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!