Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jackson and the lemon

I know everyone probably has pictures/a video of their kid's first encounter with a lemon. But this is too funny not to share. We went to dinner last night with our friends Amber, Julian and Jillian Acosta and Jake and Christen Hayes. I took the lemon out of my water and placed it in front of Jackson. As I've mentioned before, he is extremely opinionated when it comes to food and regularly rejects perfectly delicious options. I thought he might give the lemon a little taste, blow raspberries and throw it on the floor like he did with the handful of cheerios, bites of bread, his cup, and every toy I gave him last night. But no. He kept going after it. Thanks to Jake for his quick draw on his phone to catch this video. I was laughing too hard to dig mine out. Enjoy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

9 month check-up, etc.

So I've been a blogging slacker for the last week. I have a lot to catch up on! Here goes...

Last week on Friday--our "Spring Break"--we took Jackson for his 9 month check-up with the pediatrician. Before we were called back he got to check out the fish tank in the waiting room. He was fascinated by it!

This is the appointment in which there are no immunizations given, just a finger prick for a blood count.

Here are his updated stats:

Weight- 19 lbs even (25th%)—1 lb, 10 oz gained since 6 month visit
Length- 27 ¾ in (50th%) – 1.25 inches grown since 6 month visit
Head Circumference- 17.9 inches (65th%) - 0.6 inches grown since 6 month visit

His weight is the only thing that has fallen off his growth curve a little bit, but the doc wasn't at all worried. She said that's pretty typical for babies at this stage when they are becoming active, but they haven't quite gotten the hang of the eating thing to keep up. She said he will eat when he's hungry and not to force the issue with him. She said we also shouldn't worry too much that he's still not eating meat because all of his blood levels looked great and he's getting other sources of protein (the kid loves yogurt and, as we found out tonight, cheese too).

After his appointment, we got to just relax, play and spend some time with Justin's mom. She saved the day once again by coming into town to watch Jackson on Wednesday and Thursday when the daycare was closed and we had to work. I know they had a great time together but I think Jackson wore his Nana out!

mutual adoration. =)

We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out at the house and trying to keep the boy out of trouble. Now that he can get around really well via his army man crawl, he spends most of his floor time chasing our cat, Gracie, around the living room and kitchen. I think she really does like him as she tends to gravitate to wherever he is playing, but I think she is still caught off guard by his more aggressive eager groping displays of affection. We are working with him to "be gentle" and with her to "run away and hide if you don't like it". I think they're going to end up as good friends though, don't you? =)

He also has a new favorite toy...the door stop! He crawls to it every chance he gets.

We are so glad it's Friday! We plan to have a low-key weekend catching up with friends. We hope you all have a happy weekend!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Landscaping Project Finished!

We actually finished our landscaping project! This is one of those things that we realized is way harder with a baby. And not because he wasn't cooperative...he was...but when we didn't finish the project over the weekend, that meant we had to squeeze it into our already jam packed weekday evenings. The schedule of leaving work, picking J up from daycare, making dinner, getting Jackson fed, bathtime and bed all by 8 leaves very little time for anything else. But we took advantage of the longer daylight in the evening and did a little each day and then finally added the mulch and hanging baskets yesterday on our "Spring Break Day" with Nana here to help occupy the boy.

Check it out! Here's a reminder of the "before":

And here's where we left it on Sunday.

And now, drum-roll please.....


We are pleased with the results but so glad to be done! Now if we could just get some grass to grow....

Our little helper.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

9 Months Already!

Today our sweet boy is 9 months old and has officially been on the outside longer than he was on the inside! It's crazy how long and slow my pregnancy felt and how incredibly fast the past 9 months have been.

We started taking his monthly pictures in the outfit he had been wearing all day, but I had just gotten this sweet little seersucker Jon Jon in the mail that I ordered from Etsy and was just dying to put it on him!

So what has Mr. Jackson been up to this month? I feel like some months are "maintenance" months when he spends the time refining and perfecting skills. Other months are big jumps in development and hitting lots of new milestones. This was one of those months. In the past month, he went from being a delightfully immobile baby to a totally mobile, actively-exploring, into-everything big kid. We see more glimpses of the toddler that he is becoming each day. He's still just army man crawling but he's fast (and does not want to sit still and smile for his monthly photo shoot)!

All of that exploring has led to his first (of many, I'm sure) boo-boos...bumping his head when lunging for a toy, slamming his fingers in the drawer with his fascination for opening and closing it as fast as possible, etc.

Last week he started to wave bye-bye. He won't do it all the time, but often enough that we know he knows what to do. He's also started to try and clap his hands. We often sing "If you're happy and you know it" and now when I start to sing, he will wiggle his hands and try to bring them together. He thinks it's really funny when I clap his hands together or even better, when I give him a high five. He's been nodding his head "yes" for a couple of months but this month he started to shake his head "no" as well. He's picked up on the social cue and will arbitrarily nod yes or no to a question, but of course at this point he has no idea was he is agreeing or disagreeing to. It sure is cute though. =)

Finally, FINALLY, I've started hearing some "ma-mas"! And a few days ago when he was being really clingy and whiny, his dad was holding him and he was fussing and we could have sworn he wailed a "mama!". I of course ran to him (he called me by name, afterall!) and he quieted down immediately.

Eating is hit or miss. He will go for a week eating anything we put in front of him, and then the next week refuse to eat anything. He will almost always eat yogurt and cheerios or puffs, but nothing else is a "sure thing". Foods he gobbles up one day will be flat out refused the next. I have no idea how he's not starving because along with refusing most of the solid foods, he's also begun refusing bottles (and sippy cups of milk) at daycare. He will still nurse at those intervals when we are home together on the weekends, so I'm not sure what's going on. I feel like he will eat the food when he's ready, but I just wish he would stick with the bottles in the meantime so I didn't have to worry about him getting enough to eat.

Despite not eating, he seems to be growing! I had a mommy meltdown moment yesterday... his school sent home their Saint Patty's Day art project--a 4 leaf clover made from handprints. I was adding it to the collection of other art treasures and saw the little handprint spiders he made back in October. Y'all, his little handprint has literally doubled in size between the two! It just hit me in an instant how fast he's growing up and I lost it. We will get the official stats at the doctor on Friday, but we did break out the 12 month size clothes, although most of his 9 month size still fit but are getting snug. I'm guessing he will weigh about 20.5 lbs. He has 4 sign of the next one, but I would bet he will have 2 more by next month.

Something that I am excited to report is that his eyes are still (and perhaps even more vivid?) blue! I've always admired people with dark hair and blue's just so striking. But I've been trying not to get my hopes up that his will stay blue, in case they do change. A number of baby books and such that I read said that eye color is pretty much set by 9 months, but I'm living proof that eye color can change well beyond 9 months. I had gray eyes until I was about 6 months old when they changed to a hazely brown color and stayed that way until my teens when I think I wished them green. Only time will tell....

Something tells me that the next 9 months will be just as quick and even more fun than these first 9 with you, sweet Jackson! We are holding on for the ride and can't wait to see where you will take us! We love you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Majorly Delayed 6 Month Photo Shoot

I got scolded last night because the last post didn't contain a single picture of Jackson. I promised the scolder that I would make up for it today. We have Jackson's 9 month photo shoot scheduled for next week, so I realized that I never posted his 6 month shoot (besides our Christmas card) that we did back in December. As always, our photographer, Sarah Giles of Butterfly Chaser Photography, completely outdid herself. I uploaded all of the images to Picasa so you can see them in their entirety. Click the photo below to view the whole album:
Jackson's 6 Month Photo Shoot

But here's a few of our favorites (so hard to pick just a few)!

The many expressions of Jackson. I'm getting a 12x12 of this one for my office because it just makes me smile. =)

This one is getting framed as an 11 x 14 to go in our living room!
"Dad, should we be standing on the railroad tracks? Are you sure this is safe?"
Love those chubby cheeks.
That dimple turns me to mush.
Sweet blue eyed boy.
He laughs with his whole heart. And melts mine. <3

I already miss this feet in the mouth stage.

So again, thank you, Sarah for so perfectly capturing the spirit of our little one!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meal Plan Monday: March 14-18

Meal Plan Monday is back from hiatus with some new recipes! We've been crazy busy around here for the last couple of months, so we've mostly been relying on tried and true, simple dishes, most of which I've already blogged about. I occasionally peruse Once a Month Mom blog for inspiration for my power cook days (when I cook large batches of multiple meals on one day to freeze for later). Even when I'm not planning a power cook, I love the Once a Month Mom recipes because they are all freezer friendly. All of the linked recipes this week except for the Shrimp Bisque come from there.

Monday- Chicken Macaroni Bake
Tuesday- Mexican Shrimp Bisque with frozen taquitos
Wednesday- Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
Thursday- Tilapia with Spinach, Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Friday- Tomato Bisque (already blogged about here) & Grilled Cheese


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Long Post for a Long Weekend

We had a long weekend and it was great balance of work and play! On Thursday night, I went to speak at an admitted student reception at the Houston Prospective Student Center. We decided that Justin and Jackson would come with me and we would take Friday off to spend a little time with my sister, Melody, and her family. Mel is expecting my 4th niece or nephew in August, and I got to go with her to her monthly check-up on Friday morning. I got to hear the wee one's heartbeat and everything! The weather was GORGEOUS all weekend, and Jackson, Justin and I took advantage of it on Friday and took a walk to the neighborhood park and played for a little while.

He still loves his reflection, and has even taken to patting and trying to kiss the baby in the mirror.

On Friday night, we all drove to Kingwood and met my parents who were in town on the eve of their Spring Break cruise. We did a little shopping and then all had dinner.
Jackson getting some lovin' from Aunt Melly.

On Saturday morning, we drove back home and Jackson and I went to a baby shower for one of his teachers. While we were gone, Justin got started on a landscaping project in our front yard. A neighbor down the street decided to redo his flower beds, so he was planning to get rid of all of the limestone that lined the beds. He told Justin he would give it all to him for free...Justin just had to go get it. So he loaded it all into the truck and then unloaded it into the wheelbarrow and then into the backyard. When I got home, I helped with pruning the bushes and clearing out the weeds and debris. We want to plant some flowers in those beds, but because the larger bushes create some shade, our flowering plants that require full sun never last more than a couple of weeks. We decided to extend the flower bed out about a foot to get the flowers out of the shade. Today, after consulting with our landscaping experts, the Hayes, Justin (with some help from Jake) moved all of the limestone from the backyard and put it in place. We still need to add some planting soil, plant the flowers, and mulch but here's what we've done so far:

Here's the before picture. The bushes hadn't even been pruned since spring of 2009, since I was basically out of commission last year.

After pruning the bushes back and digging up the sod for the expanded flower bed.

After adding in the new limestone.
Looks good, huh? (Please pretend like our grass is green....that's the next step in this project.) We're excited to get this project done! Jackson was so good yesterday when we were both working outside. He jumped in his jumperoo for quite a while and then we moved him to his pack n play in the yard and he was happy as a lark there for about an hour!

Today was a different story. He was whiny and clingy and I couldn't put him down for a second. I'm going to blame it on teething because I have no idea what else could have been wrong.

I do love these 3 day weekends and wish we had one every week! This week is Spring Break week, although we only get Friday off, but that means another short work week. Yay! I'll leave you with this cute picture in which you can see our sweet boy standing as if it's no effort at all and proudly displaying all 4 of his little teeth!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cause and Effect

Jackson's been doing lots of this...

All that moving and busyness creates quite the appetite...

I realize that type of eating is normal for most babies but Jackson has always been a reluctant eater, at best, and for a while there, he refused purees altogether. We would call it a successful meal if he consumed a tablespoon or two of food. Now he is eating whole bowls! Tonight for dinner he had a handful of cheerios, two servings of green beans, two servings of apples and a whole container of yogurt! Yay Jackson!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ankle Biter

Jackson has gotten exceptionally more mobile in just one week! He's adopted a funny froggy style of crawling rather than the arm over arm army man style he started with but he's gotten fast! Yesterday he took off crawling towards me and I thought "aww how sweet, my baby is crawling to see me" but sweet is not what I got...

He's begun to venture out to explore all sorts of things...the springy doorstop, the drawers on the entertainment center, and the underside of the jumperoo. Hopefully we can keep up with him!