Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Vacation Ends with a Bang

At 3:15a.m. on Saturday on our way to the airport in Phoenix, a buck elk and our minivan collided. We are all ok. Levi was untouched. Lucas and I just have minor scrapes and bruises. Today all the muscles in my body are sore. The paramedics and the police said it was the biggest elk they had ever seen. The experience left us pretty shaken up but grateful that no one was hurt (well, no one aside from the elk). Thank you to the family members who were praying for safe travels for us.

Bye, Bye Vacation

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sedona, AZ

I love Sedona.  We had a great day there and visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross and the Red Rock State Park.   We took the scenic route through the mountains on our way back to Flagstaff and were treated to amazing views.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Grand Canyon

Wow.  The Grand Canyon is amazing.  'Grand' doesn't really begin to describe it.   Every view was hard to believe.   It was really nice to experience it with our family.

Watkapi Ruins

Joel, Kelly, Uncle Chuck, Uncle Bob, Lucas, and I drove out to see the Watkapi pueblo ruins on Monday.  They are 800 year-old remains of home dwellings of the Watkapi tribe.  We learned that the Watkapi are a resourceful people.  It is difficult to stop saying 'Watkapi.'  I'll stop now. Watkapi.  Ok, really, I'm finished.  

We also took a hike around the base of the Sunset Vulcano crater.  The weather and scenery in Flagstaff are so beautiful.  We are really enjoying ourselves.  

Rush Reunion

Over the weekend we gathered in Flagstaff, AZ for the Rush family reunion.  There were around 115 people there.  I kept thinking that I was seeing my mom out of the corner of my eye but when I would turn to look, it would just be one of her many cousins.  How do you like our matching t-shirts?

Levi got into a big pool for the first time and had fun swimming with Lucas.  The kids were great even though the two hour time change really wreaked havoc with their schedules.

After the reunion ended on Sunday we moved into the house that Mom and Dad rented for the week.  It's huge and beautiful and we might just refuse to leave.  

Prom '08

Kelsy celebrated her birthday in style by throwing a prom.  There was fun music and even a picture taking station complete with a cheesy prom background.  We had a good time.  Thanks for the invite, Kelsy!

Check out my cool corsage and Luke subtle boutonniere.  My SIL, Kelly, threw those together for us at the last minute using silk flowers in the basement, hair ties, cardboard, and safety pins.  She can craft quick on her feet, that one.  I attribute this to all the theme parties and dress-up events her family is always throwing.  You never know if the next family bridal shower or Labor Day picnic will be a luau or tex-mex night or 70s disco extravaganza.  On the other hand, a crazy night for my family means staying up an extra hour to watch a Mystery! double feature on PBS.  

Little Friends

As usual, it was fun watching Levi and Addison together.  They were born two days apart and started out at roughly the same size.  That is no longer the case.  Also, he looks even more fair complexioned than usual next to her tan skin.  It's like comparing a weight lifter to a gymnast;  a Swiss national to a Latina beauty queen;  a size Husky to a Petite Miss.

They seemed to get along well except for when Levi kept trying to manhandle her.  Luckily she is pretty quick on her knees.  She didn't hold a grudge though and even let Levi ride in her cool wagon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More Milestones

It was a busy week here at the corner of Baby Street and Home Improvement Avenue. There has been a little more progress made on the master bath and kitchen. The real story though is the milestones that Levi reached all in a matter of a couple days. He now waves, crawls, can feed himself pieces of food, and can get into a sitting position from his stomach. It was amazing to watch those skills come together.

As first time parents we spend a decent amount of time reading books and articles written about babies, their development, their sleeping habits, their eating habits, helpful tips about baby care, funny stories about babies, advice about parenting from doctors, advice about doctors from parents, listings of 101 variations on ‘peek-a-boo’, recommended books for baby, nutritional information for baby, and on and on. Some of the most interesting reading to us, however, is on expected baby milestones.

Of course every baby is different. They develop at their own pace and at their own individual rate. Even so, there are lists of milestones published by doctors and researches that delineate what babies of a certain age are probably up to. Every once and awhile, we co-conspirators in parenting, eagerly read through these. There is always a convivial moment of celebration when we discover that Levi has tackled another one. We say things like, “Remember when all he could do was stare at the couch cushions, all swaddled up like a baby burrito? Now he can ‘bear some weight on legs when held upright’ as well as ‘sit without support’!”

We were aware of the obvious milestones such as sitting, crawling, eating, walking. It turns out, though, that there are milestones we didn’t even know were milestones. For instance: ‘Rake with fingers an object and pick it up in fist’. Also: ‘Turn in the direction of a voice’ and ‘Work to get a toy that’s out of reach’. Who knew? We’re happy for the education because it means more instances of celebration. An only slightly exaggerated conversation:

Amber: Guess what, Honey, today Levi looked for a dropped object!
Luke: That’s great! Yesterday he objected when I tried to take a toy away and said mama and dada indiscriminately!
Amber: Really? I wonder when he will pick up a tiny object with any part of thumb and finger?
Luke: He’s growing up so fast.

We also celebrate milestones that aren’t found in any parenting book. This weekend we realized that we didn’t have to have multiple bibs or a bucket handy at all times to catch our little boy’s drool. He is definitely slowing down the slobber production. Also, his fuzzy little head is getting more and more hair. There’s almost enough to muss up.

What would really be helpful are parenting milestones. Accomplishments like “Remembering the diaper bag when leaving the house”, “Bathing baby without getting water in his eyes”, “Remembering all the words to “Only a boy named David”, “Always knowing where your camera is”, “Know by memory at least four board books,” and “Navigating a spoon full of peas successfully into babies mouth after dodging waving arms and grabby hands”. It would be nice to check things off the parenting milestone list. It would probably feel like you were getting parenting figured out. Until then, we’ll just get a little reassurance and a lot of enjoyment watching Levi tackle his.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Baby's Got the Blues

Oh, cousin Ruby (da duh da duh)
She gave me kisses galore. (da duh da duh)
Haven't seen her since Tuesday. (da duh da duh)
I don't get her kisses no more!
I've got the blues- the baby blues.
I've got the blues- the missing cousin blues.

My gums are aching (da duh da duh)
I just gnaw through the pain. (da duh da duh)
Baby Tylenol is what I'm taking. (da duh da duh)
All I can do is sing this sad refrain!
I've got the blues- the baby blues.
I've got the blues- the terrible teething blues.

I get up on my knees. (da duh da duh)
I rock back and forth on all fours. (da duh da duh)
Everyone else moves as they please. (da duh da duh)
But I'm stuck here on the floor!
I've got the blues- the baby blues.
I've got the blues- the can't-quite-crawl-yet blues.

Levi in happier times...