October 31, 2007

Oscar Meyer would be proud

Jack's first Halloween was . . . well, pretty anticlimactic. He had no idea what was going on, but everyone was very entertained by him. His costume was a big hit (thanks, Old Navy clearance rack).

That's right. For his first Halloween, Jack was dressed as a hot dog with mustard. And he was the cutest little hot dog there was.

We took him to trunk or treat up at the township offices and everyone who saw him got a kick out of his attire. My 4-week-old niece, Emma, was also there and was dressed as a duck.

October 30, 2007


While I'm usually not supportive of families that dress in matching outfits, I couldn't resist snapping this picture. Aren't I a lucky girl to have these two boys in my life?

October 28, 2007

As heard at dinner tonight . . .

Me: I hope the corn muffins are ok. The cornmeal I used was a little past the expiration date. [side note: it expired over a year ago]

Cindy: I'm sure it's fine. I always feel that way about when I use eggs past their expiration date.

Me: (in a nonchalant, joking voice) Yeah, as if they'll taste a little too much like chicken.

Katie: Is that what happens?


Me: What do you mean?

Katie: (not in a joking voice) Is that how eggs become chickens?

Me: Are you asking if chickens come from eggs that have been sitting too long?

Katie: Yeah. I don't know.


Me: This conversation's gonna haunt you for a really long time.


Someone gave Kyle free tickets to the Michigan football game yesterday, so our family shopping trip became a mom and Jack shopping trip. We went to Lansing because of my new found love for the Lansing Mall. I used to hate this mall. I believe "ghetto" was the word that I originally used to describe it. It's come a long way. There are great stores, it's really clean and the best part of all? It has a nursing room! (I feel like I've already written a post about this. If I have, just skip ahead to the next paragraph.) There's a private room with a locking door that has a big comfy leather chair and footstool in it specifically set aside for nursing mothers. To be honest, this is the main reason I go to this mall. If Jack gets hungry, I don't have to worry about hunting for a place to nurse him.

We went to a few stores, including Old Navy yesterday, and were mildly disappointed. It was like they were going out of business or something. There was little to choose from.

On the way home, we stopped at Babies 'R' Us. I wanted to buy a new toddler "Bundle Me" that would fit into Jack's stroller. While I was there, I spent some time looking for good age appropriate, getting-ready-to-crawl, toys. I just about drove myself crazy looking at the walls of toys. I could look at something and think it looked cool, but how am I supposed to know what he'd like or wouldn't like? I'm new at this.

While we were standing there looking helpless, a mom was standing next to me and asked how old Jack was. "4 and a half months old," I replied. She did a fairly good job keeping the look of shock off of her face as she looked at the 20 lb kid hanging out of the baby bjorn. We started talking and she told me she had an 11 month old and pointed me in the direction of three of his favorites. I thanked her and I bought them. Here's what I got:

I had seen this toy, called a "Winkel" when I was looking around but the $12.99 price tag made me keep looking. The mom I spoke to insisted that it was worth every penny. She said it was so easy for her son to hold on to and was great for teething. I gave in and bought it. Her advice was to use some of the toy links to attach it to whatever he was sitting or laying on to keep it from getting too far away from him or from hitting the floor. I let Jack play with it this morning . . . so far, so good.

She said her son loved pushing this around when he started learning to crawl. Then when he was old enough he enjoyed making the pieces fit through the right holes. We're saving this one for a Christmas gift.

I had already picked this up when I started talking to the other mom and she said her son loved it. Again, it's easy for them to hold onto and catch. They also have a larger size for when he gets older.

I would welcome any ideas that anyone else has about age-appropriate toys and activities for 4 1/2 month old children!

Project 365

I happened upon this site over the weekend and it has inspired me!

I don't take great pictures, but I do take a lot of them. So, I'm going to try and post one a day. This blog is already dedicated to my whining and rambling innermost thoughts and feelings and I don't want to interfere with that. :) So, I started this blog.

We'll see how well I keep up with it . . .

October 26, 2007

I get it.

I've had a few messages from people (including a few anonymous ones) concerned about a few of my pictures of Jack in his bumbo chair on our kitchen table. Following this report on MSNBC I feel the need to put any fears to rest.

The recall warns that "baby seats and should never use the infant seat on a table, countertop, chair or other elevated surface." Yes, we do sit Jack in his bumbo seat and put it on the table. Gasp! And, yes, he has tried to arch his back and flip himself out of the chair on several occasions. Double gasp!

Here's the good news: we never leave him alone in the chair. In fact, we usually have the bumbo on the table for one of two reasons . . . he's eating, or we're taking a picture and the lighting is really good there. And one of us is always standing within an arm's length away (usually with a hand on the chair) in case he decides he wants to do a double back handspring out of the seat.

Common sense would tell you not to leave your baby sitting in the seat on a table alone. Would you leave your baby sitting on a table alone without the seat? Probably not. The report also says that children shouldn't be left alone in the seat even when it's on the floor. We rarely even do this. But if we do and he should choose to do a reverse walkover followed by two consecutive cartwheels, topped off with a somersault out of the seat, he would land the blanket laying a few inches beneath him.

No worries. My baby is in good hands.

October 24, 2007

All who are weary . . .

There's something about what God has created that can speak directly to a person's soul.

I have no biblical basis for that, but it sounds nice, huh? That's what I was thinking last night as Kyle and I drove to Jackson for my brother's soccer game. The sun was setting and the sky was painted in beautiful shades of pink and orange. The sunset, combined with the red, orange and yellow leaves on all of the trees, cast a golden tint to everything. We agreed that it was as if the car windows had some sort of gold-tinted film covering them. We passed a pond that reflected the gold color and made it look as if you could walk out onto it. To top it all off, Jack was in the car, awake and not screaming. It was incredible.

The only thing I didn't have was time and a camera.

As we marveled at what God had created, I felt a sense of peace that took me by surprise. It was the strangest thing. It was an ordinary day. We were in the car. On the way to a soccer game. And I was completely overwhelmed by God's presence and keenly aware of his call for me to rest.

I took the long way to and from the grocery store this morning hoping to re-capture some of what I saw, and subsequently felt, last night. Unfortunately, the magic was gone. But for those few moments in the car last night, the burdens were lifted and I found rest.

October 21, 2007

Chillin' in my pj's.


Jack has been really cranky this weekend and we can't figure out why. I think it might be a little bit harder for us to deal with his crankiness because this is how he was all week:

A Christmas gift

I returned something to a Marshall's last week, but I didn't have the receipt. So, they issued me a store credit. I rarely shop at Marshall's so I figured I'd better go ahead and spend it. I bought Jack a new winter hat and his first Christmas gift! I found this little bowling set for babies 6 months and older.

Having many fond memories of my own bowling set as a child, I decided to get it for him. I think he's gonna like it.

Anyway, I've been trying not to take store bags if I don't need them, so the bowling set was sitting out in the open on the front seat of the car. As I was cruising down I-94 on my way home, I glanced over at the box and the picture of the baby on the front of the box caught my eye . . . and startled me a little.

Is this baby wearing a toupee? It kind of looks like it. If nothing else, it has convinced me that Jack could make it as a model for Fisher Price.

October 20, 2007

Funny noises

Today, Kyle was changing Jack in his bedroom and Katie and I heard Kyle making lots of funny noises. As we were listening there was one noise that Kyle made that Jack tried to mimic. It was so funny. See for yourself:

October 16, 2007

A little too excited about his new hat . . .

I LOVE Jack's new winter hat! I just put it on him at random times throughout the day just because he looks so cute in it. It came with cute little mittens, but they don't fit his hands!

October 15, 2007

I'm lovin' it

Though I'm sad that summer is gone, there are some good things about the fall season.

The trees are turning beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange! I also made my annual batch of pumpkin chocolate chip bread. AND, it's Monopoly time at McDonalds.

There is nothing more exciting than pulling up to the drive through window and being handed delicious food with small, waxy peel off tabs that will change my life by giving me a free egg mcmuffin, 10% off at Foot Locker or one million dollars. Did you know that McDonalds Monopoly has it's own wikipedia page?

I know, I know. The odds of winning a good prize are ridiculous. We have a 1 in 846,000,000 chance of winning the million dollar prize. . . these odds are about 8 times worse than the odds of winning the powerball lottery. This doesn't make me want to quit playing McDonald's monopoly as much as it does make me want to go out and buy a lottery ticket. There are a lot of statistics to put the odds into perspective. I'm 4,729 times more likely to die from accidentally choking on my own vomit this year than win the $50,000. I'm a staggering 2,529,865 times more likely to get murdered this year than win the $1,000,000 grand prize. Richard Roeper put it this way in the Chicago Sun-Times: "In other words, you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning while on your way home from purchasing a winning Lotto ticket with your wife, Jessica Alba, the first lady of the United States."

This site will actually let you trade or sell game pieces, and share strategy tips for McDonald's monopoly. It seems that some people have forgotten that this game does not take skill. And, why would someone sell or trade a piece that someone else actually wanted?

So far, we've won $4 in Toys 'R' Us dollars, 20% off of a foot locker purchase and a free Egg McMuffin. Oh, and we've increased the amount of transfat making itself at home in our arteries and our likelihood of having early onset heart disease. While the odds are actually really bad for winning, for some reason I still feel like I need to buy McDonald’s. Stupid marketing ploys and subliminal messages.

October 14, 2007

Brian and Debbie

Kyle's cousin, Brian, is engaged to be married to Debbie on June 27, 2008. This is great for many reasons including the fact that Debbie and I are good friends. I took their engagement photos on Saturday and we had a lot of fun (well, at least I did)! You can see all of them here.

October 13, 2007

Jack at 4 months old.

I had to take these pictures without Kyle's help, so I'm not really that excited about them. Then again, this kid is so cute that almost any picture of him turns out ok! You can see them all here.

Just like mom . . .

October 9, 2007

My sweet boy . . .

Enjoying a walk on what could quite possibly be the last day of wearing shorts for many, many months . . .

What a difference a year makes . . .

One year ago today, we saw Jack for the first time. We had our first ultrasound and heard his heartbeat and found out that he was the size of a grain of rice.

Just in case you couldn't see the comparison . . .

He weighed approximately .03 oz and measured 3 - 4 mm long. Today, he weighs about 19.5 lbs and measures 27" long. His weight has increased by a factor of 10,400! There are few miracles greater than this one. I know, I know . . . I can't spend the whole year blogging about what happened a year ago, but it's amazing to see how much he's grown.

October 8, 2007

Welcome back, July! I missed you!

God has heard my whining prayers about the coming cold months has granted my request for more warm weather! It was 90 degrees today! I love it that the warm weather has returned even if it's only for a little while.

One bad part of the warm weather is that I don't have much clothing for Jack in his size (12 mos . . . not kidding) and none of what I have is summer clothing. Therefore, we've been trying to squeeze him in his 6/9 month summer clothes. He's not uncomfortable . . . but let's just say he was wearing bootie shorts today.

In other news, I'm sick. And I sound like a man.

Quite often as I'm "blog-hopping" I run across a blog that makes me realize that most of what I write is completely meaningless and boring. Most of you know that, but I need to be reminded. Today was one of those days. If you get a chance, check out Chris and Lindsey Wheeler's blog. I don't know them, but it's one of those friend of an acquaintance type of thing. Their story brought me to tears and more importantly has caused me to pray for them almost hourly. I hope that you'll read their story and pray for them too.

October 3, 2007


Jack, meet Emma. Emma, meet Jack.

Emma Rae Hackworth - October 3, 2007, 3:11 PM


Jackson, MI (AP) - Brett and Kristen Hackworth just announced the birth of their daughter, Emma Rae Hackworth, just moments ago. In a weighin that rivals her cousin, Emma tipped the scales at 8 pounds, 5 ounces, qualifying her for the 2 - 3 week old baby class, should she choose that career path. Emma stands 21" tall. All three are reported to be doing fine.

In a statement released by Emma, she said, "It's great to be out. It was getting a little crowded in there. I'm looking forward to taking it easy for a few days before heading home. Thanks to every. . ." Unfortunately, Emma was not able to conclude because she fell asleep halfway through her statement.

In a later interview with her four-month-old cousin Jack, he said, "It's great to finally meet her. I can already tell I'm gonna like her. Hopefully we can grab a slice later and I can teach her a little bit about how to handle parents. They can be quite a handful." Due to mounting suspicion that Jack had once again filled his pants, the interview ended abruptly.

Dear Jack, Month 4

Dear Jack,

When I was pregnant with you, I woke up at 2:20 AM every night for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy. It is only now that I realize that this was meant to prepare me for your fourth month of life. During your third month you would sleep full 10 hour stretches. This only lasted a few weeks and was just long enough to help us remember what REM sleep was like. You now wake up at 2:20 AM every night. Three nights ago was some sort of special celebration in which you got us up FIVE TIMES. What happened? You don’t nap well and you don’t sleep much at night, so I have to ask . . . aren’t you tired yet?

Your dad is your primary caretaker during your nighttime antics. He gets up with you every time you wake up and tries to get you to go back to sleep. He only wakes me up if you’re hungry. I love him for this. The other night, he had a heart-to-heart talk with you about how he could help you sleep through the night. You just reached up and touched his face as if to say, “It’s ok dad. This will only make you stronger.” You’re funny like that, Jack.

You have made up for our lack of sleep this month by FIGURING OUT WHO WE ARE! You can now officially distinguish between your dad and mom and everyone else in the general population. When we come into a room and you hear one of our voices you stop and get a thoughtful look on your face as if to say, “Wait . . . wait, I recognize that beautiful sound.” Your eyes begin scanning the room and your head starts cranking in the direction of our voices. When you see us, your reaction usually involves some sort of wide-mouthed, toothless grin that causes you to throw your hands up in excitement. It really doesn’t matter if we've been gone for 10 minutes or 4 hours. I’m not going to lie to you . . . I love this! We love being your parents and I’m so glad that you seem to approve of having us in that role.

You officially became playful this month. Of course, you’ve always been “played-with.” You just play back now. One of your favorite things to do when you’re nursing is to stop and stare at me until I smile at you. When I finally give in and smile, you laugh and start eating again. It all starts over again about 30 seconds later. I know that this is a bad habit to let you develop but it’s so darn cute that I can’t keep from smiling back! You also love it when dad or I try and smother you with kisses on the changing table. Your giggles make me melt!

I love you very much . . . even more than I love sleep.