Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pictures from Val

In scrolling back through the blog, it appears that I completely forgot to post these on the blog! I posted them on Facebook and have printed these out for our albums and raved about how well she did in capturing Jackson's personality. So, I figured that I had to share them with the blog readers in case you haven't seen them. Many thanks to Val!!!  You can also check out the rest of her amazing work here

11 month photo shoot

Each time I do one of Jackson's month photo shoots, I have more and more respect for baby photographers. We were so impressed with Trisha because she spent 4 hours photographing Jackson when he was 6 days old.  Then we had Val do some pictures of Jackson (which I am now realizing I completely forgot to post!) which were such a blessing. Each month, I have tried to keep a tradition of getting shots of him in the rocking chair so we can see how big he is getting. At first it was easy, when he was one month, three months, or even six months and he just sat there or played with his feet. As the months progressed, the shoots have increased in difficulty, usually requiring both of us, one to guard him and one to take the photos in the rare moments when he is sitting still.  
I attempted this shoot by myself since JB was busy finishing up his last month in the ICU (and his last month of being on call, EVER!!!!). Here is what we came up with! 
playing hide-and-seek/tag

yup, this is why we are exhausted every night! 
Reading about vegetables...why won't he eat them?
he loves to share
Telling me a story

Monday, September 24, 2012

11 months

J Man,
You are really turning into a little boy! Technically I suppose you are still an infant, but you are all toddler. You are incredibly active and we really have to work to keep up with you. It's fun to have a little glimpse into your mind now that you can crawl, cruise and walk with a toy. You can stretch up to high surfaces, reaching things on the entry-way table, kitchen table and top shelves of our bookcases. Nothing is safe from you now.  We love walking outside with our push toys; you can make it two houses in each direction. Pretty soon you'll be able to make it to Luke and Katie's front door to see if they can come out to play. Today, we were playing in the living room and you took three steps without holding on. You fell into my arms and I hugged you like a crazy person. You just laughed and drooled on my shoulder.


You are so sweet (see picture below). You have some favorite people in life and you light up right away when you see them. Others cause you to be a little shy, taking a while to check them out before giving one of your award-winning smiles. You usually have a paci in and it's so cute to see your smile peek out from behind the pacifier.  You get very excited to see Grandmother Beth, Ben and Liz, but mostly....Lincoln. Every time we come home and get out of the car, you start to make your 'arf arf' noise that you have for Lincoln. You even recognize his name when we talk about 'Lincoln'.  Some people think you are a girl, but we know that you are all boy! It's interesting to watch how you have already gravitated to balls and trucks, even though you have all types of toys available to you.

You are still our open-mouthed-drool-machine! Our friends have a three year-old boy, Eli, and they were sure he would stop drooling before he turned one...two...three. Maybe we have a few years of wet shirts to look forward to? I think that being a parent means that you start to eat really gross things and think nothing of it. In a pinch, I will clean your paci to give it back to you if it has fallen (some floors are completely out of the question, however). I have been known to sneak a chicken nugget piece off your tray and come to discover that you had lightly chewed and spit it out. Recently you've been sick with a cold and everything seems to be covered in snot. You are so quick that before I know it, a snot/drool covered hand is in my mouth, ear or slathered all over my work pants.

You have finally become more of a snuggler, and I am going to cherish each moment. After naps, you reach up for me to pick you up and we cuddle in your rocking chair or read part of a book. We can make it through about 12 pages of a doctor Seuss now before you get antsy.  You love to grab pieces of my hair and hold on with your strong little hands.  You are sweet and are surprisingly gentle with other kids and Lincoln.  It's fun to interact with you, whether it is cuddling quietly or throwing the ball back and forth.  Your favorite game, however, is hide-and-seek. you and dad played in the sanctuary between church services on Sunday and you were so excited to find him hiding behind a pew! You and I play in the dining room,  racing around the table to catch the other one and getting tickled when I catch you!
My favorite moments with you recently are in the morning after our long runs with my new running group. We come back, put you in the high chair for breakfast and I dance around the kitchen and sing to you in my socks (and other clothes of course!), Risky Business-esque.  My song of the week is "I Feel Good" and you get a kick out of watching me dance. I really hope that the neighbors are not home, as our windows are open all day and they will get quiet a show!

You have 8 teeth, are about 29 inches tall (new favorite's measuring tape), and somewhere maybe 21-22 pounds (you're too wiggly to hold on the scale with us to get a weight).  You don't enjoy a spoon much unless it has my yogurt on it; you are all finger-feeding and are anti-veggies right now.

Your dad and I are so in love with you. You light up our life and are such a joy to us. Thank you for being such a blessing and for allowing us to be parents. We love you big guy, our boose.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

the bathtub

We have had a great week even though little J is sick with a cold. Man, that kid can produce a lot of snot! :) Our big boy, with 8 teeth, has started walking with a push-toy around the downstairs and outside. He hasn't quite figured out how to avoid running into furniture or how to turn around yet but it's cute to watch him try.

J decided to take his first few steps the other the bathtub. Seriously, I think this kid is going to give me a heart attack! He keeps me on my toes that's for sure.

And it wouldn't be a normal day in our household without a wrestling match.  We have to fight him to get a diaper on, get dressed and most of all, use the snot sucker. No matter how enticing we make all of these activities, he still doesn't want to participate in any of them!

Jackson still doesn't have many sounds but he sure can say a lot with the sounds he does have! He has mastered 'dada' but not in reference to Dad yet. He loves 'ay-ay-ay' and has really started to sing using how good vowel sounds.  His first word, if you can call it that, is 'arf arf', in honor of his best bud, Lincoln.  He also learned how to wave bye-bye and I'm pretty sure he can also sign 'all done' in his high chair!
I think he looks so grown up in these clothes! 
The Blowfish. between J and Link our front door is a mess! 
Hanging out at the jogger after a morning run
up close with the tiger!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Adventures in Racing

Mom commented that it's been a while since I've blogged and that's because I've been too busy racing!  Instead of training for a marathon (it's just too unfair to leave Jackson in the jogger for 3 hour long runs), I decided (well, said 'yes' to friends) to race in a few things that were completely out of my comfort zone.

The first one was a stand up paddle board (SUP) race in VA Beach called Battle for the Booty. This pirate-themed race involved three laps around the diamond-shaped course mixed in with two sprints on the beach to retrieve a pirate object.  Blair convinced Hannah and me to do this even though it was my 4th time on a board, ever!  We had a great time 'racing' and got to enjoy some time at the bay with all the kiddos!
Hannah, Blair and me
The next race was the Rock N Roll half marathon. Due to the ever-rising fees for this race (outrageous!!!), I decided to help with a Team Hoyt VB fundraiser. We collected $10 for hard-to-beat parking and all the money went to the team. Then, we joined Blair's husband at mile 8 for the rest of the course. He and Bean were dressed up as members of KISS, but Mike's costume only lasted 100 meters or so because of the brual humidity!  I am so proud to run for an organization that empowers children with special needs and allows their families to cheer them on (or run with them) in races! 
"Team Bean", with Bean, Mike and Blair Fine
Finally, the toughest of them all, the "world's toughest event", the Tough Mudder, Mid-Atlantic.  The day I signed up for this race our pastor happened to tell a little story that went something like this: "So, one of my good buddies came into town and he was telling me about this race he just did. He said, 'I dove into a dumpster filled with ice water and then had to find my way out. But, there were boards over my head and I was literally trapped in the water with no visible way out. I didn't know if I could hold my breath much longer. I thought I was not going to make it' ".  Jack knows exactly how to get me to squirm in my pew :)  

I had the chance to do this race with three other people from Norfolk and Richmond.  It was incredible. I dove into the dumpster of ICE water (it feels like your heart stops), climbed over 9 foot walls, jumped off a 15+ foot wall into a muddy lake, army crawled through gravel and water-filled tunnels and tubes, scaled muddy mountains and bales of hay stacked 5 tall, squirmed through mud under barbed wire and electricity, ran up a quarter-pipe and ran through an "electric curtain". WOW. I have cuts over my whole body but our whole team made it out in one piece. I could not have done it without the support of the team and other 'mudders' on the course.  Some proceeds from the race go to benefit Wounded Warrior Project, which is another motivating force behind doing this race.  How incredible to run in honor of men and women who have given their limbs to serve this country and can now complete these races with prosthetics. 
Members of my team. Now recruiting (more women please!!) for TM VA Beach, June 2013
After the race! I earned my orange headband
I never buy anything for Jackson. I just had to get him this

Whew! Many thanks to both sets of grandparents for taking care of Jackson and allowing me to satisfy my racing urge. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Recent happenings

It's been a while! I've been busy racing (more about that next post) but we have also had some great days with Jackson, who is now 10 1/2 months old.  

We really enjoy playing at the ODU fountain, but now that school is back in session, I have a feeling we won't be able to do it anymore.  

Here is Jackson on his 'first date' with Emma Rathbone. We owe Jackson's great fashion sense to the Rathbones and their two older boys, who have graciously passed down their cute clothes to little J. Look at Emma's dimples...isn't she the cutest? 
 Lincoln seems to have just given in to the fact that Jackson is here to stay, and is going to be all over him. Jackson learned how to roll the ball (well, he actually throws it!) this week and I am trying to teach Link and Jackson to play together.
 Val and I set out on a walk to Storytime at the Larchmont library. We had the pleasure of taking Ellie with us when Mary was under-the-weather. We had a great time, as always.
 I think Jackson is going to grow up to be musically inclined like his parents. He is pretty good at the drums! 
 Serious case of bed head.  
 This past weekend, I had a race on Saturday and was going to meet mom, dad and Jackson up at Aunt Karen's house in Jackson, NJ for a family cookout. Well, there was a big change of plans when I went to start the car after the race and it wouldn't start. It was a mix of a dying battery and me leaving the lights on (turns out the reminder ding wasn't working) that resulted in mom's car being stranded in Frederick Maryland for 26 hours before arriving back at their local service station. It would have been home sooner if not for the tornado-type storm that hit as many racers were trying to leave and thousands more were coming.  The hilly, farmland parking lot turned into a big muddy mess, causing hundreds of cars to be stranded as tow trucks worked overtime to clean it all up.  

So, mom and dad cut their trip short and stopped at Aunt Janis and Uncle Mikes for a short visit before turning around to meet me back in Springfield. Many thanks to Brian and Lisa for going out of their way to drop me back off in Springfield!  Jackson had a great time visiting the Renz family and hopes to see Riley and the rest of the gang very soon.