Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rocking Chair

Earlier this week I set Jasper into the rocking chair in his room to put socks on him. I guess he's never sat in it alone before, because he got this adorable grin on his face when I sat him in the chair and it glided. I then adjusted where he was sitting, pushed him back a little more, and then showed him if he leaned forward he could get the chair to rock on his own. Man did he LOVE that! He had a ball! So I gave him one of his favorite books and went to grab the camera to snap a photo. Here he is enjoying his little perch. :)

then he thought it would be fun to take off after the camera.
and as you can see this boy needs another haircut. i think this cut will have to be the one that sheds all the curls. i've noticed that his hair gets all sweaty quite quickly, so we really should free him of that before this summer heat is upon us.

Sock Cape

I've mentioned before that Jasper likes to take things and hold them around his neck like they are capes. I happened to catch him in the act of doing this when we were in the car on the way home from Marble Falls. I had taken his shoes & socks off to let his feet cool off, and he found the socks to be great fun.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Washing the car

Jasper and I spent some time outside yesterday washing our car. For those members of our family that can only dream of washing their car right now, I don't do these things without thinking about you, and I'm sure you do the same thing for us when you enjoy a 80 degree day in August. Erica had the idea that Jasper would enjoy playing with the water while I wash the car. Plus, washing the car is theraputic for me. Jasper and I started by dressing for the fun. We both put on our swim trunks and water shirts. Then, we started by playing with the hose on its own. You can see and hear how much he is enjoying it.

Next, I pulled out the car, and the fun continued.

Finally, Jasper had to go in for his nap, but not before we caught some fun photos or our wet boy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sweet Berry Farm

On Saturday (4/19) we took a family excursion to Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls, about one hour west of Austin. We've been running (and riding) in different directions for months, and Drew's been training most Saturdays for the BPMS150 ... that we just really needed time together as a family. The day was perfect, as you can tell from the photos. It was mild in Austin before we left, but once we got to the farm the temps were creeping up toward 80 degrees. Still there was a sweet breeze to keep us cool.

Here are my two boys walking hand-in-hand toward the farm.
Jasper was anxious to explore everything.
Jasper is a HUGE strawberry fan, so we had no doubt he'd enjoy this outing. Sweet Berry Farm grows various fruits, but strawberries are what are in season right now. We showed Jasper how to pick the berries off the plants, and from that moment on it was all hands on deck to keep him from picking and eating everything he saw. He got the most precious look on his face when we would give him a berry to eat. On one of the first ones, he was so excited that he ate it all in one big mouthful - green top and all!
For the most part he did well picking berries we showed him and then dropping them in the box, but it still required supervision. Thankfully we were there together. Drew took over much of the parenting role while I picked. I could not resist continuing to pick. The berries were so ripe and yummy! Yes, we (obviously) did a little taste testing in the field.
We spent most of our time (about an hour picking) at the far end of the rows. At this point it looks a bit desolate, but other pickers soon joined us.

Jasper liked roaming around.
Here is a view of part of the farm. We ate lunch under the covered structure (seen below) once I was able to pull myself away from picking berries.

Before we wrapped up, Jasper and I sat down with our nearly full (it would get more full as I walked toward the checkout) basket to show off our plenty.

And here he is, enjoying a treat. :)

While I toiled in the field (actually while I couldn't tear myself away from picking beautiful berries), Drew let Jasper explore the farm and it's treasures. There wasn't a tractor in operation that we could see ... oh if there was!

Lunch time! We started with homemade strawberry ice cream (made at the farm). We had to ... or it would have melted!
The final box of berries.

Gideon Comes to Visit

The very night that daddy finished his big ride, our dear friends Joel, Stacy and Gideon Hock came to visit us. They came for dinner, and Jasper enjoyed meeting Gideon and watching him have his dinner. Gideon is a total cutie!
Hocks live in NYC so we don't get to see them very often. But we're hoping by the time they move back to Austin, the boys will be able to play together all the time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Daddy Rides!

On April 12th and 13th, Drew rode in the BPMS150 ride from Houston to Austin. Day 1 was brutal with a 20-30 mph headwind ALL day. Daddy was in the saddle way too long that day and was beat when he arrived in LaGrange, TX 99.5miles later. Day 2 (67 miles) was much better. He and the remaining three riders in his group were able to draft together and enjoy the benefits of cycling actually being a team sport. On Sunday they also enjoyed calmer winds and glorious Texas April blue skies. We met them at the finish line, along with thousands of others. So even though we saw them cross the line, they sadly did not see Jasper high up on my shoulders looking proud as can be. :)

Here are the riders who finished together: Nathan Johnson, Corbett Klempay, Andy Rouse and Drew.
Jasper napped on Sunday until I woke him up and put him directly in the car seat so we could race downtown for the big finish. Consequently, he didn't have any lunch. So while we were gathering up Drew's luggage, we took a few moments to give him some strawberries. Jasper loves strawberries, but he hadn't eaten them like this before. He couldn't get enough! If you look closely in his glasses, you'll see our reflections in each lens.
Jasper was so glad to see daddy again this day!

There was a heavy frost overnight in LaGrange, so Drew's tent was wet, wet, wet. yuck. we had to air everything out and let it all dry fully before anything could get packed away for the next camping trip. Jasper enjoyed running around in the driveway and the front yard while we were airing things out.
yes, his hair is getting long again.
Drew was proud of Jasper because he's watched Drew use his bike pump enough that he knows the right way to use it. Like father like son!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Minnesota Bound

On the morning of April 1st, Jasper and I took off for a mid-week trip to visit his cousins and his aunties in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Auntie Lindsay had arrived in MN the day before, just as snow was starting to fall heavily. She was spending part of her spring break with all of us. Grandma and Papa Jasper were going to join us the next day. Uncle Adam was coming back from a business trip later in the week, too. It was going to be a full house, and we were looking forward to seeing everyone - most of whom we hadn't seen since Christmas.

We were fortunate to be on a fairly light plane and got an empty seat next to ours so that Jasper had room to spread out. Before take off, the Texaco tanker truck provided much excitement to Jasper.
He's crouching down to get a closer look here:
Breakfast on the plane consisted of bananas, grapefruit and waffles. He loved having his own little spot to settle in, enjoy breakfast and do some reading. He made fast friends with the people sitting around us and the flight attendants who hung out at the back of the plane. He walked the aisle, about five rows up and then would turn around and run back. He even started trying to crawl under the seat. It was slight craziness on this flight since he was SO awake and rar-rar-ing to go. :)

When we got to Minnesota, his cousins Linnea and Karin were very excited to see him! That very first afternoon we headed out in the crisp cold air (of which we had not felt any since Christmas) and made our way to the Mall of America. The girls wanted to check out the new rides at the in-mall amusement park. Look at those three blonde-haired beauties!
This is the craziness of the Mall of America, just the amusement park part of it.
We wasted no time and immediately hit the truck ride. All the kids enjoyed riding the big rigs with Auntie Lindsay.
Isn't this so cute! Two cousins, hanging out.
Karin got to go on the swings with Auntie Lindsay, and the Linnea (5.5yrs) wanted to go on the big-girl "splat-o-sphere." Brave Brittany took her on this ride that Lindsay and I both shunned off. You can see how high in the air they got. Crazy!
And here you can see that Linnea is totally LOVING this ride. She had so much fun!
While we waited down on the solid ground, Karin was the keeper of the purses. She didn't mind this job at all, little fashionista that she is. :)
After dinner at Famous Dave's, at which Jasper had some stashed away strawberries, it appears that some strawberries got stuck in the fold of his camo pants and created quite a mark. At first glance it kind of looks like blood - but of course no one was harmed in the making of this photograph.

Shivelys have a little trampoline in their basement which Jasper soon figured out how to use. His cousins gave him a demo first, and then he had a ball. We had just been practicing kicking at home, and he was able to do some kicking while holding on to the trampoline bar.
Linnea and Karin also had a treasure trove of little cars that we raced across their long hardwood floors. They were trickster little cars - one popped a wheelie, one bounced up and down and another spun around. Jasper loved having this as entertainment. Linnea would race them down the floor, and Jasper would go retrieve them for her.
On the second day of our visit, we went to Como Zoo. It was the first zoo Jasper had been to, and he really enjoyed it. We saw all kinds of primates and even had a huge gorilla come over to the glass right where we were standing. He loved the tiger and the seals. We also saw lions, zebras, giraffes, a polar bear, penguins, and much more. It was a great day. The only oddity about the day is that Jasper started being totally clingy to me. He's been dealing more with separation anxiety these days (he screams when we drop him off at he nursery), but considering we were with two other women who look almost identical to me - I was completely surprised that he didn't go to us interchangeably. But consequently I have no pictures from the day. We're waiting to get some from Auntie Lindsay.

After the day-long clinginess, at dinner on Wednesday night Jasper didn't eat well and I felt his forehead and could tell he had a temperature. By bedtime it was 102deg, and overnight the fever did not go away. In the morning it was 102.7deg, but he still ate breakfast like gangbusters (much to the amazement of his auntie Britt). After an abnormal morning nap (abnormal in that he had a morning nap), he didn't eat lunch and was completely lethargic. By 2pm his temp was 104deg, and I started calling around to figure out where we could get him in to see a pediatrician. We found a pediatric prompt care and headed out with Auntie Britt to Minnetonka.

At the prompt care, we were seen by super sweet Dr. Mamet who, after a long consultation, diagnosed him as having croup. Jasper got a steroid shot to help relax the swelling around the vocal chords and wind pipe, with the hope of reducing the severity of the condition. But being that croup is a viral infection, we just had to wait it out. Nights were tough with him coughing a lot. Thankfully by Friday his fever was coming down for good. He maintained a low-grade fever through the weekend, even after we got home. But nothing scary like 104deg.

While he was sick, he spent a good deal of time hanging out in his short-sleeve onesies because I had brought mostly pants and long-sleeve shirts for him. We were going to Minnesota after all, and it had just snowed. But he did well and still enjoyed spending time with his cousins and being read to by Auntie Britt. He also like spending time with Grandma, Papa and Adam.
On the day we were leaving to return to Texas, there was tons of activity in the Shively household. Linnea was getting ready for a birthday party, and her dad was cleaning her fingernails for a new polish application. Then Adam, Papa and Karin went to the outdoor show. I've been told Karin climbed in and out of so many boats while they were there that she fell asleep in the car as they were pulling out of the parking ramp. She was tuckered out!

For some reason, a full family gathering in the winter always means someone will get sick. This time it was our turn. Of course it was also our turn at Christmas, but oh well. These things happen. We were fortunate to be with family in such a loving and comfortable environment. Our flight home was completely uneventful. After eating his lunch for the first hour of the flight, Jasper abruptly turned around in my lap, snuggled in and fell asleep ... until touch down (1.5hrs later). Drew was at the airport (after a 95mile ride that day!) to meet us and bring us home. We were glad to be back, and I was especially glad to have Drew's help with Jasper. Nights were better starting on Saturday. We spent some time with him in a steamy bathroom before he went down to help him be relaxed and more able to sleep for a prolonged time. He did cough overnight but not enough to wake up. His croupy-cough lingered, dissipating over time, for another week. By the weekend of the MS150 it was completely gone.

16 Months Old!

This kid is pretty funny. His latest antics involve walking around holding up the legs of his pants or shorts. We can't figure out why he's doing this since he's never been in a flood or walked into water with his clothes on. Regardless of why he does this, he gets a kick out of it and we think it's funny.
Another antic: twirling. He'll spin around in circles until he's so dizzy he nearly falls down. If he tries to walk at all after twirling, he'll inevitably list and crash into a wall or furniture. Generally he brushes himself off, laughing and moves on his way. This shot caught him mid twirl while holding up the legs of his pants. crazy kid!

Thank goodness for God's faithfulness - even about small things like keeping me from getting an ulcer. This week Jasper made HUGE strides in going down steps backwards, and today we went to the park and he proactively turned around to go down every step. It was WONDERFUL! I have not taken him to the park much over the last few weeks just because it was really making me overly anxious to be there with him. He still has some room to go to recognize that some drops are just too high - even to go down backwards. But at this point we're in much better shape. woo hoo!

At 16 months Jasper has decided it's time to assert his independence. We were not prepared for this and don't have our punishment scheme down yet. We've determined that hand slapping does nothing but stern talking to (better executed by Drew than me) will reduce the little guy to tears. So for now that is our approach. He has started ignoring us when we tell him specifically not to do something, and he's getting quite proficient at executing the "wet noodle" body reaction whenever I tell him something he doesn't like or try to remove him from a situation he would rather not leave. We're working on making him understand that this behavior is unacceptable, but we've got some way to go.

On a final note, we've pretty much foregone the couch photos on a monthly basis. Getting Jasper to sit there long enough to take a photo is nearly impossible, especially with just one of us. We'll revive it for more noteworthy ages (18mo, 2yrs, etc.).