Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ten Months with the Little Man

Ten Months
Justus Daniel is such a joy!
A few thoughts and memories of the past month, via spelling out "ten months."

T is for Talents - JD loves to shake his head and make silly faces, squinting up his eyes and grinning. He's such a little goofball and makes us laugh all the time.
E is for Escapee - Last week, Bryce and I thought Justus was with the other, but he escaped! He climbed upstairs by himself for the first time and was playing happily. We really need to keep an eye on him now; he's fast and stealthy.
N is for New things - Everyone once in awhile, JD will surprise us with a little wave and I thought for sure he said "hi dog" the other day. We've also started finger foods: cheerios, saltines, cooked peas, and bananas.

M is for Mommy - I just wanted to say that I love being his mom. Sometimes I can't wait for him to wake up from his nap so I can see him again.
O is for daddy-O - This little man loves his daddy. He breaks into a huge grin whenever Bryce gets home. They just love to play together. And I love watching them.
N is for Noise - Babbling, squealing, and squawking, JD loves to make noise. He especially will complain loudly, sitting on the kitchen floor, while we're getting his food ready. Justus also will stand and bang on his crib when he's ready to get up.
T is for Transportation -  Our little man is on the move! Fast crawling, cruising around every piece of furniture, climbing the stairs, crawling over the dog (or Bryce or whatever happens to be on the floor) - there's no stopping him now! My favorite is when he crawls around with something in his hand, sometimes with the same toy for a half an hour.
H is for Hair - We really need to do something about JD's hair; it's almost in his eyes and curling in the back. But oh it's so precious. And I just can't bring myself to cut it yet.
S is for Sock thief - A little sock thief we have . . . Justus loves to pull off his socks and suck on them. I find wet and lonely socks in his crib after nap times all the time.

New winter hat!

Playing the piano with dad, of course

Happy boy!

I found him like this after a nap time one day

Pulled off a sock again (and yes that's a tattoo, courtesy of Uncle Jesse)
Helping dad light the tree

Eating banana for the first time

Playing in the bathtub

Climbing on Bryce's guitar case

Hanging with daddy

Squinting his eyes for a silly face!

Putting up JD's stocking

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fishy fish

Here are two really good fish recipes we tried in the last month. Definitely making both of them again.

Mexican Broiled Fish

Red Pepper & Feta Baked Fish

Monday, November 12, 2012

Justus Daniel @ Nine Months

Oh my little man. How I love you so.

So much personality these days. Sometimes it's just over-flowing. I love your silly grin. And the way you laugh and crawl away quickly when I say "no, no" as you're chewing the dog's bone. Anytime we start crawling towards you saying, "I'm going to get you!" you laugh and grin and take off crawling as fast as you can.

Just in the last few days I've noticed that you look more like a little boy and less like a baby. Your hair is starting to go down over your ears and your eyebrows but we sure don't want to cut it yet. Bath times are my favorite! You stand at the tub, watching the water so excitedly, and then play and splash contentedly for as long as I let you.

Playing together in the living room is so much fun: your Dad or I will just lay on the floor and you crawl over us again and again. You're learning that Mom is good for snuggles and Dad is good for crazy stunts (like touching the ceiling or flipping upside down while flying). Lots of babbling and "momomom" and "dadadadada" these days but I don't think it's directed as us yet; you're just practicing the sounds.

We love you, JD!
Bring on month #10 . . . it's just getting better and better.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ice Cube Food

(This is a note-to-self kind of post. For when I have future babies in the house and need a refresher course on how to prepare baby food.)

Preparing baby food seemed like a very daunting task at first. But now that I'm in the midst of it, it's not so overwhelming. Especially when I cook 2-3 different foods every week and freeze. Pureed baby food stays good in the fridge for about 1 week, but frozen it will keep for at least 3 months.

Fresh foods, mashed with a fork:
* Banana
* Avocado
* Melon

Foods pureed fresh (if they are very ripe):
* Peaches
* Pears
* Plums

If the above fruits are not sufficiently ripe, peel/core/chop and then cook in a small amount of water until softened. All fruits are suitable for freezing except for melon.

Vegetables to cook:
* Peas (frozen)
* Broccoli (fresh or frozen)
* Cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
* Spinach (frozen)
* Corn (fresh or frozen)
* Zucchini (peel/chop)
* Sweet potato (peel/chop)
* Carrots (peel/chop)
* Butternut squash (peel/chop)

Prepare as noted above, put in a large pot and cover with water. (Make 2-3 bags of frozen veggies--it will fill 4-5 trays of ice cubes.) Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 4-15 minutes, until veggies are soft when poked with a fork. Puree in a blender. I use my simple food processor and it works just fine. Make sure to add enough cooking liquid. Transfer from blender to ice cube trays. Cover and freeze for 24 hours. Transfer to a ziploc bag, noting the item & date.

Two odd items:
* Applesauce--use already prepared, sugar-free (apples only) applesauce from the grocery
* Tomatoes--use organic, sodium-free diced, canned tomatoes, simmer for 10-15 min and then puree as usual

*adapted from Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel

Thursday, October 11, 2012

JD - the 8 months recap

The months are truly flying by . . . and this is only my first year with the little man! Bryce and I agree that the newborn stage is wonderful, but this stage is so much fun! Our little eight-month-old is still army crawling like crazy. He can do a regular crawl, but chooses to only when the surface is slippery. JD is pulling himself up to a standing position on the fireplace, couch, guitar case, coffee name it. All of the babbling and noise-making is precious. So much "talking" these days. And even a bit of "dancing."

Justus Daniel grins in recognition whenever I walk into the room, and actually seems to be a little worried when I'm not visible. I love it how Justus lights up whenever Bryce comes home. Bryce has taught Justus to look up at the light when he says "light"--the most precious thing ever. Just this past weekend, he discovered a new silly face. What a goofy little guy; I think we may have a future "ham" on our hands. Lately, his favorite toy is the dog's bone, especially when the dog is chewing on it. JD will crawl over and steal the bone, Parson steals it back and moves to another room, JD follows him and steals the bone again . . . and then I come to the rescue and return the slimy bone to the dog.

JD's day looks pretty much like this:
  • Wake up between 7 - 7:30am
  • Eat 3-4 tablespoons of cereal plus fruit (applesauce, banana, or melon, usually) and drink 8 oz of formula
  • Play, play, play
  • Nap time around 9am and sleep until 10:30 - 11am
  • Drink 8 oz of formula
  • Play some more or maybe run errands with Mama
  • Eat 2 ice cubes of butternut squash + 2 ice cubes of broccoli (his current favorite combination) and maybe 2-3 tablespoons of fruit or cereal
  • Nap time around 1pm and sleep until around 3:30pm
  • Drink 8 oz of formula
  • Play, play, play--this may include reading books (which means Mama reads and JD plays/listens), listening to music, bouncing in the exersaucer, going on a walk, running errands, playing on the floor with Dad, etc.
  • Eat 3 ice cubes of sweet potato + 2 ice cubes of spinach and then 4-5 tablespoons of cereal
  • Play a little more
  • Drink 6-8 oz of formula
  • Final diaper change and bedtime at 7pm
Two "notes to self" for future reference:
1.  Do not buy onesies with snaps for future babies older than 3 months. It takes forever to try to get a wriggly little boy into one of those!
2.  Do not give baby one of his spoons to play with. It did not occur to me that he would then try to play with the one that I was feeding him with!

And now for a slew of pictures from the past month! It's getting a little harder to take them because he moves around so much, but I found a few cute ones.

Their favorite thing to do together: look outside.

Trying a lemon for the first time.

Justus and our first Safe Families child, G.

We're starting him early . . .

Our first faux hawk.

This is where Justus spends most of his time these days.

New fashion: slippers, diaper, sweater and sunglasses.

Silly face!

Looking at the light.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Night Random

I have 5 minutes to write a blog of randomness. That's all I'm giving myself.

Today was a lounge-in-pj's kind of day. I've been fighting a cold (1 cold or 2 different colds? who knows) for almost two weeks now. And it was time to just lay around.

However, I did organize JD's 9 month clothes, cook up a butternut squash and pancakes for dinner (yummy! and don't ask about the combination), work on work for about 2 hours, do a load of laundry, call the bank, and do a project for the youth group. Okay. So it wasn't a nothing day, but doing something in your pj's is always more relaxing.

JD is so much fun these days. The infant stage is adorable but this stage is just plain fun! He laughs all the time. And grins so big at me when I walk into the room. We love just laying around on the floor together....Bryce, JD and I.

Mr. W, our second safe families child, has come and gone. Such a sweet boy! And super smart! I was amazed over and over during the 5 days he was here......the things he already knew and the things he remembered. He had the most gorgeous gray-blue eyes. I do miss his constant chatter and cute little face.

Five minutes are up!

Time to take a bath and start reading Antigone by Sophocles. Sounds relaxing, doesn't it? Actually, I've been looking forward to it all day.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Egg & Zucchini Bake

Bryce and I loved this recipe! It's a yummy one! Great for an easy dinner.

Egg & Zucchini Bake
(adapted from Eat Well, Live Well)

4-5 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
3-4 eggs, well beaten
10 ounces (2.5 cups) mozzarella cheese, shredded
10 ounces spicy sausage, cooked

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Saute zucchini and onion in olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in seasonings; continue to cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sausage.

In a large bowl, combine eggs and cheese. Stir in vegetable mixture.

Bake in a greased pie pan for 18-20 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Galations 5 Break Down

Galatians 5:4-8---Break Down
Scripture in Bold
My thoughts following....

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
You're a Christian and you love Jesus. And yet you're still trying to measure up. Still working so hard in your own strength, "doing" via the law instead of "being" via grace. It's not only impossible but the striving alienates, separates you from Jesus Christ. You have fallen away from the Grace that originally rescued.
But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
We are saved by faith and also, by faith, we await the culmination of our salvation: a heart completely made new, a new body, at home with Jesus. It is by faith you await the righteousness you are ever-so-eager to attain. Simply by faith. Not by works. Not by lots of trying. Not by rules and standards. In addition, you are enabled by the Spirit to wait. Not through your own power. Not with grumbling or laziness. But with eager expectation because your hope is sure to come.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Circumcision is the pinnacle description of a law-abiding, Jewish male. To the Christian today, circumcision may be compared to anything we hold up as the pinnacle of Christ-following: missions trips, serving the poor, church attendance, devotion time, etc. In Jesus, these actions in and of themselves, compelled by a commitment to the "law," no longer contain value. Instead, Paul says those who are in Christ Jesus must be filled with faith and express that faith in a life of love, out of which will naturally flow service to the poor, commitment to the Church, time spent with Jesus, etc. Same actions but done in love, not in "law."
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
You commit to following Jesus; you start running the Christian race. And then it happens. The Devil cuts in, the master of sneaky and smart lies. Believe it or not, it's completely possible to be running the race well and then suddenly to realize the lies have crept into your mind. The truth has subtly been replaced with lies and you are no longer running a good race.

That kind of persuasion does not come from the One Who calls you.
Jesus is the true Caller. The lies may say otherwise but His truth will never lead you to return to the law, to be law-following instead of Christ-following. Be persuaded to follow Jesus; cling to His truth, primarily found in and never conflicting with Scripture.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My First Little Girl

Imagine two scenarios with me:

A young mother with three children, ages 4, 2 and 6 months. Alone, homeless, scared, and embarrassed to seek out help from family. Needing help but nowhere to turn.

A young missionary family living in Indonesia. Monthly support provides a decent home with plenty of food & necessary provisions. Their aim: to serve the local people and to live a life of love among them, doing what they can to reach out and point to Jesus.

If we were that Indonesian family and Jesus brought that young mother to our door and she needed us to watch the 2-year-old for a few weeks while she could start a new job and get back up on her feet and we had the resources to help her, we would say "Yes! That's what we're here for!"

In truth, I expect the Indonesian missionaries to open their home in such a way and in that situation. And then I ask myself: why is it any different here in Indiana? Do I have the resources, space, time, love, concern, and mission in life? Why do I expect such "sacrifice" and action from the Indonesian missionaries?

This comparison has been burning in my mind and heart over the past few weeks.

And then Jesus said, "You're not off the hook, Jana. I'm bringing 'mission' right to your door right here in Indiana."

Enter C*, a real-life mother here in our city, homeless and with three children. Enter G*, her super cute 2-year-old daughter. Enter us, a typical midwest family with busy lives. Enter Safe Families, a ministry that connects the local Church with local hurting families with nowhere to turn.

G came to live with us for a week. My first little girl.

Justus and G playing together on the kitchen floor.

I was quite suddenly thrown into the very-busy life of a mother with two children needing constant care and attention. She was so precious--lots of little conversations, potty-training, fish crackers, trying to figure out what she liked to eat, needing comfort when she missed her mommy. Suddenly she was with us (found out Sunday, picked her up on Monday) and suddenly she was taken away (expected her to be with us for at least a month, but she was unexpectedly able to return to her mother after only a week). Such a small "inconvenience" and such an immense blessing to our family.

Justus loved having G. They would snuggle and play together.
Such a priviledge to be her surrogate mother and to love on her for a week.
Such a pleasure to serve her mother in this way.
Such a time of strengthing for our marriage to serve together (an unexpected & wonderful side-effect).
Such a small and simple way to express Jesus' love to a hurting family.

Click HERE to read more about Safe Families. It's not for the "super families" among us. We're just trying to live the Jesus-life in our city, loving the poor, the fatherless, the needy. Perhaps a ministry like this is your door to service, or maybe Jesus is starting to nudge your heart toward another aspect of the sacrifical/inconvenient/serving "missionary" life.

If you ask me about it, I might be living vicariously as an Indonesian missionary these days. My second little boy arrives in just a few hours.

*Full-names withheld to protect their identity.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Odyssey - here I come!

Yes, I'm excited. I'm joining an online book club. We're reading through classic literature chronologically. One book a month--not too daunting.

I'm joining this blogger and hundreds of other women.

And this is the version of The Odyssey that I'm currently reading. It really is easily understandable. Believe it or not.

Do you want to join me? :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Over half a year . . .

Highlights of month number seven for Mr. JD! Time just keeps moving right along.

  • Justus is a pro at army crawling. And he can move fast when he sees something he wants. Like an electrical cord. Or the dog's tail. Or the shoestring on Mom's tennis shoes while she's trying to work out (that happened Saturday morning . . . Dad to the rescue). Also, the necks of all of his onesies are stretched out because of his crazy crawling.
  • He loves to hit/pat all surfaces, especially when he army crawls onto something new, like the rugs in the foyer or the floor in the laundry room. Also Daddy's guitar case and the wooden coffee table are favorite patting surfaces. We say that he's practicing his drum skills, of course.
  • Just in the last few days the amount of "babbling" has seriously increased. The inflections are so cute--like he's really trying to say something to me.
  • I love it when JD chases "sun spots" in the late afternoon. Wonderful sun comes in our library windows and he loves to go from sunspot to sunspot on the carpet--patting and watching the shadows. Shadows are another favorite of his. Bryce and I will make finger-animals or move our feet to make shadows on the wall and he just stares!
  • Yesterday, Bryce started pretend sneezing and JD just laughed and laughed. It's their new "thing." And it's adorable (both of them).
  • It doesn't happen too often yet, but lately JD started laughing on his own, and not in response to tickling. That just amazed me when it first happened and something made him giggle. Love it!
  • At his 6.5 month doctor appointment, Justus was in the 90th percentile for height and the 50th for weight. The doctor said that I can't feed him too much--this boy burns calories all day long.
  • Speaking of feeding, we started solids a little late, just because of all the summer traveling. But he jumped right in! JD currently loves to eat: cereal, peaches, pears, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and peas. Yesterday we added carrotts and that's the first food he didn't like and wouldn't eat. We'll keep trying. I'm buying fresh, cooking the items that need it (mashing and feeding plain those that don't), pureeing and then freezing in ice cubes. It works great so far.
  • Hair is getting longer and darker. No curls yet. Definitely in 6 mo clothes but not for long, they're getting tight. Thighs are pretty chubby but still on the long&lean side.
  • Naps come and go. We're trying to switch to 2 per day instead of 3, but I think he's also in the middle of teething, which sometimes ruins that plan and a third nap is needed. I'm learning to be flexible and let the day happen as it will. (To an extent, I still like a schedule!)

I never mean to post this many pictures, but I just can't help myself. It gives such a good, visual picture of the past month.

He likes to watch us in the front seat, craning his neck to look at us.

Justus loves to pull the board books off of the shelf.
Yes, he pulled himself up there. Really wanted to suck on the buckles on the guitar case.

Um. Yum? Does that table taste good?

This is where the Langebartels family hangs out these days.

He's playing with the camera cord while I take a picture. Working on that fine motor control.

The half-sit. JD does this a lot these days.

Just hanging out with Parson. I think these two are going to be pals.
Airplane with Mama!
Just had to include one sad-face picture. Pitiful, JD.

This picture was pretty popular on Facebook. Exploring!

And more exploring.
JD likes looking at lights. Bryce was enjoying them, too.