Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I am delighted to begin a gallery of fine art that I am sure will take over the house fairly soon.

I have earnestly waited for Jackson to take a real interest in creating artwork. Much of my anticipation was over having at least one quiet independent activity we could use during the day. However, I am surprised to announce that I don't always leave him to color alone because it's so fun to watch the different types of lines and shapes he creates.

It has certainly been a slow transition getting to this point. Back in November he had barely started taking an interest, and it landed a lot of wall drawings that are still evident throughout the house. He is still transitioning from the stage of throwing all the writing utensils on the floor, pushing the crayon's cover paper up and down or making sure they're really not a treat.

(I can't believe how often he comes in trying to fish the small bits of crayon out of his mouth.)

But those moments are now in the minority, and drawing is in the majority. I get many requests throughout the day to color.

Of course it would be nice if I could capitalize on the moments he actually wants to color. Somehow I keep mistaking "Kahkoh" for cookie.

Neither of us get terribly worked up over that little mis-translation.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Serious Spring Action

We lost the hat.

Because we've had some serious spring action lately.

Observe the "yewo" flowers.

The happy boy on the way to the park.

The little soccer player.

(I had no idea his form was so advanced looking)

Elbows and knees professionally bent...

Showing off live for Grandma, who was very impressed.

Can we do this weather thing more often?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy to you.

Jackson's favorite song the past 2 weeks has been the Happy Birthday Song. Impeccable timing considering my birthday was yesterday, and he can only sing 3 recognizable songs: Twinkle (how I.... you... up a...), ABC (A B!), and Happy Birthday.

We worked really hard all week to capture it because it was SO cute. He would start with a nice clear "happy" and then stick out his lips to say "toooo you."

We did get a few videos, but nothing's quite like the live action. That silly little kid is TERRIBLE at letting us film him. If he notices anything close to a camera, he's suddenly much more interested in the camera than what he was previously doing. We have many 2 second videos of him noticing the camera and crying to look at it. How fun.

So... here's what we got.

This was the night before when we were changing into pj's. The camera is facing him--so quality of the picture is down, but he's not trying to grab it from us!

Mark was conspicuously hiding his phone for as long as he could--hence the thumb in the way. We were a bit shocked when we watched it and noticed it was upside down! But, it caught Jackson's lips. So, I tried to edit it in youtube. I think it was successful but it often takes a good 24 hours for the video edits to show up--so early readers will find an upside down Jackson.

This last video took 45 min to upload and is a whopping 222 mb (normal size is around 50). I'm not sure why, because it's not that lengthy. But whatever. It's super cute and a great example of Jackson's repeating habit that was discussed last week;).

Happy To ME!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Repeat. "wepea"

Jackson said "thank you" yesterday without prompting. It of course sounded more like "nainoo" but it was timely and pretty much fulfilled most of my motherly dreams. Following this moment of glory, I gave him a genuine, "your welcome"... which he then followed with "wo wewom" (his version of your welcome).

Apparently that's how kids practice speaking. Repeating everything you say. It's a thrill that he seems to communicate more of his needs via speaking, but sometimes communicating and repeating get a little mixed up. A couple nights ago, he was sick with croup, and I was at his beck and call all hours of the night. Every little "mommy" I heard, had me running to find out what he needed. Half of the time I'd get there and ask what he wanted, and he'd just look at me. Then I would ask, "milk?" and he'd say "mil." I'd go grab the milk, and he'd drink it for 2 seconds. If I asked, "cracker?" he'd say "kwakah" and nibble the corners a little. Finally I realized if I said any word he recognized, he would repeat it. Apparently he was uncomfortable and bored and just wanted to chit chat.

I guess that's how they learn to be grown-ups also, repeating actions that they think they can do too. This week was full of such actions and a few were captured on camera.

(This would Jackson putting on my athletic gear... specifically my sports bra)

Of course, there's the inevitable curiosity that takes over while trying these grown up tasks. I passed up many a good pictures this week, mostly because I was trying not to lose my temper. There was the salt poured all over the living room, the cheerios that were carefully poured on the floor, the book that was beautifully washed in the sink, and the lidless cups of water that Jackson drank for a while, and then carefully poured onto the floor. All successes come with plenty of set backs. I suppose that's how we learn.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Fun Stuff with Less Desirable Consequences

First. Jackson has an announcement.

We're 12 weeks along, and about ready to break out maternity clothes. The maternity clothes are likely a result of the lack of vegetables we've been eating for a while (and less likely to do with a growing fetus). I've definitely had double nausea compared to last time, but we're excited that shouldn't last too much longer and more excited for Jackson to have a sibling sometime this year.

I've become a very observant mother as a result of this pregnancy. I pretty much lay on the couch every evening and watch Jackson explore the filthy living room. He seems to enjoy observed independent play (I'm hoping to move him to become a better complete independent player). I love this video Mark got of him turning the space heater into a pull toy. It was taken a while ago, but my cameo in the movie gives away too much to have posted earlier.

Mark and Jackson have been thrilled that I now hate vegetables. We have eaten a lot of frozen meals, ice cream, and processed junk food in the last few weeks, and though I'm convinced we'll all die sooner, Mark is savoring this time he knows won't last long. I was very proud when I decided to cook something from scratch this week--even if it was only creamy alfredo over white noodles.

Every time I make this recipe, I'm shocked at how delicious it is. It's so good, I thought I'd post and let others enjoy it--along with the pictures of Jackson stuffing his mouth. He definitely loves "noo noos".

Note: serving this sauce with vegetables greatly increases its nutrient density.

The recipe comes from the amazing food blog Our Best Bites. Only visit if you have time. It's totally addicting. They have great taste and super creative ideas.

Anyway, this alfredo is named "guiltless" because it uses whatever kind of milk you want, flour, garlic and cheese. The secret ingredient is cream cheese. I usually use Neufchâtel (aka light cream cheese that is still yummy and just a slightly different kind of cheese) which makes it a little less fatty. The trick comes with blending it in the blender. Totally worth washing one extra appliance for this most amazing sauce.

PS--Mark got kudos for being the go-to garlic man on this sauce, since I wasn't quite ready to be in the kitchen with garlic cooking. SO ready for 1st trimester to be done :)

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce

2 C low-fat milk
1/3 C (3 oz) cream cheese (light works great!)
2 T flour
1 t salt
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves
1 C grated Parmesan cheese (I used Monterey Jack, and it worked fine)


Place milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. In a non-stick sauce pan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don’t want to burn it.

Then add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be much thicker now.

When it’s nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Also, if you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.