri-strip and called it good. Here we are after the doctor visit.

A Visit from Papa and Grandma Jasper

Last week Grandma and Papa Jasper made their annual winter pilgrimage to Texas. They got some great sunny weather, and the very first day they were here we enjoyed lunch on the deck. It was picture perfect! They got lots of one-on-one time with Jasper while I was at MOPS on Friday morning and while Drew and I spent the majority of Saturday out shopping.

Grandma is the best at giving positive feedback! While she was here, Jasper started building with his blocks as well as knocking them down. Each time he knocked them down Grandma cheered and exclaimed so loudly & excitedly that Jasper was just about overcome with excitement and he'd squeal with her. It was a (loud) hoot-hollerin' good time. :)

Here Jasper and Papa are playing with the new fire truck Papa bought:

For Valentine's Day, Jasper got a Tonka truck bowl from Grandma and Papa. Here he's pointing out the trucks which were revealed when he finished eating the grapefruit in the bowl.

On Sunday we enjoyed another glorious day outside. We lunched at Phil's Ice House which is ranked one of the top places to eat for kids. The playground equipment and Amy's Ice Cream next door of course contribute to that ranking. Jasper loved running around outside, and Drew took the opportunity to test how far he could be from Jasper before he really noticed Drew's distance. He likes doing that kind of thing - running simple experiments with our son.

While they were still here, we celebrated my birthday with Grandma and Papa, Andy & Kathryn Rouse and Mark & Teri Burchfield. As a dear gift to me, Mark did a portrait of Jasper in pastels. It is so beautiful and so captures Jasper's inquisitive spirit.

Reading Books

To our surprise and delight, Jasper still loves to read. Goodness this boy can't get enough books! My friend Denise had breakfast with us a couple weeks ago. Jasper kept bringing her books to read to him. She thanked him, took each one and set it beside her plate saying she would read it when we were done eating. By the end of breakfast, she had quite a stack of books and Jasper held her to her word.

For Christmas, Jasper got some new books from Grandma and Papa Jasper. Two "Five Little Monkeys" books and a lift the flap Elmo book. I didn't expect them to be such a hit, but they are regular reading material. He can pick them out of his crate of books just by the binding. I pretty much have them memorized. The monkeys can't bake a birthday cake without making a mess and eliciting the fire department, and they can clean the bathroom well but then are totally oblivious to how they make a mess when they come running in from picking berries at the swamp. There you have it. I'm sorry if that spoiled the endings for you.

Waiting for Daddy

One of the things Jasper looks forward to every day is when daddy comes home. He LOVES his daddy, and as the time draws nears I encourage him to watch for daddy at the front window. When Drew pulls up, Jasper bangs on the glass and starts squealing, almost crying with eagerness and frustration that he can't be with daddy right now. We meet Drew at the door and do a hand-off. He hands me his bags, so his hands are free to take Jasper up in his arms. Sometimes Jasper then goes outside with Drew and plays in the yard. They have a good 'ol time while I try to get dinner pulled together. Here are some photos of their play time in the yard.

Jasper likes to bang on the tires of the 4Runner:
check out the plants:
climb on the rock:
and generally run about the yard:

he's also been working on stepping up and down, and he's getting pretty good:

14 months old

Despite the fact that we're actually one week away from Jasper turning 15 months, I realized we still hadn't posted his 14 month photos. Sorry faithful blogging friends! So, in a flurry of blog postings, I'm going to try to get us up to date.

These photos were actually taken on February 3rd. (Shockingly pathetic it's taken me this long to get them posted, isn't it?)

Here's a little twist on the standard couch photo:
Here are my boys, playing and laughing together:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jasper's Process for Napping

These two vidoes tell a story of how Jasper fell asleep for one of his naps. It starts with him singing and moving around. The final video shows him sleeping. The singing is very common as he falls asleep, and we wanted to capture it for sharing.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Clow's visit for dinner

We had Jonathan, Sarah, and Zaylin Clow over for dinner last night, and the evening was fun but interesting. Zaylin is 10 months old, and the evening started off very well. Zaylin and Jasper didn't interact much, but things were going well. We then sat down for dinner, and something odd happened.

Zaylin would call out to have her parents give her more food, and Jasper would start crying. Not just a little crying, but crying enough that he would bury his head in Erica's chest while he would gasp for air. We still can't figure out why Zaylin's loud calling upset Jasper so much. In the end, Jasper hardly ate anything, but he still slept through the night despite being hungry. Maybe we need to seek out more opportunities where Jasper shares a meal with kids near his age. He has eaten out with us, but not with other kids. The pictures below are from after bath and before bed.

In black and white, they look like prisoners making a break for it.

Playing with the parachute!

One of the attributes that I love about Jasper is that he is willing to try and make almost anything fun. That attempt may be short lived, but he loves to inspect things looking for how he could use it. He is ALL about texture when it comes to food and often with toys.

We recently discovered that Jasper loves a game that Erica invented. I like to call it, "Playing with the Parachute." While it may be foolish to most if not all of you, we often play this game before bath and bed. When I come home late, this is often the only play time I have with Jasper each day.

The game is very simple. We have a bed sheet on the floor, and we move it around Jasper as he moves around. Sometimes the sheet is under his feet. Other times, the sheet flies over his head.

Because I find it difficult to take action photos with our digital point-and-shoot camera, I'll let this video do the rest of the explaining. I think you will see and hear that Jasper has a good time.