I Go Swim

All the area pools opened this past weekend so we went for our first swim of the season yesterday in Gmummy's pool. It was our first time in a salt water pool and we never want go to back to chlorine now! Jasper started out very tentatively, but quickly showed his dare-devil tendencies by blowing bubbles, getting his face wet, and jumping in from the steps and edge of the pool.


Becoming a true North Carolinian

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We love our adoptive state and can't imagine a better place to be raising our two little boys. However, I must confess that, as much as we love North Carolina, we've been negligent by not introducing them to our state's beloved sport, basketball. Jeff, of course, doesn't watch any sports while I, having spent my teenage and young adult years in Florida, developed a love for college football like a true Floridian. I've always understood the parallel that North Carolina's love for basketball is equivalent to Florida's love for football, but the sport has never held my attention. Despite sitting through his first college football game merely a few days old, Gavin is now four years old and had never seen basketball played on television! That all changed this past weekend when I decided to watch Florida State play in the ACC championships. While I was curious to watch because FSU is actually good this year and already beat the trifecta of Triangle teams in the regular season, my goal was to introduce Gavin to the sport so he wouldn't embarrass himself in front of his Tar Heel friends with his complete lack of knowledge about the sport!

First up, FSU easily beat Miami in the quarterfinals on Friday night after the boys went to sleep. Then, it was time for the real deal: semifinals against Duke on Saturday afternoon. Gavin previously said that he was excited to watch the game with me, but when game time actually arrived, he couldn't have cared less and probably watched for a total of two minutes. Jasper kept pointing to the television yelling, "Football!" no matter how many times both Gavin and I tried to correct him. This was strike one in my attempt to turn the boys into basketball fans. Florida State beat Duke, so there was still one more game and another chance!

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The third and final game was held on Sunday afternoon: the conference final against the UNC Tar Heels. Game time mirrored Jasper's nap so Gavin and I watched together, cuddled on the couch. Jasper crashed quickly right after the game began so I carried his overtired body upstairs as he wailed, "Fooootbaaaaalllll!" Gavin actually watched the entire first half of the game with me although he was more excited about the commercials (he enjoys the commercials most when watching football, too!). When the game returned after halftime, he declared that he was tired of watching basketball and he left to play with his cars. Florida State went on to win without Gavin cheering. Someday, he'll understand the significance of what happened that day when the Seminoles took on the powerhouse teams from basketball-crazy North Carolina to win their first ever conference title and I'll at least be able to tell him that he witnessed half of it!

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Gavin was, however, inspired to shoot some hoops in the back yard after witnessing the sport on television. He's actually not a bad shot and scored a few points in our four-foot-high basket. The sand table and slide still held his most of his attention, though. A still-confused Jasper took the football and begged for help to throw it through the hoop backwards from the bottom up (see first picture). I still have a lot of work to do with that little one!

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I later asked Gavin which sport he prefers and he responded, "Football." I asked why and he replied, "Because they play with a football." He then told me, "Next time, we can watch football instead of basketball." I may not have turned him into a basketball fan this weekend, but I'm pleased to know that all of my football brainwashing has paid off! We still have the entire NCAA tournament ahead of us. Perhaps there is still time to turn these North Carolina boys into basketball fans!


A Little Fall of Snow

Until last night, we hadn't seen any snow so far this winter. There was not even a single snow flurry that dissolved the moment it landed on the ground. Just when I was losing hope that we'd ever be blessed with a lovely coat of snow on our lawn this year, lovely white flakes fell from the sky last night! Snow began falling after sundown and past the boys' bedtime, but Jeff and I sat on the porch for a good hour watching the snow fall and enjoying the peace and quiet. I love how there is complete silence when snow is falling!

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Jasper must have been expecting it, because he managed to climb out of his crib for the second time in as many days early this morning and Gavin found him with his curtains drawn. Our crib escape artist saga is a story for another time, though. We tried to rush the boys through breakfast knowing that the snow would be melting quickly and there were plenty of dry patches already by the time they were bundled up and ready to play. We still enjoyed pulling them around in the new sled made by Grandpa Highsmith and attempting to build a snowman.

Pulling his little brother on the sled…

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Switch! Jasper had a bit more trouble than Gavin!

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Building a snowman and snowdog from the snow that fell on the picnic table and at the bottom of the slide (the only places we had enough snow to build anything!).

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More sledding… Gmummy came over to enjoy the fun!

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Yes, the title of this blog entry was inspired by a song from a certain spectacular Broadway show set in France. 🙂

Jasper Talk, Vol. I

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Jasper's speech vocabulary seems to grow daily so it's time to start his own "Jasper Talk" series! He repeats anything we tell him, but these are the words that he freely uses on a regular basis.

home (hooo) – Jasper says this in the car whenever we pull into the driveway (or any other destination, for that matter).

hi – One of the few words he says correctly!

hi, Burt (hi, Buh) – He said this once when he saw Burt in the hallway, but it was so cute that I have to record the memory here!

cat (cah)

bye bye (bah bah)

yes (ees) – He still says "yes" when he wants something, not necessarily as an answer to a question. He'll point to a box of crackers and say, "yes."

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please (pees)

plane (pane) – Any time Jasper sees an airplane in a book or in the sky, he points and yells, "PANE!"

car (cah) – The same as his word for "cat" but the context of the situation shows his intent.

truck (tuh)

done (dunnn) – When he's finished eating, we finish a book, or conclude a process of any kind, he says, "dunnnnnnn," with a long singing N.

bus (buh) – We see one or two schoolbuses on our walk every morning and he always points and says, "buh!"

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frog (fah)

thank you (dah dah) – Jasper's "thank you" doesn't sound like "thank you" at all, but he has been saying his two syllable "dah dah" sound whenever he wants to thank someone for a while now.

hat (ha)


dark (dah)

down (dow) – This was one of his first words so it will always amuse me that Gavin's first word was "up" and one of Jasper's first words was "down!"

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A few other notes about Jasper at nearly 21 months old:

  • He hates buttons. Dressing him in a button-up shirt is nearly impossible. He simply has no patience for the time it takes to button and unbutton shirts!
  • Jasper has a strange fascination with the stand mixer. If I'm carrying him around the kitchen, he always points to it and starts making inquisitive sounds. Whenever he sees a concrete mixer truck in a book, he'll hurry into the kitchen and point to the stand mixer.
  • He loves piggy back rides. Somehow we started a habit of giving him piggy back rides down the stairs and it's his preferred method of transport on the stairs now.
  • He loves to bring everyone their shoes when we're getting ready to leave the house. If he notices that someone is getting ready to leave, he'll start bringing pairs of shoes to everyone even if they don't intend to leave.
  • The first book that Gavin ever sat through, The Great Smoky Mountain Salamander Ball, is one of the only books Jasper won't listen to. We're never more than three pages in when he's already trying to escape! Overall, he loves books and we, along with Gavin, will often read twenty books in a row on many weekend afternoons.
  • His favorite playtime activities are dump trucks, loading dump trucks, emptying dump trucks, pushing dump trucks… and shape puzzles.
  • Jasper is currently teething his two-year molars. I continue to hope that we'll all somehow survive the ordeal. Mostly, he gets cranky and more clingy than I ever thought possible (he tearfully hugged my leg for over ten minutes while I made dinner several nights ago!).

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Note: Jasper is wearing Jeff's hat in these pictures, but an adult hat nearly fits his huge noggin perfectly!


Bah Halloweenbug

Jim Halpert, from the television show The Office, and I share the same views on Halloween. We both fail to muster an ounce of enthusiasm for the holiday, though I admit that it's much more tolerable with kids. Gavin is old enough to understand Halloween now and select his own costume, but I asserted my parental authority this year by dressing the boys in my choice of Jim Halpert-inspired costumes for a quick photoshoot one afternoon several days before Halloween.

In addition to showing these "Three-Hole Punch Jim" and "Dave" costumes on the blog, I'll share the behind-the-scenes scoop of how difficult it is to get any type of planned photo of the boys. It's always … an adventure!

First, we brought them out to the front porch and they were thrilled as always to have their pictures taken. By the time I got this first amazing shot, we had already been on the porch for a while trying to get them to merely stand near each other and needed to give Jasper a cup to distract his hands so his feet would stay in one place!

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Yeah, this is going really well! Bored Gavin and whiney Jasper…

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Then, Jasper tripped while Gavin was holding onto him to keep him from walking away.

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Still thrilled, but now red-faced and tear-stained as well…

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… but laughing two seconds later! Yep, typical Jasper!

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OK, Jasper is finally content and stationary, but Gavin decides to be goofy…

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… and jump around. Meanwhile, the cup is no longer enough entertainment for Jasper so we give him my camera lens cap, too.

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Phew! Got one!

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