Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Plunge

Heather and her sister-in-law Wendy have started an annual event.  We got to join in the festivities this year.  Luckily, I was excused from the obligatory plunge since I recently had a baby.

Isn't he such a handsome baby?  I love his little cowboy boot socks.  Time will tell if he likes cowboy stuff as much as his daddy did as a kid.

Before The Plunge, we all gathered in the picnic area and had a barbecue.  Terral and Jaymon decided the trees were begging to be climbed.

Then, of course, one of the trees became a challenge course.  Quite a few people got in on the action.
Ethan got a little Grandma time in while Terral played around and I ate.  Uncle Chris is making Ethan's squish face even squishier in this picture.
Finally it was time for the hike!  Ethan eventually fell asleep, but he started out quite alert.  Terral said it was so fun to see him take it all in.

Here we are coming upon the plunge spot.  It was a little colder than we had hoped it would be (more than 10 degrees colder than our previous trip to St. George), but everyone was glad that the sun came out to play.
I wasn't quite fast enough to catch Chris's plunge, but  I love the shaft of sunlight lighting his splash.

Coby and Chaco trying to rescue Chris

Jaymon about to take the plunge



Terral doing a flip

Kade copying ; )

Ethan and I still nice and dry

The following is my favorite picture.  I was trying to get the steam rising off of Terral and McKade's shoulders, but I ended up getting almost all of the siblings quietly warming up their freezing bodies.  It's too bad Erin was just out of the frame.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Crazy, I know. :)  I enjoyed the hike and soaking in the sun whenever it was available.  After the last plunge, the sun quickly went behind the cliffs and the temperature dropped.  Our hike out was a lot faster than the hike in.

We were pretty glad to get out of the cliffs' shadow and make the drive home to a nice warm bath.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blue Jeans

I started working on a pair of pants for Ethan two evenings ago.  Even though it really wasn't a very big project, between being busy with baby stuff and accidentally sewing the legs together as the crotch, it took me a few days to complete.  I'm rather pleased with the way they turned out, since I made my own pattern from an existing pair of pants.  I've never done anything like that before.

Ethan's new blue jeans were practice in preparation for making some pants for his blessing outfit.  I salvaged the material from some of Terral's old jeans, which I think adds all kinds of sentimental (and practical!) value. :D

I was definitely glad I decided to do a practice pair before I tackled the blessing pants, because I learned a few things.  Next time I will make them a little wider.  Even though these do fit him, they're a little difficult to get on because they don't stretch all that much.  Also, I learned that when you are adding extra length to the bottom, you probably shouldn't continue the taper.  Yeah, it sounds like common sense now.  Luckily, I didn't taper them too much, or I wouldn't have been able to make the cuff, which I think gives the pants a bit of character.
 The lovely afghan was made by Ethan's Great Grandma Henke.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I remembered a couple other little things I wanted to have on record.  I probably won't ever be this detailed about future children's growth, but Ethan gets all our first-time parent mistakes, so it all evens out in the end, right?  Er, right.  Anyway, I have the luxury of being able to now, so here goes.

I was so sad to see some of Ethan's hair go because it was SO soft.  Seriously silky smooth.  I loved to just stroke it.  His bald little head wasn't nearly as fun to stroke.  Now that his hair is growing back, stroking is again quite enjoyable.

When his head was still so little, cupping my hand on it took be back to that moment when he was crowning.  Amazing.

Ethan is getting quite good at grabbing things.  Not deliberately picking something out and grabbing it, but reaching out and gripping whatever happens to be close enough.

He has taken to "hugging" me.  I love it!  He'll wrap his arm around me when he's nursing or when I hold him up to my shoulder.  It makes cuddling with him that much better. 

Yesterday, he and I snuggled almost all day.  I wanted to do some badly needed cleaning, but I just could not get enough of him.  And I was tired, so we took a nice nap together.  I really haven't done that often with him.  I intended to, because I know I probably won't be able to do it with the next one, but most of the time I don't really feel like I need it, or else I'm trying to get stuff done.  I said foo to that yesterday and just enjoyed the fun side of mommyhood.

We introduced a binky to him last week when he turned six weeks.  I was so torn about giving him a binky, but we decided to just try it.  He took it.  I was a little surprised by how well he did with it actually.  He hasn't taken it since that night.

On my first Sunday back in Primary (that would be two Sundays ago), Terral stayed home with Ethan.  Ethan did take a bottle while I was gone, which worked out nicely.  I still have really mixed feelings about going to church.  It's hard, but afterward I always think, "That wasn't so bad."

Ethan is nursing a lot, which is quite understandable when you think about how much he has grown.  During this six-week growth spurt, he has been nursing pretty much every hour, except at night.  He is sleeping pretty well.  He usually has a long stretch from midnight to about 3 or 4.  A couple nights  ago he almost went five hours!  Then he'll wake up, nurse for a few minutes, then sleep again for a couple hours.  It's fairly consistent now.

I'm much more aware of how often he is nursing now because one of my friends gave me a nursing bracelet that helps you keep track of those kinds of things.  I kept meaning to write down his schedule to make it easier when I start teaching private lessons again, but I have yet to do that.  The bracelet i making it easier to at least take mental notes.

Yes, Sir, That's my Baby

Well, I hardly even know what to write about.  I've written so many little posts in my head, but obviously not much has made it to press.  So I think this will just be a conglomerate of whatever comes to mind.

First off, since Ethan turned a month old, he went bald, grew eyelashes, got baby acne, and started smiling and using his voice more frequently.  I love it when he uses his voice.  It makes the very innermost part of you go "awe!".  So cute.  By using his voice I mean noises that aren't crying or grunting.  I'm pretty sure he is the gruntin'est baby there ever was.  Terral calls him Grunts.  This has evolved into Sir Grunts-a-Lot, I not a Runt/Gwunt! (*flashback to Toddler Terral saying "I not a Nort!"), and Mister Grunts.  Of course, he's Mister Something-or-other a lot these days: just plain Mister, Mister Mister, Mister Cute Stuff (*sing* who do you think you are?), and so on and so on.  Sorry--I digress.  The point is, he has a lot of nicknames that change on whim.

Ethan has inherited quite a bit from his dad.  People comparing him to animals, for one thing.  When he was just a week old, one of my friends said he looked like a turtle(!), and the comparisons have only continued from there.  For the record, she did qualify that she meant it in a good way.

Ethan also has Terral's blue eyes, random long hairs, and ability for making awesome faces.  I have yet to capture some of my favorite faces on camera--particularly the one I call Stretchy Face.  I know it sounds funny, but he makes it when he stretches, and that's just what came to my mind.  By the way, I just love when he stretches.  It's so stinkin' cute!  He stretches every which way like he can't get enough of it.  He arches his back, stretches way up tall, puts his little fists by his face, lifts his eyebrows, scwunches his mouth, and basically experiments with moving his body however he can--all the while making grunting noises.

I have gotten a couple of his very expressive expressions on camera.  This face is what he makes when he first is lowered into the water at bath time. (taken 2/9/2011)
Cracks me up every time.  (Is that mean?  Don't worry--we do our best to help him feel safe and secure.  It's a fleeting face.)  By the way, he still seems to enjoy bath time quite a bit.  It's his special time with dad every night.

This is a variation of Whistle Face.  He usually makes this one when waking up. (1/28/2011)

Here are a couple of smiles from the same day.  The second one is almost one of his Buddha Smiles.

He makes a lot of faces.  And I love it.  Let's face it (seriously no pun intended--I didn't even notice I did that at first), I just love everything about this kid, and I can't get over how cute and amazing he is. (Not that I would want to.)  The miracle of life just blows me away.

Ethan has been strong from the get go, and of course he is just getting stronger as he grows.  Here is a prime example of his strength in holding his head up while hanging out with dad at work. (2/10/2011)

So, remember how I said Ethan went bald?  That's another thing he apparently inherited from his father.  Most babies get a bald spot on the back of their head, right?  As far as I know, anyway.  Our little guy went bald on the top of his head, like an old man.  He had a nice fringe of hair all the way around, but nothing on the top.  Luckily, it's growing back now.

Okay, I think I will end this long post with one more random fact.  I discovered a birthmark on Ethan a few days ago.  I mean besides the stork bites, which he has on his forehead and the back of his neck.  It's just a little one on his left leg.  You can barely see it in this picture. (2/9/2011)

I lied.  I want to post one more picture that I took just to record Ethan in his cute diapers. (1/18/2011)
I'll admit that we weren't too sure about cloth diapering at first, but it made a lot of sense to us, particularly for financial reasons, so we took the plunge and invested.  It does have a few drawbacks, but overall we really like it.  Maybe I'll write more about that sometime.  For now, I will bid you adieu. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Hike

I was pretty excited to go to St. George for our six week appointment.  I always thought St. George was the kind of place it's nice to visit on a rare occasion, but I'm kind of addicted after our frequent prenatal  visits.

Our appointment went really well.  I was sad to realize that we won't be seeing our midwife on a regular basis anymore.  We built a pretty good relationship over the course of my pregnancy.  Before we left, she made sure to introduce Ethan to the rest of her family.  It's always gratifying when other people seem to think he's as cute as we do. :)

Ethan is still growing at an amazing (to me) rate.  His six weeks measurements are 11 pounds 4 ounces and 22 inches.  He'll be double his birth weight in no time! He is definitely in the middle of a growth spurt.  It was a lot more difficult to travel with him this time because he wanted to eat every 40 min to an hour and he got really upset if he didn't get it right away.  Next time I'll bring my pump and a bottle so we don't have to keep pulling over.

After the appointment, we had our usual visit with Heather and Chris, which is a large reason for my addiction.  We had a little barbecue with them, then we decided to go to Snow Canyon for a little hike.  I had never been there before, but Terral has told me about how much he loved going there as a kid before it was made into a state park.  We probably would have gone before now except that we're really cheap and prefer going places we don't have to pay to get in.  Fortunately, Heather and Chris have a state parks pass.

Beautiful Snow Canyon
Hiking makes somebody sleepy

Ethan did well on the hike.  He slept almost the whole time.  I also did well, but I didn't sleep at all. ; ) I wasn't sure how much hiking I could handle, but the only time I got tired/sore was when we were standing around.  I was really pleased about this, especially since Terral had just made me a pair of Unshoes and I was wearing them for the first time.  If people aren't used to minimal footwear or walking around barefoot all the time, it usually takes a while to be comfortable in those sandals.  I didn't have a problem, which meant Terral carried around my Chacos for naught.  Thankfully, he didn't mind.

Sporting my new sandals

We really enjoyed the warmer weather.  It was so nice to be outside for a substantial amount of time! I was a little weirded out by the light, though.  The sun seemed super low in the south, and it somehow gave a surreal feeling to everything in that landscape. 

First hike as a family of three

We always have fun with Heather and Chris

Lovin' the sunshine!

Terral caught me doing a King Julian impression

Tender moment :)

Me with my little buddy

Chris showing the ladybug rock who's boss

My goofy hubby

Yeah.  St. George is good times.