Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blue Polka Dot Jedi

I don't think we have a photo of this posted yet. Nana made this towel for Jasper (before he was born) which Drew now let's him wear while he walks into the bedroom after bathtime. We think he looks like a Jedi - that is if Jedi were allowed to wear anything with a pattern or anything other than a neutral color. Details, details ...

On occasion we've also given him a little naked time in the room right before he gets lotioned up and has PJs put on for the night.

All this backfired on Drew this week when one night while I was outside cleaning up the pool and water table, Jasper ran into his room from the bathroom, cast off the towel, turned around to face Drew and then peed on the floor, yes the carpet. Drew quickly grabbed the towel, threw it into the stream and then was caught off guard again when Jasper dashed off into the front hallway upon which Drew had to chase our little naked boy down. When I came inside things had calmed down, and I'm so sorry to have missed the fun.

I did get to clean up the carpet though. :)


Jasper has figured out how to listen to music with the headphones of our MP3 player. If the music is something in which he's interested (the Backyardigans or Jack Johnson "Curious George") he'll sit there and listen through a song or two. But eventually he disconnects the headphones from the player and then walks around the house with the player up to his ear saying "Hi, Dad ... Hi, Dad" like it's his own personal cell phone.

could this be an iPod ad?

An argyle sock it is not, but it's got pink in it. Is that embarrassing enough?
After I put on the bandana, I turned him around to look at himself in the mirror. He thought that was fun!
Jasper picked out this shirt this morning and said "rock." Yep, he knows what's up.
what an action shot! look at that hair blowing!
the hair really does make the look, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

July 4th Up North!

NOTE: Post updated with new video

The "Jasper" clan: Adam, Britt and Linnea and Karin (front row), Lindsay, Daisy and Chris (in back) and Drew, Jasper and me (6+mo pregnant, on the right side).

Drew and Jasper playing down on the beach.

During the first week of July, we made the yearly pilgrimage to Minnesota to spend time with the Jasper clan and enjoy time at the cabin. The cabin was built by my grandpa Ken when my dad was a boy. Our family has plenty of memories from spending time here, and we definitely want Jasper to enjoy some of his own memories from this place as well. We left Texas behind along with its daily 100-degree temperatures and parched dirt. Minnesota is beautiful this time of year. Nights are cool and most days are warm and sunny with a nice breeze off the lake. Picture perfect! Even days of rain were fine. It was nice to feel the mist off the rain and know God's creation was being restored by the water.

Jasper looking fondly at the water chillin' with Papa

In advance of going, we've had Jasper in swimming lessons for a month. This appears to have paid off in spades. On our first morning there, Drew took him down to the lake ahead of me. Turns out we have a fish for a son, because if Drew had not stopped him, he would have walked right out to where it was over his head. He took the COLD Minnesota water in stride and LOVED every minute.

Here are my boys, all geared up for the water: carefully sun-protected and given a slight insulating edge.

going out deep with his cousins

He loved hopping into the lake and even came up with a huge smile each time he fell and went under. It was great! We spend lots of time down in the water while we're at the cabin, so we were hoping his aversion from last year would melt away. Check out this video of him in the water.

On the last day he was in the water, Jasper did a nose-dive into the water. He was just slightly disturbed, but not overly so. When I undressed him up at the cabin I noticed just how much sand got up his shirt.

Jasper also loved spending time with his cousins, nearly 6-yr-old Linnea and 4-yr-old Karin. They too are fish. We have a school in the making. The girls also love to fish and pretty easily caught good-sized bass off the end of the dock. It was great fun!

I have no idea what's going on in this photo. The kids are intently watching something Uncle Adam is doing.

Jasper and Karin are watching an episode of the Backyardigens before dinner. Karin is comforting Jasper since he has gotten emotionally attached to these characters and screams for their safety whenever anything perilous appears to be happening.
meatballs for dinner are a hit with all the kids!

As an aside, I'll mention right after this picture (below), Adam came in on the sailboat and both Drew and Linnea moved to help him with his landing. As a result, Jasper toppled into the water. He was totally fine and came up grinning.

Linnea and Karin in their pretty dresses. Jasper and Karin looking at a book one cool morning. I don't think anyone was rushing outside to be in the water this morning.

One of the best things about the cabin is that it presents a break from the normalcy of life. Here there is a small table that kids have been eating around for years. It's the perfect height for little ones, and it's right in the middle of all the action. Jasper ate almost every breakfast here along with frequent lunches. I tried at first to keep him in his seat through the meal but soon determined it was just easier to let him take a bite, walk away to find a toy or see someone and then come back for another bite. He generally still ate like a champ while we were there, so no harm no foul on disrupting our generally strict eating routine.

Daisy loved that Jasper ate at the little table, too! She got his scraps.
I've never noticed this before, but the bathroom counter and sink are really low. Jasper loved that he could reach the sink all by himself, and each time we'd say, "it's time to wash hands" before a meal, he would run for the bathroom, pull the step over to the sink and step up. In this picture I think he's just standing there for fun. He's just come up from the lake with Auntie Brittany. They started tossing rocks into the water to hear them go "plop." Somehow his pants and shoes got wet in the process, and soon he was walking around half clothed. The good thing we all discovered is that barefooted he cannot move around quite as quickly, so keeping him from running off into danger is much easier. On Saturday evening, July 5th (our 5-year anniversary), we all got cleaned up for dinner at the Sugar Lake Lodge. It was another gorgeous night, and we had a really enjoyable dinner. We celebrated dad's recent retirement and all the fun he and mom have ahead now that they are unencumbered by work and travel. They're spending nearly all summer in Minnesota and have already really enjoyed the relaxed pace.

Jasper gave up his Oakmont USGA hat for Auntie Brittany who lost her 6-yr-old Grand Tetons hat into the lake earlier in the summer. Britta liked the neutral color, and we're thinking Uncle Adam will like the squirrel.

Nana and Papa with their grandkids

After dinner, we're observing some Wii action ahead of us. Jasper found it fascinating!

Small town life is quaint and fun. On July 6th we headed to Marble, MN for their centennial parade. Armed with pillowcases for candy booty, the cousins were rar-rar-ing to go ... well, Linnea was at least. It turns out Karin really needed a nap and didn't care how many loud rescue vehicles passed by, she slept soundly in Nana's lap while Auntie Lindsay gathered up candy for her. Jasper loved all the fire trucks, tractors and the one rare snowplow. Seriously, there were a LOT of fire trucks, and this parade went on for 1.5 hrs! And you would not believe the amount of candy dispersed. Wow! It was amazing. It was a good time.

the whole crew: Britt, Adam, Karin (pink hat), Lindsay, Dad, Linnea, Jasper, Drew, Chris and Mom.

Jasper sees something he likes!

check out the kids and adults crawling over the street to pick up candy! Linnea waits in ready position.

Ooh, a snowplow on treaded tracks!

Yes, Jasper definitely liked the snowplow!

Tractors came at the end, and by this time Jasper was really into the groove of this parade.

Our yearly shot, and here you can see my baby belly.

Drew had to come back to Texas early so he could be back at work, but Jasper and I stayed on through the week after the 4th. We had fun playing in the water, playing with the old toy train Nana and Papa brought for Jasper, going for rides in Papa's boat, dancing to the singing bass in Papa's garage, eating tons of yummy food Nana prepared and playing with Daisy. "Daisy" is in fact the first new word Jasper started saying while we were at the cabin. Oh, how he loves that dog! Additional new words have followed. More on that later.
i think this train is left-over from my childhood days, but Jasper still loved it. it makes a "choo-choo" noise when you push the smokestack on the engine. very old-school, but preferred, in my opinion.

Jasper loved driving Papa's boat! I was told while he was steering one time, Papa tried to hold onto the wheel too and Jasper removed Papa's hand so he could have complete "control."

Jasper loved the spring. Despite it's freezing cold water, he liked letting the water rush over his hands. It's kind of precarious around the spring, so we had to supervise each visit and sometimes come up with distracting ways to extract him from this alluring feature.

A more refined technique ... walk along the spring out to the waterfront. He liked that.

Being silly with Auntie Lindsay

goodbye kisses for Auntie Lindsay

Nana and Papa reading to their grandkids about tractors. Jasper actually was not originally on the couch with them. Papa just read out loud and showed so much interest in what he was reading that eventually Jasper came over and joined them.

Jasper loved swinging out on the porch and would often enjoy time there with Auntie Brittany, usually reading a book.

During this reading of Dinosaurumpus, somehow it came about that Jasper and Karin started saying "Romp!" with Uncle Chris as he got to the end of the "chorus" of each page. Now he says it all the time and loves to read this book over and over!

This is after Jasper's first ice cream-induced sugar high. We stopped at DQ after Sammy's and all got dessert, but we didn't get something for Jasper because previously he hasn't liked nor been very interested in ice cream. (Yes, we have tried.) But he was a little annoyed that everyone else had something and he didn't. He still wasn't interested in just the ice cream, but mom and dad's strawberry shake was heartily consumed by our wee little one.