Category Archives: development

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On May 26, 2008, this little blue-eyed cutie cut his first teeth.

And today, July 28, 2013, he lost one of those little chompers. The other will undoubtedly fall out sometime this week.

This tooth has been loose for weeks and it wasn’t until we discovered his first loose tooth that we learned both Jeff and I are completely squeamish about loose teeth and pulling them. Fortunately, Gmummy is not. While I know that it’s best for teeth to fall out on their own, this one was really lose and still not falling out. I could see it move when Gavin merely rubbed his lips against it. *shudder* Gavin was starting to avoid it while eating and change his tooth brushing patterns, so I thought it was best if he had a little help removing it if all it took was a gentle tug.

So, during a break while playing Rummikub with GGma this afternoon, Gmummy got a hanky (gosh, this brings back so many childhood memories!) and Gavin allowed her to give it a tug. Voila! His first tooth was out! While he rinsed his mouth at the sink, GGma found an envelope in which to place the tooth and labeled it. In doing so, she created a keepsake that will go in Gavin’s scrapbook. I love the fact that Gavin’s great-grandma was able to witness a memorable developmental milestone in his life and that he’ll always have an envelope with her handwriting to document it.

The tooth fairy is paying a visit tonight. Her going rate is $2. By the end of the week, Gavin should have enough money to buy a new Cars car at Target with his own handful of quarters.


Jasper’s Three-Year-Old Interview

We started conducting birthday interviews when Gavin turned four (we still need to post his five year interview) and, now that Jasper speaks well enough, we’re starting the annual interrogation with him, too!

What is your favorite color? blue (the day before, his answer to this question was, “yellow, because Scoop is yellow.”)

What is your favorite toy? Scoop, because he’s my backhoe (Scoop is the backhoe in Bob the Builder and Jasper has a Duplo Scoop)

What is your favorite kind of construction machine? A backhoe (usually, his answer to this question is an excavator)

What is your favorite movie? Scary dinosaurs, Bob the Builder (I have no idea where “scary dinosaurs” came from in this interview. I’ve never heard him talk about scary dinosaurs before or since!)

What is your favorite character in that movie? Grabber (excavator in Bob the Builder)

What other movies do you like? Scary dinosaurs

Do you like Cars 1 or Cars 2? Cars 1

Who is your favorite character in Cars 1? I like the tractor tipping.

Do you like Toy Story? Yeah, because the garbage man picks up dumpsters.

Who’s your favorite character in Toy Story movies? I like the garbage truck.

What is your favorite book? Toy Story 3

What is your favorite kind of animal? horsey

What is your favorite kind of music? my music

What kind of music do you like to listen to in the car? rocket music (I asked this question only because I wanted to record him saying “rocket music” which is what he calls “rock music!”)

What are your favorite lovies? Ray and Froggie

What is your favorite food? eggs

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? cinnamon toast

Dinner? quesadillas

What is your favorite thing to drink? milk

What was your favorite thing about your birthday this year? I liked my cake.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A construction worker. I’m going to drive a tracked excavator.

Then, I asked him questions about people and the interview fell apart. Jasper made Froggie clap his feet because George does that in an episode of Curious George. He LOVES doing projects with Daddy, like, even more than he loves construction machines. He loves doing projects THAT much! He’s such a liar!

Jasper at Three

Our three-year-old had his check-up two days after his birthday and has a fresh set of stats:

  • 33 pounds (60th percentile)
  • 37.75 inches tall (55th percentile)
  • bp 82/52

He’s a little taller and heavier than his brother at three, as expected. No shots were given at this appointment although the doctor warned us the prepare early for next year! He read the eye chart for the first time and only had difficulty recognizing shapes. He aced the object outlines. Apparently, we’ve been remiss in teaching him to identify shapes. Oops! He was completely cooperative and friendly with the doctor, telling him, “I have that,” every time the doctor used a new tool since he had just received a doctor play set for his birthday. When the doctor shined a light in his ear, Jasper said, “Mine is out of batteries.” Obviously, his is supposed to light up but is just missing batteries – ha!

These photos were taken at Horse Shoe Farm Park the day before his birthday. I was so happy that his entire extended birthday weekend was delightfully cloudy so that I could get so many great pictures!

Jasper’s personality traits remain the same as his two-year-old self, only magnified! He’s still extremely stubborn but freely gives the tightest hugs and wettest kisses. I never knew a kid could be so headstrong and give so much love at the same time! Jasper always insists that he’s a “big boy” now which results in his refusal to sit in the child seat of a shopping cart because “big boys sit in the big part.”

Jasper is extremely determined and never lets failure prevent him from completing a physical task, although he has a quick fuse and frustrates easily when completing any task requiring fine motor skills. While Gavin once fell off his bike and then refused to ride it again for months, Jasper will fall or stumble and want to immediately try again. He quickly learns physical tasks, but has a harder time staying focused and paying attention. These traits are very evident at his gym class where he constantly loses focus and doesn’t listen to his teacher but usually completes every task perfectly. Gavin was always the opposite, politely listening and watching his teachers but was always apprehensive when completing the physical tasks.

Jasper is a prolific talker, speaks in clear, full sentences and exhibits the typical “S” lisp. He very recently corrected his “R” lisp and speaks words with Rs very clearly now. He and Gavin carry on conversations and play together very well now that Jasper is able to communicate effectively and play at Gavin’s level.

Jasper is wearing size 3T clothes and his newest shoes are size 10. He still has no input in his daily clothing choices and will gladly wear anything we select for him. When given the choice, he excitedly chooses his Curious George, car, and other printed shirts, but doesn’t care if not given a choice. He does select his pajamas every night and is very particular about his shoes.

The potty is of no interest to Jasper. He wears pull-ups during the day but isn’t anywhere close to being potty-trained. He still hates getting his hair washed and cries nearly every night during hair washing time in the tub. His favorite part of bathtime is stripping down and then running around the house yelling, “I’m naked!”

Jasper is obsessed with all things construction-related. He can identify any construction machine and will immediately perk his head at the slightest sound of a large vehicle. The highlight of his day is when the UPS truck stops at our house (the “oo-P-S” truck) and, of course, garbage day. He has much less interest in cars than his brother and prefers any kind of truck or machine.

Jasper loves to drink milk and has a limited palette, just like his brother. Breakfast usually consists of milk and cinnamon toast. Lunch is either scrambled eggs or grilled cheese, and his favorite dinners are chicken quesadillas, pasta with meatballs, tacos, salmon, and crabcakes. He’s not a fan of fruits and veggies (again, clearly following his mother’s example) but loves carrots, applesauce, and bananas. He will gladly eat any meat we place before him but red meat doesn’t agree with his system so we’re holding off on giving him hamburgers and pulled pork for a while. And any form of potatoes or pasta are always a hit except for macaroni and cheese. My boys are still the only boys who love pasta and cheese separately but dislike macaroni and cheese!

Nighttime is still uneventful and Jasper continues to be an excellent sleeper. He sleeps around 7:30 PM to 7:30 AM every night, never waking up in the middle of the night. In the morning, if he wakes up before us, he’ll continue to quietly play in his room. Lately, he has needed afternoon naps again after not taking them for so long. He must have stopped napping entirely shortly after the Jasper at Two blog entry was written because it’s been so long since I remember him taking regular naps!

Adorable, right?

This photo has the same time stamp as the one above. I’ll let you fill in the story!

But he found tractor tracks on the walk back to the car so all was well in Jasper’s world again following The Great Balloon Loss of the Third Birthday Photoshoot.


Goodbye, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas have yet to be blogged, but in an effort to keep the blog current, I’ll jump ahead and post a snapshot of Gavin and Jasper before 2012 is distant history. These pictures were all taken on Saturday when the boys helped untrim the Christmas tree.


In 2012, Gavin…

– loved construction machines, cars, and trucks

– played “messy games” in his room (explaining this could be an entire blog entry on its own)

– learned to write his name, complete with a backwards G

– learned to recognize all uppercase letters

– became very interested in spelling and always asked how to spell certain words

– could count to 29

– learned Spanish: could count to 10 and knew the colors of the rainbow in Spanish

– became interested (and usually demanded!) in selecting his clothes each day and dressed himself. He liked dark-colored clothing and anything with a car/truck/construction machine design.

– started eating meat after finally developing a taste for chicken


In 2012, Jasper…

– loved construction machines and trains

– often watched excavator videos on YouTube (you have no idea how many videos of excavators filling dump trucks are on YouTube!)

– learned countless new words and spoke in complete sentences. 2012 was definitely the year his verbal communication exploded (this is how he spoke in January)!

– ADORED Thomas the Train. 2012 was the Year of Thomas for Jasper.

– could count to 12

– switched from a toddler swing to a regular playground swing

– hated wearing socks

– loved baths but hated having his hair washed (screamed every time)

– learned to jump properly with both feet together

– loved his Froggie and Ray the most

– began to play independently for long lengths of time, though preferred to play with Gavin, Mommy, or Daddy

– was not potty-trained and had no interest whatsoever in using a potty

– would mimic anything his brother does

Terrific Two’s: Take Two

Jasper visited the doctor yesterday for his two-and-a-half year checkup. At 30 months, here are Jasper’s stats:

  • 30 pounds (50th percentile)
  • 3′ 1″ (60th percentile)
  • head circumference no longer measured but we’ll guess that he’s probably around the 99th percentile!

There were no shots at this visit and he didn’t flinch a millimeter when the nurse pricked his finger and drew blood for his cholesterol test, but he hated the band-aid she put on afterwards! It didn’t take him more than a minute to pull it off and for the crying to end. At doctor visits, he now stands on the big scale rather than sitting on the baby scale to be weighed and he stands tall against the tape on the wall to measure his height instead of laying down on the examination table. Doctor visits like this are clear proof that a toddler isn’t a baby anymore!

Band-aid issues aside, he behaved very well for his check-up and was completely cooperative for the doctor’s examination with no tears, so we treated him to some chocolate chip waffles and warm chocolate at Jubala.

“The doctor fixed me. He banged my knee (scowly face). And then he banged my other knee (more scowly face).”

So, Jasper is over halfway through this wonderful age of two. Supposedly, this is supposed to be a “terrible” year and I wrote my thoughts about the phrase “terrible twos” when Gavin was this age. My feelings haven’t changed. Although Jasper can convey his thoughts and feelings with words so much better than Gavin could at this age, it’s still very clear that he has yet to learn some basic concepts like delayed gratification and cause and effect. His emotions can vary drastically within a span of only a few seconds with nothing obviously instigating such a dramatic change. The kids is only two, though, so we give him a break knowing he has so much to learn and we try to help him keep his emotions more balanced!

Why people label this age “terrible” I’ll never know because it’s one of my absolute favorite ages! Jasper still has so many toddler qualities but is independent enough to play on his own and not need us every second of the day anymore. I feel like he only has a few months of baby-dom left before he’s a full-fledged young boy. He still has a slightly stiff-kneed gait and his words and speech patterns are so cute! So, we’re definitely going to enjoy this while it lasts!

There are so many characteristics and habits of two-year-old Jasper that I want to remember so the rest of this entry will be complete randomness!

Jasper LOVES to be a helper and always shows up when I start working in the laundry room or the kitchen. I hear, “Can I help?” every day.

Jasper is a dream sleeper! He falls asleep immediately after going to bed during the seven o’clock hour and stays in his room until I get him in the morning. If he wakes up before we do, I’ll find him surrounded by toys in his bed or covered in books beside his bookshelf. I never even know he’s awake already until I open the door. Even on Saturday mornings when we’re able to sleep in, he’ll quietly stay in his room until nine if we’re being really lazy. He’s pretty much stopped napping entirely (we’re currently on a streak of 10 days and counting with no afternoon nap), but as long as he’s so easy at nights and in the early morning, I’m not complaining!

Jasper can sit sideways in the bathtub with straight legs. He’s still that short!

Until a week ago, he called hangnails “manicures.” Hangnails really bother him so he immediately comes me saying, “I have a manicure.”

Like his brother, Jasper loves to line up cars. Unlike his brother, he lines them up side-by-side instead of end-to-end.

Jasper has a very extensive vocabulary. He doesn’t say paired consonants well and usually drops one so he says “koo bus” instead of “school bus” and “tain tack” rather than train track. He speaks in full sentences and amazes me every day with new words that I never knew he understood!

A few of my favorite Jasper words and phrases:

  • puz = because (‘cuz)
  • heyooooo! = hello!
  • uh-HUH! (with emphasis on the second syllable)
  • oh, fank-oo = oh, thank you
  • concuctions = constructions (until recently, this was just “cuctions”)
  • boo-zudder = bulldozer
  • pees, may I be accused = please, may I be excused
  • pees, ree dis book to me = please, read this book to me
  • (hears a noise) *quick breath intake* Where that come from?
  • lawn-mow-mower = lawnmower

A recent, typical conversation:

  • Jasper: “I forgot.”
  • Gmummy: “What did you forget?”
  • Jasper: “I don’t know.”

Whenever Jasper says he likes something, he always adds something else that he likes completely randomly. For example, “Did you and Gavin go to Harris Teeters? I like Harris Teeter the best. And I like trains.” One night, he was hugging Jeff good night and said, “I wuv you. And I love Thomas movies.” At least Daddy came first!

Jasper loves to cuddle and will often ask to cuddle if I’m sitting on the sofa, but “cuddling” for Jasper means snuggling against me for two seconds and then leaving. I’ll take what I can get!

He seems to misunderstand some phrases that he uses. He’ll eat over half of something before handing it back saying, “I don’t like it,” instead of, “I don’t want it anymore.” And he’s constantly saying “no” when he means “yes.” It’s quite confusing!

I still pick him up and carry him most of the time. He’s still light enough to carry on my hip with one arm, but not for much longer. 🙁

Jasper says his full name is Jasper “Bob the Builder” Highsmith.

Favorite color seems to be brown. In his tray of crayons, the brown crayon is half the size of all the others. He colors in circles instead of scribbles.

Like Gavin, he eats bread center first.

Jasper goes to gym class every Monday. It took several weeks for him to warm up to the idea of a strange adult telling him what to do, but he’s making progress by leaps and bounds now. He’s more physical than Gavin and gym class seems to be coming very naturally to him now.

He loves buses. His favorite shows are Thomas and Friends and Curious George. The boys have taken a break from their Cars and Toy Story movie addictions, and it’s always Thomas or Curious George whenever the television is on now. They watch recorded television shows and have a few hour-long Thomas movies, and will typically watch one on weekend afternoons as a pseudo naptime and also in the evenings when I need them to stay out of trouble while I make dinner if Jeff isn’t home.

Jasper uses a big boy swing. We removed the toddler swing several months ago and it was one of those unexpected defining moments that made me realize he’s not a baby anymore. He LOVES to swing and he lets me push him very high – much higher than Gavin will even let me push him now! It’s fun to see the differences between these two boys and Jasper’s sense of daring and adventure is definitely one of those traits that distinguish him from his brother!

Favorite dinners are turkey meatballs with penne, salmon, and chicken nuggets. Jasper also enjoys homemade pizza which we have once a week. He loves carrots and broccoli, and eats applesauce, but he isn’t a huge fan of fruits and veggies (which is probably my fault!) so he ends up eating the same ones every day rather than a variety. Lunch is usually scrambled eggs or grilled cheese.

His favorite lovies are Frog and Ray, and he loves his yellow baptism blanket now, too.

When he’s not making me want to pull my hair out, Jasper is giving the cheesiest smiles, making us laugh, asking countless questions, running after his brother, and being completely adorable!