Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to my blog friends. I hope you get everything you're wishing for. Like peace on earth, a new Kitchenaid mixer, and flannel pajamas. I was hoping for a full night's sleep. Oh well. I did get a pretty amazing gift, though. My best friend called yesterday while we were driving to my parents' house. She got married a few years ago and moved to Fargo, ND where her husband's job was. Just recently, they relocated to Grand Island, NE for his new job. Well, unfortunately, the job fell through. But, he has some leads in Inver Grove Heights and they will be moving back to the cities! I'm so excited!

Here's to too much to eat, much too much to drink, and all sorts of merriment. :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Meme

Well, I'm not sure I know what a "meme" is, and I'm just assuming that I'm the Erin that Gloria is referring to. Nevertheless, you are all invited along for the ride...

1. Egg nog or Hot Chocolate?
Neither, unfortunately. Hot beverages make me sick to my stomach. I know I'm weird. It makes for some pretty interesting faces behind the counter at Caribou when I'm ordering a vanilla cooler in the middle of January.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
He wraps them. One of my favorite stories of my mother's childhood is that she and each of her six siblings would be assigned a chair or couch cushion in the livingroom, and when they came downstairs on Christmas morning, all of their gifts would be lying on their cushion unwrapped.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Our (artificial) tree has white lights. But I have vowed to get rid of it after this year. It's broken and just generally a pain in the butt. Outside, we have white icicle lights and colored lights on the bushes.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. My roommate in college brought real mistletoe home once and it actually kind of stinks.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Usually right after Thanksgiving. However, it was more like a week or so into December this year. I'm gonna blame Jack. :)

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Steak. For as long as I can remember, Christmas dinner has been steak.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child.
Decorating the house. We would make paper chains that my dad hung around the room. So tacky, but kind of cute.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I actually don't remember ever believing in Santa. I do remember witnessing some hearts broken when I taught kindergarten a couple years ago. Oh, kids can be cruel.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas eve?
We open gifts with our families on Christmas Eve. Dan and I (and I guess we'll include Jackson this year) open gifts Christmas Day.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
As previously stated, it has white lights. The ornaments are extremely eccentric. There are some dating back to each of our childhoods, and some that we've collected in our 4 1/2 years of marriage. It's random, but it's beautiful!

11. Snow! Love it or dread it?
Right now, I love it. Come March, I'm ready to see it leave.

12. Can you ice skate?
I haven't since I was about 11, but I assume I still have the skills.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
Actually, it has to do with question #12. I remember asking for ice skates one year. I unwrapped the box and realized it was ice skates. When I opened the box, my dad's OLD ice skates were lying there, looking quite pathetic. It was a cute trick. :)

14. What is the most important thing about the Holidays for you?

15. What is your favorite Holiday dessert?
Christmas cookies in general.

16. What is your favorite Holiday tradition?
Christmas Eve fondue. Yum!

17. What tops your tree?
Well, nothing. The top of our tree is too floppy to hold anything. We have a cool star, though!

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving?
Definitely giving.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
This is hard. I love Christmas music. I just heard "Do You Hear What I Hear" on the radio, so I'll go with that. It will change in an hour or so. :)

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?
They're fine. I'm more of a chocolate girl!

All right, Lisa, you're next! Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nine months


Well, this is a milestone birthday for you. You have officially been in this world for as long as you were inside me! And when I think about the last 18 months, the pregnant nine sure felt longer than the motherhood nine have! We can hardly believe that in a mere three months you will be one year old. Crazy!

Let's see...newsworthy information. You aren't sleeping much these days. In fact, as I write this, Dad has just gone up to check on you because you woke up after only being asleep for 45 minutes. What's up? Some people try to make us feel better and say that you just love being around us so much that it's hard for you to go to bed. It's a lovely thought, but I'd rather just get some sleep. :) You tend to wake up a lot at night. Sometimes we have a couple nights in a row of "better" sleeping, which simply means that you only wake up two or three times as opposed to six or seven. Right now, you aren't feeling well, and you tend to wake yourself up when you cough. This is the second time you've been sick in the last month or so. The first was right around Thanksgiving. You just had some bad congestion and a cough, but your nose got so infected, so the doctor prescribed Amoxicillin. You thought it was pretty yummy! I don't think there is anything wrong with you right now that antibiotics would help, but we do have your nine-month appointment on Thursday just in case!

Your first Thanksgiving was pretty low-key since you were sick. In fact, we didn't even get to Berube's house until after everyone had already eaten because you were finally taking a good nap and we didn't want to interrupt it! I wish I could say that you enjoyed the feast, but being sick left you with very little appetite, and let's face it--we would have had to stick it all in the blender. Yuck. Speaking of eating, you are broadening your horizons a little bit and eating a larger amount of food at every meal. You still gag sometimes (especially when you're sick--dang phlegm), but you are getting pretty good at keeping everything down. You especially like yogurt and any fruit. And you simply tolerate vegetables! You really like "chewing" pieces of real food while we eat dinner. Sometimes you just collect little pieces of food in your mouth and never swallow!

Your personality is just the best. I think you know that you're funny! And you're very smart. When we ask, "How big is Jackson?", you raise your arms over your head and we all say, "SO BIG!", and you laugh and clap for yourself. You are crawling everywhere. We have gates all over the place. And you are drawn to cords. Dad is pretty sure you are bound to be an electrician when you grow up. :) If they weren't potentially dangerous, we'd let you have your fun with them. But there's the whole electrocution risk and everything. Oh, bother.

Christmas is next week, and we are SO looking forward to experiencing the holiday with you. We have lots of fun presents for you to open if you ever figure out how or get past the excitement of the paper itself. We really wish it would snow so you could experience a white Christmas! Besides, one of your gifts requires snow; unless we want to look like the crazy neighbors pulling their child in a sled down the dry blacktop street! No thanks.

When people hear what our nights with you are like, I think they feel sorry for us. Or you. Or both. But the truth is, you are so delightful during the day, it makes the nights a little more bearable. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a full night's sleep one of these days, but until you figure it out, you are just the most lovable, awesome kid around. Watching you grow up brings us joy beyond belief, and I know it will only get better.

Bless you, baby. I love you.


Friday, December 15, 2006

I got it!

Okay, I've reclaimed my Japanese IQ test score. And I remember what I did, in case you need help. :) So glad I figured it out!

I'm such a nerd.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Put on your thinking caps!

All right, here's a little brain teaser for all of you. It reminds me of a math problem I had around 6th grade. Anyway, it's a Japanese IQ test, and it's apparently given to job applicants in Japan. Click here and good luck! I did finally get it, and I can now go sleep peacefully!
Happy Friday!

UPDATE....I just went back to the site to retrace my steps and remember what I did to solve it. You know, in case you got stuck and needed a hint or two. Well, I am totally stuck again. So, if you figure it out, let me know! So much for going to sleep peacefully! Dang.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Like a baby

I caught the last half of Law and Order last night. That's kind of a hard show to follow when you come in halfway through, but it's also the kind of show that hooks you no matter when you start watching. Anyway, the verdict ended up being kind of controversial and at the very end, one of the new attorneys asked Jack McCoy "How do you sleep at night?" And Jack looked her square in the eye and said, "Like a baby."

And I said, "Like a baby!? You poor thing!"

Who is Dick Wolf (L&O creator) to assume that all babies sleep so well that we ought to compare our own great sleep to theirs?

I'm not bitter. I'm just sleep deprived.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

All done!

It's official. I am DONE Christmas shopping! And other than a quick trip to Target to exchange a broken baby gate, I did not shop on Black Friday. :) It feels really good to be done. Although there is a little part of me that is mourning the fact that I will not once have to deal with a crowded mall in the weeks to come. Ah, well, I'll get over it.

I other quick news...
Jackson is still sick but slowly getting over it. Poor kid would get coughing so hard that he would throw up. (Sorry if you are reading this over your dinner....). We did get some amoxicillin for him because his nose was actually getting infected from the congestion. He loves it--bubble gum or cotton candy or something.
I saw the movie The Shawshank Redemption last week for the first time. Amazing. I can't imagine that there's anyone else out there who hasn't seen it, but if you are one of them, you need to.
I am a little nauseated with radio stations that are already exclusively playing Christmas music. Especially since Thanksgiving was so early this year, it just feels weird. At least give it until December. And even then, it's nice to throw in a non-holiday song once in a while!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Picture time! Yay!

Jack insists on proving to me that he can, indeed, feed himself. We're not sure how much of the sweet potato puree actually ended up in his mouth.

Jackson and Connor conversing over the exersaucer toys. This is Jack's "fake" smile.

Jackson the dragon, Kaelin the kitty, and Connor the bear on Halloween.

Naked baby!

Bathtime with Mimi. So silly!

"Help! There are gates everywhere all of a sudden! They've trapped me in!"

Playing with Lucy.

Now, for the other babies in our life:

This is Lucy on top of the cupboards. She usually gets up and then can't figure out how to get back down, so she sits and stares at us until we help her. It's rather pathetic. :)

This is Lucy sporting the latest in cat accessories, glowing green eyes. Something happened with the flash from the camera, but how spooky does she look?

Eight months

My dear boy,

I'm sad to say that I am starting this report the same way I started it last month---you're sick! It's just terrible. Runny nose, congestion, cough, lack of appetite, lack of sleeping. You had your first trip to Urgent Care this afternoon to rule out an ear infection. Unfortunately, a little peace of mind doesn't come without a price--a 30-minute drive, a $25 co-pay, and a 45-minute wait. Oh well. Glad to know it's nothing life-threatening!

In other news, you are eating lots of different foods. Your favorite thing to eat is yogurt with bananas. You aren't crazy about your vegetables! And you still love mangoes. :) You also have more teeth to "chew" food with--the two on bottom and four on top! Ouch.... You were starting to sleep a little better before you got sick. For two nights in a row, we didn't hear from you until 4:00 am! That's a big deal around here. It's hard to believe that you actually slept through the night for two weeks back in July. Not sure what happened!

You are having a great time playing with Connor everyday. And you enjoy the girls, too. They mostly just make you giggle. So does Homer the dog! When I say, "Where's the puppy?" You look around until you see him. You're brilliant. :)

You experienced your first Halloween a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't really any big deal, though. I got your costume on to take a picture with Connor and Kaelin, and we stopped by Mimi and Poppa's with it on to help me justify buying it in the first place! It was a freezing cold night, so it wasn't worth going to anyone else's house. We only got one family of trick-or-treaters at our house!

You are talking like crazy. Unfortunately, none of it makes sense yet. Lots of "bababa" and "dadada" and "jafkeicajvuoawut," which I think means something in Slovak.... Sometimes you'll wake up in the morning or after a nap and just start talking to yourself. You also like to stand up in your crib and shake it like crazy. It's a very funny sound through the monitor.

We are SO looking forward to the holidays with you. Thanksgiving is this week. And Christmas will be so exciting! I have a feeling you're going to be a spoiled little boy. It will be very interesting to see what you do with a Christmas tree. Your big thing lately is pulling yourself up on things. If you do that with a tree, you'll end up on the ground with a tree on top of you. Not a good thing. We'll have to talk. We have gates everywhere to keep you out of trouble. Poppa made a terrific gate for the stop of the stairs. And there are gates at both entrances to the kitchen to keep you out. It took you breaking a bowl and measuring cup and getting into the cat's water one too many times, but the gates are up!

You are growing like crazy. We look at pictures from when you were first born and we can't believe you were ever really that tiny! And you weren't a tiny baby! It's so fun to watch you grow and learn new things. I love every stage you go through, and I can't wait to witness the ones yet to come. Thanks for being a swell kid!

Love you,

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bumper sticker greatness

"I hope that someday schools get all of the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber."

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What I know

I can't tell you who's ahead of whom in the politial races happening in this state and country right now. But I can tell you how paper grocery bags are made, thanks to Mr. McFeely's video on Mr. Rogers today.

I can't tell you who was on Leno or Letterman last night or any night for the past few months, for that matter. But I can tell you how loud a 1 1/2-year-old screams when the toy she is playing with is taken away by her 3 1/2-year-old sister. (It's loud).

I can't tell you about any new restaurants or cool new places in the Twin Cities. But I can tell you that two small pieces of Halloween candy are all the incentive a 2 1/2-year-old needs to finish her peas.

I can't tell you about the latest Hollywood romance or scandal. But I can tell you that Dora the Explorer underwear works wonders for young female potty trainers.

I can't tell you how to lose 10 pounds in five days or get ahead in the workplace. But I can tell you that a baby who wakes up from a nap with a smile on his face can just about make your day!

My, how my world has changed.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Words to teethe by

"The difficult truth is that there are real limits to how much comfort we can bring to loved ones when they hurt. When a baby starts teething, both he and his parents will find themselves up against the limits of comfort: Not even holding or being held will make the pain go away. For a baby, it may be one of his or her earliest lessons that life will have times like that. For the parents, it will be another chance to become more comfortable with what we can and cannot fix."

Fred Rogers, Many Ways to Say I Love You

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Seven months

Hey little man,

Well, you are sick. For the first time, too! I'm pretty sure it's because you have more teeth coming in. Which is weird because your first two teeth came without any extra fussing or anything. But this time you've got the works--runny nose, congestion, fever, excessive drooling, more crabby than usual. Oh well. You need teeth in this life, so this is just something we'll all have to endure!

Other than the teeth, life as a seven-month-old isn't too bad! You are crawling more and more every day. It was so exciting when you first did it; then you kind of forgot. You would start moving and have this look on your face like, "I know I did something new last night, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it was." You're a little wobbly, but it's cute. :) Your newfound mobility also means trouble. You are able to get into a lot more things. We're in the process of figuring out a gate for the top of the stairs. And you like to move to the coffee table and try to pull yourself up. Which, unfortunately, has resulted in a few bumps on your head. I'm pretty sure Lucy sees your crawling as a bit of competition. You aren't just a little lump of baby anymore!

You are loving eating solid foods. I'm so glad we waited until last month. You eat yogurt with fruit for breakfast, rice and fruit for lunch, and rice and vegetable for dinner. With some breastmilk in the middle. :) Now that you're seven months, there are more things you can eat. Peas, green beans, asparagus. You will like your green veggies!

We are in the middle of MEA weekend, which means a couple of days off for us since teachers don't have to go to work. It's lovely to be able to be with you everyday, but it's even better when it's just the two of us in our own house! You are doing well adjusting to our days at Leishmans. I think you are excited for Connor to start moving around so you can get into trouble together. Or at least so you can play with each other!

Your nighttime sleep isn't going so well. I think right now I can blame the teething and accompanying congestion and fever. However, your daytime naps have never been better! You predictably take a 1 1/2 to 2 hour morning nap and about a 2 hour afternoon nap. It's just heavenly. After the months of catnapping you survived on! Anyway, I hope once you are feeling better that we can get on a better nighttime schedule. We all need our rest!

One thing you are liking more these days is looking at books. Sometimes you are too distracted by wanting to chew the pages. But when you are focused, you love the pictures. And I think you like hearing the stories too. :) You have a few toys that you really enjoy playing with, but some items are just way more exciting than actual toys--remote controls, cell phones, water bottles, watches, cats. There is just so much to explore. And besides, how are you supposed to know what's a toy and what isn't?!

When we were in Seattle in August, someone asked me what it was like being a mom. I said it was more than I ever imagined and that you were more than I could ever ask for. And it's the truth! I never knew it would be this much fun and I never imagined that I could love you so much. The amount of joy that you bring to our days is incredible. You are an amazing child. And I am always amazed at what new things you do and how you grow. But I look forward to witnessing all of it.

I love you, baby!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Movin' and groovin'

I'm falling behind this month. Jack will be 7 months on Thursday, and I have a pathetic number of pictures on the camera. Here are some of them. :)

My favorite thing to dress Jack in is overalls. There's just something so cute about it. apple! Talk about solid food! Actually, when I am eating an apple, I sometimes give it to Jack to suck on. You can hear his little bottom teeth scraping against it. Adorable.

Jack's first experience of being bundled up for the cold weather. He wasn't thrilled. When I put the hat on, he kept looking up like, "What the heck is on me?" And he can't move all that well in the jacket, since I got it big enough to last all winter. Oh well. Such is life in Minnesota!

My little reader! My brother-in-law John is home from school in Boston, and Jack loves hanging out with him!

Officially mobile!

That's right, folks. Our boy is now a crawling boy. And as Dan so eloquently put it last night, "Buddy, you just became a whole lot more dangerous." :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

6-month portraits

We just got Jack's 6-month pictures back from Target. Here are some good shots!

Yup, this is his Halloween costume--a dragon. He's the softest dragon ever. :)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Are you using the whole buffalo?

For those of you who may have happened to attend the Sara Groves concert on Saturday night, you just saw the title of this blog and said, "Hey! She went to the concert too!" For those of you who did not have the opportunity to be there, you are saying, "Um, what does Sara Groves have to do with buffalo?" Allow me....
I love Sara Groves. I remember the first time I saw her--she came to Open Door when Conversations was coming out for the first time. (It was later re-released with two additional songs). She was very pregnant with her son Kirby (now joined by brother Toby). There was just something about her that hooked me right away. She has an amazing way with words and writes incredible music to boot. I have looked forward to the release of every recording she has put out and was so excited to learn that she was going to be at Bethel this past weekend. I bought two tickets and Dan and I had a great date night planned. Unfortunately, Dan got really sick and spent the better portion of the weekend on the couch. My friend Katie came to the rescue and joined me for the concert. (I even got to have dinner with her and her husband Ben--not exactly a date night, but still way fun!).
Sara explained that this year has been a life-changing year for her and her family. She and her husband Troy had the opportunity to travel to Africa and get connected with a ministry that builds wells so that people don't have to walk miles on end for "clean" water. She mentioned that she had approached the trip expecting to teach the people in Africa something about God or bring something new to their faith. Instead, she learned so much from them and brought back new and exciting revelations from God.
Sara used an analogy to show how God got her attention. If you've seen the movie Dances with Wolves, you know the scene where the Sioux come over the side of the hill with Kevin Costner, only to find the whole field filled with buffalo carcasses. Someone had gotten there first and taken the best part of the buffalo for themselves. The Sioux were so devasted by this because they take great pride in using every single part of the buffalo in their lives, and someone had wasted so much of the animal. They eat the meat. They use the fur as coverings for their shelters. The bladder holds water. The bones can be made into tools. What God pointed out to Sara in the back of a van on the dusty roads in Africa was that she wasn't using her whole spiritual buffalo. He began to reveal to her things in her life that were being wasted. She began to notice that this could hold water or that could be made into a tool.
I love this analogy! And it made me really think about my own crazy life. What it not being used as it should be? What am I completely wasting? I don't necessarily have answers to those questions yet, but it certainly is the new topic of conversation between me and God. :)
So, are you using the whole buffalo?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I love Fred

Rogers, that is. As in Mister Rogers. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is by FAR my favorite children's show. And now that I spend my days with five children under the age of 3, I've seen my fair share of PBS. I love that they are still playing reruns of it. And what's fun is that they are reruns that I remember from when I was young! But honestly, he was a pretty amazing man. And I think I have more appreciation for what he does now that I'm an adult. And a mom. And a teacher. His corny little songs (all of which he wrote, by the way) are really so perfect! And his neighbors. And the fact that he changes into sneakers and a sweater at the beginning of every episode. And the traffic light in the middle of his house. And the neighborhood of make-believe. And his fish tank. And I could go on and on. Instead, if you want a little walk down memory lane, check out his website. I'm not ashamed to say that I have officially made naptime 1:30 so that we can all learn something from the neighborhood before snoozing. :)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

Jackson had his 6-month well child visit this morning. Since I start watching my little kidlets at 7:15, Dan took him in. Our little man is 23 pounds, 4 ounces, and 28 1/2 inches long. He has dropped back onto the charts, and is sitting comfortably around the 97th percentile. That's my boy!
Father and Son also took a trip to visit Poppa. I told Dan, "Now, when I'm done at the doctor, I always take Jack to visit Dad and all the ladies at Audio Research." (Hi, Vicky and Pam. Sorry I missed you this time!). He said, "Well, I've got the whole day off. I can do that!" So they did. How fun!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Trying again....

Okay, let's try those last two photos that wouldn't upload the other night!

Jack finds it fun to chew everything--even the metal leg of his swing. Mmmmm.

Here it is--his official first bite. I wish we had pictures from night #2. We do have it on video, though.

That's all. Happy Saturday and HAPPY FALL! Yesterday was the official equinox. Now these recent temperatures are a little more allowed than before. :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Solid food, take two

Yup, Jack's experience with solid food last night was what you'd call a "fluke." Tonight was much more what we were expecting to witness last night. His faces were priceless, there was food everywhere, and I truly thought he was going to lose it a couple of times. We didn't push it too much. He did seem to enjoy the bananas more than the rice, but no big deal. After all, he doesn't NEED anything more, nutritionally speaking, than breast milk until he is nine months old. So we'll just take our time and get his feet wet with this new food. Not literally, of course.

The other big news in the world of solid food is that Jack had his first solid food bowel movement this evening. Yes, my blog has been reduced to talking about my six-month-old's poop. I'd always heard it would be really different when solids were introduced. Without getting into too much detail, I can say that the color was the same, while the consistency and the smell were a little different. There you have it.

Now for some six-month pictures!

Sleeping with Daddy. We've got a few "sleeping with Daddy" pictures. It's a classic. :)

A future St. Paul Saints fan.

Bath time! One of my favorite things about Jack being able to sit up is the fact that we can give him baths in the kitchen sink. It's great. I rarely post pictures of him with no shirt on, so let me take this opportunity to point out the birth mark under his nipple. It's adorable.

Here's Jack with one of his favorite toys (besides the Livestrong bracelet, empty waterbottles, and diaper wipe containers, of course). It's a set of buckets with little fish that go inside them. That doesn't sound cool, but he loves it. :)

Well, I'm trying like heck to add two more pictures, but blogger won't let me right now. I'll try again soon. :)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Six months!

Hey Jack,

Holy cats--you are half a year old today! We just can't believe how quickly time flies. Sometimes it really feels like just yesterday that you joined us in this world and made our lives so happy. You've accomplished a lot in your short time here so far! Keep it up, dude. :)

You experienced your first Minnesota State Fair a few weeks ago. It was great fun. You just sat in the stroller and admired everything around you. And then you'd had enough, so you took a nap! Your dad has been to the State Fair ever since he was three months old, so we certainly had to start you early too!

One highlight of this month was traveling to Seattle with me, Mimi, and Poppa. We had a wonderful time, and you were such a good boy! You like plane rides. :) Next time, we'll have to take Dad with us. Unfortunately, you aren't quite sleeping through the night, so Mimi and Poppa got a taste of what our nighttimes are like at home. They were probably wishing they'd gotten their own hotel room!

Instead of going back to work as a teacher, I am taking care of four other kids so that I can be with you all day. It's so much fun (well, the "being with you" part!). You are going to be such good friends with Connor. He is only five days older than you! And Homer the dog loves to lick your face as soon as I put you down on the floor. You love doggie kisses.

You are doing so much. It's not long before you are mobile, and you will certainly throw us for a loop! You have been sitting up quite confidently for a few weeks now, but now you are almost crawling. It's crazy. You'll get up on your hands and knees and just rock. You're bound to figure it out in a few more days. Sometimes in trying, you do a nice face plant into the floor. That's not so happy.... You are still very strong for your age. When I stand you up on the ground or changing table, I really just feel like you could walk! Please, not yet honey.

The most exciting thing about you being six months old is that we are going to feed you solid food now! Mimi, Poppa, Mary Beth, and Sean came for dinner tonight and got to witness your first taste of something other than breastmilk. You had rice cereal and applesauce. We were all anticipating a funny face or a mess of food on your face, but you blew us away. It was as if you'd been eating this stuff for months. You even reached for the spoon with both hands as it came to your mouth. Yum! I've been pureeing and freezing food like crazy, so there are all sorts of things for you to try in the coming weeks.

Next week we will get your sixth month pictures taken and you get to visit Dr. O'Brien again. Yes, that means more shots. I'm sorry; it's just one of those necessary things in life!

Thanks for being such a terrific kid, Jackson. Sometimes I just can't believe how much I love you! You make our lives so full. There is always something new and exciting, and I love watching you learn and grow. Keep it up, and I'm looking forward to the next half a year!

Lots of love, dear,

Saturday, September 09, 2006


So, we've been home since Monday, but I finally have a moment to tell you how great our trip was. Jack was just a little angel, my parents were an immense help, and the wedding was lovely. We even had some time to do the typical tourist things, like enjoy Pike Place Market. And the weather was incredible! Sunny and highs in the 80s with no humidity. And the people in Seattle were so hysterical--this was a major heat wave for them. They were just beside themselves. Hello! Come to Minnesota in July!

Here is how much Jack liked the airplane ride! He did so well!

Jack is playing Peek-a-boo with his Poppa, my dad. You can see a Livestrong bracelet in the background. It's on Jack's list of favorite toys, along with empty Aquafina bottles and remote controls.

Happy baby! Jack spent lots of time sitting and rolling over on the hotel beds. Luckily he never rolled off....

So sleepy! Jack napped here for over two hours!

What a pose, Jackson! Show off those skinny legs. :)

Dancing with Poppa at the reception. His eyes show that it's a little past his bedtime. Stay with us, Jack!

Laughing with mom! Tickles are just more ticklish the later the night gets!

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Jackson and I are off to Seattle for a wedding this weekend. Hope to have many stories and pictures to share when we get back!
Happy Labor Day! :)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How to be a protective parent

Courtesy of Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions:

Today Sam and I went to the convalescent home, where my congregation conducts a worship service once a month. There was this new woman there, about eighty years old, and I went up to her wheelchair to say hi and introduce her to Sam. The people at the home usually gape at Sam as if I've brought Jesus into the room with me. But this woman looked at him angrily and said, "Is that a dog?" And I said, "No, it's a baby." And she said meanly, "What kind of baby?" I tried to be Mother Teresa and to see Jesus in the distressing guise of the poor and incontinent, but I secretly wanted to push her wheelchair over and then kick her in the head.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Five months

Jackson Reed,

You are five months old today! And you are reaching milestones right and left these days. Two weeks ago, you cut your first tooth. A few days later, you had your second one! You like to put everything in your mouth to test them out. Unfortunately, you have hurt me a couple times when I'm feeding you. They are sharp, honey! I can't imagine what that will be like when you have upper teeth! Be careful with me. The other big news is that you can roll over from your belly to your back now. We were sitting around yesterday watching you enjoy tummy time, and all of a sudden, you went all the way over! It was so exciting. You were very proud of yourself. :)

Our summer alone together is almost over. Pretty soon we'll have four other kids to play with! All that matters is that I will still be with you everyday. I can't imagine it any other way. You are just too much fun! We've really had a lovely, laid back summer. I love our morning routine. You wake up and eat, and we go downstairs and fall asleep watching The Today Show or Ellen together. Ellen makes you laugh. Actually, Ellen makes me laugh, and you look at me funny when I laugh. We've gone swimming a couple more times. Unfortunately, the Dennis' bought a new house without a pool, but you spent some time in Kendra and Janine's pool with Mimi and Papa, and we went to the Maple Grove Community Center with Rebecca and Jack Faatz and Janet and Sophie Reed. So much fun!

Pretty soon you'll take your first airplane ride. We're going to Seattle for Shauna's wedding. Can't wait to see how that goes! You'll also be experiencing your very first trip to the State Fair next week. We'll see how long you last. Too bad you can't enjoy the food yet. :) I'm sure you'll enjoy the animals, though. You certainly enjoy dogs and cats! You can pull on Ruby's fur all day long, and she doesn't mind it one bit. And barking dogs still make you laugh like crazy!

I wish I could report that you are sleeping wonderfully. You aren't. You did for a while! Not sure what happened. Some people say you'll sleep better when you start eating solid food. I'm not so sure about that. I'm not too anxious to start real food. It's not as if you aren't growing properly. You're quite solid, in fact! So strong and just a little chubby.

I love to hear you laugh. You are so silly sometimes, just "talking" and laughing like crazy at who-knows-what. But it's so fun! We'll do practically anything to make you happy. And it breaks my heart when you're sad. Luckily that doesn't happen too often! It will be fantastic when you are saying real words to us. Right now, we have to guess at all of the buzzes and gurgles you make. I'm sure it all means something.

I will finish with words from Anne Lamott, since I'm still reading Operating Instructions:

"One thing about [Jack], one thing about having a baby, is that each step of the way you simply cannot imagine loving him any more than you already do, because you are bursting with love, loving as much as you are humanly capable of--and then you do, you love him even more."

I love you, dear one. Happy five months. I'm glad you're mine.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Baby news

Well, before I could even announce that Jackson had popped his first tooth, he had a second one. That's right, Mr. Jack has his two front bottom teeth! Sharp little buggers. :) Here are some recent pictures of our big man.

Happy, happy, happy!

Tummy time. Soon it will be "crawling time" and "rolling over time."

Lounging with Ruby. They are very good friends. :)

This is a little off center. The only way I could get him to smile this big was to hold the camera away from myself and make faces. :)

Jackson is in a constant state of "fingers in the mouth" with these new teeth.

What a cutie!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gotta love her

I'm presently re-reading Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. The book is in journal form, recounting the first year of her son's life. It's hilarious, especially for me as a new mother. She has such a fantastic way of putting things into perspective. Here's an excerpt I read today and loved. It's so true!

A man from church showed up at our front door, smiling and waving to me and Sam, and I went to let him in. He is a white man named Gordon, fiftyish, married to our associate pastor, and after exchanging pleasantries he said, "Margaret and I wanted to do something for you and the baby. So what I want to ask is, What if a fairy appeared on your doorstep and said that he or she would do any favor for you at all, anything you wanted around the house that you felt too exhausted to do by yourself and too ashamed to ask anyone else to help you with?"
"I can't even say," I said. "It's too horrible."
But he finally convinced me to tell him, and I said it would be to clean the bathroom, and he ended up spending an hour scrubbing the bathtub and toilet and sink with Ajax and lots of hot water. I sat on the couch while he worked, watching TV, feeling vaugely guilty and nursing Sam to sleep. But it made me feel sure of Christ again, of that kind of love. This, a man scrubbing a new mother's bathtub, is what Jesus means to me. As Bill Rankin, my priest friend, once said, spare me the earnest Christians.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome, Caeden!

My friend Holly had a sweet little boy on Friday afternoon. She was almost two weeks late and was in labor for a very long time. We're so glad he's finally here!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Four months

My dear Jackson,

You are four months old today. And to celebrate, we went to the doctor! You weigh 20 pounds, 11 ounces, and you are 27 1/2 inches long. Holy moly! Dr. O'Brien says that you are very proportionate--just a big baby. But your head circumference is totally average. :) You had to get a few more shots today too. You hardly cried, though. What a trouper! The doctor also says that they don't get concerned about spitting up unless babies aren't gaining weight or aren't happy. No problem with either of those, so we'll just deal with your spit up for as long as it lasts. Which hopefully isn't too much longer....

We are having a very fun summer. Since you don't like going for walks in the stroller, we got a baby carrier, and you like that so much better. In fact, you usually fall asleep before the walk is done! We have also gone swimming in Brant and Nicole's pool a few times. You weren't sure about it at first, but now you think it is so fun. You just kick like crazy. It's a bummer that they are moving to a house without a pool in a few weeks!

You are smiling, laughing, and cooing even more now. The thing that makes you laugh the hardest is when dogs bark. Go figure! Particularly Rich and Corinne's dogs. When they get going, you just can't contain yourself! It is the most delightful sound. We will surely get that on video camera before long. You also really enjoy being on your tummy. Your legs get moving as if you are just going to take off! You haven't yet, though. And I have a feeling when you learn to move around, there will be no stopping you!

Sleeping has gotten much better. You had a couple weeks where you were completely sleeping through the night. The last week or so, you've gotten up around 1:00 in the morning. Not sure why! But last night you slept all night again. So keep that up. I'm a much happier mom when I've had a full night's sleep! You are still content with just being nursed, so we won't start solid foods quite yet. Maybe more like 6 months. We'll see. I can't wait to see your face the first time you try something new. :)

You continue to bless us beyong belief. Your dad and I are so amazed at how much joy you bring us without even trying! We are so excited for our future with you and can't wait to see what the months ahead will bring. God bless you, little one!


Almost four months....

Here are some new pictures of my big boy! We have his four-month well baby appointment tomorrow. Can't wait to see how much he weighs! Shots on the other hand I could do without. :)

Fast asleep in dreamland. What a sweet boy!

Looks like he's talking to us. Can't wait for that day!

We got home from shopping and I put him in the swing so I could put groceries away and make myself some lunch. This is what I came back to. Just couldn't keep those eyes open!

Tummy time! I swear, he'll be crawling anyday now.

Teething, teething, teething. He is in a constant state of drool. :)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Why I think my dad is awesome

So my dad turned 51 yesterday. And being the adventurous guy that he is, he decided that he wanted to bike a "century" today (100 miles at once). So he planned to bike until he reached 51 miles and then turn around, for a grand total of 102 miles (two miles for every year he's been alive). And he did it! He's amazing. I would have been calling for a ride home at about mile 17. Here's a picture of my dad with my mom and Jack (old picture!). I know, he doesn't look a day over 38, right? :)
Love you, Dad!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Getting sleep

Well, this book, Sleeping Through the Night, is awesome. We decided to start the "program" on Thursday night. The first night he cried for a half hour and then slept for seven hours. Friday night he cried for 10 minutes and then slept for seven hours again. Tonight he only cried for five minutes! He's also taking more naps during the day. Life is good. Sleep is good. Baby is good. :)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sleeping? Not so much....

So, the "crying it out" didn't last too long. Actually, I think he's teething now, so we have a whole other fish to fry. Anyway, I'm reading a book called Sleeping Through the Night, which will hopefully give us some strategies. Until then, we cherish the nights like last night: Down at 10:30, up at 4:45. Then we took a super long nap together this morning. He does know what he's doing sometimes. :)
Here are a few recent pictures!

Here's Jackson sporting the latest look in infantwear: burp cloth on the head!

Here's a new take on tummy time--using the Boppy pillow to lean on. I got the idea when the Target photographer used it during Jack's 3-month pictures!

Hi Uncle John! I miss you! Look, I'm wearing the shirt you brought back for me last summer! :)


Monday, June 19, 2006

This is what three months looks like!

I know, what a cooperative little boy to let me blog twice in one day. He must know I'm posting about him....

I'd love to know what he dreams about. He smiles and laughs in his sleep so much! What is funny to a person with no life experience to speak of? :)

Here's our daily "tummy time." Sometimes he enjoys himself. Sometimes he fights it. I like to think it will make him crawl sooner. Who knows.

Here he is snuggling with a burp cloth. Hey, whatever works.

Now, where is my finger supposed to go? Mouth or eye?

Buzzing lips with Mimi!

This is how he fell asleep while I was in the shower this morning. With his finger in the toy.

Happy baby!