Wednesday, November 28, 2007
original things that they were thankful for this year, but a family protest brought him down to five, and everyone participated in the little tradition. That night we played poker and spoons and laughed quite a bit for an excellent conclusion to our first Thanksgiving in our own home :).
The day after Thanksgiving, we did a little shopping, though I didn't buy anything. I have never been shopping on Black Friday before, and I don't plan to do it again anytime in the future. It was a little frightening to see our little mall so transformed into a swarm of greedy, hurried people. Some stores were so full that I couldn't even get the stroller in the door, and the check-out lines were atrocious. That night after Marcus got off work, we drove the three hours to Marc's brother's house in Melbourne Beach and spent another day with family there. Caleb had a lot of fun running around Mike & Gigi's huge house with his cousin Chase, and then later on a bike ride to the park with his dad. By the time we got home late Saturday night, I was exhausted from over a week of traveling, cleaning, cooking, and traveling some more, but I didn't regret any of it :).
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
We went to three costume-clad gatherings on Halloween this year: First, at 10 am, we went to a local place called O2B Kids where one of my friends is a member, so we were able to get in and participate in their baby class and Halloween party for free. Caleb enjoyed the puppet show and singing, as well as playing in the large play area. I didn't let him have any candy at the party because it was just before his nap, but he found the other costumed kids to be pretty fascinating.
The second place we went for Halloween is a local extravaganza called "Boo at the Zoo". The local teaching zoo goes all out, decorating the entire walkway through the zoo with Halloween paraphernalia and college students dressed up as everything from zombies to Disney princesses. Caleb was actually more interested in the real animals in their habitats than all the Halloween stuff, but I was very impressed with how much work goes into this community production each year. Caleb was also fascinated with the five M&M's I gave him during "Boo at the Zoo" (which ended up being the sum total of his Halloween indulgences, since the next party was at bedtime).
Our final Halloween party was our church-sponsored "Trunk or Treat." Apparently this is a popular and rather common church endeavor during Halloween, but I'd never heard of it until this year. Church members park their highly-decorated cars in the parking lot in an enclosed rectangle. Then they plant themselves behind their cars and pass out candy to young tricker-treaters. This set-up is especially attractive to parents of toddlers because walking from car-to-car is much easier than walking from house to house; plus there are no streets involved and toddlers can roam freely from one side of the enclosure to the other. Even though it took place from 7-8 pm and was therefore past his bedtime, Caleb loved seeing all of his friends and their parents in costume. Though he would never say anything close to "Trick or Treat", he thoroughly enjoyed selecting candy from each hand-out basket and placing it decorously into his plastic pumpkin. It never occurred to him to inquire after that candy after Halloween, and Mommy and Daddy have been indulging themselves for the past few days. I'm sure we will not be so lucky next year :).
Saturday, October 20, 2007
1. Who is your man? Dr. Marcus M. Wagner (the doctor thing is still new enough that I think its super fun!)
2. How did you meet? We probably saw each other for the first time in Athens, Greece in the fall of 1999 because our two study abroad groups spent a week there together, but the first meeting we remember is at a Bible study at Michael Lincoln's house in Searcy, Arkansas (January of 2000).
3. How long have you been together? We started dating in May of 2000, when we were both 20, so about 7½ years now.
4. How long did you date? We dated for two years and were engaged for four months.
5. How old is your man? He is 27 and he will turn 28 next month.
6. Who said "I love you" first? Two pregnancies have so addled my brain that I can’t remember for sure, but I’m 90% certain that he told me he loved me in a letter.
7. Who is taller? Definitely Marcus…6’3” to my 5’6”.
8. Who sings better? I used to, but my singing voice has declined since I'm no longer in choir or singing as regularly as I used to. I guess we're about even now.
9. Who is smarter? Again, I used to think I was, but four years of medical school has definitely given Marcus the edge in that arena, though we both still have our areas of expertise where we are inclined to defer to the other.
10. Whose temper is worse? We both lose our temper a little too easily in our own “pet peeve” areas, though we’ve learned to control that better in our five years of marriage.
11. Who does the laundry? I always do the laundry, though sometimes I leave Marcus's clean laundry folded in a basket for him to put away. Other times I just put it away myself.
12. Who takes out the garbage? I do. I empty all the little trash cans throughout the house and put the trash in the bin, and then roll it out to the curb on Wednesday mornings. Sometimes Marcus rolls the empty bin back to the side of the house.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I sleep to Marcus’s right, though that has switched several times during our marriage.
14. Who pays the bills? I do. I like paying the bills and keeping records in Money, and I have more time, so Marcus lets me do it.
15. Who is better with the computer? Marcus is way better with his Mac, but I am just as good if not better on the PC.
16. Who mows the lawn? Marcus. He also waters the grass and fertilizes, trims the shrubs, and takes care of almost all the outside chores.
17. Who cooks dinner? If anyone does, it’s me. Lately because of this second bout of morning sickness, Marcus has been scrounging for himself (poor boy), but usually I cook dinner.
18. Who drives when you are together? Marcus. I don’t like driving, particularly at night.
19. Who pays when you go out? Whoever isn’t entertaining or cleaning up Caleb at the moment.
20. Who is most stubborn? We’re both pretty stubborn about our opinions, but I’m more stubborn about day-to-day decisions, especially when the decision has anything to do with Caleb’s safety.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I am very quick to admit that I am wrong as soon as I see that I am wrong, but Marcus thinks it takes me too long to see it.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? I think we definitely see Marcus’s family more, since we’re in school in his home state and both of his parents and all of his siblings live here. Sometimes Marcus tries to argue that we see my family just as much, because during our 1-2 trips a year to see them, we usually stay a full 2 weeks, but I have no doubt that even if we broke it down to hours spent together, the scale would tip totally on the Wagner side.
23. Who kissed who first? I confess, it was definitely me, though after the first millisecond, we were both very involved in it :)
24. Who asked who out? That’s kind of a long story, but lets sum it up with the fact that Marcus pursued me in a variety of creative ways for about four months before we actually went on a date.
25. Who proposed? Marcus.
26. Who eats more? Definitely Marcus, though I give him a run for his money in my third trimester.
27. Who is more sensitive? Definitely me.
28. Who has more friends? Me. I keep in regular contact with several close friends from college and keep up sporadically with dozens more, plus I have my close group of girls here in Gainesville. Marcus is content with keeping in touch with his best friend from college, occasionally doing things with the guys at church here, and spending time with his family.
29. Who has more siblings? Marcus, who has one brother and two sisters. I have an older half-brother and a younger brother.
30. Who wears the pants in the family? We both wear pants a lot. I only wear skirts on Sundays, and Marcus never wears skirts.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
We are around other 18-months-old who are more verbal than Caleb and have larger spoken vocabularies, but two months ago he hardly said anything, so we are happy that he is making progress. His favorite word, which he acquired during a disagreement with his 2-year-old friend Noah during our trip to Destin, is "NO". He almost always says the word very emphatically with a tone of, "What made you ask such a ridiculous question?" It really doesn't matter what the question is, the answer is "NO" 95% of the time.
"Do you want to take a bath?" (Caleb loves baths.) "NO!"
"Do you want to eat some grapes?" (Grapes are his favorite food.) "NO!"
"Do you want to go to the store with mama?" "NO!"
"Will you share your train with mama?" "NO!"
"Can mama help you read that book?" "NO!"
"Do you want to watch TV?" "Dah! Dah!" (his word for "yes")
And such is the usual pattern of our conversations. The only question that consistently gets a "yes" is the TV. Anything else could go either way, but the scales are definitely in favor of a negative. I've learned that if I really want him to do something, I'd better tell him that we're going to do it rather than give him an option!
In spite of this burst of vocal independence, Caleb has actually become more affectionate and cuddly lately. He often comes up and gives me a spontaneous hug or kiss, and sometimes just wants me to hold him while he lays his head on my shoulder. He hasn't done that (without being sick or tired) since he could hold his head up! Yesterday, we were at an outdoor Christian concert in Clearwater and Caleb was in an exceptionally affectionate mood. He was sitting on my lap facing me, and he kept hugging me, then kissing me, and then saying "my mama!" I would respond in kind with "Mama loves Caleb!" We went through this routine five or six times, and then he hugged me very tightly and said "Wuv mama!" It was truly priceless.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
So here are some of the fun things that have happened in our lives in the past six weeks: Our anniversary was on Aug 31st, and I surprised Marcus by arranging for his mother to keep Caleb for the night and took him to Orlando for Arabian Nights and an overnight stay in a beautiful Hilton Garden Suite. The best part is that the whole thing only cost $25! I got a big discount on the Arabian Nights tickets and the hotel was free because my dad let us use his Hilton points. We had a great evening together, and thoroughly enjoyed our first opportunity to sleep in together since Caleb was born. (This was the first time we'd left him overnight.)
After our anniversary, we spent a few days at the beach at Marcus's brother Mike's new house in Melbourne Beach, Florida. Mike & his wife Gigi recently bought a beautiful house just a block from the beach, so we had a great time staying with them, swimming in their pool, and taking daily walks to the beach or the park near their house. Caleb had a lot of fun with his 2 1/2 year old cousin, Chase. This was the first time the two have been together and actually played together (rather than just tolerating each other's presence). They would run back and forth along the cat walk that overlooks the downstairs living and dining rooms, squealing and laughing, for long periods of time. They had fun together in the pool as well, though Chase, being older and wiser, was more apprehensive about the dangers of the water. We had to stay very very close to Caleb because he would literally just jump into the pool anytime he felt like it, regardless of whether or not anyone was there to catch him or help him swim. He went all the way under several times, but it didn't seem to phase him. Hopefully he'll gain some sense before we go again.
After our four days in Melbourne Beach, we spent one night at home and then drove to Destin to join three other families from church for a beach house vacation. This is the third year that we have done this trip, and it has always been a lot of fun. This year was different because the Peters' family was not able to come and because the Westfall's joined us for the first time. In some ways, this year was probably more challenging because all seven of the kids were old enough to need instruction and discipline, while last year the four youngest were just babies. With seven children who are all able to initiate conflict at any time, we did spend more time refereeing than we have in the past. Also, with all the kids being toddlers and preschoolers, it was a little harder to have whole families sleeping in the same room (i.e. it was harder to get them to sleep at bedtime). On the other hand, the weather was beautiful this year and I don't think we had any rainy days (maybe one rainy morning). The beach was not crowded at all and the kids had more fun at the beach this year than they have in the past. The "big boys" (Luke, Carson & Noah) were more creative with their play in the sand and braver in the water, and the little ones were just happy to be walking around and exploring everything independently (as opposed to on Mommy's lap or on a blanket like last year). Overall, it was a very enjoyable four days at the beach, and we are already looking forward to next year!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I'm definitely getting discouraged by how much he's been sick. I'm becoming somewhat of a germ-a-phobe. I carry hand sanitizer everywhere and use it on both Caleb and I frequently. We don't go to the park or the mall play area any more, and he's rarely around other children except at church activities. After the bad virus, Marcus finally agreed to start showering every day when he comes home from the hospital, just in case he was bringing home the bugs. But even after all of these precautions, Caleb has come down with something again today. He has a fever and a runny nose, and I can only hope that it doesn't get worse like it did the last four times.
I've talked to some other moms about how much he's been sick, and mostly what I hear is "some kids just don't have strong immunities." I know that is true, but it just seems odd that Caleb would go from having very adequate immunities and hardly ever getting sick to being sick all the time. I just hope that he outgrows this proclivity toward getting sick sooner rather than later b/c it is very depressing to have to miss out on so much of life because of chronic sickness. I haven't been to church or play group in 6 weeks, and I've only made it to Wednesday night prayer group twice during that time! And Caleb is definitely missing out on social time as well. Even if I was willing to take him out sick, I would quickly lose all of my friends if I insisted on bringing my sick child around their healthy ones :)
I am grateful that he was well for almost a whole week after the vomiting virus, and so we got to go to two birthday parties last Saturday. Most of the more recent pictures were taken at those parties and during the week he was well. That's also probably where he caught what he has right now, since its the only time he's been out, but we did get some GREAT pictures :)
Monday, February 19, 2007
A few days ago he started signing "more", and he signs "more" every time his food is gone. The first time I kept giving him more b/c I was so happy that he was signing, but now I just have to distract him when he's had enough, or he might just eat all day! I still do baby sign language with him regularly. I sign "up", "please", "all done", "open", "drink", "eat", "diaper" and a few others. For me, the purpose of signing is so that I can expect him to communicate some basic wants/needs without the whining that he uses now. When the baby gate closes right in front of him, instead of whining and crying, he can learn to say "open". Well, so far, all he has picked up on is "more", but I'm told that signing takes off more after a year. He DEFINITELY understands a lot of words, phrases and questions that he hears a lot, and I know he understands from his strong reactions every time he hears them. "Do you want to go outside?" sends him running to the front door. "Are you hungry?" sends him whining all the way to the high chair (as if he just realized he's starving). He also responds immediately to "Take a bath?" "Want some milk?" "Where's Dadda?" "Watch TV?" "Turn on the light" and "See the dogs?" "Time to change your diaper?" sends him whining and running, and "I'm gonna get you!" makes him laugh so hard he can barely walk.
He repeats the sounds that we make, particularly the initial sound "Ba" for "ball", "Da" for "dog", "ba-ba" for baby... you get the general idea, but doesn't have any words that he consistently uses to label the same thing. He does say "da-da", but he calls many things and many people "da-da" with only a slight but distinct preference for calling Marcus "da-da". I haven't heard any form of "ma-ma" from him since he was babbling at 5-months and then completely gave up the "mm" sound for months.
It is so much more fun to spend time with him now that he understands so much and is able to communicate some on his own. The downside is that wilfulness (on his side) and discipline (on mine) has entered our relationship, and that makes everything a little more stressful. My only sadness is that one year is almost over and I truly can't believe that he is becoming a little boy instead of my baby. If his independence at 11-months makes my heart ache, what will I do when he's a teenager??????
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Caleb started crawling at 6 1/2 months, and since then his personality has blossomed. So many options opened up for him once he could crawl: instead of just playing with whatever toy I put in front of him, he was able to choose any toy in the room. And he didn't limit himself to just toys, either! With the realization of his power to choose came the realization that many other things in his environment could be altered to please him, if he would just assert his new-found control. He wanted to touch and explore everything in sight, and he often threw a bonafide temper tantrum when he was denied what he was pursuing, be it Daddy's soda or Mommy's cell phone or the dogs' medicine. His fits at this age were (and still are) just incredibly adorable, and I really have to fight to keep from laughing when he throws them. His face contorts into the most injured expression imaginable, his bottom lip protrudes and quivers, and he wails. Often he adds to the dramatic moment by throwing himself forward onto the floor and wailing with his face buried in the carpet, with an occasional glance up to make sure that his audience is still there. For those of you who may be worrying that I enjoy his fits a little too much and may be encouraging them--fear not. What is cute in my living room is embarrassing elsewhere, and I have not once ever given in to one of his little tantrums. Alas, my consistency seems to be working and the adorable little pity parties are getting shorter and less frequent. I really hope I can get one on camera before they cease to be this cute...