Camel Rides and Ice Cream Fun

Saturday, we went to the zoo with JP, Lisa and Jonathan. The boys had a blast, but the parents even more so!

I was afraid of how hot it was expected to be over the weekend, but Saturday morning was relatively cool. Most of the animals we out and about, and while we didn’t drop by the bears this time, we did stop at the aquarium and playground.

The meercats were back in their habitat by the elephants!

Oh, and this time we had Jonathan and Jameson pose at the head shot photo spot; and Lisa was hilarious and wanted one of us as well. Oh yes we did.

I played around with aperture a lot at the zoo that day; the shaded daylight was perfect for photos.

Does anyone know what this guy is? I don’t remember, but he lived near the giraffe and zebra habitats. The framing in the front with the leaves really attracted me.

We also tried this monkey bench pose again. Can you believe it’s only been a month since we last took that photo? He looks so much older this month. Must be the new hairdo. Or hat.

Jonathan really got into it. He posed right up next to the monkey, laying his head on the statue and hamming it up for the camera!

After seeing all the animals in the central part of the zoo, we went up the long ramp to the aquarium.

Look how classy we are!

Yes, they posed for that on purpose, and yes, I did just post that on my blog. But oh, more embarrassment is to come!!

We spent a little time at the playground, playing on fake animals and Jonathan, of course, loved the slide.

We stopped for lunch, and everyone ate well. Jameson enjoyed his bologna, cheese and fruit and Jonathan had vegetable cream cheese on crackers

Note: this is a great idea which we will have to try to get vegetables and dairy in him at the same time as crackers which are always a hit!

Jonathan also gobbled up a peach, and was upset when it was gone, running over to the trash can to try and get it back.

And then… Lisa and I decided to ride some camels. Yes we did.

We did stand in line with all the kids and ride the camel. Yep.

And back to business, we hit up some more of the indoor exhibits. The monkey in this habitat stared straight at us. It seemed a little sad, but I think it was just feeling left out because two monkeys right past it were play wrestling like maniacs!

Our last stop at the zoo was the rainforest exhibit, which is always fun for Jameson. We put away the stroller and let him walk around.

We found that if he holds both our hands, he’s less apt to run amok. It helped that everything was exciting at the rainforest, and we consistently went the same direction he wanted to go.

After the zoo, we decided to stop for ice cream. Brian has been having weird cravings for pizza rolls and Blizzards, so this ice cream stop was a bit of a compromise.

It was so messy. Jameson had no idea what to do at first.

I am pretty sure that we will need to alternate who gets to have their ice cream and who watches Jameson next time. Up and down on the little benches, wiping ice cream everywhere, dropping his cone and then eating mom’s. Jameson was crazy.

I do think he liked the cone better than the ice cream itself though. He ate almost all of mine.

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Giving Up The Bottle | The Sippy Search

We are middway through getting rid of bottles, and Jameson is doing really well!

We decided a couple weekends ago (April 21-22) to do the deed without having found that perfect sippy he would drink a lot from, mainly because he was feeling well that weekend, and daycare wasn’t doing it efficiently. In just a couple months, they will start transitioning him to the toddler room, and we wanted to be ready for that

His room at the daycare is pretty busy right now, with Jameson and others transitioning to a cot (he’s also doing well with that!) and being overall pretty crowded. He still loves it there, I know he gets lots of activity, and I don’t really mind that they haven’t been able to force a sippy cup full of milk for him. Especially since it was partly our fault; we kept sending in bottles anyway.

We decided to go “cold turkey” but leave Jameson one bottle before bedtime (never with him in bed).

We did this to 1) guarantee at least bottle of milk a day, and 2) because we already changed bedtime routine recently with discontinuing the pacifier. We have vacation planned in just a couple weeks, without him, and we didn’t want to make things too difficult for the grandparents!

Schedule B.S. (schedule before sippy)

Breakfast bottle: 6-8 oz. milk (as soon as he wakes)
Midmorning bottle: 7-8 oz. milk (at daycare)
Lunch sippy: water (and water throughout the day as needed)
After nap bottle: 7-8 oz. milk
Dinner sippy: 3-4 oz. juice water (at home)
Bedtime bottle: 4-7 oz. milk (just before bed)
Total milk intake: 24-31 oz.

Schedule A.S. (schedule after sippy)

Breakfast sippy: 8 oz. milk (on the way to daycare in the car)
Daytime sippy: 8 oz. milk (throughout the day at daycare as need, mostly in the afternoon after nap)
Lunch sippy: water
Dinner sippy: 3-4 oz. juice water (at home)
Bedtime bottle: 7-8 oz. milk (just before bed)
Total milk intake: 23-24 oz. milk


On the first day, Jameson was fine with it. He is really hungry in the morning, and gulped down (very, very slowly) his first breakfast sippy with a regular sippy cup with spout. But it wasn’t fast enough for Brian to give it to him before daycare everyday, so we switched to a straw sippy the next day.

After that first day though, he seemed to realize what was going on and was less happy about it. The next morning, he cried. We went downstairs with the sippy, and about 15 minutes later he decided he wanted it, though at first he didn’t drink as much. The trend has continued, and now he drinks his milk on the way to daycare, but drinks it all.

As long as we let him decide if he wants it or not, he doesn’t fuss long. When we tried to force it, he got more upset.

It’s easy on the weekends to offer a sippy cup all the time and let him linger over it, but we knew he needed to be able to do the sippys in shorter bursts at daycare, so instead of letting him linger, we decided to wait until after his nap and have him drink when we knew he’d be hungriest. He would down that sippy in full.

(Another reason not to let them linger over the sippy is because that is, in fact, one reason that doctors and dentists recommend switching to the sippy or cup in the first place. Lingering over milk allows the bacteria in the mouth to feed on the milk sugars and produce acid that causes tooth decay – more info here)

That took out one of his daily bottles, but since he typically never drank as much on weekends anyway, we weren’t too concerned with the switch. I read that children his age (16 months) need 16-24 oz. of milk per day. So when we eliminate the bedtime bottle, he will still be getting enough milk.

At the daycare on Monday, he was offered two sippys a day, but after just a couple days, we opted to only send him in with one, just like we did over the weekend switch. Just one week, and he is fine with the new routine and drinking almost all his milk when it is offered.

The Cups

Our sippys of choice now are the Munchkin brand straw cups (like these), and the Playtex insulated straw cups (like these) because he drinks them faster than the spout cups. However, we continue to give Jameson cups with spouts and other sippys we’ve purchased in the search for the perfect one, for lunch and dinner, to keep him flexible enough that he’ll drink from anything if we’re out and about.

In the end, he didn’t want to drink a lot of milk or water out of ANY sippy cup, until we decided to make him transition over. There was no perfect sippy for us.

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Spoon Practice

Like any sport, eating requires lots of practice.

Sunday morning, Jameson insisted on eating yogurt himself. He took a few bites from dad, but then refused any more.

So I plopped it into a bowl and let him have at it.

The experience was funny for mom and dad, and rewarding for Jameson since it wasn’t too difficult for him to at least get a little something in his mouth with the spoon.

And he got a new favorite, pineapple, when he was done.

Aside: The bib there? It is fabulous. The whole thing is a soft plastic, so it’s comfortable and easily washable. It doesn’t wrinkle like the cloth-backed ones, and it has a pocket like the harder plastic ones but much more comfortable. We have just two (as compared to the 20 or so cloth bibs we used to own and go through like no tomorrow!).

We had a great weekend, despite transitioning Jameson to a sippy cup. Can’t wait to share how it went!


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Fourteen Months

Jameson is 14 months old.

The past two months? I don’t know what happened. They disappeared. He just turned one yesterday. His one mural in photos is still up!

Jameson at 14 months: Loves to power walk with his walking toys. Starting to take steps away from things all by himself. A few days ago he stepped away from the chair to walk to our bed without any prompting!

He is really curious and loves to get into things that aren’t his toys. He likes to climb through the kitchen stools like an obstacle course. Jameson loves to go up and down the stairs, pull books off bookshelves, chew on shoes, hit the fireplace vent, pull toilet paper off the roll, and dive into the pillows on mom and dad’s bed.

He has a sense of humor. He loves to throw food on the floor for the puppy to eat (which is okay, until the puppy isn’t there to eat them because she is napping upstairs. Ugh).

Jameson likes to try and brush his own hair and teeth. He doesn’t want a lot of help. He has 10 teeth. 4 on top and bottom, 2 upper molars. His hair is getting really long in the back (ahem, mullet) and is due for his first hair cut.

He has signed “more”, “all done”, “fan” (once), and “eat” sporadically. His sign for eating is bopping his hand against his mouth saying “ahhhh” (like the very stereotypical indian calls). He also sticks out his tongue in addition to his spitting and fake coughing tricks.

Eating has always been a bit of an issue for us, but he is on almost all finger food now which is easier. He loves the pouches of baby food, and he has pureed fruit with his baby cereal for breakfast.

We are working on the sippy cup transition. I think we just purchased a winning sippy cup, and I am thinking of cutting him off from the bottle, except that we still love to hold him in the morning and night while he drinks his bottle.

He sleeps through the night, occasionally needing a pacifier or his bear which dad gets because mom sleeps through it. He naps well, usually one nap but occasionally two when he’s sick. His one nap is anywhere from 2 to 3-1/2 hours. He wakes up slowly (just like his grandma, she said), and loves to cuddle for about 10 minutes. Then he’s up and at ’em.

Jameson loves his little brown bear. We have three of them. Two at home, one at grandma’s. Just in case. We’re still using the pacifier, but plan on making the switch after his bottom molars come in and the weather warms up (so the cold season dies down).

He also got his very first two ear infections this month (or may have only gotten 1 that didn’t go away!). We didn’t even know he got it since he was still sleeping through the night and he was getting his teeth in at the same time. When his cold lingered and there was an RSV notice on the daycare door, we went to the doctor’s to double check.

We are working on putting shapes into the shape sorters. He can get his “coins” in the bank, but the different shapes of the sorter are stumping him.

Jameson will say “mamamama” when he wants something, “dadada” for his daddy, and “dah” for “dog” and “that”, though there is a difference in sound. He wants to know what everything is and will point at it. He’ll also point when he wants something, and we’ll hide things sometimes when we don’t want him to see it (like the pacifiers).

Sometimes he’ll throw tantrums when he doesn’t get his way (like not letting him go up the stairs), but usually seeing mom or dad playing with his toys without him will bring him around.

Jameson insisted on not sitting still for both of the photo shoots we tried this month. This one, in the middle of pink eye and sick with a cold, still seems very representative of him right now.

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Be Mine? XOXO, Frankenstein

After a couple weeks of great progress, Jameson started refusing to walk for us. It may have had something to do with his ear infection, but he hasn’t picked back up again since. We’re a little disappointed. He was doing so well, and now we get barely 2 Frankensteined steps out of him before he plops back down on the ground.

We took these Valentine’s photos a couple weeks ago, on January 28. He was a good sport in the chair. Or a show off. Maybe he knew he was wearing a “Most Eligible Bachelor” shirt?

But once we tried to take walking shots, he wasn’t a fan. He’s actually crying here. Would you know it if I didn’t tell you that?

(Maybe instead of his ear infection preventing walking progress, he is concentrating on learning other new skills, like sticking out his tongue! He is enjoying imitating right now, and while I was at my parents, I made the sign for “Fan” which we just learned last week, and he swirled his hand too! The next morning, I am pretty sure he signed “more”.)

It’s so very hard to believe that last year, he was posing next to roses (without bothering them). Like this:

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I’ve given some thought recently to having Jameson quit the bottle. I know he could, he’s got the suction (so to speak) to use a straw, and he knows to tilt his head back to get at the sippy cup now. Maybe we will give it a shot soon? I’m only concerned about his attention span and actually drinking all of the milk.

But last night, it was in the 50’s so we went for a walk which was so nice, and  since he didn’t have all his bottles at daycare, I poured one into a sippy. He drank well over half of it by the time the walk was done.

We are also “practicing” (using the work practicing implies that learning is happening, of which I am not sure of) with the fork and spoon, but right now it’s mostly going like this:

Purely by accident though, last night we got a successful bit of food in the mouth via the spork. Way to go Jameson! (Repeat performances are not to be expected)

And yes, that is the photo wall in the background, still up. Jameson loves to point at the pictures and say “Da?” (I think that’s his word for “that?”)

Last night he was messy enough (and it was only 20 minutes until bedtime) that I stripped him of his shirt. He enjoyed the experience, pointing at his belly as if to say, “what’s this?”

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Messy Eater

Jameson now eats anything we eat (except honey per doctor’s orders), as long as it can be made soft enough for him to easily chew.

He gets baby food and some finger food at every meal, though it is getting harder and harder to get him to eat the baby food. To distract him, we offer him a little empty cup to play with until we’re done eating the baby food. Then he gets some finger food.

His favorite foods are meat and peaches. He particularly likes chicken! But peaches are his favorite.

Transitioning to finger foods has been a little tough because baby food was so easy. Not only are we thinking about dinner now, but a few weeks ago we started sending him to daycare with finger foods as well. Here are a few things that have worked for us:

  • The fruit cups in fruit juice, not syrup (the peaches don’t have to be cut up, but we’ve been cutting up pineapple and tropical fruit for now) – thanks to Breann for this tip!
  • Steam fresh veggies, particularly peas which don’t have to be cut up at all. I’ve heard this is a good first finger food.
  • Beans! Kidney, Pinto, Lima, Northern. We haven’t made these yet, but if we made a bunch we’d be good for a while, and it is a good source of protein. – thanks to Babble for this idea
  • Pasta – butter is okay (I have read that you need to be cautious of salt, but a little butter is fine). I’ve tried rice too, but it’s hard for him to pick up.
  • Homemade teething biscuits. I like to send him to daycare with this in case he gets fussy because he loves this.
  • Chicken and other meat – we usually save this for dinner only, but we make extra for a couple nights of food
  • Everything else. This is easy for dinner, harder to send with for daycare. He gets what we eat, so if we are having lasagna he gets some of that, and he’s even had a little pizza!

Jameson also wasn’t a big fan of water, so we started adding just a little bit of white grape or apple juice to his cup for flavor and he really enjoys that.

It won’t be long now before we’re making the transition to all finger foods, but I am concerned with how much he’ll be getting to eat since he’s so messy right now. It doesn’t seem like much makes it into his mouth!

I also hope that we can continue to make healthy meals for him. One big thing we found recently is a meat farm! We found a local farm with fresh organic meat that we can buy in bulk for a price very close to the grocery. We feel very lucky to have found it! (And Brian’s happy that it is close to one of the stores he gets beer brewing ingredients and materials from)

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Wash Hands

This post here is a confession to bad parenting, I’m sure.

Jameson is now crawling all over the house on his hands and knees, plus eating finger foods.

This makes for a bad combination for illness. Jameson has just gotten over yet another cold, and I just can’t be sure if it wasn’t us who gave it to him via a less-than-clean floor and lack of hand washing, or if it was daycare.

After several unsuccessful days of remembering hand washing, I finally put this note on his highchair.

Guess what? It’s working. It’s been one day and he hasn’t gotten sick again, and we’re actually washing his hands.

I think it’s time I put notes on everything we are forgetting: Vitamin D in the morning bottle; Brushing teeth; Washing face on non-bath nights (there’s two sinks in the bathroom so I suppose I could put on post it in each); Putting stain remover on his clothes.

Please don’t worry until I start sticking the notes to his body (clip fingernails).

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Poo Solutions

This past week has been a little harder than usual because Mr. Jameson was sick with a cold… then with diarrhea.

It’s not really something anyone cares to talk about, but as they say, sh*t happens, right?

He’s never had any digestive problems before (I know, we’re lucky), so I promptly did research on the Internet. What did you do without the Internet, mom?

I was relieved to find that his case was labeled mild to moderate, and we just needed to put him on the BRAT diet and make sure he stayed hydrated.

  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Applesauce
  • Toast

Easier said than done.

First of all, Jameson has recently decided that at home now, spitting out food is far more fun than keeping it in. In particular, spitting out the pureed baby food is the best. I am hoping its a phase, or maybe the beginning of requesting all finger foods. We’ll wait and see.

Secondly, he never drinks as much at home as he does at daycare. They have him on some magical schedule where he drinks most of his 3 bottles by the time we pick him up at 5, for a total of 5 bottles a day including morning and night. At home on the weekends, we’re lucky to get 4, if not just 3 bottles.

I think he just wants to play with us, silly boy.

I had a moment of epiphany though, and this is what I credit to our success despite these simply terrible odds: I remembered a teething biscuit I read about and sent to Brian a few weeks ago.

It is made of whole wheat bread (without seeds), crust cut off, and applesauce, rolled up and hardened in the microwave for a minute. Toast. Applesauce.

Homemade Teething Biscuit, Image & Recipe by Roni
Homemade Teething Biscuit, Photo & Recipe by Roni. Click for Details!

I am pretty sure this is Jameson’s favorite new food. Seriously. BONUS: I am pretty sure he’s teething again too. That’s right, we’re killing two birds with one biscuit (heh heh).

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Finger Foods

At Jameson’s 9 month appointment a few weeks ago, the doctor told us that we could now give Jameson whatever we wanted (except honey). Even eggs were on the list of “whatever we wanted”. He then qualified that the choking hazard was our responsibility (as if we weren’t already well aware of that).

We immediately decided to give him some eggs to try the very next day while Brian and I ate breakfast. Then we gave him some lasagna noodles at our visit to Brian’s grandma.

Then we got lazy, and just started giving him Cheerios in addition to his usual melt-in-the-mouth puffs, yogurt drops and mum mums.

It was about another week or two before we started saving some of our dinners for him to have as leftover finger foods.

This past week, we’ve tried to give Jameson finger food as a dinner supplement every night. We usually start off with some baby food and then give him finger foods to stuff in his face.

And he does stuff his face. The child that was always a picky eater doesn’t seem to have any problem stuffing his own face. I should’ve known, considering he tries to eat everything in sight (socks, leaves, grass, pumpkins, dog toys, rugs, clothes, furniture…).

He hoards pieces like a chipmunk and stuffs his face until he sometimes gags a little. Having read a little bit about how babies manage their food, the gagging is tolerable to me (it helps them bring their food back to the front of their mouth). In fact, he rarely gags at all now, so I let him go for the most part.

What does give me a minor heart attack is the new half-laugh he has discovered. He sucks in his breath like a loud wheeze and holds it for a second. He does it with or without food in his mouth, and it gets me every time. I’m hoping that particular sound will lose its novelty real soon.

A few weeks prior to the doctors appointment when he was around 8-1/2 months, we had already started giving him thicker baby food in preparation for finger foods.

The reason for our preparation was that our neighbors had been told by their doctor that around 9 months babies should start eating whatever the adults are eating, so we were preparing for that. It turns out, our doctor is a lot more casual in that regard and didn’t really care what we did. Presumably, all babies eat regular food in good time… you don’t see adults eating baby food (except the crazies).

We started out with a stage 2-1/2 food that we found at Wal-Mart which is a perfect mix between stage 2 and 3, which seemed too thick for Jameson to tolerate. I also mixed some of my homemade baby food into the pureed stuff to make some thicker.

We did this for a couple weeks before giving him finger foods, but I am not sure that we really needed to since Jameson took so well to eating on his own.

Now we do pureed to chunky to finger foods and everything in between. We have daycare feed him the easy stuff while we experiment at home in the evenings.

Jameson was not a big fan of the stage 3 corn. I am just glad we have Sasha to clean up after him.

P.S. We still don’t have the hang of all eating together, since Jameson goes to bed at 7. But we did have a successful first dinner, all together (even Sasha), last Saturday, celebrating Sasha’s birthday (belated) with a steak. She got a little one too (Jameson didn’t).

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