October 2008

Walker gets ready to rumble

Walker on Dagoba

Larry decided to make a few enhancements to the costume images. Walker looks just perfect on Dagoba and boy, I wouldn’t want to mess with him when he gets mad!


Yoda checks out the sky

It’s taken months of planning and hard work but today, we debuted the Yoda costume. About six months ago, Larry found this Yoda knitting pattern and in the very nicest voice he could muster, requested I use it to make Walker’s costume. Knowing how adorable Walker would be and needing something to knit during long meetings at work (I was getting tired of making bunnies for my friend’s babies), I complied. It took awhile and required me to try a few things I hadn’t done before, but I’m thrilled with the result. Andy you’ll notice that the jacket (and possibly the hat) will accommodate Walker’s insistence on growing. (I made the booties a long time ago and I didn’t plan on his feet growing so much so they were a bit small…)

We all got dressed to attend Boo at the Zoo. Walker was Yoda, Daddy dressed as Luke, and Mommy went as a Title 9 Han Solo. Pop Pop came down and documented the day by taking 221 photos. We’ve only chosen to share a few.

Luke, Title 9 Han Solo and Yoda

The costume was quite a hit. It was warm enough to keep the little guy warm on the cold and foggy day by the beach. Almost everyone recognized him — the first person who commented thought he was Shrek and a little girl thought he was a green dog. However, most folks immediately recognized him and Pop Pop was shocked to realize the kids were equally as delighted as the adults. One little girl was shy and quietly whispered “May the Force be with you” as we passed by. We saw two little Princess Leias running around the playground as we had our picnic lunch.

Yoda pauses for yogurt Pumpkin I have found Pondering

Checking out a toad. YUMMY! The zoo really made it fun for the kids. They gave out bags and they had Trick or Treat stations all over. This will be the last year we could bypass the candy stations since Walker didn’t care and Mommy needs a bag of sugary treats like she needs a hole in her head. The first thing we did was walk through the “Haunted” Nature Trial. It was all decorated and there were a bunch of volunteers showing “scary” animals like snakes and toads. Walker checked it out but was more interested in the other kids. His favorite part was the “Happy Boo-th Day” party. He scurried over the little log and started playing with the fun colored bowls, plates, and fake cake. Immediately he was joined by a bunch of kids. One picked up a noise maker and blew on it. “Don’t put that in your mouth,” her Mommy pleaded. She put it down. A little boy picked it up. Put it in his mouth. “Don’t put that in YOUR mouth,” the next Mommy pleaded. He put it down. And, you guessed it, the last child who was playing at the table picked it up and put in her mouth. “Break the cycle, Walker” I pleaded. He left it alone. What a GOOD boy.

Now that Walker’s older, it’s fun to go to the zoo. He is starting to understand there are animals behind the glass. We always go to check out the Meercats since they’ve been made famous by the Meercat Manor series. Pop Pop got some great shots of Walker noticing the animals as they scurried around.

To pet them I want OOOOOO. The Meercats

Walker will wear the costume a few more times this year but I guess we need to start planning for next year’s costume. It will be hard to top this one.

In the spirit of “one more thing” I’ve been extremely busy (actually, sort of crazed) and it’s been very hard to get to the blog because I just couldn’t fit One More Thing into my daily schedule. I’ve been “jailed” by my list of things to do (heh, heh, get it?) The task list isn’t any shorter but I just can’t go another day without posting something. So here are a few things I must share:

  • Walker stats: 30.5 inches tall, 23lbs 9oz, and 47.3 cm head
  • Walker words: momma, dada, baby, hello, uh-oh (he likes that one A LOT), nana (for banana), wow — and I’m sure there are others we haven’t figured out yet
  • In Charlotte, he showed a preference for a big toy car he could drive around in. So we bought him a fire truck he can sit on and scoot down the hall. It’s loud and has buttons that teach him things like “1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 5 Points on a star.” But it also seems to say things like, “Hi. I’m bleak.” But that may just be our sleep-deprived brains.
  • Walker’s diaper rash and eczema have vastly improved since we took him off milk products. He seems to have a sensitivity to cow’s milk which apparently runs on both sides of the family. In fact, his Grammie Shirley, who lived on a farm and could get cow’s milk for free had a reaction to it and her hardworking father had to drive to a neighboring town to buy goat’s milk. Other folks with sensitivities included my mother, father, brother and Larry’s nephew. Walker didn’t have a chance…
  • Walker has learned a few new skills. He’s figured out how to turn on and off the television. He’ll wake up in the morning and wobble over and turn on the TV before he’s even officially awake. Yeah, we close the entertainment center doors now. And yesterday he figured out how to flush the toilet. And he’s taking many opportunities to try it out. As an eco-aware Californian, I’m not thrilled about this.
  • In an effort to use as much water as possible, Walker has graduated to a big boy bath. I kept using his baby bath as long as I could but it finally got a bit too cramped. He’s enjoying his new bath freedom and scoots all over. Lots of room to kick his feet and play with his ever-expanding collection of toys.
  • Meal times have become a messy again. Walker has decided that he’s going to learn to feed himself. He’s particularly interested in learning how to eat applesauce and yogurt. We try to keep these self-feeding situations close to bathtime. We need three utensils — one for each hand and one for me (so I can attempt to get some food into him). He enjoys dipping the utensils into the food and then fling them around. The next step is to take the food container and dump it upside down onto the tray. I’m not sure how this happened but today he had yogurt and meatball in his hair.
  • I think parenthood has affected our brains. Last night Walker was taking a bath and I was asking him which one of his toys was a fish and which one a dog. Larry and I were discussing that it might be difficult for him to understand “fish” because he hasn’t seen them before. We began discussing taking him to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I got up this morning and… fed the fish. Yes, for Walker’s entire life we’ve had four goldfish in a tank in the living room where he spends most of his time. I guess we’ll have to justify that trip to Monterey another way.
  • Walker loves to sit in his rocking chair — the little chair that his great grandfather used. It took him awhile to figure out how to get in it. First he tried to climb into the chair while facing it. Then he learned he needed to back up into it but he didn’t look behind him and it wasn’t always behind him and he’d go to sit but fall on his tush. He persevered and almost always successfully settles in to rock away. It’s quite cute to see him with his sippy cup in one hand, his bread in the other.
  • The Yoda costume has been knit and the hat has been felted. Only some minor finishing touches and the little guy will be an awesome Yoda. Larry will be Luke and I will be a Title 9 Han Solo. Don’t worry, there WILL be photos.

It’s been almost a month since we all packed up to go to Charlotte, NC and Indianland, SC (just south of Charlotte). We visited Larry’s family and I planned the trip like I was moving the infantry — I had everything we could possibly want or need on our cross-country trip. Just like before any trip, Larry and I didn’t sleep well but we rolled out of bed at 5:30 and prepared the troops. We had our two bags, the carseat, the diaper bag, Larry’s backpack and my computer bag (as well as Walker and the backpack we carry him in). We got to the airport and we walked up to an empty check in counter. We slid our credit card into the kiosk and it said it couldn’t find our reservation. We tried again. We tried putting in our flight information. No dice. And then we talked to a friendly agent who informed us that our first class seats on the flight (in fact all seats on the flight) had been cancelled. We were rebooked on a 7am flight earlier that day. So, we missed the flight. I tried to keep my composure but was close to barfing on the counter in front of me. My new best friend was able to find us seats on a flight out later that day (riding coach, ugh) and thankfully, rebooked the first class seats on the return flight. We checked the bags and pondered how we’d spend the next several hours. Larry and I hadn’t eaten yet and I couldn’t fathom keeping Walker in the airport for hours and then spending five hours in a flying tin can. So, we packed up our carry on gear and headed back to the car in the long term lot. As we walked back to the car, Walker realized something was amiss. “Uh-oh”. And we chuckle. “Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Uh-oh.” And he repeated it seven times. (We counted.) We don’t give kids enough credit. He was able to sum up the situation better than I could have ever done.

So we drop Walker off to see his friends at Sofiya’s and we went out for a fabulous brunch. Two hours later, we retrieve Walker and once again, head off to the airport. We get through security with relative ease and we purchase sandwiches. No rush. No panic. We go to the gate and we try to tire out the toddler by chasing after him and playing hide-n-seek. Walker and I go to the restroom and change his diaper. On the way back, I notice they’re boarding our flight. Larry has Walker’s boarding pass. I reach in my bag for mine. It’s not there. No panic. I give Walker to Larry and I sit down and go through the bag. Hmmm. I go through the bag again. Another zone is called. I go through the bag again. A bit of panic sets in. I wait in line at the gate counter. There are a few people in front of me. More and more people get on the plane. A bit more panic. I go through the bag at least three more time. The agents look cranky and the line is not moving. Another zone is called. A woman walks over to me and says, “Excuse me. Did you happen to lose your boarding pass?”

“Um, yes.”

“I found one and gave it to the agents up there.”

Disregarding the woman’s possible issues around strangers invading personal space, I jump up and give the woman a HUGE hug. (I was still squatting on the ground rifling through the bag when she was talking to me.)

I walk up to the counter and ask for the turned in pass. The cranky agent scowls at me and says no one turned in a pass. I look down and point at the pass six inches in front of her. She confirms my name and gives it to me.

We finally made it on the plane and even got some space in the overhead bin. Walker was a stellar passenger and slept half the flight. He only kicked the seat in front of him a few times and yelled just a handful of times.

We had a wonderful trip and Walker loved meeting the Young and Palladino families. He’s so very well loved. It is notable that he had all the furniture he needed — the highchair his Daddy and Aunt used, the crib his Aunt slept in, the car his teenage cousins played in, and the table and chairs his Grammie used.

This past week has been a thrill. Walker got the poops and it felt like the early days — diaper changes all day and night, many changes of pants and multiple of jammies each day. Poor thing must have picked up a little virus. It didn’t seem to bother him much at all despite the fact he was farting and farting and farting. And I gotta say, those little gassers were frightening. I haven’t smelled anything that bad in a long time. With the help of banana, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT diet) and then a little doctor prescribed Pepto Bismol, Walker is doing just fine. And he LOVES the Pepto. He dances around the kitchen as I get the spoon ready and then sucks on the spoon for a few minutes. I can’t think of any medicine that makes me dance.

It’s October so we went down to Half Moon Bay to pick out a few pumpkins. Walker’s friends Panna and Wes showed him how to jump in the hay and how to pick out a good pumpkin. We can’t wait for Halloween!