Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas!!!


Though not the world's most flattering picture of Caleb, it is very accurate for this week - into everything and lots of multi-tasking going on (must be his mother's influence).

We had a fun and enjoyable week with lots of activities and lots of photo ops (just a warning...lots of pictures and verbiage to follow).

Christmas Eve we went with Aaron's parents, my parents, and my sister to the children's church service. Caleb did very well, as long as he had at least two glow sticks (the children's service alternative to candles) in his hands at all times. He wore a very dapper outfit that was a birthday gift from our friends Rob and Heather. The funny thing was that Rob was wearing a similar outfit when they gave it to Caleb so it will forever be the Mini-Rob outfit. Doesn't Caleb look all grown up and very trendy?


Christmas morning Caleb woke up to find a red wagon from Santa in the living room. At first he was more impressed by the big green bow but once he realize he could ride around in the wagon, he decided it was a pretty fun gift.


My parents and sister came over to open stockings and have a quick and casual breakfast. Last year, Caleb was so little he was really just a cute blob not at all involved in all the goings-on of Christmas. He was much more into it this year, for sure.


As I mentioned last week, he got some toddler-sized crayons in his stocking. I was all excited to watch him color but, no, he just preferred to chew on the crayons. And he's already broken one of them, a tragedy for a mom who always prided herself on a perfect box of 64 crayons!


The dogs were not left out on Christmas, though I did forget to give them their goodies until 2 hours after we all opened our stockings.


Aaron's parents ended up heading out of town Christmas morning as his mom wasn't feeling well and didn't want to chance giving it to any of us. So they stopped by on their way out to open the presents we would have opened later in the day. Caleb was initially not quite sure about the rocking pony that talks and sings but has warmed up to it as the week has gone on.


We headed to my parents' house mid-afternoon to open presents and have Christmas dinner (OK, late lunch). I successfully recreated an appetizer of brie, raspberry preserves, and puff pastry that I had at a party a few weeks ago and Mom made a yummy poinsettia punch with pureed raspberries, pink lemonade, rose wine, and ginger ale. We enjoyed these treats and opened just one present before our Christmas feast. Here's a semi-cute shot of Caleb and his grandparents. Maybe one day we can get the three of them to look at the same camera.


Between his recent birthday and other pre-Christmas gatherings, Caleb was very into the present opening by the time passed around the gifts at my parents'. One present from Grandma and G-Dad was his Bounce and Spin Zebra, which he enjoyed.


My sister gave Caleb a wooden stick with jingle bells on it in his stocking. Let's just say we could have forgotten the wagon, zebra, pony, and everything else as Caleb was lovin' those bells. He took them everywhere that day.


On Wednesday, Caleb and I went to visit our friends Kim and Adalie since they were in town from New Orleans. It was so good to see them! Hopefully we'll get to see more of them next time they are in town.


Thursday we had our weekly playgroup over to our house for a little show and tell with everyone's favorite new toys and so I could clean out the leftovers that were in my fridge. At one point, there were 6 kids under the age of 2 1/2 sitting at the kitchen table. It was hilarious and the dogs had a wonderful time cleaning up after everyone left :) Here's a picture of some of Caleb's buddies:


Caleb grew more and more confident in his walking ability as the week progressed. Just as a comparison, here's a video from Christmas Eve at the Elephant Bar Restaurant then another of him tonight (note the new and oh-so-charming habit of shrieking at the top of his lungs in the 2nd video).
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As he gets more comfortable with getting around on two appendages instead of four, he is getting more and more bold. Here's a picture of him after he crawled up into the baker's rack shelf. He wasn't quite sure what to do once he was up there.


And poor Lilah is just a glutton for punishment. Whereas Caleb used to be a relatively immobile lickable target, he's now on the move with one constant target: Lilah. She is so patient and nice while he pats (aka hits) her and pulls her ears and paws but now he tries to tackle her and roll her to the ground. My guess is that she will soon tire of this and make a run for it like Sam does.


We had several visits from friends this weekend. Zach, Missy, and Zach's mom, Ethel, stopped by yesterday to say "hey" and bring Caleb a present. Of course I forgot to get a picture. Then our friends Mike and Kristen came by today on their way back to Memphis. They also came bearing gifts for Caleb, including a great OU windsuit. Here's a cute picture of Caleb and Mike.


Three big "congrats" to pass out this week:
1) Congratulations to my sister and her boyfriend, I mean fiance!!, who got engaged on Saturday night. Brian is heading to Iraq with the National Guard soon so big plans are kinda in a holding pattern, but Yippee for them!!

2) Congratulations to our friends Justin and Anna who had their first baby today. Justin said Anna's contractions only took four hours to get within one minute of each other which would probably anger our other friends...

3) Congratulations to our Covenant friends, Doug and Brittain, who gave birth to their second bundle of joy, a girl, today after being in labor off and on for 2 1/2 weeks (now you know why she would not want to hear about Anna's quick labor!).

Have a very very Happy New Year and here's to a wonderful and blog-filled 2008!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

1 Year and 3 Weeks- Starting Christmas Celebrations



This week marked the end of Caleb's first semester of school, complete with our first-ever parent teacher conference. You'll be glad to know that he does get to stay next semester :) His teacher said he was right on track developmentally and loves music and rhythm. He also likes to spend solitary time working on stacking cups and blocks or sorting shapes. Looks like he's going to have my musical intuition and Aaron's spatial reasoning - ha!

He had a very fun and messy week at school, coming home several times very dirty and even slightly damp from snack time using a cup instead of a bottle. As I told a friend, if how dirty he comes home is any indication of a good day, he must be having a blast! In fact, Wednesday they switched him out of his filthy shirt but decided his jeans were fine so this is how he looked when I picked him up...maybe he'll start a new trend- onesie on the outside. (PS- Can you tell how much Caleb and the dogs love the back door? Take a look at how smudged it is!!)


Thursday night our friends Nick and Laura came to watch Caleb while we attended Aaron's work Christmas party. Apparently it went pretty well, if Caleb's snoozing in his lap is any indication :) And Nick looks like a natural here, huh?


I faced a bit of a dilemma this month as far as when to cut Caleb's hair. He could have used one before his birthday party and 1 year photos but then it wouldn't be freshly cut for Christmas. Well, I held off and do have say that my child was getting a bit scraggly looking by this week. I tried to spike it up one day when we were headed out to run errands and Caleb ended up looking like Pee Wee Herman it was so high in front. So, I did what any logical mother would do: put some gel in it and scrunch it! He looked so cute and got a lot of compliments on it at Walmart (which is not exactly like getting compliments on it at Saks or anything, but we'll take what we can). Thankfully, he did get it trimmed up on Friday by his fearless stylist, Michelle.


Aaron's parents and sister and her family from Texas arrived on Friday evening. We had a fun weekend with them, including dinner and presents with Aaron's other sister and her family and the out-of-town relatives on Saturday evening. Here are several pictures: one of the presents on the piano (and these were mainly just the ones for Aaron's side of the family), all the presents distributed but not yet opened, and Caleb enjoying the gift-opening process.




By the end of the evening, Caleb was a little overwhelmed by all the new toys (what generosity from aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents!!) and was past his bedtime. He has also really been enjoying quality time with his Dad lately so I thought this one of my boys in red was cute. There are times when I think I sure could get a lot more accomplished if Caleb wasn't so clingy and cuddly, but then I have to remind myself that the day he'll have no interest in being held and giving hugs will come WAY too soon.


A few more "firsts" this week: First time eating corn on the cob and he loved it!


And first time using crayons. He kept trying to put these in his mouth while we were out to eat but Santa told me Caleb's getting the new Crayola crayons for toddlers in his stocking so hopefully those will work a bit better.


We will do Christmas Eve service with both sets of grandparents and Aunt Mo tomorrow night(Aaron's sis and her family leave early tomorrow morning), then stocking-opening and breakfast with my fam followed by a mid-afternoon feast and presents with the grandparents and Aunt Mo at my parents' house.

Hope that you all have a joyous Christmas! Be safe in traveling and can't wait to see pictures of everyone's celebrations!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

OK, This Week in Review (just a day late)



So last Sunday I ended my post wishing for no school so I could catch up on holiday baking and housework. Well, I got the no school part (through Thursday actually) but the power went as well so I didn't quite accomplish everything I'd hoped for. We truly had it "easy" considering that we still have friends and co-workers without electricity 8 days later. Our lights went off early Monday morning literally seconds after I got the call that we didn't have school, and came back on mid-afternoon on Tuesday. We just camped out in the main living areas of the house around the gas logs. Here's a shot of Caleb napping on the pallette I created in the middle of the living room.


Caleb has taken a real liking to brushing his teeth and hair lately, so much that it is hard to pry the brushes out of his hands :) He also can tell you what a dog says ("Woof") and a monkey says ("Eee Eee Eee"). And he is getting more and more steady on his feet as he toddles around.


Thursday we met some friends, most of whom were still without power at that point, at Utica Square to take pictures with Santa. Only Ariana's was really good and that's because she's too young to pitch a fit :) Here's Caleb's great photo op:


A big deal this week was the transition to the forward-facing car seat. He's been big enough (20 pounds) forever but you are supposed to wait until they weigh enough and turn one and we just hadn't gotten to it yet. Friday was his first trip facing the new direction and he loved it. And I like that I can actually see his face if he's sleeping, coughing, etc. I did have to lose the behind-the-passenger-seat trash can that I've used for years. Suggestions from other moms on where to put it now?


Our friends came to stay with us for the weekend while they waited for the power to come back on in their Midtown home. Their son is a couple months older than Caleb and the boys didn't really play together but did get along nicely. It was fun to have company, even though they had to sleep on our living room floor since we have no guest room or guest bed.


My Dad's sister came in town for the weekend to see Dad perform in a play at the community playhouse. Dad did a great job and it was fun to see Aunt Debbie too. We dined at Cheesecake Factory after church Sunday then the girls (Mom, Aunt Deb, my sister, and me) enjoyed a pampering party courtesy of my BeautiControl friend Brooke. It was great and very relaxing.


Think that's really about it for our exciting week. I have a small handful of presents and stocking stuffers left to pick up but am finished beyond that with regard to Christmas shopping. Plus, I only have TWO days left until I am out for an entire 17 days, including Christmas with both sides of the family and a trip to Vegas after the new year. Yippee!

Oh, one more thing...here's the link to Caleb's great 1 year pictures. http://www.gregoryphotography.blogspot.com/. Betsy really did (yet another) phenomenal job!!
Have a great week!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekly Post Delayed :(

We had a fun and eventful week (no power for 36ish hours). However,you'll have to check back tomorrow for an update. Sorry...tons to do before heading back to work and school in the morning.~ em

Sunday, December 9, 2007

First Week of Being 1


This was a pretty low-key and normal week for us, which was nice after a busy and fun-filled weekend. At school, Caleb did have some trouble readjusting after having lots of people and excitement (and an irregular bedtime schedule) that was compounded by the fact that one of his teachers was out sick last week. With multiple subs in and out, Caleb was having some "issues". As his main teacher, who was in the classroom last week, said, " Well, he knows what he likes and at least I'm one of them." Wednesday was much better for Caleb and his classmates as the substitutes' faces were at least somewhat familiar by then.

Thursday was our trip to the pediatrician for his one year checkup. We received good news that his ear infection has cleared up so no tubes for now. He weighed in at 25 pounds 12 ounces (86th%), measured 32 1/2 inches long (topped out the charts), and 49 cm in head circumference (right at 100%). The doctor did encourage us to let Caleb learn how to fall asleep on his own and to put himself back to sleep if he wakes up in the middle of the night. With so many Christmas events in the next few weeks, I don't think this is the time to start a new sleep regimen. Maybe we'll make that our New Year's resolution.


We were supposed to meet our playgroup friends at Utica Square to take pictures with Santa on Thursday but it was too cold. Hopefully we'll get there before the 25th. That's one thing I didn't even think about doing last year so we need to step it up this year.

Friday Mom, Caleb, and I traveled to Bartlesville for Caleb's 1 year photo shoot at our friend/photographer Betsy's house. We got some cute ones for sure. I'll post the link to her site when the previews are up.
That night Aaron and I went to a birthday party for our friend Lauren. It's not everyday that you get to celebrate Miss America's 21st birthday. We had a fun time and it was great to see Lauren.


Caleb was pretty silly this weekend. I wrote a few weeks ago about my dad teaching him the "close your eyes" trick. Well now every time you ask Caleb where his nose, ears, and EYES are, you get this face:


Saturday night was our annual Sunday School Progressive Dinner. When I first started organizing it, we had 20 people max. This year, we had 54 people! It was a great time and definitely worth the headache of figuring out who goes where when and what do they bring.

In BIG news... Mr. Caleb took some steps!!! He still prefers to crawl and you definitely have to give him some motivation but what started as a step or two (a glorified stumble, really) at the beginning of the week is now a 10+ step walk to me, Aaron, the coffee table, etc. Check it out:
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I know some people have been worried that I won't post weekly since Caleb has reached the 1 year mark. However, I fully intend to keep blogging each Sunday night. My guess is there are quite a few people out there that enjoy reading my weekly ramblings so feel free to show some love by leaving a comment :)

Have a great week and stay safe and warm! (Riverfield hardly ever closes but I am pulling for a snow day tomorrow so I can get caught up on my present wrapping and cleaning.)

Monday, December 3, 2007

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY!!

Caleb's birthday began at precisely 2:19 when we snuck into his room and whispered the Happy Birthday song to him as he slept.



When he woke up, he had his usual morning graham cracker, but with a #1 in green icing on it. YUM!! I think he knew it was going to be a good day :)


We brought special treats to Caleb's Butterfly class friends as well as a book and some stacking cups for the class in honor of his birthday. Caleb got to finger paint a bib as part of the birthday celebration. It was fun to see him in the middle of the day, though his teacher did tell me he wasn't near as chipper after I left. Guess he couldn't figure out why he didn't get to leave with me right then.








When we got home, Caleb was excited all over again about many of his presents as well as the balloons that were still placed around the house. We met Aaron's parents, sister and her family for dinner the came back to give the cake-eating another try. A co-worker recommended just putting him on the floor and letting him go at it instead of being stuck in the high chair. Apparently, that was the ticket because he had way too much fun with the remainder of his turtle cake tonight. Of course, I am not sure why I thought Caleb would stay on the plastic tarp we laid down. I spent about 30 minutes scrubbing icing and cake out of the grout while Aaron scrubbed icing and cake out of Caleb's various nooks and crannies.






Despite a huge sugar high, Caleb went down pretty easily and is now sound asleep. What a wonderful birthday!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Week 51 and a Birthday Bash


Like most of the last 52 weeks, this one revolved around Mr. Caleb. As we prepared for our "laid back, no big deal" party (really, those were my intentions), I realized I can't just do a "laid back, no big deal" party for my first child's first birthday. It still was reasonably low-key but I had to plan and coordinate the smallest details...shocking I know.

We started out the birthday celebrations on Wednesday, when we met some friends at Ted's Cafe Escondido (love it!!) where Caleb opened his first ever birthday presents.

But before Sunday's shin-dig, I enjoyed a pampering party/girls night out with my Sunday School friends. We had a blast, just chatting, exfoliating, and eating, even if some less-than-glamorous pictures were taken (see below).


OK, I know you want to see the birthday party pics so here they are:

Caleb in awe of the balloons (why do we even spend money on toys and other gifts?!?)


Our friend Brooke did an awesome job on the cakes, don't you think? Especially considering she tackled them in one evening with three kiddos running around and only one batch of margaritas. She did the sheet cake with turtle then Caleb's own special turtle. Thanks, Brooke, you're the best!!



The decorations courtesy of Aaron. The banner was painted by my former student aide from school. How cute is it!!


Where's Caleb??


"Who put this bag on my head?"


"I hate hats and you're trying to pass it off as a birthday present!"


The turtle cake before...


...and after. Actually, he didn't last long with the whole cake-destroying thing. I don't know if it was the weird fringe around the outside of his tray table, the trash bags he was sitting on to protect the highchair fabric, or the texture of the cake between his fingers, but he was pretty much done about 5 minutes into it :)


Two presents I love: my new walking cart and the ball pit. If you look really closely in the ball pit picture, you can see his molar. Yep, after two months of under the surface blood blisters, all 4 molars have finally pushed their way through!




And we received a family membership to the zoo, so you better believe we'll be making some trips there when the weather warms up a bit. Yeah!

After a fun party, we went to Cheddar's with our friends that drove in from OKC. Caleb was amazingly well-behaved for as little sleep as he had gotten. In fact, he might have been delirious by the time bathtime rolled around. Here's where he crawled to after his bath (usually he makes a beeline for Aaron in the office):


I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to the family and friends that have been part of Caleb's 1st year. Stick with us...it's only going to get better :) And thanks to those that drove from out of town (do Broken Arrow and Sapulpa count??) to be part of today's celebration.

PS- Boomer Sooner, huh? I thought they might be pulling for the BSC Championship after laying such a whooping on Mizzou. Oh well, guess we'll settle for the Fiesta Bowl. Caleb received several fun OU items today, including a great football. Yippee!

PPS- This week includes Caleb's actual birthday on Monday, which he will celebrate with his friends at school, 1 year check up and immunizations, 1 year photo shoot with our friend Betsy, and our Sunday School class Christmas Progressive Dinner. Should be a fun and busy one.
PPPS- Caleb still is fighting the same darn ear infection. Our pediatrician put him on another antibiotic and if it's not cleared up by his appointment this week, we'll probably need to go see an ENT. All I said was if we have to get tubes, I want it done by December 31st since we've already paid our deductible this year :)
Have a great week!