Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

-James, Bobbie Jo, and Max

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Chicken Nugget

Max has been a bit finicky with his food. He's only 2 months shy of his 2nd birthday, yet a large portion of what he will eat still comes from baby food jars.

We've gotten him to eat some things (bagels, PB&J, american cheese), and he's cool with most fruits (tried an orange for the first time this weekend), but he just won't eat "dinner-type foods".

He's seemed interested, but just won't eat any of them.
NOTE: Yes, we've tried hot dogs, pizza, nuggets, and all of the food that kids just "love". No luck until today.

Today, I got Max to eat 3 McDonald's chicken nuggets (I think that it helped that in order to get him excited we sang a "Chicken Nugget Song" all the way from Micky D's to the house). He dipped them in honey, made an enormous mess, and enjoyed every last crumb.

I need to start working on a "Hot Dog Song"!

The annual "Where did 20XX go?" post

WOW! Where did 2009 go? It's been a quick one. Christmas is Friday, and New Years the Friday after that.

2009 was very busy. Max became mobile, and got into everything. He grew from a baby into a little boy. I've juggled school, work and parenthood, while Bobbie Jo juggled even more along with taking care of two very needy boys. Sometimes I wondered how we were going to make it through it.

2010 will be a big year, we're excited to see what it will bring.

For the second year I will be flying to Las Vegas on Jan. 1 for the Consumer Electronics Show. I'll be gone for 8 days, returning on Jan 9. Bobbie Jo's folks have graciously offered to watch Max both weekends (THANKS A MILLION!!).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jumpin' on the bed

This is what happens when you jump on the bed.

Forehead + footboard = OUCH!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Playing in the Snow

On Saturday I bundled Max up for some adventures in the snow. He'd never played in the snow before and I wasn't sure what to expect.

He was quite apprehensive, he doesn't like walking on uneven ground. He was happiest sitting in the snow and pointing out things for me to throw snowballs at.

He kept his hat and mittens on the whole time, so I'd say he did pretty well. He'll be running around in it in no time.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Max Primer

I never understood how parents knew what their kids were saying. Now, I get it.

For those who may need to care for our child, I have compiled a list of Max's words and their normal English translations.
ä-pōō-ä - airplane
bŭp - puff (puffed snack thingy)
bĭk-ēē - Craisin (cranberry raisin), or Mickey (Mouse).
doo-doo - Spiderman*
dä-doo - Cheerio
dee-tee - Sesame (Street)
duhmp-ŭp - "Jump Up", his favorite song
- flag
gä-gōō - cracker
gä-gōōf - color, draw, or write on something. Or crayon, chalk, or pen.
moo-nee - (Handy) Manny, a tv show.
non-ee - naughty
tŏp-īte - stoplight (or sometimes stop sign)
These are the words that will most frequently trip people up. Most other words (eat, elmo, cookie (snack and monster), juice, (m)ilk, pee, poop, book, etc.) mean what you think they would mean.

I will update this list as necessary.
Hope this helps.


*My next post will explain the origin of "doo-do".

Friday, December 4, 2009

First Snow (sorta)

As I was getting ready to leave for "Poker Weekend", I got a few pictures of Max seeing snow for the first time (he wouldn't have understood it last year).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Emma 1999-2009

Bobbie Jo and I have just returned home from putting our cat Emma to sleep. It was the most difficult thing that either of us have ever had to do. She was a crabby kitty, but we loved her very much. She will be greatly missed.

In January of 2000, after a particularly bad 1999, I felt the need for some companionship. On January 15, Emma (named for the cage "M-4" that she was rescued from)came home to my studio apartment to live with me.

We've been through a lot together. She was with me as I moved into the house that later became the first house I owned. When I met Bobbie Jo, got married, moved to our new house, and brought baby Max home from the hospital- she was always waiting for us at home. Many things changed, but Emma was always the constant.

She grew fatter over the years, and crankier. She suffered from health problems for as long as we can remember. Bobbie Jo and I remember crying while force-feeding her on the kitchen floor of our old house. She had no energy from not eating in a week, and was at death's door.

I don't know that she was terribly thrilled when Max became mobile. She was always gentle around him, though usually scurrying away if she was able. Max called her (and most cats) "emma", who knows how long that will last. It's too bad he probably won't remember her when he gets older.

Emma was my first real pet, and I will never forget her.
We love you Emma B, you will be missed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So many things happening.

In this time of information; blogs, digital photos, video, facebook, twitter, email, and countless other ways of communication, sometimes I feel like I'm losing the battle.

There are so many things happening as Max grows, and I feel terrible when I don't document all of those tiny milestones in one way or another. I've written, taken photos, and videos of many of them, but I feel like I need to work harder at it.

But, I realize that this has got to be common amongst all new parents, as their kids grow at rates they never thought possible. I have kept better 'notes' than most, and there just isn't time to be 100%. I guess I'm pretty happy with the record that we are creating.

As this is being written on Thanksgiving, I couldn't make it without mention of the many things I have to be thankful for. I have a wonderful caring family, fantastic friends, the best wife a man could ask for, and a son that cannot be described with words.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


With a capital "T".

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mrs. Denton - a dear family friend

This week one of our family's greatest friends passed away. My parents first met Mrs. Denton in 1975, when they moved into their first house on Lake Grove. Anne Denton quickly became a close friend of both of my parents, and was one of the first people outside of the hospital to know of my birth (I received the below note in a birthday card a few years back):

Mrs. Denton would frequently be by on holidays, take each of us boys to lunch on our birthdays (Bill Knapp's was always my choice), and the most exciting part for any young child- she would take us to Toys R Us and let us pick out our own birthday presents!

The stories about Mrs. Denton are too many to go into detail here. Some of them as told to us were:
  • She snuck into the White House and met the president (I can't remember who).
  • She went to college and majored in business, because "women weren't supposed to major in business".
  • She made a "bucket list" over 20 years ago, and was thrilled to show us the video tape of her sky diving in her eighties.
She was a tremendous woman, who was greatly loved by those who got to know her. She was one of the most caring and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure to know, and taught those around her to live life to its fullest, and to always enjoy what you do. She will forever be missed.

DENTON - Anne S. Denton's faith and trust in God was nurtured throughout her life and celebrated in her passing to eternal life on November 10, 2009. She was born in Peoria, IL on October 6, 1919, to Wallace and Garnet Snyder, and was raised there by her paternal grandparents, graduating from high school and college. Anne had many interesting jobs, including with Bell Telephone, Girl Scouts of America in New York City, and the U.S. Department of defense in Washington, D.C. She married the love of her life, Murray Denton on July 3, 1942, and following his WWII service they lived throughout the Midwest, eventually settling in East Grand Rapids. They had three children, Melissa and Charlie who survive her and a daughter, Sharon who died shortly after birth. Anne was an active volunteer serving at Mary Free Bed and Blodgett Hospitals, with the PTA, and at her church. Anne also loved the socializing that went with playing bridge, canasta, golf and tennis. Following the October 18, 1977 death of her beloved Murray, Anne became the parish visitor for Eastminster Presbyterian Church on a trial basis that last 13 years. One of the great challenges and joys in her life was being part of starting the Christ Community Church with Rev. John Tobian and others. She continued as pastoral assistant with Christ Community until her retirement at age 86, but Anne never really gave up working to bring members to the church. Anne lived at Porter Hills for many years, surrounded by friends and with great support from the wonderful staff and by Hospice of Michigan. She had just celebrated her 90th birthday with her children, Melissa, Charlie and daughter-in-law, Becky. Anne will also be remembered and missed by her grandchildren, Anna, John, Alec and Peter of whom she was so proud. One of her greater gifts to her family was introducing them to summers at Chautauqua Institution in New York. A celebration of Anne Denton's life will be held at Christ Community Church on Forest Hills Ave., on Friday, November 13, with visitation at 1:00 p.m. and the service at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Christ Community Church or Porter Hills Benevolent Fund in her memory. The family is being served by Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Service

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dancing Kid

Max dances to the song at the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

At the end of the video (if you make it that far), Max says "ga" and points at the screen. It's the little flags on top of the Disney castle logo that he's getting excited about.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The flag

I think it was before the Fourth of July when Max started noticing flags. Every flag (American and otherwise) we would see on our walks would be pointed out. I'm not sure when it happened, but he also started calling them "ga" (I'm guessing due to the 'g' at the end of 'flag').

A few times we were places where he would encounter little flags (the small flags stapled to a pointy stick). He'd want to play with them, but because of the stick (and the point) it just seemed like a bad idea.

One Sunday evening, as I roamed Lowes, I stumbled upon a perfect size flag for Max. Perfect size flag but a big pointy stick. I scoured Lowes looking for a more "kid-friendly" alternative. One fly swatter and some hot glue, and a Max-safe flag was created.It has become his favorite toy (even more than the 73 Elmo things he has). He takes it on walks, to the store, anytime we ask him if he wants to bring something with him, he brings his "ga".

It's been a few months, and Max's obsession with flags continues (Grandma Sharon even wore a shirt with an American Flag last time she came to watch Max because she knows how much he likes them).It's not just the big, obvious flags that he sees. The most amazing thing is the tiny flags he will notice. He will point out minuscule flags on the backs of books, the tags of clothing, anywhere there is a flag, Max will point it out.

It's strange (he also has an infatuation with traffic lights), but it's amazing to see how aware he is of everything going on around him. That he can pick all of these flags out frequently surprises us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sprinkler

It was extra nice this weekend, so when Max and I got back from the store I thought I'd test him out in the sprinkler again. Previous times he hadn't really liked it, this time he loved it.
He played for almost a half-hour before his teeth started chattering and it was time to get inside.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Trip to the Beach

Bobbie Jo and I are so rarely home together that we felt that we had to seize the opportunity, and today we took Max on his first trip to the beach. There is a beautiful park about 25 minutes from our house. It's on a lake, has a huge beach, a playground, and a "splash-pad" water park.

Max loved the sand. It was great watching him walk on it for the first time. It wasn't long before he was running as fast as he could (and as far as we'd let him get away with).

In the three hours we spent there he ate a few handfulls of sand, played in the water, played in the sand, tasted quite a few rocks, ran a lot, and kept the both of us incredibly busy. It was an awesome day, a perfect ending to a great weekend.

I took about 300 photos, here are some of the better ones.

He played so hard, for the first time since switching to the big-boy car seat, he fell asleep on the way home!