Friday, September 30, 2011

Five for Friday: Recent Purchases

My 5 most recent purchases:

5. Outdoor baby swing to hang from our tree for Jack
4. Grande Decaf Americano with soy milk
3. Halloween onesie (for Jack, not me)
2. Cauliflower to make spicy roasted cauliflower with capers
1. Episode from the first season of "The West Wing" on iTunes for $1.99

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No gifts please!

For Christmas this year I vow to not spend any money on gifts for Jack. This may seem cruel but if you knew how much this kid enjoys empty boxes....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Study of Movement

It's really amazing to watch Jack try to figure out his little body and all it can do. He pushes and pulls and exerts such effort to try to get around. He's still not that close to crawling but that's because he's far too busy trying to sit and stand. Those are his favorite things in the world.

Yesterday I laid him on the pool lounger as usual and he reached for me to help him sit and stand up (standard operating procedure). Which I did and then he reached for the arm rest. He sat himself down and somehow got himself in this position.

He straddled the bar, held onto the armrest and then proceeded go wild and pretend to ride a horse or something. It was hysterical. Amazing that this kid who was a immobile blob a mere few months ago can now maneuver into this position.

Then last night I put him in his bouncy chair while I got his bath ready and he decided he didn't want to be there anymore.

He flipped around and then after I took this photo, he scooted backwards until his feet and knees were on the ground. He couldn't quite figure out how to duck his head under the play bar thing, but he was close.

Sometime very very soon I'm going to have to keep a closer eye on this kid.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bibs Galore

At my baby shower the guests decorated bibs and onesies so we have quite a few bibs for all of his messy eating requirements. Here is a sampling...we have way more than this but he can only wear one at a time. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Child Development in 2011

Last week Jack and I (and visiting Grammy) went to a little mommy and me class that was focused on child development from 6 months to 12 months. A lot of the stuff I already knew but the woman leading the seminar brought up a few interesting points that have stuck with me.

First, someone asked about when they should start giving their child a crayon or pen or pencil. This led to a discussion about how writing skills are becoming more and more delayed in children. Babies at home don't see their parents writing as much as they used to. Adults no longer write checks at the grocery store. We type emails instead of write letters. We pay bills online rather than through the mail. Of course, I'm very old school because I still write thank you cards and Christmas cards, and keep a calendar in the kitchen that I write on. So I'm hoping I am doing enough of that.

The second conversation was about verbal skills. Turns out that verbal skills are also developing slower in babies because they don't hear as much conversation. People are isolated in their homes, no longer friends with neighbors, etc. We spend a good portion of the day surfing the web, typing emails, and texting on our phones. Babies don't hear their parents talk on the phone as much. This is all definitely true for me unfortunately. Since I'm home alone with Jack all day, I don't often talk on the phone. I mean, I talk to Jack obviously and we go for walks, but I am not talking to adults all day. I'm often texting or on iChat with my husband all day but obviously that's silent. The instructor's advice was to just read everything aloud, as silly as it might seem. But read aloud the website you're looking at. Tell your baby what you're texting or emailing.

Anyways, I just thought it was interesting and thought I'd share. :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today Jack is...31 weeks old.

This week brought even more developments. He loves his walker and is good at walking backwards. Sadly, he hasn't figured out how to go forward. But that's okay. He adores sitting and standing and begs for me to hold his hands so he can pull himself up. It's great but it also means that he hates laying down now. I lay him down to put on clothes or change his diaper and he starts yelling and crying. So, we stand a lot all day.

When he agrees to lay down on his activity mat he rolls all over the place. He's constantly trying to sit up and get on his knees and just generally move more than his body knows how to. He's almost pulling himself up to a standing position by holding on to a table or his crib bar. It's fairly amazing. Of course, with all these attempts at new moves, he has fallen a few times and bumped his head which doesn't make him very happy. But a quick trip outside cheers him right up.

Of course, with all the bragging about what a great age he's at, this week was a little tougher. He was fussy and grumpy and whiny for no reason. He's been crying when I try to feed him his purees, he is frantic during breastfeeding, and he generally will scream and cry at various times for no reason. I can't figure out what it is. It may be teething but he wasn't this way when he got his bottom teeth. It might be a growth spurt but he's not super hungry. I don't know. I'm just hoping it subsides soon.

He's gotten a little better at eating solid foods. Though I use the word "eating" loosely. He's gotten better at sucking and playing with solid foods, like bananas.

We've also been trying to get him to use the sippy cup but he just doesn't seem to get it. Oddly enough though, he's been grabbing at my glass of water when I'm drinking. So I started putting it to his mouth and tilting it in a little and, guess what? He can totally drink it. Very exciting.

For all of his fussiness, we still had a good time this usual.

And now, more pics from this week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Five for Friday: Obscure (TV)Movies I Love

I don't really know what to call these five but basically it's obscure movies/tv movies that I loved when I was a kid. And by "obscure" I mean that I'm almost sure none of you have seen them. If you have, you're awesome.

Okay, upon review, I think all of these are Disney TV Movies. Sorry, but that's how it turned out. They are amazing.

5. Polly (1989)
Basically this is a black version of Pollyanna starring Keisha Knight Pulliam and Phylicia Rashad from "The Cosby Show". Yup, that says it all. Fantastic.

4. Camp Cucamonga (1990)
If you didn't see this when you were a kid, you missed out. Sure, I doubt it holds up but it was awesome at the time. A musical about kids and counselors at summer camp featuring Jennifer Aniston, Candace Cameron, Winnie Cooper, Urkel, and a whole bunch of 80s TV kids. I still know the "Camp Cucamonga" song.

3. Rock n' Roll Mom (1988)
Okay, a ridiculously fun movie starring Dyan Cannon as a housewife who, guess what? can sing and write rock songs. She is transformed into a rock n' roller and gets caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle but, again, guess what? She learns what is important is her family and her old friends.

2. Little Match Girl (1987)
I can't believe that I have two movies on this list starring Keisha Knight Pulliam but, there it is. This film is a Christmas movie and has that holiday magic that I love. I love it so much that a few years ago I bought a VHS version on eBay. Of course, I have VCR so I don't know how I'll ever watch it but, nonetheless, I own it!

1. Parent Trap 2, 3, and 4 aka Hawaiian Honeymoon (1986 and 1989)
So I realize that 3 movies are listed at #1 but how could you separate all of these Parent Trap sequels? Truthfully, these movies are light years ahead of the other 4 I listed. I LOVE them. Probably PT3 is my favorite. 3 and 4 star the Creel twins who are pretty amazing. One of them was on "Saved By The Bell" (but I can't be bothered to figure out which one). Anyways, I can't even say any more about these because I want to pop in my DVDs and watch them right now.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things to Do in LA with Kids: Descanso Gardens

A few weeks ago we went to Descanso Gardens which is about 15 minutes northeast of us near Montrose. The draw was that they were having a "Kids Day" with a picnic and live band. But basically it seemed to be perfect for Jack because it was a) outdoors and b) had lots of plants and green stuff to look at.

I really liked this place. It was affordable to get in and was a nice size to walk around. Jack was constantly leaning out of his Bjorn to get a better look at things.

There was a storytime for the kids and then a craft to do. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with Jack's bear. Very well done.

There was a little waterfall that he enjoyed staring at too.

Unfortunately Jack was like two inches too short to ride the adorable little train they had. Seemed really cute though and went all over the grounds.

We both had a great time and I think Jack did too.

He had such a good time that he passed out as we walked out to the car.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jack's first stromboli

John's family has a tradition of making delicious stromboli. I had never had stromboli before I met my husband but I instantly fell in love. Who can argue with a calzone type meal with different meats and cheeses inside super soft dough? Well, one way or another, it was obvious that Jack was going to like stromboli. I just didn't think it would happen so soon. Seven months may be a little young for such a dish but, nonetheless, Jack loved it. First he watched Grammy and Daddy roll out the dough and prepare everything. He was mesmerized.

Then he seemed super interested in what we were eating so I gave him the doughy crust part. Man, he loved it! Not surprising since it is a white carbohydrate. He's so predictable.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Best. Husband. Ever.

So this is the post where I talk about how I have the most amazing husband. I guess I can qualify it by saying he is the best husband ever, to me. But, really, he's pretty awesome. So feel free to skip this if that kind of thing makes you a little nauseous.

Friday night my husband got home around 9:15 p.m....a little early for him so I was happy. By some miracle I was still in my "normal" clothes rather than my yoga pants and torn up t-shirt. I have no idea why since, these days, my day time wear doesn't really last much past 7:30. I know. Don't judge. Anyways, at least I had my contacts out and my glasses on. So he got home and told me how terrible the commute had been because they are doing construction on the freeway, blah, blah, blah. He said he wanted to walk to Starbucks for his favorite drink and I said I'd go with him. Sure, walking to Starbucks down the street at 9:30 may sound weird to some, but I had done it before with John and he sure loves those iced green tea lemonades. So I threw on some flats, an old zip up sweatshirt because it was cold, and took my phone.

At Starbucks John got his drink and he was very happy. (Side note - are you aware of how crowded a Starbucks can get on a Friday night? You'd think it was a bar or something. Weird.) We were walking back and passed a hotel that is literally two blocks from our house. We've passed it probably 300 times and almost every time we say one of a few things...a) that hotel looks really nice, b) I wonder how much the rooms are in case our family ever needs to stay there, and c) Ali says the hotel bar is really cool. So we're walking past and John says, let's go check out the hotel bar. I tell him he's crazy because I'm wearing an old sweatshirt and glasses and don't even have my wallet. He says, "let's go...I just want to ask them how much the rooms are." For some reason, I didn't even think that was suspect. Probably because we had literally talked about it for two years.

We walk in the small lobby and I make a beeline for the elevators in back because I don't want anyone to say "hey, get out, you obviously are a vagrant." I figured we'd just take the elevator up to the rooftop terrace or bar or whatever and leave. But John stops at the front desk to ask what their rate is. I'm embarrassed because I think "geez, we could just look online." And that's when I see his credit card come out. Only then did it dawn on me that he had made a reservation and this was all planned and we were spending the night here.

I was shocked and then thought "wait, I don't have anything. Not a change of clothes, not a toothbrush, not my wallet." But apparently none of that mattered because who really needs all that. And John had surreptitiously brought my toothbrush. Then I thought of Jack and oh my gosh what would happen and would grandma have a tough time, etc. But I knew he'd be okay.

So for one night we got to drink cocktails in a hotel bar (okay, one cocktail) and sleep in a luxurious king size bed. I'd like to say that I slept in and got 10 hours of sleep but of course I popped up at 5am ready for the day. I guess that's what 7 months of sleep training will do to you. Right before I fell asleep I said two things to John... "I just know this will be the one and only night Jack sleeps through the night." And "You should have brought my breast pump."

p.s. No, Jack didn't quite sleep through the night but he did make it to 4:30. And, yes, I really wish I he had brought that breast pump.

Monday, September 19, 2011

7 Months Old!

Definitely looking a bit chubbier this month. And not sure how much longer I'll be able to do these photo shoots. Now that he can sit up, he was all over the place. Wanted to eat the paper, crinkle the paper, explore the drawstring on his pants... pretty much everything except for sit still and smile for a picture. But that's okay, he's still adorable and cute.

"No more pictures!"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Photo Challenge Week 1 - Self Portrait

So one of my favorite websites posted a photo challenge where you have to post a picture every Sunday with the theme from that week. I love taking photos (that should be evident) so I thought I'd do it. And you guys should do it too! If you want. It would be fun to see other people's photos. The first week is easy... "Self Portrait". I took a pic last week that I like so here's my self portrait. I promise that all the other weeks I'll take a photo specifically for the week.

Next week's assignment..."Structure".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Today Jack is...30 weeks old.

That picture is one of my favorites. It's a little blurry because the little guy couldn't contain his excitement as 12 other little kids ran around wreaking havoc. We were at a mommy and me class that was all ages (up to 4 years old) so there were a lot of crazy 2 year olds running around and Jack really couldn't believe his eyes. The nametag is so adorable. Except about 2 minutes after I took this picture he ate it. Then threw up everywhere. Good times.

This week I feel like I have an embarrassing amount of photos. I think because two grandmas were here and of course that means lots of fun. We went to Griffith Park and it was a lot more fun that Jack makes it look in this photo.

I think the sun was in his eyes. But we sat in the grass and he practiced sitting.

Though I shouldn't say practiced because he's now an expert. I could say he practiced standing.

He is so delighted with himself when he stands up. It's one of his favorite things ever. And he's constantly trying to let go of my hand like "mom, i can do this myself!" Of course, I do let go and he falls over. Let that be a lesson to him that he always needs mommy.

We also made a stop at the mall because he loves the fountain and all the flowers.

This weekend he tried a few finger foods. He still loves his Mum Mums and this week he tried a green pepper and some broccoli. Both with some degree of success.

He's still only got two bottom teeth but I think a third must be on the way, what with all the drooling and a little bit of fussiness. But the main development this week his standing and stepping. He has gotten so good at it. When he's laying down, he'll strain to sit up. So if you offer your hands, he'll grab them, pull up to a sitting position, then use his leg strength to stand. I hold on to him the whole time obviously but I don't pull him up. And now once he's standing, he likes to take steps to wherever he wants to go. Towards me, towards a toy, towards a table with books. It really is quite amazing. This video doesn't showcase his genius that much (can't believe I'm one of THOSE moms) but it's pretty cute.

And now, more pics from the week!

marveling at the tall trees

mmmm! winter squash is so good!

i call this pic "pole dancer"

jack in his favorite environment ever, our backyard.

enjoying his grandmas

he loves the swing!