Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 Months

*Disclaimer - this was supposed to publish weeks ago!!

Our baby is now becoming a big boy!  He's growing, learning and moving at a rate that's becoming difficult to keep up with and I'm told that this is only the beginning.

At 10 months he is:

 - Eating solid foods with his hands (when he wants to.)  This includes cooked broccoli, bananas, sweet potatoes, cooked squash and zucchini, whole apples (peeled), pears, and much more.
 - Eating new things: pasta, oatmeal, bread, waffles, eggs.
 - Attempting the sippy cup (the ones with a straw are easier for him.)
 - Waving and ALMOST blowing kisses.
 - Free as a fish in the tub - no more baby tub, it's been gone for awhile.  This one is quite funny because Mr.Man does not sit still.  Period.  He's all over the place and the tub is no exception.  So he slides and climbs constantly while being washed and has a blast doing it.
 - Standing on his own for short periods of time (30 seconds or so.)

Other miscellaneous things he's been up to - more jabbering and trying to form words, chewing on furniture, attempting to open cabinets, open and close doors and investigating everything.  He's also become familiar with certain people and as well as become fairly clinging with momma.

Ten months also brought a new experience for our family...the sickies.  Asher has now been sick twice in the last month and the first round was, well, terrifying for us as parents.

Round 1 - Roseola.  I hadn't heard of this until Asher went through it.  A fever (102) appeared on a Sunday morning only to fade with medicine.  We thought it was just a fluke but when Thursday rolled around the fever came back and settled in.  Our lively baby wanted to cuddle instead of play - which was so odd.  

We got in to the see the doctor on Friday.  No other signs of illness other than his fever and lack of energy.  They drew blood and called with the results that afternoon - white blood cells were low indicating a virus.  All we could do is wait and watch.  This doesn't sound scary, right?  Well, for one thing, to see our active baby just want to cuddle was just strange.  I won't lie, having him sleep on me was blissful but I would trade it in a heartbeat to take away how awful he felt.  You could just see it in his eyes.  

Secondly, his fever spike to 104.8 that Friday night.  I thought I was going to come unglued when I saw the thermometer register that number!  We gave him another round of Advil and immediately put him in a lukewarm bath.  His temp came down shortly after but man it scared us.  Needless to say he slept with us that night.  His fever broke and came back a few times that weekend but by Sunday it was gone and the rash that comes with Roseola settled in.  That stuck around until Tuesday and we haven't see that nasty bug since.

Round 2 - A Common Cold.  The week of Thanksgiving Asher started in with a nasty cough.  It was "productive", he carried a little bit of a fever and it got worse as the week wore on.  He finally beat it the following week.

But all in all he's a good, healthy baby.  We couldn't ask for better.  Here's a sneak peek at our Christmas post... :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkins, a Skunk and a Turkey Leg

Fall is my FAVORITE.  I love cold weather, I love the changing colors and to me it's the gateway to the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas!  So when September rolls around and football is in full swing, you'll find me giddy.

Being that this was Asher's first fall, we had to make sure that he got the full experience.  Pumpkins, a costume, family and friends and TURKEY.

First we visited the Pumpkin Patch with some dear friends, Nolan and Ghirin:

Following that we attended a playdate where all the kids dressed up.  This year, Asher was a skunk.  Quite appropriate for a crawling nine month old, if you ask me.

Then we had the family over the day before Halloween (as Halloween fell on a Monday this year) for some food and fun so we could show off the costume.

On Halloween, Asher and daddy ventured out to knock on a few doors and wave to the neighbors.  Mr.Man even scored a Kit Kat!

Our last stop of the season was Thanksgiving.  This year was a bit off-kilter.  Disaster struck Austin's parents house and they were dealing with renovation realities and my mom had to leave town unexpectedly the Sunday prior to Turkey Day because my dear Grandma Donna was not doing well.  She passed later that day in fact so Gigi was not coming home for the holiday.

The original plan was to have Thanksgiving at my parent's house as my grandparents on my dad's side were in town.  We kept that plan and Shana (my sister) and I helped pulled dinner together and Asher got his first turkey leg.

We then got to see the other half of the family on Saturday and enjoyed some yummy lasagna at Lauren and Dave's.

While this season wrapped up with a loss and things still in limbo it has been a reminder to be thankful, more now than ever, for what you do have and to spend time with the ones you love.  Living life to the fullest will leave you with little regret and a full heart.  Something we hope to continue to teach Asher.

9 Months...oops!

Ok, so it's November 28th and I'm just now publishing Asher's nine month update.  Baaaaaad mommy.  I've let time slip by.

Nine Month Stats:

Weight: 17.5 lb.
Length: 27.5 inches
Overall Report: Super healthy!

Asher is getting to be SO MOBILE!  He started crawling as he turned the corner on nine months but since our last post he has made some serious progress with his mobility.  He's a pro at crawling, pulling up, and moving from the couch to the ottoman.  He even tests his ability to stand alone a little!!

Mr.Man still likes solid food, now eating three times a day but has backed off on how much he consumes.  This month we made a big and difficult decision to start transitioning to formula.  Mommy has been bit, ALOT.  My guess is that it's a result of the introduction to more solid foods and the decrease in my supply.  After numerous instances of screams, tears and ending our nursing sessions early we thought it best to move to formula and pumped milk.  I'll just say that this was harder than I thought - not physically but emotionally.

The last mention I'll make is about previous stated, Asher is biting which implies he has teeth. SEVEN to be exact!!! (as of November 20th.)  While I miss the gummy baby smile, it's kind of fun to watch him grow into a boy. Here's a shot where you can see some of these pearly whites making their debut.

Month 10 is coming up soon!!  (and a post about a skunk, pumpkins and a turkey leg.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

12 Days on the Road

We just got back from a trip to the good ole Northwest and holy cow was it a TRIP!  I'll provide some background but then tell the tale through pictures.

Austin was recently offered a job with Microsoft, to which he accepted and started in August.  This is great news for multiple reasons.  Some of these include:

1. A great career move for Austin
2. Benefits are amazing - which is important with a family
3. Microsoft's headquarters is located in SEATTLE!!!  My all-time, most favorite city in the whole world.

Why I love Seattle: I spent my childhood there and have family roots, that date back over a century in central Washington state.  Most of my family still lives there.

So you can only imagine the mixed emotions I had when Austin said "Babe, I have two weeks of training for work in Seattle, in October and they want me to stay over the weekend."  Big sad face when I thought about 14 days without him.  But thanks to airline miles I had accrued through my own business travel, some wonderful family and a very understanding husband - Asher and I tagged along!!

We flew out early Saturday morning but then parted ways once we got our luggage.

Asher and mommy's first stop: Yakima!  We stayed almost a full week and got to visit lots of family.

Great Granparents, Don and Donna Schmitt.

Aunt Theresa Hoff
Aunt Patti and Uncle Steve (Alegria)
Cousins Jon, Joy, Anthony and Kate Alegria - Stayed with them four nights.
Cousins Brian, Buffy, Bella, Olivia and Diana Alegria - Got to stay with them two nights.

Then, we headed back to Seattle to crash with Austin in his hotel room.  We spent Saturday and Sunday in the city and with some family.
Visiting the first Starbucks.

Lunch and playing at the park with Aunt Polly, Uncle Don, Anna and Holton Schmitt.
We also got a chance to visit daddy at work, which is pretty cool if you think about it because most days he's working from home!  We met him on one of the Microsoft campus' and had a little lunch.

And here are our new friends - Sushma and Kaustubh Giri.  Kaustubh is a co-worker of Austin's and he and his wife are the sweetest people.  Sushma and Asher became fast friends as the three of us got a chance to hang out quite a bit while the boys were at work.

It was a wonderful trip full of memories and experiences we'll cherish always.  While traveling with the little one wasn't a cake walk (time change, climate change, always on the road, semi-mobile baby, sharing a hotel room - keeping in mind he goes to bed at 7:30!) I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

8 Months

Oh me oh my, the eight month mark has passed us by!  Well, to our defense we left town on October 1st and were gone 12 days...that's a post for later time and date.

Yes, Asher is well into eight months and he's on the move.  No well-check this month so we don't have current stats to report but we do have some fun things to share.

Asher has been...

On the move - Our little man is crawling!!!!  Like crazy.  And he also has learned how to sit up on his own, meaning he can go from laying to sitting to crawling to sitting to crawling and so on.  In fact, he thinks this activity is sooooo cool you'll often find him in this sequence instead of playing.  Sitting up has also made bath time more fun.  The newest trend though is pulling up...I recently watched him pull himself up to a standing position using the open dishwasher as support.  I'm in trouble.

Our little mimic - Asher is turing into a little monkey.  He is starting to copy movements and sounds.  His words (most of which only we can identify) include mama, dada, light, more, banana and woof.  He has also learned how to clap, thanks to cousin Bella and is getting the hang of waving!

Eating well - Asher has yet to meet a food he doesn't like...unless it comes in a jar.  Seems starting him out on home cooked meals has caused him to be particular.  Because we were going to be on the road for 12 days this month I knew I couldn't make all his meals so I tried feeding him peas and carrots in a jar.  He rejected both.  On a separate note, he has two bottom teeth and it seems four more on top are coming we'll see an upgrade in his meals here soon.

Expressing an opinion - Seems that Mr.Man is coming into his own.  He actually has an opinion about things and isn't shy about expressing that opinion.  We've seen it most at the end of the day or when you take something out of his hands.  The expression of disapproval doesn't last long but it is quite clear.  On the positive side, he's started to think things are funny and his laugh is just too precious, if you ask me.

All in all, he seems to be right on track with his development.  Everyday he keeps us smiling, laughing, guessing and scratching our noggins as we watch him grow, learn and develop into a little man.  I'll tell you one thing, it is SO FUN to be Asher's parents!

Monday, September 12, 2011

7 Months!!

September 1st marked two things for us this year:

1. The start of Dove Hunting Season
2. Asher is 7 months!!!

We know the first only because we can hear the hunters from our house...we woke up to gun shots that morning.  Nothing like living in Texas!

Asher is busy, busy, busy.  Here's what he's up to, lately:

 - Rolling all over
 - Napping more consistently, sort of (we are trending in the direction of two naps a day, longer than 45 minutes)
 - Babbling up a storm
 - Getting up on all fours and push up position
 - Eating very well - right now up to two meals a day (one fruit, one veggie) plus nursing four times a day
 - Showing some serious personality - he has a "cheese" smile, this big, almost fake smile that he'll give when he's in a goofy mood.  He seems to ask questions according to his tone and inflection and is also figuring out how to use his hands very effectively.  Let's just say he's like a little monkey and you have to watch your stuff - he'll steal it very stealth-like!
 - We're having a blast right now in the Jones house.  Mommy's settling in to her new full-time job as homemaker, daddy's career is rockin' along nicely (recently making an exciting transition over to Microsoft yet still has a home office!!) and just enjoying living life.

Serious concentration...
Using the tongue for balance.
Partial "cheese-smile"

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh It Was Grand!! Part II

(A continuation of the last post...)

Sooo...after all the fun and festivities in Casa Grande, Austin, Asher and I departed Monday morning for the Grand Canyon.  My mom and dad were also en route, towing their fifth wheel.  I had mentioned previously that we left our home with a tent packed in the back.  Yes, yes, we were headed off to camp for four nights.  With a baby.  In the summer.  Thousands of miles from home.  A few things that made this possible:

1. Asher is a pretty easy baby.
2. The temps at the Grand Canyon rim are actually really nice.  80s during the day and 50s at night.
3. Notice I mentioned my parents were headed to the same spot, with their luxurious trailer (not even joking, the thing has a fireplace and TWO flat screen TVs)...that was our plan B for little man in case the tent was a bad idea. 

We would be half crazy if we thought we were going to drive all that way without a backup plan!

We set up on Monday evening and slept our first night in the tent.  Success!!  Asher did amazing, I woke up every hour checking on him :)  The plight of a mom, I suppose.

Tuesday we waited out the rain, met up with some family that decided to stick around after the reunion and take a train up to the rim and then caught the sunset that night.  It was my first time to actually see the canyon.  Without getting to gushy, it was profound.  I love how God's earthen creations make me feel so small.  For me, it's an emotional experience.

 Wednesday we all hopped in my dad's truck and spent the day site-seeing and hiking along the rim.  Austin captured some fantastic pics:

That night we settled in at the campsite and finalized our plans for the next day.  You see, there's this hike that my dad has been talking about for the last two years.  The Bright Angel Trail.  At it's longest point the trail is 18.6 miles and a 4,380 drop in elevation from the rim to the river and back.  My mom had agreed to stay with Mr.Man while I joined Austin and my dad.  

The plan was to feed Asher that morning, right before leaving and then hike out an hour and half.  Then I would turn around and head back while the guys carried on.  If I'm being honest my real plan was to pump enough milk for one bottle so I could stay with the guys the entire time but thanks to poor planning and change in altitude I couldn't pump anything (at camp we were somewhere around 7,000 ft.) so we had no bottle.  My fault!

We woke up early Thursday morning, dropped Asher off with Gigi and embarked on our journey.

We took the trail into the canyon - switchbacks, shear drop-offs and a steady decline providing a completely different perspective from the minute you begin.  It was amazing.  

I turned around about a mile and half down and made my way back to the top so I could get back to Mr.Man while my dad and Austin continued on, attempting to fulfill the goal of making it to Indian Gardens, 4.6 miles down from the trailhead.  They made it there by late morning, ate a snack and headed back.  Roundtrip they hiked 9.2 miles, descended and then climbed 3,060 ft and they completed it in six hours.  Talk about champs!!  

The experience was such a success that we're all talking about hiking in further next time, with backpacks and intentions of staying over night.  Here's why: seeing the canyon from the rim versus being IN the canyon are two completely different experiences.  My mom makes a fair statement when she says "I've seen the Grand Canyon, I've hiked the rim, it's beautiful but I'll probably never go back."  That makes complete sense for her - she's terrified of heights and we're lucky to get her to the rim! Poor thing.  But if you're not afraid and you don't mind the shear drops on the trail, once you get inside the canyon, it's a different place.  Every angle of the trail gives you a different perspective.  

Ok, enough about that, I could go on and on.  Some details about Asher and this trip.  Let me just say he was AWESOME!!!!  He was a rockstar when it came to sleeping in the tent, he seemed to enjoy exploring the campsite and generally was agreeable to tagging along whether it was with us or with Gigi while we were away.  Of course, like any baby he had his moments.  Squawking in the evenings, squealing in the early morning while rolling around on our sleeping bags (I'm sure the neighbors loved us) and wanting to nurse more because of the altitude.  But all in all we will definitely do this again.  I will admit, we did enjoy the luxury of a clean shower at my parents place though...that was the one area where we avoided "roughing it".  It was just easier with Mr.Man.  

The drive home was fairly straight forward (no pun intended.)  We followed my parents, stopping in Santa Rosa, New Mexico for the night and made it home by 7pm on Saturday.  Funny side note that I feel the need to document - all those miles on the road and being gone 10 days and Asher didn't have a blowout until we were 30 minutes from home :)  I think we had all had enough by then!

I'm so grateful we took the leap of faith and did it all.  We learned a ton, spent time together as a family (the three of us and the extended family, too!) and got OUT - outdoors, in nature, something we love.  I'll cherish these memories always and look forward to making more.

A special thanks to my mom - Gigi - for being there during an awful moment for us and Asher, to both my parents for camping with us and lending a helping hand and to Ghirin Newton for sharing his winter clothes so Asher could stay warm at night!!