Thursday, October 15, 2009

First Words

I've been so bad about blogging lately. Oops! :)

I thought I should get on and record Max first words. Shortly after he turned one, he started saying "Go". It is on one of his baby signing videos and he loves to do the sign with it when he says it. Now he's asks me to "go" all of the time and runs to the front door. It is so fitting with his personality that this would be his first word. He's very active and loves to be out-and-about!

On our trip to Japan, he surprised me by trying a few other words. He was very interested in the trains and buses we used to get around Japan. He knows the sign for both, but now when he signs "bus" he also tries to say it aloud.

I try to get him to say "Mama" to me all the time. He says "mamamama" often, but not applying it to me. Well, the other day, he patted my leg and said "Mama". Something must have clicked because now he says "Mama" pretty often. It's confusing, though, because he also still likes to say "mamamama" when he chatters.
He has also gotten pretty good at saying "banana" and is trying to say "water".

I know he'll be talking up a storm before I know it, but right now it amazes me to watch him learn. He's gone from a little ball of mush to a walking, talking little person in a year!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Have a One-Year Old!

Max with his very first birthday card from Great Grandma Dempewolf. He's so excited!

I know all moms talk about how fast their kids have grown up, but I still wasn't prepared for how fast Max's first year would go by. Goodness!

Max learned a lot in the last month:

He now walks everywhere. He's pretty fast, too!

He learned to drink from a straw.

He gives really great hugs.

He loves to play with balls and will "fetch" (I told Nic he has to call that game "Go get it" instead of fetch).

He learned a ton of new signs and even made up some of his own. He now knows:
All Done
Grandpa (or Grandboy---my dad taught him this)
Wash hands
Brush teeth
Brush hair

That's over 20 words! I just never thought he understood that much of what I said, and then all of the sudden he's signing everything.

For his birthday, he got to have cake for the very first time. He smashed it up pretty well, but he didn't really eat very much!

Then we took him to the San Diego Zoo. Max loves to look at animals, but kind of freaks out when they get too close. So, while most kids would love the petting zoo the most, Max loved everything else and found the petting zoo pretty intimidating.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cayucos Vacation 2009

I love the central coast of California. We vacationed there when I was a kid. I went to college there. I met and fell in love with Nic there. So many great memories! This summer my whole family (except my brother, David, who now lives in Texas) got together to rent a beach house in Cayucos, a quaint little beach town 15 minutes north of San Luis Obispo.

After a long day of driving, we arrived and found the house to be just as cute as it looked on the internet. It was only a block from the beach. It was nice and open, and accommodated all 13 of us quite well except that one "bedroom" was actually a loft (Poor Danny, Shannon, and Connor!). The rest of the night was spent settling in and eating birthday cake for all the recent birthdays.

On Monday morning, we went to check out the elephant seals. They are so huge that when they are out in the water they look like giant rocks. When they are on land, it is really neat to see them fight.

Afterward, Nic, Max, and I enjoyed a nice lunch and fudge in Cambria. Then we took Max to the beach. He was crazy! As soon as he got there, he was screeching with delight and wanted to run straight into the water, which he later did. At one point, he fell on his face right in the water, but after a few minutes he was ready to run right back in (with close parental supervision, of course!).

We spent the next morning exploring Morro Bay. We got there pretty early in the morning. None of the tourists were there yet, and we took a long walk and watched all of the businesses getting ready for the day. Then, we rented a surrey to ride out to Morro Rock. I always wondered what the baskets on the front are for (because they aren't good for holding stuff!). Turns out, they are made as a seat for little children. Max pretty much only got to be in the basket for a picture because it freaked me out to have him riding up there. He rode along in the Baby Bjorn instead. On our ride, we saw lots of sea lions and otters. It is such a beautiful place with lots of wildlife.

In the evening, we walked from our beach house down to the pier in Cayucos. The tide was coming up and at one point we ran out of beach! We had to time our crossing to prevent getting too wet.

In the morning, we kayaked out to the sand spit in Morro Bay. In the middle of the bay, there is a large bank of sand. It connects to the land miles away and has a narrow peninsula that extends out. It is a really easy little paddle across the calm bay. We also got to see the sea lions up close, as they were swimming near our kayak. Max didn't like his life jacket, but he did love exploring the strangely soft sand on the sand spit.

While Max and I were taking a nap, Nic and the others went down to the beach. They found a giant hole (no one was around) and used it to bury each other. After awhile, a 13-year-old kid comes down and really rips into them for ruining his hole that he'd been working on for two days. Oops!

The next morning, Max woke up early. So, we headed to San Luis Obispo to hike to the cement 'P' that is on the mountain above Cal Poly. The trail was much steeper than I remembered. The views were beautiful, but the P was hideous close up. Years and years of paint were built up on it. We followed our hike with a yummy breakfast at one of our favorite SLO restaurants, Big Sky.

In the afternoon, we took a drive through See Canyon. First we stopped at the Avila Barn and checked out their cute animals. Then we were on our way. The views were beautiful, as always. Some day, Nic and I want to have a house out there!

We came back around to San Luis Obispo just in time to meet everyone for dinner at Woodstock's Pizza and a stroll through the World Famous Farmer's Market. The farmer's market in SLO isn't just fruit and veggie stands. All the local restaurants have booths. There are musicians, puppet shows, booths for causes, balloons, and lots of people. I love the fun atmosphere.

We had to stop off at the Gum Wall (aka Bubble Gum Alley) . On our second anniversary, Nic and I made a heart on the gum wall with our initials in it. Now, for each anniversary we add another heart (the collage below shows the progression). This year was a lot easier because we had helpers. Usually we're about to puke from chewing so much sugary gum!

We spent Friday morning at beautiful Montana De Oro.
In the evening, my parents watched the kids while we headed out for date night! Nic went all out. He brought me flowers, took me to a beautiful restaurant with amazing food and views, and we followed it up with sparkling cider, cherries, and gummy bears while watching the sunset. So romantic!

Saturday was the Walk to the Rock. It is about 5 miles from Cayucos to Morro Rock. We used to do it as kids, and I think it was easier then. This time, it was so foggy we couldn't see Morro Rock at all. Without a landmark, it seemed like we might never get there. But we made it!

We spent our last night having a bonfire on the beach. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and even saw dolphins. It was a great end to a great trip!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

4th Anniversary

So, I'm a little late in blogging about this, but we had such a great anniversary! In years past, we've always taken a long weekend to go on a little trip, but I knew that wouldn't be possible this year because of our little guy. We settled for an overnight trip, and it ended up being so much fun!
We drove up near Tehachapi to Rankin Ranch. I would highly recommend it, especially for a family vacation. I thought we'd go on a horse ride, and then just kind of hang out. I bought a new book thinking that I'd finish it while we were there, but there was so much to do.
We relaxed in their lovely pool,

Played shuffleboard,

Had a fantastic "steak fry" dinner,

Participated in their evening "horse race" (the kids at the ranch made stick horses, the adults got to bet fake money, and the horse that gets to move forward is determined by the roll of the dice. Nic won the most money and got a tee shirt),

And looked at the beautiful night sky in the hot tub, until we had a bunch of kids come join us :)

In the morning, we headed out on our horse ride. I was nervous because I hadn't been on a horse in a long time. I had fun, and it wasn't scary, but my butt was sore afterwards!

I impressed Nic with my archery skills. I got a few bulls eyes. It blew his mind.

We had to head home after lunch, but even the driving was fun. We realized on the way home that we hadn't turned on the radio at all on the way there or the way home. We were just having a great time talking.
I am so lucky to be married to such a wonderful man. It was so great to spend some time relaxing with just him. It always reminds me that he is totally my best friend. Even though it was only one night, I felt so refreshed, but by the time we got home I was definitely missing my little Max!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

11 Months Old

Today, Max is 11 months old.
It is really hard to get a good picture of Max now because he's so mobile. The minute I get the camera out, he's on my lap. It makes for lots of pictures like this:

He can now walk all the way across a room. He still prefers to crawl for long distances, though.
He stayed overnight without his us for the first time this month, and he didn't even cry the whole time. My parents said he was pretty cheery. :)
He enjoys trying to climb on everything. He uses anything he can find as a step stool.
I've been trying to teach him more baby signs, but he finds that "eat" and "more" seem to get him what he wants.
He is very playful, loving, active, and curious.
I love this kid!

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Monday, July 6, 2009

First Steps and Cute Videos

Max took his first steps on the Fourth of July. He'd become an expert on standing on his own, and was experimenting with taking steps. He was only ever able to get one step in before falling. Nic, Max, and I were all playing together in Max's room, and Max took about five steps. It was so nice that Nic got to be there to witness it. It was so cool, and he's been practicing ever since then. He's not a full-fledged walker yet, but that's just around the corner. I tried to get a video of him trying to walk today, but we were having a rough day so all I could get was a lot of whining.

So, I thought I'd share a couple of other cute videos, instead.

Max seriously loves to wrestle me. He is such a good body slammer. :)

Here is Max demonstrating some of his baby sign language. He loved the cherries and kept asking for "more".

Fourth of July

I love holiday weekends when I have more time to hang out with my sweetie! It is always nice to have an extra Saturday. On Friday, we went down to visit Nic's dad who just got back from a fabulous trip to Switzerland and Croatia. Max loved playing in the jets at the pool with his Grandpa.

Then, on Saturday, Max was so excited about the fourth of July that he woke up really early and during the night, too. So, while we planned on going to the pancake breakfast at church, we ended up all taking a nap around that time. We did get some yummy doughnuts before we conked out, though.
Once we were refreshed, we headed out to the Corona Fourth of July Parade. I am just so delighted that our town has a parade. There were a lot of people there, and it is really cute. I was afraid that Max wouldn't like the noise (there were a lot of sirens and honking). He didn't cry, but he wasn't impressed by the parade either. We couldn't get him to crack a smile for any of the pictures.
In the afternoon, my parents came over and we had a rousing game of Bocce Ball. I'd never played before, and it was really fun. I think if we'd played according to the regulations, I would be terrible, but on a smaller backyard court, I did alright. Nic was especially impressed with my overhand throwing technique.

Afterwards, we had a great barbeque--- at Wood Ranch Grill. No work or clean up! Then my parents headed home. We put our little guy in bed and resigned ourselves to missing the fireworks, but when we could hear them going off we checked to see if we could see any of them. It wasn't a great view, but we could see them. It was so nice to enjoy them together without even having to leave the house!
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