ANNOUNCEMENT! Active posting at this site has ended (no more picture room). Please continue reading Smith Stories at You'll be automatically redirected to the new site in "
"seconds unless you CLICK HERE!

Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo Was a Success!

Even though this past weekend tripped me up just a bit, I consider myself a successful finisher in National Blog Posting Month! It was nice to take time to record even the little things that happened each day. I am planning to keep up some of the frequency. Maybe not quite every day, but definitely more often than not :)

I thought I would recap the last month. My No-More-Bottles Campaign has been declared a success! I took one bottle with us to Illinois, just in case. I didn't even think about needing it. Woo hoo! Go Jackson! I am so thrilled to not be washing bottles anymore! I discovered the other night that Jackson drinks way more when he's playing. He loves toting his cup around with him and oddly enough, gets a lot drunk (drank?). One less thing to worry about :)

I posted a video the other day of Jackson walking. He is doing a great job! Before we left for Thanksgiving, he would to Josh or me if prompted. While we were in Evanston, however, he started walking all over! It's still funny to watch him because there is no rhyme or reason to when he crawls or walks. The best was one night while my dad was on the phone with Larry. Jackson did the most walking yet on his own by standing up at a little table, walking across the living room to the TV, turning around, and walking back again. The conversation from my dad's end went like this, "And your nephew is doing a great job of walking...all just starting now!" It was so cute! I'm glad my mom and dad got to see him REALLY do it!

We had a great trip to Evanston and are looking forward to another one in less than two weeks! That will be directly followed with a long visit with Josh's family. We did decorate the house for the holidays. I just can't resist, even if it's only for a couple weeks. I did the around-the-house decorations yesterday, and Josh and I are going to put up the tree tonight. The Grinch is also on tonight, so once we watch that, Christmas can officially come! (That's Josh's rule: Christmas can't come until he has watched The Grinch live (no DVDs).)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fireman Jax Back on Duty

I was so glad that the green wagon was a hit in Evanston, because Jackson so loves his firetruck at home! We might need to investigate the idea of taking it to Covington for Christmas... (Wait, did you hear that? It was the sound of Josh having a heart attack trying to figure out how to pack that into the car! Just kidding, Honey!) Anyways, after another rock star performance by Josh (he got us home in just UNDER 11 hours) Jackson was ready to start the day and kept himself busy with his fire truck while I unloaded the car and got a little organized. Last night he was having a really good time playing with it (and Paxton). He also was walking up a storm!!!

The Great Green Wagon

This summer Jackson, my mom, Aunt Katie's mom, and I went to Indianapolis to visit Katie and her family. Paige had a really cool wagon (I think it was a wagon--something similar though), and Jackson loved it! My mom and I instantly started looking for something similar. I think my mom found this green wagon right after our July visit...and just now got it out! She is so funny! She is very good at collecting "fun" things for when they are needed. I totally agree that all of the fun stuff shouldn't come out at once, but this carried on for a while! Each time we've visited since then, she and I have had the conversation of, "Oh! We have to remember to get the wagon out!" But then while we are there, Jackson is so busy, we forget about it. This time we were most of the way through the week and I finally said, "We need to get the wagon out!" So we did. Jackson LOVED it! He is so funny in the fact that he doesn't like the handle to be folded into the wagon, and he does not like to give rides to ANYTHING! He likes to ride in the wagon if Daddy or Uncle Larry are pulling though ;) Such a funny guy!

Good Ole' Mimi and Bob

I need to explain two things before I really start this post:

#1: The other night Jackson looked at my dad and clear as day said, "Bob!" We already have Mimi and we might just have Bob instead of Grandpa. I think it's hilarious and wonderful. I think he does too :)

#2: I am quite disappointed in myself since I have failed to blog for two days in a row!!! My excuse for Friday is that it is the day we left and I spent the day doing a bit of Black Friday shopping and packing. Yesterday was kind of a catch-up day. Not good excuses at all, but I will make up for it now :)

We had a wonderful visit in Evanston with my family. Josh is a rock star of a husband and drove all through the night AFTER working a full day last Thursday. We arrived at Casa Mimi and Bob bright and early Friday morning around 5:30am. Josh went right to sleep and Jackson and I had a fun time getting settled and visiting my mom at Barnes and Noble. Uncle Larry arrived Monday night so we got lots of fun hang out time with him :) My mom and Josh cooked a delicious Turkey Day dinner and we were all quite full! Here are some highlights of the trip:

Jackson is a very good sharer. Especially with Grandpa :)

Jackson got to meet Uncle Larry's good friend, Rachel. He took to her like I've never seen! They were so sweet together!

We read TONS of books!

Thanksgiving Day with Mimi and Grandpa

Thanksgiving night with Mimi and Nan

Sharing snacks with Uncle Larry

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Yesterday afternoon Jackson got to meet some very special people. He met his cousins Matt and Andy. He has hung out with their mom, Cousin Beth, on numerous occasions, but this is the first time the younger cousins got to meet. This was something I was really looking forward to! Matt and Andy have six other cousins (Justin, Miles, Paris, Tyler, Tucker, and Jackson) who I really hope get to meet him soon! I have big visions of a big cousin playtime. Hopefully, we can get busy schedules coordinated one of these days... Anyways, these cousins are all special to me because I can remember holding each one of them shortly after they were born. Yup, all eight!

Looking forward to occasions like this reminds me of how lucky I am to have a family that I look forward to seeing and introducing my son to. I never realized how lucky I was to like my family until Thanksgiving Break during my freshman year of college. All of my friends and dorm-mates were complaining about spending a whole week home with their families. I was so looking forward to it! Especially because we were having Thanksgiving at the Krouse house (Beth's parents's house). I LOVED getting to see all of my "little" cousins all together! I remember saying that I was thankful for having a family I enjoyed spending time with. I knew it sounded cheesy, but I really meant it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We Went to See Some Fishies!

There is a little backstory to the fact that we went to the Shedd Aquarium yesterday. Rewind about a little over a month ago to Jackson's birthday. I had checked the Chicago museum websites in search of free days. I was SURE that Friday, October 9th was included at the Shedd. Josh, Mimi and I had a fun day planned for J-Man's birthday. I double checked before we left, and I had read the site wrong or remembered the info wrong. Point being, that day was NOT a free day :( I was unbelievable upset! Josh didn't know what to do with me. I was well aware of the fact that Jackson really couldn't have cared less. He was super happy playing with his new toys. I felt like I had let him down by not having a more fun birthday planned. I did get over my over-emotional-ness eventually.

But, I still wanted to go to the Shedd! I had never gotten Josh there when we actually lived in Illinois, and it's one of my favorites. So, I checked the websites again before THIS trip and yesterday was a free day. I e-mailed Larry and Josh as I had the site open so I couldn't screw up the dates! Off we went yesterday and we had a great time! (Once I got over the last minute fear that I had screwed up AGAIN, but didn't realize it until we were all the way downtown.) Jackson LOVED looking at all of the fish. I think the big tank in the middle was his favorite since they were at his eye level. When we first arrived, there was a diver in the big aquarium feeding the fishies. That was really fun to watch. I think everyone really enjoyed our little field trip :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Little Man Ready for Bed

I was so nervous the other night because bath time was horribly traumatizing for our little bug! It was definitely at the end of a day where he didn't feel himself. He usually LOVES bath time! My mom earned her Mimi of the Year award by getting in and sitting with her pants rolled up to keep him company. (Yes, my parents' tub is installed at an angle and there are little "seats" on each side. It's weird. It's also hard to reach all areas of the tub to rinse a wriggly baby!)Last night started out traumatically, but Josh was great at getting Jackson situated and then he discovered that his favorite floating turtle car was here along with his new tub toy from his birthday from the Huks! He had a grand ole time :)

These pictures are from after his bath. He loves reading a book while I get him dressed/change his diaper. It's so funny! Sometimes he reads out loud so I get to hear the story!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Balloon Boy!

Jackson's balloon from his birthday party is still "alive!" It is definitely losing air, but it still floats all the way up to the ceiling. He has loved chasing it around this trip, and trying to catch the string. It had floated upstairs and was right outside his door when I got him up from his nap. I gave it to him while he was in bed still, and this was his reaction:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Sneakiness

When Jackson woke up from his nap this morning, my mom and I went in to get him up, and found him sitting in his Pack-n-Play reading! Mind you there were no books in there when he went down for a nap... Sneaky little guy!

(Josh said he probably had left the books on the arm of the futon which is right next to the Pack-n-Play, so he just reached over and got one.)

He was so happy just sitting there with his book :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Peek-a-Boo Fanatic!

Man, does this kid LOVE Peek-a-Boo! He has always thought it was a riot when we would play with him. Now, he likes to start up the game. Last week we were in Target and I had taken his jacket off and sat it in the cart seat with him. Part way through our trip he pulled his fleece over his head. It took me a minute to realize he wanted to play Peek-a-Boo with me! We played that for a good 20 minutes. What a good time killer in a store! The other night he did it with the dining room table. Josh and I were eating, and Jackson was playing in the living room. He came into the dining room and stood at the table (he's tall enough to just see over the top) and kept scootching down just a touch so I couldn't see his eyes. Then he would pop back up and give me a huge smile! This video shows him playing Peek-a-Boo with his crib! Before I started videoing, he was really squatting all the way down and looking at me through the slats, then popping up. This isn't too bad though :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hello Eligible Bachelorettes!

The Dynamic Duo

Sloppy Kisser

Big Flirt in Training

Two sweet young males are seeking equally sweet girl friends :) These good friends enjoy books, fine meals, naps, dogs, walks in the woods, running errands, cars and trucks, and stuffed toys. Suitable mates must appreciate slobber, wet and cold hands, and funny sounds. A great day consists of: a leisurely breakfast, playtime with books, toys with wheels, rattles, and other toys that make sounds, a peaceful nap, a walk in the woods, a quick lunch followed by more playtime, another restful nap, an outing, playtime in the kitchen in preparation for dinner. After dinner, a bath with lots of splashing should be enjoyed followed by stories and some milk. Applicants over the age of four years need not apply.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chatting Amongst Friends

I took this video yesterday morning of the boys. I love their call and response! They are super cute together and truly enjoy spending the day together. Lots of people ask me if they like to play together, but then they seem surprised when I say that they do. (Yes, these are the same people who question me when I answer that the boys are NOT twins. "Are you sure?" they say...) Anyways, I feel so blessed that I get to spend my days with my sweet boy. I am also thrilled that Jackson has such a good friend to play with. He is usually eating breakfast when James arrives, and he just gets this huge smile on his face and starts kicking his legs. James is equally excited and gets down to business of playing. When we go hang out at James's house on the weekends, Jackson is so excited to visit James at HIS house. They just have a special bond and really do love each other!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fireman Jax

Jackson got this awesome firetruck for his birthday from his cousins Ann and Paul! This little boy has developed quite a love for cars and trucks, so this was a perfect gift! Here are some pictures and a video showing just how much he loves it! I think he would be happy as a clam if I would let him push it back and forth and all around ALL day :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Magic Cup!

Last night started my No-More-Bottles Campaign! Jackson made the switch to whole cow's milk so easily that I thought it would be a good time to switch over to cups too! Well, he wasn't too happy about that. I've let the bottles go on for a month and am ready to be all finished! The bottle drying rack is in the dishwasher as I type and the last couple bottles are all clean and put away. I'm hoping this works! I had two problems. First, Jackson is so used to having a bottle before naps and bed. He didn't always drink a whole lot, but it was just part of our routine. I figure it's time he figures out how to soothe himself another way. The second problem is connected to the first in that the bottle was a comfort item.

Luckily, Mimi bought Jackson a Cookie Monster cup with a straw when we were in Evanston last. I think she bought it because it was cute and a really good deal. Little did she know how big of a hit it would be! This was a little over a month ago and Jackson really wasn't that big of a fan of sippy cups. I was still working on it, but frustrated that it wasn't going faster. I brought the Cookie cup to dinner the first night and he started sipping right away! He still loves it! While he will drink out of some other straw sippies I've found, he really likes this one!

So, last night I just decided to take the cup upstairs instead of a bottle. We read a couple of books, then I sat with him on my lap and handed him his sippy. He seemed so excited to have it upstairs! He had a few sips, pushed it away, and went to sleep without a peep! Easy, right? Not quite. I committed myself to this process knowing that it would be over after a couple of rough days. For both naps I had to resort to letting him cry it out. I let him have his cup before I laid him down, but then no more. I used to give him more of the bottle each time I went in to comfort him when he cried. It didn't help that he was super tired for each nap, so nothing I was doing in the comforting and soothing department was helping anyway. Actually, I like that better. When I have tried rocking, holding, reading, and milk and nothing works, I can let him cry it out with a much lighter heart. It is hard to do by myself though! Thankfully, James is a very solid the next room...

The other magic part of this cup was all of the walking Jackson did while drinking out of it last night! Josh brought him downstairs after getting his pjs on and gave him his cup. He stood with his cup and while sipping started walking across the room! He paused a few times and reached for Josh to make sure he was still there, but it was definitely the longest distance he has walked in one go so far! He also initiated it all on his own! He's pretty good about walking to one of us, but we are getting excited to see him start walking for his own purpose!

Monday, November 16, 2009


I have had my eye on the CD "Snack Time" by The Barenaked Ladies for a while now, and I finally bought it today! The boys and I listened to it during lunch and it is awesome! I think this will be fun for all of us to listen to in the car on the way to Evanston THIS WEEK!!!

This is my new favorite book: Does a Cow Say Boo? We have Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes by the same author (Judy Hindley) and I love it as well. I really like this one for the animal sounds it includes and the other one for the way it talks about body parts. Thumbs up for them both!

Does anyone have any other good suggestions? Particularly for kid music?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ten Minutes of Sunday

3:50pm: Mr. Jackson has been doing lots of funny things with his tongue lately. This is one of them :)

3:51pm: "Touchdown!" is one "trick" the whole family can do now! However, Jackson was not cooperating...

3:52pm: It was a little better with some help. But not much...

3:54pm: Going upstairs to get ready to take a walk!

3:56pm: Stopping to play with some toys while Mommy and Daddy get shoes on and Paxie gets all leashed up.

3:57pm: Jackson LOVES his red wagon! It says, "It's a Boy!" on the side and came with flowers when he was born! I knew we would be able to repurpose it later :)

A while later pm: Our neighborhood watch team :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Jackson has quite the mitten collection for the upcoming winter. Mimi sent some all the way from Illinois because I was originally looking for navy ones and she found some early on. Apparently, it just wasn't time for the winter gear to be out in full force here. I think the retailers forgot what wusses Northern Virginians are... ;) (Side note: apparently girls are more entitled to have warm ears and fingers since there is always twice the display space for girly things than boy things! Grrr!!!) I also bought a pack of mittens that consists of six "pairs," but each mitten is different. That way if you lose one, it's not such a big deal. Sounds perfect! Anyways, Jackson really likes his mittens, I think. The first day I put them on him was the funniest. He gave me such a funny look! He still gives me a funny look, waves his fingers a little, and then just leaves them alone. SOOO cute!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Furry Big Brother

Today's post is dedicated to Paxton :) He had his yearly check-up Monday night and he passed with flying colors! We saw a new vet at the animal clinic and I really liked him. He had good people skills (not so common with vets) and was great with Paxie. At the end of the exam, the vet said that he usually can find something to nit-pik about, but Pax really didn't have anything to pick on! YAY! Paxton even lost a few pounds in the last year! Good job, Buddy! I wonder if I should have told the doctor the reason Pax is so healthy is because of all of the baby veggies he's eating now... ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thirteen Months!!!

It is no secret that math is NOT my strong suit! LOL I had trouble with the numbers part of pregnancy, and now with measuring age. In the beginning of pregnancy, it was easy to keep track of how many weeks along I was and to rattle it off whenever anyone asked. But, as time went on, and the numbers got bigger, I had to stop and think more often. Once Jackson was born, it was hard to know when to change his age from weeks to months. Now that he's over a year old, do I still count his age in months? It is always tricky for me when people say their child is 19 or 23 months, for example. I probably would go with a year and a half, and almost two. I think this next month, I will go with just over a year. I suppose I could say that he turned one a month ago. A bit longer, but I think it's more descriptive than 13 months...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Berry Man-ilow

I'm pretty sure Jackson could exist solely on the intake of yogurt and fruit! He is getting better about other things (and I'm getting more creative on the cooking front), but those are by far his favorites! Blueberries, in particular, are a HUGE favorite! I plan out Blueberry Night so that it matches with Bath Night. Above is the before and here is the after:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Story Time #2: Pohick Public Library

This is one happy boy after a very fun story time this morning! Overall, it was a great time had by all! Here are the complications: it only occurs once a month :( Seriously?! Moms/caregivers of this age group would kill to have a weekly event at the library! It is at 10:30, which is really tricky for us to get to at this point in time. The boys have been napping until 10:30 or 11:00, so this was cause for an earlier nap. Jackson didn't go down until 9:00, so he only got about an hour in. I guess since it's only once a month, it's worth it??? I also had to sign up before hand. That definitely put the pressure on me to be there! Jackson barely fit the age group for this one. I think the other tots there were in the 18 month range. I wasn't able to register James (I had the same problem with the two girls I nannied this summer--they are sticklers for the ages), but he was able to just hang out with us.

The librarian leading the story time was great! She began with a welcome song that welcomed each child individually. Jackson helped me clap along the whole time and LOVED when everyone welcomed him! There were probably about 15 other kids and they all were so well behaved! We did some songs and finger plays. The books the librarian chose were all interactive, which was nice! Jackson got to use a shaker to sing along with "Shake Your Sillies Out" and some bells for the last song. I think the bells were his second favorite part :)

The other moms were really nice and some even talked to me! YAY! I didn't even check my watch at the end, but I'd guess the whole thing lasted about 20 minutes. We will definitely try out the December one!
Jackson's first nametag! He loved it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Feast, Sweetness, and a Tumble

It had been quite the 18 hours by noon today! Starting with dinner last night at 5pm. At 6pm Jackson was STILL eating! This is very unlike him. He scarfed down most of a veggie pancake, a tub of peas mixed with oatmeal, a yogurt/fruit combo, about 3/4 of a can of peaches, at least half of a chicken breast, almost a whole mini wheat bagel, and some puffs! Needless to say, after wiping him off and getting him out of his seat we saw the reappearance of some peaches...

The shade in Jackson's room all of a sudden stopped winding up or down. Kinda defeats the purpose... Josh took it down and was working on fixing it after Jackson went to bed. Before we went to bed, we "snuck" in to rehang it and test it out. Jackson slept through most of it, but after a few minutes he opened his eyes and saw me. He just smiled the sweetest smile and kinda pulled his blanket over his head. It was just adorable!

This morning I got the boys up from their naps and I usually let Jackson play in his crib with some stuffed animals and books while I give James his bottle. I was doing just that and watching Jackson look out the window, and I thought, "I bet he is tall enough to flip over the edge of the crib now..." Just as I finished that thought, it happened! It was horrible! It kind of happened in slow motion. He flipped right over the edge, without trying that hard, and landed right on the top of his head on the vent cover! OUCH! He actually calmed down pretty fast, which of course worried me more! I've kept a pretty close eye on him all day, and he seems to be just fine! Phew! Needless to say, before Nap #2 I lowered the crib!

Sunday, November 8, 2009