Nov 12, 2010

Mighty Jack, Big in Texas

As surprised* as I was when Ella seemed to be born loving pink and sparkly, I still wasn't prepared for a four month old son who loves football. Back in August, a good friend found himself alone with and confronted by our dear screaming infant, he picked him up and let him watch the Saints vs Texans on the big screen and discovered it had a powerful calming effect. Skeptical, I've tested it several times; changing the channel and watching my young nose tackle get upset, kicking his feet and seemingly yelling at me "I was watching that! There's four minutes left!"

I say nose tackle because despite Jack's few weeks in the hospital and his minor digestive issues, this boy is huge. After the obligatory "How old?", strangers always exclaim "Wow! That's a big boy!" I'm lucky to have a stash of baby clothes that span to 24 months because otherwise this baby would have to go naked until I can shop every week. I had to knit baby booties for him because his legs are like hams.

And now I'll give you the official numbers: at four months, Jack is weighing in at 18 ½ lbs (92% for his age), is 26 ½ inches tall (87% for his age) and loves a little rice cereal which he tried it for the first time yesterday.

*I don't care if my either of my children play football or barbies or both, or even barbie ball.

Nov 7, 2010

A New Do

Why hasn't someone invented a cream rinse that will get gum out of a kid's hair easier than scissors will?

Nov 4, 2010

New Diet

The baby was having digestion problems and as a result I gave up milk last Friday. Today the doc said it's not enough and I have to give up all dairy and anything with whey in it. Then she offered up that most people can't do it and that if I wanted to move to formula she could give me some samples. (Wow! Way to encourage breast feeding Mz. Pediatrician!)

I will admit is was hard last Friday when I opened the refrigerator and found the gourmet Wisconsin cheeses mom just sent me, fruit on the bottom yogurt, cream cheese, french onion dip, ranch dressing, sour cream and milk all off limits, but going to the grocery and looking for things that don't contain whey was even harder. I opted for shopping the parameter of the store and buying fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, knowing the further challenge would be preparing these things. Who has time to peel, chop, mix, cook, steam and concoct while also holding a four month old? It's a difficult thing especially when you're low on sleep, nursing on demand and hungry for sweets most of the time. So, I took it as the best excuse to buy sushi and beef jerky and a few other junky non dairy things for quick eats.

Finally a poem to commemorate the day:

Dear sweet milk,
I miss you the most.
I bought almond milk to replace you,
And it was really gross.

Nov 3, 2010

What Autumn Sounds Like

The weather has cooled and just in time for me to open all the windows and clean. The baby is napping on the couch and the Kid is outside playing. I've just finished the floors and the house smells like the lemon oil my mom always used. I'm having a coffee and the afternoon is winding down. Sounds from the courtyard are wafting in:

Children shouting NOT IT!
An occasional puppy bark
Someone practicing Twinkle Twinkle on the clarinet
The squeak of the swing set
A boy laugh and girl's delighted shriek followed by giggling
Our coconut chimes
The pit pat pit pat of tennis shoes running on the sidewalk
Very faint wind in the trees

Nov 1, 2010

Bear Hunt 2010

We've been in Texas long enough for me to learn most of the poisonous spiders, snakes and plants and feel comfortable taking the kids on a bear hunt. So, this afternoon when Jack was restless and bored with all of his toys and I looked out the window and saw Ella climbing that old climbing wall for the quadrillionth time I declared a bear hunt and got the stroller and the camera. We barely made it to the border of the parking lot when we were chased down and detained by the ice cream truck and after paying the driver a handsome bounty we embarked on our expedition with ample supplies; a blue raspberry Two Ball Screwball in Ella's hand and a cherry one in mine.

Upon stepping foot out into the wild we quickly found a trail to follow, something we believed the local wildlife to use often and only after 1/16th of a mile did we realize how treacherous the path could be.

We barely made it around this banana peel.

Next we encountered what I thought may have been a crude native ceremonial facade over the opening to a volcano, but upon closer inspection, Ella reported it to be either an abandoned jewel mine shaft or possibly a storm drain covered with an old broken pallet. Either way we were sure there were snakes and spiders down there.

Shortly after we encountered this new species of flora we could not identify.

I noticed it was the same color as the blue raspberry Two Ball Screwball which lead me to believe the cuisine sold at the border of the parking lot may be grown locally.

Another specimen, in bloom.

We continued our search for bears who obviously were keeping cunningly concealed, and despite the many interesting specimens gathered on the expedition we are disappointed to announce we failed to get a bear, however we did capture a small wild panther.

Upon our return trip also spotted what we are sure is an alligator foot and tail print. Ella placed her hand beside the footprint for comparison. We estimate this alligator to be about 100 inches.

Back at the lab we spread out all our finds and set to work labeling and cataloging. Pictured below: (2) Fairy lanterns, (1) Lizard lick, (1) Sign of fall, (1) Shell, (1) Lucky fuzz ball, (1) Spherical seed pod, (1) Flower, (1) Golden spiky ball, (1) Lizard hat, (1) Bunch of poison berries, (1) Wild panther, (1) Horton hears a who flower and (2) Brave bear hunters.

Our last expedition was in July 2007, before Adventurer Jack joined the troupe. We hope to be able to embark on them more often in the future.

Halloween 2010