Sunday, June 27, 2010

a berry good day

Last summer Dan and I had so much fun strawberry picking (and strawberry eating) that we decided to return to the same farm this year. So, we loaded up the car with an overwhelming amount of baby gear and met up with a few wonderful friends (6 adults, 3 kids under the age of 2) to make the beautiful & scenic drive up to Schuh Farms in Mt. Vernon, WA (home of the Tulip Festival and Glenn Beck).
Schuh Farms is a real farm with real cows and real berries so I feel like a real farm girl when we go there. I've always dreamed of having an uncle with a farm who we could visit for a week during the summer to help work the farm. In that dream, I picture us rising early to milk the cows and feed the chickens before indulging in a ridiculously huge breakfast of homemade biscuits, eggs, assorted breakfast meats, and bottomless cups of coffee. Too bad Farmer Schuh is NOT my uncle. It's still fun to visit his farm.
Equipped with big bowls (much bigger than last year's bowls), baby backpacks & strollers, and able hands, we assumed our picking stances and picked berries 'til we could pick no more! There were strawberries, raspberries, and tayberries aplenty!
What is a tayberry you ask? Well, I forgot so I had to Google it when we got home. Turns out it's a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. It makes a delicious jam, in case you were wondering.
Nestled snugly in the ErgoBaby backpack with his much-too-big-for-his-tiny-head hat on, Jackson slept through the entire picking process.
This year the grass was much higher than I remember it being last year. Here's Dan in the field of unusually high strawberry grass.
Dan & Glory took turns carrying Owen on their backs so that his mommy Adelle, who's 9 months pregnant, wouldn't go into labor out there in the strawberry fields while trying to lug him around herself. He periodically chucked his pacifier into the surrounding bushes, forcing us to send out a pacifier search party. (Side note: Tayberry bushes have very sharp thorns.)
This is Owen's cousin, Jaxon. He's extra cool because he spells his name with an X and his mom spikes his hair into a baby mohawk.
It was kind of confusing having Jackson and Jaxon on our day trip so we referred to Jaxon as "X" and considered buying him a leather jacket and fake tattoos to further enhance his cool factor. We decided against it in the end.

Adelle & baby Grant amidst the berry bushes.
George & Susie & their buckets o' berries.
The Berry Pickin' Blankenships.
Once we'd picked all of our berries, we headed back home to Edmonds for an evening of berry-licious baking. At the Grant Home, a few more friends joined us as we assembled in the kitchen to make fresh strawberry shortcake, strawberry-tayberry pie, and Dan's special strawberry frozen custard.

Steve & Kaleb sample Adelle's delicious shortcake.
While the ladies baked, Jackson & his buddy Gabriel hung out together on their daddies' laps.
We had to separate them once Jackson threatened to punch Gabriel to get his share of the dessert.
Glory's strawberry-tayberry pie was the happiest looking pie I've ever seen.
Jackson was exhausted after a long day of sunshine, fresh air, and desserts. He conked out in my arms in a pose we like to call "Death by Dessert."
All in all, it was a berry good day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

one month

I still can't believe that Jackson is already one month old. It's weird being out at the grocery store or Starbucks and answering a stranger's question of "How old is he?" with "One month old." How is it possible that an entire month has gone by so quickly?

Jackson is a pretty cute one month old.
In addition to his usual newborn activities of eating, sleeping, crying, flailing his arms & legs about wildly, and making all varieties of facial expressions in his sleep, Jackson has also added a few new things to his baby repertoire. He smiles without gas incentives, stares at me from across the room, and is showing new-found interest in the owl mobile above his pack 'n play.
Not only is Jackson cute, but he's also pretty smart. He started saying "aye!" or "I" (depending on the intonation) back on day 4 of his baby life but now he's also added "ga" to his vocabulary.

To further demonstrate his baby genius, Jackson answered my question of "How many weeks old are you?" by smiling a huge smile and raising four fingers. Yea, that's right! He's a smartie!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sleepless in Seattle (not the movie)

I think our baby might be nocturnal.

Last night Jackson didn't sleep. He just didn't want to or seem to need to.

We started out the night strong with his typical before-bed burst of energy. Only it never waned. Ever.

The majority of the night was spent with Jackson laying wide-eyed in his pack 'n play next to our bed as I lay there at the very edge of our bed with my arm dangling over him, ready to replace his pacifier each time it fell out of his mouth and he started wailing immediately.

Finally a little after 5:00 A.M. once Dan had left for work and Jackson was STILL wide awake, I was at my wit's end and was losing circulation in my arm from dangling it over the pack 'n play for such a long time. I decided to get dressed and pack Jackson up for a ride in the car since that's pretty much the equivalent of Ambien for babies.

It worked.

I returned home armed with leaded coffee, a sesame bagel, and a baby who would sleep soundly for the next 5 hours.

Once I had napped and the pounding no-sleep headache had left, I picked up our copy of BabyWise and became serious about getting Jackson on a sleep schedule.

I know I haven't been a mom for long but I've learned a few valuable truths:
1) Naps are essential.
2) Naps are a must.
3) Naps are heavenly.
4) I really like naps.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

father's day

Today was Dan's first father's day. Jackson's first gift to his daddy was letting him sleep nine hours straight! (It clearly was NOT mother's day though since I got to enjoy some quality time with Jackson every two hours last night.)

With a little help from me, Jackson treated his daddy to breakfast in bed. We had made a special trip to Dan's favorite local doughnut shop so that we could serve Daddy his favorite maple bar doughnut as well as a few other tasty breakfast treats. We also gave daddy some special gifts. Jackson gave his daddy this frame & picture.
Jackson wore one of his special outfits for the occasion. (Newborn size is still a little baggy on him even though he's gaining ounces by the hour!)
We spent most of the day in Tacoma celebrating Father's Day with Dan's dad and most of the Blankenship Family. Then we came back home so Dan and Jackson could watch Graeme McDowell dominate in the US Open.
It was a big day for Jackson and it pretty much wore him out. Maybe we'll actually get some sleep tonight?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

trigger happy

I like to take pictures (as most people know). But I really, really, REALLY like to take pictures of Jackson.

I'm happy that Jackson is such a poser.

Monday, June 14, 2010

a pirate's life for us

Yo ho! Yo ho! A first date for us...already!

We've had the blessing of Grandma (my mom) staying with us for a month to help us out during Jackson's first few weeks and before her stay with us comes to an end, we decided to take full advantage of having Grandma around. We asked her to babysit while we went on our first date without Jackson. Gulp.

The historic tall ships are visiting the Port of Edmonds so Dan booked a three hour tour (no Gilligan or Ginger involved) for the two of us on a 19th century pirate ship.On board the Hawaiian Chieftain, we were expertly entertained by the crew as they fired the canons, worked the sails, and led us in a round of boisterous pirate shanties (songs for those of you who don't speak pirate) as we sailed the waters of the Puget Sound on a beautiful, windy day.
About an hour into the tour, I missed Jackson terribly. And about 2 hours into the tour, I got so cold out there on the water that I could talk of nothing other than hot tubs and hot coffee. But all in all, it was a successful and memorable first date!

Back at home, Jackson had roped in two more babysitters while we were gone. We came home to not only Grandma but also Grandpa & Grandma Blankenship. Everyone was busy trying to console Jackson after his first bottle had run out.