Monday, September 28, 2009

Creative Kid

Jasper is becoming a creative and inventive thinker. He surprises us these days by connecting the dots we don't realize he can or by coming up with ideas to do funny or challenging things on his own. It's really so much fun to watch him grow.

Air Guitar

Jasper really loves playing with the guitar he got from Uncle Chris and Auntie Lindsay for his 2nd birthday. One day in early August he showed me something new he figured he could do with it: play it with his eyes closed. He thinks it's great!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

10 months old (in review)

On August 6th, Benjamin turned 10 months old. Where have the months gone? Seriously, I don't know. He is such a fun and crazy kid, that this past month has been full of silliness and progress. Here are some snapshots and highlights.

He cut his 7th tooth before mid-August. (Sometime between July 4th and August 6th he got tooth #6. Forgive me for not alerting you all. Forgive me Benjamin for not writing it down. I'll try to do better on the other stuff.) His toothy grin is just about the cutest thing in this house - seriously!

His rolls and creases remain prominent parts of his anatomy in spite of the fact that we've had to start supplementing his nursing feedings with formula.

Since returning from the cabin (just shy of his 10-month anniversary) he has gone almost completely to table food. We were still giving him baby oatmeal cereal and continue to give him baby food fruit+grain combos for snacks. Other than that, he's a big, mean, food-eating machine. He eats chicken, ham, turkey, meatballs, brisket. Doesn't like rice too much but loves pancakes and Cheerios (of course!). He eats carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. He loves strawberries, peaches, apples, pears, bananas, blueberries and oranges. He loves yogurt and mostly likes cheese. Generally speaking, there is nothing he won't eat. Even if he doesn't love it and gets a squirmed-look on his face, he'll still go back in for more. (hence the creases and rolls)

here are some meatballs

and some carrots

and a clean placemat

Pancake mornings are also enjoyed greatly by Benjamin. You can see how he just devours everything ... and tries to go back for more.

helping himself to some more fruit

not sure what he's thinking here - maybe "don't touch my fruit!"

and here he's trying to be just like his brother: stuffing his mouth with pancakes

yep - we have to strap him in now. he can get out of his seat way too easily!
as you can see, he's just fine.

He's a mover and a shaker - crawling like a speed demon. It still amazes me when I put him down and just moments later he's in a completely different part of the house. Yes, we have a small house - but still!

He LOVES walking around the house with you holding onto his hands. He has never been as fond of the stroller, shopping cart or airplane that Jasper walked behind forever. But he does love to walk. And if you want to stop before he's done, he cries. Everyone who walks with him even once is aware of this, and we sort of warn (while chuckling at) the people who start walking with him - unaware of what this will entail. Early in the month he'd actually cry if you tried to get him to walk behind one of these toys. But by the end of the month, he tolerates it.

Benjamin has found the pull-out drawers in the kitchen cabinets to be great fun and also likes to pull out the big tupperware drawer in the kitchen. He is sometimes knocked down as he pulls on it and it rolls all the way out.

Both boys love playing outside, and I've figured out if I bring out toys Benjamin will stay put and not go running after leaves or dirt to put into his mouth (because at this stage everything goes into his mouth!). August was not as beastly hot as July had been, so we were able to spend more time outside after we got back from the cabin. We play in the front yard.

... or we play in the sandbox on the deck,

Most of the time, Benjamin doesn't get to play with too many of the trucks. Jasper loves his brother, but he does not like to share. He's working on it, and he will now give Benjamin something (one or two trucks) with which to play while he (Jasper) builds roads, etc. with all the rest.

Here, Benjamin has his pick of the sandbox. He's trying out the bulldozer.

... or we play at the water table when it's hot. Benjamin now likes to stand at the water table and splash. When he gets himself wet in the face, it startles him - but he loves it and smiles broadly.

here, Jasper's doing a "leaf sweep" of his brother's mouth for me.

Benjamin is clingy. I love that he cuddles, but I don't love that he doesn't want to be with anyone else. Over the summer we tried putting him in the nursery during the service, and admitted it was during his nap time and he'd probably be tired. I always said they could call me if he wouldn't calm down. Well, I got called EVERY service. So, the week before Labor day we decided he needed to learn to be in the nursery. So we asked that they do their best. And they did. They worked their tails off - and he cried nearly the whole time, but he eventually fell asleep and was able to be put down in a crib. The next week he was better! He even had 20 minutes of fun, play / walking time at the end. woo hoo!

Wow! Teething is crazy for Benjamin. He bites. And it hurts! He'll come after one of us with his mouth wide open, and you might think it was for kisses ... but no! He is trying to chomp on any and everything. And he's strong, so you have to be really aware and able to keep him from chomping on you. I had multiple bruises on my upper arm from his chomps.

Jasper loves to wrestle with Benjamin. Most of the time we think he's being too rough with his younger brother, but most of the time Benjamin just laughs and loves it. Take a look:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jasper's New Friend

On Sunday August 16th, just the second week back after our trip to Minnesota, we were picking up Jasper from child care at church when the cutest thing happened. Jasper was showing me the microphone he made in class when something caught his eye and he stopped talking to me, stepped away from me and further into the main part of the hall and started saying goodbye to a little girl from his class.

He said, "Goodbye! See ya later! Love you! Goodbye!" The little girl, as she was walking down the hall with her father, was returning the greetings. So then Jasper (compulsive though he is) had to say it all again. And then she said it again! I was dumbfounded. After it was all over, I said to Jasper, "Is that your friend?" He said "yes." So I went a step further: "What is her name?" "Her name is Erin," he said.

It was adorable! Drew tells me these two are buddies. We just didn't know they were such buddies. Back in June after we had been gone from church while traveling for some weeks, Jasper was hesitant to go into his classroom. Erin called out to him, "Come on, Jasper. Let's play!"

Thankfully Erin's family was waiting outside the building, and we got a chance to meet her parents and older brothers before we left church that day. We've already had one playdate with Erin, and I hope to have more.

Dodge Truck

Papa bought Jasper a little Dodge truck with a horse trailer when we went to the John Deere store while we were in Michigan in June. Since then, Jasper has developed an affinity for Dodge trucks. He's always been able to identify Passats - either sedans or wagons like mine, Toyota 4Runners like daddy's and Honda Odysseys like Papa's. Now he can identify any and all Dodge trucks.

Case in point: We were driving to church one morning and I was applying my makeup as usual, so I didn't have a close look at the vehicles around us. Jasper called out from his back seat "a Dodge truck, daddy! a Dodge truck, mommy!" I looked out the window to see a Ford truck in front of us and said, "No, honey. It's not a Dodge." Drew said, "uh, no - behind us." I looked in my side mirror to see, yes - a Dodge pickup. Jasper was right! I used to think he could pick them out by their grill design, but he can pick them out from behind. So then I thought he could pick them out from the Ram design. But there are some Dodge pickups that don't have the Ram design - and he can still pick them out. I do not know how he can pick them out, but he can.

There is something about trucks that he just gets locked into his brain. It's amazing. :)

As a side note, Grandpa and Grandma Gant gave Jasper a John Deere tractor and a pick-up dump truck that can both accommodate the horse trailer from Papa. Jasper was the one who figured out he could put the trailer on any of these vehicles and thought it was sooooo cool!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


While we were at the cabin this summer, Jasper learned how to fish. Daddy and Auntie Brittany helped him perfect the technique, and his cousins were great supporters and fishing enthusiasts.

Auntie Brittany had the fortune to catch the raft on one cast. Somehow she managed to get the hook free, and as she was reeling in the line she caught a fish. How crazy is that?

Linnea and Karin are excellent fisherwomen and love to catch fish right off the end of papa's dock. Linnea is even willing to put the worm on the hook by herself.

For a little while Jasper practiced casting with a pole that didn't have a hook. Check out the video.

Check out Linnea's form!

This was the first time Jasper was so close to a fish.

As you can see, he's not that excited about it.

On the second night of fishing, Jasper was successful at reeling in a good fish.

Everyone is waiting with anticipation to see what he'll bring in.
"Go, Jasper, go!" is what Linnea was cheering.

This is Jasper's first fish. So excited!!!
Jasper really wanted to cast the line with the hook on it. He is trying to be as close to daddy as possible.

and as soon as he can, he takes over the line. Fishing off the dock was a great evening activity for the bigger kids. Benjamin was snoozing at this point.
Not long after this photo was taken, Jasper was walking around on the dock, going around that cut-out corner you see in the bottom of the photo. As he was walking, talking and generally being excited and distracted, he missed the dock with one step. One foot hit the decking and the other hit midair. I stood in momentary shock as I saw him miss the decking, twist over onto his back and splash into the water on his back. He submerged and came back up quickly. Just as he was coming up, Drew jumped into the water and grabbed him. Jasper was scared but not traumatized. Drew said he resisted the urge to jump in immediately to make sure he could see where Jasper was coming up (so he didn't jump on top of him). Sounds like excellent rescue training to me. Jasper, Drew and I (to some extent) were pretty wet after that unplanned dip in the lake. But after a warm bath, everyone was good as new. And, Jasper was back running on the dock the next morning.