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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Children Are Energy Syncs

It was a major week at our house. To sum up before I even start: Snow, Inauguration, Pooping, and First Steps (maybe).

Alden: "I am not thrilled. No, not at all." Rhianwen: "Dad told me to smile, so here goes."

I love that we live far enough north that we can get at least one major snow per year (you can see lots more pics on our renovation blog if you're so inclined). This one was one to rival some of the snows we got in Pittsburgh. It began before dawn (we knew b/c Alden wanted an early morning snack), and even to my bleary eyes, it was beautiful like a mist of white falling onto the ground. So, mommy and daddy woke up very excited and wanting to get breakfast out of the way for a day of fun in the snow. Work was out of the question since we had many inches of snow, no plowing, and no salt. Plus it was inauguration day. I think because the entire world was at home, Rhi and Alden decided to sleep in...it's amazing the silence created by the absence of traffic and by the snow itself. We ended up waking Rhianwen up, who did not appreciate it and told us firmly that she wanted to go back to bed. But we opened her blinds, and that seemed to convince her to get up. We bundled everybody up after breakfast and headed outside (Alden was very annoyed about the bundling b/c by this time he was ready for his morning nap, however he cheered up after discovering that there was white stuff falling out of the sky).

Rhianwen walked down the deck and said matter of factly, "It pops alright." I love the sound of the snow under foot too. Neither of the kids lasted long on the first outing b/c the snow was coming down really hard, and it was really cold. But we did sled with both of them. Then it was in for cocoa and inauguration viewing. I think the only thing that Rhianwen really got out of it was that our President is "Barak O.....Bama!", and she woke up saying his name one morning.

In the afternoon we went out again with Rhianwen and made snowmen. She really loved that and wanted to make a telephone for the snowman too, but mommy hadn't cultivated her snow-carving skills so much in recent years.

The snow stuck around the next day too, and sledding was a lot better the 2nd day with all the ice, but Rhianwen only wanted to go fast if mommy was on the sled with her. Fun fun fun! Mommy enjoyed pointing out all the beautiful things about the snow, how it sparkles in the sun etc., and not to be outdone, Rhianwen said, "Mommy look at the green grass sticking up out of the snow. it's pretty!" I thought it was so neat to hear her describing something she was seeing and enjoying.

Yes, to Nanny Kim's joy, we will move on to the topic of pooping. I think I've mentioned before, how if you're with Nanny Kim long enough, the conversation often turns to the most beloved subject of poop. I don't know how this happens, but it does quite naturally. Unfortunately, Rhianwen has not found it quite natural to poop in the potty. But this week she did it on her own! We made a big deal about it, and she got to call both grandmas and talk to Aunt Clara too. She also got to pick out "big kid pants" at the store. They are Elmo of course. She loves them. She's been really good about peeing, but the poops still been on again off again. She'd much rather do it in dipes.

If she's not up to pooping, Rhianwen also enjoys finding ways to play the "violin". She grabs anything that looks like a bow and pretends to play. Finally, daddy ingeniously made a violin for her.

"It's not a Stradivarius, but it will do."

You will think I am crazy, but Alden REALLY wants to walk. He can take 2 steps on his own before falling down, but even when he does fall, he'll often just fall to a sitting position (pretty amazing for a 6 month old). I hope he learns to crawl first, b/c walking will take some time to master without crawling I think. A surprising discovery we've made in recent weeks is that Alden prefers "real" food to the Gerber packaged stuff. He turns his nose up to Gerber peas but loves mommy-made peas. Rhianwen was the exact opposite in this regard...she liked Gerber taste and texture. Alden likes his food thicker and chunkier and tastier and will smack his lips in pleasure if he really is enjoying a meal. Some favorite games that we play with Alden are catch and fishy. I'll take some string or the pop-beads and say, "Am I gonna get a fishy?" and wiggle them in front of Alden. When he grabs on to the string/beads, I'll say, "I got him, I got him, I got him!!!". He loves it. He also loves it when he catches the ball and I clap and cheer really loudly for him. He'll just smile and laugh, and I'll have visions of mommy in the stands cheering on a little boy playing baseball or some kind of sport in just a few years. Of course, he'll probably try ignoring me in embarrassment at that point.

You can see the excitement in his eyes.

He's been making in-roads in nursery recently too. Just today I came in and saw him sacrificially sticking his fingers in another baby's mouth. Mommy ruined that moment pretty quickly.

On a more serious note, I love this quote that my mom sent (from a book): "There are living people who are dead on the inside and dead people who continue to live on in the lives of others....But the most lasting legacy is a passed-down life--replete with values, convictions, character,and love." May I live such a life for these little ones!

Book of the week: I'm Sorry God

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Grand Time with the Great Grands

Happy Birthday Grandmama! (This is a special Lego Cake we made. So delicious. The tall thing is the candle.)

Alden so wants to walk! You can see it in his eyes as he watches his sister walk or run out of the room. Daddy has been feeding his desire by holding Alden's hands and letting him walk or run or slide (depending on how quickly Alden decides to move his feet) down the hall. Rhianwen loves this and runs up and down the hall screeching and bumping into Alden like it's a game of tag. Alden gets very excited when this happens.

Here he is "chasing" after Rhianwen. The only glimpse of her you can see in this picture is of her hair in the bottom right corner.

Rhianwen has been enjoying her bike. We usually make her use her helmet although once Wally decided "it's not like she's going to be jumping ramps" and let her ride one time without it. Guess what she decided to do? She rode down the hill in the back yard and tried to ride up her slide! So much for no ramps. So, we've learned even now, helmets must be worn.

We FINALLY got to see my grandparents (the great grands) for the FIRST time since Alden was born. This was very exciting for all of us, but I think Great Grandma enjoyed it the most. There is something about babies and the oldest people in the family that just clicks. Alden is usually so wild that not even I can hold him for long, but when we placed him in Great Grandma's arms, he calmed right down and leaned against her like he was the most laid back baby in the world.

A kiss from Great Grandma.

Rhianwen read A Potty for Me for Great Grandma and Great Grandpa. At first she did it very quietly, but after their enthusiastic response she decided to re-read it for them much more loudly.

Great Grandpa said that Alden is different than Rhianwen was as a baby. Although they were both very alert as babies, Alden is less contemplative and more just wanting to be in the midst of whatever is going on and more excitable. I think he is right! We'll see how that pans out as he grows!

Crazy time before bed...not sure if it's a good practice or not, but they sure do have fun, and Grandpa enjoyed it too.

My parents suggested that we leave the kids with them while we went out on a dinner date. This was our first since Alden was born too! It was very enjoyable, and the nice thing about Conway is that our dinner was about 3 minutes away from their house, so we got to utilize all the time possible without spending much time in the car.

He does have his contemplative moments. You can almost see the wheels turning, "Let's see, I know I've seen Rhianwen play with these, how does it work? Hm."

Check out my new shoes. (They actually stay on unlike most things we try to put on his feet. I've discovered that double socking is the way to keep socks on, and we must have laces if we want shoes to stay on. I only got shoes so that when we go outside in the freezing cold, his feet will stay warm, but they are so cute.)

Story of the Week: Frosty the Snowman (at Grandma Nanny Kim's and Grandpa's that played a horrid flat off key rendition of the song when you pressed a button. Mommy thought about taking a knife to it.)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Alden wearing the outfit that Rhianwen, daddy, and grandaddy were baptized in.

Alden was baptized today as a sign that he is a part of God's covenant family. We hope and pray that God is working in his heart to transform him into a follower of Christ. As a PCA minister, Grandaddy had the privilege of praying for all 3 kids who were baptized along with a specific prayer for Alden. Grandmama, Uncle Averett, Grandma Nanny Kim, Grandpa, Great Mama, and PaPa were all able to come too! What made today extra special was the fact that Alden shared his baptism with PaPa's 88th birthday! We are so blessed to have such a strong Christian heritage on both sides of our family and know that it is only because of Christ who can subdue our wayward hearts and grow Alden Wallace into his name: a wise protector and friend and a sojourner who looks to heaven as his final home.

If you feel like watching the video clip of it, here it is:

If you don't, then here is a picture:

Lots of water right on the head, but no huge reaction (as PaPa pointed out there were 3 baby boys baptized, and none of them uttered a peep when they got water all over their heads. Must be that they all have older siblings and are used to such things...desensitized I guess).

The family and Pastor Murray Garrot who baptized Alden.

PaPa opening a crazy musical card from Rhianwen and us.

Alden about zonked despite Great Mama's fun birthday thingamajig (what are those things called?).

A sweet Grandmama moment.

We have a REAL sitter now. Alden's all of a sudden been able to sit on his own without mommy hovering over him worrying that he'll crash into the floor face first. He's had lots of fun playing with his toys and having new viewpoints of different rooms. A new favorite toy is the Imagiblocks (the cardboard blocks that were a Christmas gift). He seems to love that he can pick up something so large, knock them over, hit them, and play with the same thing that Rhianwen is playing with. This isn't the only new skill he's obtained over the past week. He's also perfected rolling. He can turn over in the wink of an eye, and it's been causing some pretty winky nights...sleep has been interrupted quite a bit because of his squirmy antics. Changing him is a whole new world of wrestling. I seriously need to get a mobile to hang above his table, toys don't work b/c he just flips over with them. I end up just trying to speed change him. We've also begun solids in earnest, and boy can he inhale them! So far we've only done lots of pears and some sweet potatoes. I've been trying to stay mild since he's still under 6 months. Another thing that he loves is the new teething feeder that you can put whole pieces of fruit in without worrying about choking.

Enjoying a seat in the new company vehicle (a hip flashy minivan Eaton sign and all). We're excited that we get to use it for personal use meaning Mommy can go somewhere and Daddy can go somewhere and we can split kid duty at the same time!

The Ba-Ba in the title refers to Alden's leap in conversational baby blabber. It's been so fun to see him get really excited and start talking. This video shows a little bit of it along with Rhianwen "reading" her famous potty book (beware, this one's long too!).

Soaking in the sun before a wrestling match aka "scrumble".

Whew! I'm exhausted! I know this post is lots of pics and videos, but that's about all I can do!

Book of the Week: A Potty for Me (of course!).

Friday, January 2, 2009

Way Too Much to Say, So I'll Say Very Little

Acting out the Christmas story..."real" baby Jesus and all...baby Jesus seems more interested in grabbing the horse than in staring lovingly into "Mary's" eyes.

A favorite gift from mommy and daddy.

A balance bike. Rhianwen's really pretty good at it!

Well, Christmas and New Year's has come and gone. Both kids are much better after their terrible bout of cold-bleckiness. It made Christmas kind of hard with Alden being so sick. I kept worrying about pneumonia and about his lack of appetite. I'm so thankful we didn't go to my parent's because Great Grandma DID get a cold followed by pneumonia. Thankfully she is doing much better but still on antibiotics. I'm just glad she didn't get it from us!!!

My parents came up to our house after Christmas, spent the day, and left Uncle Christopher who was flying out from Raleigh a couple of days later. Both kids had a BLAST with Uncle Christopher. I wish he lived closer...until I remember that he'd be my husband's accomplice and encourager in doing hair-brained things like damming up our creek so Rhi could try out the canoe my parents brought or like chopping down (yes, with and ax) a pine tree that was hindering the use of another tree for making a rudimentary swing set. I tried to tell Alden, that it wasn't necessarily a requirement to chop trees and dam things up if you are a man, but I don't think he believes me.

Canoeing in our creek.

Having fun with the Imagiblocks Grandmama and Grandaddy gave Alden and Rhianwen. Amazing what you can do with them!


They put the blocks across the hall by balancing them on the molding and using columns, then put a sheet over top for a little house. Rhianwen enjoyed having tea with Grandma Nanny Kim and Uncle Skipper.

"Tea or coffe?" Rhi prefers coffee and loves saying, "Sugar?" when she offers it to you.

Alden says, "Yeah, I'm cool wid dat."

Bathtime fun. We make bunny-rabbit ears too.

Mom's new boots...necessary in our soggy yard.

Enjoying tickle time during the Clemson v Nebraska Gator Bowl (great game but we lost).

Some funny Rhi conversations:

Wally (watching a football game): "He's dumb."
Rhianwen: "What's dumb doing?"

Rhi seeing a sticky bun: "I want some."
Mom: "That's a shocker."
Rhi: "I want a shocker."
Mom: "Oh, no I mean, that's a sticky bun."

Bouncy trouncy tigger says TTFN!

Thank you everyone for your sweet gifts! Truly, each one has been immensely enjoyed.

Book of the month: Heidi (yes the real version...I told you she's into epics.) We read a little every day and she talks about the goats and Peter and Heidi.

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