Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas to all...

Christmas was quite an affair this year in the Chamblee Basham household. The tree was up more than 2 weeks before Christmas (probably a new record for us). We went to a night service on Christmas Eve at our church, and Jack got through the whole thing with nary a peep. As a matter of fact, he seemed to be stunned speechless by the music and the number of people. He stayed in Mama's lap the whole time pretty much just taking in all the new sights and sounds.

We celebrated Christmas Day in the morning at home (with Mae Mae and Papaw) and in the afternoon at Silly Goose Ann's house.

We haven't tried to make Jack into your guy's guy type of kid, but he is more than a little fond of cars and choo choos. Such is his love for vehicles, that he often falls asleep at night clutching one. He was thrilled to get a small fleet of matchbox cars and Thomas friends to add to his collection.

Ann hosted the big extended family Christmas party this year. When we arrived, Jack was hungry and feeling somewhat intimidated by the large crowd. An hour later you'd have never known he ever had a lick of shyness in him. The pictures may say it best...

Planes, trains and automobiles...
Jack does the hokey pokey with Elmo...
Silly Goose Ann teaches Jack how to bowl...
Aunt Mimi introduces Jack to Frankie the race horse...
Daddy loves this picture because everything that isn't moving and everything that is moving seems to be reversed...
Jack gives a smooch to sleeping Baby Layne...
Baby Layne breaks in her rocking lamb...

Where the time went...

For the last 2 months I've almost daily told myself that this would be the day that I finally update Jack's blog. Most folks know how that goes. Finally, Mama's blogless streak ends. Ahhh...but I hear Jack stirring on the baby monitor maybe not.

On a side note, Jack usually says these two sentences in varying order as he first wakes in the morning: 1. Time-a-find Mama 2. Time-a-eat sausage. You have to have priorities in life, you know.

* * * * * *

(Jack just went down for his afternoon nap, so now I can finish this post.)

I thought I'd post some pre-Christmas catch up pics before I chronicle the swirly whirly yuletide celebrations. In a nutshell...

A) We finally got some studio portraits made. Here are my favorite digital proofs. It's strange how the mood seems so still in the photos...the session was really quite kinetic. The photographer's wife was practically doing handstands with her tongue and eyes wagging out to get Jack to look up and stay put. Jack also spent all of the next day at the doctor's office and hospital getting breathing treatments for croup that took an overnight turn for the worse. Hard to believe from the photos...

B) Jack has developed intermittent empathy. MA and I saw a glimpse of it in October as Jack initiated a hug for the first time. I think E. said something about love, which Jack (apparently) took to mean that she needed some. He reached to hug her, and she recoiled in surprise. I didn't see him do much loving again until recently. For the last few weeks, he's been occasionally given to caring for Kermit. He feeds him pretend oatmeal, puts him down for naps, walks him in a stroller, and gives him pretend milk. The milk part is pretty weird to watch at times. Kermit's quite floppy, so Jack will hold his mouth open and jam the sippy cup down his throat (the kiddy equivalent of a frat boy hazing, I guess).

C) We did Thanksgiving at Mae Mae and Papaw's house, but we didn't get the camera out enough. Jack ate copious quantities of pumpkin pie and butternut squash, so we saw orange in his diapers for at least 2 or 3 days after that. Photographed highlights included walking around in Papaw's shoes and throwing rocks in the fish pond with Lola.

D) Jack seems to be cutting the last of his baby teeth...he hasn't complained much, but he's back to having his fingers in his mouth a lot. Here we admired our miniature nativity scene as Mama guarded the holy family from excessive drool from on high.

Not a whole lot of newsworthy stuff happened prior to Christmas. Historically December has been a crumby work month for me, but this year there were no deadlines. I decided to enjoy of the time leading up to Christmas as much as possible since I've missed out on much of it in the last decade or so. I did a good bit more sewing, knitting, shopping, housekeeping and cooking than in holiday seasons past (my excuse for not getting any paper Christmas cards out).

Soon it'll be nose to the grindstone again. But first, I'll do another post on the Christmas festivities.

Another aside: People who know me know that I am really bad at remembering the precise wording of 'stock''s a Rube moment for you : in expressing this sentiment to John, I actually said, in wistful tones, "It'll be back to the old bump and grind."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

We considered dressing Jack up as Elvis (he's got the hair for it), but we decided to stick with something he could relate to. The boy has an abiding love for choochoos. In a rare show of artistic and engineering fervor, Daddy constructed Thomas the Tank Engine by mounting one of our old moving boxes onto the very same Radio Flyer wagon he had when he was a little guy 30 years ago. Daddy was just as surprised as Mama that it came out so well. After Mama acquired a conductor outfit, Jack was pretty much a happy boy. We suspect that this is one costume that will outlast Halloween by quite a bit.

Jack trick-or-treated at a grand total of 4 houses and had a fine time. He even said "thank you" -- which is something we've been working on recently with less than complete success. Once we got back home, he had great fun moving our give-away candy back and forth from vessel to vessel. (There were over 300 pieces of candy to move, so this game kept him busy a good long time.) Occasionally he would stop to say, "Happy Halloween!" or "Bye Bye Superman!"

Kudos to Mom for the well-rendered Thomas face!
Jack loves his train/wagon........
....but does he love it more than Daddy?
thanks to our neighbor for giving Jack his very first Halloween candy.

At the going rate of 40 cents a pound...

...Jack is about a ten dollar pumpkin.

Last weekend we took him to the pumpkin patch in the costume he wore for his first Halloween. Surprisingly, we were the only ones that day who dressed our kid up like a pumpkin. Many times we heard "Aaaaww! I'll take that one!" or "What a cuuuuute little pumpkin girl!" (We don't take offense to the little girl comments; he is pretty cute after all.)

Jack really enjoyed himself (as did Mama, Daddy, Papaw, and Mae Mae). He doesn't 'get' Halloween, but he has noticed that pumpkins seem to be everywhere lately. He also recently starting getting his colors straight, so every chance to point out 'orange pumpkin' is pretty cool in his book. Jack got to ride a cow train, follow a tractor on a hay ride, and sit on many different pumpkins.

The fun of the last might merit a little explanation: Jack does two maybe-more-weird-than-average things: 1) recently he has been experimenting with carrying various things with his neck, and 2) for a long time now he has enjoyed experimenting with whether or not something can be sat upon. The pumpkin patch was evidently a place where Number 2 was a fine, fine game.

Here are several pics...our faves from both last year (pre-blog and MONTHS pre-first-haircut) and this year so you can see how much he's changed. It's strange to look at the older my mind's eye he never had that chubby a baby face. He's certainly a skinny kid now. He's got the baby belly, but his waist keeps him in 9-12 month pants. As a matter of fact, he still wears the pants he wore in last year's pumpkin patch pictures. They're like baby capris now, but we just can't keep much bigger pants on him!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Florida in his blood?

We just got back from a week's vacation in Cape Coral where we celebrated Papaw's 70th birthday. Most of that time was spent in the pool at Mae Mae and Papaw's rental or in the pool at Aunt Mimi's. Aunt Mimi's pool is his favorite. It has a good sized plateau of sorts where the water is about 10 inches deep. This part of the pool is known as "Jack's Beach". He spent so much time on Jack's beach that he actually only got one tub bath the entire week we were gone!

Mae Mae put some water wings on the boy to see what would happen and lo and behold, the kid swims like a fish. Sort of. It takes about a hundred kicks for him to get one inch of forward momentum. Not bad for a 20-month-old, though! W
hen he has his wings on, he loves to stand on the edge of Jack's beach and fall forward into the deep part.

Mama and Daddy also took Jack to the real beach at Sanibel. It's a beautiful spot...there aren't a lot of people and you can walk 30 yards out before the water gets above your knees. Jack seemed a little perplexed by the saltiness of the water, but he loved the freedom of getting in and out at his leisure. (This is in contrast to the tight leash we keep on him at swimming pools as he attempts to run around the edges and scale their concrete steps and hop in at random depths.)

This was one of the best vacations we've had, but such fine times do have their drawbacks. We came back on Saturday, and our little Florida boy has made it clear that we are boring because we can't hop into pool or watch boats on a daily basis. Aaah the fickle nature of toddlers...sometimes a house full of toys and books and outings to the park and undivided parental attention just aren't enough. This was just the vacation we all needed, but Mama and Daddy caught themselves praying for Monday so that Jack could enjoy the much loved distractions provided by his daycare teachers and playmates!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Loving on the Grandmothers

Our cuddle bug has returned! Jack hasn't been willing to be still long enough for displays of affection since he was a few months old. Now you can cuddle him for a few minutes at a time, and if he's in the mood, the kisses just keep on coming. Here he is sharing some special moments with Maemae and Lola.

Kiddo has a lot to say. He's making sentences now. An example of his most complex construction is probably 'I see a big truck!' The night-night ritual has become pretty cute, too. Instead of nursing, we say 'Night Night' to practically his entire lexicon and every person he knows. It's pretty endearing to see him bid all his stuffed animals good night and then give them kisses. Later, he drops off while whispering such things as 'Night Night Mo-Ka-Koo (motorcycle)'.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Jack's baptism was last Sunday, and we were fortunate to have a lot of family to share the moment. For those who are curious, there was no dunkin' of the punkin'. Water was dribbled upon his forehead.

The day before, Jack had learned the phrase 'Oh yeah, baby!' from Aunt Ann and Uncle Mike. He says this quite often now (most notably just before latching on to nurse), so we thought he might say this during the sacrament. Instead, he picked up on 'Amen' and said this about a dozen times throughout. This elicited quite a few giggles from us and the congregation. The Basham Chamblee cup of cuteness overfloweth, indeed.

Friday, July 6, 2007

On your mark...

I just couldn't decide which of the videos that Kristian took was cuter so they are both going up, as well as one of the pics he took. These movies aren't compressed, so don't try them if you don't have a high speed connection.

Mamas and Babies

We all missed our recent ten year college reunion, but I think we got something much better. I just can't believe these are our lives now.

Ten years ago we lived in a small dorm. It was half the price of the other dorms on campus because it was the only one on the academic side of Broadway, and it should probably have been condemned. But it was a home where we each had our own rooms as well as all the intellectual and emotional space we needed to be ourselves. And everything was in front us and exciting.

Now we are moms and professionals. You should see all of us yawning by the early afternoon everyday. And we could talk for hours about breast pumps.

Despite the darkening circles under my eyes, somehow I am even more of a wide-eyed optimist than I was back then. I don't know exactly what else I will have been in my life before the song ends, but I feel safe knowing that I've got great friends and family with whom to share what's to come.

Having picked up a few more PRACTICAL SKILLS doesn't hurt either...

Winken, Blinken, and Nod

Mama's friends from her Transy days came with their families for a little reunion last weekend at Reynold's Plantation. The munchkins enjoyed a little bath time together in a shmancy clawfoot tub. Pictured are Elsa (just turned 2), Ella (coming up on 20 months) and Jack (18 months today).

Sure wish Ella's older brother Pierce could have been there, but we hear he was enjoying 'all the parts' of a water slide at Vacation Bible School. We also missed little Daniel. He just turned a year old, and we imagine that he might have taken his first run before his first walk in order to keep up with this bunch. We hope he and his mama and papa can join us next time. We look forward to Annabelle and her folks coming, too. It'll be like clown car bathtub.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Little Kahuna

Jack had a great time during the weekend before last at the beach at Amelia Island (his first visit to an ocean as a toddler). He would point at the vastness of the sea and say, ever so keenly, 'Muh!' (his word for all liquids).

His vocabulary is growing exponentially now. Of course, 'beach' and 'pool' entered his lexicon at Amelia. It was also there that he finally started calling Hope something other than 'Papaw'... she is now 'Mehmeh' to Jack. Daddy and Mama are still probably going to address cards to her with 'YoNanaMamawMehmeh'.

At home we read a lot of books and magazines with Jack. His current favorites are
Railways and Rhymes (a Thomas and friends book) and Wired magazine (his potty read). We can't believe the number of things he can name now. Nowadays you often only have to say a noun a couple of times for him to remember it. He's not really there yet with adjectives...sometimes he'll mimic ones he hears, but he doesn't tend to use them on his own. His verbs are pretty much 'EatEat', 'Go', 'Ride', 'PeePee', and 'PooPoo'. (Are there many more verbs needed to describe a day in the life of a todder?)

He's become quite the parrot with words that he doesn't understand. When he gets upset, Mama often consoles him by murmuring, 'I know...I know, Poor Baby.' Lately when he gets fired up and fussy, he sobs and screeches 'I know! I know!'

Kiddo also seems to have made up his own word game. One person says 'Beebah'. The next person says 'Kookah'. Repeat. We don't know if this is his take on a game he overheard at daycare if he just decided on his own that these syllables just sound good together.

Except for a struggle with napping, Jack's at an immensely fun age. He loves to be tickled. He's only gotten more quick to laugh, and he can entertain himself for a very long time with toys and books. You just have to keep an eye out for stunts that tempt fate and gravity a little too much. He takes great delight in balancing precariously and throwing himself backwards into things. (We wonder if he might be an Xtreme sport kind of guy when he gets older...Mama inwardly makes the Marge Simpson noise at that prospect.)