Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Many thanks to my cute hubby who was the blog's guest writer last week. Little does he know that now that he has shown his writing prowess, I'll be calling on him to fill in from time to time :)
But now I am back so here goes:

I had a great time in Florida for the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant. Alicia (Miss OK's Outstanding Teen) got totally jipped by not making the Top 5, much less winning. But pageants are silly and subjective things and we are very proud of how she represented the state. It was great to vacation without Caleb, although it was very odd to board the plane without Caleb's bag, Caleb's snacks, Caleb's toys, Caleb's stroller, etc. Not to say that I wasn't glad to see my boys when I got home Sunday, but it was nice to stay up late, sleep in until 11:00, lay out by the pool for hours, pretty much selfish things I totally took for granted before Mr. Caleb arrived.

Monday was Caleb's first day of school. Here's a few shots of him getting ready to head out the door. (One difference between this year and last is that he was such a busy body Aaron had to take 20+ pictures just to get one good one). And please disregard the pink nail polish in his hand. I tend to underestimate his arm span so he ends up with all sorts of goodies from the bathroom counter.

And, for reference, here's a pic from last year's first day of school. Thankfully, Caleb did not have a blowout diaper on the way to school this year as he did last year.

Caleb is now in the Frog Class at Riverfield. He is really enjoying it so far. They spend lots of time outside with the other toddler class, the Turtles, which is fun because a lot of friends from his last year's class are Turtles. The big change going into this year was that the children all sleep on cots for nap time. I thought there would be no way that Caleb would transition easily from the crib to the cot. But he fell asleep the first day with just a little back-patting. The second day, he was the first one asleep and did it all by himself. Hopefully this will pave the way to a switch to a big boy bed before December. Our pediatrician has said that there's no reason to move him out of the crib unless he is trying to crawl out or unless we need the crib for Baby #2. I'd much rather buy a twin bed than another crib so Caleb will be getting the boot out of the crib sometime in the next few months. I'll keep you posted.

Much progress is being made at the lot. Here's a double-purpose photo: 1) you can see how the framing is going 2) you can see how big I am getting. I will say that it is a blousy shirt and it was the end of the day, so I am not quite as huge as this pictures makes me look. When I was pregnant with Caleb, we took pictures every two weeks to document how big my belly was getting. You couldn't pay me enough to take a bare belly picture every two weeks now!! I will try to be better about getting in some pictures though or poor baby girl will feel left out.

Not too many pictures this week as we've been obsessed with the Olympics, which doesn't leave time for sleeping, much less taking cute pictures of your child! It is funny how everyone at work is drinking more caffeine throughout the day to make it through after staying up until the wee hours of the morning. At least it is over now and I can get back to a normal sleep schedule. In fact, Sunday night Caleb had his bath and was ready for bed when he changed up his bedtime routine. Usually he says, "Pass-pass. Lamby.", asking for his pacifier and lamb-blanket and then is ready to say prayers and go to sleep. Sunday it was "Pass-pass. Lamby. TV." HA!! Shows what we've been up to the last several weeks.

Think that's it for now. Have a great week! ~ Emily

Saturday, August 16, 2008

When the Cat's Away...

Caleb & Dad — home alone... Whoo!

Now, for the big shocker... Emily's clickity-clickin' little fingers aren't drivin' this keyboard tonight. That's right, I have officially hacked in and taken over!

So, I got back into town Wednesday evening just after Emily's plane flew out for Orlando. If you don't already know, Emily is at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant this week watching Alicia Clifton compete. I'll add in updates as I type. So far this evening, Alicia has successfully made the Top 10 and "nailed her on-stage question and evening gown" (Emily's words).

Okay, so let's get into the week. First off, I'll let you know that Emily has no clue that I'm doing this! Ha! This is the longest absence without Caleb that she has ever had, so hopefully, she'll be happy that I took this week's blog off of her hands!

Everyone knows we're pretty big sports fans, right? Especially when it comes to the Olympics and football. Because of the last week, Caleb now can say and identify soccer, basketball, swimming, diving, and racing (track). He can probably say Michael Phelps, too... From the way that he's been speaking in the last couple of days, I think that he might have even picked up some Chinese.

Let's talk football: Emily=Chiefs, Aaron=Jaguars. I thought it was time to get Caleb thoroughly prepared for the NFL football season. Here is the first picture of Caleb trying on his new authentic Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew jersey (which Emily doesn't know that I bought!)

Isn't he a stud??

So, I will admit that I had a little trouble getting a good picture of Caleb in his jersey. In fact, I took a total of 17 pictures. Gimme a break - this was an important shoot! Caleb was in what we've clinically diagnosed as a "busy" mood. Here's an example: I would say, "Caleb, will you say hello to mama on the telephone?" Normally, he would immediately respond, "Hi mama!" and want to hold the phone. During a "busy" mood, he just continues what he is doing, and I would end up speaking our familiar phrase (as Caleb), "I'm busy mom".

Caleb was very "busy" as I was trying to take a picture. Here, he has shoved his truck into the ball popper and then thought it would be neat to feed a cracker to his truck. (the truck actually has a front grill that opens, so it's not completely crazy that it would be a mouth...)

Here he is on his way to the fridge (with truck) after I had just bribed him with grapes and milk...

with grapes in mouth, milk in hand, truck in other hand, Olympics on tv...

About the ball popper... so, it causes a tad bit of frustration for Caleb when it doesn't shoot out everything that he shoves in it. For those of you that have one of these, I'm sure that you can sympathize. For those of you who don't know about the ball popper, let me share a couple of videos... In the first video, Caleb shows us how to get his car stuck and then follow up with his familiar request to dad... "apart?"

In the next video, I had just showed him how to get the car out...

(Emily just let me know that Alicia didn't make the Top 5) :(

Well, I feel like we have our house Caleb-proofed pretty well, so we can let him roam free somewhat without too much concern. Here's what happened yesterday...
He snuck into the bedroom, scanned through 19 channels, found a little skydiving on the tube (loves those airplanes), and popped a squat. This is how I found him...

A few pics of Caleb terrorizing the dogs...

It's been fun to watch Caleb's habits and interests develop. Currently, his most beloved toys are his cars. He pretty much has a car with him at all times, and when he's home, he gets them all out, lines them up on the couch, crashes them, races them, puts them in the ball popper, drives them on the dogs, parks them on the couch, etc.

Speaking of cars... Everyone seen "Cars" the movie? "Ca-Chow"? Well, if you're the mother of a young boy, and you're child has not seen cars, you should probably go out right now and buy it. No need to rent it first to see if he'll like it... Just buy it.
Last night I made a big mistake. Emily recently purchased some "Cars" pajamas for Caleb. I got them out when it was bedtime, and when I started putting the shirt on... oops... long sleeves. Us Walton hot natured men can't wear long sleeves in the summer. By that time, it was too late; I had already made a big "Ca-Chow" production about the shirt, and Caleb wasn't going to let go. So, I had to get creative. We took the turtle to bed with us instead...

Dressed as "Lightning McQueen" of course...

Took Caleb to the park today. For some reason, he refuses to use the small step to get up on the playground equipment, so this is what happens...

I'm sure that the brilliant child that he is has gotten it all figured out in his head and knows that the hard work that he does in life is more rewarding. I know he's young, but I'm sure that's his reason. :)

So, here's our other purchase that mom doesn't know about yet. Bulldozers! (or borbobos in Caleb speak) We made a trip to Toys 'r' Us today and survived without too many tears about all of the toys that we left IN the store.

The bulldozer came complete with a hard hat as well...

Here are a couple more funny videos...

Caleb on the zebra after watching the Olympic trampoline competition that he thoroughly enjoyed.

Caleb dancin' like his mama...

I think that about does it. They started framing our house today and have most of the perimeter walls up already! Woohoo! Thanks to the Longs - Grandma (Guanga - try to pronounce that and gurgle at the same time for the correct Caleb sound) and G-Dad ("dadgy" as Caleb says) and Aunt Mo for helping out Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. As far as I can tell in the monitor, Caleb is still breathing, so it looks like he survived his 4 days with dad.

Going along with the Olympic spirit, I'm hoping that I've broken the World Record for the longest and most entertaining blog! I guess we'll have to wait on the judges for that one! Have a great week!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Wrapping Up the Summer

Quick post tonight as it is late and I am sleepy. We had a good week with some big progress on the house - a foundation!! If everything works out correctly, the framers should be out at the end of the week. Yippee!

Last week was Caleb's final week as a "Butterfly" at Riverfield. This week is in-service, so there's no school, and he'll be a "Frog" next Monday. What a big fella! His teachers shared several disks worth of pictures from the last semester and summer with us. Here are some of my favorites:

Telling Hannah the hamster "Hi"

Practicing his vacuuming skills

Digging in the dirt (they actually grew some plants)

Playing dress-up with hats in the Commons area

Shakin' some maracas (or jars of beans)

Drawing on the class-wide blue collage

Looking out from the playground "Hi big bus"

The first of many mud-pies

Passed out in his crib

We found a good deal on a lifejacket. It is for 30-50 pounds so we'll use it for the next million summers. Unfortunately, none of our friends will want to go swimming with us as there is a huge scary skeleton pirate face on the back. I didn't even look at the back of it until we were home; plus it was the only style left. Oops! Guess the point is that it saves lives, regardless of the undead figure on the back.

Speaking of undead, I have been sucked in to the Stephenie Moore "Twilight" young adult book series about a high schooler and her forbidden romance with a vampire. The first ones came out several years ago but I didn't become interested in them until last week. A co-worker lent me books #1,2,3 for my upcoming trip to FL. I read the first one in a day and 1/2 and polished of the second on Friday evening. I forced myself not to read the third over the weekend so I'd still have something to read on the plane. So good and intense and an easy read. And they are making a movie of the first book that comes out in December (don't think I haven't scoured the web for all sorts of additional info about the books, movie, author, actors, etc.). Highly recommended!

And the other time-consuming piece of our life is the OLYMPICS!!!
We don't paint our faces or anything but we're pretty huge fans, watching day and night and constantly switching among channels to make sure we don't miss anything. Aaron's going to have to keep me posted when I'm in Florida, for sure. Go USA!!!!!!! And Caleb gets into it too, learning all sorts of new words like "soccer" "volleyball" "swimming", etc. He might be rotting his brain with the TV on for hours at a time but it's only once every four years (or two, since we're pretty fanatical about the winter games too).
That's the scoop from us. Have a great week!

Monday, August 4, 2008

More and More "Boy"

There are times when Caleb is very sweet and mild-mannered, even shy. But more and more often, he will turn into this boisterous, adventurous, and half-crazy little man. Not that there is anything wrong with it (in the appropriate time and place, of course) but I can't figure out if it's just something that happens to all little boys or if he learned it from other kids at school with older siblings. One such example happened last week when we went out to look at the lot.

Caleb had already taken a bath and brushed his teeth. Aaron was going to look at the plumbing progress and so we all loaded up, went through McDonald's for a hot fudge sundae, then went to the new house. Caleb was content for awhile just walking along the concrete from the footings but then discovered a big pile of dirt "Whoa dirt!!" He drove his trucks along the edge of the pile for a bit, then decided it was more fun to crawl on top of the pile, roll down the other side, and generally get filthy...in his pjs and with a sundae-sticky face now covered in sand. Thankfully our to-be-neighbor was out chatting with us and let us use his hose to spray Caleb down. Lesson learned: house first, bath later.

We have continued sorting and packing up unneeded things around the house. This does beg the question, "If you don't need it for the next few months, do you really need it at all?" We've been pretty good about choosing wisely between tossing/donating/packing up, if I do say so myself. I was way behind on putting away the clothes Caleb has outgrown so I tackled that over the weekend. Caleb was his usually helpful self, taking clothes out after I put them in and then getting into the storage bins. Not super productive, but very cute.

Part of packing up Caleb's old clothes meant going through bags of bigger clothes friends have given us. What a treasure trove of things that will fit this winter! Caleb's favorite find was a pair of Elmo slippers. Thankfully he can't get them on himself or I'd think he would wear them all the time.

Thursday Caleb and I got haircuts (as seen in pictures from later in the week) but Thursday morning I was combing banana out of his hair - don't ask - and thought it would be funny to put it in a ponytail. I showed Caleb, thinking he'd hate it and pull it right out. Instead he wore it around the house until it fell out then came back with the elastic and asked for me to do it "again". HA!

We went swimming at our friend Leslie's pool with some Sunday School girls and their kiddos this week. It was tons of fun and Caleb was a regular little water baby. It makes me wish that we had found time for lessons this summer, though I did hear that a gym in town does them year round and you don't have to be a member. Since I am turning into more and more of a whale, I might let Aaron take on that fun task with Caleb. They have several horses at Leslie's house so Caleb was totally enamored with them, until they came up to the fence and tried to lick him. Thanks Leslie (and Aidan) for inviting us over!

Here's Caleb wearing Aaron's sunglasses. What a big boy!

And here's Mr. Intellectual Aristocrat enjoying Caillou (ky-you) on TV. This pose totally cracks me up. Aaron never sits like this so maybe he picked it up from my dad or something?? Caillou is Caleb's favorite TV show. It comes on Sprout and PBS and he LOVES it. He has recently figured out how to turn on the TV in our bedroom and will sit down and ask for "ky ky" until you turn on one of the several that we have on DVR.

Caleb's class at Riverfield has been learning several yoga poses over the last few months. The only one I recognize when he does it at home is the "downward dog". He does it very well and always says "down dog" when he does it then stand back up and says "yeah!". Funny fella. Please disregard the Chuck Norris-like outfit; it is a random tank and pants that I paired together and called pjs.

We have a new roof on the current house so that's another checked-off item on our "to do" list. The new house has below ground plumbing in place and hopefully some progress will be made this week.

Sunday was Miss OK's Outstanding Teen Alicia Clifton's send off party. For those not in the pageant realm, it's a gathering of family and pageant people where the titleholder models the clothes she'll wear at national competition, answers questions from the crowd, etc. And there are always these yummy sugar cookies with cute pink crowns on them. Alicia heads to Orlando this week to begin rehearsals and the crew that will cheer her on (including me) leaves next week. Yippee!!

Several people have inquired about the name-choosing for baby girl Walton. Nothing yet, and we really haven't talked about it much. However, Aaron has threatened to send out a mass email to friends and family saying we've chosen "Wanda". So if you get that, please disregard. Nothing against the Wandas of the world, it's just not on my Top 10 list. We have started at least looking at bedding, etc. Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which I love, now carries baby things (at least on the internet - don't know about in store) so I've been perusing things online tonight.

Have a great week!