Monday, April 28, 2008

Gone is Mr. Cautious (1 Year and 21 Weeks)

Allergies have hit the Waltons like a ton of bricks this spring. All three of us have been sniffling, coughing, and going through Kleenex like you wouldn't believe. Thankfully, it's not developed into anything else and it hasn't really affected Caleb's mood. Because of allergies, we spent a lot of the week inside but still had lots of fun.

Here's a shot of the Elmo balloon Caleb received at the birthday party last week. It held its air quite well over the course of the week and Caleb loved it (not near as much as the Elmo CD we also got, that we "get" to listen to over and over and over in the car!).

Caleb has enjoyed doing adult-oriented tasks lately, like sitting in our kitchen chairs, carrying his diaper bag, or telling the dogs when to come inside or go outside. Over the weekend, he was trying to help me take some pictures. So, here's Caleb's first ever photo. Watch out Betsy and Ashley, we've got another budding photographer on our hands!!

Along the same try-to-be-a-grown-up lines, Caleb loves our shoes. He can't walk past a pair without picking them up and either handing them to us or trying (and usually getting frustrated) to put them on his own feet. My slide-on New Balance actually work out well for this and he enjoyed marching around the house for quite awhile in them.

On Friday, I bravely ventured forth to Dallas with 80 Riverfield Middle Schoolers and some other chaperones. Many people asked what in the world I was thinking, since I am not a teacher and wasn't required to go. I really don't know what sparked the interest but it was not a horrible trip :) We left the school at 5:30 and traveled in charter buses to Dallas where we visited the 6th Floor Museum of the Texas Schoolbook Depository and learned about JFK. Then we went on to the Dallas Museum of Art to see work by Turner (don't ask me his first name, I was busy keeping up with a group of 6th graders!), the Nasher sculpture museum, then onto Ft. Worth to their relatively new Modern Art Museum. The installation there was the work of Martin Puryear, which was totally cool, handmade sculptures of wood, twine, etc. Unfortunately, we had the docent from you-know-where so the students in my group didn't have a very fun experience there. After dinner at The Purple Cow (amazing double chocolate milkshakes!), we traveled back home, arriving around 11:30. A VERY LONG DAY, especially when I felt horrible with cough and sneezing, but a good time.

We've had continued fascination with the dog kennels. On Sunday, I was washing the mats that go inside them so Caleb thought he should get inside and investigate the change of scenery. He kept opening the door and saying, "Hello, bye-bye".

While I was off gallivanting in Dallas, Caleb got to spend some quality time with his Grandma, who has been very busy and unavailable for their Friday "dates" lately :) Imagine my concern when I call to check in and Mom says, "Oh Caleb has taught himself how to climb up on the ottoman and then do a forward roll off the front, headfirst." Just what any mother wants to hear when she's 250 miles away!! This is just one example of Mr. Fearless. Here's another, a quite impressive video of our future-trick-riding son. (Aaron says it's worthy of it's very own blog post. I don't know about that, but it is hilarious).

Let's see, I think that's about it for last week. Except our friends, the Halls, made an exciting announcement via blog about the newest addition to their family that will arrive around Turkey Day! They are traveling home to BA this week so we can't wait to see them and tell them congrats in person.

Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, April 21, 2008

1 Year and 20 Weeks- Party!

Good week last week. We passed a big milestone at school when I was able to check Caleb and myself in for the last day of the pay period and notice that we were both there every M-W!!! It had been awhile since we'd been well enough to do that :)

Here are a few funny shots of Mr. Grown Up helping around the house. One is of Caleb at my computer, navigating the Internet. The other is the drying rack that Caleb discovered behind the bedroom door and carried (and by that I mean bumped into every possible wall in our house) around all day Thursday.

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day and, despite the fact that we had a busy weekend already, we finally got to use the family zoo pass my parents bought Caleb for his birthday in December. Caleb had been once before last fall but I think he was really too young to realize what was going on. This time was a blast because he recognized so many of the animals and loved hearing the train as it "choo-chooed" through the zoo. We got there just as the elephant demonstration was ending and Caleb thought it was awesome to be so close to them. Between that and "moo-ing" at the zebras, he had a blast and was really well behaved.

Saturday afternoon was a friend's birthday party at Little Gym. I wasn't sure what sort of activities they would have for kiddos his age and also wondered how Mr. Cautious would fare but he had a blast. I think Aaron and the rest of the Dad's got more of a workout than the children as they chased everyone around. Here's a pic of the group with the giant parachute.

That evening we went to dinner with our small group from Sunday School at Napoli's in BA- YUM!!! Caleb was at about at his wit's end due to his short nap and crazy day but was still good, just very loud and opinionated (kinda like his daddy when he gets sleepy!!).

Sunday was church, then nap, then another birthday party. This time, it was an Elmo-themed party at Bounce U. This was also a really fun party and, once again, the dads were dripping with sweat from running and jumping all over the place. (Incidentally, I wonder why it is the dads that tend to do this while the moms have a chance to relax and chat?? Not complaining, just wondering...) There was a really big inflatable slide at Bounce U. Caleb wasn't really interested in it but Aaron climbed up and took him down it anyway. Of course, Caleb loved it and wanted to go "up" over and over and over. Hence the sweaty Aaron :)

Another room had inflatable basketball shooting and Caleb and his friend Owen were very helpful in clearing out the balls that would get stuck at the back of the shooting area. PS- Congrats to our friends (Owen's parents) who sold their house in 3 days. Yippee for moving to Jenks!

Think that was about it for last week. Another spring weather week so far. Time to bring the sunscreen to school and decide if you buy your 16 month old off-brand Crocs for $5 at Wal-Mart or bite the bullet and get the real thing so they actually last all summer.

Have a great week!

Monday, April 14, 2008

1 year and 18-19 weeks -- sorry!!

So I did something I've never done before...skip a week of blogging!!! (Gasp!) So here's the last two weeks in a nutshell.

We enjoyed a fun playgroup with friends at Heaven Fun, an indoor bouncy place that plays Christian music. Caleb wasn't too sure about things at first but got into it after awhile.

He is beginning to play pretend. He'll crawl up on a pile of laundry, lay his head down and say, "night night" like he's going to sleep. Or, as in the case of this picture, talk on his rubber ducks like they are phones, even though he has at least 5 old cell phones as toys.

Caleb continues to investigate everything, including old toys but in new ways. For example, who knew he could squeeze in the 6 inches between the back of his playhouse and the cabinet??

Or who knew that a block storage box could double as a chair or as a hat??

He is also becoming more and more of a helper. If you ask him to do small tasks (close the door, put down the toy, etc.), he is very eager to be of assistance. Here's some pics of him "helping" bring in a box of rice krispies from the car after a trip to the store.

Caleb loves to open and close doors. Actually, he can't open doors but he loves to ask you to help him to open doors, then shut them. One door he discovered last week was the linen closet in our bathroom. It has recently been cleaned out (yes, Aaron has already started sorting and packing unneeded things and we've not even broken ground on the new house) so there was lots of room for a Caleb-sized person to enjoy.

Two weekends ago, Aaron was sorting things in the garage and Caleb came out to help. Here's some great video. Not sure what is the funniest to me - the running across the garage, the immediate distraction of the toy, or the "oohhh" when it falls apart.

For a long time, Caleb has been fascinated by the dog water dispensers, whether it's the one in our bathroom or the ones that hang on the kennel doors. He is pretty good about listening to "Not for your hands, please" but over the weekend decided to move on from the water dispenser to the kennel itself. Gotta love it!

Personal hygiene is part of growing up and Caleb is all about washing his hands these days. His favorite part is getting to "peesh" (that's "push" in Caleb-speak) the soap and lotion. This particular day, Aaron was taking a photo of the hand-washing after the fact and I didn't want to be in the shot, so I stepped out of the way. At that exact moment, Caleb decided to turn the water back on and soaked himself.

One more "too much time spent in the master bedroom" photo. This is of our super-organizer pulling everything out of one of my drawers. The good news is that he puts it back, at least for now!

Here's a cute shot of Caleb at Sears. He was loving all the "tractors" and, quite frankly, I am not confident about the differences between a tractor and a riding lawnmower so I just let it go.

Let's see...we did close on the lot and are getting pretty close on the house plans. We are hopeful to start the construction project by mid to late May; evidently it takes awhile to get bids after the plans are finalized.

My mom and dad are both home safe and sound from their incredible missions trips. Even though I don't go on them, hearing their stories still makes you very thankful for the blessings we live with in the US.

My sister is beginning to make more and more plans for her wedding next April. She and my mom checked out several potential reception sites this weekend. Fun fun fun! I can remember being kinda sad after our wedding, thinking, "I'll never get to plan my wedding again." But it is much less stressful to be on the outside looking in and just make an occasional comment (when consulted, I assure you) about dresses, favors, locations, etc.

OK, that's it...have a great week!