Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Haircut madness

I gave Tucker his most successful haircut this morning. I'd been waiting for him to get involved in bathtime fun to attack his ever-growing floppy mop... but he has not been that interested in baths lately. Mostly he wants to jump out as soon as possible so he can get wrapped up in his yellow towels.

So I tried another tactic today: I sat him down in his high chair and gave him a lollipop. (Sugar may be an inflammatory agent, but it sure helps with hair cuts!)

His dad is sad Tucker no longer has a mullet, but I'm pretty proud of my mad hair cutting skills. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Where oh where is my cell phone?

Answer: in a special hiding place, known only to Tucker. (Actually, I observed him taking it out of its special hiding place, so now I know where it is too, finally!)

Other snapshots from this week...

*Tucker started closing doors, waving and saying "bye" to me this week.

*Last Thursday Austin asked Tucker, "What sound does a chicken make?" and he said "bok bok." Of course, he refuses to say it again, probably out of stubborness.

*In church on Sunday after I picked him up from the nursery he saw a man facing away from him with dark hair and a blue blazer. He ran up to him and hugged his leg and yelled "Da!" Of course, it wasn't Austin, but it's the thought that counts, right? (When he did see his dad ushering, he about went ballistic trying to get out of my arms....)

*In the mornings, I read the Bible in the den, and I tell Tucker it's Bible time and he gets up and hurries to get his Bible and sit next to me like a big boy. His favorite part about the Bible are the lions. He points them out in Noah's ark, and in the Creation story, and in Daniel and the lions' den. You know, I hadn't really thought about the importance of lions in the Bible till now. :)

By the way, my camera's broken, but one of these days I'll get it fixed (or properly disposed of).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tucker's New Tricks (2)

Tucker keeps on getting new tricks. This week he learned how to take the caps off the markers by himself and color. He made his first real works of art... multi-colored scribbles, which are hanging up on the refrigerator.

He was so into coloring yesterday that he started trying to color his afternoon snack (you know, draw ON the bread...). He looks like such a big boy deciding to go over to his table and color--and being able to do the whole process by himself. Leaves more time for Mommy to blog!

His other new activity is watching Baby Einstein. Previously he hasn't had any interest in the TV, but Baby Einstein is rocking this little boy's world. It isn't something that entertains him while I do something else, though... he is only interested if he is sitting in my lap, while I narrate what everything on the video is. Still, he has been sick for six days now, and a half hour of Baby Einstein a day is a welcome diversion for both of us.

What else? Tucker is REALLY into books right now. Last night, I hid several that he wanted read to him over and over and over and over again yesterday. Yes, it's bad to hide books from a sick child... but I was about to fall ill myself from all the repetition! His favorites are the ones with pictures of babies/kids and with trucks, so we went to the library and got some new alternatives to break up the monotony.

Other than reading Mighty Movers approximately 100 times yesterday, we're having a quiet week. Tucker's wheezing and has a fever, but apparently my friends' kids are all dealing with the same bug.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Memoriam: Michael T. Errecart 2/18/50 - 8/4/03

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea
-by e.e. cummings

Monday, February 16, 2009

While the cat's away...

...the mice play.

(Okay, so I actually took these pics, but I like the idea of my guys frolicking in the sun yesterday while I was at the swim meet.)

Like a beached whale

Way back in high school, we would practice splashing in the water like Shamu, the killer whale. In college, our coach made a very unfortunate comment about wanting no beached whales on his team (!).

Well, yesterday, I did my first masters swim meet.

The good news: I'm still alive to tell the story.

The bad news: I have a lot of work to do.

Actually, it was a lot of fun, and as I have never competed under the name "Jackie Jamison" before, ALL of my swims were personal bests (riiight).

It was definitely inspiring. I watched a 96 year-old woman set two national masters swimming records (in the 50 breast and 50 free--both swims around 2 minutes each). She even did the 100 IM, which was impressive.

Probably more inspiring to me for my stage of life were the legions of other former swimmers who are in really good, competitive shape and swimming some pretty good times.

Hopefully this motivation lasts as I swim alone at the YMCA day after day over the next six months....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Concealed pistol purse

I had never heard of a concealed pistol purse until Thursday night when one of the speakers at an event I was attending finished her talk by saying "I have to run... am going to a gun meeting!" Then she said as she was walking to the door: "Have you ever seen a concealed pistol purse?"

Keep in mind this was a Christian volunteer event, not that that has anything to do with guns or no guns. But it was an unexpected twist, in any case. We all kind of looked at each other (and I thought of Emily Grant, of course). Anyway, she showed us the secret compartment where the pistol hides. I don't know for sure if one was in there, but I definitely imagined a pearl handled pistol.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tucker enjoyed his first lollipop courtesy of Jo Jo today. He enjoyed it immensely, but not as much as seeing Henny and Pa Pa tonight. Tucker is going to miss his fan club tomorrow! I am going to miss them too (and they're babysitting!!!). Thank you, Helen and David!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Best Baby Products Ever

I have all these friends right now who are expecting, and I have been reflecting on the neatest baby products we've come across so far. You know, the things you wouldn't necessarily think of, but are really ingenious.

Gerber Lil' Snacking Bowl - toddlers can put their hand through the flexible lid into this bowl so that snack time in the car isn't always disastrous.

The Nosefrieda - This one is really obscure, but those little nasal aspirators never worked for Tucker when he was congested. This ingenious little device looks a little suspect hygenically (because you actually suction the mucous out with a long tube)... after using it, trust me, it is totally wonderful.

Roebeez - I'm such a fan of those little leather shoes that stay on infants' feet no matter what. NOTHING else does the job like them (the generic brands at Target are great, though!).

Washable bib - This may not seem like brain surgery, but think how many bibs you go throughout a week? A lot. Helen found a plastic bib that you just sponge off and voila, back to new.

Bebe au lait - Okay, I never actually used this, but it's a "nursing cover" and looks great and is definitely something I would get for a baby shower gift. (It's closely related to the Hooter Hider....)

I'm sure I'm forgetting other things, and will add to this list as inspiration strikes me.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walking the leash

Tucker sees me holding Ben's leash on our walks, and he wants to. Of course, Tucker is no match for an 80 lb yellow lab, so I usually let him hold onto part of it while retaining ultimate control. This often leads to a tantrum because Tucker wants to do it by himself. He is definitely reaching the "I want what I want, when I want it!" (to quote Fr. Glenn) stage, even though he can't use those words yet.

Anyway, he has started "walking" other things all by himself. He gets Ben's leash out of the cubbies near the kitchen door and walks around the downstairs (or the yard) walking the empty leash. Today, he chased after Henny and PaPa's car after they left, walking with Daddy's tape measure (he held the end where the tape measure comes out while the big metal part followed on the ground about six feet behind him). I should've gotten a picture, it was pretty ridiculous.

But I didn't. I tried to upload a video I got of Tucker boxing a balloon, but alas, our satellite internet balked at 15 MB. T minus two weeks till DSL!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Food Reviews (1)

The highlights of this weekend's food included popcorn this afternoon, of course, and managing to avoid having to eat Austin's infamous salmon cakes. Salmon cakes COULD be a good idea if they weren't made out of the gross kind of canned salmon that has the bones still in it. Austin claims you can't really taste the bones (they're these weird crunchy circular things), but what he really means is "you can't taste the bones if you don't have taste buds." (Hi, sweetie, so glad you're reading this!)

More seriously, though, I made up a recipe for protein bars for Tucker as a snack, because we're sick of giving him crackers and stuff like that for snacks. Obviously the no milk-no egg-no nut allergy thing makes baking for Tucker a bit creative, so this recipe may look a little odd, but it was surprisingly good. (I do have to admit that at church today one of the girls sitting across from Tucker said "that looks AWFUL!"

Anyway, on that promising note, the recipe is: 1 c ground flax, 1 c wheat flour, 1 c oat flour, some coconut milk (can you tell I don't measure very often?), some olive oil, 1/2 cup rice protein powder, a couple teaspoons baking soda and baking powder, and a can of crushed pineapple with the juice.

Obviously the pineapple is pretty sweet, but Austin couldn't tell the bars didn't have sugar in them without me telling him. We've eaten 2/3 of the pan between the three of this in two days, so maybe I'll need to make more for Tucker this week.

We also tried our first overnight crockpot hot breakfast cereal. We put in buckwheat groats, wheat berries, and some oats, with water and some apple juice and raisins in the crockpot overnight. The raisins were a little funny--all of the sweetness had drained out of them so they became these nondescript blobs that didn't taste very good. Overall, I think we both like the idea, but the grains need some more flavor. Next time I would add chopped up apples and dates and skip the raisings. Also, if anyone is tempted to make this recipe with small children, I suggest NOT giving anyone with an immature digestive tract these grains... let's just say Tucker had some interesting digestion issues this weekend!!

What else? Austin also made some great crockpot ribs. (Liz, the secret is cinnamon. Don't discount the crockpot, or ribs, until you try a cinnamon rub first....)

Better stop writing before this post makes me hungry!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

And now, the rest of the story....

I forgot to mention in the last post that this weekend has been beautiful. It was 59 degrees when I woke up this morning. One of the kids at church was sitting next to an open window during coffee hour and said to me "this is like Spring!" And it is! It has been wonderful. I was painting some porch tables today and Austin had to remind me to paint them in the shade so they wouldn't dry too quickly. Now THAT is a problem I like to have.

Anyway, now that we've covered what Tucker's done this weekend, here's some pics of what we've been doing.

Austin spent the weekend working on the shed extension.

I spent the weekend lounging in the hammock and taking pictures. (Okay, maybe I did a little painting too....)

What does Tucker do all day?

Richard Scary titled one of my favorite children's books ever "What Do People Do All Day?" Check it out if you don't know it, it's pretty fun.

In any case, the level of busyness in that book reminds me of the level of busyness in Tucker's day. He is a perpetual motion machine. But what exactly does he do?

Well, he chases. He gets chased. He runs around in circles, usually around the coffee table, or the kitchen island, but sometimes around the whole downstairs.

He lets Ben the dog know he is loved. (Constantly.)

He takes things out of drawers and brings them to us (shoes are his favorite--today he spent a long time with Austin's flip-flops on his hands, and an equally intense time arranging my garden shoes).

He spends a lot of time taking things out of containers, and putting things into containers, though his organizational style is a bit unique. For example, recently he determined that a whole drawer of craft supplies needed to go in his truck. Right now he's trying to put ducky into a metal lid. (This is apparently a very serious undertaking....)

He also spends a lot of time helping with basic household activities. He loves to press the buttons on the washer. He could spend all day taking the cover to the dog food off and feeding the dog. He loves to take the silverware caddy out of the dishwasher, and stand on the dishwasher door to get a better angle at the rest of the dishwasher's contents. He also LOVES to sweep. Nothing beats a broom (I hope he keeps that sentiment when he's a teenager).

He has a special talent for pointing out trucks and cars. And cows.

He has another affinity for finding hidden pacifiers and duckies (well, really for finding ANYTHING hidden.)

He also has an amazing sense for when anyone in the house is eating. He is especially good at eating Daddy's breakfast.

He's even added a couple new tricks to his repertoire recently. One is incessant clapping. Austin and I are curious if he learned a song in the nursery during Bible study that involved clapping, or what. In any case, he loves to walk around clapping, and loves it even more if we join in. He's turned into the little drummer boy over the past week.

His other new trick this weekend is a bit more concerning: watching TV. He has never shown any interest in the TV till this weekend when he sat down about three feet from the TV and was transfixed at 10 minutes of PBS commercials. Today he was mesmerized by the LeBron-Kobe NBA battle. I suppose he was doomed from the start to like watching sports in our household.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tucker's Train Noise

I think I've finally figured out how to export and trim videos for the web. This is a video of Tucker's train noise, which is very similar to a high-pitched, insistent whine. It's not. He's actually imitating a train. Let's just say, we don't like it when he plays with trains too long because of this noise!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tucker's Favorite Game... chase.

It doesn't need to involve someone actually chasing him, for him to THINK someone is chasing him and run away. For example, Ben the dog does NOT chase Tucker. Ever. But Tucker gets a lot of entertainment out of their make-believe chase scenes. This is how they go: Ben moves vaguely in Tucker's direction. Tucker giggles excitedly and runs away. Ben sees Tucker giggling and runs in the opposite direction. Tucker gets even more excited.

However, I do have the opportunity of playing real chase games with Tucker regularly. Our downstairs rooms form a vague oval so you can run from the family room to the dining room to my office through the bathroom to the sunroom to the kitchen and be back where you started. When I was on the phone with my mom the other day, Tucker and I spent half the conversation doing loops around our downstairs "track." We went around at least 5, maybe 10 times. We usually have to do at least one loop before I can catch him and bring him upstairs for a diaper change.

He is also getting adept at selecting things that he can't have, in order to get me to chase him. I was installing some more baby latches on a few cabinets today, and somehow Tucker managed to abscond with the power drill two separate times, and the scissors once. He didn't even protest when the items were (quickly) taken away--he just wanted the thrill of the mommy chase.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2009 Innovations

Some people would be reviewing various tech gadgets, but our 2009 innovations are decidedly lower key than that.

Here they are:
1. The YMCA - What can be better than having a place I can go that entertains Tucker while I work out???

2. The Discovery Museum - This is the ultimate indoor playground with legos and train tables and lots of kids to watch, and lots of mommies for me to talk with.

3. Mother Goose Time at the library - After being utterly terrified that I was planning on leaving him there, Tucker decided that singing and reading books on a multi-colored rug is just about the best idea ever.

3. Sleep! - It is amazing to be actually rested these days... bodes well for the rest of 2009!!!!

4. High Speed Internet - Supposedly this is coming to us this month! (Note: I'll believe it when I see it.)

5. Swim meets - Yes, I'm doing my first swim meet in 10 years this month.

6. Skype - Not sure Tucker has really figured it out yet, but the grandparents like it a lot.

7. Baby chicks - We have 8 baby chicks arriving in March!

I'm sure there's more new Jamison developments in '09 that I've forgotten to add, but this is a start.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sneezy the Dwarf

Have you ever thought of your life in terms of the seven dwarfs? Like one day you're Happy, another day you're Bashful, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc, etc. (Can anyone name the dwarf that is remaining? Answer at the bottom of this post*....)

Well today, because it's a Sunday, I am Sneezy. I am almost always Sneezy on Sundays.

I'm allergic to dust. But besides the occasional problem with vacuuming, I do pretty well... until Sunday rolls around. Church clothes are my nemesis. No, it's not that I'm allergic to dresses and skirts, it's that they are much less frequently worn and washed than everything else in my closet (and tend to need dry-cleaning at a high rate).

It is pretty common for me to actually have to leave the service because I've been disrupting everyone with my incessant sneezing. In fact, it is routine for me to receive the sacrament by just having the wafer dipped in the wine rather than sipping the wine from the cup because I don't want the person at the altar next to me to be distracted by the fact I'm drinking from the same cup they are and have so clearly been "ill" and sneezing my whole way through the service.

Why do I bring this up now? I decided recently this course of events had to stop so I have been getting dressed an hour early, to test whether I can successfully wear an outfit without an allergy attack. Today, I have already run through two outfits that made me ill. I am waiting for my nose to settle down so I can try another. I only have 15 minutes left till take-off.

(And yes for all you wondering, I do take anti-histamines... claritin does nothing for me, but I'm a fan of zyrtec, a new one.)

*Answer: Dopey