Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Semester in Cookies

Now that the semester is over and I'm not teaching next semester, I'm hoping to have a bit more time to blog more than once a month!

I decided this semester to bring cookies for my class every Friday. It was a good way to make it through quite a few of my pinned recipes without eating tons of cookies myself, and it seemed to be a big morale booster for the class. One week I brought some leftover Halloween candy on a Wednesday, and one student said, "Wait, you're still bringing cookies on Friday, right?" I assured her that the candy was not a substitute for the cookies.

Here were some of my favorites:

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
These are my new favorite pumpkin cookie. They are chewy, not cake-y, like most pumpkin cookies are. And, most importantly, they didn't get soggy after a day.

Brookies
Several students said this combination of brownies and cookies were their favorites. They're a bit tedious to make, but the wow factor is worth it.

Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies
These are simple but really good. They have a nice texture and are a little bit fancier than a standard peanut butter cookies.

Cornstarch Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
The cornstarch in these is supposed to make them very fluffy. Mine actually didn't turn out fluffy, but they were very soft and delicious. It's my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

11 Months

At the end of this month, Jonas made some big leaps in his development. He's now a lot more mobile and is seeming much more "toddlerish." I can't believe he'll be 1 soon. I get a little sad thinking of him leaving the baby days behind, but it's a lot of fun seeing him grow up. 


Firsts
  • First time to go from laying down to sitting up on his own. He learned how to do this in his crib. It was so funny the first time I went to get him up from his nap and he was just sitting there looking at the door. He looked quite proud of himself. I thought maybe he had used the bars to pull himself up, but later I saw him do it in the middle of the living room floor with no assistance. 
  • Soon after that, he pulled up to stand on his own. He also did that for the first time in his crib (and spent many days avoiding napping by pulling himself up and screaming until I came in and laid him down). But the first time I got it on camera is the picture above (Blogger won't let me put it in the right place). He now loves to pull up all the time and can cruise around furniture. 
  • First Halloween. He was a lion and looked adorable. I don't think he knew what to make of his costume. Every time I put him in it, he got kind of quiet and timid. 

  • I took him to our neighborhood church's Fall Festival with my friend Laura and her son, Gabriel. The look of scared confusion on his face is pretty much how he seemed anytime we put his costume on. 
    Our playgroup went to a pumpkin patch. Jonas just wanted to eat the pumpkins. 

    I hosted a small Halloween party for our playgroup. We had Halloween-themed snacks, read a Halloween book, and played with spaghetti "brains." From left to right: Silas the lumberjack, Myla the giraffe, Jonas the lion, and Avery the ballerina. 

  • First cow's milk. The pediatrician said we could start him on cow's milk at 11 months. We cheated and started about a week before. He seems to like it pretty well, so I've started the weaning process. I'm looking forward to having some more freedom. 
Things I Want to Remember
  • Jonas is going through a phase where he constantly says "mmm-hmm" or "uh-huh" with varying inflections. Because of this, it often seems like he can understand a lot of what we say, although I think it's just a coincidence. He does seem to understand that when we ask him a question, he should have a response, so he always says "mm-hmm." Or, when Darby and I are talking to each other, we'll say something like, "Jonas is so cute," and he'll say, "uh-huh." It's hilarious. 
  • He has now really gotten the hang of clapping and claps when he hears or sees other people clapping or if we say "Yay!" 
  • He likes to wave bye-bye, but he only does it when he is the one leaving. He also associates it with walking through doors, so sometimes he'll wave bye when I carry him out of his bedroom into the hallway. 
  • Ever since daylight savings time ended, he's been waking up at 6 or 6;30 instead of 8 like he used to. So we've started putting him to bed at 7:30 instead of 8:30, which gives us more time to get stuff done at night. In the mornings, we'll often put him in bed with us and he'll usually sleep at least 30 more minutes. However, he only likes to be close to me in the mornings. Specifically, he has to be holding on to my hair. So Darby gets to sleep peacefully while I have a little person pulling my hair, slapping me in the face, etc. To his credit, Darby has tried to take Jonas to his side of the bed, but Jonas protests so much that I have to take him. Good thing he's such a cute snuggler! 




Sunday, October 26, 2014

10 Months

I feel like Jonas is beginning to realize that he has power to make things happen. He can definitely throw a fit when he doesn't get something he wants. And he's starting to get picky when it comes to food. Even though I sometimes miss my completely easygoing baby, I like knowing that he's developing into his own person and that he's attempting to communicate with us. And he's still relatively easygoing. His army crawl has gotten a lot more efficient, but he's still generally content to sit in one place. We still haven't had to do much babyproofing and are getting a bit spoiled.


"Firsts"
  • First tooth. He got his two bottom teeth at about the same time. They're just barely in. He doesn't like to let us near his mouth, so no pictures. Teething has been pretty rough on the little guy - many fussy days, congestion, tummy problems, etc.
  • First overnight stay alone with G-ma and Papa. We went to Waco for a reunion with some high school friends, and Jonas spent one night with my parents. He did great. While we were in Waco, he got to meet his buddy Samuel, who was born a week after him.
  • Krista and Samuel with me and Jonas. We tried to force friendship on them, but they were a bit wary. Maybe in a year or so. :)
  • First ACU football game. The first game we went to, it rained so we had to leave at halftime. We went to another one with Darby's parents, and Jonas loved it. He even got on the big screen!
  • Curly hair after being out in the rain.
  • First time to clap. One time we got him to clap while mimicking Darby. Now, he won't do it when we ask him to. He'll just do it at random times. One day while he was nursing, he stopped, looked up at me, and started clapping. It was so cute.
Things I Want to Remember
  • He likes to hold on to toys with his feet while he plays with them. He's like a little monkey. 
  • He's gone to childcare for various events this month, and the first thing the workers say when I go to pick him up is, "Wow. He reeallly likes Cheerios." And it's true. I think he would eat the whole box if we kept giving them to him. 
  • He is ticklish on the inside of his arm. If I rub him there, he just giggles and giggles.


Sunday, October 05, 2014

9 Months

It's hard for me to believe that Jonas is 3/4 of the way through his first year. Time is really flying - obviously, since I'm posting this update two weeks late. :)

I transferred pictures off my phone to our desktop computer, so I don't have all of the relevant pictures for this update. I just included some random cute ones at the end.


"Firsts"
Not many this month. He's done so much that we're running out of firsts!
  • First crawl. He does a strange little army crawl that looks a bit like very ungraceful swimming. It isn't pretty, and prefers rolling to get anywhere, but it works for now. He still doesn't seem too interested in going up on his hands and knees. 
Things I Want to Remember
  • Any time we pick him up, he pats us on the back. We pretend he's saying, "Good Mommy/Good Daddy."
  • He chuckles all the time now. It's so funny. It's like a little nervous laugh. He definitely has a real laugh that he uses sometimes, but when he's just sitting and playing, he chuckles constantly. 
  • He loves dogs. When we go to someone's house that has a dog, he bounces up and down and giggles any time the dog is around. He doesn't mind at all if dogs jump on him or lick him.
  • He is scared of balls. Darby's mom had a medium-sized red bouncy ball that she brought out when we were at their house. Jonas started shaking and clinging to us. He hated that thing! It's so strange. 
  • He has always been a very good self-soother and has enjoyed sucking on his hands. He's finally settled on sucking on his middle three fingers of one hand. He uses his other hand to play with his hair above his ear. 

I know he's sleepy when he starts doing this.

Eating spaghetti at Mamaw's house. He was so funny slurping it up.

More mealtime messiness. He's a great eater and eats pretty much anything we give him. Sometimes he'll reject a food the first time it's offered, but if we try again, he usually goes for it. Greek yogurt and meat of all kinds are his favorites.

This is how he always sleeps - on his side with his arm out. He's still a great sleeper. We're very lucky.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

8 Months

I'd say this was my favorite month yet. Jonas is happy most of the time and interacts with us a lot more. He went through a clingy phase for a little while where he didn't want to let me cook or work on anything while he was in the room. Now, though, he's able to play pretty independently with his toys, with some occasional squawks for me to come over and mess with him. He's such a good-natured baby and will still go to anyone happily. I know people always exclaim over all babies' cuteness and sweetness, but I can't help but feel that the comments are a little more sincere when they're about Jonas. :) I'm proud to be his mom.

"Firsts"
  • First time to really roll. It was as if one day a switch was flipped and he realized he could actually get something he wanted by rolling to it. Now he rolls all the time and is sort of starting to creep. He's still not huge on lifting his head off the ground (unless he's sitting) or being on his tummy, so no crawling yet.
  • First big road trip with just mom and dad/first time to meet Grandpa and Alma, Todd and Rachel, Aunt Susan, Uncle Glenn, and Julia. We drove up to Wynne, AR, to spend a few days with Darby's extended family. It was wonderful. We were able to get the three baby second cousins together and introduce Jonas to his great-grandparents. From there, we drove over to Knoxville to visit Darby's cousins and then to a little cabin in the Smokies. I really enjoyed the time to relax together as a family. And Jonas was a dream baby while traveling. We are seriously so spoiled. 
    Great-Grandpa Jack
    Great-Grandma Alma
    Getting three babies to look at the camera proved quite challenging. Carter's older brother Cam tried to help as much as he could. Jonas is dwarfed by his cousins Carter (born in November) and Noah (born in January). He's the petite one in the family.
    Cousins Todd and Rachel in their cool apartment in downtown Knoxville. They took us out on the main square downtown for a fantastic dinner.
    Jonas really enjoyed riding the free trolley.
    Outside our cabin in the Smokies. It was raining that day so you can't see the mountains very well, but the view was really pretty.

  • First time to say "dada." He doesn't understand what he's saying and says it anytime to anyone. But still, it's fun to hear. No "mama" yet.  
  • First move. We bought a house! It was a crazy whirlwind. My parents and sister came up to help us paint, pack, and clean. Then, Darby's mom came and helped us unpack. I was so grateful because we left for our vacation a week after closing. Jonas transitioned without any trouble. He now has a whole room to himself instead of having to share it with the office. I actually haven't taken any pictures of the new house yet. I'm waiting til everything's in order. So, maybe in three years?
    Jonas helping Mamaw and Daddy hang pictures.
Things I Want to Remember
  • He has started growling as his preferred method of communication. He seriously sounds like a little demon. Everyone loves it. 
  • He has learned that he can get himself from sitting to laying down without just toppling over if he leans back very slowly. So, he does a reverse sit-up basically. It's pretty funny. And obviously a great core workout. 
  • He has tons of toys, but his favorite thing is an empty water bottle Darby's mom gave him. Give him one of his bright, textured, squishy, rattly, toys, and he'll be entertained for maybe 2 minutes. Give him that water bottle and he's good for 15 minutes or more.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

7 Months

Jonas is definitely beginning to make his desires known. He's still a fairly laid-back baby overall, but he has serious grumpy moments. Still, I'd say this is the parenting sweet spot. I know what I'm doing somewhat, we're in a good routine, and Jonas is learning new skills every day. I told Darby that if I could be given children when they were 6 months old, I'd have 10! :)


"Firsts" from This Month
  • First time to swim. I signed Jonas and myself up for swim classes. What I thought would be just a little mommy and me play time turned out to be a water survival skills class. I had to put him under water! It stressed me out so much. He didn't seem to mind too much though. And while he was too young to master floating on his back or crawling out of the pool, he did get very comfortable in the water, so that's something, I guess.

        

  • First 4th of July. We went over to our friends' house for a little party. They live out in the country, so we could shoot off fireworks. Jonas slept through that, but he did come with us to the fireworks store to pick them out.

Aunt Leila and Uncle Matt. Jonas loves spending time with them.
  • First time to roll back to front. He still can't get his arm out from under his body, so no rolling back and forth. But, he does twist his whole torso around, so I'm calling it.
  • First time to sit in a high chair/grocery cart.

  • First night away from mom and dad. While we were in Waco for Darby's high school reunion, we took advantage of the free baby-sitting to spend the night in a hotel to celebrate our anniversary. We stayed downtown and played tourists, walking across the suspension bridge and having fancy cocktails on a rooftop bar. It was so nice not to have to worry about getting home in time for bedtime and being able to sleep in. And Jonas was in great hands with his Mamaw and Grandpa.
Things I Want to Remember
  • He is really experimenting with his voice and goes through phases where he makes a certain noise all the time. For a couple of weeks, he would make a gasping noise. Now, he does a little click.
  • He's obsessed with his "puffs" - little baby cereal snacks. The doctor recommended we give them to him so he could practice with finger foods. But now we've created a monster. For a while he couldn't feed them to himself and would just squawk loudly until we fed him one. He would demand a puff in between each bite of vegetables. Ridiculous. Now he rakes them up and stuffs his whole fist in his mouth to make sure they don't fall out. We have to hide the container or he would eat them all day.
  • He loves straps, buttons, necklaces, and embroidered logos on shirts. If he sees one, he will not rest until he's touched it, or preferably, eaten it.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

6 Months

It's very hard to believe half a year has passed. I still feel like I should have a newborn (but I'm very glad I don't!). I have loved getting to know our little boy, and I'm looking forward to seeing his personality emerge more and more. 
It was a lot harder to get a decent picture this month because he kept wanting to eat the chalkboard and blanket.

"Firsts" from This Month
  • First time to sit up on his own. He's still not able to sit for long periods of time and definitely needs a spotter, but he's getting there.

  • First solid food. We started with sweet potatoes and he's also had avocado, oatmeal, banana, prunes, carrots, and pears. So far, he likes everything, and he's really starting to get into it now.
  • First Father's Day for Darby. We celebrated in Waco. Jonas and I bought Darby a computer program he wanted, and Jonas picked out a card. Darby is such a great dad. I've really been impressed with how natural he is. I couldn't ask for a better co-parent.
  • Jonas, Me, and Hannah with my dad.
    Darby, Jonas, and Darby's dad
  • First trip to Auntie Hannie's apartment/First time to meet Carolyn. My friend Carolyn was visiting Dallas for a week from Kansas City. I couldn't let her be within 3 hours of me and not see her, so Jonas and I made a quick trip to Dallas. We got to hang out in Hannah's "bachelorette pad" and have a nice lunch with Carolyn. Another successful mother/son road trip!
  • Jonas loves his Auntie Hannie!

    Jonas and Carolyn at The Twisted Root - yummy burgers!
  • First time to be held by Aunt Leila. My brother got married at the end of May. Leila's been around since Jonas was born, and, since she lives in Abilene, has spent a lot of time with Jonas. But it was still a big deal when she became his aunt officially. She is so sweet with Jonas and is a great addition to our family. 
  • Jonas was exhausted from all the excitement. :)
Things I Want to Remember
  • The big event of this month for me was nap training. I finally decided it was time for Jonas to learn to sleep in his crib at naptime. And it was rough. But after a few days, he really started to get the hang of it. He's still not a great napper, but he can fall asleep in his crib and stay asleep for an hour or so. It's much easier for me to get stuff done. Unfortunately, he now really resists being rocked to sleep, so when we want some snuggles before bedtime, we're out of luck. 
  • When we say "hi" to him, he makes a little happy sigh noise that sounds so much like he's saying "hi" back. I know he's not, but it's fun to pretend. 
  • Jonas has added to his shaking his head trick from previous months and now does a "crazy dance" where he shakes his head, kicks his legs, and flails his arms. It's hilarious and adorable. 
  • After weeks of trying, Jonas is finally able to get his feet into his mouth. He now chews on them all the time.