Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Day at Club Clark

Yesterday Jack and I trekked down to the edges of the earth to visit Julie and Mac. Julie just built a new pool that is absolutely gorgeous – you should go to her blog to see pictures of it. Of course I didn’t have my camera outside because I am still terrified having Jack around water, so I clung to him like a leech. (or he clung to me like a leech, it’s hard to tell.)

I did get pictures of Mac and Jack hanging out together. When we got there I sat them down next to one another and Jack threw his arms around Mac. I didn’t get a good picture of the bear hug, but here you can see how Mac felt about the whole thing:

hi mac

Jack backed off, but looks a little forlorn about it:


and then Mac got up and walked away:


After some quality time in the pool, along with time trying to eat my lunch, Jack got to play with the big kids.


He had so much fun, I can’t even begin to describe it. Every time he would look over at me he would smile and laugh. Of course he was exhausted. I put him in the car and he was asleep before I walked around to my side. But it was a great day. Thanks to Julie for having us over.

Today was our first low-key day in a while. We went to lunch with our friend Elissa who is going to have a baby in four weeks. She looks FANTASTIC. I’m telling you, I wish I looked that good pregnant. I am beside myself with excitement about her baby. It’s funny how different it is now that I have a kid. If she would have had this baby a few years ago I would have sent the obligatory baby gift and forgotten all about it until the kid went off to college. Now it’s a whole different ball of yarn. I can’t wait for the babe to arrive.

Jack was a complete angel at lunch. He played with his toys, ate his pears, hung out, and was basically a perfect baby. I credit it all to him getting more sleep. He is a much easier baby during the day now that his nights are better organized. Plus I think he knew it would freak Elissa out to have a crazy baby around this close to her birthing one of the monsters, so he obliged.

Since he just turned seven months old, I thought I should document all the things he can do for posterity’s sake:

1. Sit up from his belly (he still can’t sit up from lying on his back.)
2. Pull himself up to stand and stand holding something with one hand.
3. Walk if someone holds his hands.
4. Crawl, as long as he’s allowed to have one foot on the ground.
5. Say BA and GA. Loudly.
6. Scream. A lot.
7. Kick his feet in the pool.
8. Hold his breath and shut his eyes when I put him under water.
9. Recognize his grandparents.
10. Eat the following foods: Apples, pears, rice and oat cereal, peas, yellow and green summer squash (although it appears he hates both), yams (his favorite), bananas and carrots. This week he’s going to try zucchini and peaches.
11. Laugh and laugh and laugh. He’s very ticklish and thinks it’s funny if you walk out of the room and peek back at him.
12. His favorite song is “If you’re happy and you know it.”
13. He can sleep through the night, thank heaven and earth.

I’m sure there is more, so I’ll add anything as I think of it.

And to answer Richard, yes, we always need a babysitter. I also need someone to come swimming with me – our next door neighbor has kindly given me a key to her gate so we can use the pool, but it’s SUCH an ordeal to get over there. So if anyone wants to come swimming let me know.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Continued from last week....

When we last left our Superhero, he had run off to Chandler for the day while the nice men at Chas Roberts evaluated the air conditioning system at home. Alas, their news was not pleasant. The compressor was shot, a new system was in order. Unfortunately in the process of trying to fix the compressor they actually did more harm, and for a long three days and two nights we all faced sweltering heat in our little abode.

Friday morning arrived and all was put right with the world. We installed a new air conditioner and now our home is as cool as a meat locker. I can even wear socks to bed.

Jack spent a lot of time with Grandma Gloria and Grandpa Tom – he even spent the night Saturday so Joe and I could escape for a bit. He had a wonderful time and slept like an angel. Of course he was up at five a.m., but what can you do about that? The sun rises at 5:12 right now, meaning it starts to get light around 4:30. I can only hope he will sleep a little later in the summer. I’m going to remind him of this when he’s a teenager and can’t get out of bed before noon.

Today we headed up to Grandma Sandee’s house because she’s been away so much lately she’s been missing her boy. He really likes to play on her Exersaucer – it’s like the one at the gym without all the germs. Here he is contemplating the cow noise:


Just two weeks ago his feet didn’t really touch the ground, now he’s moving around like an old pro. He does get easily distracted by the birds, however:


And here you can see our guy is not the thinnest baby in America:


But enough about that. Here is more important news, at least to Jack. Please let him stand up. It’s really all he wants to do.



Thank you.

Tonight Jack was hoping to see his dad before bedtime, but Joe called to say he wasn’t going to make it. At first he was despondent:


then angry:

stupid apple

But he got over it and happily went to bed.

His top two teeth have started coming in – it appears we will be continuously teething until all 20 arrive. Poor guy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Although I envisioned crawling to be something involving knees and hands, Jack of course has modified the traditional crawl into something a little more free-form and interesting. View his latest video here

I set him down on the living room floor this morning and he is all over the place. He’s still pulling himself up on everything that holds still enough (including Lucca), but he’s less successful with the bouncy chair, mostly because it rocks. He tries to get up but his feet won’t stay under him:


Needless to say he’s two seconds away from getting into trouble or hurting himself. I’ve carted him off to Grandma Gloria’s for the day while we (hopefully) get our air conditioner fixed. It was very cute, when she came to get him he held his arms out to her. I don’t even think he does this to me unless I’m rescuing him from crib jail.

Yesterday he got to spend some time with my mom. (My dad was there too, but you’ll notice he’s not featured in the pictures. Neither am I.) It’s actually quite amusing to see her with him – nothing in the world exists outside this little guy for her. She fed him some yams at lunch and he quite enjoyed himself.

nellos 1

Here I believe he’s telling her “You’re going a little slowly with those yams, lady. Can you speed it up a bit?” He is a wonderful eater, but very opinionated about when the food should arrive at his mouth. Like right now, thank you very much.

nellos 2

He was exhausted from all the attention and promptly passed out in the car:

way home

Some wise person once told me not to invest too much in baby toys – regular household items will often suffice. Although he does like some of his toys, the two things that always make him happy are the phone and a piece of paper. Here you can see him at his happiest – both toys within reach and no one pulling them away from him:


As I mentioned Jack is away today. Our air conditioner is just not cutting it – yesterday afternoon it wouldn’t cool any lower than 86 degrees. I think we’re going to have to replace the entire thing, which is probably a good idea because our heater doesn’t work either. I guess they have a combined unit they can install that will save us a some money on our electric bill.

It’s so hot here – already 104 and not even 10 a.m.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Note from the Depths of Hades

It’s hot. 111 degrees was the high, but even worse it is still 109 and it’s 7 p.m. The low is only supposed to get to 87. Thank goodness my neighbors are kind enough to let us use their pool, otherwise Jack and I would surely melt. Joe would come home to find two puddles on the floor.

I got Jack a new pool floaty so I wouldn’t have to hang on to him the entire time I’m in the water. He loved his freedom and kicked his little feet all around. Here you can see him looking at me like “Ha ha! I am free of you at last!”

pool 1

He was always trying to wiggle away from me when we were swimming, so now look at him:

pool 3

Happy as a June Cow. Here he’s not so certain, perhaps he still needs me a little.

pool 4

And even though this next picture is not great, you’ll get an idea of why I go through the trouble of getting him in the pool every day.

pool 2

No, he’s not been drinking. The little guy was exhausted. He went to bed at six! Poor thing is just lying in his crib, no cover, fan going at high speed.

Earlier in the day I set him down while I ran in the kitchen to get his sippy cup. Imagine my surprise when I returned to find this:

up 2

Without prompting, he scooted himself over and stood up. I made him look at me, and you can tell he is proud:


(as well as a little blurry.)

I am constantly amazed at what this kid can do. I’m sure it’s all terribly normal and really mundane for those who have raised children before. But to have someone pop out of you and then start to learn things, it just feels like a small miracle every single day.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

To celebrate Father’s Day, Jack and I took Joe out to breakfast. Unfortunately Jack was not in a mood to sit pleasantly by while we enjoyed our prospective huevos. He fussed, he yelled, he banged his toys. He even tore the newspaper of the gentleman sitting next to us. Not very relaxing or celebratory, to say the least.

But you gotta love the little guy, always on the move:

fathers day 2

This is a better picture of the two boys, but in no way should be misconstrued as showing calmness in my offspring:

fathers day 1

Although Jack really wants to walk, he’s starting to give in a little and realize there might be a better way to get around until he’s stable enough for bipedal locomotion. It’s not exactly crawling, it’s more like pulling himself along and pushing one foot off the ground. I tried to get a picture to give you some idea, but it’s still a little unclear:


Of course when I was trying to show Joe his new trick, Jack face planted into the tile, thus ending our practice session.

And so another week begins – more activities to plan, more books to read, more walking to practice. I am so thankful I am able to be here for this strange and interesting part of Jack’s life. I know I complain about it sometimes, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

More pool time

I can’t believe how busy I can get just hanging around with a baby. Joe came home Wednesday – he hopped an early flight that landed at six, so I kept Jack up enough so they could hang out before bed. It is such a relief to put him down at night and know I won’t hear from him until morning. Joe and I had a nice quiet dinner together and he told me all about his trip. It was a good trip and – more importantly – is his last scheduled business trip.

Thursday was more of the same – entertaining Jack, going to stores, walking, talking, that kind of thing. Friday of course was Grandma Day. We are beginning to love Grandma Day and are going to be sorry when it all ends on August 5th. (Ok, I admit I probably love it more than anyone!) But as you can see, Jack had a great time too:

fountain 2

The fountain to his right was specifically installed for him by the builder. Here he is playing with the water:


Doesn’t Gloria’s new pool look fantastic? Jack thinks so. Here he’s just chilling out looking as cool as you can in a swim diaper:


The glasses don’t always last for long, however


And here’s an art shot of the little angel:


It was a great day – he came home tired and happy, which is how a day at Grandma’s house should be.

I keep thinking about how lucky our boy is to have such wonderful family around. I only had one set of grandparents growing up and they lived in California. Jack is constantly surrounded by people who love and adore him more than anyone on the planet. Can you imagine how great that is?

Today we stopped by Grandma Elaine’s 86th birthday party. I wish I had a picture so you could see how great she looks. We had to jet over to another party in Chandler so I don’t have any pictures, but Jack spent more time in the pool and was once again exhausted.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. I’d like to say a great big happy Father’s Day to Joseph who is the best father I could hope for my son. And that’s not just because he changes icky diapers either. It’s not easy to wax nostalgic when the babe is only six months old, but here is a shot from the hospital:


It goes by fast, indeed.

And of course my dad – thanks for being a great dad to me. I promised you I would always be your little girl, and although I often feel like a haggard old crone, that promise remains. Here is my dad with the guy at Christmas time:


So happy Father’s Day to everyone. It’s a hard job. I know now how hard it can be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'll give you something to cry about......

One of the things that’s hardest for me with this new sleep plan is putting him down for naps when he doesn’t want to go. I know he’s tired, I know it’s time, but he doesn’t always agree. I sing him his song and lie him down so he knows what I expect him to do, but invariably he pops back up and plays with his pacifier. So this afternoon I did my little regimen, he was having none of it, I went to take a shower. I heard him play for a while, cry a little, and then, of course, silence.

Here is what I found:


Look familiar? He seems to like using the bumper for a pillow.

I’m getting pretty tired trying to think up things to entertain the little guy. No more pajama days for us. To give you an idea, here is what we did today (this also serves the purpose of keeping Joe updated, so bear with me.)

Jack woke at 5:45 after sleeping for 11 hours straight. A small miracle. We got up, had some breakfast, played a little, went for a walk in the neighborhood, watched Baby Galileo, read a book.

Here he is watching his video and drinking some water:


He took a nap from 8:15 to 10. We talked on the phone to Julie and played with the dogs. Then we went to the gym where Jack played with other kids and sat in the exersaucer (we don’t have one so he was pretty excited.)

After the gym we had lunch – pears – and played for a while. He is practicing his walking now, which is good because it tires him out. We also tried to practice saying consonants, but he will only say G. He had a nap at 1 (albeit unwillingly) and got up at 2:30.

We went next door and swam in the pool, which he LOVED. He liked it much more than the pool at the YMCA. We got him a new suit too, so I took a few pictures:

new suit

new suit 2

The second one is really blurry, but it has the pinscher in it, and Joe misses his dog too.

After the pool we got cleaned up and went to Nordstrom. I spent part of my birthday gift certificate (thank you Gloria!) on some makeup and a pair of shoes. Then we met my dad for dinner at Z Tejas since both our spouses are out of town. While we were waiting for Grandpa to show up, I tried to take a picture of Jack’s new teeth. As Julie can attest, this is easier said than done. I know it’s not very nice, but here’s the best I could do:


He seemed to forgive me:


Dinner was interesting – not the best time to take a baby out in public. I brought some food for him so he ate his yams at the restaurant, but I had formula in a bottle and he wanted NOTHING to do with it. He would take a drink and then glare at me. So of course by the time we got home he was starving AND tired. Not a good combo. I quickly changed him into his pjs, skipped the bath, nursed him and he fell promptly asleep.

I am beat!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Hello Papa!

Joe is off to deposition in Chicago (or to perform the evil duties required of every single lawyer in America, however you want to look at it.) Since he’s away I snapped a few shots of the guy this afternoon so he’s have something to stare at in his hotel room.

Here he is at Michaels. I believe the look on his face is “Mom, we’re not supposed to be buying any more yarn.”


I explained to him we weren’t buying yarn, only needles. He felt better. At home he sat staring at the computer for a while:


and then he decided to bounce:


and stand:


I recognize this last one isn’t the greatest picture, but it’s tough when you’re trying to hold the guy up and photograph him at the same time.

Jack clearly missed Joe tonight. For the past 3 nights Joe has been here to give him a bath and get him dressed for bed. Tonight it was just boring old me. I felt bad for the guy, I feel bad for Joe having to be away, and I’m glad this is his last trip for a while.

Dining al Fresco

Sometimes in the evening when I’m getting Jack ready for dinner, I strip him down to a diaper to make clean-up a bit easier. He takes a bath right after he eats, so we just scrub him down to get the food off him, instead of soaking his clothes to try and remove stains. Last night he had some peas, a very photogenic vegetable.


al fresco

More importantly, Jack is suddenly sleeping. And not just fake sleeping through the night, real sleeping. (A pediatrician will tell you that sleeping through the night is 6 hours. Last I checked a normal adult needs 8 hours of sleep to function properly, so 6 doesn’t quite cut it.) Last night he went to bed at 6:30 and didn’t make a peep until 4. I fed him and he went back down until 6.

This is a breakthrough of epic proportions for me. Now I have to make sure and go to bed by 10 and I will get 8 hours of sleep. Incredible. Of course it was NOT easy. Listening to a baby cry is one of the worst things I’ve ever done – I feel like I should go in and scoop him up. But it was worth the pain to get him to sleep like this.

Jack had a fun time at Grandma Gloria’s on Friday, and then he went back Saturday for Great Grandpa Joe’s 89th birthday celebration. Here is the guest of honor posing by the cake:

(sorry Philip, didn’t mean to cut you out of the picture!)

Jack had so many toys to play with he couldn’t decide what to do. At first he had a toy in each hand and was trying to figure out how to pick up more. Here you can see him waving something around while he plays in the activity chair:


Of course, in the end, he favorite toy is a good magazine:


That’s Great Aunt Margaret watching over him to make sure he doesn’t bang his head on the fireplace.

Joe is off to Chicago today for what we hope is his last business trip for a while. We miss him when he’s away but we’re happy he’s having so much fun at work. He gets to go take some depositions and stay in a fancy hotel.

On our agenda? More swimming lessons of course. This is Jack’s final week of Water Babies and then he’ll be an official swimmer. Well, not really. But he’s doing great and seems to like the water. Now we have to find a new activity for next week.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Keeping Cool

One of the more helpful hints in this sleeping book I got suggests that in between naps it is important to get the child out and moving. Expose him to sunlight, traffic, people, noise, whatever. So we’ve been having afternoon outings every day that seem to help him settle down at night. Two days ago we went to the car wash and one of the managers came over to talk to Jack (you wouldn’t believe how often this happens – people just randomly strike up conversations with a six month old baby.) Anyhow, he suggested that I get a cool washcloth to put on Jack’s head when we come inside. He says babies get headaches from the heat and this makes them fussy.

So today our outing was going for a walk. We’ve been blessed with a mild June here in the desert, so afternoon walks are still a possibility. It’s still a little warm though, so I tried this trick when we got home. Jack seemed to like it and it did cool him off.

cool head

We also had our 4th day of swim lessons this morning and Grandma Gloria came to watch and take some pictures. We’re very excited that her pool will be done this weekend so Jack will have somewhere to swim all summer long.

Here is Jack learning to move his arms:


(Notice the different hat? Parley mentioned he didn’t like my other one and this one has a wider brim so I thought I’d give it a try.)

There are lane flags overhead, and sometimes when it gets too much I take Jack over to the side and he stares at the flags for a minute:


He was also kicking a lot today – I could hold him out and say “kick kick kick” and his little legs were pumping away in the water.


Tomorrow he spends the day at Grandma’s house!

edited later:

I HATE HATE HATE letting him cry himself to sleep at night. I want to run screaming down the block. He's been crying now for 30 minutes and it's just dreadful.

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