Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sleeping Jasper

Sometimes, the position I find Jasper sleeping in just makes me laugh!

Hot, Hot, Hot

I believe we've mentioned that it's hot here, right? Here's an interesting article from the local news station on just HOW hot it has been and continues to be.

As an update to this article, today News8Austin reported the following:
  • we've had 22 triple-digit days since May 19th as recorded at Camp Mabry, about 8 miles south of here on MoPac.
  • 15 record highs (10 new, 5 tied)
  • highest: 103 on June 18th

To escape the heat, we hit the pool. On Saturday we drove out to Dripping Springs for a pool party hosted by one of Drew's co-workers. It was a relatively hot day, I'm sure hitting triple digits at some point. Jasper had a blast in the pool, first hanging out on the "beach" = a wide shelf just one step into the water. From there we could hang out with him with our feet in the water. After lunch we pushed him a little more and got him all the way in the pool. We didn't go under water, but thanks to his exposure at swimming lessons he did great hanging out in the pool with both Drew and me. It was fun to cool off and play with him.

here he is hanging out on the beach getting sprayed with water by Don's daughter Katy.
Jasper quickly became fond of Katy. She is a sweet girl who was patient to play with him. Here she's showing him how to shoot water out of this toy.
Drew's ducking out of the way because Jasper is spraying him with water!
Daddy and Jasper hanging out at the pool. Jasper was very intrigued by the fountain, but on closer inspection he got a little scared of it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

USGA Member

This past week, we were notified that Jasper's USGA membership had been renewed by papa for the upcoming year ... with the arrival of his new golf bag tag. It's a good thing he now has a golf bag on which to attach it!

Jasper has been having fun with this bag. It has wheels on it, so he really enjoys pushing and pulling it all over the house and yard.
He does not have a regular caddy, so he has to manage his club selection all on his own. He does quite well. :)

Mommy and Me

Just last Sunday, Drew caught a few moments when Jasper and I were goofing around together. He got some particularly adorable shots, and we thought we'd share. Enjoy!

In addition, we thought we'd do a belly comparison ... mommy's belly (at 25 weeks with the baby) and Jasper's. We couldn't quite get Jasper to hold still for a good side-by-side comparison, but this is close enough.
We've been telling Jasper that there is a baby in mommy's belly and asking him if he wants to give the baby a kiss. He always complies and loves giving the baby a kiss.
I don't think he could feel the baby moving at this point. He just liked feeling mommy's belly.

New Shoes!

Last week Jasper and I went shopping for new shoes for him. Drew and I have determined that he's grown out of his size 6 shoes and must be in size 7's. We needed shoes for all purposes ... playing at the park, being in water, running around in the front yard and looking good to go out for church or Bible study.

I was on a mission to find him new sandals, but each pair I put on his feet he immediately wanted off. He grabbed for the velcro strap and pulled it apart and then said "off!"

Feeling slightly defeated, I stumbled upon new (over-priced) Sketchers which are a cross between crocs and sandals. I hesitated to try them just because I thought, "oh goodness, this regular price is crazy. He's just 1! Can I justify this? ... I mean, this is molded plastic! Am I going to fall into the trap of buying something just because it's hip?" However, I was bordering on desperate, and they were on sale (so they weren't really out of our price range).

The minute I put them on, Jasper was fascinated by them. He did not pulled to take them off or ask to have them taken off. I considered this to be a clear sign that he liked them. In fact, I'm pretty sure he would have kept them on the rest of the time we were in the store.

Here he's showing off his new shoes that he helped pick out. You can also see some of his favorite trucks, too. He didn't want to put the trucks down to point to his shoes. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bath Graduation

With little fanfare, Erica and I decided to graduate Jasper to having his baths in the big tub. Yes, we were told that we held onto the small bathtub for far too long, but Jasper didn't seem to mind. Now, I don't think we would be able to get him to stay in the small tub after he has enjoyed the freedom of the big tub. We have a non-slip mat in the bottom, but he still motors around inside the tub. Enjoy the photos.

In case you are curious, Erica had asked one question just before this last picture was shot. "Does a pirate say arrrrrh?"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cool Dude

Jasper loves wearing our sunglasses, and as I've mentioned before I think he looks particularly good in my glasses. Here is a shot for you to be the judge.
Today he was very fond of wearing his glasses. He had them on in the house while he was walking around, playing with toys, waiting for mom and dad to be ready for church. Then when we went to Rudy's for lunch, we pulled his glasses up to sit on top of his head once we got inside. However, he pulled them down over his eyes and had them on the entire time we waited in line (which happened to be a long time today). When I came to sit down with the food, Drew already had him in his high chair eating a little extra food ... and his sunglasses were still on. He wasn't complaining. He was just munching on the cauliflower. He's a nut!

And 2 More Makes 14!

Yes, those lovely bottom incisors came busting through at the end of last week. Jasper's been walking around with his entire hand (sometimes both of them) in his mouth for the last week or two and drooling like a faucet, so we knew it was time. And right on cue (thankfully not weeks and weeks later) two little pearly whites are showing on the bottom. Soon he will have no big spaces in his smile. Wow what a difference that's going to be!

a new version of "double-fisting"

showing off his teeth for us, except we couldn't get a good shot even though he was so obliging.

the right tooth is smaller and pretty hard to see in the photo. trust us. it's there. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day

What is it about mother's day and father's day and golf coinciding? We have a photo of Jasper rapt in wonder as he's viewing golf with his papa on mother's day. And what do we have here? Two boys watching a lotta blue sky, billowing clouds and green grass ... and a little white ball get smacked around. Neither seem to mind. Interesting how that works out, huh?
For dinner on Father's day, the three of us headed over to Mark and Teri Burchfield's house for some relaxing time in their community pool and a yummy dinner for which I did next to nothing. It was very guilty feeling. I brought veggies and chips and then was bestowed the honor of slicing the meat over which Mark had slaved at the grill in our near 100 deg heat. We had a lovely evening, and Jasper was an awesome boy. He so enjoys their little terrier Leela and spent time under the dinner table bending down for Leela to give him kisses. It was a nice time!

There Shall Be No More

Unsupervised coloring until Jasper learns how to stay on the paper and not wander onto the table.
Looks like he wandered kinda far, huh? The hallway bench took a hit from the purple crayon. A vast swath did not submit to being wiped clean by a nearby sock. The box says they're washable. With what household product, I have yet to figure out. Silly me to think this was an innocent thing to leave with my 18 month old. So much for entertaining himself.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

18 months old!

Jasper is now 18 months old (for those of you mathematically challenged, that's 1.5 years). He is learning new things every day, and adding to his list of noises, hand gestures and antics. He certainly keeps me on my toes everyday! Before I give you an update of all his silliness and smarts, here's a walk down memory lane.

Jasper at 1 month old: Not so much head control here nor interest in what's going on.

Jasper at 6 months old. Much more body control and facial expressions, exploration of his toes and more interest in and interaction with the outside world.
Jasper at one year old. Totally active and full of life. Plays with his toys well, favorites being his trucks, and plays with us.
Now, 18 months old. Much bigger and bolder. Climbs on everything that is sturdy enough to not topple over. Laughs all the time and fully knows how to manipulate his world, including the people in it. :)

As you can see, his hair has continued to grow, grow, grow! Can you believe how much is there? I still am baffled at times. When it's wet, you can tell how long it is. I'm not sure yet how to cut it to preserve his "look" and yet give him some relief on our hot Texas summer days. I'm sure I'll post when something dramatic happens.

These days, Jasper still loves to read books (especially about trucks), play at the park including going down the slide on his own, play in his sandbox, climb on our deck furniture, and once he figures out how - climb on the bull wire used in the deck railing. (Today he asked me for help to climb, but I wouldn't. He got up on the bottom frame, holding on to the bull wire. I figure it's not long before he figures out how to climb higher, and there is no way I'm going to help him figure it out any faster! Lord have mercy on me when that day arrives. I shudder to think even now.)

Grandma Jasper bought him some flashcards a little while ago, and we've been working with them these days. he has his favorites ... guess which ones ... the car, bus, boat, airplane, wagon. We also encourage him to match the cards. Some cards have a collection of smaller images which match bigger images on other cards. He's gotten quite good at matching. He also came up to me the other day carrying the frog card saying "hop, hop, hop" and making a hopping motion with the card. Yeah, he knows what he's talking about! Since his intellect is developing and he is following directions, we've also started having him help pick up his toys before bathtime. he knows which basket holds all the trucks, and he knows where all the flash cards go. It's great practice for him, and it helps me out, too!

Probably a couple months ago I told a good friend I "longed for the day" when I could have a logical discussion with Jasper. Poor kid, his parents are so logical we really hope he doesn't turn out to be anti-logic or really artsy. How will we relate? But I digress ... At that point in time, I had been struggling through a month of increasingly stubborn tantrums and was running out of patience to deal with them. However, since we turned our discipline routine up a notch, Jasper has started to get the picture about what he really can and cannot do. I still give him warnings and try not to make mountains out of mole hills, but we're drawing a line in the sand and he's responding. Now I just have to get in his face and explain that if he takes a particular behavior any further he will feel the consequences of his disobedience. Generally he stops. As far as I'm concerned, that IS a logical conversation with a toddler, and I am ecstatic about it. It really makes my life so much less stressful to be able to communicate with him and express a wide range of emotions and thoughts. It's awesome!!!

I don't know if this is a common thing for kids to figure out at this age or not, but Jasper has taken a big liking to wearing our shoes. Moms or dads - he loves it! He also likes putting on our sunglasses. He looks particularly good in my glasses. :) trying on grandpa's sunglasses. he looks kind of matrix-esque, doesn't he?
good combo: daddy's shoes and jasper's glasses.

these are mommy's shoes, and yes he was that excited to be wearing them. scroll down to see the heels! these shoes make clop-clop noise as he walks, and yes he can walk quite well in them.
(a little midriff showing. we're going to have to have a modesty talk soon.)

Jasper enjoys brushing his teeth. our regular routine is to give him one toothbrush to essentially chew on, and then after a minute or so we go in and brush with another one which has toothpaste on it. here he's hanging out with daddy, taking care of their oral hygiene.
I bought him a $2.50 golf set at Target last week to see if he'd be interested. Right now he likes best to chase after the golf balls after daddy has hit them.
but he did take some practice swings.
Jasper also loves these sand chairs I bought to use when he's out in the yard playing in his pool, water table or in the sprinkler. I figured I could put them close to the pool so I could keep my feet in the water to stay cool. We've had 10 record setting temperature days since mid-May, so we do everything (already) to stay cool when we can. This weekend Mark and Teri came over for dinner and had fun watching Jasper play with his water toys. Jasper also enjoyed sitting and chill-axin' with Teri for a while.
Jasper and I go for walks in the morning, but so far there has been no hiking for the Gant clan. Saturday mornings would be our best bet (since it gets hot quickly), but with Drew at his new job at Apollo he's been putting in hours on Saturday mornings ... so hiking has been on hold. But Jasper has the outfit as soon as we hit the trails. :)

Yesterday we met our new neighbors. They are a young couple with no kids yet. But they have toys. As Jasper and I were talking to the wife (Megan) and her mom, the husband (Cameron) drove up and backed his truck into the driveway ... with a trailer carrying a 4-wheeler. Oh goodness! Jasper was excited! And then to my surprise, Cameron offered to let Jasper sit on the 4-wheeler. And he didn't just sit on it. We positioned him to hold onto the handle bars ... and then Cameron shook and rocked the 4-wheeler so it was like a carnival ride for toddlers. Oh My Goodness! You can imagine how it worked to extract him from that when we had to go in for dinner. Yes, major meltdown. He would have stayed on that forever.

A rare treat: a family photo taken by grandpa Gant when he was here last month.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Look what Jasper has to tell you...

He is going to be a big brother!

I'm currently 22 weeks pregnant, going on 23. Our next little boy is due October 6th. If you'd like, you can watch the ultrasound video (below) to see him moving about. We decided not to post any specific images where they point to his boy parts and type "BOY" with an arrow, but you'll see them if you watch the video.

So far so good with this pregnancy. I didn't start showing as soon as with Jasper, so my maternity wardrobe has to be altered despite being pregnant again close to the same time of year as with Jasper. Oh, another thing is that I'm still on leave of absence from IBM. (Go Big Blue!) It's an amazing opportunity for me to be home with Jasper during these years. Being on LOA also means that the one pair of maternity shorts I had from before (only worn on the weekends) is not going to make it now ... considering I wear shorts and a tank top every day. No lie. We come home from church, and I change (or I nap). It's only June 6th, but we've had record heat in Texas since mid May - every day has been over 90 degrees ... and we've had three days at or over 100degs. ... In MAY & early JUNE! ... This is working up to be a long, hot summer. You'll find me near water, most days in our own front yard, all summer long. We'll escape to northern Minnesota and our family's cabin on Lake Pokegama for a week in early July. I'll be praying for cool nights at least.

We've started telling Jasper that there is a baby in mommy's belly, and I've started mentioned that his brother is not going to be happy with him as he crawls all over me. But other than that I don't know how much he gets. He's still not talking yet. He has animal sounds he makes, uses sign language to communicate major needs and says other random things like "hop" and "off." But none of these will allow him to let me know if he understands his life is going to change. We'll see. He clearly picks up almost everything he sees and hears, so I'm sure it will start to sink in.

We're quite happy and nervous about this little guy coming into our lives. I'm nervous because I know what to expect. With Jasper I just was so thrilled to have a baby coming and so ignorant of the work and sacrifice involved that I approached it with glee. I don't have the same glee feeling these days. I'm such a realist that I unfortunately spend a little too much time looking past the miracle and glorious blessing of another child to think, "how will I DO it?!!!" Thankfully Drew has 100% confidence in me and reassures me all the time. But it is still daunting and awe-inspiring. For some reason, God has chosen to bless us with another child, and on days when I don't think I have what it takes to even raise the one we have walking around with us, I trust that He will give me the strength and insight to raise two together. Jasper is a great kid. We've been blessed so much already.

Here is the video of the ultrasound. (there is no audio)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Grandpa and Grandma Gant Visit

Over the Memorial day weekend, Drew's parents came for a visit. They explained they needed a "Jasper fix." :) We were happy to have them here, and they got some great time with Jasper ... reading to him, spending time at the park, giving him baths, etc.

The Texas heat wave (mid- to upper-90's) had already started when they arrived, so we took the opportunity to spend time in / around the water whenever we could. However, we haven't introduced Jasper to pools yet. Instead grandpa and grandma bought him a water table to play with in the yard or on the deck. We also visited the sprinkler park again.

Before they bought a "real" water table, grandma and grandpa make a trial one from a dishpan. Jasper liked it. I think he just really likes getting wet.

There was lots of time spent reading while they were here. Grandma brought us new books for our collection, and they read old ones too. I think Jasper's early morning hair is the best!

This is an awesome picture from the park!

Grandma bought him a broom so he could help keep the deck clean. He likes to help with that household task.
I don't know where he learned it, but Jasper loves to make this funny face when he is particularly happy & excited.
The toy fish grandma and grandpa bought were great for shooting water at Jasper.
He loves running under the sprinkler head of the hose. He'd do it for hours!!!!!!!

Check out the videos from our playtime while they were here.

Time playing with the water table quickly evolved into time running through the sprinkler. Jasper had a blast and got soaked!

Jasper has become quite at home at the sprinkler park. He especially loves running up to water shooting up from the ground and getting his face right in the stream. Then when he's all wet, he runs away grinning from ear to ear. It's a lot of fun!

An interesting development while G&G were here is that Jasper voluntarily stood up in the bathtub, picked up a cup (generally a play item) and peed directly into it. He had complete control over what was happening. Grandma wasn't sure if this was a common thing, but she just took the cup from him and emptied it into the toilet. Then Jasper sat down, and the bath continued. He hasn't done this for us, but who knows ... perhaps it just might sometime down the road. We've never had to deal with a "code brown" as some of our friends have had to contend. We're quite happy about that! :)