Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jack is 11 Months Old

Apparently I am the new owner of this blog since I am the only one that ever writes anything for it! I guess Mommy and Daddy are too busy taking care of me to do anything fun to write about. I promise after I turn a year old I won't bore you with monthly updates as I will probably be too busy running around like a wild man.

This last month was pretty fun. I got to experience my first Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Long's. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of food! I think my favorite thing was the cranberries.

Mom decorated the whole house for Christmas and I got to help pick out a real tree! I love looking at the tree and playing with the Nutcrackers when Mom isn't looking.

Santa also came by my daycare. He was pretty scary, so my teacher Brandy had to hold me. Mom and Dad tried to force me to sit on Santa's lap again, but luckily the lines were hours long so I didn't have to be traumatized again! I hear rumors that Mommy may be trying to take me one more time before Christmas, so I guess I better get prepared.

I'm having a really good time playing with my two push toys. It's still pretty scary to let go, so I make sure to only do that when Mommy or Daddy is right there so I can fall into them. I wish I could just do it! Getting around would be so much easier.

And for the not so fun stuff- I got tubes put in my ears! I had a fourth ear infection, so rather than taking another round of antibiotics I had the surgery done. Not fun. Actually, hanging out before surgery was pretty fun because I got to play with new toys and ride around in a little car, but then they took me away from Mommy and Daddy and gave me medicine to fall asleep and when I woke up Mommy and Daddy weren't there and I was really scared. But now everything is better and my ears don't hurt!

This weekend is the start of Christmas festivities. We are going to Nebraska to see my mom's aunts, uncles, cousins, and my great grandpa for the annual Keller Kristmas. It's going to be fun. Then next weekend is Christmas for real when Santa comes, and then soon after that I turn one!

Of course I will keep you updated.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jack is 10 months old

Let's see what happened this last month...hmmm... Well, I am getting really good at pulling myself up and cruising around the furniture and I really like to climb the stairs. Mommy and Daddy decided to put a stop to that by putting up a gate in front of them; they are NO fun! I  like to wave at everyone I see and people seem to love it and wave back. I also figured out I can point at stuff and Mommy and Daddy will tell me all about it. I am learning so much stuff!

I didn't have a regular doctors visit this month, but I did see an ear, nose and throat specialist at Children's Mercy Hospital because I had gotten three really bad ear infections. I don't have to get tubes yet, but they said if I get a fourth infection in six months they will have to put them in. I hope that doesn't happen! Otherwise I've been feeling pretty good!

I had a few adventures this past month. We went to the Deanna Rose Farmstead out in Overland Park- that place is so cool! I can't wait to go when I am older and can play on the jungle gym and feed the goats myself.

We also went to the zoo and saw a lot of animals I had only seen in my picture books- elephants, tigers, lions and monkeys. It was fun, but I think I liked the farmstead better!

I also dressed up as a tiger for Halloween. We carved pumpkins at home and I had a party at daycare, but I didn't get to do any trick or treating this year. A lot of kids came to our house all dressed up and Daddy gave out tons of candy, so maybe I will get to go next year.

Thanksgiving is coming up and I am really excited about it. I hear I will get to eat tons of awesome food. I can't wait! If you want to see more pictures, look here. Talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jack is 9 months old

Another month down! I love growing up. There is so much fun stuff to see and do. I'm pulling myself up everywhere now. I am also as fast as lightening at this crawling thing. I can be sitting in the kitchen playing with spoons, pulling condiments out of the fridge or splashing in the water bowl, but if I see Monkey laying in the living room I can crawl over to him in seconds! I think it's trouble for Mommy and Daddy sometimes because they sure are telling me "NO" a lot (like when I grab the remote off the table, or I touch Daddy's electronics, or I try to crawl up the steps).

I also love eating by myself. I used to think food was gross and squishy and wet, but I finally realized how good real food tastes and I can't get enough. I love Spaghettios, mac and cheese, baked beans, chili (it can't be too spicy though!), chicken alfredo, veggies, pears, peaches, potato salad, potstickers- you get the idea.  You name it, I like it! I'll just shovel it in. Sometimes eating can get messy, so Mommy and Daddy bought me a full-sleeved bib to try and keep me a little cleaner. I guess it works.

What other adventures happened this last month... Grandma Long had a big birthday that I got to celebrate, Mommy and Daddy went to NASCAR so I got to hang out with Grammy Anderson that day, I met my new friend Alexander- he was pretty boring and just slept the whole time, I got a stomach virus that made me sick everywhere for about a week, then I got a terrible ear infection that I had to get horrible shots for (3 in a week to be exact!), I played a lot outside on the pink blanket on the deck and bathtime is my favorite. All in all a pretty good month.

I did have a doctor's visit.  My doctor, Dr. Rogers, is a pretty cool guy and he won some fancy award (see the article at the bottom of this newsletter), but that didn't stop him from giving me another shot! This one is supposed to keep me from getting the flu, so I guess that's okay. The nurse kept prodding me with all kinds of devices and said something about how she couldn't believe how aware I was at nine months; all I wanted was for her to just leave me alone! I had a great appointment and everything looks perfect. Here are my stats:

Head Circumference- 18 inches (60th %)
Weight- 20.6 pounds (50th %)
Height- 28.5 inches (52nd %)

So perfectly average. I guess my head isn't as big as it looks!

I guess there is not much else for this month. See you again real soon!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Portland and the ICCS Course

Every year the International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS) hosts a meeting and a course covering many different Clinical Flow Cytometry topics; this year it happened to be in Portland, Oregon and I was chosen to go. I only went to the course portion of the event and my boss went to the meeting portion.

The course covered a wide range of Clinical Flow Cytometry topics such as Acute Myeloid Leukemias, Plasma Cell Leukemias, Low and High Grade Lymphomas, and Immunodeficiency diseases. I have been doing Flow Cytometry for 6 years so a lot of the information presented was not new to me, but I think that helped me to focus more on things I didn't know a lot about, and it is always interesting to see what other labs do to diagnose leukemias and lymphomas. There is no standard way a leukemia panel has to be run, so every lab will do it slightly different and it's interesting to see how we compare.

Unfortunately I didn't have a ton of time to explore downtown Portland as I was in class most of the day, but I did see some interesting things! I stayed at the Portland Hilton right in the middle of downtown.

I took the MAX Lightrail from the airport to the hotel. The lightrail is awesome- I got dropped off two blocks from the hotel and it only cost $2.40 (it seems to be an honor system on buying tickets as no one actually checked for a ticket once you got on the train). When you are downtown the lightrail is free to hop on and off. I believe there are also streetcars, but I never actually saw one.

The night I arrived I got myself checked in and then went out and walked a few blocks around my hotel. It's always fun to be in a city where you can just walk a few blocks in any direction and find whatever you need. A car is not necessary. It was pretty late that night so I just grabbed a burrito from QDoba for dinner.

After class on Friday I had a little more time so I ventured out a bit further. I walked over to the Willamette River and walked down the path for a while.

I then decided to find the Occupy Portland protest that was happening (I saw on the news that it was close to my hotel). I have never seen anything like it!

Two whole square blocks were covered in tents, tarps and protest signs. There were hundreds of people hanging out, passing out literature, marching, and acting pretty peaceful. There were a few cops standing around the perimeter, but otherwise things were okay. I guess at one point the protestors were blocking Main street, but the cops took care of that.

I still had some time, so I walked over to the mall and checked that out. Nothing too exciting in there except a huge line outside of the Apple store. I guess it was for the launch of the new iPhone. I ended up just getting a Panera type sandwich for dinner that was pretty good.

Saturday night was my last night in Portland. I started out the evening by hopping on the light rail and taking it a few blocks to a doughnut shop. When I was at the mall the night before I kept seeing all these people with pink boxes that said Voodoo Doughnut shop on them, so of course I had to check it out. Apparently this place is brand new and very popular because when I got there at 5:30 P.M. there was a line down the block, and I wasn't going to wait that long for a doughnut (even thought doughnuts are my second favorite food). If I hadn't been by myself I may have done it.

I decided to just walk back since it was still light out and hit up any shops I saw along the way. I say a Nordstrom Rack and heard it was cool, but it was kind of like a Marshalls or TJMaxx but with designer brands, so not that exciting for me. Plus it was full of teeny boppers so I didn't stay too long. I ended up stopping at a Thai food place near the hotel and got Pad Thai and crab rangoons to go and came back to my room and watched NASCAR, packed and wrote blog posts.

And that was that.  I missed Brian and Jack terribly so I was excited to be going home.  As a bonus on the last leg of my trip I was seated in first class.  Score!  Free wine for me!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jack is 8 months old

Wow, this past month has flown by! I think we've done something fun every weekend this summer, and it's wearing me out. Literally. I've been sick the past few days- first I caught a cold, then I got an ear infection, then I got a stomach virus, and on top of that my top teeth are coming in! Mommy or Daddy always seem to get sick at the same time I do too... I guess they are doing it to be nice. Anyways, that isn't very exciting to talk about.

No regular doctor's visits this month- just the sick visit recently to get my ears checked out. Luckily there are no shots involved with that. I did find out I weigh almost 20 pounds! I bet I'm almost halfway to Daddy's weight!

Here I am on my first visit to a zoo:

Zoo's are cool! Oh yeah, I am no longer doing the army crawl- I am full on crawling.  You can't stop me now! I also figured out how to pull myself up. One day I was stuck in my crib and I grabbed onto the bars, and the next thing you know I am stuck standing up and Mommy had to come help me down. I guess that's still a problem; sometimes I can't figure out how to sit back down. Ha ha.

I've tried a few new foods lately. I like most things that I try, but I'm not a big fan of having to eat with my fingers. It's sooo much easier when Mommy and Daddy feed me with a spoon. They keep trying to get me to eat for myself but I just don't want to! Is that so bad?

My new favorite word is "bah". I like to repeat it over and over and over again. I hear Mommy and Daddy trying to get me to say other things, but I don't really understand them so I am just going to keep saying "bah bah bah bah".

I guess that's all I got for now. I am sure I will have a lot of adventures to tell you about next month. See you then!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jack is 7 months old

I'm back for a quick update on my exciting life. I just turned 7 months old on the 14th of August. I have two teeth on the bottom of my mouth which has made me drool like crazy. Mommy and daddy thought I drooled a lot before- HA!

As you already know I have been sitting up on my own for a while now, but my new thing is the army crawl! I use my arms to pull myself all over the place. It's awesome. I can actually get from one toy to the next without my mom or dad having to get it for me. For some reason I can't quite get my legs to do what I want them to yet, but I practice every day so soon enough my parents won't be able to catch me as I zoom across the floor!


I didn't have any doctor visits this month, thank goodness. I always seem to get poked with a needle when I go in there!

I am eating tons of pureed foods now, yogurt and blueberries are my new favorites. I still hate peas, but mommy tries to hide them in with sweet potatoes and force me to eat them. I have her figured out! Otherwise I like everything else.

Oh yeah, I was on TV! A news station came to my daycare and filmed me playing with my toys and laying in my crib. It was so cool!  I think I want to be an actor when I grow up.

Well, I better get back to playing with my toys. See you in a month!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trimmed Doorways and Jack's Playroom

We finally finished a project that was started nearly 4 years ago (no kidding)! One of the many things on our to-do list to "finish" the house was to frame the doorways to our main floor office/marimba room (now playroom). I don't know why we kept putting off the project, but once we started, it only took about a week to finish (that adorable kid can really slow things down!). Here is a semi-before (we never think to take pictures until we've started):

The first step was to cut off the existing trim on the floor using Brian's new multi-use oscillating tool.

The next step was to sand the doorway drywall, skim coat it to make it smooth (simulating a traditional wood doorway), and then paint the area with high-gloss trim paint. We chose to make the doorways fancy-schmancy by adding plyths and rosettes so we painted those too. We thought we already had the trim painted because we did it four years ago, but apparently Sherwin Williams gave us a can of yellowish high-gloss paint (when we did the basement) that doesn't match any trim in the rest of the house (major bummer). We ended up having to repaint all of the trim (luckily you don't notice the off color in the basement because it doesn't butt up to other trim)!

Once all of the paint was dry, Brian cut the trim to fit, nailed it up, and then siliconed nine miles of crack. Voila! Trimmed doorways! Oh yeah, Brian also had to finish putting up the chair rail in that room since we had left those pieces off knowing we would be finishing the entryways. It looks gooood:

And as you can see, that room is no longer storing the marimba and the desk, but all of Jack's toys. It works out really well to keep all of his things in there; we love it and Jack seems to like having a place to crawl around that is free of cat and dog hair.

The next major project on our list is installing crown molding on the main floor. As amazing as the door trim looks, crown molding looks even better. I can't wait! Now if only Jack would learn how to hold all of Daddy's tools...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Jack is 6 Months Old

So I am finally a half of a year old! So many things have changed in the last 6 months, it's hardly believable. I have learned and seen so many new things I don't even know what to make of it all! I think the last time I talked to you I was just barely starting to sit up, and I had just started rolling over from my stomach to my back. Weeeellll, I am here to tell you that I am a sitting and rolling machine!! I roll all over the place, and if Mommy and Daddy sit me somewhere, I can stay there and play for 20 minutes at a time without falling over. It is sooooo nice to be able to sit up on my own.

I have also been practicing my swimming strokes. I think Mommy said that I was a little scared of the penguin pool that Grammy Anderson bought me, but that was a fib!! I love hanging out in the pool and can't wait to go to the big kids pool. Mommy told me there was a wading pool close to our house, and the next free weekend we have, we'll be checking it out.

I also have a new swing on the deck. I really like it when Mom or Dad pushes me out over the deck- the higher the better! I can even face both ways. I think I like facing out more because there is a lot of neat stuff to look at behind my house.

I've also been eating a lot of solid food that Mommy makes for me. I've had peas (yuck!), green beans (yuck!), sweet potatoes, squash, avocado, pears (my favorite!), apples, and bananas. I like most of it, but I really wish they'd just give me pears and bananas all day, but they say something about vegetables being good for my health. I say, "Who needs them!".

Oh yeah, I went to the doctor recently and had my 6 month check up. Everything went well, except for the shots! I hate those things! I only cried a little bit, and I hope to never have to get a shot again. Here are my stats:

Head Circumfrence: 17.5 inches (70th percentile- it went up!  Thanks Dad.)
Height: 26.75 inches (60th percentile)
Weight: 17.8 pounds (56th percentile)

Well, I know in the next month I'll be doing a lot more stuff, so I will be keeping you up to date! Talk to you again soon.

More pictures can be seen here and here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Holiday Weekends

We've had a fun couple of weekends as of late.  On my birthday weekend we visited my parents and had a dual belated Father's Day/birthday celebration.  It was a lot of fun and I received some awesome gifts. There was even a strawberry Baskin Robbins ice cream cake- my two favorite cakes combined!

On Sunday of that same weekend we decided to take a trip to Manhattan, Kansas.  We had not visited Manhattan in a few years and thought it would be nice to visit our friends Hogs and Nikki while reliving old college memories. First off we drove by Brian's favorite apartment, the old Leavenworth house:

Next we visited Aggieville and the bar where Brian and I met- O'Malley's:

We had lunch with Hogs and Nikki at one of our favorite restaurants in Manhattan, "So Long Saloon", then strolled through Aggieville and shopped at Varney's bookstore.

The trip wouldn't have been complete without a stop at Brian's favorite place to hang out in Manhattan, Rathbone Hall (the Engineering building).  Ha ha, just kidding... Brian probably spent less time there than he did in Aggieville!

On my actual birthday, Brian took the day off.  That evening he totally surprised me by having planned a special night out.  He arranged for my mom to watch Jack so that we could eat out at Piropos!  It was an amazing meal.  We had a nice bottle of Malbec, a grilled Provolone and Argentinean sausage appetizer (so yummy), Brian had the 8 oz. peppercorn encrusted fillet with brandy cream sauce, and I had the crab and shrimp stuffed tilapia, served over roasted red pepper risotto. Everything was so good!

Since Brian had made reservations ahead of time, they knew it was my birthday and gave me a complementary piece of banana cake to take home.  It was delicious (I apologize to Brian as I took it to work and he didn't get any of it). They also gave us the best table in the restaurant, a nice corner spot with a wonderful view of downtown KC.

The following weekend was the Fourth of July.  Grandma Anderson (Grammy) came to visit and watched Jack while we went to work on Friday, and then stayed through Saturday.  We had a great time hanging out, and Jack even had his first experience in the penguin pool that Grammy bought.

Jack was a little apprehensive, the water was a tad on the cool side and he wasn't quite as good at sitting up as he is now.  We eventually got some smiles! Jack will get the hang of it... I am sure he will come to love swimming.

Stay tuned for next month, we have started a new house project AND Jack will be turning six months old.  Lots to write about!

More pics of Courtney's birthday weekend and family pics can be seen here, Manhattan pics can be seen here, and Fourth of July swimming pics can be seen here.