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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Once Upon a Storytime...

Today we read Go, Dog. Go! five times. It was my first storytime with Wilder. We read two other books as well, but since I hear repetition is good for babies I thought it wouldn't hurt to read the first book I bought for Wilder several more times. I've read to Wilder before, but it was one of my books and I just read aloud while I nursed him. But today was authentic storytime -a milestone and the beginning to a lifelong love affair I hope Wilder has with books.

I adored storytime growing up. I have fond memories of my parents and grandparents reading to me before bed, my father teaching my sister and I to read, and finishing my first chapter book (The Boxcar Children.) There is such a feeling of accomplishment in reading a book cover to cover. Then there are the illustrations. What? You don't read books with pictures?! How boring... I jest, I jest.

My fifth and sixth grade years I volunteered my recess to shelve books in the library and requested the picture book section. My favorite book in my area was "On Market Street" and I recently bought a slightly worn first edition for Wilder's library. I also got to shelve the Beatrix Potter books, oh, and many, many other treasures including Dr. Seuss. I believe I had M-T, if I recall. My favorite picture book of all, besides the fairytale collection we got from my Aunt Ruth (actually, it was for Crystal, but I nabbed it) is "Grandfather Twilight" given to me by Aunt Judy. I'm beginning to see that Aunts give the best books. Hm... I guess I better get with the program and send some more to my sister's kids.
Since early pregnancy I have anxiously anticipated storytime with Wilder. I loved it so much (and still do) and want to impart the same enthusiasm and joy to our little man. Brian and I have agreed that family reading is a fundamental part of our household and no child in our family will escape becoming a bibliophile. Here's to many more books enjoyed together and to family traditions!

Wilder loves to interact with people! When I'm cooking dinner or sewing and he's playing alone in his chair or on the floor he'll often fuss until I come over and chat, then he immediate cheers up and begins to babble with me. When the camera comes into play he gets a little distracted, but you can see what I mean about his talkativeness and enjoyment of "face time." I am reborn each time we converse!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Visitors

So, Brian was gone for two weeks for training and I was left to create a busy social schedule and have fun taking Mommy & Son photos...

Daddy arrived home and immediately snuggled the family

A WONDERFUL surprise: My sister and her youngest, Timothy (who just turned 1 year old), came for an impromptu visit from California for the weekend. We had family on our dad's side flying in to see our grandparents in Houston and we all wanted to be together -the first time in seven years.

Timothy needed a bath to loosen up after the long flight

Crystal with her, excuse me -I mean "their" nephew.
Family visit in Houston!

Second cousins: Remington and Timothy

Aunt Ruth with Wilder

Grandma Anne with her great grandson, Timothy, who played the pots and pans with spoons

Relaxing in true Cameron fashion -in the LaZBoy

Timmy, Grandma Anne and Uncle Tom. A smile to die for!

Aunt Carol and I (pictured) and Aunt Ruth and Crystal strolled the neighborhood with our sons on a blustery day in Houston.

Timmy and Aunt Ruth

Aunt Carol snagged a suitcase full of photos from our great grandpa Earl's house and we spent the afternoon looking at tremendous photos of our heritage.

We had only seen turn of the century photos of strangers in antique stores. Now we saw piles of ancient photos of our Norwegian relatives and heard Grandma share stories and lineages we had never heard before.

Grandpa Doug's mother

Grandma Anne's mother's class photo

My father at Portage Glacier just outside of Anchorage, AK

My father in England

Grandpa Doug, Uncle Russ and Timmy

Crystal and Grandma Anne

Second cousins Timmy and Bailey

We had a family dinner out and managed to pass the 2 hour wait for dinner happily while catching up

Grandpa Doug and Wilder

The whole gang (Uncle Tom's taking the picture.) I am so thankful we all got to spend this time together. It did my heart so much good to be with my father's family -all united for the first time since he passed away 7 years ago.

Back in Georgetown! After church we took Crystal and Tim to Duke's for some excellent BBQ. Couldn't let them leave without having a taste of Texas.

With the courage needed to do the responsible thing, we found Smoke a new home. He kept marking in the house and with Brian deploying soon, it was too stressful having to watch him like a hawk, clean up after his purposeful "accidents" and deal with his separation anxiety. God was so good in providing him a wonderful new home in the country where he would be the special buddy of a sweet teenage girl and her family who owned several other Australian Shepherds, as well as many horses and a few other dogs. They reported the following day that he is doing excellent and fitting right in -hasn't missed a beat. Though Savannah has missed her buddy, it's made us pay more attention to her, take her on walks and runs and has significantly lowered my stress level.

It was magnificent having Crystal and Timothy visit. Now we're just trying to figure out how to get the family moved from California to Georgetown. There is a house for sale in the neighborhood that would suit them very well...

A dentist or plastic surgeon in the making.

Bath time! Can you believe he's 3 months already?

Crystal finished a sewing project with me and was pleased as punch to be partaking again in the domestic fine arts.

Too funny.

The kids at play

What a tremendous, though short, visit! I already miss them so much, but am so thankful they were able to come and see all the reasons they need to move here. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Adventures in Austin, Part 1

"Let's start with lunch, then go to a folk art museum, then....well, whatever we like!" Mitsi and Anissa were planning our afternoon of fun -and Wilder and my first trip into Austin. True, Brian had taken me a few times into the city before, but this was my first time experiencing Austin with our son.

As a new mother in a new area and big city, learning to get around and taking advantage of all it has to offer is a bit daunting. I needed a tour guide and road navigator -and I was fortunate to have both in my two wonderful friends!
We lunched at Juan in a Million, a Mexican restaurant that holds the title for "The Best Restraunteur Handshake" and I have to agree. Juan greets each guest as if he or she were a personal friend, "Hello! Good to see you! Please, sit wherever you like!" It's a surefire way to make loyal customers.
Mitsi and Anissa took turns holding Wilder so I actually got to each with both hands free -quite a novelty!
We dined on the patio, something you could NOT do in Alaska this time of year. I just noticed Wilder was in his jammies the whole day. Oh well. At least he was comfortable!
Anissa, a seasoned aunt, school teacher and former nanny, gets her chance at holding "Young Wilder" as she calls him. Actually both Mitsi and Anissa are aunts and teachers. They're my child development experts sans children of their own.
We headed downtown and Mitsi treated us to a tour of the Mexic Arte Museum, which features Mexican folk art. I am embarrassed to say I can't remember the last museum I went in, but I think I made up for it by beginning Wilder on art appreciation so early. Toy Joy is a flamboyantly painted toy store on "the drag" in the University of Texas territory. The store is so packed full of an eclectic assortment of toys, gifts and games you can hardly turn around. Wilder and I waited in the adjoining cafe and missed the day's biggest excitement. Anissa was attacked by a bottle of root beer an employee left unbalanced on a high shelf. As she knelt down to look at something the vicious bottle dropped on her head, leaving a welt. She did receive a free gift (a small notepad) but that hardly seemed to rectify the incident. Next time we'll bring helmets.
Ahhhhh, Anderson's Coffee. Mitsi introduced these long-time Austin private roasters to Brian and I this winter and we immediately fell in love with their coffee. Brian being a coffee snob taking nearly half an hour to prepare his daily "masterpiece in a cup" was hoping to find a local roaster instead of depending on bagged Starbuck's beans. Well, Hallelujah, we found one!

I was in heaven! Their shelves were lined with tea pots, tea cups and mugs and they carried a brand of British tea I had been hoping to run into. I placed my order for several bags of coffee and left he counter to consult with my friends which travel mug I should get. My order filled and several other people in line to be helped, I twirled around with my newly selected cup in hand and my purse knocked an Elvis mug to the ground. Mortified, I said, "Oh, I'll be taking that, too!" Fortunately the mug was undamaged and I didn't have to take The King home. I did end up with a very full bag of goodies for Brian and I.

What a wonderful day! I am so glad my friends broke me in to the lovely city and I am excited for more adventures to come. The more I get out and about with Wilder the less daunting traveling will be -we'll be pros. Until next time!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Tricks

"Local Boy Wows Folks With Hidden Talents"

Startled at such articulation coming from my son who normally sounds like he's learning Arabic, I immediately copied him and put my face next to his. He had my full attention. He has said "Ma" before, and even this time I knew it had no significance, but a mother can hope!
He's been exploring his tongue, sticking it in and out, making new noises and he still loves to hear himself talk. He'll interrupt fussy noises when a certain sound he makes interests him, which is amusing to watch. Two nights ago I dreamed Wilder sang a few lines of a song from church and I keep hoping he'll be an early talker. I know, this would be insanely early and later I'll wish he'd wait much longer before inundating us with constant jabber. But for now, each little step in development seems monumental -even his weight gain.

Wilder first rolled over a week ago. I was reading next to him as he played on the floor and when I looked up he was on his side. He rolled on his back, then swung his legs up and over which pulled him on his side again. I was amazed! And now, we're sharing this little milestone with you!


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