The Best Things in Life Aren’t Things

Jameson has already experienced new toy phenomena. That is, the toys you (think) you’ve never seen before, or haven’t seen in a long time, are the coolest.

Consequently, the toys that aren’t yours = totally, ridiculously awesome. The best things in life are toys that aren’t yours.

Just kidding, the best things in life are friends who have toys that aren’t yours.

JP, Lisa and little Jonathan have visited us quite a bit the past couple months, so this time it was our turn.

As usual, a little bit of this went on:

And for the ladies, a New Age white wine with lime.

We ate pot roast in their lovely dining room, which I think Jameson really enjoyed. And after dinner, we hung out in the living room. And I took a couple self-timered shots (what, you already know I have a problem). Somebody might be hanging out in the background there…

Jameson and Jonathan each played in Jonathan’s walker for a little bit. Aside: The doctor told us a long time ago no walkers for the babies because it can harm their growing hips. So, we told daycare no walkers. He can be in one, but it can’t move, like an exersaucer.

Well, I am kind of wondering if maybe he has been hanging around in the daycare in the walker every once in a while, because he sure did get the hang of it really quick, forwards and backwards…

He loved the hardwood floors in their house. Easy to crawl and chase toys around, and of course use the walker.

For a little perspective, I plopped Jameson on their (fancy) living room couch. Remember these photos? Look at him now.

And an impressive yoga position. I don’t do yoga, but I’m assuming this is representative of something you’d do in yoga:

We had a wonderful time, as usual. I’m always impressed and grateful with the amount of time JP and Lisa spend with us. JP travels a lot (consequently, Lisa is trying to drop down to 4 days a week at her work), and so I know time is even more precious for them than it is for us. It is so nice to have friends with children the same age, and get together like this.

Oh, bonus points for having friends who can take photos. Lisa snapped this lovely of my family:

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2 Months and Counting

Jameson turned 10 months old yesterday, and I think that he has discovered his depth perception because he didn’t try to dive off the chair this time.

It also helped that we discovered a super awesome new distraction.

First, we tried some stuffed animals.

Then, we he tried his shoes for distraction.

Last, we found this magic, a spinning top that his great-great Aunt Dee gave him.

Jameson spent quite a bit of time staring at it as it spun around. Then I finally captured him looking at me, blocks askew and one shoe off:

He was a good sport, considering he has a cold. Also, he has had a dramatic couple days. I usually edit out injuries, but I left this one, did you notice?

On Friday, I was upstairs, and I heard Brian yell at Jameson and then a big wail. I came downstairs to see Jameson crying and Sasha getting yelled at. Yes, she had nipped at him because he climbed her food dish while she was eating.

All things considered, no skin was broken, so Sasha must have really held back. It actually just proved to me how gentle she really is around him because she could’ve taken off a finger or worse. She’s a good girl, and we’ll just have to watch Jameson closer during feeding times. I’d like to say he learned a lesson, but somehow I doubt it.

And I had to giggle at him a little, because he hung his head on my shoulder and wimpered for some time. It was worse than getting shots for him, he had quite a fright. But they shortly after made up, and he still loves his big sister!

P.S. Do you realize, 10 months is just 2 short months away from 12… where is the time going?!

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a few of his favorite things…

Dear readers, so many exciting things happened yesterday! Jameson made his first “crawls” forward instead of just backward (before falling on his face), and he made his first baby joke!

I am not sure if baby jokes are considered a milestone, and I am pretty sure Brian might have been making fun of me a little but seriously: Jameson laughed for the first time because of something he did, rather than because of something outside him (ex., tickling or chasing the puppy or puppy licks)

He laughed when he was trying to roll away from me while changing, and I know he did it on purpose, because he did it again later. So cute!

Anyway, I need to get this forward crawl on video, and when I do I’ll share his adorable progression of crawling. Since I don’t have that just yet, I thought I’d share some of his favorite things, now that he is actually playing with toys (instead of just chewing… though he still does chew… haha)

We have a lot of toys. In fact, Brian and I are going to break out the *gasp* toy box very soon. He probably doesn’t need this many toys, but I’m not too worried about spoiling him yet. He plays with all of them right now, in different ways.

His all time favorite toy for the past few months and now is his piano. The piano has it all: a rattle, music, lights, moving parts and convenient-to-chew handle.

This just goes to show: the reviews on Amazon don’t mean baby won’t like the toy. This thing only has 3 stars… but there is another piano for $14 that is almost 5 stars. Which would you rather pay? $5 or $14?

We’ve really enjoyed watching his development in playing with toys. It started out as staring, evolving into batting at the toys above his head on the activity mat. Then we had reaching and grasping, and later turning in place in the exersaucer to chew on all sorts of toys.

Finally, he learned how to work some of the toys, first with the spinning rattles like in the piano above. The last one on the exersaucer that he figured out was the penguin that you have to push down to get the balls to move inside.


Now that he can sit, he is playing with all the toys, shaking, chewing, rattling. We decided he needed a few toys that stretched his skills. We bought this great toy which took him a day or two to figure out some of it’s parts. He hasn’t gotten the hang of getting it to move and play music, but he is playing with the alligator and spinning bird… soon he’ll be working the rest!

And it won’t be long before he’s figuring out toys like this one, with it’s knobs and levers. He already pushes down on the boppers. (Hey, no batteries in this toy!)

His second favorite toy right now I think is the xylophone piano. It’s a little advanced for him, but he loves to pound on the keys, and to eat the (thankfully one piece) sticks. This is an old toy though, I am not sure if they sell it like this anymore! It is however similar to this one.

Singing? or Eating? ha!

Like most babies, he enjoys the stacking cups. We bought these cute rubbery blocks for him to chew on, but he hasn’t shown much interest– until it also becomes a stacking (or rather, a knocking down) game!

Likewise, the classic ring stacker is fun right now to knock all the rings off, put rings on baby’s head, and to chew on. Later maybe he’ll start to stack the rings back on himself.

Of course, Jameson also loves to play with the parts that aren’t really toys. All his toys are in a low bin right now so he can pull all of them out. He also loves to play with the lid to one of his toys, and yesterday he enjoyed playing with an empty water bottle. Can’t forget the dixie cup in the morning when we’re trying to get ready, too!

A newly semi-mobile baby also enjoys finding new places, like the vent. This will be an accident waiting to happen this winter, but for now, it’s just cute.

Oh, the puppy is a pretty fun toy too. And the puppy’s own toys. Sasha knows which toys are hers, but Jameson hasn’t figured out yet which ones are his. Hmmm…


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One Year Later

One year and a couple months, anyway. Last year right around this time I took photos of our new house. At the time, we had been in it for about a month or two, and we didn’t even have anything hanging on the walls yet. We weren’t completely unpacked and I hid off sections of rooms and only showed the glory of perfect unclutteredness in the new house.

Now here we are, one year later, older, wiser, and much more cluttered.That nursery has actually been used, cause yeah, we had a baby (though a year ago, the nursery wasn’t remotely finished).

I thought it would be fun to show you how our lives have changed in just one short year.

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Jameson takes an Ice Bath

Just last week, a co-worker was telling me a story about a kid who stripped and dove right into an ice cooler, full of melting ice, and apparently enjoyed himself swimming in the “pool”.

Ironic, considering Brian did that to Jameson just Saturday. No, really.

We did this weekend casually at home, running a few errands and going to the farmers market. Brian mowed the lawn (another of the many reasons he’s such a great husband and father) and did some other yard work. Around mid afternoon on Saturday, after Jameson got up from his many naps (kid was a short sleeper this weekend), we decided to try out the baby pool that Jameson got Brian for his birthday.

That screaming face there looks like the permanently scarred for life from water kind of face doesn’t it? That’s because the water was ice cold, I-C-E cold. It could only have been colder if there had been actual ice in it. Brian filled it up from the hose… apparently we both neglected to check the temperature.

Add insult to injury, as I am telling Brian about how I recalled occasions where my mother had provided some warmer water from inside (I may have made that up, as I don’t really have any distinct memories of this), anyway Brian tells me that his mother made him swim in ice. Which I promptly shared with her. Liar liar, pants on fire.

I saved the day though and added some hot water to the mix, making it sort of luke warm. Then we got more curious than grumpy faces (though no big grins, and some rather startled looks while splashing; apparently he didn’t trust the water quite yet).


He also enjoyed chewing on some of the pool toys that came with it. It has these little blow up mushrooms that stick in the base or float free, and some stick on blow up butterflies.

Adorable! A duck somehow snuck in there too.

We loved the baby pool, even if Jameson didn’t just yet. We’ll have to give it another shot, just like grass face. Which, by the way, we managed to get a non crying grass face this weekend. Will be sharing that soon.

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Graduation (aka, Jameson and Aunt Holly are Stars)

Long overdue, I am here to tell you that we survived the 3-1/2 hour trip to and from my parents for the first time! The weekend of June 3, we spent visiting Jameson’s grandparents on my side of the family. We were excited that Jameson would get to see his uncle Tyler again for the first time since his birth, to spend some time with some other cute dogs, and that he would get to see his grandparents and Aunt Holly for a more extended visit (does 2 days count as extended?)

On Friday night, we left around 8 pm. Packing up baby was a lot more work than either of us expected. My parents didn’t have a crib (yet… *hint hint*) so we folded up our pack and play, packed a ton of outfits for Jameson, plus bottles and my pump, his new Jumparoo which was still in a box and super convenient to take for entertainment, and his activity mat. All in all, 3/4 of the car was taken up with Jameson and his stuff, and Brian and I had one little bag. So consumed with getting Jameson ready, I forgot my favorite hair dryer!

Jameson slept through the whole car ride, was up for about an hour when we arrived late, and then went to sleep like a champ. Phew, that was easy!

The biggest reason for our visit was my sister’s high school graduation.

She graduated with some 600-700 kids. (I did not try to count the names in the program). My maiden name begins with a Y as well, so on top of there being a lot of kids, we actually had to wait through that lot of kids before hearing her name called. I would call this a high risk Jameson situation.

But he was a champ. After about an hour of people watching, he fussed and we fed him; then with a little of what I call dad-magic, Jameson was asleep in Brian’s arms for the later half of name calling.

All-in-all, we didn’t have to leave and were able to stay through the whole 2-1/2 hour she-bang. I call that a win!

Here are the stars of the show, graduate and Mr. Jameson

Jameson enjoyed meeting other puppies and exploring his brand-new Jumparoo which has 3 of his favorite toys, I am not sure what to call them other than spinning circle things. AND of course, he loved seeing his grandparents, uncle and aunt.

My parents’ garden exploded with strawberries this year for some reason, and we had about a quart of strawberries to go with two kinds of pasta salad and steak. What a wonderful summer meal!

On Sunday, we had spaghetti lunch (tradition in our house growing up) with family friends, the one who made Jameson’s wonderful baby quilt, custom with the fabric she and my mother picked out.

We also got to spend some time with my old high school friend Katie, her husband Dave, and their son just one week younger than Jameson, Mark. It was wonderful to see another baby so close in age to Jameson. They were cute together, though Jameson was a little cranky after this adventure-filled weekend.

The drive home was a little rougher, since we left earlier, around 6 pm. We were hoping Jameson would go ahead and nap the whole way again, but contrary little man did it in chunks, waking up to cry and play off and on during the whole trip. But we didn’t have any screaming fits or reasons to pull over. Sasha of course was delighted to see us come home though she had a blast at her other grandparents’ house while we were away.

We had a blast, and hopefully we’ll be able to make the trip again soon. Hopefully with a little less stuff. I am pretty sure we packed enough to spend a week there. Which I’m sure my parents would’ve loved, haha.

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and now, for your evening entertainment…

Brian and I typically eat dinner after Jameson goes to bed. Lately, he’s been having an earlier bed time, but last night was an exception because we had yet another financial adviser appointment. (This guys is really good and methodical, and I think we have a few more appointments to go before we’re done setting up all our plans.) Brian’s mom watched Jameson and we got back later than usual.

Cut to Brian and I sitting down for dinner around 9 pm last night, and Jameson is still wide awake and relatively happy in his crib. He’s allowed one small stuffed animal bear in his crib. It’s not large and we didn’t start putting it there until he was about 5 months old. I put it there because sometimes he’s not a fan of being rocked to sleep, and thought it might help soothe him.

Not last night. Our evening entertainment consisted of watching Jameson roll around in his crib on the video monitor (not full rolls, just half rolls to the side and back). He was rolling around with his bear in one hand and pacifier in the other “yelling” at his mobile or his little bear or pacifier, or maybe just to hear is own voice.

Seriously, we watched him for about 20 minutes at dinner, cracking up. No TV entertainment could possibly be better. [I’m being serious, this is the highlight of my life]

And speaking of rolling around, the past couple days we have been finding Jameson with his feet through the slats on the crib. I never put on the bumper that came with my crib set(mostly because it’s awful to change the sheets with it on. I mean, SIDS aside, no one ever tells you that traditional bumpers are a pain like that!). Anyway, I am thinking maybe now it might be helpful. Though, so far, we haven’t woken to a screaming baby that hit his head or anything.

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My Favorite Non-Baby Baby Item

My favorite non-baby baby item happens to be a little wall decor piece. It has four swinging swallows hanging from a black box. Doesn’t sound attractive? It actually is, and Jameson loved it. He still enjoys it, but now that he notices color he’s been more fascinated with the owl and tree wall decal right next to my nursing glider. But for a long time, that swinging bird piece would keep him from crying whenever he noticed it. He’d just stare forever. It runs on batteries, and is super quiet. It has been running now for about 6 months and one of the birds just finally stopped, needing some replacement batteries which are double AA’s.

So I bought it from one of those places that send you a thousand catalogs and has some fun random giftables. But really, I had a great experience and I’d buy from them again. And as far as I know, Signals is the only place you can get the Swallows Kinetic Wall Art. Bonus: It’s on sale. (Here’s some more about Jameson’s nursery, and the leaves for his mobile are Bazzil from Overstock).

Jameson lately has also been loving the large red plastic cup we use to rinse him off during bath time. Something about that running water that he loves. Makes me tempted to get one of these… last time I looked it wasn’t available via Amazon Prime but it is now. Soooo tempting…

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