Friday, June 27, 2008

A Great Day To Be Poolside

We are so fortunate to have great friends and even more blessed that one said friend has a pool. We could tell the temperature was over 35 F today as we headed off for a day of cross border shopping and cheap gas. But thank goodness that our 'new-to-us' minivan has air conditioning, a must in our pocket desert climate.

So after a hot day of shopping, and let me tell you that the deals we found were smoking too, we headed to Richie's home for a little BBQ & swimming. I guess you could call it our annual pool party as this is the second year in a row we have celebrated the summer together. Just a casual get together of good friends and family with some yummy BYOM (bring your own munchies). The water was a blast of chill on entry but so nice and refreshing as you popped back up to the dry heat of this South Okanagan paradise we all love to call home. Thanks again for a great time, Richie. And we can't wait until we do again, maybe let's not wait another whole year!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just lazing about on the green, green grass...

Now that Scott is not working at the casino full time we are able to enjoy some sunny summer afternoons in the backyard. And it's not like we have a huge space to keep up but weeds and grass like to grow and when they get too big they must go! That was almost Suessian, it must be all the reading to Jackson that brings out my inner Cat in the Hat! So Daddy worked in the yard while Jackson and I hung out his laundry.

I love when the weather is nice enough to use the umbrella clothes dryer. And with just the right amount of breeze and sun, Jackson's sheets and blankets have dried faster than putting them in the electric dryer. It's great to know as well that we are conserving energy and making it just another part of our everyday 'green' life. We try to conserve energy where we can with turning out lights and unplugging appliances and chargers when not in use. We have cut down our garbage to one small bag a week with the help of composting, recycling and most importantly Jackson's cloth diapers.

When we were using disposables in the beginning when his bottom was too small for cloth, we were putting a whole bag of just diapers in the can each week. It made me feel so wasteful and lazy to know that these diapers would never breakdown and they would become these petrified poop balls for hundreds of years. And not only is there the waste aspect but the whole issue of viruses and bacteria from untreated human poop. Yuck! We also choose to use small cloths instead of disposable diaper wipes. Initially it was due to the rash on our poor boy's bum but as we looked more into the costs and waste as well as all the chemicals in wipes we decided, how much more effort is it to use cloth wipes since we are already using cloth diapers. So we are very proud to be a cloth diaper family and share our experiences with all those who ask. But we do not judge others, as we know we fall short in many other areas of 'green' and cloth diapering is a choice that the whole family has to agree on or it just doesn't work. I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband who doesn't mind getting his hands a little dirty once in a while and who will spend that extra 30 seconds when it comes to our choice of diapers. Which by the way are BumGenius 3.0 if you haven't seen our previous blog posting on choosing a favourite.

Wow! That just sounded like a public service announcement on the environment. Well here's some more where that came from...
We aren't doing it to be 'green chic' as is the trend nowadays. We are just making it an every day thing so Jackson will just grow up knowing that it's the norm and not a huge effort it be globally conscious.

And now back to our afternoon of leisure in the backyard playing with Daddy. If you watch closely you will see how much Jackson is picking up his dad's idiosyncrasies. He has started to rub his right ear just like Daddy does when he is in deep thought or contemplating life in general. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree or was that the nut!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Avocados make me sleepy...

Jackson's newest taste experience has been avocado. And so far he loves them straight up with no cereal added! Our boy is beginning to be a purest where he prefers his foods separated without all the mixings, who am I kidding, he just loves food no matter how you make it. But as you can see from the pictures above, he tends to get a little sleepy while eating his mashed up meal. Of course this could also be due to a time table conflict with his morning nap. I couldn't resist snapping a couple of shots as he is just so cute even with green goo on his face. And it was a perfect opportunity for us to use one of the multitude of features on his new tricked out chair; the 3 position seat recline. So handy when our little muncher gets sleepy while snacking, just a gentle recline and voila! no face in the food for our little man.

Here is a rundown of our jammed packed weekend out and about in our little community of Smalliver with the family.
Friday started off with a visit to Grandma & Grandpa Schaffrick's for more playtime with the cousins. Lots of energy needed by Uncle Scott to keep up with the two older cousins...soon it will be four little ones to tumble with once Jackson & Fynn find their footings to go, go, go!

Saturday, the first day of summer, was spent at the opening of our local farm & craft market. We were out to support the community and celebrate the opening of the new structure in the park for our town's summer farmer's market. And as our luck would have it, we ended up winning a draw prize while we perusing the local fare (actually it was one of Jackson's tickets). A great start to the summer by our standards; great walk, great fair, great free gardening gear, great afternoon with the family!

Later that evening, Jackson & I were off to support some friends on their 12 hour walk for the Relay for Life. Last year Jackson completed the walk on the Valley First team while hitching a ride in Mommy's tummy, this year we showed up with some sugary Timmies treats to keep them going through the night and lots of moral support, which included lots of cuddles and smiles from Jackson. We even got to see Mommy's new Belly Dance Boot Camp instructor, Nerissa, perform her beautiful belly dance moves for the entertainment of these amazing people who are dedicated to the fight against cancer. Unfortunately nowadays we are all touched by this awful disease in one way or another, but I just want to give a huge shout out to all those who stuck it out and participated in this inspirational walk. Thanks for all your fundraising and dedication to the cause.

Then came today, Sunday, the end of the weekend for most, but what's a weekend when you're on maternity leave or a mom for that fact, you never get a day off! But I'm not complaining, I am loving every minute of my time with little Jack-Man!
We had a lazy morning of taking turns sleeping in while the other had some quality one-on-one Jackson time. Then it was his turn to have a nap while we had a little adult time to catch up on us. This was followed by lunch out in the sunny backyard and then a stroll around the 'hood to walk off those extra few chips I just didn't need. Then off to work for Scott, only three more shifts to go, and a nice little nap for Jackson while I made this week's treat for our local fire heroes, just because I like to make 'em and they love to eat 'em. And just as I was thinking about what I was going to have for dinner, Uncle Spencer & Aunty Brenda offered to share their BBQ supper in exchange for some snuggle time with my fussy little guy. So we bundled up the gear and walked around the block for a great night of visiting and catching up on all the new adventures in our lives. And now you are all up to date too!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Playing with the Cousins

Jackson had a chance to play with his cousins, Sophie & Travis, this past week while visiting with Grandma. It's funny to see the different personalities come out with all of them as they are quietly interacting with one another. Jackson takes on the role of 'sponge' right now as he soaks in all the activity of his older cousins. He just loves to watch other children of all ages. They totally fascinate him, especially his lively relatives.
We started out with some fun bubble blowing in the backyard. Huge, soapy bubbles flying everywhere as Sophie & Travis ran about waving their arms as the glistening globes grew from their big wands. Then later that afternoon, they settled into a card game with Grandma. Sophie & Travis played a matching game as Jackson helped Grandma hand out the cards.
Grandma sure had a 'full house' with all the little ones around but I am sure she loved every minute of it. I know Jackson did!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Six Months and Counting...

Hard to believe, but our baby boy is six months today. Already half a year old... it feels like it was just yesterday when we were holding that tiny, little 6lbs 14oz bundle of joy, now our bouncing little bambino is 18lbs 8oz of pure little boy.

Jackson has so much happiness and smiles that he loves to share with whomever will interact with him. And he loves his cuddles and doesn't play strange with anyone with open arms to hold him. Hopefully this doesn't hinder him in the 'watch out for strangers' area when he gets older as he is a pretty friendly little guy. And Jackson is just itching to get moving and mobile. Mommy is not so keen on this as she wants her baby to stay little and within eye sight. And Jackson-proofing the house is a chore I hope to hold off just a little bit longer. But our traveling man has been bouncing on his knees and just today hopped forward and taken his first leap towards crawling. Plus having his toys just out of reach are a positive incentive for him in his quest for mobility. I'm sure we will be posting a video very soon of our little man in motion.

In the meantime, enjoy his newly acquired love of big splashes at bath time (great footage for embarrassing moments to share with future girlfriends) and a couple of this-is-me-at-six-months photos. It's tiring being this cute (as you can tell from the picture), but he's a trooper and accomplishes it even while napping with his cheesy monkey in hand and posing outside in the backyard.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First Father's Day of Many

It was a weekend of celebrating Dad in our home.
Saturday started with a nice drive with the family to visit a friend's new studio opening, then it was off to gather some yummy lunch fixings for our picnic lunch. We were going to head to the beach but decided against it as it was a beautiful sunny day and wanted a little more quiet and privacy than we anticipated at on the busiest beaches in the area. So we headed towards a quieter park nearer to home but detoured yet again when we spotted a local school grounds with picnic tables, a playground and trees to shade our little Jackson. And did I mention that there was not one person at the school that afternoon, just perfect for our little luncheon in the sun.
That was the start of spending some great gratitude time with Daddy.
Of course he was off to work that evening so we picked up the celebrations this morning with a hearty breakfast for Dad. That was after he slept in an extra hour or so thanks to our little man who must have known it was Father's day as he didn't wake until about 9am. What a great gift to both Daddy & Mommy! Check out Jackson's homemade card for Daddy and as he helps open his gifts for Dad. He can't wait to get that crinkly paper of those packages. And did you notice we used newspaper and jute twine to wrap our gifts this year. We are trying to limit the use of excess wrapping materials when we can ie. reused gift bags or alternate wrapping methods.
After a quick clean up in the kitchen of all the morning food, it was time to prepare lunch with Grandpa & Grandma Schaffrick. We were off to celebrate both Father's Day and Jill's birthday. Yummy ribs and roasted root vegetables with a side of two salads. Delish! Then some play time in the backyard with cousin Travis before was off to work again. We made some great memories this weekend of Daddy's first Father's Day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Almost 'Six Months Already' Update!

We have been very busy over the last couple of weeks. So here are a few developmental moments we would like to share in the life of Jackson...

As you can see from these photos, Jackson has developed his necessary motor skills to accurately operate Daddy's laptop in order to view his preferred selection of Veggie Tales. OK, Mommy & Jackson are checking out our favourite Silly Songs with Larry on YouTube, but soon it will be all by his own doing with his keen interest of all things that make noise or pretty bright lights and action.

On the food front, we have progressed from mushy cereal to textures. Being that the rice cereal has gone down so easily we have added homemade smashed up steamed veggies. The winners so far in the flavour category is sweet potatoes by a landslide, with carrots at a strong second and peas struggling to get past the starting block with all the faces we endured. And if it were up to Daddy, Jackson's next exploration would include the phrase, 'Bring on the meat!' We are trying to keep the introductions to a new vegetable a week and making the food ourselves with these great little keepers. So handy when making the weekly food supply!

Thanks to some great playtime at a friend's place recently, we have replaced Jackson's big wool rug with these great foam mats. They make for an easier and safer play surface for our little man in motion on his hardwood floors. He has come a long way in mobility and almost-but-not-quite-crawling. Yikes! Don't want to think of crawling yet as that leads to walking and that means baby proofing everything!
Daddy likes to refer to these mats as his first training mats for MMA (mixed martial arts). You can often find Daddy coaching Jackson and his willing training partner, Cheesy Monkey, as they 'take to the mats' for some new techniques and maneuvers complete with the intimidating 'game face'. Boy does he look like his papa when he makes that face! I keep hearing that Jackson looks so much like me, but every time I see his melt your heart smile, or crinkle in his forehead, or bright, wide-eyed playfulness, I see his Daddy!