“He’s Always Doing Lots of Things”

Houston staying busy with his rings.

That’s what Stephen says about Houston these days. It’s as if he has to constantly be touching, eating, poking, pulling and banging on anything and everything he can get his grubby little hands on. If we could only harness the energy of the world’s babies to power our planet, the alternative fuel debate would be over.
Another one of our favorite sayings is “He thinks the world is his Jump-n-Go.” It is no matter to him that jumping up and down might not be the best idea when Mommy or Daddy is holding him in a standing position on their laps or trying to encourage him to walk on the floor. Rather, bouncing is of the utmost import and must be relished by all involved. For more of Houston playing with his rings and other early-mid February pics, click here.
Other favorite things as of late:
*Shaking his head back and forth as if he’s saying “no.” Whether sitting or laying down, the “no” head-swaying always makes for a good laugh (and a presumably dizzy little boy).
*Feeding himself tofu, chicken (baked in apple juice by Mommy) and cheese (Monterey Jack, to be specific). He’s not one to turn away the spoon, but he just loves using those busy little fingers to pick up food and shove as many pieces as possible into his mouth, giving Mommy many a gray hair in the process.
*Doing what we think is his attempt at singing. I don’t know how to describe it other than he often holds a sustained note when we’re singing to him, while other times starting on his own, inspiring us to song. Once we harmonize, sweet sing-along sounds fill the house with joy.

Houston spazzing out in his playpen.

*Sitting solo and getting busy in his playpen. The playpen fun was definitely contingent upon Houston being able to sit up for longer periods of time without falling over. His sitting stability has definitely reached new heights, and thus, the whole new playpen world is now open for his exploration.
*Officially enjoying bath time. Houston no longer seems apprehensive while in the tub. Instead, kicking and splashing as much water onto Mommy and the bathroom walls and floor make all that annoying cleaning worthwhile.
*Laughing when Mommy tries to teach him to kiss. Houston’s not quite sure what he’s supposed to be doing, but drooling all over Mommy’s cheek seems like a pretty good use of time nonetheless.

Houston and Dixie checking each other out during their first play date in February 2008.

Houston had his first play date this week with Dixie (she’s the one he went trick-or-treating with). We often go walking with Dixie and her mom, Shawn. But Houston had a ball being free to really check out Dixie up close and personal, as well as play with her brother, Milton, and sister, Donni. Shawn and I plan on doing more play dates in hopes that Houston and Dixie will become good pals. Click here to view more play date and other late February photos.

Houston, Shawn and Milt at our Daytona 500 party in February 2008.

Speaking of neighbors, we had Shawn, her husband, Milt, and Dixie, and our next door neighbors Heather and Trey, and their daughter, Alissa, over to the house for a Daytona 500 party as thanks for all of them helping us out in various ways with our laminate flooring. We are so blessed to have such wonderful people as both neighbors and friends.
Lastly, I did an unofficial weight check of Houston today. According to my home scale, he is 21.5 pounds of pure, raucous boy! I only wish my legs were as muscular as my arms are getting by toting his massive body around all day long.

Another Tooth Pops Up

Houston showing off his first two teeth in early February 2008.

Houston’s second tooth popped through his bottom gum on January 4. He is handling the whole teething thing pretty well. The pain seems to affect him on occason in the evenings just before bed, but a dab of Baby Anbesol and a little love from Mommy quells the tears. He’s not quite sure what is happening in his mouth, but he certainly loves to rub the new foreign objects with his tongue.
Stephen and I are teaching Houston baby sign language. We officially began the process at about six months, when babies’ memories really start to take hold, although I have been showing him the “milk” sign for many months now. I figured it couldn’t harm … and it hasn’t. He has been recognizing the sign when I do it for a while, cooing and kicking his feet in sweet anticipation of Mommy’s yummy nectar. Well, during the last week of January, he started doing the “milk” sign both before and during his nursing sessions, as well as when I feed him solids. So, he hasn’t obviously grasped the “eat” sign yet (which we do when he’s being fed in his high chair), but he does at least understand the concept of his hunger being satiated. Pretty cool, huh?!

Houston playing outside in his Exer-Saucer in late January 2008.

I’ve been trying to tweak his sleep patterns a bit, getting him to bed later (around 7 p.m.), so that he won’t be waking at the crack of dawn (now 7 a.m., instead of 6 a.m.) It took a couple of weeks — and his teething, which would sometimes wake him in the middle of the night, didn’t help — but we seem to finally be getting a more sane schedule down. As the world’s grumpiest morning person, which most of y’all can attest to, this makes me extremely happy!
Some other things we are working on:
*Getting Houston more comfortable around other kids when Mommy’s not around. The proving ground for this has been the nursery at church and last Sunday was his best effort to date. He was tear-free for the entire service, minus the last five minutes. I think the fact that there was a man working in the nursery that day helped ’cause he tends to be more comfortable around men than women. I don’t know if that’s ’cause most females usually smother him or if he has a better sense of security around males or what.
*Getting Houston used to entertaining himself in his playpen. Once he can get up on his knees, sit better by himself and pull himself up to a standing position, I’m sure he’ll think his playpen isn’t near as boring.

Houston practicing sitting up solo in late January 2008.

*Getting Houston to a point where he can sit by himself for longer periods of time. His current record is about three minutes, but he still tumbles over a lot, usually when he’s reaching for a toy.
Houston has also started playing ball with Mommy and Daddy. He’s a champ at catching the ball when we roll or throw it to him, but he hasn’t yet returned the ball. Peek-a-boo is still a favorite game. Pulling the burp cloth covering his face or Mommy’s face off always excites him, as does Mommy peeking out from behind the fridge or laundry door. It never is a dull time!
Lastly, my boy is growing into a monster. He’s popping out of most of his 12-month size clothing and he’s not even 8 months old yet. He will be towering over Stephen and me before we know it!
You can now view photos from the second half of January and some recent February shots in gallery.
With Granny and Grumps visiting to help with Houston, we hope to wrap up the laminate installation this weekend. We will be doing the bedroom and we won’t be able to sleep in our bed during the process, so it’s gonna stink, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.