Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year's Resolution??

Borrowing Jackson's blog for a plug for the Utah kids. Since this is the time of year when about 1/2 of the nation is resolving to lose weight/get in shape, I thought some of you would be in the market for a fitness video. Try one of these.
They are from my friend, Amy Dixon. She's the fitness editor for Women's Health Magazine. I haven't tried them, but so far the reviews have been very positive, and looking at Amy's pictures, its pretty obvious that the program works. The girl is in phenomenal shape! (For anyone, and when you consider that she has 2 children under the age of 4...)
I will say now that I was pretty skeptical when I heard that Amy was quitting her Master's Program because she wanted to be a celebrity trainer, and wanted to focus on that. Coupled with her husband Jeff, who had just started film school, well, I thought the 2 of them were nuts! They were definitely dreamers. After a decade of hard work, their dreams are coming true. For his part, Jeff is working on 2 screen plays (currently on hiatus for the writers strike) and a graphic novel. He also made the cover of Variety Magazine a few months back.
Congratulations to both of them!!
Also, Amy was on The Today Show this morning. You can see her bit here Want a new you for the new year?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful, quiet Christmas this year. Just the three of us in Connecticut. We continued our few tradiitons and made some new ones. To come downstairs, we all wore our silly Christmas pajamas. Jackson had to open his first pair since he didn't have last year's to bring to the party.

I continued my protest against all of that wrapping paper by wrapping my gifts in pretty fabric pieces. I felt a little guilty since Jackson wouldn't be able to tear and crinkle the paper. I got over that really quick though since he had no interest in the paper. He opened the first gift with help, and then moved on to the excitement of pulling ornaments off of the tree. He wasn't interested in the toys either. Maybe the proceedings were just too overwhelming. We brought the toys out one at a time later, and that was more fun, but honestly, he liked the lint roller the best.

My family always put an apple and orange in the toe of the Christmas stocking. This year, Jackson got a couple of jars of fruit-and I got a butternut squash.

Jason made us dinner of roast chicken with potatoes and stuffing. It was a nice day with both of us home and no where to rush off to. Jackson was vey tired and retired early and often. Jason and I ended with a cranberry bread pudding and a glass of port.

Thank you all for sending gifts to us. (We'll get yours out someday.) We love you and wish you peace during the season.

Here's another little gift from us (courtesy of Ben & Nicole)

Visiting the Mother Land

Waiting to Go!

November 13th, we set off for a quick trip to visit our families in Utah and show off--I mean introduce our baby to his family. We left on a 5pm flight, had a short stop in Chicago, and reached SLC at midnight. As luck would have it, evening is a great time to travel with a baby. Maybe because of all of the excitement, Jackson didn't eat much or sleep in the afternoon. At the airport, he was delightful. There was a grandmother sitting across from us that Jackson was flirting with shamelessly. After a while, Jason handed Jackson off, and she kept him for a 45 minutes. He attracted the attention of a few other grandmothers, who seemed a bit envious. On the plane, Jackson wanted to eat right away. I tried to get him to wait for takeoff, but we had to wait in line, so we couldn't wait. Jackson went right from eating to sleeping and slept or ate for the rest of the journey. This was great, but it was challenging for me since I was paralyzed with a child on my chest and couldn't reach anything or turn pages to read.

Breakfast with Lily
Wednesday morning, Jackson slept to a respectable 6am MST. I took him upstairs to look for someplace to go without waking anyone else up. The only room without people had the fishtanks, so Jackson amused himself staring at the Koi who were in for the winter. We also managed to wake up the bird, and Sherman took the blame for waking the rest of the Dodge household. We went for breakfast with the Dodges, including Jason's brother Tim, his wife Katie, and their 2 young girls, Lily (3) and Riley (1). Turns out Lily REALLY loves babies. She was so excited to play with him and wanted to be face to face all the time. Katie chastised her several times for being "up in his grill". That afternoon, we went for family pictures. It was a beautiful afternoon, a little chilly, though. We took pictures with various family groupings. The photographer took shot after shot trying to get the little girls to look at the camera and smile. Jackson was easy. He is all about pictures. He's grinning and has his excited arms outstretched in every shot. I think the click of the camera excited him to cheese for the next shot. Later that evening, we went out for Mexican food (Connecticut doesn't have Mexican food--like the cinnamon bears). Dinner was good, but poor Jackson broke down as soon as we arrived. 5:30 MST a week after Daylight Savings Time ends and across 2 time zones is 8:30 in his little baby world. That's past his bedtime. His internal clock expired at 5pm every evening for the whole trip.
Silly Duck Hat
Chillin' with Nana
Thursday, we went with my Mom and Grant to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. The drive down to Lehi was an eye opener for how things are developing along the Wasatch Front. Desolate Lehi, where 150 years of trying had yielded few attempts to settle and grow something besides sagebrush, was crowded with large houses and lawns. The freeway was again under construction, this time to build overpasses to the future wetlands depleting Legacy Highway. The one positive development is the commuter rail which parallells I-15. It's actually started test runs between Davis and SLC. The museum was surprisingly well done, with a big collection of fossils and fossil castings. It chronicled time through the display of large and imposing beasts. Capturing the impressive and ignoring the potentially controversial (such as the big bang). Jackson had a great time at the museum. He enjoyed backpacked around, looking at the towering skeletons, and taking a lengthy nap while I walked hunched like an early hominid (who I oddly didn't see a history of on display). On the way home, we had mole for dinner at The Blue Iguana. So delicious.
Sitting on Grandpa Fox's Lap

Friday, we got up for breakfast of French Toast, fruit, and corned beef hash with the Dodges, then had lunch with some more of my family: My Grandfather and Mickey, my baby brother, Ellis, my second to baby brother, Wes, and his fiance Lessie, my mother and Grant, and my aunt Sue. We then went to my Grandpa's for while. Wow, he keeps a warm house! The warmth and big meals put Jason to sleep, but the rest of us had a nice visit.
First Pony Ride
Meeting Granpa Dale and Grandma Honey

On Saturday, the Dodge's planned Thansgiving as a family. Jackson was able to meet his Great Grandma Honey and Great Grandpa Dale. Jackson also got to go for his 1st pony ride. He wasn't very excited about it.

Our 4 Generations Picture (With Wes and Lessie in the background)

Sunday was a day full of my family. We went out to meet Jackson Great Grandpa Swenson. Ellis, Wes, and Lessie came along. Jackson was a delight and we had a nice visit there. Then we went back to my mom's for another family party. My Grandma, Sue and Racheal (Wendy was working), Lori, Scott, Kelsey, Kailey, and Jake (in 3-D this time), even Morgan joined us. We were, sadly, missing The Fox-Pattersons due to illness--and hope Cait is getting better.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Thanksgiving is a time to gather and eat foods you would not normally think to prepare on dishes that are too fancy to eat standard fare upon. But its also a time to reflect and enumerate your good fortune. This year, I am grateful to have a wonderful husband and an incredibly child. I'm grateful to have been able to travel with them 2300 miles to visit our families and introduce Jackson to his kin. He was able to meet most of his family including all of his grandparents, most of his uncles, many of his cousins, 2 of his great aunts, and 5 great grandparents. Next visit, we'll be seeking out the rest of you--I want my son to know the people who were influential in my own life. I am also fortunate to have wonderful friends, a good job, and a peaceful country existence in the woods and with our animals. The day before Thanksgiving I even felt some gratitude for my beagle. Her love of food came to my aid when I needed help with a kitchen mess.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving at home in Connecticut. I spent the evening before and all day Thanksgiving cooking. There's a lot to cook when you're doing it yourself and you have unreasonable requirements that everything be made from scratch. This year, we ordered a free range turkey, and so we had to do our own brining. I heard about a maple brine recipe from "Fine Cooking Magazine" , so I found a copy of it and tried it out. You're supposed to start with a thawed turkey, but since we were in Utah the week before, my brine had to multi-task. Once brined, the turkey went outside to the smoker (Jason took care of most of this task). We had the turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing with nuts and cranberries (This is a placeholder for the link to the recipe), carrots and parsnips (from our neglected garden!), cranberry sauce, and apple and pumpkin pie. I think it was the most delicious Thanksgiving ever. [This is really blowing my own horn since my family makes a wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving. Mine was also simplified, so I missed out on Grandma's rolls, sweet potatoes, squash soup, salads, jello, and more pie].
I wanted Jackson to be a part of it, so I made some things with Olive oil instead of butter and made him his own individual mashed potatoes. The only thing he liked were the cranberries. Yes--really. I was shocked. I had to mash the berries out of the skins for him. Then I tried to mix in the turkey in disguise. He ate it, but I think he knew I was trying to pull a fast one over on him.

Friday, we had a great visit from our friends Nicole and Ben and Jamie and Andy with their three little boys, Harrison, Zane, and Ewan. Nik and Ben really need no introduction. Jamie is probably my oldest friend. We grew up on the same street and with the exception of the 6th grade, we've been friends since we were 4. It was wonderful to have a full house. It's normally VERY quiet here. Jamie's boys are rambunctious, and I think Jason enjoyed running around as much as they did.

Having company is also an excuse for Jason (and Ben) to bring out the explosives. For a while we were getting a call from next door everytime Nicole and Ben came up to make sure everyone was safe. Now, we make the call proactively. This time, Jason brought out the guns. The big and little boys all had a good time with them. Fortunately, there were no accidents. I understand that Zane (4) is now asking for a gun for Christmas. Sorry Zane. You'll shoot your eye out. I was pleased to see how helpful and patient Jason was showing the boys how to shoot.
Jamie cooked some Thai curry for us--skills she picked up during her 1.5 year stay there. The recipe was surprisingly easy, so we'll be trying it ourselves someday.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Becoming Mobile

I've spent the last 2 months watching Jackson learn to crawl. I had expected him to first learn to push up on his hands and knees, then rock back and forth, then start to take crawling steps. I didn't expect it to be such a journey.
He's always had good head control and ability to push up. For the first 4 months, Jackson was able to push up on his hands higher and higher. Around 4 months, he started to push up onto his hands and knees. He would keep pushing on his arms, which caused him to slide backward. Since he was interesting in reaching something in front of him, this resulted in anger and grunting and grumbling, sometimes yelling in frustration. Around this time, he also learned to pull up on the sides of his crib--something I was not ready to see happen yet.
Since the hands and knees thing wasn't propelling Jackson forward, he went for a change. He started pushing with his toes. Since his hands weren't moving, he would push up on his hands and feet, into a little yoga downward facing dog. He spent a lot of time in the downward facing dog. From there, he would tip his bum down and to the side, making a 1/4 turn into a sitting position. Once seated, he then either sits and plays, or gets into another downward facing dog and makes another turn.
I wondered for a while whether he would crawl on his hands and knees, or his hands and feet.
The downward facing dogs became more and more frequent. Jackson wakes in the night and sometimes turns downward facing dog pirouettes until he settles back into bed. Sometimes he starts right into the pirouettes instead of going to sleep.
At 6 months, Jackson took his first crawling hand steps. He would take one or two handsteps, then fall down on his belly, rest, and get back up for a couple more. Using this method, Jackson could travel 5 or 6 feet. This was an intense and laborious process. He usually incorporates a few downward facing dog pirouettes just to mix it up. Once he reaches his goal destination, he pirouettes into a seated position and then huffs and puffs like an exhausted runner.
Monday, I left Jackson playing in his room and walked around the corner to do some laundry. After a few minutes, he crawled out of the room, turned the corner, and sat down in front of the dryer to watch me.
Today, he's crawing pretty well. He can travel across the room and sit down. There's little huffing or puffing.

New Trick!!

A few days ago, I put some pieces of food on Jackson's high chair tray while he was eating to see if he could pick them up and feed himself. He managed to pick up a couple of pieces with his little fists. He wasn't able to let go of the food and put it in his mouth, though.
Today, we tried again. He first pushed the food bit (turkey) around with his little pointer finger. Then, he picked it up with his forefinger and thumb (pincer grasp, folks! pincer grasp!) and put it right between his lips and ate it!! He tried again and again with more turkey and varying degrees of success. Some of the food went into his mouth. Some food was pushed around and around on the tray. Sometimes, he could pick up the food with either his finger and thumb, or his whole fist, but he had trouble letting go when he got it to his mouth. There were pieces that he had so close with his finger and thumb and his aim was off, so the food was above his mouth, and he couldn't grab it with his lips or let his grip on the food go. He ended up with a whole lapfull of turkey.
Once, he picked up 2 pieces and deposited both of them neatly in his mouth!
Bigger and better things are to come.

It's incredible how excited I get as a parent over accomplishments that are so commonplace and unremarkable in my adult life. There's a lot of chatter lately about the babies world view and how for them, everything is new and exciting. Suppositions that the adult cannot comprehend how exciting the babies world is. Maybe the wonder, fascination, and excitement we parents feel watching our children accomplish such commonplace tasks is a little taste of the infants entire experience.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Yesterday was Jackson's 1/2 birthday. I can't believe 6 months has passed already.
It was a beautiful day. The maples are showing a lovely salmon orange, the temperature was an unseasonably wonderful 80 degrees, and we celebrated by going out.
We went to the swapmeet in Mansfield to look for a new scythe. Jason broke the blade on ours. Last year, there were scythe's in every third booth. Now there are none. I suppose that people are scooping them up to hang over their fireplaces.
There was a little park at the swapmeet, so we took Jackson for his first time on a real swing (His baby swing isn't powerful enough to keep his little bum in motion). Jack liked the swing, but he really enjoyed watching other people play on the swings.
After that, we indulged Jason's renewed interest in firearms and hunting (spurred on by the war over peppers and tomatoes we're waging with the deer). We went to the newly opened Cabela's store. It was madness. Packed like a warm summer day at DisneyLand. I guess its as good as DisneyLand to their customer base (Yes, there was definitely a red hue to many napes). The store boasts a tremendous taxidermy collection. I was surprised to see that although the focus was the largest or fiercest animals, they did include a couple of small rodents and birds. I was alarmed to see an elephant on display. I do hope it was either from an estate collection or recovered from a zoo death. Somehow, I doubt that. They included a sign full of Stephen-Colbert-takes-on-Wikipedia-esque truthiness about how the elephant populations have recovered so well that elephant hunts are now allowed.
Today we visited the pediatrician. Jackson weighed in at 21 lb 5 oz and 29 inches (Yes folks, that the size of the "average" 1 year old). He took his shots extremely well, crying less than I do when they bring out the needles.
Happy Birthday, Baby!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Reed & Marika, Jason & Jackson, Kelly & Braeden, Beth & A.J.

Last week, we had a get together with 3 other families from our child birth classes. Once again, it was really nice to be with families who are having the same experiences as us. We could go on and on about the minutia of life with an infant without boring our company. Plus, its nice to be around people who are like ourselves. I value diversity, but I spend alot of time in the minority.

Jackson spends most of his time in the company of just his parents, and at best adults, so he was excited to see his friends, too. He is very interested in people his own size. A.J. got close enough to touch, and they held hands briefly (too cute). Then Jackson got a good grip on his arm and tried to pull him over. Jackson likes to bat his arm at things and people, so for safety's sake, we kept the kids at a nice look but don't touch distance after that.
The babies are all growing and changing so quickly! They have quite a bit in common--they all sit with varying levels of success, they're all starting and loving new foods, they all will take a pacifier-but none are too dependent. But there are also big differences. For example, there's a 10 pound spread in sizes (that's big when you're just 20 pounds). Marika loves to roll, and Jackson didn't roll at all until just recently. Jackson is quite loud and eager to be around others, and AJ was pretty overwhelmed by all of the excitement.

Jackson LOVED the popbeads (Thanks for sharing, Braeden). He could fit the whole end of the yellow one in his mouth.

Here's Jackson with happy Braeden (and Kurt).

Flat Jake

A couple weeks ago, I got an envelope in the mail. Inside, I found a flat version of my cousin Jake and some instructions. His class has just read "Flat Stanley" who makes a flat version of himself and sends it around the world to live vicariously. Here are a few pictures of Flat Jake's trip to New England.

Jackson and Jake having dinner.

Jake goes to work in the hybrid car.

Jake gets his toes chewed a bit.

Jake on a New England rock wall.

Jake on a 400 year old "death head" tombstone.

Bath Time

Look at that baby splash!

Like Father Like Son

I carried Jackson in my belly for 9 1/4 long months. Through nausea, kidney stones, swollen feet, and backpain. I had to pass his nearly 10 pounds into the world. Now that he's out, I continue to feed him at my breasts. You'd think he'd reward me by atleast bearing some resemblance. Nope, he looks just like his daddy.

Milk, soap, and cheese.

So, maybe you've heard me complain that Jackson barely eats during the day while I'm at work. Instead, he saves up to cluster feed in the evenings, and then all night long. Before I went back to work, he would cluster feed in the morning, and I had him down to one middle on the night waking and one early morning waking--when I should really get up anyway. Within a month, he'd completely changed his pattern and was getting up 5 times every night. I couldn't figure it out. He was getting the same milk, maybe he just didn't like the bottle?

Two weeks ago, I was driving to work, and it just hit me why he might be reluctant to eat while I'm gone. I remembered a few times the bottled milk had developed a strong odor. I just dismissed it as "normal" because I always follow the recommended food safety guidelines for milk storage. I have the Dr Sears Breastfeeding book, and I remember reading a single paragraph about the enzyme lipase, which breaks down the fat. It says that rarely, the lipase concentration is high, and the milk develops a "soapy" taste within about 24 hours. I interpret the word "rare" as "couldn't possibly happen to me, and probably not even anyone I know". I was surprised a few months ago when my friend said that she had that problem, and it took her a while to figure out, so she ended up wasting a lot of frozen milk.

So, I'd read about it, and heard about someone I knew with the condition, but it took me another 6 weeks to think that just maybe, I had the same problem. I went home and compared the days fresh milk with some milk that was a few days old, and quite possibly mixed with some frozen milk. The fresh milk tasted like cows milk with a ton of brown sugar stirred in. The older milk tasted terrible with an after taste that burned my throat. It was horribly. No wonder Jackson doesn't eat very much while I'm gone.

So I called my friend to see what she's doing to treat the milk. Unfortunately, I got her machine. Lucky for me, I have a whole world of information at my fingertips. Here's what I found out:
My first search was for "soap breast milk". I pulled up a whole string of websites with instructions on how to make homemade soap from your excess breast milk. Yes people, that's really what came up. Step by step directions and discussions of the antibiotic properties of breast milk thus the amazing wound cleaning power of the breast milk soap. Well, I'm glad to know there are all kinds of people in the world. I'm pretty open minded, but I don't think this one's for me.

I don't remember how I worded the next search, but the first thing to come up was a woman's account of her attempt to make--wait for it--breast milk cheese. You did read that correctly, cheese. Apparently, she's been using the breast milk around the kitchen, in omelets and brownies. She's also had some experience making fresh soft cow's milk cheese. What better use for the excess frozen human milk. So, she boiled the milk and added some vinegar to curdle it. Nothing happened, so she added more vinegar, and even more vinegar. At the end of the day, she'd added a ton of vinegar, and still didn't have cheese. As it turns out, human milk chemistry prevents curdling. The woman was heartbroken at having to waste all of that milk (I do sympathize), but I was relieved that no one had to eat that cheese.

I guess the third time really is the charm, because my next search netted the information I needed and no more shocking revelations about what the crazies are up to. The milk needs to be scalded at 180F or held at 160F for a few minutes. It's recommended to do this on the stove top in order to preserve the most nutrients. Many people use the microwave until the milk is "steamy" for the sake of convenience.

I went for the stove top, carefully pouring the milk into the pan and trying to pour it back. I lost quite a bit in the process. Since then, I've found I can simply put the glass bottles of milk in the pot of hot water (loosen the lids for safety), scald it, and put the bottles in the fridge to cool. No more spilled milk, not too inconvenient.

I still have 130 ounces of frozen disgusting milk (three days worth). I don't have the will to toss it. While I still respect Dr Sears on other topics, I blame him for the bad milk and for the sleepless nights. What they should have said is that ALL breastmilk contains lipase and sometimes the concentration is high enough to cause spoiling. If you notice strong odors, and your baby is reluctant to eat, your milk is probably affected. Then they should explain what to do about it. For being advocates of breast feeding, this bit of misinformation has probably led many women to give up.

Here's the website:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More Feats of Strength

The last time I posted about Jackson, he was just starting to sit. As in, if I was really quick, I could snap a picture before he fell over. In the last month, he's become an accomplished sitter. He'll sit and play for tens of minutes at a time. He can reach over and pick things up, then return to an upright position. He can lean forward and chew on his toe, then return to an upright position. If there's something nearby to hold onto, he'll hold onto it for extra stability, and knows to reach out for something if he does lose his balance. He can also forget to sit, and fall down with a big thumpa-thumpa.
Jackson likes sitting so much than I can no longer lie him on his side. This used to be his favorite sleeping position. Now he strains himself trying to become upright.
Jackson also enjoys lying on his belly. For months, putting him on his belly was a way to ellicit yells. Now, its a great position for playing. He can pick his head up without help from his arms, which are busy reaching for and manipulating toys. He can spin around to reach objects that have slipped away from his grasp. His attempts to reach objects that are too far in front of him result in rapid travel backward.

He now rolls frequently. When he rolls from front to back, he manages it by digging his toes in, and lifting his bum as if he were practicing the "downward facing dog". He then loses his balance, and as his bum falls to the side, he's propelled over.
He can also push up onto all fours from his belly. It's this feat that fills me simultaneously with pride and with fear. If he can get on his knees, he'll soon be moving his hands and knees independently. That means I'm going to need outlet covers, cabinet locks, interior gates, really clean floors, and maybe a good pair of running shoes.

Yesterday, he pulled himself up from sitting to standing--THREE TIMES!!

The couch is no longer a safe place to place the baby, the bed is no longer a safe place to place the baby, his underutilized co-sleeper is no longer a safe place to place the baby, the bassinet insert in the pack and play is no longer a safe place to place the baby. I'm quickly running out of safe places to place that baby!


Wow. I'm a super slacker on the blog right now. It's a reflection of a hectic lifestyle with a regular career, an infant, and a house, but no additional staff. I put Jackson in his Johnny-Jump-up since he was restless and its nearby so that I can blog. We received this item as a hand-me-down from one of my coworkers--Thanks, Chuck!
I was pretty skeptical at first. These toys are notorious for recalls. But this one looks to be well built, and Jackson needs some freedom, yet assisted movements. So, we reinforced the doorframe and hung it up. (That's another reason to be hesitant to use this toy, we installed the trim, so I'm well aware of the shoddy construction technique used--it took us a while to realize the nails needed to go through wood, not just sheetrock)
Jackson La-La-La-Loves it! At first, he bounced on one foot at a time with trepidation. He also did alot of spinning. We just got it out last week, and have only used it a few times, but he's got it all figured out. He's gleefully bouncing away using both feet as if it were a trampoline. He sings while he bounces. He puts his arms straight out to the sides, presumably for balance, although there's plenty to hold onto for support.
I'll get some pic's up eventually.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Friends.

Everyone else's blog is boasting birthdays. Braeden is 4 1/2 months, Marika is 5 months, Miles is 10 months, and Elliot is 1 year. Happy Birthday to all of you from all of us.

Preemptive justice

I know, this is Jackson's blog, and so far I've been a perfect angel about staying on topic. Today, I need to rant. On my drive this morning, I was introduced to a chilling phrase "Pre-emptive Justice". Apparently, its been batted around for a while, and somehow I've managed to miss it. I heard it this morning used in a book review NPR : How Great a Threat Were the Lackawanna Six?. In this case, it refers to the arrest of persons who are linked (frequently using the loose tools of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon) to terrorism/terrorists. I'm sure that while the phrase is associated with jihadist terrorism in today's political climate, it could just as easily be used for anyone who can be villainized to conjur up fear.
Justice by definition is supposed to be the great equalizer, balancing the scales between crime and punishment. So, by definition, the only way to preempt justice would require a crime to be committed later on so that "justice" could be served, right?
Personally, I'm not a big believer in the concept of justice as practiced by society. I'm more a forgive'n forgetter when it comes to petty offenses. I don't think you can ever really make up for severe wrong doing. I think punishments are much more useful as deterrents. I believe that what is done in the name of justice is more vengeance than anything. Trying to pre-empt vengeance amounts to a witch hunt. (I wanted another word there, but it turns out there's not one. The closest thing seemed to be "inquisition", and while the Spaniards added a measured negative connotation, its still a legitimate way to say questioning, so witch hunt it is.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sunday Morning Walk

Last week we also went out for a little hike along our property and the adjacent, incredibly accessible but less often used trail. We took advantage of our 'new' Kelty pack (purchased for $20 from the bulletin board at work). Jackson really likes the pack. He looks out over the side and sucks on the edge until the gentle rocking lolls him to sleep. Jason uses it to vacuum with tremendous success. So anyway...(shout out to Ted). We set out cutting back through the woods and saw a little bitty snake. I'm out of practice and didn't have the field guides, so I didn't identify it. Leon, if you see this pic, feel free to set us straight. Anyway, we couldn't help but harass the wildlife a little.

There's a significant elevation difference between our house (on a little berm) and the trail (mostly level). Where the terrain meets, we crossed over to the trail. It was a perfect day, and its really a perfect trail. They just regraveled it this spring and the trees meet overhead, so its shaded. We crossed over to the powerline right of way when we reached it to take advantage of the uphill. There were some ripe blackberries along the trail to enjoy. On the way down, our lazy beagle, Ally, was too tired, and found a little shady spot to rest, so we all took a nice break.

After we returned home, we sat out in the front yard, watched the chickens, and enjoyed the day. Jackson has taken a real interest in the animals. He watches them whenever they come close, so you know, whenever he's with me since the menagerie follows me around. Mabel and Ally tolerate an occasional baby pet. Mabel especially since she's an attention hound. I've discovered that his interest in the animals is a very effective cat repellant. Here's a pic of him reaching for the dog after our hike.

Happy 4 monthday to Jackson!

To celebrate, we started solids. I had a perfectly ripe banana on Sunday, so I mushed it up and thinned it with a bit of milk, then strapped Jackson into the high chair. He was really excited. The first feeding is kinda like the coach who picks a few kids for the freshman team not because of their talent, but because of their enthusiasm. Jackson opened wide and helped hold and guide the spoon into his mouth. He'd close his mouth, and have me convinced that he'd swallowed the banana. He'd even say "Mmmm Mmmm" to let me know just how tasty the banana was. Then he'd open up and laugh as the banana slid off his tongue and ran down his chin to the bib. Despite the setbacks, he was eager to go back for more, and we got most of the banana at least into his mouth even if it didn't stay there. Once the banana was gone from the dish, he picked up his bib to try to eat some off of the cloth. We've repeated the exercise with some whole grain rice cereal and had the same boisterous, joyful, messy experience. Mmmm Mmmm!

Our visit to the pediatrician went very well. No fountains in the office. I guess the 2 sprays we had last time covered us. The doctor said he was meeting his milestones well and was very impressed with how well our little guy stands. (We've been saying this for months!) Jackson weighed in at 18 lbs 8 oz, measured 27 inches in length, and 17.5 inches in head circumference. He's tracking nicely along the 97th percentile curve. Jackson took his vaccinations very well. He cried for about 3 seconds each time, then put on his brave face and calmed right down.

Teething pains have been another recent milestone. No teeth yet, but Jackson has been complaining about it. In the afternoons, he'd rather have a cold bottle of milk than nurse. (This isn't too disruptive to our routine since he gets pumped milk while I'm at work anyway. It was upsetting that this started on a work form home day, and my pump was safely left at work since I'm sick of lugging it around.) They say the suction can irritate his tender mouth. Any missed daytime meals are made up for during the night by every 2 1/2 hours Jack. This unfortunately setback is taking a toll on me. To combat the teething, we have teethers, but since Jack is so young, he's not very coordinated and we have to hold the teether for him. He's still wearing his amber necklace, but its hard to tell if that's helping since he hasn't really gone without it. The best thing we've found is a cold beverage--for us. He likes to suck on the outside of the bottle or glass. I've started keeping a cold can of soda by my side for nursing, it calms him when he starts to fuss, and we can then continue the feeding. I had a glass of water at Helene and Reeds, and I let Jackson suck on the bottom. He worked his way up and I could see the inside of his mouth through the glass. It was bright translucent blue and fascinating for him, but funny for me. I let him have a little sip from it which was fun for him, but deterred me from drinking any more since his little sip was mostly spit back into the cup. We picked up a sippy cup since he's so interested in the beverages, but again, he's not really coordinated enough to handle it yet.