Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cereal time!

We just got home from our last camp tonight. It was so nice getting to rock Jackson in his own room and put him down in his own crib. We had a lot of fun at Camp Windermere. Curt was the camp pastor, so the only time he was busy was at night. We got to spend lots of time together as a family. We went shopping in Osage Beach, rode a jet ski (not with Jackson), went swimming, and ate lots of fast food as we avoided the long lines in the cafeteria. We're dying for some veggies now! We also got to spend several days with Curt's family, which was wonderful. Last night I got to experience the Ozark Empire Fair. That was quite an experience! Very interesting people-watching to say the least.

Jackson is five and a half months old now. He's working on sitting up these days. He likes to pull himself up to sitting using his superhero abs or my hands. He can sit very well with minimal support. He only lasts a few seconds on his own though. He can also pull himself to standing if he's holding my hands. He's reaching for everything around him, including my plate on the table if I'm holding him while eating. He rolled over twice today from tummy to back and he almost did the reverse a couple of days ago. I'm really thankful because he has his 6 month check up in two weeks and I don't want to have to tell Dr. Raja that he's still not rolling.

Two nights ago Jackson had his first experience with cereal. He had woken up three times the night before and I was at my wits end. I was desperately hoping the cereal would get him back to sleeping all night. It helped some. Unfortunately, we didn't have our camera or videocamera to record the event. I used a one-time camera but I can't get those shots online. It was really neat to be able to have that experience at Curt's parents' house. My sweet mother-in-law helped me through it. By the way, my favorite moment of the week was when she sat at her piano with Jackson on her lap and played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It was adorable to watch. He smiled and held her fingers while she played.

Tonight Curtis put together the high chair and I got the little bowl, spoon, and bib I had bought for Jackson weeks ago. He didn't really like it that much. He loved, loved, loved the spoon though. Curt thought it was amusing to tell me that we have now started the weaning process. That's technically true, but he didn't have to point it out and act so happy about it!

I don't know about this cereal business...

But this is the sweetest spoon ever!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Jackson, church family. Church family, Jackson.

Jackson was formally introduced, dedicated, whatever you'd like to call it, at church on Sunday. I bought him this precious, classic baby outfit from Strasburg Children to wear along with some white leather shoes and dress socks. My son has a habit of soiling his Sunday outfit in the nursery, so I didn't put him in his new outfit until right before it was time. Curt wanted me to go get him during the invitation. I rushed out of the service as fast as I could in my heels, terribly anxious that I wouldn't be able to change him in time. The outfit had about 10 buttons. Cute, but cumbersome to put on. He was adorable! I think I'm going to have some portraits done of him wearing it. We made it back just in time. We stood before the congregation holding Jackson (and the all-important burp rag to catch any spitup that might dare creep out in the presence of God). Pastor John prayed over Jackson and over Curt and me. He also stated Jackson's name and its meaning. Well, it literally means "Son of Jack." Profound! We should have named him Curtison. Luckily, Jack is a medieval form of John, which means "Yahweh is gracious." Indeed! So that was the meaning our pastor shared. I wish I had the prayer recorded because I don't really remember everything he said. It's like when your husband or fiance proposed and all you can think about is what's happening and not what's being said.

Tomorrow at 7 a.m. we're heading to our last camp. This one's in Missouri. Please pray for us if the Lord brings us to mind. Here are some requests: safe travel, peace, joy, Curtis to preach in the power of the Holy Spirit, kids' lives to be changed, me to be filled with the Spirit and be selfless, and an easy adjustment with Jackson. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Five Months Old

Let's see, five months ago at this moment I was in a hospital bed trying to sleep after the most physically and emotionally intense day of my life. I had a terrible backache and felt like I had been hit by a truck, but my little boy was finally here! Throughout the night the nurses brought Jackson in to eat and we began a two month crash course on "nighttime parenting." My biggest challenge at night for the first couple of weeks was getting Jackson to wake up and eat. I had to undress him and change his diaper to rouse him from his deep sleep. It's incredible to think about what he was like as a newborn - so small and still curled up in the fetal position. He couldn't really do anything. His physical accomplishments included sleeping, eating, crying, relieving himself, spitting up, and laying down. He's come so far since February. It's hard to imagine that my bouncing baby boy is the same little person the nurses wheeled into my room that night all swaddled in a white cotton blanket. I wish I could go back to that night and experience those moments with the emotional bond I now have with him. With five months under my belt I'm much more relaxed. But that night I was so nervous that I would hurt him or do something wrong. I look forward to being able to enjoy those moments with my second child one day without battling the fear I had at first when Jackson was born.

This past weekend my family was in town for a taping my mom had at Life Today. Here are some pictures from our time together. I can't seem to load more than these three, but I'll try again later.

Jackson (a.k.a. Mr. Diaper Pants) and Pabies

Come on baby, let's do the twist!

Playing around in the green room.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Fridays at home with Dad

This morning I got up early while Curt and the baby were still asleep and went to the dry cleaners. Did you think I was going to say something cool like that I went to Starbucks or to the park to watch the sunrise? But the dry cleaner is so exotic! Anyway, I had a collection of dress clothes with green stains on them. I was so embarrassed to take those in! I felt like such a slob! I guess it's because any time I eat I'm usually holding Jackson. I haven't learned how to gracefully get food from my plate to my mouth with a wiggling baby in my arms. And apparently I eat a lot of guacamole.

Like a lot of ministers, Curt has Fridays off. That's because Sunday is a workday for him. Jackson and I really love having him home with us. We can do fun things like photo shoots. Here's the one we did today.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trying out Tabblo

Tabblo: A letter from Mommy

Jackson, you will never know, perhaps until you have your own first child, how much joy you have brought into my life.  I love to wake up to the sound of your voice.  You're usually having a conversation with your hands or feet.  When I peek over the crib you show me your precious smile that has yet to contain any teeth.  You are definitely a morning person.  Your parents were not until you came into their lives.  I love putting you in your pajamas.  My favorites are the blue ones with a puppy on the front.  The bottom of the footies have paw prints on them.  I love to rock you and snuggle while you drift off to sleep.  Each night while we're rocking I look at your hair to see if it's gotten longer.  I hold your little hands, kiss your fingers, and tell you that I love you.  Then I carefully lay you in your bed watch you reposition your arms over your head.  Before I go to sleep I peek in one more time.  You're a handsome boy, but when you sleep mommy can't help but think how beautiful you are.  You love to laugh, talk on the phone, be held, look at yourself in the mirror, and you often look like you're thinking really hard about something.  I can' t wait until you can tell me what some of those thoughts are!  I love you, little boy! 

... See my Tabblo>

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Fun with Teething

I was very grumpy in my exersaucer but mommy starting singing my new favorite song - Don't Worry, Be Happy - and then I felt so much better! Here's a little song I might want to sing it note for note...don't happy.

There's ice in here and it makes my mouth feel so good!

Under the influence of a really great teether.

Monday, July 10, 2006

And another camp

We just got home from another camp. This one was our own church's youth camp and it was in Lindale, TX. Jackson is going to be a camp pro by the time the summer is over. We have one more to go. For now we have a two week breather. One fun thing about this camp was that two of my cousins came with us. John is 9 and he attended children's camp. Joe is 16 and he attended youth camp. I was so proud to have them there. Janelle and Ella came to camp along with Melissa and her new baby, Joshua. We had our own baby camp going on.

So I was really, really bored for the first couple of days. Curt was too busy getting things going to hang out with us or to babysit so I could hang out with the kids. (Yes, you can hang out with students with your baby, but it's hard to do at camp.) Our room had no TV, Internet, or cell phone connectivity. Jackson was not about to go to sleep and let me nap, so what could we do? Thankfully, there was a Wal-Mart in town and in front of it gleamed the Southern Oasis known as Sonic. Everyday we made the pilgrimage for a strawberry limeade, which I have found to be a nice break from your ordinary cherry variety.

I found this book called Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog in Wal-Mart and it's really been a joy to read. It's about a man's young family and his neurotic dog. I can identify on so many levels! A couple of sentences really spoke to me the other day:

"...while parts of us missed the leisurely vacations, lazy Saturdays reading novels, and romantic dinners that lingered late into the night, we had come to find our pleasures in new ways - in spilled applesauce and tiny nose prints on the windowpanes and the soft symphony of bare feet padding down the hallway at dawn. Even on the worst days, we usually managed to find something to smile over, knowing by now what every parent sooner or later figures out, that these wondrous days of early parenthood - of diapered bottoms and first teeth and incomprehensible jabber - are but a brilliant, brief flash in the vastness of an otherwise ordinary lifetime."
(Marley and Me, by John Grogan, page 185-186. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2005.)

Let me be clear. I don't think that Curtis and I have or will ever have a boring, ordinary life. Anyone who lets God map out his or her life will have plenty of excitement. But I was encouraged to remember that in years to come I will look at this peculiar season of life with intense fondness. I so want to treasure it like I should!

Jackson is getting bigger every minute and looking more and more like his dad. I've said that so many times, but it's true! His hair is growing longer and thicker. It covers his little head with a soft brown shadow. For now his eyes are still elecrtic blue and he doesn't hesitate to use his long lashes and expressive eyebrows to woo the young ladies who fuss over him wherever we go. I think he caught Ella's eye at camp. Heath wasn't too happy about that, but Janelle and I thought it was hilarious. He finally rolled over a second time. Yesterday I stood him up and wrapped his little hands around something to see if he would hold himself up. He did! That's about all for new physical achievements.

One of the joys of camp was seeing our teenagers interact with Jackson. He has lots of big brothers and sisters who like to hold and play with him. We hope he will grow up loving and being loved by our church family.