Monday, September 29, 2008

What a Wonderful Waterfall Weekend!

This post is going to focus more on the weekend rather than the week since it was sleepless and somewhat miserable at times. Cutting teeth is hard work for the entire family!!! Mommy and Daddy did everything they could think of to help soothe me--Tylenol, teething gel and tablets, wet washcloth, teething toys, lost of TLC and rocking. Mommy was so worried about the incessant crying and lack of sleep that she even took me to the doctor. Nope, nothing wrong. Daddy did his part by sleeping holding me in the rocking chair one night just so we could all catch some much needed zzz's.

We did however finally got a picture of my two teeth!

There were a couple of positive things that happened this week. Mommy got to play bridge on Tuesday with Grandpa Randy, so that means we all got to have dinner first. I sat on the table and chewed Grandpa's napkin while the adults talked! Then on Wednesday was Grammy's birthday. Happy Birthday Grammy!! Did you enjoy the phone call and out of tune Happy Birthday song? One other neat thing that happened this weekend is that Daddy went to a "Wine and Cheese" event at Marylhurst to meet some of his classmates and professors.

Look here is a picture of him in his business suit and me in my ducky outfit!
Aren't we a cute pair?!?

So, fastforward now to the weekend. On Friday, our good friend Megan and her boyfriend Phill came to visit us from Sacramento. They brought me a fun, alphabet Leap Frog toy that makes noise. Mommy said it was ok because it has an "off" switch!
The unplanned theme for the weekend was waterfalls! We took a drive out the gorge and went to Multnomah Falls, Horsetail Falls, and one other falls that we can't remember the name.
Mommy, Daddy and me feeling the spray of the falls!

Daddy got creative and played around with some of the settings on our new camera! (He even got so excited about one picture that he fell into a pool of water with his new tennis shoes on!)

Mommy, "More Megan" and me!

The other theme of our weekend was food! We took a stroll through memory lane to all the places Mommy and Megan used to eat when they lived together in grad school, including Papaya Thai, Gino's to celebrate Grammy's birthday, and of course Dairy Queen for Blizzards! We also tried a place that was new to everyone: Voodoo Doughnuts!!! They have all kinds of crazy doughnut flavors--topped with cereal, peanut butter, even bacon!

Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Megan and Phill on Sunday morning. Thanks for coming guys--we had a great time!!

Then Mommy and Daddy were so overstuffed from the food (and did I mention the wine?) that they decided to ease their guilt and go for a hike. So, we went as a family to Silver Falls. We did a 5.1 mile hike and saw 6 different waterfalls!

I started off excited....

But as the hike wore on I got tired....

Mommy held me almost all of the way in the front pack even though it is not always easy to carry me. I don't exactly hold still anymore! Some of the time I was eating my toes, and at one point I grabbed Daddy's hand and we held hands for quite a ways. This caused both him and Mommy to have to walk cockeyed, but it was so cute that they did it for me!

I do have to say, though,we are an adventurous family....most of the other hikers just did the easy, shorter loop, but we were in it for the long haul! We even walked behind the "lower south falls" where there is no guard rail and you can look down over the falls! Mommy was nervous and asked Daddy if our life insurance policy is all paid up! We give Silver Falls a two-thumbs up, A+ rating. We cannot wait to go back there again, maybe even when it is hot next summer so we can go swimming in the pools.

Hope everyone has a good week! Please cross your fingers that I get used to my new teeth and feel like sleeping this week!! Now that Daddy is officially a graduate student and Mommy is doing contract work, we need to be well rested!



Monday, September 22, 2008

All in a week's work

Seems like Monday is the day for reviewing what we have been up to in the past week. Last week we missed Daddy...he was gone for 6 days and 5 nights! We managed to keep busy though:

4 Jazzercise work outs....Go Mommy....lose that baby weight!

4 play dates....dinner with the Oakleys, dinner with the Hannas, lunch at the O'Connells, and birdwatching with the Budds

1 doctor's visit...check out the posting with my 6 month stats!

1 trip to Costco

1 pharmacy visit

1 birthday lunch for Grammy

1 trip to The Dalles to visit O'Pa and O'Ma

1 trip to Eugene for the Duck game--a disappointing loss to Boise state. Also probably Maddie's last game for this season at least

1 sleepless night due to teething..can you say Tylenol at 2's hard to open the cap and not spill when you are that groggy

3 loads of laundry

36 bottles made and hand washed

and 2 new foods introduced (carrots and sweet potatos)!!

Is it any wonder that we are exhausted at the end of the day?

We don't have that many pictures because it is tough for Mommy to hold me and take pictures at the same time. Plus the camera bag is one more thing for her to carry. We (by "we" I mean Mommy) tend to over pack just a wee bit when we go on outings!

One thing we did get a picture of is the spectacle of the swift birds swirling into the chimney at Chapman Elementary School. We had never heard of it before, but our friends, the Budd Family invited us to come for bird watching and a picnic dinner. Basically from late August to early October each year, this chimney is part of the birds' migration path. They all fly in at dusk and "go to bed" in the chimney. At the peak there are 10,000 or so birds. Some nights (but not the night we went) the hawks will swoop in and try to get some swifts for dinner. There are so many birds that you can hardly make out any individual bird and so it kind of looks like a swirl of smoke, or as Mommy said, it reminded her of water swirling down a toilet bowl. What a poet!

Read here for more information about the swift migration and a new documentary by the Audobon Society. It's not too late, you can still go and see the birds for yourself!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

6 Month Stats

Happy 6 Month Birthday to Me!!!

I went to the doctor today for my 6 month check up. The first thing the nurse said was that I looked like a 9 month old! That might explain why I have outgrown all my 6 month clothes! Here are my latest stats:

Height: 2 feet 3.5 inches (96%)
Weight: 17 lbs 12 oz (81%)
Head Circumference: 17 and three quarter inches (97%--lots of room for my big brain!!)

The doctor said that I have not "settled in to a place on the growth chart yet." I am growing by leaps and bounds...must be all that yummy food that Mommy makes for me. Also I got the go ahead to begin more veggies and even fruits!!!

Basically I am meeting all my developmental milestones and the doctor is quite pleased with my progress. I showed off by babbling to her, sitting up, tearing up the exam table paper, and trying to steal her stethoscope.

My teeth were a big topic of today's visit. Mommy is somewhat embarrassed as she was counting me as having four teeth so far. Well, it turns out that my top two teeth are actually "Epstein pearls" which are benign cysts and will eventually disappear. In all her years working with kids, Mommy never knew such a thing existed. So, I guess I am a conformist after all. I started with my bottom two teeth like normal. Better update my baby book!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

6 Months!!!

I officially turned 6 months old on Friday and we spent the entire weekend doing some fun things to celebrate it!

On Friday night we went to the park with Grace and Laura. Grace is the daughter of John and Lisa from across the street and Laura is her older cousin. Laura has been staying down here this summer to help take care of Grace. She is going back home to Spokane so this was a way for us to say good bye. Mommy and I took her out to lunch on Friday and then we grabbed Daddy and Grace to go to the park after dinner. We fed the Ducks, I mean ducks, again and played on the playground. I even got to ride the swing again.

After we got home from the park I got to use two new birthday gifts. First, I got to use my new sippy cup! I was a natural and put it right in my mouth. Never mind that some of the milk went down my face and neck, but I sure knew where it went. I haven't quite figured out gravity yet.

Then after that I got to brush my teeth with my very own tooth brush (or three actually - thanks Aunt Dian!). I have two teeth coming in on the bottom and my mouth has been hurting a little. I really liked the tooth brushes and it made my teeth feel better. I even liked to do it myself.

Saturday was "Game Day" around our house since the Ducks were playing on the road and the game was on TV. Our good friends Nick and Pallavi came over and we had quite the feast. Wings, chili, Frito's, chips and salsa, adult beverages.... I was quite jealous of all the good food.

I learned a few new words in the first half of the game as the Ducks were not doing all that well. Daddy changed from a yellow shirt to a green shirt at halftime and that seemed to make all the difference in the world. The Ducks pulled out the victory in double overtime and I slept right through it! Maybe I am good luck as I have slept during all 3 games this year and they are 3-0!

After the game we went to our friends Matt and Wendy's house for their bi-annual poker tournament. M&D wanted to make sure to be able to show me off and Grammy came into town to come along for the party and to babysit so M&D could play. M&D have won 3 of the last 4 tournaments the Walker's have held so I was hoping they would bring home the bacon (A.K.A. "diaper money"), but unfortunately it was not their night. We had a good time though and next time I might be able to walk around their house. Daddy says this time next year I can go and say "All In" for him.

Today we got up and went to the annual "Walk to D'Feet ALS" benefit walk. My great Aunt Theresa was diagnosed a few years ago with ALS and she passed away just a few days after I was born. I was not able to meet her, so today was an extra special day for all of us. The weather was beautiful and we had a huge group of walkers supporting tons of families affected by ALS. M&D and I raised over $400 for ALS of Oregon and the entire "Team Theresa" raised nearly $8000! (There is a link on the right side of the blog if you would like to learn more.) We miss Aunt Theresa a lot and I look forward to actually walking next year in memory of my great Aunt Theresa!

Before we went on the walk I decided to surprise M&D by rolling over from my back to my tummy. I did it last weekend, but only once. Mommy really wanted me to roll over more often before we go in for my 6 month appointment on Tuesday. So while they weren't looking (Grammy was watching me) I decided to roll over all on my own. When Grammy called M&D to the living room I did it again a couple of times!!

After the walk we came home and after Grammy left M&D put me back down on the floor. This is when I really showed off as I rolled from one side of the rug to the other and then started on my way back. Mommy said their lives are over as they know it, but I just don't see what the big deal is. It's not like I am I don't see what the fuss is all about.

We have loads of fun stuff planned for the week, including going to The Dalles to see O'Pa and O'Ma, and of course the big game against Boise St this weekend! We are going to try out some fancy new ear plugs to see if that helps me tolerate Autzen Stadium any better. Life is tough when your favorite team plays in the loudest college football stadium in the country!

I hope everyone has a great week!



Monday, September 8, 2008

Fruits (and vegetables) of Labor

As most of you know, my Mommy is a wonderful, loving Mommy, but she is NO martha Stewart!! However, she decided that she was going to home-make all of my baby food. So, last Thursday our friend Kiana and her baby came over and we made green beans and carrots (and we tried peas that didn't work....we need them out of the shell!).

Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of what the kitchen looked like during this event! There were two adults, two babies, a high chair, a walker, three boiling pans, a blender, a food mill, 20 ice cube trays, and various utensils all piled into our kitchen! Plus, neither Mommy nor Kiana knew exactly what they were doing! It was a fun, messy time. And the best part is, I am now among the crowds who eat solid food (well, semi-solid anyway!)

Look, here is me enjoying my first green beans! I am a natural!!!!

Now Mommy is a food-makin' machine. She has stockpiled green beans, carrots, peas, peaches, sweet potatos, and yams. Next in line are squash and pears. Even though so far I have only tried the green beans and peas, she is freezing a lot now that the produce is in season. The best part is that eating all this yummy food helps me sleep better too! I can't wait to go to the doctor next week for my 6 month check up and see how much I weigh!

Other updates you might want to know about me....I rolled over for the first time from back to front on Friday, September 5th!!! I only did it one time though. I still need to work on it some more. Another cool thing I do is lay on my back and scooch myself around by lifting up my body and having only my head and feet on the ground. (For those of you who know yoga, picture the bridge pose.) Then I push my feet really hard until my body moves. Mommy is afraid I am going to hurt my neck!

My front upper tooth is still about the same, you can see it but it doesn't poke out all the way yet. I am also working on either a muller or a bicuspid on the top left. Go figure.

Mommy says my two nicknames this month are "squirmy" and "grabby". My hands are always on the go, and I like to pull anything that I can get into my reach--hair, food and drinks, placemats, computer cords!! Then it goes directly into my mouth. I can move toys from hand to hand and hand to mouth. I am also working on sitting up. I have great neck and back strength and I can sit for a few seconds. Then, just when the adult lets their guard down I tip over!!

I have recently gotten some stranger anxiety which is not a fun thing for people who want to hold me or for Mommy and Daddy who need a break sometimes. Mommy tried leaving me in the child care room at Jazzercise for her hour work out....I lasted 5 minutes before she had to come and get me. What can I say, I love my parents!

As you might notice there are no pictures from our second Duck's game last weekend. The reason is that I did not feel like watching the game. The noise scared me and I let M&D that I would much rather play in the park on such a nice day then be stuck in a stadium of noisy fans. So, Mommy took me outside and she walked me around in our new wrap. It was only Utah State, it wasn't that great of a game anyway...sorry M&D. Wonder what this means for the rest of the season??

Some family updates: Mommy officially resigned her job at Head Start to stay home and take care of me full time. She was sad to leave her work and her co-workers, but she feels like it was the best decision. She says she works harder now than she did before....I wonder what that means! Big news for Daddy was that he was accepted into a Master of Business Administration program starting this fall!! Congratulations Daddy!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lions, Tigers, Ducks, Oh My

We had fun feeding the ducks last night at the park with our friends David and Sarah and their kids. Mommy and Daddy saved left over bread for over a year and it only took us 20 minutes to feed it to the masses of ducks and geese. I was really mad when Mommy would not let me eat the bread. What a tease!
Why do some Ducks wear green and yellow and run on a field while other Ducks have feathers and swim in a pond?
Weee. My first slide. We didn't go very fast though, because Daddy's shorts got stuck on the slide. Ouchies for him!

My first solo you see the future thrill ride junkie in me?

We had a stroller brigade at the zoo today...the funny thing is that most of the time the Mommies held the babies and pushed empty strollers. Mommy was introduced to the "Moby Wrap" which held me in nice and tight so I could actually see the animals rather than laying the stroller and looking at the sky.

My favorite were the animals that swam right up so you could see them up close (fish, sea otter, sea lions). Apparently there were also zebras, monkeys, giraffes, bears and other animals, but my distance vision was not so good today. I was too busy checking out the people at the zoo, not the animals!

Our friends are Kelly and baby Aoife, Rachael and baby Zaina, and Nadya who was a trooper, walking the zoo at 35 weeks pregnant!
Thanks for a fun day!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Go Ducks!!!

Q: What does a Duck say?
A: Go Ducks!!!

As you may have already guessed, this Saturday was the opening Oregon Duck Football game. Of course Mommy and Daddy took me to my first game to experience the wonderful world of football....also to show me off to all their friends at the tailgate party:) It was an evening game, so it was a little cool for my onesie and bootie outfit, but boy did I look cool. As always, M&D were nervous how I would respond, but I was a very good girl!! Mommy held me in the front pack during the entire game, and our friends helped out with pacifier and spit up duty. I ate my dinner during halftime, and apparently the noise didn't bother me too much, because, I actually slept through the entire second half. Maybe it was the cotton balls and the head band covering my ears that drowned out the noise. I missed the Ducks winning by 44-10!!!! Oh well, maybe I will stay awake through next week's game. Daddy says that the defense is looking really good, and even though the starting q.b went down after the first half with a concussion, that the offense looks good too! Phew, I am glad because I would hate to hear Daddy say a swear word during the football game!
The hat, onesie, and booties came together as an ensemble. The Duck plays the fight song....we played it all the way to the game to get revved up!

How many years do Mommy and Daddy have to save for college?

It never rains in Autzen stadium!

Thanks Grandma Jan and Grandpa Ray for hosting all of us!!! It was fun to all be together along with Aunt Dian, Aunt Shannon and Morgan.

Play Date

Here is a picture of me and my friend Lelani. She is one day younger than me! We actually met in the waiting room at the Doctor's office, and then we also found out that our Mommies do Jazzercise together too. Lelani and her Mom, Kiana came over to our house for a fun play date last Wednesday. We hung out in the back yard and we took a walk to 7-11 in our strollers and even napped at the same time. We played very well together....see we are holding hands! Lelani is already rolling, so Mommy hopes I can learn from her. Mommy and Kiana are planning another get together so they can make homemade baby food. Yummy I hope that happens soon!