Showing posts from 2008


Animal impersonations to add to the list:

Tiny Hellos

Jackson has learned his first joke.
It began on the way to the airport to pick up Sylvie.
In the dark, from the back seat I hear:
"mama?" so quietly....
I turn around in my seat...
"Yes, Jack?"
"hi." he grins back, so very pleased with himself.
Of course, we also find this very funny and laugh as his tiny hellos are just adorable and so cheeky.
He repeats the joke with Eric as well.
He repeats it all the way to the airport and on the way back.
He repeats it on the two hour drive to Fort Smith.
And even now, every morning before school....
"Yes, Jack?"
"hi," he says turning his head to the side. So tiny and soft and just out of the side of his smile.
Like a child's first well-worn knock-knock joke, he has practiced it, tested it, perfected it, and he thinks it is funny every time.
Even after hours, no, days of repetition he still finds the humor in …

Yes, Mam

I think in almost every family the first grandchild dictates the Official Naming of the Grandparents. On Jackson's paternal side the naming was dictated by now 4-year-old Davis - and thus Nonnie and Papaw were born.
On my side, Jackson is still working on it.
My mother considered Gram for her name and my father requested Granddaddy.
You can put in a request, but sometimes the DJ just doesn't want to play your song.
Upon each visit with my parents, we faithfully use the labels Gram and Granddaddy. I am also loyal to their requests when reviewing photos with Jackson.
"That's you and Gram," I say.
"There's your Granddaddy," I point out.
During our most recent trip - for Christmas - the Official Naming of the Grandparents' opening ceremonies began.
Like any child, Jackson has his verbal moments where he suddenly has agreed to do all his tricks and perform for the crowd.
(Fortunately, these moments are bountiful with our little lion.)
While the window is op…


This morning before school Jackson and I read a very detailed animal book from Aunty Debry. It has tiny flaps that he very much enjoys pulling back to discover various creatures. He can now tell you what a squirrel says as well as an armadillo.
Let's just say the squirrel is rather cute....the armadillo...not so much.

Roll Call

Every day, multiple times a day Jackson takes roll.
His attendance list mostly consists of Mama and Dada.
Sometimes he includes himself. But it is most important to check in on the key players and their current locales. He does this when we are playing, snuggling, bathing, talking on the phone, etc.
Our conversations typically run like this:
He's at work.
I'm right here with you.
He's still at work.
She's with Jackson.
He's at work. He'll be right back.
She's right here.


Actual sentences Eric and I now say to each other on a regular basis:
What did you do with the bwvah-bwvah?
How many poops today?
Did you A&D his face?
Daddy, we need some M-I-L-K.
(Insert eithor of our names here)! Help! I need help! There's poop! he's touching the poop!

Always and Nevers

Yesterday, when I arrived at Jackson's school for his first parent-teacher conference, I was early and Jackson spotted me in the hallway. Well, once you've been spotted there's no going back so I joined him on the floor while I waited for the apt.
As the new grown-up in the room, I was smothered with babies. Jackson sat in my lap and all the children rushed forward with comments, gestures, smiles, toys and silliness. Sweet Bella, Jackson's almost twin, came forward to sit on Jackson's lap (while he was sitting in mine). Blond-haired Dane brought a toy truck that did entertaining things. Tiny Sawyer brought us a Sesame Street piano that no longer worked. But that didn't matter as all the children pressed the various keys and knobs and levers while I held it out.
What surprised me the most, was my ability to understand them. Jackson has schooled me in toddler speak, so when each little face would grunt out a syllable I knew exactly what they were trying to communic…

Double the Words

While they are not quite ready for dissecting, they are definitely declarative statements.
Jackson has begun to string his words together. The latest to be knitted are "nackna-na" and "mama night-night."
Both involve a lot of directional finger pointing, a facial expression that seems to say "are you people getting this?" and are equally adorable.

Cute Things #332 and #217

#332: After a long day of school and playing with mom and dad, Jackson will take his bath, get in his pjs and ask for the large cushion on the big red chair. He will point to it and say "night-night." So I will put it down on the floor for him and he will put his head on the pillow and take a little rest. Sometimes he will put his whole little self on it to rest. Sometimes I will rest my head on it too and he'll put his face next to mine to quietly rest and cuddle. It's probably one of my most favorite things to do. I hope to cuddle him extensivley until he squirms away from me and into teenageness. It's so much harder to keep boys cuddly. I feel like I'm investing in his cuddle-future.
#217: When there is something very dangerous for Jackson not to touch, we will point to it and say "no-no." For example, we point to the Christmas tree, say how pretty it is and fragile and that the lights are so colorful but also "HOT!" So every now and the…


My father turns 60 this week.
A milestone.
He decided to spend it with us in Tulsa. He and mom drove into town for the weekend and we celebrated with struedel, singing, candles that wouldn't blow out and an ORU/ULAR basketball game.
It was also that perfect beginning-of-the-holidays time when down come the boxes of Christmas decorations and out come the twinkling lights and come the hideous yard decorations across the street.
But this year....
...we have a tiny little man in the house that looooves all hideous holiday deocrations.
We took Jax across the street to see the giant snowman, huge snowglobe and Snoopy in a bi-plane. Also included in the hodge-podge display was a spiral Christmas tree and two moving, white, lit reindeer - to which Jackson "moo-ed" at this morning on the way to school.
I guess one might confuse them with cows.
We also did some Christmas shopping and our kitchen turned into a cookie-making factory with mom sprinkling, filling and baking all thi…

A Man of More Words

Adding to the list:
The Girls
Snack (only he says it: nack)
Vac (for vacuum)
room-room (broom)
Can you tell he has a thing for cleaning?

Wild Thing

Last week, when picking up Jackson from school his teacher asked me if he had a book with animals. I wanted to laugh outloud.
Are you kidding? He brings me one of his many animal books to read on a regular basis.
We've got wild animals, barnyard animals, flamingos, frogs - he loves them all.
She seemed relieved to know he was adequately supplied with pages of animals.
"He loves animals," she said. "He does the sounds for animals all the time."
That's my boy.
You need a cow sound? done.
A monkey? taken care of.
A fish? did it last week.
A lizard? he's on it.
An elephant? he's got it wrapped up.
Horse? Sheep? Lion? Snake? Bunny? no need to go to the zoo. You can hear it all in Jackson's room.

Stirred Up

Jackson has always been a fan of food. Almost all food. In fact, the only thing he didn't eat was baby-food-peas.
So it goes hand-in-hand that he also loves to cook.
Who would think that stirring could move someone so much?
I was cooking a stew and while the vegetables and broth were heating up, I let him hold the large spon and stir the pot. He was so thrilled he paused to look at me with such astonishment mid-stir. After a good stir or two, he was ready to taste and let mama taste, too.
Next, we moved on to making a dip. I have a tiny blender and once everything was set up (during which Jackson was intently observing) I let him press the button to make it work. He was ecstatic.
He also relished every minute of putting chopped beets and potatoes into the pot.
He is a very good helper and during the prep work he asissted with getting out pots and pans and cookie sheets.
The best part was when he paused to turn his head toward me with a big smile as if to say, "Are you seeing this? T…

Birthday Wishes

A few weeks ago we headed home to my parents to celebrate my birthday. To top it all off my best friend flew in and was able to spend time with us, Jackson, the girls (who JAckson now officially calls "The Grrls" and new baby Ian.
Jackson fell in love with the dog bed, blowing bubbles in water glasses and playing with Debbie. All while taking sterioids for a slight wheeze and drops for an ear infection. He is a trooper.
My mother made the most incredible meal ever. With butternut squash, asparagus, and an incredible salad with homemade dressing. Debbie and I got a bit competitive over the squash. But we're still friends.
It was so nice to have everyone around and for Debbie to see Jack now that he is becoming more of himself.
She hadn't seen him since he was 8 weeks old.
I hope someday we can all live close by for Sunday dinners.

A List of Lists

Things have been rushing by so fast that I am nervous I will forget all the things I want to remember so I am going to make a blog list of things I want to blog.
1. Birthday weekend
2.Jackson's New Cooking Show
3. Cool Whip
4. Does Jackson have a book with animals?
5. The Dog Crazies
6. Turkey!
7. Becoming Cliniqued
8. S = B


I am thrilled our son has been born in a world where being the president of the United States while also being black will be an everyday thing for him.
We've taught him how to say Barack Obama. Sure, it comes out: "Roc Mama" but I'm sure the Preseident-Elect won't mind.
I am also thrilled to announce and welcome our friend's son Ian David. The 10-pounder came into the world the day many White House precendents were kicked out.
I'm partial to Election Day babies.

Rounding Out His Resume

Jackson's resume is growing.
A few words to add to the list:
Help (only he says it: Bop)
Meow (only he says it: Owwww)
Vroom Vroom (when playing with cars, tractors, trains, etc.)
Boo (which really means peek-a-boo)
Roar (came in handy for Halloween)
Go-Go (for when he "reads" Go Dog! Go!)
And we are working on calling the hogs. He's getting close.

Current skills:
-Can identify body parts: nose, eyes, head, belly, foot and toes
-Can zerbert you on command


This past week we have been working on animal sounds.
When reading one of his animal books, Jackson follows along and imitates his version of a duck, a sheep, a horse and a cow. He can also do a dog.
We are still working on a pig.
It is a much more complex animal.
What we should have been working on this whole time was "Roar."
He will be a lion tonight to go trick-or-treating and I haven't prepared him for his furry role.
I'm going to be a terrible stage mom.

Halloween Dance Moves

Saturday evening we attended a local area's October festival. It was a mini-Halloween event for kids. Jackson enjoyed the petting zoo where he got to pet a cow, almost poke a horse in the eye, touch brown pigs, goats, chickens, bunnies and dogs. He loves animals and is at the stage where he is not afraid to stick that hand out and grab a chunk of mane.

After the petting zoo, we strolled along to play games, get candy, see all the costumes and listen to music. Jackson did his dancing outside the Radio Disney booth. His dance moves are pretty hysterical. They mostly include a wide stance, bent knees and then much bouncing.

He enjoyed the firetrucks and police cars with their flashing blue lights. We went with the now-four-years-old Nathan -his father is a policeman. So Nathan particularly enjoyed the firetrucks and police cars.

The boys enjoyed hot dogs, ice cream and all the various people watching. There were tiny cows, tiny policeman, a very detailed little robot and a tiny elmo tha…

Love you

As Jackson nears becoming 15 months old, I thought it might be time for a new word list.
His vocabulary now includes:
Book (this is a good one as he says the beginning and end sounds)
Night- Night
Penis (unfortunately he says the beginning and end sounds of this word, too)
Love you (even though he just said this tonight in the tub, I am still counting it)
Water (he actually says wa-wa, but my speech-pathologist friend tells me it counts)
Moooo (for a cow)
Melmo (for Elmo)

Finish Line

This morning, we ran our city's 5k race.
It has been at least fifteen years since I ran that long, and it showed. I had little kids, old ladies, people that would qualify as obese all pass me time and time again. The little kids are what really burned. I mean my legs are as long as they are. How do they even have the attention span to finish one K much less five of them in a row. Stupid kids. I am very proud to be a part of this race and I was also proud of Amanda for her first race. It has a vibe at the beginning I can't really explain. There was a nervous energy mixed with some sort of elitism. Not as blatant as a bunch of running snobs, but everyone knew that they were a little better just by showing up. A little better than everyone else, or maybe just a little better than who they usually are. It was a community of overachievers even if it was just for a morning. Plus nobody gave me shit for having a beer at 9:00 in the morning because I just ran/walked five K.

Body Parts

A few days ago Jackson learned to identify his belly, nose, eyes and feet with almost scientific precision.
Well, except for the eye part...
That, while precise, usually leads to an accidental poking of his eye.
Which then leads to accidental poking of your eye.
I use the term "accidental," loosely.


To me, every time Jackson says "Mama" it sounds like "I love you."
There are many variations of the word and I love them all.
One of my favorites is when he touches my arm or chest with his pointer finger, looks around, and says "Mama" in a low tone like he just had to point out to anyone who may be interested (even when we are alone) that this is his Mama. He will feel the need to grin and identify his "Dada" too.
Another version, is when "Mama" really means "Please, can I..."
It comes out like a question with the last syllable going up on the end. He will look up at me, cock his head to one side, grin a bit and say "Mama?"
I wonder if I will always feel this way.
I wonder if when he is shouting "Mama!" from the Wal-Mart toy aisle because he desperately needs the latest so-and-so if I will hear "I love you."
I wonder if when he sarcastically whines "Mooooom" when I ask him if he has done his …

Dub Dose

At the end of our daily afternoon walks, Jackson likes to explore our neighbor's garden as we walk up to our house.
This is not your regular garden.
This is just the kind of garden a child would love to wander through and get lost in only to discover smooth stones leading nowhere, vibrant coy fish swimming under the soft trickle of a waterfall and colorful glass sculptures popping up through fronds, reeds and leaves.
As he follows the small path between our houses, he always passes a statue of a bunny that is just a few inches shorter that he is. He adores this garden-bunny and likes to touch its nose, ears, etc. Yesterday he "hugged" the bunny by pressing his forehead against its stony face.
While bent to embrace his rocky friend, he noticed a few white flowers bowing toward the ground.
A few weeks ago, I tried teaching him how to "sniff" flowers instead of grabbing and crushing them.
And I guess he remembered.
Because he squatted down next to those tiny white petals…


So, what did Jackson learn from the Gram-And-Grandaddy visit/weekend?
1. He loves apple struedel
2. He is not afraid of tapdancers, drunk Germans or a giant Oktoberfest chicken
3. One can always head across the room with arms high in the air to the "Court of Higher Appeals" when one is unhappy with a ruling
4. Gram and Grandaddy always want to see your tummy
5. Lily is only mildly interested in hugs from 1-year-olds
6. Flushing the toilet is quickly making its way into his list of top 5 favorite things to do (although I think this was bound to happen no matter who visited this weekend....)

Now Give Him Your Beads

Maybe we will regret this in the years to follow, but Jackson's latest "trick" is to flash you.
We, of course, think it is hysterical. Any chance we get, we say "Jax, show us your tummy!" To which he repsonds by looking down, grabbing the bottom of his shirt and lifting it high with pride to reveal his rotund midriff.
At which point, you must devour this delicious offering.

It has already started to cause problems, because now it's your turn.

He will walk over, climb in my lap and start to lift up my shirt.

I'm sure this means we are on our way to lifting up the shirts of random grocery shoppers, classmates, etc.

I hope he works this out before attending his first frat party...

On the Edge of His Seat

Jackson had a fine time picking out a pumpkin. After strolling through rows of pumpkins he enjoyed sitting on the edge of the pumpkin platforms most of all. He also wanted to eat the tiny pumpkin he picked out.

This "edge-sitting" is very exciting. Really, a whole new world has opened up before him.

Needing to be sat upon.

At home:
"Can you please lift me up as my cookie tastes all the more delicious when sitting on the edge of the sofa?"
And then, he looks up, cocks his head to the right and begins pointing at the couch cushion a zillion times saying "uh?, uh?, uh?, uh?, uh?" until you get what he is trying to tell silly, clueless, grown-up!
But the best part is when you are lifting him up to sit on the edge, he begins nodding his head up and down so much like a grown-up, as if to say "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you. This is exactly what I was trying to tell you."

During our evening walks, he has really discovered how perfect the …

Cute Item #326

During his bath, when you lean Jackson back to rinse just the back of his head under the water, he always closes his eyes. Even though his eyes never go near the water. He grins and squints so tightly, opens, squints, opens, squints, etc. Then, once it's over and he is back to sitting upright, he gives a little sigh and begins to lean himself back to start all over again.

Our Little Maid Has Returned

It seems the prehistoric monster never made it to our house last night.

Jackson slept 11 hours straight.

He was nearly himself. A little quieter and still a bit clingy. A lot sensitive. But he was back to enjoying his toys, music and nightly routine.

For the past few weeks, one of his favorite parts of his routine is to take his dirty clothes from the day and put them in the hamper before trotting off to get in the tub. He loves to take off the lid, put the clothes in and securely replace the lid.

The clothes have to be all the way in. No sleeves clutching to the side, no pant legs sticking out and no tiny white socks dripping over the edges. Last night, this process was very entertaining because after getting the clothes in the hamper, he realized what fun it would be to drop in a pacifier or two.

The "Hamper Show" went on for quite a while and it was such a relief to see that Jackson was back and feeling well enough to get some laundry done.

Unwanted Houseguest

The mammoth has been showing up uninvited.

Creeps into the cave around the same time each night.

He's big and unstoppable. He presses against swollen, red peices of gum and ravages Jackson's throat.

Yesterday, it prompted me to take him to the doctor. And maybe I'm crazy to run to the doctor when we all know it's teething but please understand I have never seen our child like this. Not once in the last 14 months has he ever writhed in pain, cried nonstop and drooled like a fish.

We medicated. We iced. We soothed. We watered.
We sang. We rocked. We walked. We Orajel-ed. We cuddled.

We did it all. And still the misery.

Nothing could make it better, except for random snatches of time where we rocked and patted. And only then would he settle for three maybe four minutes before starting all over again. Finally, he cried himself to exhaustion. His voice hoarse from cries. He slept for two hours. And then Eric took the next shift. But still those cries come piercing into the part o…

Sometimes It Stings

Mondays are always a bit much.

Eric has class directly after work and isn't home until late. So that means Jackson and I have the evening to ourselves.

Which I love, but it can be a bit much.

Like: How do I run to get the phone when he is in the bath? How do I run to the bathroom when he is playing in the living room? How do I feed the dog and scoop a wet baby out of the tub and drain the water and pick up the bath toys and empty the dishwasher and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and.....

Of course, all of this is managable with a little thought and organization and/or put on hold until after bedtime when I have time to reflect and be amazed at how single parents do all of this.

Last night was fun as usual. Jackson and I played with cups and spoons. And we went for a walk in his little red wagon. Then it was time to collect a few acorns. And then he enjoyed a lengthy bath where he rubbed soap on his arms and sang "row, row, row" for my friend on the phone.

He fell aslee…

Weekend Wrap-Up

The birthday party was a hit. Nathan's mother had the backyard filled with outdoor toys, slides, fire trucks, trikes, etc. It was like a big playground with something for every age. Jackson toddled to each toy and loved the cars. But he eventually noticed the big kids were enjoying the motorized firetruck. Nathan let Jackson climb up and took him for a "drive" around the yard. This involved short spurts of about two yards. Then a turn. Then backing up. Then running into a shrub. Then two yards. And so forth.
We got it on video and I'm sure the neighborhood feels safer knowing these two "fireman" are on alert.
Pizza and cake were a big hit.
Lots of kids. Lots of balloons. Lots of sunshine. Lots of joy.
Nathan was a delightful birthday boy.
It is always entertaining to watch Jackson "learn" how to play with a new toy. I will have to keep an eye out at garage sales for one of those tiny cars.
I really enjoyed doing the whole "birthday/play date"…

Social Calendar

Today, Jackson will be attending his friend Nathan's birthday party. Nathan will be four, but he is always very interested in Jackson.
Once, when Nathan's mother and I were walking the boys, Jackson got a bit fussy and cried. Nathan reached his hand over to Jackson's stroller and said "It's ok, Jackson. I'm here."
Anyway, this is his first birthday party to attend. I hope it goes well.


A few weeks ago, the weather suddenly turned cool. It only lasted for a few days but it prompted me to get out the winter items and sort through summer gear that no longer fit, etc. I wanted to make sure I had everything out in case we got another cold snap.
Jackson was of course doing his best to help me get things switched out and organized. When he saw his old mittens, he was delighted and asked me to put them on and off and on and off again and again. Every time I took one off, he would immidiatley ask me to put it back on again.
And after the fourth cycle of mitten-ness, he decided to leave them on.
As we were in the middle of the massive re-org, he was only wearing a diaper. So, this is all to say that when Eric got home, Jackson was half naked and running around in only a diaper and a pair of black mittens.
Fortunately we got it on video, which I am putting up today. He'll thank me when he's older for documenting his fashion-genius, I'm sure.
I guess the next thi…

Sick Day. Affirmative.

Home sick today.
Impossible to rest.
I keep thinking about the work piling up. I will have to go in on Sunday to make up for it. Got meds from the dr. Hope they work crazy fast.
Not sure why writing in such short, blunt non-sentences.
Meds have turned me into robot.
A robot.
As robots, we no longer say "Yes" we say "Affirmative."

Baby Blue


September in New York



Welcome to the world Clifford Vaughn.
Born at 2:30 a.m. 7 pounds, 4 oz and 20 inches.


The other day, I was cooking dinner and holding Jackson on my hip. He kept repeating "bubbles." And I said,"Sure, Ok. Bubbles."
Suddenly, I glanced over to my right and saw the pasta was at a rolling boil.
Almost bubbling over.
My boy. He's a genius.

Suddenly around mid September he started using very specific words.
13 months word list: (besides mama and dada)
More (repeated over and over)
Bubbles (our favorite)
Row, row, row (to begin the song, he sings it every day)
Hello (when the phone rings)

Frequent Flyer

We made it.
Like a seasoned traveler, Jackson breezed through the layovers, canceled flights, uncomfortable seating and public restroom diaper changes.
Never have I wiped down a surface so thuroughly.
I broke down and let him play on airport "playground" equipment. I could feel the "pink eye" creeping around the corners of the bright yellow slides, but he was so in love with the Syracuse play area I had to let him play. He sat in the tiny helicopter and enjoyed its levers, pedals and buttons.
Between the two of us, dad and I had it down to a science. Bathroom breaks, food court dining and playing baby swap during naps on the plane, we took on O'Hare, Dallas, Syracuse and Tulsa. Jackson adored his cousins and quickly learned to appeal to the Court of Oma for anything he might need. He took walks to the stream, shopped for a winter coat and was regularly chased in the backyard.
And he now offically signs for "Please." Although grandaddy thinks it really m…

Flight Plan

We are headed to New York tomorrow morning.
On a plane.
To New York.
Many hours on a plane.
13 month old.
From 8 am to 6 pm, I will be at the mercy of American Airlines, O'hare and a tiny wild thing that has a recent addiction to raisins.
I've never been great at math, but this equation has me all riled up. I've packed and repacked for as many entertainment possibilities as I can fit into a diaper bag. I've got enough snack variations for everyone on the plane. I've got crayons, cups, stackable tugboats, books, pacifiers and benadryl.
But my secret weapon is a grandaddy. Thank goodness I'll have a grandaddy chaperoning us all the way. Between the two of us, surely we can keep Jackson from eating everyone's free bag of peanuts.

His love. It can be fickle.

For the time being, Elvis has been replaced.
Our 6-year-old, black-and-white, four-legged mutt is still on Jackson's top 5 list. However, he has slid to No. 2 for the time being.
No. 1?
Turns out our son is part squirrel.
Every day we take a walk outside heading down the driveway, or through the neighbor's extensive garden or maybe to the stop sign and back. During each step, Jackson's eyes scour every inch for acorns. Acorn caps, acorn stems, entire acorns, half-eaten acorns, squished acrons... anything acorn related must be collected.
He continually stuffs his already packed, tiny fists with more acorns. Each time he puts a new acorn in, one rolls out of his fingers. So now we must collect this rogue acorn spinning down the drive. And the cycle continues. I have even caught him trying to hold extra acorns in the folds of his neck. And yes, there are a few folds there ... so like a mother chipmunk, I check my baby's chins daily for acorns.
Elvis seems fine with the …

Welcome to the shoe show

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find time for scrapbooking and/or taking photos and documenting all of the awesome, hilarious stuff Jack does. I actually find that writing bits in this blog is easier. So just a quick note of some adorable Jackson-isms I want to remember.
One, he giggles extensively every time we put his shoes off and on. He finds it very funny to watch the socks and shoes go on and off. And after giggling quite a bit during the taking off of the shoes and socks, he is immediately ready for us to put them back on again. Granted during sock-take-off I will slowly tug on the socks which is, to Jack, the best part of the shoe-show.
Two, Jack has taken hide-and-seek to a whole new level. He is almost obsessed with the game. He plays it all day and the best part about it is that he thinks if he just rests his head on an object, any object, he is "hiding." Even behind the letter "W" from his alphabet magnets. If he places the orange "W" o…

Scottish Festival Update

Turns out the festival was not-so-festival. Kind of a bummer. But it was nice to get out, walk around, listen to some music and see the downtown skyline.

I learned it from watching.....elvis

Yesterday, we headed out for some brunch and afterward noticed it was so nice we stopped by the park. No one was there so we sat on a blanket and let Jack run wild. He darted through the wet grass in his bare feet pointing out squirrels and dogs running past in the distance. After a while, he found a large tree and danced around it playing hide-and-go-seek. Until after a second or two we could no longer see him. Turns out he was behind the tree "taking care of some business." That's my boy. Taking after the family dog.


Tonight we are going to the annual Scottish festival. And I am looking forward to Whisky Tastings, men in kilts, great music, and large Scottish men throwing large, odd, Scottish equipment. This year there is also a dog parade. That's right - dogs of Scottish origin will be working the runway. I wonder what Ted Gunn would have to say about that.
Not to get too "scrapbookish" here but it will be Jackson's first festival where he can run around, eat stuff and maybe throw some things.


The following is a list of all of the signs that 12-month-old Jack uses to communicate with us and/or boss us around. For some, he uses official sign language. For others, he has just aquired through various observations.

He signs for:
more: he points his right index finger in the open palm of his left hand.
all done: he shakes both hands in the air when he is ready to go or finished eating
lotion: this he picked up on his own. Every night after his bath I put lotion on him and so now everytime he sees a bottle of lotion he rubs his hands together.
be quiet: he puts his pointer finger up to his lips to tell elvis (and/or other dogs) to be quiet
help: when in the yard he will raise one arm up for you to help him over a step, a stick, the hose, etc.
eat: he points to his mouth when he is hungry
pointing: he points in the direction he would like to go

These are such small and simple gestures but it is incredible to witness how much they have helped Jack communicate with us. Instead of getting…

Let's see how this baby runs

So I am testing out the idea of starting a small blog to keep friends and family updated on the houpley happenings. Now that we have Jackson, it seems there is so much more to keep up with. So let's see how this turns out...!

Life List

I love making a list. Who doesn't? Aren't we all making lists?
Let's make a list of who is making list!
and you?
Yes, and I know YOU are.

Anyone who has ever done some traveling on the interwebs is surely aware that life lists are all the rage. The credit goes to for the birthing of such lists. One of my fave writers, I have enjoyed watching her cross off items from her 100-item-long list.
In the same vein, I thought I would start making my own list for several reasons.
And then after talking with Eric about it, he started to make his own life list. And then I realized that making a life list should involve your life partner. Since pretty much they'll be the one watching the kid while you go do your life-list-stuff, right?
It was touching to see how we had written some of the same things on our lists.
Why now?
1. Because I don't want to forget all of the things Eric and I hope to do someday
2. Because it will be interesting to one day look back…