Friday, May 15, 2009

Pint-Sized Pilot

While I was away in Tahoe at our church Women’s Retreat a few weeks ago, Travis, Savannah, and another friend alone with his son for the weekend went to McClellan Air Force Base’s Open Cockpit event. Apparently they guys (and baby Evan!) had a good time and Savannah had fun getting to sit and “fly” all the planes and helicopters.

I think interest in the Air Force would increase if these pics were part of their ad campaign, don’t you! :)

Little Ballerina

Partially in an effort to embrace and encourage Savannah’s love of dancing (well, technically, her love of spinning to music for an incredibly long amount of time before finally getting dizzy and falling over), and partially to re-live my years of dance classes through her, I enrolled Savannah this month in a Parks and Recs Tiny Tots ballet class. Let me tell you how much she loves it! I don’t think many days have gone by when she hasn’t talked about ballet or tried to practice what she’s learned. A lot of the class is hand motions and movement to fun kid songs, but the teacher is also really good about including some basic ballet skills and terms. Savannah loves to practice jumping out and then together and pointing her toes, and is super proud that she can get her feet into “first position” all by herself.

Here are some highlights and then a slide show at the end. By the way, how cute is she in her little leotard and ballet shoes (thanks Carly and Macy for letting us borrow them!)

Flying with their “butterfly legs.”

“Tickling” the sky.

Using a hula-hoop to learn to chasse'.

The favorite jumping out and then together.

Trying to point her toes.

I think we’re going to keep her in the class at least until the baby comes, or as long as she is having so much fun, so I’m sure more pics and maybe some video will follow in the future!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm Bigger Now!

Well, it’s official. She’s been making the claim for a long time, but Savannah is now definitely a big girl, or, according to her, she’s “bigger.” Last Saturday she made the move from baby crib to big girl bed!

While she was with Grandma and Grandpa, Travis and one of his students spend half the day moving furniture and boxes out of our third bedroom-turned-everything-room and into a storage space we had rented. We also moved a bunch of boxes out of a storage we were sharing with a friend and along with them came the bed we had been saving just for her. By the end of the exhausting day, we had a 6x12 storage unit pretty well filled, a new big girl room for Savannah, and the beginnings of a nursery for Gavin.

I knew she was excited about getting a big girl bed, but I wasn’t sure how she’d take all the changes when she really saw them. I mean, just moving her toys to a different part of the living room was pretty darn traumatic! I really think I was more worried about this transition than I am about bringing home a new baby…

I could not have asked though for a better reaction; she walked in and was just amazed and then immediately started jumping on the bed. Great. She never said a word about the missing crib and glider or the rearranged furniture, she just kept walking back and forth and around in circles looking at everything, even things that had been in there since the day she was born. It’s honestly like a completely new room to her.

The one downside was that it was almost bedtime and she was pretty hyped up about the whole thing. She went down though that night in her big girl bed without any problems. It took her quite a while to settle down and fall asleep, but she didn’t get up out of bed one time or wake up at all during the night, and even slept until I had to wake her up for church at 7:30 the next morning.

(She may be covered by the sheet in this picture I took before she went to bed, but that didn’t last long. Within a half hour she was crying because she wanted me to spread out her purple blankie like usual and wanted to be covered with her pink blankie and not the sheet. That did the trick, and now every time she sleeps I get her bed ready like this:

Since then, she wakes up every day excited to be in her big girl bed, runs upstairs often just to “look at it,” and even spends more time playing in there by herself than she used to. It’s been over a week and a half since the transition and she still hasn’t gotten out of bed at night, a nap time, or even in the morning after she’s awake. Apparently my stern “once I turn the light off and close the door you’re not allowed to get out of bed” rule has really been taken to heart – every morning or naptime that I don’t have to wake her up she either calls or cries for me to get her or she just sits on her bed and plays with her stuffed animals until I come in. I’m waiting for the day when she figures out that she can get out of bed and play probably without me knowing, but so far she’s stuck to her rules and routine. Let’s hope it lasts!

And a little tour of the rest of her big girl room…

San Francisco

My timeline is a little out of order her, but I just had to put up these pics anyway…

The weekend before Easter marked the beginning of Spring Break, and as teachers, Travis and I are lucky to be among the ranks of those who get a week off (paid too, for him!) to relax and vacation. Since we hadn’t seen my sister Ashley’s house since she moved to San Francisco in the fall to work for Jews for Jesus, we decided to take a little trip down there to visit. The super cute, big house (especially by San Fran standards) she rents with 3 other roommates is only minutes from the Zoo and beach, so after we arrived on Saturday that’s where we headed.

We spent several hours at the Zoo, and saw more animals up close and active than in many trips to the good ol’ zoo here at home.

Though we brought the stroller, I think Savannah ran for almost the entire time we were there. She loved looking at all the animals and talking to all of the other little kids (isn’t it amazing how kids somehow become instant friends just by standing next to each other!), and really loved the big petting zoo. Unlike this petting zoo experience when she was afraid to get too close to the animals, she wanted to pet every animal there and was super excited when we bought some food for her to feed them. She fed those fat goats like a pro and showed absolutely no fear when they pestered her for more.

The cute little mallard duck though was a different story… I don’t know what happened, maybe the ducks weren’t used to being fed by little hands, but when Savannah handed him a pellet he grabbed it and Savannah’s finger too. The huge frown on her face before the tears came was so sad; you could just see her thinking “why did you just do that to me?” and then she started wailing. I’m sure it hurt, but I think it was more the surprise. After feeding large goats and llamas, what child expects to be bitten by a duck?! Before she could develop an irrational fear of all water birds, we quickly explained that the duck didn’t mean to get her hand, it was an accident, and he was very, very sorry. Fortunately, the crying didn’t last long and apparently she forgave the duck since she wanted to pet some other ones we later saw swimming in a pond. “Those ones won’t bite me,” she said, and luckily we were too far away for her test that out.

I won’t bore you with pictures of the animals we saw, but here are a few cute ones of us humans.

After leaving the zoo, we walked down the street to the beach. And again, Savannah proved how much she’s changed in the last year. Unlike our last sandy beach experience, she had no problem with taking off her shoes and walking barefoot in the sand. She loved walking out to the water with Daddy and Auntie Ashley while I kept my shoes on and happily took pictures bundled up in my jacket far from the freezing water (yes, I was cold even though it was a sunny 63 degrees - a “nice” day for San Francisco!). It was too bad we didn’t have any beach toys or towels – Savannah could have stayed out there for a long time.

After an entire day of walking and playing, I was sure she’d conk out for a late nap, but no, the magic hour had apparently passed and so, after a short rest at Ashley’s house, we headed out to Chinatown for dinner. The food was great, but after a day of walking around the zoo, the walking several blocks to the underground Metro station and riding for a short time only to get off and walk to the bus stop just to ride for a short time and then walk some more to the restaurant (and then doing it all again on the way back after window shopping around Chinatown …) was a bit much on my pregnant body. I thought my hips were both going to break, and the next morning, after hardly sleeping, I almost fell over after getting out of bed. Those 20 extra pounds hanging off the front of me really take their toll!

That morning we went to church with Ashley and walked, oh yes, walked a couple of blocks to a lunch place afterwards. (How do pregnant women, especially those with a toddler who often insists on being carried, survive in that city? It is possible I’m just an out-of-shape wimp, but seriously, I thought I was going to die.) The rest of the day was pretty low key and after Savannah’s nap and an early dinner we headed for home.

I really did enjoy the trip and we’re actually going back on Friday/Saturday for a family Mother’s Day outing, but I seriously appreciate my car so much more now than I ever did before. And yes, I understand parking is expensive and horribly hard to find, but it just gives me yet another reason why I never want to live in a big walking city.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Easter was busy this year, as it seems always to be. On Saturday, after helping to decorate the kids rooms at church for our special Easter service, we went to lunch with Travis’ parents who came up from Riverbank and his Great Aunt Esther and Uncle Ray who were up from the LA area visiting his family.

Aren’t they cute! They’re in their 80’s and still go out dancing every week!

After lunch we hung out at your house and Savannah got spoiled with a giant Easter basket filled with toys, a puzzle, candy, and even a movie!

Later on Saturday, Savannah and I had fun dying Easter eggs. She got to color on the eggs with a white crayon and then direct the color combos. We ended up with some beautiful eggs and no spills or stained clothes - yeah! I am sure thankful though for non-toxic dye; I dropped one of the tablets as I was putting them into the vinegar solution, and when Savannah saw Bailey going for it, she grabbed it off the floor and stuck it in her mouth (trying, I’m sure, to beat him to it) before I could even react. She was a little surprised when it didn’t taste like the candy I’m sure she thought it was and I had to clean neon yellow drool off of her face and hands after she decided to spit it out…

On Sunday, we had a furry family member come to church with us, much to Savannah’s absolute joy. Spaz got volunteered to be a part of the “petting zoo” at the early childhood program’s “Rise and Shine Farm.” Savannah couldn’t be happier – how often does your rabbit get to come to church with you!
After a crazy morning of Children’s Ministry, we headed home to eat lunch and let Savannah open her Easter basket.

I skipped the candy this year (I wonder how much longer we can get away with doing candy-free holidays?) and instead got her some little toys and other do-dads. She loved each of the fuzzy animal figures and showed them all off to the camera,

and the flower window gel clings have since provided lots of daily re-arranging fun.

Of course she also had to pose a little for the camera in her beautiful Easter dress.

She is definitely a girly girl and loves wearing pretty things!

After Savannah and Travis took their naps (while I cooked – not fair!) we headed over to the Proctor’s house for dinner. Since the MOPS egg hunt had been rained-out, Savannah did her own hunt in their backyard for the unused mini M&M-filled eggs. Too bad I didn’t fill my dozen eggs with a better variety of candy – we (and by that I mean “I”) are still eating little packages of mini M&M’s a month later!

It was a beautiful day, and Auntie Ashley, who was up visiting from San Francisco, her boyfriend Bill, who came down from Medford, Oregon, and I all enjoyed the weather while we watched Savannah look for the eggs with only a little direction from Daddy.

And finally, our traditional sitting-at-the-table group picture.

Check out this one of Savannah’s first Easter:

Just think, next year we’ll have another little one thrown into all the craziness!