Friday, September 18, 2009

In the Swing of Things

We're several weeks into the fall and things are getting "normal" or at least "routine" for us. Caleb is flourishing in the Deer class and Harper is adjusting to life with her teachers and friends in the Butterfly class. She was a total champ the first few weeks of school but has since hit the fun and friendly times of stranger anxiety so she spent a better part of the last two weeks crying in her class. She is definitely coming around and her teachers said she had a great day on Wednesday. I also chalk some of this up to teething (two big ones coming in up top) and an ear infection we didn't know about until I took her for her 9 month well baby visit on Thursday. Send in your nominations for Mom of the Year now!!! Oops!

One project that Caleb has really helped with is our Amish Friendship Bread batter. He was so good at mushing up the bag each day and especially with preparing the batter to give to friends and baking the bread we kept. We have another starter bag so we're going through the routine again. If you're looking for Friendship Bread, let me know and we can get a starter to you.

Fall in the Walton house means FOOTBALL!! We've had a blast at two Riverfield games- one victorious, the other...not so much. This is the 3rd year for us to play football but the first to have our own home field, which was completed over the summer. It is such a pretty venue, with trees and barnyard surrounding it. Caleb is loves to cheer (it was "Go Raisins" at first, but we've cleared that up to "Ravens" with a little practice) and both kids love to listen to our drumline.

School has not been without its bumps and scrapes for C and H. Caleb's affinity for his rain boots and his teachers' OK to wear them even when not needed has equaled a fall or two on the gravely playground. This one was especially lovely:

Harper has enjoyed her share of bumps and bruises as well as she experiments with pulling up on things and cruising around. Caleb seemed to be more cautious than Harper is at this age. She has no fear and doesn't mind plopping back down on her booty if she gets in a pickle.

She has six teeth now (4 on top, 2 on bottom) and she's also mastered waving.

And saying "Dadda" ("Mama" was a long time ago):

And "Ball" (this was on her 9 mo. birthday):

Over Labor Day, we took at trip out to Aaron's parents' house in Boise City. Yes, folks, you can drive 7 hours and still be in Oklahoma :) We hadn't been there since Caleb was young, and despite a hailstorm and a run-in with some baby ticks, we all had a great time. Caleb slept by himself in another room better than he sleeps at home. Who would have thought! His favorite part was playing with all the cars that his Dad played with when he was little.

Here's Harper finding her way around Granny and Grandpa's house.

Caleb gave up his pacifier at school last winter without a thought. But at home, it was part of the bedtime routine and we weren't ready for the fight. Then one of the two pacis went missing and then Caleb threw up while keeping the other in his mouth (DISGUSTING) so we had to throw it away. So we were without a paci and that was the end of it, no fits, no crying, no bargaining for a new one. Aaron and I were filled with dread when the missing orange paci was found, but after we told him it was too dirty from being under the nightstand for such a long time, he threw it away himself. What a champ! Gives some credence to the idea that kids will be ready for these big milestones when they're ready (though it's easier to say that when he's 2 1/2, not 5!).

Several weeks ago, we babysat our god daughter, Ellison. I was at a Weight Watchers meeting (more on that later) so for a few minutes, Aaron had a sleeping Ellison, a screaming-for-no-apparent-reason Caleb, and a puzzled and fussy Harper (oh, and two howling dogs) all to himself. Would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that. For the most part, it was a very calm evening and Rob and Heather might actually let us watch her again sometime :)

Fridays mean fun time with Grandma most weeks as my mom doesn't work at the church on those days. Recently, Caleb has been spending the night on Thursday with Grandma and G-Dad and then we'll meet up Friday for errand running or some activity. On this particular day, we walked and played at a park in Broken Arrow. The weather has been very cooperative (up until this last rainy week) this fall.

I think I've mentioned our new fabulous Reasor's grocery store before. Not the world's best prices (though they do have good sales) but one of my favorite things is that the carts are made to seat two kiddos. It won't work forever, but for now, it is a wonderful alternative to having to put Caleb in the back of the cart where he gets into everything until he's so smushed by groceries that he couldn't move if he wanted to.

I tend to focus on the kiddos mostly in this blog because they are more interesting and I have waaaaayyy more pics of them than of myself. But, I will show my "before and after" photos of the haircut I got right before school started. I had intended to lose some weight and then celebrate by chopping my hair off but the weight wasn't going anywhere and my hair was getting on my last nerve. So, I did the opposite: chopped 8 inches off my hair then started losing weight. When summer's relaxed dress code at school was over, I was faced with the reality that about 3/4 of my closest was filled with clothes that didn't fit. Not OK because I was not going to go buy new things in a bigger size. So, I re-joined Weight Watchers and have been counting points and tracking what I eat. And I joined some co-workers and students in jogging two days a week (then one day on my own) with the Couch to 5k running program. So far I'm about 10 pounds down and hope to be about 10 more by the holidays.

Here's a funny photo of Harper. She is way to big for this bouncy chair but I've yet to figure out what to do with her when I shower and Aaron's not home to entertain her. She's quickly outgrowing the Exersaucer and it is too wide to fit through the bathroom door anyway. So for now, she just tries to bust of the chair while I take the world's fastest shower.

In the struggle to find somewhere for Harper to "land" while we attempt to get things done around the house without letting her endanger herself, we purchased this Jenny Jumper. She generally loves to bounce up and down while standing on your legs or in the Exersaucer but has yet to really embrace this toy. She'll tolerate it for awhile and only if you are in close proximity, which makes tidying the house or starting the laundry a bit of a challenge.

As OU fans, we were crushed by their first week defeat but put on our gear, paid a silly $40 fee to watch it on pay per view, and cheered loudly as they defeated Northern Idaho. Yippee!!

The big accomplishment of the night was Harper learning the touchdown signal. It took awhile and thankfully our fine team allowed us many many chances to practice it as they kept scoring (maybe we should have started it the week before against BYU!). Caleb was a very good example and encourager.

Here the video and a still photo of our cute little fan. This week she added "ta-dahn" when she does the motion. Yeah, she's a prodigy, right?? The humorous part is she's not really sure why she's doing it but knows that it gets a great reaction so she keeps doing it at random times. To which Caleb tells us, "We're not watching football right now".

If we thought tossing of the orange paci was a big deal for Caleb, we had an even bigger one in store for us this week. Here's the scoop:

Yep, what we've been practicing at home we took out in the real world of Riverfield Country Day School (and beyond) as he wore underwear!! He's only had two accidents so far (knock on wood) and hasn't had any problem telling us he needs to go when we've run errands, etc. We're still doing nap and night time with a diaper (not that brave yet), but we're well on our way. Hooray for only buying one size diapers!!! Harper, we'll start working on you next month- ha!

The rain foiled our plans to go to the zoo with our friend Owen on Friday but we did go to the OK Aquarium, which is close to our casa. Caleb really enjoyed it, if by enjoyed it I mean ran around and made a lot of noise with his friend, and occasionally freaked out about the big fish and sharks swimming toward him. Harper was pretty oblivious to it all and just chewed on her dolphin toy the whole time.

You should have seen the totally puzzled look on Caleb's face when we walked up to this tank and saw the man in the scuba suit inside. Apparently they do a lot of cleaning and feeding on Friday mornings. It was as if Caleb couldn't tell if he was a real person or just part of the display. He ended up knocking on the glass and trying to get the guy to wave at him.

Finally, a "cheeeessseeee" when he was actually looking at the camera. These days, I get the word while he looks in the opposite direction, or a glance at the camera with a goofy face. Somehow I think this struggle is only beginning.

Oh, Aaron wants me to tell a funny story on Caleb. Last week after swimming lessons, they were in the locker room drying off and changing clothes when Caleb sprinted toward the urinals and picked up the urinal cake. Because I didn't know what a urinal cake was, the initial grossness of the story had waned a bit by the time Aaron fully explained it to me. But, apparently it is really gross.
I have a super-cute video clip of Caleb and Harper playing together but it's a little long and won't fully upload. I'll look into it and hopefully post it soon. It's so cool to watch them interact more and more as her awareness of Caleb and their relationship increases.

We are busy busy and I'm sure you are too. But aren't you proud of me for updating within the month!?!? Yippee! Happy fall, football season, harvest, Halloween, etc!!