Monday, December 29, 2008

He's on to us...

We've been trying to get video of JJ dancing and singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider", but every time we take out the camera, he stops what he is doing! He has decided that like momma, he'd rather be the one taking the pictures. So, he stops dancing and tries to take the camera away. I made the mistake of letting him have it-once. He turned the camera around to look at the back of the camera like we do when we are taking a picture. So, I don't think this is a "no pictures" sort of thing. He just sees the camera and wants to play with it. After this interest dies down a little, we'll catch him. Hopefully we'll be able to post him doing Itsy bitsy and/or dancing (disco was a favorite the other day-unfortunately a RuPaul song).

In the mean time, we hope everyone has a Happy New Year! I hope we can all look back on the year that has been and see the blessings we've had in our lives-even the trials are blessings because we can learn so much from them.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Drumming! Paper rolls are more fun than the gifts!?

Merry Christmas!

Since we won't have Ally with us on Christmas day this year, we decided to do gift exchange this weekend. We did save a couple of gifts for JJ to open on Christmas day, but we figure that since that's not what Christmas is really supposed to be about, doing gifts before Christmas works out quite well. So yesterday we opened gifts...Ally seemed to really enjoy her gifts, with JJ it was like pulling teeth to get him to unwrap anything! It was definately an interesting day!


other uses for blocks...
Camp Rock "Room on the go" (lamp, pillow, blanket) and jammies from Poppa Henry

Playhut from Poppa Henry

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tator tot no more

This week we were told that JJ is ready to transition to the next class at daycare. The group he is in now is called tator tots (not really babies, not quite toddlers). I guess we view this as a bit of a milestone since it was such a tansition for him to even start daycare. Typically, after 5pm, any tots still there go to the infant room until they are picked up (so they can let staff go home as the kids thin out). He's been so bored and really doesn't like going in there so we discussed him going into the toddler room at those times instead. He did this for the first time on Tues. Apparently, the teachers are thinking that he is also getting bored in the tator tot classroom and that he would really enjoy being in the toddler room. I can see this. He loves to play! The toddler room is more active with more activities to do and the kids are more advanced in their playing skills. He will transition to one nap a day and they will start having him practice using the potty (seems ready for both). Those will be the only major routine changes other than the move itself. He's been off the bottle since our trip to Ohio, so that won't hold him back in there. I guess he's all ready to go! Now Mom and Dad have to get used to the idea. Gotta admit, it's a transition for us too. Mostly because it proves how quickly they grow up. To quote Trace Adkins, "You're gonna miss this..."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun with JJ

Yesterday, JJ discovered the fun he can have with a light up bouncy ball. He repeatedly whacked it on the wall to make it light up. It was a bunch of giggles.

video

Today he got his first haircut. Yes, I have some of his hair to put in his baby book. He did very well sitting still and was not scared of the trimmers at all. He was curious about them and tried to turn his head to see what she was doing, but otherwise they didn't seem to bother him at all!

video

While visiting with JJ's auntie Monica, we discovered that he likes to play guitar. They had a small acoustic guitar that he was strumming on (along with a full size drum set that he and his sister both enjoyed!). To encourage a love for music, we decided to go ahead and get him a guitar. We found one that has strings to strum as opposed to just buttons like so many of the toddler guitars out there. He actually strums it and uses the little whammy bar! He even started to headbang while playing it. Uncle Tony would be so proud! We took a little video of this too. (My running commentary about the guitar's features is actually me describing it to grandma on the phone....)

video

I think we are mighty lucky. All this fun and good naturedness is occuring in spite of a continuing (or maybe a new...) ear infection in both ears and some monster teething (gotta love those molars). Don't get me wrong, he has his cranky moments, but overall he's weathering it like a trooper!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in Ohio

We just go back from a great trip. There was only one bad day when we got rear-ended (nothing serious) and then Jim and I got food poisoning (from a food court restaraunt). Once we got that stuff out of the way, it was great. Monica cooked dinner on Thanksgiving and we played pool and darts (two games I assure you I am fabulous at- um, yeah...). We had a great time though. JJ loved getting to visit with Poppa Henry. He repeated a number of new words, but his favorite thing for the week was gogurt (yogurt). He led us to the fridge at every meal time, repeating, "gogurt?" On the way home, we stopped at a mall in Coralville, IA that had a really big carousel in it. It was a great way to get out of the car for a little bit to stretch our legs. JJ liked playing on the car rides, too. And he's still at the age where he can "ride" those for free! It was great trip. We hope everyone else had a great Thanksgiving, too!




Friday, November 21, 2008

Dancing to the classics...

Or Classical I should say. We brought in the kids' radio from the trunk of my car-finally! We typically have it set for classical music because Ally tends to like to fall asleep to it. So, when we turned it on, that is what was playing. Apparently, that was just fabulous as far as JJ was concerned. He even turned up the volume as he was dancing! I had to grab the camera for this one! He kept playing with the volume button, which didn't actually move anymore-a good thing since sometimes he turns the radio up so loud he scares himself! So, here it is...
video

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When it rains it pours!

The Morton Salt people were on to something when they adopted that as their slogan.... We've decided that JJ is much like his parents-we do everything all at the same time. I guess some of it is daycare that's doing it to him, but he sure does keep doing everything all at once! As some of you know, he just got over a case of pink eye (is there any other way to do it other than having it in both eyes?), a stomach bug (which is actually why he went to the doctor in the first place), he cut two molars Tues and Wed night (he's been working on them for a while now), and at his 15 month appointment yesterday, we discovered he had an ear infection in both ears. The doctor asked if he's been cranky lately..."well doc, you see how chipper he is right now... so no, not really"(as my son tries to stick his fingers in the unprotected electrical socket on the examining table). The other dr we saw for the pink eye/stomach bug said he was the happiest sick kid he'd ever seen! Yep, no time to be sick, mom! I got trouble to get into! That's my boy.

He is working on the talking thing. As usual, he's not doing it the way we would think he would do it. I keep listening for mama and dada, but he rarely says them. He does sign them, so at least he knows who we are! Nope, he says things like "cheese," "cracker," "cookie" (thanks, gramma), "kitty," "turkey", "stinky" (while holding his nose) -which he learned at daycare-and even "sissy" last week (though he refused to say it when she could hear it!). He's definately growing-he's practically grown out of all of his 12 month clothes. Too bad his 18 month clothes don't really fit yet either! Despite a currently ill-fitting wardrobe, he is getting pretty good at getting dressed. He's too little to be independent or anything, but he'll put his arms in his jacket while you hold it, put on and take off his shirt with just a little bit of help (of course putting it on is more of a fight because he likes to go half naked). He holds his feet out to get his socks on, helps put his legs through his pants and will get his shoes for you so you can put them on. While I sometimes miss the days of him being the "burrito baby" all wrapped up in his blanket, these sure are some fun times! He's learned so much just in the last month. I think it's time for the rain to let up a little.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pray for the Callison Family

I just want to extend our love to the Callison family and request that everyone say a prayer for them. They are currently going through a difficult time with their new baby girl, Lynnea. Her heart did not develop properly and she will need a series of surgeries. You can follow the link on the right to their blog if you want more detail. I just can't imagine the heartache they are going through. As parents, we cringe at every bump all the while knowing they will get up and run again. But this is so much more. I think that every prayer and positive thought will help, not only for Lynnea's health, but for Corey and Tina to be fortified with strength and love. Please take a moment for them. Thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

pumpkin painting

This was an interesting experience! JJ wanted to pull the paper off and paint the table... he painted his paci... it was quite fun. The kids got creative and made some pretty neat pumpkins. Here's how they turned out...




Saturday, October 25, 2008

Boo Bash



So, today we went to the Grand Ave Boo Bash in St Paul. We definately decided to go earlier in the day and use the stroller if we go again next year. It was fun, though. They had the big bouncy houses, but Ally wouldn't go in without JJ (he's too small yet). Lots of folks passing us thought JJ was super cute in his horse costume (best 6 bucks spent lately!). I have to agree he was. Costumes have gotten sooo expensive that I'm really glad I went ahead and got him one last year. We got one for Ally today and it was $30! I bought it big so that maybe she can wear it next year and/or she can play in it for a while. At any rate, we had a good time. Tonight, we plan to paint a pumpkin. That should inspire some fun pictures....


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Apple Picking


What a beautiful day! We had wonderful weather and beautiful fall colors! JJ had a great time at the apple orchard. He got to pet a goat, ride a pedal tractor (his favorite part!) take a brief ride behind a real tractor, and pick a few apples. We spent the day with the Rosenau family and JJ enjoyed spending time with his friend Collin. They played as toddlers do with so much to explore. We got them together for one activity-the pedal tractor! We may have to get one of those for at home!!! It was definately was a great fall day!





Wednesday, October 15, 2008

OY!

Our precious son has turned into a little terror! Well, just at home. He's so stubborn-sound like anyone else you know? It wouldn't happen to be at least one of his parents??? Anyway, he's quite the little tantrum nut this last week or two. Now, I know that much of this is because we moved, I went back to work and he started daycare. That's a lot for a little guy to swallow! The icing on the cake is that we've all been sick. We're on the second cycle of colds in two weeks (thanks again daycare)! I thought adults were suposed to have stronger immune systems than that! And there's the first year molars working their way through! Poor kid!

He seems to be adjusting to daycare. It's a slow process, but it's coming along. The last couple of days, he's fussed to get out of his seat in order to go in to daycare. That's the end of his enthusiasm though. He even tried to pull me back to the door when he saw one of the teachers yesterday (and he usually likes her!). He seems to calm down relatively quickly once I'm out of sight now - from what I can see through the windows, anyway. They say he's playing with the kids more, which is a relief to me because he's never been so antisocial!

I know that his emotional roller coaster is a result of the stresses going on for him right now. This too shall pass. But, boy do I wish this one would pass a tad bit faster!

Monday, October 6, 2008

1st day of daycare & fall fun

JJ did well with his first day of daycare, though it didn't hit him that we were leaving him there until he saw us out the window about to drive away. Poor thing! He was fine until he refused to take his afternoon nap. He got real fussy after snack time according to the teachers and struggled until we picked him up-thankfully, not much more than an hour. It may just be my imagination, but it seems like he is beginning to understand that words are a pretty cool thing and seems to be trying to repeat the key phrases we say to him (thank you, all done, more, and I'm good). Over the weekend, we went to a community festival at the park. They had pony rides for the kids and gord painting. JJ got to eat cookies (yes, papa lyle, we let him have cookies) and listen to music-always a favorite activity. He didn't even seem to mind that he was the only one dancing!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

We're back!

At cousin Malinda's wedding

Oh, what an interesting few weeks it's been! Since our last post, we have moved and made a number of other life changing decisions. Jameson keeps growing and growing! Always the adventurer even in his own house. He has been practicing his words-we think he's said the word, "cheese". Yep, our son's first word was cheese. I guess it is his favorite thing to eat. He has also said "doggie" and "dog".

I have also decided to go back to work. I will be working with TBI clients in an independent living setting at a supervisory level. JJ is going to daycare and will start on Monday. So far, he seems to like the people he has met up with. He's only been there a few hours, but there are a couple of teachers we like and he seems to enjoy watching the other kids. He hasn't really played with them much which surprises me a bit considering how much he typically likes other kids.

We're beginning to get settled in to our apartment. It's nice because Jim is so much closer to work and I will be close to work now too. Plus, the apartment is bigger than the last couple of places we've had. JJ seems to really like the space (as we remove the random boxes from it!).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bunker Beach

We enjoyed a trip to Bunker Beach yesterday (Thanks again, Rosenau family!). Bunker Beach has a wave pool, water slides and a wading pool. JJ was a little nervous about the wading pool. I think it was a little louder and more active than the last one we were at, but he enjoyed himself more as he relaxed. No soaked pics this time as Mommy roped Daddy into the pool, too. After some time in the water, we went to the sand play area designed for making sand castles, etc. This area has tons of sand (of course) and water. So, we were a sandy, muddy pair as Daddy took pictures. JJ seemed to enjoy the little water hole the kids had created even though the water was freezing! He made new friends including a 9 year old blonde named Morgan and a young (maybe 4) boy named Manuel with curly hair. Of course he was covered in sand! After that, we ate a picnic dinner and played at the park on the swings and slides. It was a fun filled day!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

May be going webless

Just wanted to let people know that we may be going without the web at home for a while, so our posts may have a pretty big gap. That just means that I might have more stories to tell when we're back online! I'll keep going as long as we're hooked up-I don't know exactly when the disconnect will happen. We had our phone turned off today and expected that the net would go with it, but yet here I am. I emailed everyone the new phone number to contact us at and let everyone know we changed to a yahoo address, so you should still be able to get a hold of us. If this is the last post for a while...we'll see you in the near future!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meeting George


JJ got to meet Curious George yesterday at MOA. He watched him with great interest because this George was quite a bit bigger than he is used to. We got our picture taken with George, had a snack (more of those wonderful Oreos!) and listened to CG stories. We also met Ace the Moose from MOA's Moose Mountain mini golf and Bubba Gump Shrimp. JJ certainly has developed some cautiousness around these mascot critters! He was a bit shy around all of them. His imagination has definitely kicked in. We've discovered that even Finding Nemo might be a bit much for him at this point. He becomes quite distressed when Nemo gets sucked into the fish tank filter. We'll be fast forwarding through that part next time we watch it! Ally went through the same thing, except her thing was the part where Mufasa gets killed in Lion King. I guess I never realized how brutal kids movies really could be! Thankfully, Baby Signing Time and CG are still his favorites!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

State Fair





We went to the state fair today. It was pretty fun. JJ's first trip was last year and he slept much of the time. He got lots of coos from people we walked by. Just a year later, he's walking around and participating. Ally and JJ got to play at farming. Ally pedaled a tractor around then they fed fake chickens, planted fake seeds, collected fake farm products to sell and got fake money from which they purchased items from the farm store. Ally bought a snack (cinnamon toast crunch) and JJ got a stuffed baby lamb (0bviously provided to the store by Serta). It was actually pretty cool! JJ didn't seem to know what to think of thestate fair mascot, the big robot that was walking around, or Goldy the U of M mascot (who hid my eyes then pretended to steal my deep fried pickles-damn gophers!). Ally got to pet a duckling, a lamb and a baby pig in the Miracle of Birth center. JJ was a little weirded out by petting the pig, but liked the lamb. The kids both seemed to have a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chasing JJ

We have seen a resurgence of the chase game! JJ greatly enjoyed when he would crawl and we would crawl after him. He even enjoyed having the tables turned and chasing us! It was hard on the knees, but still fun. Since he has begun to walk, the game has taken a new twist...his hands are free to hold things. He grabs the remote off the couch and takes off giggling! This is more about the chase than what he actually has because he uses toys for it too. Thankfully, he doesn't think it's funny to run away with things he shouldn't have...yet.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Random stuff

I just added a couple of fun things to the blog. One is a hangman game on the right side and the other is a kid-related quote at the bottom of the page. These are supposed to change everyday, I think. I just wanted to point them out because they are not ads and won't send you away from the blog. They are just for fun!

Also, if you right click on the pictures, a menu comes up and you can click "save as..." in order to save pictures from the blog if you want to.

Happy reading!

Minnehaha Falls


We took a little trip to Minnehaha Falls today. It was beautiful as usual. The falls weren't as large as they were the last time we went (2 years ago). Someone said the falls are bigger in the spring than in the summer. We also discovered a little gem on the other end of the park. They have a wading pool that appears to be free. You do have to pay for parking though. We parked on the other end of the park-a bit of a walk, but we paid 50 cents per hour and got our exercise. JJ enjoyed himself quite a bit. The wading pool was listed on the website so, I packed lil swimmers and a towel for him and wore clothes I wouldn't be too worried about getting wet. I didn't know if we would go to the wading pool for sure because there wasn't much info about it on the website. In truth, I wasn't really prepared for this little adventure. JJ loved playing in the little fountains of water and walking under the waterfalls. Of course, I held his hand almost the entire time for safety. He did me in. I was absolutely soaked after he led me under the waterfalls! But, after seeing how bold he was, I will be much better prepared for our upcoming trip to Bunker Beach!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First Birthday party (and more)!

JJ had a great birthday party yesterday with family and friends. We were joined by Poppa Henry, Gramma Laura and Poppa Lyle, the Rosenaus, and the Callisons. Gramma Laura made a great Curious George (banana flavored) cake. He greatly enjoyed that! He also learned that Oreo cookies are fabulous! JJ had lots of fun playing with bubbles. We discovered that toddlers enjoy pouring them out of the pan more than blowing them as the pan was dumped by Collin, then JJ, then Ashlyn (twice!). Oh, what fun! And JJ appreciated his friends pouring them out because then he could play with the bubble solution and lay in it! It works out for me...his shirt is going to need all the soap it can get after his Oreo and cake mess!

Along with turning one, JJ is meeting the normal milestones. He enjoyed his first car ride facing forward the other day. He has also discovered the entertaining properties of putting things inside other things. I gave him a small tub to put things in this morning so he would stop putting his paci-and other toys- into the garbage can. I guess this sorting includes himself! I was quite surprised to glance down to see him climbing into his bucket. I guess he figured it was a good size for himself!

The weekend was full of fun other than his birthday party. We also went to the Irish Heritage Fair at Harriet Island on Friday. He and Ally both enjoyed the music. In an effort to get a shorter video to post here of them dancing, I was dancing and bopping around. Click on the second video to see his reaction! I do believe my son just called me a loser! Ahh, well... I knew I wasn't that great of a dancer!


video

video