Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Spell of the Backyardigens

The Backyardigens is a totally awesome show. I love it as much as Jasper does, but he especially loves all the singing and dancing. His face lights up when the intro plays, and he becomes entranced when the episode is particularly song-infused. We let him watch it on occasion - like when we need to clip his fingernails and toenails or when he is acting particularly unruly right while I'm trying to make dinner (and Drew isn't home yet). It works like a charm. His response does vary based on the show's content. Sometimes I find him dancing along with the "kids" on the show, and sometimes I find him in exactly the same position in which I left him (on the couch or on the floor). The one thing we have learned is that he does not like the show to end. The show has a particular format, and the end always has the "kids" going into one of the houses for a snack. As they do that and shut the door behind them Jasper bursts into tears. So now we have to stop the show before it gets to that point to keep him from being too upset.

Here is an example of the show's appeal to him.

Papa and Grandma Come to Visit

On May 1st, papa Jasper retired, and he and grandma hit the road for a trip to Texas. It wound them through Indiana, Tennessee and tornado-ridden Arkansas. Thankfully they had no problems on their drive, and they even made it into Austin earlier than planned. We had a great visit with them. Grandma kindly did some shrub pruning that I was nervous to do. Drew came home from work just in time to see Jasper smelling the rosemary bush grandma was pruning. He was taking a good long sniff, and he was having fun. We had a variety of weather here the week they were with us. Some days were lovely and allowed us to have all the windows open. Some days were hot and humid and called for the A/C. But most days gave us the opportunity to be outside at least some. Papa took Jasper for walks, hit golf balls and tried to ease into this retirement thing. We returned to the sprinkler park Jasper liked so much while grandma and papa were here. Unfortunately the sprinklers stopped working while we were there and Jasper never really had a chance to get into it.
But he did spend some time pretending he was a lion with grandma. She started this thing with Jasper while she was here where she'd hold her fists up by her face and say "here comes the lion, sneaking through the jungle, looking for Jasper ... ROAR!" at which time she'd open her fists to be like a lion's mane/emphasize the roaring. The first time she did it she roared pretty loudly, and Jasper was startled. But after that she was a little more tame and he LOVED it. He never got the opening the fists portion of the gig, but he would walk up to grandma and hold his fists up by his face to get her to do it ... over and over and over.

Mother's Day was a lovely day here in Austin. We had a great brunch together and then ...
Jasper and papa enjoyed some (TPC) golf after napping.
Papa and grandma also bought Jasper a sandbox for the deck while they were here. Jasper enjoyed getting his bare feet in the sand and (unfortunately) throwing the sand. We're working on that.
Here grandma and Jasper are enjoying some fun play time.
and a little bit of wrestling.

Grandma, Papa and Jasper

We were sad to see grandma and papa go, but they have busy lives to lead and needed to be back in Kalamazoo for a wedding and to get the house all buttoned up before spending lots of time at the cabin this summer. While they were here they were a big help. Grandma helped me with multiple sewing projects around the house and bathed/put Jasper down for bed every night. They were even willing to do some babysitting so Drew and I could go out one night.

Monday, May 19, 2008


A typical after dinner / before bathtime activity in our house is for the boys to wrestle. Drew says it gets Jasper tired out for bed. I'm not sure exactly how accurate that is, but they both love it!

Here you can see, after their wrestling match Jasper finds himself victorious. Drew looks a little whiped-out, don't you think?

This latest injury (the cut/puffy lip) is from a fall Jasper took into a pile of leaves and twigs. We don't know exactly what caused the cut, but for a moment upon cleaning it we were sure we'd have to load up and head to the Dell Children's hospital. Thankfully it again proved to be a little bleeder and we consoled ourselves that it wasn't a through puncture and therefore the cut would heal on its own. The interesting thing is that the lip itself was not cut (on the outside at least). The puncture was above the lipline, but sometime in the night we think Jasper might have scratched the wound and caused it to be enlarged. We were surprised when we got him up on Sunday morning to find it looking worse than the day before.

If it's not one thing it's another. No sooner had that wound healed and Jasper fell at the park face first and cut the bridge of his nose on his sunglasses. That cut is currently healing.

These days there is no piece of furniture that is safe from Jasper (except the beds ... they're still too high). He can climb onto anything and pull things down from all the tables. We have to be quite intentional with where we put things or they soon will be in his possession.

He loves climbing on the couch and playing there. He's taken a few tumbles off of it, and so far each has been controlled enough that he hasn't been hurt in the least bit. We'll see if that continues.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Riding along in my...

...wheelbarrow! While Erica and I finished up some yard work, I looked for a way to have Jasper participate. While using the wheelbarrow to move some heavy/wet leaf bags, I found Jasper a ticket to ride.

As you can see, he had a good time participating.

Drew arrives home!

Erica surprised me one day recording my arrival home from work. I treasure the fact that my son looks forward to my arrival home.