Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What do you DO with him all day?

I am often asked by closer family members, what do you DO with Jackson all day? At the end of the day I often wonder the same thing. I have many dreams of becoming a seamstress, an incredible pianist, and a well read citizen, but the problem lies in the reason I'm home... oh ya. My child! I've discovered Jackson's not such a fan of me sitting and doing something while he does something else. So here's what we do together.

Diapers anyone? Yes, yes. We do a lot of that. Luckily he loves it. Did I mention he lifts up his legs for me 30-40% of the time?

Eating. Our day revolves around meals for Jackson. Eating times are well planned out! This is my favorite public feeding location. Assateague Island visitor center had these huge rocking chairs, overlooking the park. Too bad the view from his room isn't quite the same.

Napping. AAH bliss. Unfortunately, it is the most inconsistent part of the day. Some days he'll take 2-3 two hour naps, other days it's like he loves to tease me with these 20 min ditties here and there. Thankfully night time is blissfully a consistent 10-12 hours, so I guess we'll take whatever we can get during the day.

Cleaning. Jackson especially loves vacuuming, but this is his spot for dishes, mopping, laundry, pretty much anything that involves me standing and moving.

Cooking? He usually switches around from baby device to device. Start in the exersaucer, move to the swing, go to the carrier--dinner is by far the trickiest time of day. The Jonny-Jump-up is his most recent favorite. Tonight he gave me 30 minutes of solid jumping without a cry.

Jogging! I definitely didn't feel like my body was back to normal until Jackson was over 3 months old, but we started going out with the jogger around 9 weeks, and boy do we both love it! It's just starting to get chilly in the morning here, which means blankets snuggled all around.

Playing. Pretty much any sort of off the ground activity where all my attention is on Jackson, is well loved. (I think I made him a little airsick right before this picture--whew! those modified plane rides can be a bit turbulent).

Enjoying the outdoors (or open doors). Jackson would sit and stare outside all day if I had the patience to hold him. However, I discovered he'll sit by himself for a good 15-20 min--as long as there is a descent view and some fresh air.

We also love to sing songs, go to the library, go on walks, read LOTS of books, visit friends, go on outings in DC, and babysit other kids [the more distractions the better]. Despite all this we still get BORED! Oh well. Maybe someday we'll get TV and start being entertained by Big Bird. Until then, we'll keep coming up with creative ways we can BOTH enjoy this precious time of life.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Face of Independence

We brought up the exersaucer from the basement.


seriously? this is mine to play with?

I think I'll keep it... especially if you keep making great faces at me mom. (Love the tongue)

Yes, I love this next video. I think I've watched it on the camera... mmm, 5 or 6 times. Let's just say I find his eyebrows and facial expressions hiLARious. Laughing out loud every time. The family seems quite unanimous on the shear joy we get from this little plastic structure (that I would've never have purchased). Thank you to Clara, who gave us her old one, quite a while ago. AND thank you to the basement that has held it in the interim.

ps... I tried to reformat the blog so these silly videos I keep posting don't get cut off. I know... I feel so tech-savy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

goochy goochy goo...

If you've ever met Jenny Brown, chances are you've laughed your head off. Not because she's ridiculously awkward, or because she tells funny jokes, but because life is hilarious to her. She contagiously makes you find the simplest things so funny that you're rolling on the floor holding your gut. What a joy.

Laughing seems like such a unique thing for each person. I habitually pick up laughs where ever I go--and generally they're the most outlandish strange ones. Despite my habit of picking up strange laughs, it thrills me to no end to know that laughing is a natural skill that babies do even before they talk! What a delight.

Last night, after the last feeding of the day, Jackson sat on my lap and laughed his head off at me. I truly have no idea what he was laughing at, but I was just tickled pink that I could effortlessly invoke joy in my son (it didn't even cross my mind that I had something in my teeth or a hair poking up).

Although this video is not of last night, it does give you a little taste of that beautifully natural high squealing baby laugh that I can in no way imitate because it's out of my vocal chords range. Jackson loves being anywhere near naked, and furthermore, loves being kissed all over. Don't mind the "go" from Mark. We had to make sure it was timed well ;)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

National Parkaholic

I'm a national park addict. I have yet to be disappointed with one. Each time I go, I breathe in the beauty of my surroundings and become overwhelmed with the landscape. Yosemite, Zion's, Crater Lake, Glacier, and so on, all helped me become obsessed. Upon moving to the east, I was excited to find out what the Dept. of Interior had to offer on the other side of the country. Did you know that the national mall is a National Park? Ya. It's like one of 100's within a days trip of our house. Luckily, the locals have sifted all the possibilities down to a couple favorites, Shenandoah and Assateague Island.

We visited Shenandoah last fall--which was STUNNING--and we've been meaning to go to Assateague for a long while. SO, after realizing it was a holiday weekend (we realized it last Friday), Mark took an extra day off work, and we headed out ON labor day for the island to spend the night--thereby avoiding traffic and crowds (yes. we are brilliant). Originally we were going to hotel it, but we decided to save a bit and brave camping with Jackson.

Wouldn't you know, the kid loves the outdoors. Similar to our trip to Utah, he behaved much better on the trip than he does at home. Minus any time he was awake and strapped into his carseat.

Assateague is known for the wild horses that roam around the island. They have slightly shorter legs than domesticated ones, but they look pretty much like the horses we ride in AZ, they just aren't confined by fences. They remind me of the buffalo in Yellowstone. So calm looking, yet dangerous, and really good at stopping traffic.

The Island is bordered by the Atlantic and the Chincoteague Bay. Though the island was much different than I expected (a lot smaller, and less forested), it lived up to its national park name. It has beautiful marshes (with way too many mosquitoes) on one side,

and the beach on the other. Both of which are easy to breathe in deeply, and become overwhelmed by beauty.

This was Jackson's first trip to the beach. I know this next photo op is a great shot of my rear end, but it's supposed to be of Jackson touching the water for the first time. Will we ever get tired of these firsts? Despite getting in our swimsuits, this is about as wet as any of us got. It wasn't too cold, but having a baby certainly merits wussieness.

Just by chance, our landlord dropped off this little shade tent last Friday. SO lucky! It worked so well at the beach....

we decided to have Jackson sleep in it during the night! Our super awesome friends let us borrow their 2 man tent, and since the weather was so good, we decided we didn't need to try and squish all together. We'd just let Jackson sleep right next to us--in his own little room.

Despite keeping me up with his active legs and a few noisy moans, he slept very well and we slept well enough.

We came back with lovely memories of horses, snakes, mosquitoes, no traffic, and INCREDIBLE beauty. Not sure if I completely agree with Ken Burns on it being America's Best Idea, but the National Parks certainly remain high on my priority list.

(My retirement goals consist of learning sign language (for the heck of it), and dragging Mark around the country to see the rest of the National Parks I haven't visited. Maybe we'll even do it in a Winnebago. Ah isn't it fun to dream?) :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Plane and Simple

Trip to Utah. How did he do? Let's just say, this kid is destined to go go go. Jackson much prefers the plane ride to the car, and he much prefers friends and cousins to just his parents. He was certainly a superstar where ever we went. Here's a bit of a picture tour of our little tyke while he was out and about.

Meeting his cousin Addie--
Jackson had a bit of a runny nose for most of the trip--addie certainly had the best sized fingers for clearing it up ;)

Mark and Jackson cozy-ing up by a fireplace in 70 degree weather (what a relief!)

Everywhere we went... "WOW, he's a chunk!" This is my proof that he does have a neck.

Jackson meeting Jackson (little J was asleep during the photoshoot).

Hangin' out with the grandparents

(not sure I've ever known anyone as excited as my dad was to change Jackson's diaper)

Meeting new Aunties!!!

And those cute cousins (once removed or whatever they are)

All pooped out on the plane ride home.

Thanks kid. You made it surprisingly simple to travel with a baby.