29 December 2008

Sledding

We actually rounded up everyone out of the house this year and went sledding (A HUGE feat for my bah humbug husband). We received a ton of snow on Christmas Eve so it made perfect sledding powder.

Blake was completely terrified. He went down the hill with his dad. There was that moment of silence before the big scream, and then he had a total meltdown. He liked sitting in the sled, just not moving in the sled. He also did not like having an unusually large number of clothes and snow gear on. I like how the thumb on his mitten is not facing the right way. It was all I could do to get them on his hands at all.

The mountains in the background were beautiful. Sledding in the mountains is the way to do it. Forget those tiny molehills we used to sled on in Michigan.

Tricia preferred sledding on the tube.

The Grinch's small heart grew three sizes on Christmas Day!


27 December 2008

Christmas #2

We celebrated Christmas #2 with Troy's family. Santa brought Blake some presents because of the message on his bib.

Blake dressed up as Santa and was definitely the cutest Santa I saw all season.



These pictures were fun to take because Troy kept pretending to drop Blake, and then he whipped him back up while he was still laughing in time for a snapshot.

Santa loves his grandma.

The Tanners have a tradition of playing the chimes on Christmas Eve. I must say, we improved greatly on our Christmas Carols since last year. We may be ready to go on the road soon.

Blake even got to play a little bit. It was very different than last year when he was two weeks old on Christmas and we circled around his glider banging on our chimes. He has grown up so much.

One of Blake's (and Mommy's) favorite gifts was given by a much older Santa.

Ho, Ho, Ho and Merry Christmas to all from the flying Santa Claus!


22 December 2008

Christmas #1

One of the fun parts about being married is that you get to celebrate Christmas twice. Our first Christmas celebration was from my side of the family, and we will have Christmas #2 with Troy's side on Christmas day. We opened presents from my family a little early to spread out the festivities and not completely overwhelm Blake on Christmas day.

My mom got Blake the same B'Jolly outfit that he had last year, only in a 12 mos. size instead of a newborn size. Here he is on his first Christmas, only a few weeks old, and on his second Christmas, one year later.


Our tree and our little elf.


Blake is fascinated with the ornaments. In fact, he likes to take them off the tree and put them in his ball popper. Luckily, they are light enough to not get stuck in the ball popper.

He also is mesmerized with our Santa countdown calendar. He whines all day long to be picked up so he can ring Santa's bell and feel his beard.


Blake is checking out those elf feet. He is not happy that he cannot pull them off.

One of Blake's favorite presents is a little electronic keyboard. In this picture, he is pressing the yellow button. This is not surprising because it is the only button he ever pushes. The buttons play different clips of pop music, so, we hear "Wide Open Spaces" by the Dixie Chicks about one hundred times a day.

It is a tradition in our family to give some prank gifts. I have always wrapped the presents that my dad gave to my mom, and one year, my dad told me that all of her presents were in the trunk of his car. Not only did I wrap the presents I found in the trunk, but I wrapped the "junk from the trunk" as well. Empty talk tape cases, paper towel rolls, jumper cables, half-empty nut containers, etc. So now, it is a tradition to give "junk from the trunk" presents.

I felt bad this week as all of our neighbors were snow blowing their driveways and Troy was shoveling with the shovel we bought at a neighbor's garage sale for one dollar. So, I made him a "power shovel," my own rendtion of "junk from the trunk." He came home from work and immediately changed to go out and shovel, and I said, "You're not going to be able to do that right now." He eventually noticed the very "discreetly" wrapped shovel under the tree. I had duct taped an extension cord on to the shovel to make it a "power shovel."

And, just in case the electricity went out, I included this back-up generator. I'm not sure if Troy was too amused, but I sure had fun wrapping up the prank gift!

This was actually a birthday gift but Blake loves his truck!

He pushes it around the house, but often gets stuck when he runs into things. He hasn't figured out how to turn it around yet.

Merry Christmas #1, and thank you to my family for the wonderful gifts!


09 December 2008

One

Our baby is ONE! We began Blake's birthday by flying home from Arizona. Due to circumstances beyond our control, it was unfortunately the only time we could fly home. In addition, the flight was right during nap time which made for a rough start to Blake's birthday. I was really nervous that he would be a complete wreck during his party, but given the approaching holidays, it was the only time we celebrate his birthday with family and friends. So, I had everything ready except for the food before we left for Arizona and my sweet husband (who flew home a week before Blake and me) labored diligently to clean the house and buy the rest of the groceries.

Amazingly, we pulled it all off just in time for the guests to arrive. My one regret is that I spent so much time getting everything ready that I didn't get to spend much time with my delightful birthday boy. Blake started rubbing his eyes like crazy just before the party was about to start, but he cheered up and was a complete joy during his celebration. We kept things pretty small and low-key, but everything turned out exactly how I had pictured! I know that Blake won't remember his first birthday party, but it was big deal to me. After a stressful day and weeks of stress wondering how I was going to pull it all off in a few hours after flying home, I was absolutely delighted with the outcome. Friends and family were gathered together laughing and reminiscing about Blake's life, watching him discover presents and toys, and enjoying his first cupcake indulgence. It was everything I had imagined and more.

Happy First Birthday Blake!

I made some fun party hats.

I know parties are supposed to have themes, but our theme was simply,"1."

My sister-in-law Tricia and good friend Kristen came to celebrate.

Presents time! Thank you so much to everyone for the wonderful gifts. Blake now has lots of new toys and books to enjoy.


I'm not much of a cake decorator so I made a "cup"cake instead.

It was so much fun to see our child taste something sweet for the first time! He wasn't sure what to do with the cupcake that was plopped on his tray at first, but he quickly figured it out. He demolished every last crumb.


Blake in Action! I did cut the footage down from 13 minutes to 2.5 minutes, but this is more of a video for the grandmas anyway.


That's right, you're one!

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and for making Blake's day so special!


06 December 2008

Reflections

Tomorrow, Blake will be one year old; not a baby anymore. He's been a baby his whole life, doesn't he know what he's giving up?

As I watch him grow from the little baby I have nurtured and cared for over the past twelve months into the young man he will one day be, I am amazed at his intelligence, his innocence, and his quest for life. If only we could all maintain that same quest for knowledge as we grow older, this world would be a much different place to live in.

I watch him carefully push a star shaped block into a star shaped hole. I try to see the blocks the way he must see them. Is this some new mission, some new feat to achieve today? I listen to him mimic our sounds and then giggle when we mimic his. I wonder what he is thinking. As I watch him try a new food for the first time, I delight in the way his nose wrinkles up and he smacks his lips together and then that moment of pause where he must decide whether he likes it or not. I try to remember the last time I tasted a new food. Did I take the time to enjoy it?

As I watch him try to fit the star into the correct hole, I see his frustration when he can't make it work. He bangs the plastic blocks together and gives them an ear-full of baby jibberish but still the pieces will not interlock. He turns one, and tries again. Then he turns the other, and again tries to fit them together. I see the concentration on his face as he stares intently at the blocks that just won't seem to do the right thing. I want to go and help him but I push back the urge and I wait from across the room. He doesn't see me. It's as if nothing else in the world exists but him and those two plastic blocks. I see him try one final time, this time lining them up just right as one piece interlocks with the other. Then I see a big grin of satisfaction on his face. He is proud of his accomplishment and I am glad I waited and let him figure it out for himself. I think of a time when I was angry that something wasn't going my way. I wanted someone to step in and make it all better. Then I think of the satisfaction that comes with solving difficult situations on my own and I am proud.

Every day I watch my son learn about life, about himself, and about the world around him. As adults, we think we know everything already. We forget to learn from our daily experiences. We get too caught up in the "important" things each day to pay attention to the little things. Now, through the inspiration of my growing little boy, I am trying to see the world through my baby's eyes for a change. I am enjoying the fresh perspective.

So here is a tribute to Blake. For bringing into my live more happiness than I ever could have imagined. From a tiny newborn to one year old, I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey!


05 December 2008

First Haircut

Blake's hair was getting so long and out of control that I couldn't stand it anymore. It hung over his ears and over the back of his shirt. Here is the before shot:

Have you ever tried to cut a baby's hair? He held still while eating bananas and cheerios, and then he got very restless. It became pretty impossible to keep the hair even because he turned his head every time I got near. We may have to do a follow-up trim later.

The after shot: Blake's new spikey 'do! It may be a little long still.

Side view.


03 December 2008

Splish Splash

I'm genuinely not trying to rub it in that we are swimming in December, but I had to share some footage of Blake drinking my parents' pool water. Luckily my dad converted the pool into salt water which means there isn't any chlorine. So, it wasn't too terrible that Blake took a few gulps. He couldn't get enough water once he started drinking.


27 November 2008

Gobble Gobble

We spent Thanksgiving in the Valley of the Sun. I never thought I'd be posing in front of palm trees on Thanksgiving Day.

The grandparents soaked up major grandson time.

Blake experienced his very first Thanksgiving feast complete with his own turkey bone. Ok, we didn't really let him gnaw on the meat. Troy, however, threw bits of corn, roll, and turkey across the table onto Blake's highchair tray as if he were a dog. My dad also started barking during the process. Poor naive Blake didn't know what was going on.

Blake was mesmerized with the ceiling fans in my parents' house. He pointed at them all day long. Then, he looked around for our facial expressions to make sure we thought the fans were funny too.

I got caught taking a little snoozer after the feast.

We haven't had great weather so far but it cleared up enough for us to take a walk around the Fountain Hills lake. The fountain goes off every hour and shoots 562 feet straight up in the air.

Blake plotted his revenge.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We hope you have many blessings to be grateful for.


25 November 2008

Expression

I don't really know how to explain this one, just that it's so cute and so Blake.


21 November 2008

Double Feature

Troy was rewarded with a half day off work this month because his team was doing so well. We were debating about what to do with such a luxury, until I remembered that Twilight came out today. He didn't really have a desire to see Twilight (mostly because of all the hype), but really wanted to see the new James Bond movie. He got really excited when he suggested, "You can go to Twilight and I'll go to James Bond on my half day!" Then, after thinking about it for awhile, he wondered, what has our marriage come to if we go to the movie theater and see different movies? So then, he came up with what he thought was an even more brilliant idea. He said, "Let's go to BOTH!"

So, thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law for watching our son, we saw back-to-back matinee movies. I have never done that before. It was a lot of sitting, but well worth the sacrifice to get my sweet hubby to go to Twilight (which he liked, for the record). I really liked Twilight too. I thought it portrayed the book very well for the most part, but a lot was spoiled in the trailer. As for James Bond, the first one was a lot better. I tend to lose interest during all the action scenes they throw in. All in all, it was a fun day and it marks our second date in the month of November.


18 November 2008

Busybody

Our little eleven month old is such a busybody. His new thing is he loved being chased. He crawls away from us as fast as he can and usually ends up faceplanting it a few times in all the excitement. His activities keep us on our toes.


15 November 2008

Project Scrapway

I noticed that I haven't been posting very much this month (at least not as much as usual) and I realized that it is because my memory card is empty. Instead of taking pictures, I have been working like crazy to get Blake's scrapbook up to date so that I can display it on his first birthday. I'm happy to say that as of Saturday, November 15, at 3:24pm, Blake's scrapbook is completely updated with photos and journaling.
It really feels like a masterpiece. I mean, look at thickness of pages in this album! I really like the style that I chose to do. Some pages are the full 12x12 size, but many pages just simply hold six 4x6 pictures and have a journaling card in one of the slots. I was hoping to simplify the book in this regard, but of course, no project of mine can ever be simple.

I realize that I may not have the time to make something as elaborate for my other children. I hope I can at least keep up with documenting moments during the first year. Even though a lot of the journaling and pictures are redundant of what I document on our blog, I really enjoy this hobby. Hopefully Blake will enjoy looking back through his completed baby book as well someday.


07 November 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

The countdown to Blake's first birthday has begun. He is eleven months old today which means that we only have 30 more days until Blake is ONE! I read a quote the other day that said:

"It may not seem like it when it's three in morning and you're trying to soothe a crying child, but believe it or not, a baby's first year goes by pretty quickly. After that, it's just a memory."

Just a memory, I thought. Only one more month of Blake's first year and then it will be just a memory. All of a sudden I feel incredible pressure to cherish every moment of his short baby days. Of course there is so much to look forward to once Blake becomes a toddler and a preschooler and on and on, and I know that down the road there will be more babies in our family, but for now, my first baby is growing up way too fast!

Here are some of Blake's favorite things at eleven months:

He loves our ipod headphones. He finds them in bags, purses, and on shelves. It's his daily mission to locate the headphones and put the earpiece in his mouth.

His other daily mission is to pull the register out of the floor. He thinks it is so funny when the heat blows from the vent onto his face.

Blake's dad let him chew on an apple. Blake spent a half hour using his two little bottom teeth to gnaw tiny bites. This mostly resulted in tons of drool and stained pants, but he had a great time figuring out how to use his teeth. Now I know how to keep him occupied while I am trying to make dinner.

He figured out how to unplug things. And by things, I mean everything. He is fascinated with plugs and cords, and unfortunately, electrical outlets. We've had to step up the baby proofing in our home.

Blake enjoys playing with all of our leftover Halloween candy. He bangs pieces together, puts the ends of the wrappers in his mouth, and spreads them around the house. Troy was home with him last night and called me after I left to inform me that Blake had chewed through a nerds box and had started to eat the candy!

He loves to look at books. The teacher in me has high hopes for his early literacy. However, when I read to him, he is a little more interested in turning the pages as fast as he can than actually listening to the story. Oh well, at least he has instilled in himself the love of books.

One of Blake's favorite treats is crushed ice! I gave it to him on an airplane once and now he can't get enough. He doesn't even mind the cold feeling on his hands as he stuffs his mouth with ice chips. It's a great teething soother and also helps him when he occasionally wakes up during the night. What a funny baby!