Thursday, August 28, 2008

A New Generation

Okay here's the scoop. We have tried to eat dinner together as a family, but the problem is Marvin sometimes doesn't get home until 6:00 and by the time he is ready for dinner it is usually 6:30. Now this doesn't sound too late until you realize that Calvin goes to bed at 7:30 which means he was Mr. Grumpy Gills every night at dinner. So I decided to feed him a little earlier and it has worked so much better. He will usually sit muching on cheese while we eat our dinner. Since this little shift occured we sometimes are finished at 6:30 and get the chance to watch Wheel of Fortune.

Now ever since I was little my grandfather watched Wheel of Fortune everyday. Everyone in our family knows not to call grandpa at 6:30 because "the wheel" is on. I think we have a new generation of wheel watchers in our family now, Calvin loves the show. Maybe it's the wheel spinning or the letters constantly turning over but he is glued when we watch it. He'll spend the commercials playing but the second it comes back on he immediately stops what he is doing. Here are some action pictures:

Projects! Projects!

I tend to get a little excited about ideas. I am an idea person and not so great at following through with them. Every now and then I actually complete something I start. But I decided there are a few things I actually want to accomplish while we are in the states. Here’s my list:

  1. Calvin’s baby book. I’ve already finished several pages and try to get a page or two done every week. I even have a “scrapbook central”, in the corner of the play room. I thought this was a brilliant idea, but who knew you couldn’t get things done with a busy boy who loves attention in the room.
  2. Our Scrapbook. Still haven’t finished 2007 and its 2008, better get moving on this. The good news is I finally got our wedding pictures into their album, so I am making a little progress.
  3. Quilt. This project was started probably in 2005. I have all the rows finished I just need to piece them together. Like I said I’m really bad about finishing things.
  4. Learn to Play the Guitar. I was inspired to learn during college and after much begging I received a guitar for my birthday shortly before my sophomore year in college. I haven’t picked it up since that summer. But I am determined to learn now as it will certainly be a blessing to our family worship time. I am thankful for the internet, because I have already taken a few lessons free online. So far I am working on transitioning between the following chords C, G, A, E, Em, D, and my least favorite F. My fingers are starting to get used to it, although they are a little sore. It’s been something I can do while Calvin is playing. He also likes to come over and strum a little. He quickly gets bored, so I am able to practice. Right now my goal is to practice at least 15 minutes everyday. I hope to get faster in a couple of weeks, so I can work on learning a few songs and then a few more chords.

I have a few other projects I have thought would be fun to do, but I decided to focus on these before jumping to a new one, plus I already have all the supplies on hand for these projects.

Scrapbook Central

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thoughts and pictures

We were laughing last night about how we must eat a lot differently than the rest of Marvin's family. Marvin grew up with lots of red meat in his diet, since his family raised cattle. Well since our budget is pretty tight, we only have red meat maybe once a week, this week it didn't make it in our menu. I try to have a couple of vegetarian dishes a week, but if we do have meat it's chicken and I've been using ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef (FYI since turkey doesn't have much flavor you need to add more seasoning). We are both trying to eat smarter and it has been fun trying new dishes. This week we had Greek chicken which was a little dry but with a few modification it could be great, and a chicken curry dish that was a mix of sweet potatoes, onions, chicken stock, garlic, OJ and curry. Yum!
Here are a few pictures I added to our computer this week:
Thanks for the Card Great Grandma.

Marvin's Grandmother is so amazing about sending cards. It is her gifting I believe and sure enough when Calvin had surgery what did he get? A card in the mail from Great grandma. He absolutely loves paper, so he had so much fun opening his letter.

This is where you will often find Calvin now that he learned how that the CD cabinet doors open. He is so fascinated by these doors. I love watching kids learn things. For a while every time he opened the door he looked at me with amazement and excitement as if he was saying, "Look at what I can do".

His other favorite game is playing ball. We have been working at passing back and forth with his big ball. If he finds one of his smaller balls he will throw it and crawl after it. It is so funny. I think he shares his daddy's love for sports already.

Calvin also loves books. He doesn't sit still very long to read very many, and he is still into grabbing the book that I am reading, so it makes it pretty tricky. But he loves taking his books out of his book box. I was cleaning up the kitchen and he crawled out of the kitchen and I couldn't hear him anymore so I went to find him and this is what I found: Him sitting in his room with two treasures, his pacifier and his Turkey books.

Calvin has been extra fussy with these teeth that are trying to pop through his gums and has really started to freak out when I leave. I needed to run to Target yesterday and I knew Calvin was tired, but it was now or never, so off I went leaving a screaming exhausted boy with Marvin. When I came back 15 minutes later Calvin was nestled up next to Marvin snoozing. He certainly loves being held lately.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Who needs toys?

Seriously these are Calvin's favorite toys:

-Remote that doesn't work


-Empty cottage cheese and yogurt containers

-Water Bottles

-Diaper cream tube, travel lotion bottles, or sunscreen bottle

-Paper (He goes crazy every Sunday when we let him play with a few ads.)

-Cups (He chews on the bottom)

-Paper Towel Rolls

-The dropper on the Tylenol bottle (think this soothed his swollen gums more than the Tylenol did)

I seriously think parents buy toys for us, I know I am guilty of it. When he had surgery they sent us a letter saying they would let him take his favorite toy into recovery. I think they would have been surprised if we showed up with one of the above.
Also Calvin has been pretty good at getting some nice bruises on his face. He is starting to become pretty confident in his ability to stand and reach for things, unfortunately he still falls a lot. Last week he had a bruise on both cheeks and his forehead all at the same time. Poor boy, but it hasn't slowed him down.
We had a great family weekend. Saturday was spent hanging out together. We had a coupon to a pizza place for BOGO buffet, which is ideal with a baby because you don't have to wait. It was such a family friendly little place and Calvin loved watching the kids. It is pretty cute because now he is starting to get a little shy. He'll smile and then lower his head if someone smiles at him, he kept doing this with a little boy sitting at a table near us. After lunch we headed to the zoo. Getting a zoo membership was such a smart investment, I've used it so many times already. Calvin is finally starting to look at the animals. He loved watching the baby monkey play with his friend, he just followed it everywhere it went. We also got a good look at the bears on Saturday. You just never know what you are going to see.
It's also fun to watch Calvin love on his papa (a.k.a. Daddy). The word for Dad in Nineveh is Papa, so we haven't quite decided what we are going with. Actually Marvin wants to be called Papa but for some reason I always say Daddy. I digressed....Calvin loves to give me nice and slobbery kisses. They are sweet and I love them even with the slobber, but he has started to lean in to bump Marvin's head, it's a man kiss. It's their game and is so sweet to watch. The other day Marvin was playing with him on the floor after dinner and Calvin crawled over to Marvin and leaned his head in to give him some lovin'. It's those moments you just don't want to forget.

I'll wrap up with a few pictures of Calvin at our family reunion in Oklahoma a few weekends ago. Here are a couple my sister took:

Calvin loves to feel wind hit his face. It was pretty hot so I had a cold water bottle close by the whole boat ride. He loved chewing on the end before he fell asleep.


Well it's almost 8:45 and I put Calvin to bed an hour ago and still haven't been motivated to straighten up the kitchen and living room. Lately I feel like this is an endless job. Calvin loves to dump everything out of his toy boxes and the cabinet I let him play in the kitchen.

I have attempted having him help me pick up but it seems like he can pull stuff out quicker than I can put them back in. I guess we have a lot farther to go on that skill....until then I need to improve my speed. He loves to dump things out, not so much put stuff back in. This evening I almost had all his block in the tub and the next thing I know everything is on the floor.

Marvin is at class right now and the house is pretty quiet. It really is a strange feeling, it certainly is a blessing being married. For those of you who don't know Marvin has been trying to get some grad hours in, he really is looking forward to learning. I also get the perks of learning through him. I love it, he reads the books, attends the lectures and then shares the good stuff. It has been fun hearing what he is learning about.

Recently I decided to revamp some of my recipes. My goal is to have healthier meals around our house. I have put a lot of thought into Calvin's meals and have enjoyed making my own baby food, but now that he is starting to make the transition to table foods I thought now is as good of time as any to find new healthy meals and revamp others. It's harder than you think, especially on a tight budget, but I have already found a few good recipes. It would be fun to create a cookbook someday.

So to help me in this endeavor I headed the library and checked out all the books my bag could hold. I have a hefty list of recipes already to try and I am only through 1 1/2 cookbooks. I'm pumped. Marvin could eat the same thing every night and be okay with that, but I get bored. We rarely eat the same thing twice in a month and usually don't eat the same thing twice in two months. So if you have any healthy budget friendly recipes pass them on, I'd love to try them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Crazy Month

Life has been a bit hectic around our house the past month. We had several trips planned on top of VBS and then Calvin had surgery last week. So this didn't leave too much time to post anything.

We had a good trip to Virgina. It was fun to be around some good friends. Calvin did great during all of our travels. The Lord certainly gave us one excellent flyer. I flew home without Marvin, he stayed to take a class. Calvin caught a little cold bug from some of his new friends while we were in Virgina and so the last flight was a bit trying for him. The poor guy was so tired and his fever was climbing, and it didn't help that our flight was delayed. We were supposed to have a tight connection in Dallas and we also were delayed in leaving VA so when we got off of our first flight I checked the board and it said our flight was in final boarding and we still had to change terminals, eeks! After rushing to our gate the poor guy with American airlines had covered the screen with a piece of paper and shortly made an announcement that they were waiting on the plane. Whew that was close. After moaning through most of the last flight we finally were home. Calvin was very happy to get out of his car seat and it was so cute watching him crawl all over the living room. You could see the relief on his face when he saw all his toys.

Here are a few of my observations about flying with small children:
1. It is very hard packing light with a baby, he took up most of our suitcase. We miss the days when we could go somewhere and not have to check any luggage. It will be nice when he gets to the age of being able to carry his own things for the flight.

2. People are so willing to help, especially when I was flying alone. I had multiple people stop and ask me if I needed help. They were certainly very sweet as I was juggling a stroller, car seat and diaper bag and trying to entertain Calvin. I love how helpful people are in the Midwest.

3. It's much easier going through security when Calvin can sit up. When Calvin was in the rag doll stage it was hard getting his stroller and our bags on and off the x-ray machines.

4. It's pretty ridiculous that they make you take off your baby's shoes!

Through all this craziness Calvin has stopped sleeping through the night, which means he has two very tired parents. It started over a month ago when Calvin developed an ear infection, then he was held all week during VBS, so he thought he needed to sleep in someone's arms, then we were traveling and he was sleeping in a strange place, then he caught a cold, then he had surgery. We are hoping his sleep patterns return in the next couple of weeks, because this mama is tired. Thankfully Marvin let me take a couple of naps this weekend. My body was just exhausted.

Calvin's surgery went well and he is still a little uncomfortable but for the most part he is doing great. He is certainly more clingy and cries a lot more than normal. He has lost his appetite and it has been a battle getting him to take his medicine. I will be glad when I don't have to give him meds daily. He also is cutting a couple of teeth, or so I think. The poor guy is 10 months old and still not teeth.

Other developmental news: He is getting faster at crawling and has started standing without holding on to anything for a few seconds at a time. He can crawl up stairs and he can go down at least one. It's funny when we play in the play room he will go up then down, up then down, he just can't decide what he wants to do. He can also find the smallest morsel of food on the ground, which means I must sweep the floors after every meal, even if I don't think I dropped anything. Yesterday he almost ate a piece of onion, yum!

We have enjoyed the Olympics, but it seems like we were glued the the TV all weekend. It is so unusual for us to have it on all the time. I decided I needed a TV break today, but I am sure we will check it out tonight. Sometimes I think I get overstimulated.

Here's a few pictures of the last month:

At the petting zoo during the family carnival in Richmond. Calvin really like the baby ducks but he kept banging on the cage so rather than torture the poor little things we moved on. He wasn't too impressed with the other animals, if only they had a dog he would have been so excited.

Since our flight was delayed in Dallas we had time to play in a little play area there at the airport. It was perfect and gave him a little wiggle time. He LOVED it. Basically he crawling through a tunnel and following a little girl around the 15 minutes we spent there.

Mr. Sleepy Pants. He woke up one morning and his hair was everywhere. This particular night (the night after his surgery) he decided it was time to play at 2 am. I was up holding him until 4:00 when he finally caved in and fell asleep. Since Marvin had to work the next day I fell asleep with him in the living room. Apparently he was sweating a bit because what little hair he has was sticking straight up. It was pretty cute.

We want our Mamas! We briefly went out the car and when we came back to the door this is what we found, two boys waiting on their mommies to return. How sweet.

Calvin playing with his best buddy, who is now 1!!! Now that Calvin can crawl he just follows him everywhere, I think his pal gets tired of it from time to time. Calvin think he is so cool.