Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our little celebration

Since we were headed off to Germany on the 22nd, we wanted to have a special day where we opened presents with Jameson. I had a little plan for Kevin's present, so it had to be done before we left.
Kevin opening his present with Jameson's help

Yup, Jameson got a haircut, and that is what was in Kevin's present, since he had been asking when I was going to cut his hair for months!

He was having SO much fun with those blocks, he didn't want to open any other presents.

Our Christmas plant

I just wanted one picture with my boy, and he wanted to be down crawling, so I got a squishy hug and kiss instead.

This was the best picture I was going to get on Jameson's first Christmas.

We've gone cloth!

It is something I have been mulling over for awhile, and did a lot of research along the way. I finally made the jump, and I am pretty excited, actually, ridiculously so. So far, its been interesting, and it will be made even more interesting since our whole apartment house shares one washer/dryer unit. Is there anyone else who uses cloth diapers who can give me some hints? I found out my boy is a "heavy wetter." Yeah, he can drench a diaper. I suppose that's good, it means he is hydrated, right? I love his fat bottom waddle in the cloth diaper, its so cute.

Playing Catch up

I figured before the year ended I better go ahead and at least try to catch up with our lives the past two weeks. Christmas was awesome in Germany with my cousins, but it was nice to return home to a massive load of laundry! Yippee. Presents from Nana Archer arrived and Jameson was super enthralled with them. He would drag around the pretty red packages, but when it came time to open them, he was more interested in his blocks. Oh well, next year will be different!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sit still. Look cute!

Those were the instructions I gave Jameson. Ha ha ha. That is essentially what he told me. I got this completely corny Santa sleeper courtesy of H&M (can I say I love this place every time I mention the store?) Since this is Jameo's first Christmas and none of those "Baby's first Christmas" come in the large size my little beast needs, I figured this would do just fine. I wanted a cute picture I could add to the Christmas cards we are sending via snail mail; for Grandpa Bailey, Grandma and Grandpa Archer, Auntie, and a few other lucky ones. I had one idea and Jameson had another. He was very excited about playtime, and very unwilling to sit still. When I managed to have him sitting still he was holding very tight to a hairbrush. Not even a cute little stuffed animal, but a hairbrush. Have I mentioned he loves that hairbrush and carries it everywhere lately? I think we will have to have another photo-op, because these ones while they make me laugh, aren't exactly the look I was aiming to capture on film.

Sitting on our bed, one of his favorite places, with his hairbrush.
Unable to sit still

The little rascal was having such fun crawling away from me and the camera

Scene Change. He takes his job as Santa very seriously as he attempts to move the box of Christmas presents.

"Hey Uncle Jeff! Look at my 'leg pop!' Broadway, here I come!!"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jameson's Do or Don't?

I don't know if many of you are familiar with Glamour Magazine's "Do or Don't" section, but I put Jameson into a trend today that I am not entirely sure of, however, for practicality's sake feel that it's a DO. I bought Jameson "boy tights." Yes, you heard correctly. I bought him a pair of black/gray striped tights from H&M. This is not the only store you can buy the boy tights at here in Vienna, but they are the cheapest (shh! don't tell him that). Do they even sell "boy tights" in the states? I know there are "baby legs" leg warmers, but I think these are cooler. I found them in the boy section next to the spiderman underwear and the undershirts. They had lots of different colors, all "manly" colors, and along with the striped tights they had argyle ones too.

Here is my reasoning for them being a DO. 1) He has long legs, therefore pants ride up and the socks ride down, and his calves get cold. 2) He has taken to pulling his socks off, its a fun new game. 3) It increases his wardrobe since he can "rock" the onesie with them. 4) As Kevin pointed out, we are in Europe, and gender neutral is how most babies dress. 5) We are outside constantly, and they add a layer under a pair of pants too.

So, you tell me, is it a Do or a Don't? Would you put your son in tights? If not, why? Am I going to scar him for life?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Learning to feed himself

I think the video says it all. Jameson is very interested in learning how to feed himself. I am perfectly happy to encourage this behavior, although it does make for a messier meal time!

Picking the perfect piece takes lots of concentration

Taking the time to really taste the food

"I like it! I really really like it!"

Feeling a bit "saucy"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

U-bahn and Old Ladies

Every year there is a student that tells me they were hit by an elderly lady, on purpose, with her purse. I kinda chuckle and ask what they did to receive such treatment. Inevitably, they tell me they were resting their dirty-shod feet on the seat across from them. Well, I can understand the elderly lady's irritation. First off, they grew up in a society that was much more formal, and the rules were clearly stated, but also, in an urban area where everyone walks the streets are incredibly dirty (i.e. dog poo everywhere). It makes sense to want to keep the seats clean where someone will sit down in nice clothes. While I can't recall anytime I have been the recipient on the wrong side of an old lady's purse, this is what I think of when I see them riding the UBahn.

Well, I had a different experience last night. Apparently carrying a baby on my person changes their attitude. Riding the U-bahn I noticed a group of elderly women dressed in their winter coats and hats. Jameson also noticed them and was smiling at them, so they were smiling back. Then one of the women stood up and told me that his pants were scrunched up and his legs exposed to the cold air. Just to let you, dear readers know, the U-bahn cars during the Vienna Winters are kept at a completely UNCOMFORTABLE 90 degrees or around there. She then proceeded to stand up while the train was moving to fix his pant legs. I was fully expecting to have to catch her, because a moving train is not very stable. I thanked her profusely and Jameson continued to smile at them for the rest of our trip. True to her word, his legs managed to stay warm in the chilly night air once we left the U-bahn station. It made me smile, and now, I will think of the old ladies taking care of little babies instead of hitting college kids with their purses for a wrongdoing.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Tonight Kevin and I got together with a few students for dinner downtown at an awesome restaurant called 1516. It was named for the year the beer purity law was created. Its a fun atmosphere with almost American-like food i.e. Cheeseburgers, salads, pitchers of beers and burritos (granted it was a caprese burrito: Mozarella, tomato and basil wrapped in a tortilla, but still...). Jameson was crazy crazy crazy and just plain old fussy. He didn't want to sit still for long, and he wanted to be crawling around the restaurant (ummm, no). I have no idea why, but I think it has something to do with the teething issue and we have been really busy the past week. I had a burger and it was delish! The "ducklings" all agreed that it was a place they might frequent again before they leave next week. Where in the world did the time go???

After dinner, the old people (Kevin and I) were convinced to go to the Christkindlmarkts. It wasn't difficult to convince us as we had yet to go this year and I really wanted some of that Beeren Punsch. Eric led the way to the best beeren punsch out there. I have to admit it was mighty tasty with strawberries floating on top, it was a warm and toasty drink to keep the cold at bay. I love the Christkindlmarkts because everything about it says "Christmas," and makes me remember my first year in Vienna when my mom and I wandered up and down the aisles looking at all the ornaments and different trinkets drinking hot chocolate or punsch.

Unfortunately, it began to rain and being out of doors in freezing cold rain isn't fun, even with a hot drink in hand. So, Allie, Blaine, Eric, Kellie, Jillian, Larissa, Kevin, Jameson and I made our way back to the U-bahn and our evening was at an end. Jameson was tired and ready for bed, so it was probably for the best anyway. I thanked my ducklings for a great friday night out (my first in who knows how long!)

Drinking our yummy Erdbeer punsch

Jameson just hanging out

Eric, Kellie, Blaine and Allie posing for my camera at the Christkindlmarkt

Larissa enjoying the Christkindlmarkt

Jillian likes her punsch

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

He barely has a tooth and he already bit his tongue...

...and drew blood! Seriously! Yup, he has a tooth, although 99% of it is still below the surface of the gumline. It cut the gum the other day and popped through so that I could feel the sharp little points yesterday, today I can almost see the whole top of it. Jameo has taken to chewing on his tongue. He seems to like the new sensation of this tooth, and that is how he bit his tongue. He moves all around with his tongue between his gums sticking out of his mouth, clicking it and chewing it.

Here are some pics of him learning how to drink from his sippy cup! I'd say he is getting the hang of it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rock star

Further proof that Jameson is a born rock star.

A joke, but we really do wonder what he may be when he is an adult. Doesn't everyone wonder that about their own kids?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My son makes me laugh

This evening Jameson and I were lounging around. He was playing in his playpen and I was talking to my brother (Hi Tim!) on the phone. Jameson's newest trick is to make kissy lips and kissing noises. He goes around and does this a lot. That makes me chuckle, but isn't what was so funny tonight. I was hearing this kissy sound and I looked down and Jameson is lying on his tummy with his feet up under him so his tush is sticking up in the air. His head is turned to the side and he is sucking on his sippy cup (a new item that he is still learning how to use) while the sippy cup is on its side in the playpen. I laughed so hard, because I suppose to a little guy who has only been nursed since he was born, he doesn't understand that he needs to use his hands to lift it up and drink. I don't even know if I am explaining it well, but it made me giggle. Gotta give him props for his creativity! He caught me laughing at him and turned around and gave me the biggest grin and proceeded to come over to the side of the playpen and give me kissy faces.
Just thought I would share, because it was so funny.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving...Vienna Style

The day is done, the food has been cooked and eaten, the dishes washed and I am EXHAUSTED! I love cooking, but wow, its so much work. I began cooking the food last night, mainly the pies and some of the appetizers, then kept right on cooking today. Kevin took care of the turkeys, and with the help of some of my awesome students I cooked the rest. Jameson was in the very capable hands of other students so that I was free to do whatever needed to be done. I will post more later, but here are some fun photos throughout the day. This is by far my favorite group dinner of the year, and its most definitely the most work, but the pay-off is great, and the students really appreciate it being so far from home. If we can't be home with our families (we miss you guys and are VERY thankful for you!) then here in Vienna with our students is the 2nd best place to be!

By chance we ended up "renting" out a restaurant. Our group took over the back three rooms and the oh-so-cool industrial kitchen to cook our 3 turkeys totaling almost 40 pounds, 11 pounds of potatoes, 9 pounds of green beans, 4 boxes (I know! I know!) of stuffing, 4 heads of red cabbage, 4 cans of cranberries, 3 pumpkin pies, 2 apple strudel, 1 apple pie and 6 pounds of sweet potatoes. We went through (3) 1000 gram bags of white sugar, (2) 500 grams of brown sugar, 6 cups of butter, way too much salt, (1.5) 1000 gram bags of flour, a half bag of marshmallows, 12 granny smith apples, 200 grams of pecans and a multitude of other items, that I am too exhausted to think about at the moment. The restaurant was a lifesaver, I think we are doing Thanksgiving there from here on out (if they will have us). We did all the cooking and they did the dishes, how much does that rock? Anyway, here are a few pics from tonight:

Cooking the red cabbage; notice the gi-AN-tic pots (that's an inside joke for any former Wiener studenten).

Carving one of the three turkeys.

Jameson loves the ladies!

Hanging out before dinner

Look at that serving line!

A beautiful plate of food!

Jameson likes pearls, apparently.

Dr. Pfabigan talking with two students

This may be the family picture that you see (ignore the exhausted sweaty looks of the cooks!)

But this is really what our family picture should look like! We love our students and we are so thankful to have them!

By the end of the night this is how we all felt!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Pic Updates

On our way to the airport. Jameson was very giddy!

This has to be one of my all-time favorite pictures of Jameo. Hanging out in the baby bassinet.

Kevin holding Jameson in the bassinet because he was trying to climb out.

About 8 hours into the flight, looking a little ragged, but slept quite well.

This is where Jameson hangs out all around Vienna. LOVE the ergo carrier!
Exhausted after a long flight, but excited to be back.

This is what packing to live overseas for 6 months looks like.
OK, now that I have a new photo uploader I will begin taking some more pics.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Flight of Fancy

Sorry for the lag in posting a new blog. We have arrived in Vienna as of Saturday afternoon. I was waiting to post until I uploaded the pics, but of course I cannot manage to find my uploader thing (what is that called?) I recall very distinctly picking it up from Kevin's desk fearing that he would forget it. Hmmmm. I thought I put it directly into a suitcase. Ummm, haven't found it yet, and three of the four bags are unpacked. It still may be in my bag which is sitting in our bedroom packed, but exploding at the seams. I need to clean out our armoire, it has a bunch of stored stuff in it, before I put my stuff away. If I don't find it soon I will go buy a new one.

It was a really good flight over. REALLY good. I put in a request for upgrades with our bazillion miles, but the star "alliance" isn't really much of an alliance at all, perhaps a tentative agreement at best and both Lufthansa and United like to make things incredibly difficult for their clients. I purchased our tickets from Lufthansa like United told me to do, then called United with our itinerary was put on hold for hours as usual. I got the necessary certificates and the upgrade request was put into action. A few days later Kevin got a call: DENIED. What? Why? United didn't know. They would put in a new request in a week. Another call: DENIED. OK. We weren't getting an upgrade, that was fine, did we still want to receive the certificates United wanted to know, as it would take the miles out of our account. Yes, we have learned these certificates are gold, and without them there is no hope of getting an upgrade. We arrive at the airport and the Lufthansa agent says we will most likely get an upgrade. Really? That would be nice, but we have learned not to get our hopes up. Success. We did get an upgrade and even had a baby bassinet. I wish Jameson used it more than the 40 minutes he did. All that to say, we sat in Business Class, and managed to sleep quite decently! The seats lay nearly flat. Jameson slept in my chair with me and we were very comfortable. It spoiled us! I wish it was worth the $7000 price tag, but its not, so we will continue to use our miles. :)

Jameson has had a difficult time with jet lag this time, more so then ever before. Although I think we are making a breakthrough. He woke up at his proper time (7:00am) this morning. Sunday he slept until 11:45 (after being awake two different time during the night 11-1 and 3-4:30). What has made me laugh is that if I subtract the 8-hour time difference he is following his schedule back home. Troublesome. Monday he woke up at 10:45 (after being awake for a couple hours between1-3, & 5 and yesterday he woke up about 9:30 after being awake from 11-1, and maybe one more time around 4. Today he woke up at 7, after being awake between 11-1. He woke up about 2:30 to nurse, but stayed relatively sleepy. I actually had our alarm set this morning to 7:15 to attempt to get us back on our schedule. Jet leg is difficult, because its more than just a time difference, the body has to adjust to a new circadian rhythm as well (where daylight and nighttime help us sleep). It's not the easiest thing to do, even as an adult I find myself starving at 3am (approximately dinner time) and getting up to go to the bathroom all night long. With a baby its the same, so he has been really hungry middle of the night (like tummy growling hungry) and dirty diapers galore, and REALLY sleepy during the day and around what would be his morning nap (about 5:30pm in Vienna). I am hoping that his wake up time of 7 will help us get back on track. I wish it was sunnier here, because daylight definitely helps but the weather has been rainy and grey, not helpful! To substitute I have all the lights on in the family room. I am about to turn on some fun music and do some dancing (since he was dancing to his own song last night in bed, which was making me laugh considering it was 11:30pm).

Hopefully, I will find the photo uploader and I can upload some of the pics we took.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dog exchange

Kev and I are driving to Boise with Jameson and the three dogs to meet my parents so we can exchange the dogs with them. They have so kindly offered (ha ha) to be the foster parents to our puppies. We REALLY appreciate all that our parents do to help us, because there is no way we could do it without them! Its going to be a LONG weekend in the car, but then the dogs will be cared for and I can start thinking about packing for our long haul in Vienna. I am really excited to see my parents and I know they are excited to see Jameson! I am sure I will have some fun stories to share from our drive and the visit sometime next week! Until then...keep us in your thoughts while we are driving!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jameson's new tricks

Over the past few days Jameson has developed some new tricks. He is finally doing some babbling! He began this babbling on the plane ride home from San Diego where he decided sleep was WAY overrated. It is a babbling mixture of "da," "rah," and "lah." Although the ladies I sat next to on the plane definitely agreed it was "Da-da" because they kept telling him to say "Momma." I just laughed, I am happy he is babbling, maybe he will work on his verbal development and quit working on new physical feats for awhile.

His other new trick makes me laugh so hard, which is probably why it has become a trick. He crinkles his nose and snorts. Omigosh, it is hilarious. He loves to make his momma laugh, because if I laugh he does it again and again and again. This particular video he is snorting while eating, which makes it look like he doesn't enjoy the food, but he was eating sweet potatoes, which happen to be his favorite, but the faces he makes are priceless.

We had a lovely time in San Diego (I seriously miss that city!) and we got to see lots of friends and hang out with my brother. By the way, Tim I want those pictures! Jameson was such a trooper, he enjoyed the study abroad fair at Point Loma and we got to introduce him to former professors and colleagues.
Let me just say that I love the Baby Bjorn travel bed. Out of all the travel cribs he has slept in, this is by far the best one ever.
I first found it in Vienna, and then ordered one when I arrived home. It is light, 10 lbs and it doesn't have a middle bar the mattress sits on the floor, its also incredibly easy to open and close. I can't recommend it enough. He even took a nap on caf lane amidst the hustle and bustle. I have been using it as a playpen during the day and during the evening I put it in our room next to the bed.

You ALL have permission to laugh at my weakness. Jameson was a brilliant sleeper until we moved to Vienna (time difference), have the crib in our bedroom (comfort), Kevin came back to Denver (transition), he got more social (just the age) growing (hungry at night) and while we are still waiting on teeth, I swear they are on their way (pain). Whether it is all coincidental, or I got wimpier, or like many of the books say 6-12m can be a trying time for sleep, because they are growing in leaps and bounds both mentally and physically. Either way, he has been waking up two times a night for the past couple months and fighting his crib preferring to sleep in my arms or cuddled up by us. It doesn't really bother me, which is probably why I haven't attempted to curb it so much. I am reading "The-No-Cry-Sleep-Solution" for some hints, but with us leaving for Vienna in another two weeks, I almost feel its pointless to implement anything yet. So, go ahead laugh, I can take it.

Our buddies Zach and LeAnn invited us to stay in their brand new condo downtown. We totally accepted that request (thanks guys!) The favorite toy in their house was a huge stack of DVDs. He made a beeline for it as soon as he was on the floor. Zach then began building a house of DVDs which Jameson seriously enjoyed knocking over. It kept him occupied for many hours!

For those who know me well, happen to know that I have a very favorite hoodie. I received it my senior year of high school when I decided to attend Pt. Loma for college. It is undeniably the most worn item in my closet, by a very high margin. I managed to wear it all through pregnancy (which was my goal). Though stained and ripped in some places it still holds a very special place, even though its life is threatened on a daily basis by burning by many people my husband and mom included. I am happy to say that I bought a new hoodie, it still has a number of washings to get comfy, but I am working on breaking it in. Jameson also got his first Loma shirt. I was a crusader, unfortunately they are now the Sea LIONS, as in a LION coming out of the sea, its pretty funny, oh and the lion's name is ROARY. Roary, the Sea LION. Jameson has proudly worn it a few times already. Although I can't say I would be happy if he decided to attend my crazy (but lovable) alma mater, I will dress him in appropriate gear, after all it has been [more than] 5 years since I graduated. (eeek!) Time flies!

The next two weeks are likely to be just as crazy as the last two weeks, so I apologize for the delay between postings. Help me get my kid to nap longer during the day and I will be happy to update more! Until the next post...