Thursday, October 28, 2010

Short and Sweet

This picture brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Fun to be One!

I figured that since Talmage is one and it has been a while since I have done one of these "developmental highlights" posts, I would do one. Enjoy!
-At his 12 month doctor's appointment, he weighed in at only 19 pounds, 13 ounces, which puts him in the 10th percentile! His height had also dropped down to the 75th percentile (30.5 inches). However, he is wearing size 5 shoes, and some of those are even a bit small on him. He still has really long feet! He is our little labrador retriever.
-He has become quite the full-blown toddler the last 2-3 months. Temper tantrums and independence battles have become the norm. I try to give him as much independence as possible, but he always seems to be ready to take the next step. Thankfully with his increased ability to communicate the temper tantrums have decreased.
-He still loves books. His other favorite activity is to destroy the house. Seriously, I am amazed at how quickly he can make a perfectly clean house into a perfect disaster! He just runs around emptying cupboards, throwing books/toys all over the place, clearing off shelves, and just generally making a mess. His pediatrician was definitely right when he said he was going to find trouble fast, back when he was just a few months old! He sure is cute about it, though.
-Along with the mess making, he has learned how to help clean up. He loves it when we sing the clean up song with him, and he will go around picking stuff up and putting it away or giving it to me.

-He is talking quite a bit! He can say: amen, Jesus, yeah, please, baby, hot, soft, okay, clean up, Dada, Mama/Mommy, E-I-E-I (as in Old MacDonald), etc. along with a bunch of animal sounds.
-As I touched on before, he is also learning to communicate what he wants much better, which has resulted in a lot less crying. If he wants more milk, he will bring over his empty cup. If he wants to hold something, he will point to it and open and close his hand. If he wants us to pick him up, he will reach his arms up. Things like that are making life a bit easier.
-He is extremely conversational. In various offices, at Church, in the grocery store, etc. he will just go off talking jibberish to anyone and everyone. So many people comment on that trait of his. Yesterday we were in an office and he went around from person to person, talking to each one for a minute or two before moving on to the next. He will also respond to pretty much anyone's questions with his characteristic, "Yeah."

-He can find the sleeve in his shirts/pjs if I hold them up and ask him to put his arm in.
-A couple of months ago he went through this amazing change that literally happened overnight. He loves going to bed now! We go through our little routine, and then I lay him in his crib, wide awake, and he pleasantly stays laying down. He goes to sleep without a peep most nights, and if he does talk/cry, it only lasts a few seconds. Amazing!!!
-He still has just 4 teeth.
-He knows how to be soft and gentle with scriptures and reverent during prayers. He LOVES saying Amen when the prayer is done and usually follows that with clapping or the "SO big" gesture (raising both arms high into the air).
-He drinks SO much! I think he would drink water or milk all day long if it was always readily available.
-He loves cars, trucks, motorcycles, power tools, etc. He loves to help me with cooking and chores around the house, and has actually overcome his fear of the food processor for the most part. At least it doesn't make him sob anymore!
-He loves playing with Daddy most, but goes to Mommy for comfort or when he gets hurt. Isn't that just the way it goes with kids?
-He wants to do everything like an adult. This means that if I give him a bath he tries to climb out of the tub--he must have showers. At first I would hold onto his arm so he didn't slip and fall, but he soon began shoving my arm away, so now I just sit on the edge of the tub, ready to catch him if he slips. He just stands under the water, letting it pour over him! Most of the time he doesn't even want to play with his bath toys while he is showering.
-That also means he likes to walk up the stairs, one foot per stair. Of course he isn't big enough to do that on his own yet, so I hold onto his arms, but it still strikes me as so funny!

-He loves pushing buttons. I let him sit at the piano and play (it's a digital piano), but he doesn't pound the keys very much...he just messes around with all the buttons! He also loves pushing the number keys on cell phones, playing with the buttons on the alarm clock, etc.
-He is very social. He loves other kids his age or a little older, and he is extremely delighted and fascinated by little babies. He just stares at them with a huge grin on his face or gently rubs them. He also loves my piano students--especially the 10ish year old boys. He has a thing for preteen boys. He is always trying to get them to play with them and tries to climb on their lap while they are playing the piano. He is such a boy!! It is so funny.
-He loves clapping his hands and tossing it in the oven for Pat-a-Cake.
-He loves it when the missionaries come over for dinner and puts on a silly show for them. He brings his toys over and tries to put them in their backpacks, tries to rip Preach My Gospel right out of their hands mid-lesson, and is just all around silly, which makes it kind of hard for them to concentrate on the lesson they're trying to teach!
-We LOVE this boy! Each day is such a joy with him in our lives!

P.S. I have been listening to this a lot lately! If you click on that link, it will take you to a website which plays his latest CD over and over again. I have just been leaving the website pulled up because the music is SO beautiful! Someday I'm going to learn to play the violin and Sam is going to learn how to play the cello...maybe only in our dreams, but hopefully it will be a reality at some point!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cute Stuff

Well, I'm getting close to being caught up. Here is yet another random collection of pictures!
Talmage loves biting his finger puppets! He always gets this big smile on his face when he bites them.
Begging for something...I don't think he realizes his manipulative power just yet. I'm in trouble when he does.
He loves his book Grandma Sue made for him!
We got to go to the Texas Special Olympics swimming meet and see a couple in our ward compete! Talmage was completely intent on the swimmers.
All together watching the swimming!
Adoring his usual.
I love a good morning face!
The happy/sleepy combo is just too cute.
He is obsessed with "clicky" pens lately...he loves walking around clicking them. Today I found pen scribbles all over the windowsill in our room, though, so it looks like I'm going to have to either monitor him more closely when he has them or not let him play with them.
Eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Life is good.
"Are you sure about that, Mom?"
I'm not sure what was going on with his smile here...but it's just TOO CUTE, whatever it is!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Model Train Expo

About a week and a half ago, Sam and I went to a model train expo for our date! Creative, huh? I love his surprises! It was held in this convention center:

There were huge model train sets everywhere! There were also a lot of rather old men. I guess people get pretty into model train collecting as a hobby. It was interesting to see!
Mount Rushmore above the train tracks
Afterward, we walked through a beautiful park across the street from the convention center. There was a nice pond with lilypads and other beautiful things spread throughout.

It was such a fun, unique date!

Bugs...The Story of my Life

Many of you know about the cockroach issues that led us to our new house. (By the way, the problems escalated GREATLY after that post...) Anyway, we have been loving our new house. And the roach problem is essentially gone, thankfully. We were terrified we would bring it with us! We had to search everything thoroughly, wash every dish, and throw a lot of stuff away when we moved. So things have been great. However, we have had a few bug troubles that I thought deserved to be shared.
First, we wanted to get our new house sprayed before we moved in so that any roaches that tagged along would die upon arrival. Thankfully, an exterminator lives in our ward, and he kindly came and sprayed a few days before we moved in. Because our house is brand new--we are the first ones to live in it--there were a lot of bugs from digging up the lot. Additionally, it sat empty for a few months before we moved in, so the bugs went crazy. "You have a LOT of fire ants," he informed me. "And a LOT of spiders, and a LOT of wasps." Thrilling, right?
So he went through the empty house, spraying as he went, and checking out the bugs he found (thankfully there weren't many inside). The biggest horror came when he found a brown recluse spider in the garage. I worriedly asked him if those could kill Talmage, and he said he wouldn't say they couldn't, but they would probably just make him really sick.
But he pulled out his power sprayer, sprayed the garage with bug spray, and told me to call him if things got bad. I was very relieved that although we have a few spiders every now and again in the corners, the ants and the wasps in our backyard have really decreased.
So on to story number two. Our washer, which was purchased off of Craigslist and conveniently broke after a few loads of laundry, came from a house kind of in the country. There were these strange little red spider-type bugs all over the place, but they only had six legs. They seemed harmless, seeing as how there were two children running around barefoot and there were literally thousands of these bugs all around. We brought the washer to the new house, put it in the garage until we moved in about a week later, hauled it upstairs, hooked it up and...then a bunch of these little red spider bugs ran out all over the washer! I would do a load, kill all of the bugs that came out, and then repeat the process. Very strange.
We also got our refrigerator off of Craigslist. I love Craigslist so much, but buying big things off of it is always a bit risky. So our fridge had a horrible smell in it when we bought it, but I figured I could just bleach it and everything would be ok. It also appeared that a loaf of multi-grain bread had exploded in it! There were crumbs everywhere! Well, as I began cleaning, I discovered that these "crumbs" were actually some sort of...weevil? I'm not really sure. But they were shoved into every nook and cranny of the fridge. I spent about 10 hours cleaning it! It involved disassembling the ice maker, removing all the shelves and individual components of the fridge, and using a lot of bleach and hot water. Here are some pictures of the bugs...anyone know what they are? They really don't look like weevils up close. At least not the kinds I saw online!

One night we were in our room and I spotted movement on the ceiling. I looked up and started screaming, "Tree roach! Tree roach! Tree roach!" One of the BIG roaches had crawled out of the attic, somehow squeezed out of the door, and was sitting up there. Sam expertly smashed it with a shoe, and we haven't seen one since.
We are certainly having a great time living here in Houston, but goodness, these bugs take some getting used to! :)

A Project

I accidentally ended up with these barstools due to a strange combination of events involving a garage sale, a toy phone, and 10 dollars. I wasn't a fan of how they looked, and they smelled awful! I have also been wanting to update our table and chairs for a while, so this provided the perfect motivation. So 16 cans of spray paint (glad they were only 94 cents! I had no idea it would take that much!), a bottle of varnish, some discounted fabric and a bunch of other stuff later instead of this...
and this...
we have this...
and this!
So fun!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bayou Bend Gardens

I forgot to blog about our little excursion we took to Bayou Bend Gardens in Houston! My sister Breanne came down in August, right after we moved, and brought us another car! She generously took a week of her two week break between summer term and fall semester to drive the car (thanks, Mom and Dad!) down to us, take a day trip to check out a graduate program at UT-Austin, and hang out with us for a few days! We decided to go find these gardens. It was a bit tricky getting there, but well worth getting lost and having to stop and ask for directions...twice. Beautiful gardens in the middle of skyscrapers really are a neat thing. They have a way of making you feel like you are in your own little sanctuary. The gardens were gorgeous, and we were even informed that we had come at the time of year they were the ugliest. Sam and I are anxious to take a trip back in March (he unfortunately had to be at his lab when we went), because I was told that is when they are the prettiest and all the flowers are in bloom.
In order to come in, we had to cross a long, swaying bridge suspended over Buffalo Bayou. I love those kinds of bridges!

Just so there's no ambiguity here, all of the statues were fully clothed.
You should zoom in on this picture and look at Talmage's face! Just nonchalantly sticking out his tongue...
I'm not sure why, but he was really into sticking his tongue out that day.
Excited about the stick he found!
And yes, he is the king of funny faces. As I review pictures from the time he was born up until now, it is just funny face after funny face (many of which I haven't posted)! I love them!
Bending down to pick something up...
Showing me what he found...
And of course trying to eat it!
The gardens were full of charming little details

It was so great to have Breanne visit us again! And I have loved being able to go places with Talmage! Life is so much easier now that I have a way to get things done that I need to. It is amazing to be able to do grocery shopping (instead of sending Sam at 10:00 at night on his way home or something), go to the post office, go to the bank, and run all of the other errands that are hard to get done when you have no way to get there during business hours! And Talmage is so much happier to have a change of environment when we run our errands. Thanks to everyone who made that possible!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Day at the Park

A couple of weeks ago when Talmage was so sick, I took him to the park to get him out of the house. His fever got above 103, and he was pretty miserable there for a while. He had a great time at the park even though he was feeling rotten. Just look at his eyes in these pictures! He looks so sick.

Talmage is our fearless little man (except when it comes to the food processor). I set him on the slide, took this picture, and before I went to help him down, he had scooted himself off the edge and slid down all alone.
He was very excited about his independence. And the rocks at the bottom of the slide, which he is showing me here.
Most of my time after he was out of the swing was spent trying to prevent him from eating gravel and getting him to spit out the rocks that did end up making it into his mouth.
He's looking so old lately.

His hair is getting quite long...but it's still wispy and thin. Gotta love the lovely hairdos the wind creates!
It sure is nice to have a huge park within walking distance of our house!
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