Sunday, November 24, 2013

Charlie’s Fifteenth Month

14 Months to 15 months

Charlie is walking a lot more consistently now. He loves it! He still loves being outside, especially finding sticks and carrying them around. He loves to climb on things, like cement stairs, chairs, strollers, sofas, ottomans, etc. He likes to get up on the ottoman or the couch and crawl around. He likes to hide/store things under the couch. If we are missing something, it is almost certainly to be found under the couch. He loves to push little toy cars down my legs and on my arms while I make the car noises with him. When he is in the bathtub, he loves to lay on his stomach and drink the bathwater. It drives me crazy! He will drink it and blow bubbles in it. I have to admit, it is quite cute.  

Fun fall sunny afternoons at South Fork Park:

Finally letting him play in the water

Along the Timpanogos Trail:

He got another head cold this month; it was mostly just a stuffy nose. It is hard because there is not much you can do about it other than use an aspirator, run a humidifier, and rub on some strong smelling rub. When he used to sleep in the swing, that was nice because then he was automatically sleeping at an incline, and I know that helped a bunch with the congestion.

One afternoon when I was getting him after his nap, I took a notice to the light colored marks on the top of the crib. I know I had seen some before, but assumed they were scratches. But more were showing up and they were bigger. I took a closer look and realized they were teeth marks! Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe it. He had been gnawing on the crib for who knows how long! Today, there are tons and TONS of teeth marks all over the crib. I had no idea that babies did that.

His crib on November 24th

I finally started brushing his teeth. Yeah, I was a little slow on that part of hygiene. I would rub his teeth with a cloth after eating, but I figured I better start the brushing. I assumed it would be impossible to get him to let me brush them. However, he loves sucking on that thing. Yeah, it is a little hard to do the actual brushing motion, but I do my best as he tries to take it over and just suck it to death. He likes putting the toothbrush in his mouth and rinsing it under the faucet, and then back in his mouth again, and so forth. Babies certainly love to repeat things!

Sometimes when I look at his teeth I wonder if he has an underbite. I don’t think he actually does, but sometimes they way he holds his mouth looks like he might. I also wonder if he chipped his bottom right tooth. It dips a little bit in the corner. His fifth tooth is coming through! It is his top left. I have also noticed on the right side of his nose, under his eye, there is a light brown mark. It is long and mostly vertical. I wonder if it is a birthmark. It seems to have become more visible within the last few months

One of my favorite things is when he grabs a book from his toy basket and brings it to me. He walks up to me, turns around, and puts his bum down into my lap, and lets me read it to him. He loves to help me turn the pages. I hope he always continues to love reading books with me...well, at least while he is little.

Charlie is waving with more purpose now! He will wave when he comes to the sliding glass door, which is where he sees Daddy leave and come back from work. He also waves when we go outside. His waving looks more like a spastic air drumming, or like he is frantically trying to wave something off of his hand. It is hilarious.

He is an amazing sleeper! He sleeps twelve or thirteen hours each night. I usually put him down between 7:30 or 8:00 PM and he wakes up between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. Sometimes he will even sleep in until 9:30 AM! Once he even slept in until 10:00 AM!! I love it! He is so easy to put down. He just finishes his milk and I put him down in the crib. He doesn’t even cry. He usually takes two naps each day that are one to two hours long. He always takes a bottle before going down. He takes eight ounces for naps (and when he wakes up in the morning) and ten ounces at night before bed. Perhaps we should reconsider the night time amount, however, because he is wetting through his PJs almost every other night! It is ridiculous! He doesn’t really like to poke his fingers through the blanket anymore. He likes to have one arm out and to barely brush his hand over the top of the blanket, back and forth. The same thing goes for his mouth, he likes to bring his blanket to his mouth and ever-so gently brush the blanket over his lips as he is falling asleep after finishing his bottle. Our sweet little munchkin!

Charlie is finally eating grapes again! He still won’t eat (or even touch) strawberries or anything with a similar texture. But, he can spoon baby food out of the bowl all by himself. Way to go, Charlie!

Love you, Charlie boy!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Emily The Homemaker

I must have been hungry to create/make things at the beginning of September. Or, it could have been that we had a box of 40 peaches that we couldn’t eat fast enough.

Last year, Nancy came over and taught me how to make freezer jam. She brought the fruit for us to make strawberry and peach freezer jams. They are always a crowd pleaser at family dinners, especially with some warm dinner rolls. So this year, I ventured it alone. It’s weird, it seems like whenever I try to duplicate something (like a family recipe), it never turns out exactly right, but when I make something new I hardly have any issues and it turns out great. I guess it is probably because I don’t have any expectations of what it should look or taste like. Well, anyways, I was relieved that my peach freezer jam turned out just right. Now we are stocked up for another year.

Okay, it must have been the enormous amount of peaches, because within a week later I was at my mom’s house canning peaches. I had never actually canned peaches before, so I was surprised at the lengthiness of the process. Peeling those dang peaches takes a good chunk of time! It is definitely a two person job. I can’t imagine doing it on my own. But thanks to my mom’s help I was able to take home several jars of peaches. They are just so much better than the store bought canned peaches. Definitely worth the time and sticky fingers.

My next project was making a Halloween wreath. My friend, Kylie, invited me and another friend, Stacee, to her house for a craft day. So we brought our kiddos and the materials needed for our wreaths. We each chose a different wreath from Pinterest and had a ball putting them together, eating yummy treats, chatting it up, and watching the kids make a disaster of the house. I wanted my wreath to be cute, but have a spooky theme, so I chose “Nevermore” wreath. I am so happy with how it turned out, the hard part was waiting until October to finally hang it on my door!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hello Fall (We Love You Too)

I realize this may be a little confusing based on the my last post, but I think I’ve decided that fall is my favorite season. It is still pretty warm, the nights are cooler, the leaves change into beautiful colors, and the harvest is at its best. We get to keep on eating homemade salsa, fresh peaches, and corn on the cob! Life just doesn’t get any better. We probably ate close to 100 peaches over the length of the season. We just can't help ourselves, they are so addicting! We love the little peach stands. I am always sad to see summer go, but when fall comes along, we are turning the corner to all of the fun holidays! Oh, and who can forget about school shopping….you don’t have to be in school to need the latest styles, layering items, and boots!

Fall is Fabulous!

Sadly we were about a month late to really appreciate the changing leaves up the canyon. Last year they were out-of-this-world beautiful! I don’t remember them being so vibrant in all of my life. This year, Jason and I came to the conclusion that it was just too dry and the colors never reached their peak before dying and falling off. The mountainside never impressed us enough to take the drive. We kept waiting and waiting, and by the time we got around to take a look, we saw some yellows, but mostly browns and bare trees. It was quite a disappointment.

At the beginning of September, we were happy to welcome Grandpa Banks and Uncle Alan to Utah. They came for a visit and stayed with George and Nancy. We did some fun things as a family. We all gathered for Sunday dinner, which is always a treat. On Tuesday night, we all met up at the Utah State Fair. We had a great time checking out all of the animals, eating the fair food, and admiring Nancy’s second place award winning sunflower. Way to go, Nancy! One afternoon, Grandpa Banks, Uncle Alan, and Nancy came to our apartment for visit. Charlie wasn’t sure about things at first, but he finally came around and was a crack-up. One evening the boys took Alan fishing. They were thrilled that Alan caught a fish….and that Max fell in the river….twice! That is one dedicated and cold fisherman! Saturday morning, we had the traditional breakfast up the canyon. Always peaceful and always tasty. Of course, Jason couldn’t resist putting his fishing line in, which brought cheers from the visitors.

Utah State Fair:

Nancy's 2nd Place Sunflower


Alan and his fish

After the breakfast, Jason and I hurried to Draper to make it to Bryan’s first mountain biking race. Bryan is in ninth grade and is attending the brand new high school, Corner Canyon High School. The high school is literally down the street from my parent’s house. Just a five minute walk. Their mascot is a charger. Originally, the mascot was supposed to be a cougar, but they came up with two problems with that: 1) they didn’t want to be affiliated with BYU, and 2) they found it to be offensive to women (or I should say older women). Can you believe that!!? That is just ridiculous! But anyways, they did an awesome job with the school. It looks like an academy. Just really nice with real, quality work. My mom works there now, too. She works in the copy room. Anyways, Bryan joined the mountain biking team. This came as a surprise to me, as he didn’t show any interest in mountain biking until this last year. Mom and Dad hooked him up with a sweet bike and he has been doing really well! It is awesome to see Bryan being a part of a team and doing something athletic. I think it is wonderful! When we pulled up to the race at Corner Canyon Equestrian Center, I was really impressed with all of the high energy there. There were tents set up for each team, food, and music thumping through the speakers. It was really cool and really fun. I was instantly overwhelmed with feelings of pride for my baby brother! I almost got emotional (so weird), just knowing he was a part of something so great! I remember thinking, “Man, Bryan chose the right sport to join! This is way better than the track meets!” Sorry, Kim and Tyson. They were fun and all, but this was way more exciting! We were blessed with great (almost too hot) weather. The forecast said rain, and we could see some mean storm clouds surrounding us. But the whole time we were there, and Bryan was racing, we stayed warm and dry. We had a blast cheering on Bryan and his team. The ringing cow bells added to the excitement. I was really impressed with the terrain that Bryan was racing on. I definitely do not have the skills required to ride on that stuff...but it is certainly something I want to try now. Corner Canyon came in second place. Way to go, Chargers!

A look at the new school

At the race:

You can see the mean clouds coming in!

Bryan giving it all he's got at the finish line!

Catching his breath

Friday, November 15, 2013

Goodbye Summer!

September officially arrived, and with it closed the door on summer. Luckily we still had many warm days in September, but I was sad to see it go. I had such an amazing season! Probably the best summer I can remember. I know I have mentioned this a couple times recently, but it really has been great being home with Charlie, not working, and taking advantage of the warm sunshine anytime I wanted. You all know that by now, but I felt like the moment deserved special attention.

I hope to always remember the fun times I shared with Charlie this summer. Though it was not his first summer, it kind of felt like it. Charlie was born June 19th, and so last summer we were pretty much boarded up inside all day. Neither of us saw very much of the sun. So this year kind of felt like the first “real” summer. When we weren’t visiting my mom, my Aunt Erin, or Nancy, we were out on adventures. We went to the park probably three times a week. Since Charlie was napping twice a day, we usually went after his first nap around 1:00 PM and left by 3:00 PM. We would usually go to Veterans Park or Discovery Park. Discovery Park was the favorite because it had it great big loop around the big fields and so I would walk Charlie in the stroller around it once or twice, and then head to a shady spot by the playground. Over the span of the summer, it was fun to see him progress from crawling around the grass to walking up and over the wooden step that separates the grass from the playground. I would try to put him in the kiddie swing, but he just hated it. He was always too scared to just relax and enjoy it. Such a sensitive little guy. Sometimes I would put our blanket more in the sun so I could sunbathe while Charlie discovered what was around us. I even read a book a few times.

Veterans Park:

Discovery Park:

If I was feeling more ambitious, I would take Charlie to Seven Peaks. Of course, I would rather have someone go with me and Charlie, but that was rarely an option. So we went on our own. I was nervous the first time, but I was determined to prove to myself that I could do it. And it worked out just fine. The trick was going first thing in the morning, right when it opened. That way you could find a shady spot before the park got packed with people. The Pass of All Passes is great, but everyone else loves it too….so there are way too many people there in the afternoons. The parking is a joke! We would go to the Provo one and would always have to park a few blocks down. It was quite the trek. We would start in the youngest kiddie pool area, and I would help him walk along the edges. By the end of the summer, he wanted to brave the play area, so he would make me walk him up the steps (all the while being blasted with freezing water), up to the slide, and then turn around and walk back down the steps. And then repeat….several times...until I was too cold and had had enough. He would whine while I took him away, but was quickly distracted by walking on the cement. For some reason, he loves the cement. He would choose the cement 100% of the time over the grass. After the kiddie area, we would head to the wave pool. I would try to get him to wade in the shallow area or “jump” over the waves with me, but that would only last a short while, until he wanted to walk to the tiny step to get out of the wave pool area, and then walk back and forth along the step and the cement. There were a couple times when I would get a tube (like when Camry joined us once, and when Jason would come), and he seemed to enjoy pushing it around or standing in the middle of it. When Jason came along, we would go in the lazy river. To our complete shock, Charlie allowed us to sit him in our laps while we floated along the river. There were whiney moments, but for the most part he enjoyed the ride. It was great! When it was just me and Charlie, we would usually leave by 11:30 AM. At that point, we had had our fun and it was time for a nap.

Usually on the weekends, or weeknights when Daddy was home, he would request we go up the canyon. As you saw, we did several BBQ dinners up the canyon, and they were always a treat. But even when we didn’t cook dinner, we had a great time taking walks along the trails while Daddy fished nearby. Some of our favorite places to go were the Timpanogos Trail, Mutual Dell, and South Fork Park. The temperature was just right. We could escape the heat of the valley and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Mutual Dell:

Tibble Fork:

South Fork Park:

For how often we went outside, you would think I would have gotten a better tan. But I guess when you have a baby to look after, you are more concerned that they are not too hot and not getting sunburned than you are about getting a tan.

It was the simplest of summers, and it was the greatest of summers. I know we will have many more to come, but there is just something so wonderful about being able to share it with just one other. I imagine with more kids, it will be fun, but a little hectic. Charlie and I got to take it easy at our own pace. And I just loved that! Of course we did countless other things this summer, but these summarize the typical summer lifestyle for me and the Bubs.

Goodbye Summer! We will miss you tremendously!