Thursday, January 16, 2014

More Hong?

It's 3:52 AM as I go in to Calvin's room. He's been crying, and calling for Mama. We are working on getting from bedtime to morning without waking up, but here he is. I think it's sweet that he calls my name instead of screaming. But still, it's early.

When he sees me, he tells me, "More milk". "Buddy, it's not time for milk. It's time for sleeping. The sun is not shining yet, so it means it's still ni-night time."

His next tactic is, "Up." "No, it's time to be in bed. Mama was in her bed, and Daddy is still in bed. Calvin needs to be in bed too."

Then it quickly moves to "Hug", which we are already doing. "Yes, sweetheart. I'll give you hugs." His hugs involve his whole body snuggling as close to me as possible as I lean down into his arms. Whenever I try to break away, "More Hug." Ugh, melt my heart! I can't say no to that sweetness, even though I know that with every moment I spend out of bed with him, my chances for returning to sleep myself are fading into nothingness.

With assurances of coming to get him when it's morning, when the sun is shining, I try again to get him to lie down in his bed. "Hong?" Normally, 4am is not what I think of as a good time for a concert, but I answer, "OK, buddy. I'll sing you a song".

As he snuggles down with baby Jack-Jack in his arms and a warm flannel blanket over him, I start singing "I am a Child of God", and his sweet little baby voice joins me at the end of every line - "God. Here. Home. And dear." And then it's "Me, guide me. Me. Me find way. Mus' do. Someday."

"More hong?"

"One more song."

Oh baby boy of mine, you are growing up so quickly! I love to hear your sweet thoughts and receive your sweet hugs and kisses. I find it so sweet that when you see your Daddy and me hug, you want to be a part of it too, and ask to come up for family hugs. I love your helping, and your giggles, and your tender heart. I will soak up all the hugs and kisses I can, against a day when you feel too big for such things. Thankfully, that day is not yet.

"Pano and Sing." One of his favorite activities.
(I'm not sure what the towel on his head was for.)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Then... and Now.

 Last Christmas, this is what we were doing:

Making Cookies

Candy canes at the Ward Christmas Party.

Taking walks on cold days.

Playing with the Christmas Tree.

"Finger painting" with oatmeal.

Playing with Christmas presents.

This year, things have changed a bit. Here is what our Christmas looks like now.

Making Cookies.
Playing the piano.
Reading stories (Chicken Soup with Rice).
Playing on the slide.
Cooking "Meatballs for dinner" on his new stove. (Santa came a few days early at our house).
He is growing up, and learning so much, and doing so much. He is one fun kid!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ten [More] Things

Here are a few things about our family this week. I know things are pretty heavily revolving around Calvin - welcome to our life. He is definitely the the main attraction at our house!

Calvin with G.G. and G-pa Ottesen.
  1. We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with family in Santa Rosa. Calvin loved all the attention, and the showering of love from everyone. We all enjoyed yummy food and good conversation.
  2. Calvin's favorite Thanksgiving food was CRANBERRY SAUCE (homemade of course). He ate it straight, with his fingers, and begged for more over and over again. We finally hid it from him while at the table. He also enjoyed turkey and gobbled up the green beans (no surprise there - this boy loves his veggies!)
  3. Calvin was able to identify everyone in the family by name this week. He won G.G. over with his clear and repeated name for her.
  4. We enjoyed a visit with Chris' Grandparents. They are 94 and 91, and we are so lucky to have them around! There is always lively conversation and I think it's wonderful to have Calvin be able to make connections with older family members.
  5. The nativity displays are Calvin's favorite part of Christmas so far. We started our marriage with just one simple handmade wood nativity (Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus) that my sister had made me when I was in college. We now have 7 nativities, all of which have been gifts. They are all beautiful, and I love the reminders of what Christmas is all about. Calvin has been so cute playing with a few that are available to him. He carries them around, and lines them up, and drives his cars around them.
  6. I finished reading Ender's Game. I've read it before, about 20 years ago, and wanted to have it more fresh in my mind in preparation for seeing the movie. We haven't seen it yet, but it's on our list, and when we do, I'll be able to compare it intelligently. I enjoyed reading it again.
  7. There have been lots of new words from Calvin this week. He is quite quick to repeat things, and has started to say several small phrases and expressions. Here are a few: Oh my. Oh dear. Oh no. More please. 
  8. We are big Studio C fans at our house. My sister Elisa first showed it to us, and I had shown some of my favorite sketches with my mom, and we watched a ton this week! All our favorites- Mr. Elkelstone, Shoulder Angel/ Shoulder Devil, Tongue Twisters... who am I kidding? They are all favorites! Lots of laughter! Check out full episodes on BYU TV or find them on You Tube.
  9. He is a really good walker. I needed to run to the store for a few items, and since it was a lovely afternoon, we decided to walk. I brought the stroller, but Calvin started out walking. Well, he walked all the way to the store - 3/4 of a mile! And pushed the stroller the whole way. I put him in the stroller when we got to the store to keep him out of trouble, and he seemed content to ride on the way back home too. I would think so!
  10. We've been decorating for Christmas. At Grandma's house, and again at our house, the tree went up while Calvin was sleeping, so he had a great surprise when he got up the next morning. He loves all the lights on the tree.

We are looking forward to the Christmas season and sharing our traditions with Calvin, and making many new ones! 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ten Things

On our Rainy Day walk, stomping in puddles.
  1. Calvin is talking a lot. He has lots of new words every day, and he is even putting them together in two word sentences: All Day. Red. Wheels. Rain. Mole. A-way (That's his word for garbage, to throw away). Prayer. Ham (pronounced HAHM, as in Green Eggs and Ham). And a lot more!
  2. Everything is a car. Especially bread - toast, scones, whatever is on hand. He bites it into somewhat of a car shape and pushes it around the table. And sometimes with the sound effect "Beep beep".
  3. Speaking of "Beep Beep", he loves walking backwards, and will say "Beep beep" while he does it.
  4. Calvin loves his baby. His little doll has a size 4 diaper on, because all babies wear diapers. He loves to read his truck book to his baby, and when I put him in bed, he wants his baby. He cuddles up to him while he falls asleep. Cutest. Thing. Ever.
  5. This week, Calvin learned his colors. He still wants to call everything "Red", but when asked to get the blue or green boat, he can do it. He also has started spontaneously naming orange objects with his own version of the sign (it looks kinda like PIG but way over on the side of his neck. :). Perhaps this affinity with orange comes from his current favorite fruit?
  6. Calvin loves his DaDa. He goes looking for him even when Daddy is not home. And he calls for him if he feels he needs to be rescued from a diaper change or some other disagreeable thing. 
  7. My boy is facinated by moles. He is very good at finding them - the kind on skin, not the animal. He will name that along with all the other body parts. Eyes, ears, nose, mole... I think he is pretty disappointed he doesn't have one. Just wait, kid.
  8. Calvin loves the rain. He loves watching it in the light of the street lamp, or out the window. He loves reading about it in books. And he loves being in it. We went for a walk hoping it would rain, and though we caught a few drizzles, we had to content ourselves with splashing in puddles and running through piles of leaves. His joy in these discoveries reminds me its the little things that really matter.
  9. He is quite musical. [Insert surprise gasp here.] His favorite form of musical expression is conducting. When we listen to choirs or orchestras, he takes a conductors pose and leads away. And his movements include expressions and phrasing. It's amazing to watch. He also enjoys playing the piano - we play a lot of duets. I've trained him to join me on the treble end of the keyboard.
  10. He loves having Grandma visit. My mom was here for a week, and Calvin loved it (we all did!). She has been gone for several days, but he still goes to the guest room looking for "Ma-maw".
Reading to his baby. I love how his hand is covering baby's eyes!
And a story from this week. Calvin has a wooden rocking horse that used to belong to Chris. It has a leather bridle, and one side of it detached (it was glued on). Calvin became concerned, and kept trying to fix it by holding it in place. When that didn't work, he went to his tool box and got various screws and nuts to try to attach it, and then when that wasn't working, the screwdriver. My mom and I watched him, facinated by his understanding of tools and how they can fix things that are broken. Finally, I cound sense his frustration building over not being able to fix his horse. So I got out the tape and we fixed it together. He even put the tape in place. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Glimpses and Moments

Do you ever wish you could just stop time for a minute and soak in what's happening all around you? I sure do! Every time I watch my little boy conquer something new (and that is at least every day) I just want to have those moments last a little longer. Here's a glimpse of Calvin today.

He signs many words - more, please, thank you (also Mama, they look the same), MILK, yes, Boom (he made that one up himself - a slap on the tummy with both hands), bird, Daddy, Giraffe, fish, elephant, and hat to name a few. He recognizes even more signs.

Calvin loves to draw circles. And he loves wheels. Maybe these are related?

He is very loving. He gives kisses and hugs to Mama and Daddy when asked, and often will do it spontaneously as well.

He waves "hi" and "bye" with enthusiasm.

He gives high fives.

He eats lots of different foods. He loves veggies, pasta, cheese, yogurt, and fruit. He doesn't seem to like eggs. He has a radar for ice cream, cookies, or any other sweet. If you are eating that, you better plan on sharing!

He still nurses quite a bit and pats me lovingly while he eats.

He loves to swing.

He loves to play the piano. When I sit down to play, I know he will be there within seconds, signing please to come up and sit with me to play a duet.

He loves cars, planes, trains, and helicopters - anything that goes! He also loves blocks and legos, and he is building really tall towers all the time.

He is very cautious. He won't step down off a curb (even if it's only an inch or so) unless he has something to hold on to or has practiced it quite a long time.

He walks and runs everywhere (except for the aforementioned curbs or uneven pavement).

He loves being in water, especially running water, like a splash pad or playing in the sprinkler.

Outside is a favorite place. He plays with sticks, looks for rocks, and examines bugs.

He loves his Daddy and is imitating him a lot. He follows Chris around the house copying his every move.

He has a little chair. He likes to go sit on it and then expects a movie to start playing. If it doesn't start (as in, we don't turn it on), he will turn on the TV, go back and sit down, and wait again. When he is watching a movie, he'll get up after about 10-15 minutes and turn the TV off - "I'm ready for something new!" His favorite movies include Bambi and Finding Nemo (we skip the parts where the moms die), Curious George, Horton Hears a Who, Wall-E, Mary Poppins, and The Music Man.

He loves to talk on the phone! He has been grabbing our phones whenever possible and holding it up to his ear, then waving bye bye after a bit. He really likes it when we have a conversation with him.

Calvin loves to wear an apron and help me cook.

He loves to dance. When the music is on, he is movin' and groovin' to it.

When he wants you to go somewhere, Calvin will come up and push you in the direction you are to go.

He loves books and reading. We go to the library often and get lots of books. He likes going to storytime at the library, and seeing the fish there. Some of his favorite books are: Goodnight Moon, Fuzzytail Farm, Thomas the Tank Engine, Nursery Rhymes, I am a Bunny, and Little Pea.

 He loves the zoo. His favorite thing there is the Koi tank. He spends a lot of time watching the fish swim. He also loves the carousel and train, chasing other people's strollers, and meeting new kids.

He is 25 lbs and 32 inches tall. He needs the 18 mo. pants for the length, but some of them just fall off of him - they are way too big around!

He loves singing! There is almost no bad mood that can't be lifted with a rousing round of "Jesus wants me for a Sun-BEAM!", "Give said the Little Stream", or "5 Little Ducks". Shapoopie is also a good one. Too bad I can never sing more than the first couple of lines.

He is a sweet little boy and such a joy in our lives. We are so lucky!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What a Year!

Today is Calvin's 1st Birthday. I've been remembering his birth (all 45 hours of labor!) and the sweet (and difficult) moments we have had with him this year. It's been quite an adventure, that's for sure. But one year has made such a difference in our little boy. He has grown, and learned, and changed so much.

For his birthday, I've compiled a video of this past year. Here is the short version. (I didn't want to assume people would want the 18 minute version online). Enjoy it as you take a trip down memory lane with me!

Calvin is a wonderful boy. Chris and I are so blessed to have him for a son!


Sunday, March 24, 2013


Someday your hand will be big and strong, 
But today it fits in mine.

Someday your world will grow, 
But today it is here with me.

Someday your heart will belong to another, 
But today it is mine.

Someday you will want to leave my side, 
But today you are with me.

I love you, Little.

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