Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jackson is 7 months!

Yes, Jackson is now 7 months and Rockin' right along (see 7 month picture-we love our AC/DC)! We've now tried all of the recommended veggies on the pediatrician's list as well as several fruits and a few other things. So far the only strong dislike has been avocado, but we'll keep trying. He hesitated with peas as well, but not as bad and didn't bat an eye when they've been mixed with carrots or sweet potatoes so that's a good sign. He even enjoyed his first taste of beets, which I personally find too "earthy" (I credit Rosanna with that nice description because we shared a salad and pizza a while back and the salad had beets, which I ate, but said they "taste kinda like dirt" and she said, "you mean 'earthy'"). :) I'm looking forward to him trying yogurt soon as well as some other fruits and meats as well. We're still trucking along nursing and it's been nice when I've been home during the holidays and didn't have to mess with stopping to pump because while I still have to stop to nurse, that doesn't feel like a chore to me as pumping often does...but we have less than 5 months til my revisd goal of nursing for his whole first year so now that we're well over halfway there, I'm really hopeful that we'll make it without formula.

7 months!

6 months!

5 months
4 months
3 months
~2 months
1 month


...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Shoup's!

We have so much to share, but it's been a long (fulfilling of course!) day so we're headed to bed. I have to share that our favorite little elf had a great first Christmas and it was even a White Christmas! (Grandma Shoup and Jackson had a quick picture before it all melted!)

...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Michigan J Frog

Well, it's finally happening - I hadn't been wishing for Jackson to speed up and do each "next thing" because I really do want to cherish every moment and every stage - but I am a little excited that he is now slowly getting the hang of rolling. While I look forward to what's to come, the passing of each phase does make me a little sad and it's been nice to not have to worry too much if I step a few feet away from the changing table or our bed to grab something when he's laying there. I do have to say I'm glad he's not too lazy and has decided it's time to get some working out in with the rolling. :) I have yet to actually witness it, but I know it's happened. Most of the last few days I have gone to get him in the morning and found him awake and scooting around on his stomach, rather than on his back the way we put him to bed. I asked and the ladies at daycare have said that he still isn't rolling there for now I refer to him as Michigan J Frog (think to those old WB cartoons with the frog that sings/danced "Hello my Baby! Hello my Darlin'! Hello my Ragtime Gal!", but as soon as the guy turns around, the frog is just sitting there) because it's not been witnessed yet though I imagine by the time 2010 rolls around, we'll have some video to post.

He's laughing more too and it makes me laugh and continues to warm my heart in ways I continue to be in awe of. No pictures tonight, but I'm sure there will be more soon with his first Christmas approaching!

...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!

Friday, December 11, 2009


A sleeping baby is a happy baby and it doesn't matter where or how!

Of course he can sleep in his crib!

Mommy enjoys this!

That can't be comfortable, but it didn't bother him sleeping on Uncle Baker's lap!

Sleep to-go!

Like father, Like son!

...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sweet Potatoes

The weekend after Thanksgiving I took some time to visit a local farmers market to get fresh (and inexpensive!) produce to make baby food for Jackson rather than spending so much more for the pre-made stuff. Yes, it is yet another time sacrifice, in addition to me continuing to nurse/pump in the hopes of making it a whole year and keeping Jackson formula free, and I know that I'll probably buy some pre-made food, but again, it's a money saver and there are some things we would much rather spend that money on around the house, etc and I don't mind staying up a little later to make the food - I actually quite enjoy it. For now, yes, Joey and I still get by on Hamburger Helper type things and similar other processed things, but for Jackson I am trying to be healthier and hopefully that health will also trickle down to Joey and I. That said, from a single sweet potato that cost less than $1, I was able to make 10 servings for Jackson to last for the whole week! Honestly, it probably could have made more servings, but I'm going to have to buy more covered ice cube trays because 2 wasn't enough for all the sweet potatoes plus the green beans and squash I made so a few were bigger servings than they probably should have been (but on the other hand, I never thought he'd eat it all, and he did! Even the ladies at daycare were surprised - I told them some would probably have to be tossed, but he kept opening his mouth and wanting more.

Anyway, so since I had the abundance of sweet potatoes and it's one of the first 6 our pediatrician has on the list to start with, we started with it. I only hope that Jackson loves all of the food as much. He made a face one night but only because the food was a little colder than the other nights. I'm trying to get him used to that though, but have noticed he still has a harder time with cold milk too, but we're working on that.

Anyway, Monday night, for our first attempt, I obviously didn't think to keep Jackson's hands occupied and this is what we ended up with:

We're definitely getting better at less food on the hands/forehead/tray but are going through bibs faster than usual as I try to figure out which kind works best and doesn't bleed! I'll take it though because thankfully, he is loving it and lets me know when he was ready for another bite!

We've moved on to green beans and he seems to dig those as well so next up is squash. Now I just need to find some time to get back to the farmers market and make some of the next veggies (carrots, peas, and beets) as well make up some fruits (apples, pears, peaches). I'm certainly needing to get bananas since those are one of the few foods (avocados is another) that doesn't have to be cooked before being processed and made ready for Jackson.

As much as I love doing all of this for Jackson, I do certainly struggle to find the hours to do so. The Christmas tree probably won't see ornaments until next weekend, Christmas cards will likely be New Years cards this year, Christmas gift shopping will have to wait, and the house certainly isn't as clean as I'd like, but at least for that last one, I keep trying to remind myself of something my Grandma Lou has hanging in her house, "Dull People live in Immaculate Houses". :)

For your amusement, I had asked Joey to snap a picture, but he was making fun of me for that and opted to video instead.

...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!

Friday, December 4, 2009

An object in motion

I had only purchased 1 specific Thanksgiving outfit for Jackson, but I'm convinced that he didn't like it...No, he didn't fuss when I put it on him - it just happened that every time I put him in it, he'd manage to have a blowout diaper (which doesn't happen all that often, although now that we've started more solid foods I'm thinking it could). He wore it to daycare once before Thanksgiving and had a blowout in it, which I dismissed as an isolated incident and wasn't too worried about since I knew I could wash it and put him in it again for Turkey day. Thanksgiving came and I never managed to get a picture before a diaper/wardrobe change was needed in the morning! I decided a staged photo shoot would be necessary and luckily even though Jackson is wearing mostly 6 month+ outfits, this 3-6month one runs big so there's still time. This morning I decided to try it before dropping him off at daycare, but he just did not want to cooperate for a posed picture, however, the result is almost as good, if not better! Most of the time I want to pose him in the chair, he'll be chill and oblige with smiles or at least sit still, but this morning he was just way too excited (must have been working on the diaper blowout that occurred sometime between the time I loaded him in the carset and the time I dropped him at daycare probably only about 15 minutes later)

Below is the result...You can't really tell even tell that it's a Thanksgiving outfit (It says, "Thankful for Mommy and Daddy" and has a picture of a turkey on it), but again, the resulting sequence of pictures is so much better than that.

"No, mom, I think I'd rather eat my hand than smile right now"

"Ha Ha! You can't catch me!"

"Hmmm. What shall I do next?"

"I know. I'll laugh at mom trying to take my picture!"

"She managed to get my upright again..."

*Insert evil laugh here!*

"Can I get these shoe/socks off?!"

"No, but I sure can move around and make it hard for her to catch a good picture"

"I'll just be a big blur. Ha Ha!"

"I'm magic!"

"...and now I'm not even sitting up anymore - she'll have to watch me to make sure I don't roll off the chair!"

"Is she going to start trying to make me stand now? I'll teach her!"

...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!


For Thanksgiving, Joey, Jackson, Buddy, and I were joined by my parents for a rather low-key holiday. While we certainly wish we could spend every holiday with every family member, we were so glad Dad was finally able to make the trip to Texas. Originally we thought he and mom would both be here back in May/June when Baby Shoup was due to arrive, but his cancer diagnosis around that same time meant no travel for him. We've only managed to make 1 trip to Kansas so this was only Dad's 2nd time with Jackson. He's still not back to full strength, but since he's done with the heavy chemo for now (though he is still doing "maintenance chemo"), he's getting more back to normal strength. Maybe we'd have wished he did 3 helpings of healthier food, but the fact that his appetite had him wanting a third piece of pumpkin pie is a good sign and hopefully he'll put some weight back on.

Here's dad having some conversation with Jackson.

My how much has changed since the last time they "talked"

As for Jackson's relationship with Mom...well, he's definitely a ladies man! It seems he only gives his version of kisses to ladies. When he first did it, I thought he was trying to tell us he's hungry, but even after a full meal, he'll still go straight for my chin and showed Mom the same kind of love. I believe he's going to be as affectionate as Joey and is just getting started on the learning to kiss.

She really enjoyed the kisses, but the first time, I almost thought I was going to have to grab him to keep her from dropping him she was laughing so hard! :)

One last kiss before they left.

We had a great visit with Mom and I even getting to see The Nutcracker on Friday afternoon while the guys hung out at home. Saturday arrived and they headed back to Kansas to make sure mom was well-rested for work on Monday and Dad for his thyroplasty (the implant surgery around his vocal chords to get his voice back to normal) on Tuesday...but I made sure to snap some pictures of the 3 of them before Mom and Dad hit the road.

Jackson seemed less than thrilled, but I'll choose to believe he was just disappointed to see them leaving. :)

We have so much to be thankful for this year and are looking forward to Jackson's first Christmas in a few weeks when my Mom and Dad will be back along with my brother, Joey's mom and hopefully Joey's sister too!

...Til next time, Keep Shuffling!