Baby in a Backpack

Let’s pretend for a minute that Jameson is still a baby.

Brian and I used to go hiking (not real hard-core hiking; much more low key with some hills). We didn’t go much at all last year, except we did go back to the falls where we were engaged. So for Christmas, I Jameson got Brian a baby-toting-backpack. We got ours in black, on a super sale from Zulily (invitation link).

We used it for the first time on Saturday, and it turned out rather well. We went on a relatively short hike (little over half a mile) to a new trail we hadn’t been to yet.

I love how this photo is just out of focus. It feels very soft. I don’t often keep out of focus photos, but this one spoke to me.

Jameson did really well. He drank his water the whole time, without complaint. He was a little concerned when we first put him in it, signing “all done” over and over, but once he was in it and moving and looking around, all was well.

As for Brian, he was happy with the backpack but said he needs to get used to the weight. We are excited to move on to longer trails soon!

Saturday evening, we hung out with the neighbors and met another couple and their 7 month old son from elsewhere in the neighborhood.

They were very nice, and it was great meeting someone else from our development. Since we are just three houses on a hill, we don’t often interact with many others.

We had a great cookout, and Jameson insisted on trying corn on the cob since Lily had some. Monkey see, monkey do. And likewise, when Jameson wasn’t sure how to eat it and tried stabbing it with his fork, Lily did the same with her fork.

Jameson even had his first real popsicle on a stick! He loved it and ate the whole thing.

We played cornhole later that evening, and Brian and I lost 3 times to Kelly and Curtis. I guess we’ll I’ll need to practice more this summer!

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(Almost) A Year and a Half

At some point, you stop counting the months and start rounding. It’s starts at half years, and then eventually it’s just full years. As an adult, I don’t go around telling people that I’m 27 and a half. (I’m not, I’m just 27, just turned so a month ago if you’re counting)

Jameson is 17 months. A neighborhood lady asked me, and I said “a year and a half.” He seems so grown up! (Don’t laugh)

This month was a special growing up month for Jameson since he began sleeping on a cot for naptime, lost his very first tooth and got his first real haircut!

In addition, he gave up the bottle, for the most part. We are still giving him a bottle at night before bed. Our intention was over this next month to wean him from that, but since our vacation was canceled so we could attend Brian’s grandfather’s funeral yesterday, we are waiting until vacation next month. Brian’s parents will be watching him, and we want to make the bedtime routine easy for them!

He has started using utensils more consistently. His teacher at school told me they think he is left handed since he grabbed a spoon with his left the other day. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she is wrong on a few counts.

He has been switching back and forth on hands for utensils that we have been giving him all this month; and children don’t settle on a hand for sure until they’re 3. So I read, anyway. Regardless, he’s getting pretty good and messy with the spoon and has fun with the fork. Jameson still doesn’t like us to help him a lot, he is very independent.


Jameson does let us help him up and down high places and stairs, thankfully. He is also getting good making those steps, but he needs to grow a bit more before that will be comfortable for him. By that time, I’m sure he’ll be off and running up and down stairs like he’s been doing it for months (because he has, with our help!)

He loves to wave now. When I tell him to “wait” he often “waves” instead, mistaking my direction. When I tell him to say “hi”, he waves! I think that may count as a sign in addition to his “more”, “all done”, “no” (shaking head) and “eat” regular signs.

Yesterday, we discovered that Jameson also signs “please” now. He must have learned it at school, since we haven’t had sign language classes in a while. It was so gratifying to see that “please”, and so unexpected. Of course, he got more teddy grahams!

As for regular words, we can identify a lot of words when he is repeating us, but it is so much harder to tell what he is saying when he is babbling (though it seems he knows what he is saying). Words we have identified that he says with some regularity:

Cheeeeeese (for pictures, this is our newest and I think school taught him that), Yes/Yeah, Bath, Bottle, Bear and/or Blanket, Dog has turned into Doggie, Daddy which often sounds like Doggy, Mommy, Juice, Milk, Uh Oooooh, Yucky/Dirty

Jameson has been blowing kisses now for a couple months, but I love these pictures that capture him doing it.

Jameson is walking around everywhere confidently. He outgrew his very first pair of walking shoes, which he also made a hole in the toes last week (we thew them away, not a whole lot of sentimentality here). We bought him the same Stride Rite kind, in a different color half a size up. He’s now a 5, and in 5-1/2 shoes.

He recently likes to walk on his tippy toes which makes us laugh, though we are hoping he’ll stop that soon. We try to let him be barefoot more often at home since he’s in shoes all day at school.

Jameson has finally started mastering the real shape sorter instead of just the coins in the faux piggy (cow) bank which he mastered months ago. He used to give up, impatient with it, after the first try. We are starting to see some maturity (yes). He will sit still with it for longer periods of time, and he has begun putting his toys away when asked! He gets less distracted on the way.

He’ll even bring me books with or without prompting, and return them to the book basket when we’re finished. Right now, I have a singing book he loves. It is the longest book he’ll sit through that doesn’t have a touch and feel feature. It is the baby belluga book based on the Raffi song which I grew up with. I don’t need Raffi to help me sing along with this book, and Jameson will sit through me singing the whole thing, asking for more two or three times.

Shall I go on? I really could, he develops so much every day. Those are just a few highlights. I can’t wait to see him at 18 months, a true 1-1/2; it seems like each month is better than the last.

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My Little Boy

You may have noticed in photos from Mother’s Day that my son no longer looks like a hooligan. Jameson looks like a little boy now, we got his hair cut (and not by us) on Saturday!

After losing a tooth, his wild hair and gapped smile made him look a bit like a hill billy. It was time.

He was concerned when we walked in and he heard the blow dryers. He’s a bit afraid of those. But he was fine until the water spray.

From there, it was all tears.

I gave him a goldfish though, and he tolerated the haircut for a while while the crocodile tears rolled down his cheek.

Then it got really bad again when she got close to his ears. And when she brought out the trimmer? It was all over for him. Brian had to hold his head.

(Yes, bad enough that I stopped taking photos)

Then it was over. No blow dryer needed. Jameson even drove the car wheel for a moment.

Jameson got a diploma and a little baggie of hair. Good job, little man!

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Nap Time at Daycare

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Jameson was transitioning to a cot at daycare. Well, there was not much transitioning that needed to happen: he took to it right away. Thankfully other kids were already using it, so he knew what it was for after a few minutes of getting his back rubbed (aww).

However, after a few days, the teachers mentioned that he might like a pillow or something to lay on, because he was using his tiny little security blanket to put his head on. The thing is maybe a foot long, not even big enough to bunch into a pillow at all, so that certainly wouldn’t do.

I asked what the other parents had been doing, and they said one of the kids had a sleeping bag to lay on, others had blanks and pillows. I immediately went on to Amazon to see what I could find, starting with “sleeping bags for toddlers” and quickly realizing that what I was really looking for was more like a “nap mat”.

There is a huge range of nap mats, and you can find a good number of thick, well-made ones on Etsy.

However, I restricted myself to Amazon Prime available ones because I wanted to get it as soon as possible and because, well, he’s a toddler! I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that he may ruin with stains and tears in a few months.

I found what I consider to be a good solution. Here was my criteria:

  1. Since they are on cots, I didn’t feel that he needed a lot of cushion (plus, he was doing fine sleeping on it for 2 hours at a time without any extra padding).
  2. I wanted something with an attached pillow. The pillow was the point of this whole thing, but I wanted it attached so that it wouldn’t get separated
  3. Likewise, I wanted an attached blanket
  4. I wanted something with a removable pillow, so it didn’t get destroyed in the wash
  5. Preferred something that allowed his feet to breathe, so it wasn’t a sleeping bag (that’s why I changed my search terms to “nap mat”
  6. Not costly; I expect to have to replace this 1-2 times a year. Cause he’s a boy, in daycare.
  7. Amazon Prime available

After some searching, I found this one: Hometex Nap N Go Nap Roll

It was so perfect. The only real poor thing the reviews had to say on this one is that it didn’t have much cushion (unnecessary for my son on a cot); and a flimsy zipper. Easily taken into consideration by careful zipping and unzipping, as well as washing with it zipped.

And it’s only $20!

Did I mention I got the one with a dog on it too?

I’m happy to say that Jameson is taking full 2-1/2 to 3 hour naps daily now, and he loves his roll. Actually, all the kids do. He has his own cot all week, and Brian said one day a couple were stacked, with his on top and a couple of the kids went to pile on it. The teachers had to move it back into the crib area so they wouldn’t play on it!

We put his extra blanket (soon to be removed since it’s been so warm recently) and his security blanket in the mat, and we roll it all up together on Mondays. We only wash this every other week or so.

There is even in a little nap tag area on the front!

Excuse the quality of these next few photos, I had a toddler in the way, you know how it is…

Jameson likes to put his hands underneath him when he’s getting ready to sleep. It’s our signal that he’s really tired, if he lays on our shoulder and tries to tuck his hands under himself.

If you were wondering, this is our security blanket. Because Jameson is not allowed (or wasn’t, when he was in a crib) to have stuffed animals, we couldn’t bring in his little bear lovey. Instead we sent him in with this little blanket, and it actually is now his preference over the little bear.

So I had to buy another, of course.

Apparently Jameson and his best friend at daycare, Nathan, we placed next to each other once Nathan was transitioned. However, they only wanted to talk and play, so they had to be separated. Not surprised.

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There’s no doubt that Jameson is becoming a typical exploring, mischief-making boy.

He loves sticks…

(a newly discovered activity which we try to limit with supervision and gentle-ness)

He loves rocks…

…and diving headfirst down slides.

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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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New Walker

When I arrived to pick up Jameson from daycare on Tuesday, 2/21, I saw that Brian had put on Jameson’s new shoes for the day. We purchased them a couple weeks ago, and tried them out here and there, but hadn’t sent him to daycare in them yet.

It was like magic: Jameson walked over to me from the play mat all the way to the door, his longest time yet. Magic shoes.

Then, he just seemed to get it that evening. All evening long, he would stand up himself, like he had been practicing behind our backs. Then off he’d go, walking where he used to crawl. Off the shoes came, and still he walked around. The daycare insists they really helped.

Wednesday night I had to get video of our new walker. Up and down, over and over, but he’s consistently trying and walking. He’s trying to carry everything he can, too.


We are so proud of our new little walker. I can’t believe how he went from barely walking between us one day, to taking a few tentative steps away from furniture himself the next, to full blown walking after that. I thought for sure we had another couple weeks before he really got the hang of it.

Now? He barely touches the walking toys unless he decides his walking isn’t fast enough. Then he grabs the toy and practically runs with it!

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Toddler Toy Taker

Mr. Jameson is introducing us to toddlerhood by throwing small (short, for now, thank goodness) tantrums and taking toys.

Here he is giving Nicholas the stink eye… then he makes his move.

On Sunday, Nicholas and his parents Matt and Carrie came to visit us. Nicholas is turning the big O-N-E and we can’t make it to his party (due to another party for another special O-N-E year old), so we invited them over to hang out and play.

They were pretty cute together. Nicholas enjoyed sitting and playing with all Jameson’s new toys, while Jameson crawled around like a zoo monkey set free in the wild.

This was interspersed with more toy stealing.

They both enjoyed playing with blocks, and Nicholas showed off his skills stacking them (Jameson is pretty fixated on just knocking them down for the most part still)

They’re also both at the stage where they like to sort things. Jameson just learned how to put the “coins” in the bank this past week, and Nicholas wanted to too. So Jameson stole it back. And spat in it.

I’m sure it was completely accidental drool. Hopefully. (We are still working on those bottom molars, you know)

We might need to do something about that mullet growing there. Look how nice and neat Nicholas is in comparison! And here is my son again:

Occasionally Jameson was cute. He tried playing peek-a-boo. Sometimes he’ll do it without anything to cover his face, and his hands will go up and clap his ears or cheeks like the home alone kid. Too cute!

Finally it was time to open gifts! Jameson wanted to help, really bad. He got upset when we took the toys away. What a difference just two months makes. He knew exactly what we were doing (and thought it was for him).

Nicholas enjoyed the little drum we got him, and hopefully he’s enjoying the bead maze as well since he seemed fascinated with Jameson’s while he was over!

It was nice to see them again; we live a very short distance away but don’t get together often. It’s always fun watching the children interact, and in this case… learning more about my son as he is growing. We’re going to have to start teaching sharing a little more, I can see.

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