Sunday, December 30, 2007

24 Hours in Colorado

We are still having fun in Colorado. David and Suzanne made it safely last night, but they did say that it was pretty heavy snow on the road.

Emma was the only kid brave enough to try and brave the elements yesterday.

The kiddos had a great time playing together. Emma is JD's personal entertainment center. He loves to watch her play!

Emma helped Jon cook baked ziti last night. A chef in the making!

We rounded up the evening with 3 episodes of 24. We are all hooked now. But we have to wait until the kids go back to sleep to continue the series tonight!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It's Getting Cold In Here

So far, so cold...I mean good. We have been enjoying ourselves up here in Colorado. We have not had much major snow in the last day or so. But it is VERY cold. Wind chills of -48 degrees at night.
Here is the view from the cabin in the morning.

We bundled up yesterday and braved our way into Breckenridge so Jon could get in some skiing and I could try to do some shopping with JD. It was around 1 or 2 degrees most of the day. I put JD in his supercute winter clothes (thank you Grandma) and got his hat and mittens and his coat for our trip.

We visited the place where we got stuck on our way. I had to take pictures since I have had some requests. For those who have visited the cabin, you can see the big turn at the end of the road in the distance.

My shopping trip basically turned into a trip to Walmart because the parking lots were so terrible and busy. Oh well. We picked up Jon from some really cold skiing (he said he thought he had frostbite) and got a bite to eat in Breckenridge.

For most of the day, we had been keeping tabs on Josh and Dara who were on their way up. By 6:00pm local time, they were in Amarillo (a LONG way from Colorado). Jon and I watched a movie and got JD to bed early.

Around 3:30 am, the crew arrived with the dog and two sleepy girls. Dara said that as they drove through the "snow tunnel" (see my previous blog post picture), Ellie (the almost 2-year-old) said "Oh OH!" over and over.

We got everyone unpacked and settled down for the rest of the night by around 4:30 (Josh wanted to fire up some breakfast at that point). We all slept until around 7:30 am this morning and the guys left to go skiing.

Jon and Josh came back about an hour later after they said that we were getting a lot of blowing snow. No rest (or skiing) for the weary. Now they will spend the rest of the afternoon plowing out the road so that David and Suzanne don't get stuck tonight.

The guys did manage to get some food for a few meals so we will have some yummy food if we get snowed in this week!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

So much to blog about! We had a lovely Christmas. JD really enjoyed his first Christmas, opening presents and playing with new toys.

But let's back up. We got a surprise phone call on December 22 from our friend Jordan saying that he got a catering job and needed help from Jon on December 23. The big news is that the catering job was for Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo! Jon, Jordan and Josh were back in action, cooking up a Mexican feast for their party. Jon said it was pretty laid back and that everyone really enjoyed the food.

We left for Colorado on Christmas Day in the afternoon. We planned to drive halfway and stay in Salina, Kansas to take it easy with JD. It worked out great and JD took his afternoon nap during most of the trip. When he woke up, we watched the Wiggles.

Yesterday, we made our way into the valley to get to the cabin. We were a little nervous because our neighbor up here had called us to let us know how bad the snow drifts were on the road. But we wanted to try it in daylight hours so we knew what we were dealing with.

We got on the road to the cabin with no problems until we got to the big corner to turn into our house. Our neighbor had been plowing for most of the day and still had not really cleared it out enough to drive through. He was kind enough to let us drive through his field to bypass the mess.

We did pretty good most of the rest of the way until we got to the hill right before the house. Then we got STUCK. Jon decided to hike it in to the house and get the truck with the plow to get our car in. No problem. JD and I chilled out in the car and watched the Wiggles (over and over).

About an hour later, Jon came walking back with a shovel and my hiking boots slung over his shoulder - not a good sign. The truck battery had died and needed recharging. So Jon worked on trying to dig us out, which didn't work. So we bundled JD up in his new snowsuit and I put on my hiking boots and we walked to the house. It wasn't too bad - about 15 minutes, but it was uphill in high altitude.

Jon got the truck battery recharged and went back out for a couple of hours to get the car dug out and plow the road a bit. We got our car back and unloaded. Yay! This morning we woke up to heavy snowfall in the valley. It is 7:30 am here and Jon is already out plowing and trying to get into town for groceries in case it gets really bad here.

Everytime we come to Colorado, we are ready for an adventure! So far we haven't been disappointed.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Just When You Think You're Done

We got up this morning with sense of purpose. There were a lot of things that needed to be done before Christmas and before we could go to Colorado.

JD got us up bright and early at 5:30 (he must have sensed the urgency). Of course, I just rolled back over (since weekends are daddy duty) and got a little more sleep. But when I got up at 7:30, everyone was ready to start working.

We got JD dressed up in a really cute outfit for his 8 month pictures, which we did in front of our Christmas tree. As luck would have it, there were a bunch of really cute ones. Then I decided I needed to get a picture frame, right then and there. (This is not the "one" but I want the people who will be receiving the "one" shortly to be surprised and some of them read the blog).

So I set off to Hobby Lobby and Target to hunt. HUGE mistake. Now that I am a stay-at-home mommy, I forget that everyone else does their shopping on Saturday (especially the weekend before Christmas). Blech.

Then we went to Sam's for some Colorado stuff (bottled water, baby food, socks for Jon - normal stuff). It was starting to get crowded there, but surprisingly not too bad.

The grocery store is what made me decide to never go back to any store ever again. I hate our grocery store on a normal day anyway (way too crowded, never enough checkers, produce is crummy...I could go on and on). But it was beyond awful today. I parked in another zipcode, then I couldn't find a cart, then nothing was where it was supposed to be and they were out of the baby food that I wanted (so was Sam's). I came home with a raging headache and to a screaming child.

But things turned around once JD and I had a nap. Much happier baby, much happier parents. I got most of my presents wrapped and am now enjoying a roaring fire and a Cowboy game with my little family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Someone's In the Kitchen

JD has discovered the kitchen. He loves to hang out in there while we are trying to cook or clean. So we have given him some of his own kitchen items to play with while he is in there with us.

The only tricky part is that he is so quick these days. In the blink of an eye, he is right behind you (or the hot oven or the trash can in the pantry). So we have to stay on our toes (and not on his)!

JD is also our new vaccuum cleaner. He finds any teeny-tiny thing on the floor and literally sucks it right up. So I have been sweeping 2-3 times every day ahead of our little vaccuum cleaner. But last night, when Jon was cooking in the kitchen, JD was rapidly introduced to Yukon Gold Potatoes, since he managed to get a little piece that had fallen off the pan. Oh well. White potatoes aren't too different from sweet potatoes and carrots, right? They are all root vegetables...

He is also our recycler. All of our magazines and paper products go right into his mouth and turn into a nice mushy pulp, ready for production into a new paper product. I never knew JD was so concerned about the environment. Our little "green" baby.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Madness

Another exciting weekend! I think we survived intact.

We spent most of Friday and Saturday preparing for a holiday dinner with a few family members and some friends. Jon cooked some wonderful dishes and I stayed out of the way and offered helpful advice (are you sure you want to cook it like THAT??).

Jon prepared rib roast, roast chicken, potatoes au gratin, asparagus with roasted red pepper sauce and some hors d'oeuvres. We also made my favorite dessert - molten chocolate cakes. Yummy!

I focused on decorating our dining room and putting ten people at a table that normally seats eight. It actually turned out just fine. We were all cozy.

During dessert we played a version of the Newlywed Game (or Not-So-Newlywed Game in some cases). Dara and Josh (who have been together for SEVENTEEN years) won the game hands down.

Everyone had fun and JD did pretty well, considering all of the noise and commotion at the house. I'm still looking at the dirty crystal glasses and pots & pans in our sink...better think about that tomorrow.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm a Soap Man

Probably only my sister will really understand the title of my blog today, but that's okay.

We had a GREAT day yesterday! JD slept until 8:00 am. That's right, I said 8:00 AM! He was in a great mood for most of the day. Lots of babbling. I think he is starting to understand what mama mama means. I love it!

No fussing over mealtimes - he ate so well yesterday. He took a 3 hour mid-day nap with no issues.

JD really enjoyed his bath last night. I made it with bubbles, which he isn't used to. Boy, was he excited!

Yes, for those who have noticed, he has another forehead bruise. He slipped when he was crawling and smacked his head on the hardwood floor. Poor little guy.

I love it when we have such great days together! It makes the not-so-fun days more bearable!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I am done. I finished my Christmas shopping today. Hallelujah! It is getting worse and worse out there. Crazy drivers, bad weather, grabby people in the stores...not very much fun.

But I had a nice experience at one store today. I was waiting in line to checkout and several people came over to entertain JD and I as we were waiting. It was more for JD's benefit because people were sticking their tongues out and making silly faces and I don't really find that as funny as I used to. But JD thought it was hilarious!

On another note, JD has started full-fledged babbling. Lots of ba-ba's, ma-ma's, de, de, and other noises come out of his mouth, all the time. It is like he is holding his own conversations. I love it! We have progressed from screeching to babbling and it is so much cuter!

I can't wait for him to say Mama and really know what it means!

Monday, December 10, 2007


What a busy weekend! The holiday season is officially upon us and now that I am semi-well again, I can enjoy it!

Our church had its annual Holly Jolly Christmas Party on Saturday night. I am on this committee so we had a few things to do on Friday afternoon (like fluffing artificial Christmas trees until my arms were covered with scratches and setting up tables). I was also a table hostess with my sister, so we decorated a table on Saturday morning.

My husband, my brother-in-law Josh and our friend Jordan were the caterers for the event. This was their first official catering gig together, so they had been planning for weeks (maybe even months). I mentioned a few blogs ago that I missed their yummy tasting party that they had in preparation for their event.

The guys spent the entire day chopping, saute-ing, baking and cooking the ENTIRE meal for 220 people from scratch. Everything was homemade from the bread to the hand tenderized and handrolled flank steak, stuffed with spinach, bacon and carrots. It was really delicious.

Everyone enjoyed the dinner and the event overall (that I could tell). Entertainment was cute with the ministers doing a little choreography and the kiddos singing (my niece Emma had a solo). The only hiccup for me was JD.

JD slept FIVE hours on Saturday to get ready for a semi-stressful evening for him at the Holly Jolly. He went in the church nursery with the other babies and the teens who were babysitting. He started off okay with his Uncle Solomon. I stopped in to check on everything after we served the salad and JD was screaming his head off.

I gave him a bottle (even though I knew he wasn't really that hungry) and Solomon fed him the rest of the bottle before I left. I came back after the salad and JD is screaming again. I rocked JD a bit and played some games and got him back in good spirits again. I told Solomon to come get me if JD started screaming again. About partway through dinner, out comes Solomon. Oh well. I brought JD out with me for the remainder of the meal and the entertainment.

I guess JD was a bit too young for crazy church festivities. Hopefully Uncle Solomon will still want to spend time with his young nephew! I know JD wasn't upset about being with Solomon. I think it had more to do with an unfamiliar situation than anything else.

We had a pretty busy Sunday too. So we all went to bed early on Sunday night to recover. I hope the rest of the holiday season is downhill from here. Whew.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Time Survey

My sister sent this and I thought it was cute for the holidays.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I use more wrapping paper these days (more economical)

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. I am married to a firefighter.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? After New Years

5. Do you like eggnog? Sure, but it has been a LONG time since I have had it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cabbage Patch Kid

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not anymore

8. Hardest person to buy for? My mom

9. Easiest person to buy for? All kids under the age of 6

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A weaving loom that made pot holders (I actually played with it a bunch later, but on Christmas morning, I thought it was LAME)

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail

12. Favorite Christmas Movie: Christmas Vacation, The Christmas Story, All the claymation shows (Rudolph and such), White Christmas... who can decide??

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? November

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My husband’s cinnamon rolls, my mom's date nut bread

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear

17. Favorite Christmas song? It's the Holiday Season (Andy Williams), Carol of the Bells, Nutcracker Music, It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Andy Williams)

18. Most Annoying Christmas song? Feliz Navidad

19. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Go down the street to my mom’s

20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph

21. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have had a big bow on the top of ours for the past few years

22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Usually not on Christmas Eve, but this year is an exception

23. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Shopping crowds where people push and shove and don't follow the rules of common courtesy. People are very grabby this time of year.

24. Favorite Christmas Apparel? Footed Christmas pajamas for babies (old fashioned with the buttoned rear-end opening)

25. What I love most about Christmas? Everything. I love Christmas church services, decorating, the food, the kids’ excitement, the songs, the parties. Everything.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Weight Off My Shoulders

Well, I did it.

I stepped on the scale yesterday, cringing and not really wanting to look after such a great Thanksgiving holiday. Plus I haven't worked out for a week since I have been sick. So I was ready for a few extra LBs on the scale.

I purposely gave myself the time around Thanksgiving without standing on a scale. Who wants to know how much the extra pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes packed on while you are enjoying them??

But I needed to get back in the saddle yesterday. It was time to see the damage that was done, so I would know how far I needed to push myself at Baby Boot Camp when I returned.

So I took a deep breath and stepped on the scale with my eyes closed, sucking in my stomach (for some reason I think this helps). And I looked. I did it! I lost the rest of my baby weight. I am officially back to pre-pregnancy weight!

I want to thank so many people for this accomplishment. First - Lean Cuisines for producing such tasty, convenient, yet low calorie and low fat lunches. Second - Baby Boot Camp for making me get out of my pajamas in the morning. Third - My son for never giving me any time to really sit down and eat. Last, but not least - My husband for motivating me to lose the weight ("You know I love you just the way you are, but when are you going to look like you used to?").

It really is true. It took me nine months to put it on and it took me about nine months to take it off. We've come a long way, baby!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Hoarse Whisperer

JD and I are sharing a cold right now. We both are coughing and have runny noses. But here is where the similarities end. My cold seems to have settled in my chest, so I have pretty much lost my voice.

This has amused my son to no end this morning, since I can't say "No" very well. Everytime he tries to eat the Christmas tree cord, I try to say "NO" in a firm and authoritative voice, but it comes out as a squeak. He laughs at me and thinks it is a game.

I haven't been able to sing or talk with him as much today since my throat hurts to talk. So JD has been responsible for his own amusement this morning, which has consisted of the aforesaid tree incident, getting stuck under the living room chair, trying to climb the stairs and working very diligently at pulling down the laundry basket with all the folded laundry.

The other difficulty has been getting him settled down for a nap. I like to get him drowsy before I put him down for naps. I usually put JD in the "sleeper hold" (as my husband refers to it) and cuddle him up with his pacifier with my hair in his face to keep his eyes closed. With a chest cold, this has been more difficult since every time I get him drowsy, I start to cough and wake him back up again or he starts to cough and wakes himself up!

But there is nothing as comforting as a baby resting his head on your chest when you are feeling sick. JD is the best medicine a mother could want.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Charlie Brown Is Coming To Town

I am still a sucker for holiday specials on television. I get so excited about "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or Frosty or Rudolph (narrated by the late great Burl Ives). I still think it puts the newer shows to shame.

I saw an advertisement for "Shrek the Halls" the other day on tv. Blech. How can an ugly ogre and donkey compete with the cute Peanuts gang doing the dance as they are getting ready for the Christmas pageant? And what about when the kids save Frosty from melting away forever when his magic hat is stolen?

I love the cheesy animation and silly songs! Who cares about new high tech computer animation when you have such great classics? Before the time of vhs and dvds, I used to look forward to Charlie Brown (brought to you by Dolly Madison cakes) every year! I couldn't wait for the networks to bring me Rudolph and Frosty or Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

I hope that by the time JD is old enough to appreciate such fine entertainment that he loves it as much as I did when I was a kid. Actually, as much as I still do now!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Superdad to the Rescue

After JD was born, Jon and I agreed (after the first month) that during the week, I would get up in the middle of the night with JD and that he would handle the weekends. I understood this policy because Jon still has to get up during the week to go to work and actually function as a human being. Plus, when we first agreed to it, JD was blissfully sleeping through the night (yes, he started sleeping 8-10 hours a night at 5 weeks).

Around 6 months of age, that all came to a stop. Apparently anything and everything can cause a baby's sleep patterns to change on a dime. For JD, he has sprouted some new teeth, had his first stomach virus, started solid foods and started crawling - all very good reasons to stop sleeping at night, according to all the parent research sites. It is hit or miss every night whether he is going to make it all night or not. And JD never adjusted to the daylight savings time change. He gets up at 5:30 am every day (sometimes earlier), ready to start his day.

I actually get stressed out about it. I am sleeping really terrible because I just know as soon as I drift asleep, JD is going to wake up. So I never actually get into a deep sleep anymore. And as luck would have it, JD tends to wake up in the night during weekdays and not on weekends. So I have been on baby night duty a lot recently. Add that to the early mornings and I am starting to turn into a slightly sleep-deprived grouch.

This morning, I was bleary eyed and sleepy at 5:30 after getting up at 2:00 am to settle JD back down. My super-sweet husband offered to get up with JD and give him his breakfast bottle while I snoozed a bit. I responded to his kind offer by hitting my head back down on the pillow and falling immediately back to sleep.

JD and Daddy played for about an hour and Jon brought JD in, all sleepy and ready to take a nap. So Mommy and JD both got to take a nap until 7:45! Best morning in a long time!! It is amazing how little acts of kindness like this can make a whole day better!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thankful for Thanksgiving

I am certainly blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with two families on two different days this year.

We started off at my family's on Friday with family pictures! This was quite the adventure with four grandkids - two under 1 year old. The last I heard we were going to need to photoshop a different head of JD since he was the only one not looking at the camera at the same time. He definitely has a hard time smiling in different situations. Oh well.

We enjoyed a fabulous lunch with all the traditional Thanksgiving foods and enjoyed talking and catching up with my Aunt Jan, Uncle Ivan and my cousin Mystee. JD loves playing with the girls. They are so entertaining! Emma (who is 6) sings and plays with him, Ellie (almost 2) keeps him on his toes by stealing his toys back ("mine" is a big word for her right now) and Marin (5 weeks younger) who is just entranced by JD and can't stop smiling at him. We ended the day by watching Ratatouille together.

Jon and I did some cooking that night to get ready for the next day with his family - a casserole, chocolate trifle and greeen beans. I had to pack up too to get ready to bring JD over to his family's house. We brought the pack n play for naps, the Johnny Jump Up and a bag full of toys, not to mention all of the necessities - diapers, formula, baby food, etc.

We got up bright and early to make the 1 hour trek up to the compound (Jon's family's place). We were the first ones there because Jon was so excited about getting the guys started on the football game. People started to trickle in and/or wake up and the guys braved the wet and cold weather to start their game.

The womenfolk stayed behind to set up for dinner. Everyone's food was delicious! We set up the two tables in the living room and laid out the spread. The guys came in with only two injuries (Daniel had pulled a muscle and Solomon turned his ankle) and ready to eat.

We had a surprise announcement during our Thanksgiving prayer from David and Suzanne, who are expecting a little one next May!! Yay! More cousins for JD! We are so happy for them!

After dinner and dessert, we cleared out the room and enjoyed some music by Gerry, Hannah, Solomon, Sarah and Mercy. JD enjoyed playing with all of his aunts and uncles. Here is a cute pic with his Uncle Daniel.

Then we got down to the business of Christmas. Santa Mercy (helped by her daddy this year) passed out presents to everyone. I think everyone got something they really needed/wanted! JD got to open his very first Christmas present - it was from Uncle David and Aunt Suzanne.

After presents, everyone talked and played with their new presents and there was an impromptu "bluegrass" band that was created among the musical siblings. They had a great time recreating such classics like Amazing Grace.

It was so fun to be able to spend time with both families during the holidays! I have to say that I am still full from the food though. I'm glad there is a year in between Thanksgivings to recover and lose the extra weight!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Too Young for the Movies

So JD and I were approached by a man in the street asking if we had ever considered putting our baby in the movies... Just kidding. This blog entry isn't about being too young to act in movies.

Yesterday, my mom and sister decided that it would be fun to do a girls' movie trip to see Enchanted, the movie where the animated princess gets put into real life New York City to survive. I thought it would be fun to go with my nieces and mom and sister to see this movie together. Unfortunately, Jon already had plans that did not include JD.

So I decided to bring JD with me. It was about nap time and I thought that it would work out great - he would fall asleep in the car and I would be home free.

Jon dropped me off at the movie theatre and it was raining. I pulled the infant carrier out of the car and turned around. I slipped and hit a concrete post that was coming out of the ground right by the car. Down I went on the wet pavement, using my body as a soft landing spot for the infant carrier. Two gentlemen were kind enough to give me a hand (Jon was completely oblivious to the entire episode since he was on the drivers' side). I had a bruised backside, sore back and aching arm where I was still clutching the infant seat, but my ego took the bigger beating! My shoe heel also managed to come off. Jon came over at this point after seeing two strangers running over to the car to help me. And the best part of the whole embarrassing episode is that JD was just fine. He didn't even cry or look disturbed in the least. Apparently even after 2 months of Baby Boot Camp, my body is still as soft as a pillow. But the downside is that JD was definitely awake.

So I drag myself and my 20-something pound infant (plus whatever the carrier weighs) into the theatre to meet the girls. Everyone is ready to go in, but I told them quickly about my ordeal. Everyone felt bad for me and checked JD out (who of course is wide eyed and bushy tailed now).

We go in the theatre and get seated. JD is chilling out in his seat pretty good until the previews start. He starts squirming and fussing a bit. So I got him out of the seat and sat him on my lap. He started to get pretty sleepy, but didn't want to give it up for a nap (way too much action going on around him to close his eyes).

So we went in and out of the theatre about 5 times trying to go to sleep when the movie started. I finally gave up and just pacified him with his bottle and let him play in my lap. Then it happened. I started to smell THE SMELL. All mothers know this smell. Their noses are trained for it. I was in denial, thinking, "It can wait. I'm sure it isn't that bad." But finally I decided we needed to go investigate his pants and see what the damage was.

The movie theatre does not provide any changing stations for infants. Apparently, as movie patrons, we are not supposed to bring any diaper-wearing humans to the theatre. So I had to lay out his changing pad on the nasty family bathroom floor and perform the procedure. And JD is of the age where you put him down on his back on any flat surface and he immediately wants to flip over and crawl around. He and I are wrestling and I notice that he has had a blowout in the right quadrant (diaper poo leakage below the back of his right thigh). Great. Now an already complex diaper change has turned into a full-on clothing change too.

I sit him up and he is just squirming around in his poo on the changing mat. I am about to start crying because I am just so overwhelmed with the situation. But instead I start to laugh until I am crying with laughter, bordering on hysteria. JD starts laughing with me too, him on his poo-mat and me squatting above him, trying not to touch my already dirty backside on the nasty bathroom floor.

After stripping him, wiping him down, wiping the changing mat down, soaping and rinsing off his pacifier and several toys off (which he managed to pitch on the nasty bathroom floor), getting him dressed back in overalls (the MOST complicated piece of apparel to put on when you don't want to touch the floor or the dirty mat with your child) and putting everything back in the diaper bag, one-handed (since I had to hold JD off the floor with the other hand), we finally made it back in the movie to catch the closing credits. Best $7 ever spent on an afternoon entertainment experience.

But wait, there's more! Since Jon dropped me off, I rode back with my mom, my sister and her two kids. The three kiddos were outfitted in their car seats in the back seat, so I rode in the trunk of her Exterra. And my sister managed to accidentally elbow me in the nose in the process. I start laughing again (the hysterical kind) and the girls start to laugh and JD is laughing. They drop me off at home in one piece (yes, we avoided getting rear-ended with me in the trunk). I get JD down for a nap IMMEDIATELY and hit the chocolate trifle that I had made for Thanksgiving on Saturday. Chocolate can cure almost any bad day.

It is safe to say that it will be a LONG time before JD and I venture to the movie theatre again. I don't think either of us are emotionally prepared to go through that ordeal again anytime soon!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Not Your Traditional Turkey Day

Yesterday was National Turkey Day or Thanksgiving. We celebrated in a most unconventional way. We put up our Christmas tree! Since my family was gathering for Thanksgiving on Friday and Jon's family on Saturday, we decided that Thanksgiving was the perfect day for kicking of the holiday season with our tree raising.

I thought it would be very difficult to pull this off with a 7 month old baby who is crawling around and pulling up on everything. I figured that he would be into everything and pose a danger to himself and us in the process.

But he did just great! He got sleepy right around the time that the action was starting, so we put him off to bed for a nap. Jon and I did the heavy lifting work that is required with a 10 foot artificial tree. We put all of the "nice" ornaments up high and out of baby's reach. We put the more child-friendly ones down toward the bottom so JD could see them.

When JD got up from his nap, he was amazed by the lights on the tree. So far, he hasn't really discovered that the ornaments can be removed or that he could try and pull up on the tree.

Jon and JD watched the Cowboys, while my mom and I ran some errands. Then we had my mom over to eat some Italian food. Jon made some chicken parmesan and spaghetti with homemade sauce and some homemade bread for us. Yummy! Definitely not traditional Thanksgiving food!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Inspiration as Medicine

My poor husband is sick. We're pretty sure it is from JD, but Jon was up all night coughing last night.

I'm not sure if it is like this for other moms/wives, but I find myself treating Jon like I treat JD when he is sick. For some reason my sympathetic actions are the same whether it is for a little kid or a big one!

I made Jon some soup and grilled cheese (his favorite when he is sick) and I encouraged him to drink lots of liquids. But he has had such a busy week, that he hasn't really had any time to rest.

And he has so much to look forward to that I know he wants to feel better. Tonight we are going to a hockey game, while JD stays with Grandma. Tomorrow we are putting up our Christmas tree and decorations, and of course, we have the Thanksgiving Cowboys game to watch. Friday is Thanksgiving with my family and Saturday is Jon's family Thanksgiving/Christmas.

I'm praying that he feels a lot better today! I'm putting a picture of a time when he felt like he was on top of the world (literally and figuratively) as inspiration to get better!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Funny Face

I love his sunny, funny face!! A few recent pictures that I love for different reasons.

JD is thinking - I can make it to the couch Mom! Just watch me try!

These are my very favorite pajamas. He looks so cute in these and it is a bonus that there are little firetrucks on them! His expression reminds me so much of his daddy!

You are going to make me eat more of this stuff?? JD was not a huge fan of mixed vegetables. I have to say that I am not either though.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bad Friday - Tales of a Selfish Mom

Since having JD, I have not been in the habit of over-planning my days. We take it pretty easy and build most days around JD's schedule of eating, sleeping and pooping. The only real scheduled activities have been my Baby Boot Camp and working one day a month at Care Corps, our church's outreach center.

This past Friday was the exception to that rule. I had a bunch of stuff planned for us to do that I wanted to get done. We had planned to get up early to go to a children's clothing sample sale that is held twice a year down in Garland. Then we would go to Care Corps for the afternoon. The plan was to then take JD home for a good nap and then we would head back to church. Jon and my brother-in-law Josh and Jordan (our friend from church) were going to be cooking a tasting menu for an upcoming event that they are catering. So this was the plan.

Things went pretty well first thing in the morning. I got up at 6 and got ready before JD woke up (that works best for everyone). Then I fed JD and played with him like normal. We got dressed and headed over to pick my mom up for the sale. JD took a nice nap in the car along the way. We got to the sale and I put him in the Baby Bjorn (which he really doesn't like) and went into the sale madness (women pushing and shoving for the best selection).

JD was a little fussy at the sale, but did okay considering the circumstances. After the sale, my mom and I went to La Madeleine's for lunch before going to Care Corps. JD took a nap during lunch and woke up at the end to eat a bit himself. So far, so good.

Then we went to Care Corps to interview applicants for Christmas assistance. We had 9 people come in, plus a few drop-ins for food help. This made for an extremely busy afternoon. And JD was unnerved by all the strangers in the room. He screamed everytime I put him in the Johnny Jump Up or the pack n' play. (It didn't help that all of these well-meaning strangers kept coming over to him to try and play with him). So I carried him on my hip all afternoon, while making copies of IDs, talking to applicants, packing food, carrying groceries, etc. at Care Corps. I think my left side is getting unnaturally large from the extra muscles I used.

He just got worse from there. We spent an extra hour and a half at Care Corps because of the extra people, so I was just frazzled at that point and JD was SCREAMING.

So we went home. I gave him a bottle and some food - still SCREAMING. At this point, I knew I wasn't going to be able to go up to church for the tasting. And for the first time since I had JD, I was really resentful of my little son that I would be missing the fun. I know that sounds terrible, but I really wanted to enjoy some relaxing conversation and some good food.

So I stayed home with JD. Instead of steak and potatoes, I ordered a pizza and we hung out. He cried and fussed for most of the night except 30 minutes right before bed where I had him in hysterics laughing from playing and singing. Then he went to bed (more crying and SCREAMING before he finally went to sleep). Ahh... I earned my mommy card on this day.

And I learned my lesson. Trying to do too much in one day makes for a very rotten and fussy baby and a very tired and frustrated mommy.

** Follow Up Note - On Saturday morning, Jon did a great job of trying to give me a break and hanging out with JD. And we had a GREAT time together as a family doing some Christmas shopping that afternoon. JD was an angel like he usually is!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'Tis the Season

I know that everyone has their favorite holiday traditions. I have been looking forward to starting a family with Jon so that we could pass down some traditions and create our own.

My family always had one tradition - how we opened our presents on Christmas morning. Someone would play Santa and sort all of the presents into a little pile for each person. Then we would start from youngest to oldest and that person would open up all their presents and everyone else would watch. I used to think this was the WORST tradition in the world because after I would open up my presents (I was second in those days), I would have to wait to play with them because I was required to watch everyone else open. Now I actually appreciate this tradition because I love to see everyone else open their presents and enjoy what they received. Nothing gets lost in the shuffle and everyone can see the other person open up the present that they purchased for them.

But my favorite tradition isn't even one of mine. This tradition is in my husband's family. I'm not sure how long it has been going, but I think it is the best. They celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving. I know it sounds a bit odd, but it works great.

Everyone tries their best to make it in for the whole day (whether it is actually on Thursday or Friday or Saturday) and we have a traditional Thanksgiving morning/lunch. The guys go out and play football until they are bloody and torn, while the women put the finishing touches on the beautiful Thanksgiving meal. We all eat at a huge table in the living room (last year, the kitchen table collapsed under the weight of the meal so now we eat in the living room). There are so many of us, usually 18-19 people at the table.

After the meal, the boys do the clean up work so it gets done quickly (Jon puts together a very efficient assembly line approach). Then we get together in the living room (without the table) for Christmas. We do a gift drawing in advance and keep it a secret until that day. I always see the younger brothers scrambling in a bedroom for some wrapping paper or sweet-talking a sister into wrapping their gift for them at the very last minute.

Then everyone opens their presents when Santa Mercy (Jon's youngest sister) brings them over to each person. We sing some Christmas carols and maybe Jon's sister Hannah will play something on the piano for us. And we enjoy chatting and playing with the new Christmas toys with Mercy.

For the past five years, this tradition has kick-started the holiday season for me. I love starting off the holidays this way. I know JD will enjoy this tradition as well. And as we add more cousins in the fold, the traditions will just continue to get richer each year.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday Family Fun

We hosted the Boyd family over for lunch after church yesterday to enjoy visiting with his aunt and uncle who were in town. Jon and I always have fun planning for a get-together with his family.

On Saturday, we did a "super clean" on the house and got it pretty much in order again (which was undone in 5 minutes when JD got up from his nap). Then we loaded up in the family vehicle to go to Sam's for some grocery shopping.

Let's pause here - have I ever mentioned how much we LOVE Sam's? Usually, a trip to Sam's is an entertainment event, comparable to dinner and a movie or a trip to the zoo. We love to go up and down the aisles and imagine what we could do with 2 gallons of mayonnaise or French's mustard.

I managed to turn this particular Sam's trip into an impromptu Christmas shopping experience. I found 50 yards of Christmas ribbon for wrapping my presents (perfect to go with my 50 feet of wrapping paper from Canton). I found a present for one of my nieces and got some ideas for a couple of other people.

After Sam's, we came home and started to plan for our Sunday lunch. We were making spiral cut ham, baked mac & cheese and homemade rolls. And we wanted it to be pretty much done by the time we all got done with church. So this was going to require some timing finesse. Jon thought through the logistics and I carried them out on Sunday morning after he left to get the A/V ready for services.

Side Story: At church, JD and I were sitting with my mom and my sister and her daughter Emma in the pew. All of the sudden during one of the "stand up" songs, I noticed the back of my pants were wet! I look back and the entire seam of the pew where the back and the seat meet was filled with brown liquid. I have no idea where it is coming from but I'm not excited about sitting back down in it when the song was over. I used baby wipes to start to clean the mess up and some other pew members helped by getting paper towels. We discovered that my sister had spilled her cup with tea in it when she left to take Emma to children's classes. What an adventure! I think it is safe to say that Dara will probably not be bringing tea to church for awhile!

Anyway, lunch went off great! Jon's mom brought a fruit salad, Jon's sister in laws brought homemade apple pie and potatoes and we all enjoyed a yummy meal together! JD entertained everyone with his new word - Ra-Ra and crawling around blowing raspberries. Can't get much better than that for a Sunday afternoon!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Sleepless in Allen

What new mom's blog would be complete without an entry on baby sleep issues? We have been so lucky not to have any issues in this area until recently.

JD started sleeping through the night (at least 6 hours) by 6 weeks old. He has always been a great napper (3-4 in a day).

Well, I think we have hit the 7 month itch or something. He hates sleeping. Or to be more precise, he hates going to sleep. And he doesn't seem to want to put himself back to sleep anymore in the middle of the night. So we have had a lot of late evenings and middle of the night wakings lately.

He is Mr. Explorer these days and wants to see everything around him (and stick it in his mouth, but that's another entry). He loves his mom and dad (yay!) and seems to genuinely enjoy their company.

So when it is time for sleep, he is loathe to close his eyes because he might miss something. When I pick him up to start getting him relaxed for bed, he arches and cranes his neck all around, looking to see what he might miss. We finally get him sleepy-eyed and pretty much asleep and we lay him in the crib...then his eyes pop open and he flips himself to his back and starts screaming! We have repeated this performance most evenings at least 3 times before he finally gets the hint and goes to sleep.

I started reading all of the parenting articles on sleep that I had been ignoring (we don't have THAT problem). I am against "co-sleeping" at this stage (mostly because I want my sleep without a noisy baby in the room) and I can't do the Ferberizing method of hours of crying on their own. So I chose the gradual cry it out method to try out last night.

I got JD nice and drowsy after his last bottle and I sang little lullabies to him and rocked him for just a few minutes in his room. Then as his little eyelids started to droop, I laid him in his crib so gentle and quiet.

Eyes popped right open and the screams commenced. I walked out of the room (but not before hearing the pacifier flying across the room and JD jumping up to hold on to the side of the crib).

I heard screams come out of that child like his leg was being cut off or something just as traumatic. I waited 5 minutes and went back in and laid him down again (he was clinging to the side of the crib) and patted him on the back. He calmed a little and I gave him a pacifier. I walked out of the room and the screams began again.

We repeated this for about 45 minutes. It is heart wrenching to hear your little one so upset and to know that you have caused it! He finally was so exhausted that he gave it up with no pacifier (hooray) and just a little patting on his back.

AND he slept through the night!! I fully expected his little eyes to be swollen shut this morning, a hoarse voice and a sour disposition at his mean mommy who made him go to sleep on his own.

But he smiled right away at me this morning with bright and shiny eyes, which I am going to take as a sign of forgiveness and gratefulness for the wonderful night of sleep that he had.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Too Cute for Words

No blog entry today...just cute pictures of JD over the past week or so!

Looking so handsome in his Dumbo baby outfit, shoes and playing with his Dumbo "lovey." Guess who supplied this? His Aunt Dara, the Disney aficionado.

This is the teething face that we have seen lately. It makes his little cheeks puff out so cute!

Our little walker taking a break. (As a follow to the previous blog - he did fall down soon after this picture)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Legends of the Falls

Recently, JD has given up most of his toy interests in favor of pulling up on anything and everything. I actually got a little frustrated today with it.

I know that this is one step closer to learning how to walk and I should be proud of how quickly he is learning this skill. But this is a hard phase to watch. JD doesn't like to play with toys anymore or listen to stories or songs. He just wants to stand up. And then falling down just comes naturally next. This is what we do all day long.

So I have watched him pull up on our tv stand and fall down (some tears). Then he tried pulling up on the fireplace (more tears and crying). Then he tried pulling up on the trashcan (a big tumble, lots of tears and bruise on his forehead). He even tries to pull up on the Bumbo seat, even though I told him that the Bumbo seats have been recalled, so technically it doesn't exist.

He doesn't understand the word "no" or even my stern tone of voice that I use to get him to stop what he is doing. He just looks over his shoulder at me and laughs. (He reminds me of his dad in that way). So there is no advance protection before he takes a tumble. I try to run over and catch him when he falls, but most of the time he is too quick for me.

I miss playing games and singing songs with him and getting rewarded with a big smile, hand clapping or laughs. He doesn't care about that at all. It is so hard to watch him learning the difficult lesson that sometimes you fall down and it hurts. I just want to scoop him up and protect him from all the falls and bruises.

Does anyone have the website address where I can buy a padded suit and helmet for a 7 month old? Preferably stretchy material that can expand to fit until he is 30 years old?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

In the Swing of Things

We have enjoyed a nice week with the beautiful Fall weather. My Baby Boot Camp class dressed the kiddos up in Halloween costumes to work out. I'm not sure what was scarier, the costumes or the sweaty moms!

Jon and I took JD out to the park to let JD enjoy the swings again. I think it is safe to say that he is hooked! He really loves it!

Last night was Halloween and we had a few trick or treaters around here. JD got back in his Curious George costume (one last time) and greeted all of the kids in costumes. I think he had fun until around 7:45. At this point, he got so tired that he couldn't keep his little head up. We have some great video of him falling asleep sitting up and then waking himself back up when his head dropped.

We've been having some difficulties keeping him asleep at night for the past couple of weeks. Maybe a growth spurt thing or new phase. But he wakes up around 1:30 and doesn't want to go back to sleep.

So I have tried doing less naps during the day and he gets REALLY tired by nighttime. Hence the head dropping, etc. But it has worked for the past couple of nights and he is back to sleeping through again.

On another note - I stumbled across a friend out on the internet that I had been keeping in touch every once in awhile through emails over the years. I discovered that I really didn't know the person as well as I thought. It was a little bit of an eye opener as to the pervasiveness of the internet. I guess the lesson that I took away is that nothing (and no one) is ever really anonymous out in cyberspace. So be careful what you post! It may come back to haunt you...(total pun intended with Halloween and everything)

Hopefully JD doesn't mind later on that I have used this forum to post his exploits and adventures during his first years of life! I guess I will avoid posting the naked baby on the bearskin rug picture to head off any possible future embarrassments!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Trunk or Treat

Last night, Richardson East Church of Christ hosted Trunk or Treat for the community children. My sister has participated in this for the past few years and really enjoyed it with the kids. So now that we have a little one, we decided it was our turn to join in on the fun.

The idea is to decorate your trunks so that the kids trick or treating come up to enjoy the decorations and get some candy. I have never been before, but I thought we could figure out the concept.

So I started thinking, what would JD be really cute dressed up as for Halloween? We have always called him our little monkey because he has a really cute "widow's peak" brow that kind of looks like a monkey. You add in his little baby ears that kind of stick out right now and you have the cutest baby monkey around! So we decided Curious George would be a great costume.

Then I thought, how can we incorporate a monkey or Curious George into something that we already have a lot of to decorate our trunk?

Ta da! The perfect combination. JD can be Curious George and Jon and I can be Firefighters!

So we outfitted the trunk with firefighter gear and filled a bucket (labeled FIRE) with candy. I got an actual Curious George stuffed animal dressed as a firefighter and a copy of the book to bring with us. Jon turned on the lights of his fire vehicle and we got JD all dressed up as Curious George. Too cute!!

The kids loved JD's costume. A lot of them thought he was a stuffed animal because he was so well behaved!
And he actually relaxed enough to start laughing and smiling toward the end of the evening.

We had a ton of fun! My sister Dara's family won an Honorable Mention for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme. She did a lot more work than we did!

We are already starting to think of next year's theme... Maybe we will play to the judge's tastes and do Mickey and the Firefighters.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fun with Grandma & Grandpa

Jon's brother Daniel recently celebrated a birthday, so last night, Jon was invited to come and cook "gourmet-style" for Daniel's firefighter friends. I came along too to lend a helping hand to his wife Heather and enjoy some yummy food!

JD's grandparents - Gerry and Ouida were sweet enough to come out to watch JD for the afternoon/evening while we were gone. Aunt Mercy came out too and spent time with her nephew.

The afternoon started off a bit rocky because when they arrived JD was waking up from a nap and was very grumpy (screaming his head off to be exact). That frazzled my nerves a bit because I didn't want to leave my sweetie when he was so agitated.

He finally calmed a bit and perked up at Grandma's voice. I felt a bit better, but I still couldn't coax a smile from him before I left.

It sounds like they had a ball though. JD took a walk in the stroller and went on his first baby swing ride at the park by our house. He ate good and played hard with Grandma and Grandpa, who got him crawling across the floor and smiling a bit. They sang songs (his favorite activity) and read books.

By the time we got home, JD was already sacked out in his crib from all the fun that he had. We are so blessed to have such wonderful and loving grandparents nearby to spend time with him! It is so reassuring to leave your child in such loving hands!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Say Cheese

I have the sweetest little boy on the planet. But he is going through a new phase right now. He only smiles his best smiles at home.

We experienced this last weekend at the pumpkin patch. The whole family got together with the kiddos to take pictures at the pumpkin patch. The kids were all dressed in festive fall attire and ready to go.

We gave JD a nap and figured he was ready to roll. But when we put him out amongst the pumpkins, he got very pensive and serious. We tried singing all of his favorite songs and tricks that usually has him in hysterics at home. Nothing, nada, zilch. Notice how cute his cousin Marin is smiling...

Then I took him to get his 6 month pictures this morning at Kiddie Kandids. I did all of the right things. He had a nap and I waited to give him his bottle until just before we took photos. I even played with him in the car right before we went in to "warm him up." He smiled and giggled at me.

We get to Kiddie Kandids and he wouldn't crack a smile for anything or anyone. I tried everything. So the nice picture people let me take him around for a stroll while they gave my appointment to some other child who apparently knows how to smile on cue.

Somewhere between the pack n' plays and baby furniture at Babies R Us, I got JD to smile again. Hallelujah! So I race back over to the photo station to try again.

We get him back on the platform. Ready, aim, NOTHING! I am at my wit's end! I finally remembered one of his recent favorite songs - Little Bunny Foo-foo (with the rabbit fingers). I put on my best Broadway imitation and sang until I got some smiles. Everyone in the store was laughing at me, but I didn't care because I got my son to giggle for the camera - finally!

See with rabbit ears...
And one without...

I wonder what I will need to do for his 9 month photos. I draw the line at costumes and karaoke...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unfinished Business

I am in a constant state of unfinished-ness. I seem to start projects, but never quite get them finished. I can't decide if it is an attention span problem, lack of desire or just sheer laziness.

A few examples -
  • I've been married almost 5 years and still haven't finished my wedding album or my scrapbook
  • I finished my last big trip more than a year ago and haven't finished my travel photo album
  • My son is almost 7 months old and I still haven't finished the curtains for his room
  • I've lived in this house more than 2 years and still have paper blinds on most of the windows

The problem with each of these projects is that they require something to finish. Whether it is page inserts for the albums, my mom to help with the curtains or getting photos printed, there always seems to be some reason that I can't finish on my own.

Ironically enough, even this post has taken me a few times to get finished. My mom called, then JD started to cry and I needed to wash JD's bottles.

I am very deadline driven. If there is a date or time associated with finishing for a different reason, then I can push forward to get it done. If I have all the time in the world, it will just hang over my head.

I guess it is a good thing that JD creates a sense of urgency to get things done quickly. There is no procrastinating with a stinky diaper or hungry kid. He creates his own deadlines for me to follow!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Feel Your Pain

Update on 10/23 - JD still has congestion in his little chest, but he isn't coughing quite as much any more. He seems to still be in a pretty good mood - not really acting too sick. Maybe we are on the road to recovery!

Have you ever heard a sound that made you cringe? Or a sound that actually caused you pain? Like nails on a chalkboard or screeching tires with a crash at the end of it? This is what I have been feeling for the past 24 hours with my little boy. He started with a little cough that has now progressed into a terrible sounding hacking cough that comes up from his little chest.

Timing couldn't be better. All cough and cold medicines for children under 6 have been pulled off the market. (But definitely better to be safe than sorry on that account). But as a mom, it makes me feel so helpless that there is almost nothing I can do to relieve his discomfort.

Our house smells a lot like menthol right now. We have a Vicks vaporizer in his room and I have been rubbing Vicks Baby Rub on his little chest. We even have a vapor bath soap that we can give him, which I will try later this afternoon.

If he could run at this age, he would do it every time I come after him with the nasal bulb. He HATES the sight of the thing, even though he feels better after I clean his nose out a bit.

There are small blessings. He doesn't seem to have a fever and when he is awake and not coughing, he is still a pretty happy fellow.

When I hear that pitiful cough, I just want to take it from him and make it my cough instead. I want to take his little pain away. As a parent, I feel a bit closer to God. I think about what He must feel when we are in pain and how He loved us so much that He sacrificed His own Son for us. Talk about the ultimate lesson in parental love! Move over Dr. Spock and Dr. Sears. I get my parental advice from the best!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Peas and Carrots

JD has been enjoying peas and carrots this week on his quest to eating solid foods. It was coincidental that I picked these two vegetables to start. Krogers has a limited supply of 1st food vegetables and I grabbed the first 2 that I saw.

But then I thought - how wonderful, we started with two vegetables that were destined to go together. (Think Forrest Gump - "Jenny & I - we were like peas and carrots")

I started to think about things that go together - PB&J, Salt & Pepper, Ham & Eggs, Mandy & Chocolate... Then I began to think about who the innovator was who put those two things together at just the right time to create the perfect combination.

I like to think many things in life happen that way. Only God is the innovator who makes that perfect combination. I know it happened that way with Jon and I. If we had met a few months earlier and under different circumstances, we probably would never have fallen in love. God is perfect in his wisdom and timing!

I like to fool myself into thinking that I am in control by creating a plan with timelines and budgets and ideas. But in reality, someone else is steering my ship. It makes me feel very secure in that knowledge!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Developing at His Own Pace

It seems like there is so much pressure put on these little infants in the first year. Sure, doctors call it "developmental milestones," but in reality, it is a set of rules that these babies must pass in order to be "normal." (Don't even get me started on that word)

So Jon and I stress and worry over every little hurdle that JD must go through. It is like a training facility here at our house. We're turning JD into Rocky Balboa.

At 3 months, I was working diligently with JD on rolling over - back to front, front to back, head over feet (just kidding - he doesn't need help with that one). For about a month, he would only do it for me when we were at home alone. I don't think Jon really believed he could do it. Then one day, he was rolling all over the place.

Same thing with the sitting and crawling. Jon would come home every night for "maximum crawling practice" with JD - tempting him with the remote control and telephone. Then one day, he was belly crawling all over the place with no motivation needed!

But what is sad is that we put such importance on these milestones that we can't even enjoy the stage that he is in. It is off to the next milestone (for us it will be walking, talking). Because if he isn't doing these things by the "right" time, then he might have something like autism or another developmental disorder.

On that note:
Does anyone else get tired of hearing all of the (what I call) scare propaganda out that is being forced down our throats about autism? It seems like these news sources want you as a parent to try and analyze every thing your babies are doing (or not doing) for this disorder. Is this a case of too much information?? Are we as parents looking for something that isn't there because news sources have planted the suggestion in our heads?

Autism is a serious disorder and if we had a child with it, then we would handle it with all of God's love and strength behind us. But I wouldn't want to worry about it and push my child to get to the next milestone so that I miss out on what he is doing right now.

I am going to take a deep breath and just enjoy JD for awhile just as he is. Because he is in a particularly cute stage right now, belly crawling and sitting and clapping and laughing. I thank God for his sweet little smile that melts my heart every time he looks into my eyes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Boys

Tomorrow is Sunday, which is a very big day in our family. Yes, we do the usual things like going to church and eating lunch with the family. But even more important, we have to watch the Boys. And by the Boys, I mean the Dallas Cowboys.

Ever since we found out that we were having a boy, Jon was so excited about getting to share the Cowboys with our son. I guess men do their best bonding over a game where other men hit each other hard.

But I have to say that I have always liked the Dallas Cowboys. I've cheered for them when they were on top, winning Super Bowls. I've yelled at them and commiserated with them when they were at the bottom and losing game after game. I'm a big fan of the passing game and I get so frustrated when they keep running it up the middle. (I'm so glad that we have a quarterback who likes to throw the ball now)

I remember all of the Sundays and Thanksgivings that I watched the Cowboys with my dad and my grandpa. My grandma would make a special meal after church so we could all sit at the house and watch the game together. By the end of the second quarter, my dad and my grandpa were usually snoring in their recliners.

I will miss seeing my dad have the opportunity to share the Cowboys with his grandson. I know they would have really enjoyed cheering the Cowboys on to victory. But I love that JD will get to experience the football games with his daddy, just like I did with mine.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eating Escapades

Here are some pictures of JD trying out cereal. He still hates it, but at least he doesn't cry anymore!!

Update at 7:00 pm - we tried peas tonight and they were a big hit! He loved them! Guess he isn't a cereal guy.

You can tell that he is really enjoying all of the flavors...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random Act of Kindness

JD and I had a fabulous workout today with our Baby Boot Camp class. He couldn't help but laugh at his mom doing lunges behind the stroller (He thought I was playing peek-a-boo).

We got out to enjoy the beautiful weather and entertained some moms and their kids playing in the park, while doing curls and step-ups on the park benches. It is a tough workout! I'm even considering adding some more days next month when I know that I will be indulging in all of the holiday yummy food.

At the end of our class, another mom asked if anyone was a size 3. Now, being a new mom, I jumped to the conclusion that she was talking clothing sizes for babies. Since she has a little girl who is a bit older than JD, I didn't really think anything else about it.

Then she said that she meant a size 3 in diapers. Just the size that JD happens to be right now. Her little girl outgrew size 3 diapers when she had just bought the big economy size portion at the store. And she offered to give them to me!

What a wonderful gift on a Wednesday! God really does grant blessings in unexpected ways! This helps out so much when diapers and formula costs start to stack up! And JD will put those diapers to good use, that's for sure!

My thanks again to my fellow Baby Boot Camp mommy!!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Big News!

JD is going to be getting a new cousin or cousinette soon! Jon's brother Dan and his wife Heather are expecting a new little one in April!!

We can't to meet him or her! We are praying for blessings on this little one as it grows big and strong!


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Maestro

When Jon and I first found out that we were expecting, I was filled with all sorts of worries and doubts. Would our child be cute? Would our child be smart? Would our child carry on our worst genetic traits?

After 6 months with my little guy, I can safely answer 'yes' on all accounts. JD is the cutest, brightest little rugrat in our house. But he also inherited one of my hidden traits.

It is often a topic of discussion in my family at holiday dinners, vacations and family gatherings. I had a hidden talent of sorts as a baby that I have now passed along to my child. Master (or Mistress in my case) of Spit Up.

We discovered this talent a few months back and he has just been perfecting the art ever since. Since JD is practically a carbon copy of my husband, I guess this is one thing that ensures that I am indeed his mother. As a baby, apparently I was good at sharing a meal with everyone around me (literally).

He knows just when it is perfect timing for a spit up (right before we are about to leave and we are dressed in nice clothing) and he is an equal-opportunity spitter (no one is off-limits). He can aim it just right (so it hits you right in the lap or in the mouth, depending on how he is turning). He knows the best amount (at least 2 ounces so you have to change your entire outfit).

Sunday night was his finest performance yet. His daddy was lovingly feeding him his dinnertime bottle and dutifully burping him afterward. JD produced a weak burp of sorts and then erupted. He managed to get a perfect 10 on aim (all over dad's lap and the couch) and amount (at least half of the bottle came out).

The best part is that he gets the proudest smile on his face - the "look what I just did" expression that is priceless. You can't help but laugh and get some paper towels to clean up the mess.

I am so proud that my son has carried on this torch for me.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

In the Army Now

I recently joined a class offered in Allen to help get back in shape. Pregnancy and motherhood sure did a number on my body. I made the comment early on after JD was born that I felt and looked like my body was a war zone.

So I joined the army to help fight in this war zone - Baby Boot Camp! This has been my first week of classes (twice a week). I get to bring JD with me in the fight against baby fat. He is pretty amused at my red, sweaty face and all the grunts that I make, doing exercises that I haven't done since high school (remember suicides??).

It is an hour of intensive circuit training with other moms and their babies. Even the instructor brings her 4 month old - although she doesn't look like she ever had a baby. I feel pretty good after the hour, sore and tired, but glad that I am working off the last bit of my baby weight.

If you are interested in reading more, it is a nationally sponsored program that was started by another mom.

I'm determined to win the war!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Feeding Frenzy

After we were given the greenlight to begin the introduction of solid foods, I was so excited! I bought new baby bowls and spoons and plastic bibs for the occasion.

If any of you know me and my husband, we both really enjoy food. Pretty much any kind - comfort, Asian, Italian, Mexican, American, French, Indian, etc., etc. Our favorite part of traveling is trying the local cuisine.

In fact, we enjoy food so much, that we are both currently on a "stop eating so much" diet until the holidays. But I'm getting away from the topic...

We couldn't wait to introduce JD to the culinary arts that we both love so much.

So last night, we sat JD in his brand new highchair and strapped on his brand new feeding bib. Dad set up the video camera, and I heated up the rice cereal that was lovingly mixed with heated formula.

And we gave JD his first taste of "solid" food...which he promptly made a BLECH face and spit it all out. we tried it again - this time with airplane noises. This time he shuddered and spit it all out. And I can wind up 3 minutes of video for you by telling you it ends with him crying after all of our efforts to turn him into a foodie at first bite. (I'll try to edit the video and post a clip a little later).

I tried again at lunch today with pretty much the same success. Okay, so we will have to help him to develop the sophisticated palate that his father and I enjoy. I mean - who doesn't enjoy a spoonful of bland rice cereal mixed with body temperature, sour-smelling formula (Note: it isn't sour, I just think formula is very smelly)??

I'm already getting excited to see his reaction to his first bite of squash!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Measuring Up

We had a great 6 month check up today. JD is looking good and right on track. He is in the 90th percentile for his height (28 inches) and 45th for his weight (17 pounds).

The doctor was impressed when JD did a chin up on the doctor's hands on the examining table. JD already knows how to get really tense around doctors. He gets that from his mother.

JD took his shots like a man and just cried a little this time. He got a few extra doses to get him ready for all the winter illnesses (Rotavirus and Flu) that attack little babies. I am all in favor of avoiding anything else that hits him like this last stomach bug did. We are still dealing with multiple "code browns" daily (sometimes hourly).

He got the thumbs up to start real food this week - first cereal, then vegetables. I already told his daddy that he would need to wait a little longer before trying his first cheeseburger.

Our little guy is growing up!