Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do You Remember When? . . .

 . . . . We used to sing, sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-ti-da?  Just going to catch up on some randomness, for anyone far or near who may be interested what the rest of our August (not already journaled about), and first part of September was like.  hehe.    

So, do you remember when Ethan competed in his 4th Copperman Triathlon in August, and did awesome?  Me too.  (Although he did lose to his friend, Ian - They've got some friendly competition going on, and Ian made his comeback this year.  So Ethan had to wear that ridiculous tie to church.  hehe.)  Eth improved his time significantly from last year, and had fun.  Good job!

And do you remember when Ethan turned 30 on August 9th?!  Woo Hoo!  We kept it pretty low key, because we STILL have plans to have a little overnight alone . . . . somewhere . . . sometime . . .  soon to celebrate both of our 30th birthdays.     

Do you remember when my good friend from high school, Mike, came for a quick visit on a Saturday afternoon in August.  (He was in town for a wedding.)  I hadn't seen him since Anna was a baby!  Too long, people, too long.  So, he got to meet the other two kiddies, and we got to catch up for a bit.  Miss you, Mikey!  :) 

Do you remember when I took los ninos on a picnic some random afternoon in August and it Totally. Made. Their. Day.  They'd been wanting to have a picnic for forever, and we finally got around to it. We go to the park tons in the summer, but to me, the extra step of packing a picnic usually seems to add too much stress to the outing with three wee ones.  It was fun though, and gorgeous weather too! 

Do you remember when Ashley and Joe got hitched?  Ash and Joe were married in August and it was fun, and hectic, and exciting, and busy, and beautiful.  Anna and Rorie were the flower girls and Benjamin was the flower boy (he insisted on being called that instead of ring bearer. hehe).  Ethan was one of Joe's Groomsmen.  Anna had been looking forward to Auntie Ashley's wedding  for months and was super excited, and counted down the days weeks in advance.  Benjamin didn't know anything about weddings before this, but for a few weeks after, he kept asking me if he could get married and have a party like Auntie Ashley and Uncle Joe's.  Sweet.  :) 

My favorite part of the wedding weekend was seeing Ethan's extended family and catching up . . .  and trying to squeeze in some quality famliy time with everyone in between wedding craziness.  Patty and Robb (Ethan's Aunt and Uncle) had to leave before this picture above was taken, but the rest of the Parr family is present.  Wow, first time we were all together since . . . well, since I've been married to Ethan, so I guess I'm not sure when the last time was. 

Do you remember when we finally got around to taking Anna and Ben-Ben camping!?!?!  Roasting hot dogs and s'mores, campfire, boating, exploring in the woods, family, games, playing in dirt and sand, bug bites . . .   The kids have wanted to go camping all summer, but scheduling just hadn't worked out for it.  (It turned out to be a pretty busy summer!)  Granted we stayed in cabins, not tents, but we still felt like we had a good camping experience.  At the last minute, my dad convinced me to bring Anna and Benjamin out to Camp Hiawatha - the Boy Scout camp - with them and my brother and his family.  It was just a quick overnight, but still lots of fun, especially for the kiddos.  Ethan and Caleb (who was watched by Chuck and Melissa and KC)  stayed home because Ethan had TONS of studying to do for his PT exam.   (And he passed, by the way!  :)

Do you remember Anna's first day of school?!  What a cutie!  Oh my, she's growing up so fast!

And finally, do you remember the first time I ever experienced canning?  This was a Relief Society activity at church.  I'm surprised I've made it this far in my life without having experienced canning in any way.  It was cool to watch and help, and the result is tasty and pretty . . . but, it's not really my thing.  Maybe down the road I'd be interested in getting in to it.  (Do you see one of Anna's eyes peaking out from behind the jar?  She tried to get into every picture I took of the carrots and soup.  hehe.) 

Well, I think that pretty much sums up what we've been up to . . . except for one very important event:  Benjamin starting pre-school.  But, little Ben-Ben is going to get his own journal entry, so you'll just have to look forward to that for next time.  :) 

Have a beautiful week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Caleb J. is TEN MONTHS!

Today, Caleb is 10 months old.  Wow, time flies.  I'm thinking about one year ago, September 2010, when I was so uncomfortably preggers, and Ethan was gone most of this month.  Not fun.  It seems like forever ago.  And just look at Caber Z. now . . .

A day at the park last week.  Eating sticks, rolling around in the grass.  You know, the usual.  (It was kinda funny - Caleb started rolling down the hill, unintentionally, and couldn't stop.  Notice I just kept taking pictures, and my friend actually went to "rescue" him.  hehe.)  I like that Caleb still uses a nuki, and doesn't typically take it out himself, because it keeps him from eating all kinds of things he shouldn't.  Nice. 

Breakfast - with Anna and Ben-Ben too.  Mmmmmm. 

My big, smiley boy.

So, Cabers is 10 months old.  This past month he had an explosion of development.  It's been so fun and exciting to watch.  I think because I know he's my last, and because Caleb had such a sad, rough start, every little milestone is so significant again . . . just like it was with my first, Anna Bean. :)  Who am I kidding, it was exciting with Ben-Ben too. 

Caleb has finally moved on from his "walrus," stomach crawl (or flop chop, as Ethan called it), and is crawling like a "normal" baby now.  He pulls himself up onto things, but only to his knees.  If you stand him up he can hold himself up and balance well.  He does lots of baby babbling now - dadada, and lalala, and ahahah being the most common.  He has six little teeth - SIX.  He eats all kinds of things, baby food and bits of softer "real" food.  He LOVES to eat . . . and gets pretty worked up over it a lot of the time (super impatient and demanding!).  Cabers has such a fun, happy, lovey, snugly side to him.  I love it.  I think my favorite is when he just randomly rests his head me . . . which makes me think he's telling me he loves me, but it could just be because he has such a big head and needs to rest it somewhere. 

And if I want to be a completely honest momma, which I do :), smiley little Caleb has a "complainy," discontent side to him too.  Man, sometimes he just gets on a role.  During these moments, if you give him your undivided attention, and entertain him, or even just pick him up, then he'll be fine.  But that's not always an option. . . but we manage.  Kind of.  hehe.  (I say kind of because he is KILLING my back.  He's such a chub, which I love, but he's soooo heavy.  Sometimes I think I can't possibly pick him up one more time . . . and then I do.  And then Ethan often cracks my back and rubs it at night - sweetie!  But I digress. . . .hehe.) 

Oh my goodness, Caleb loves to laugh and chuckle . . . it's so cute.  He's also a good little sleeper, thank goodness!  (We've been so lucky with this THREE times . . . even with our early riser, Benjamin Bear.)  Caleb J. loves being sung to, and clapping his hands, and feeling like he's "in" on the joke.  Love him!  I can't believe we're only two months away from Caleb's first birthday.  He's come sooooo far!  Yay!    

Note - I've got so much blogging to catch up on . . . it's kind of overwhelming.  Maybe I'll just do a little summary post next.  Ethan's B-day, Ashley's wedding, camping trip, first day of school, and a few other odds and ends.  So, just look forward to that for next time . . . if I get around to it.  :)         

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Is It . . .

Ethan graduated on August 28th, 2011 from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Michigan, Flint campus.  I am so incredibly proud of him.  He worked hard and did well.  He had a lot to balance, with some of the church volunteering and responsibilities he had, and as one of only a few students who had children. . . let alone two children, with a third born during the program.  Ethan took such good care of us, even when he was so incredibly busy with classes, papers, projects, presentations, studying, meetings, clinicals, etc. 

It was so great (and fun) celebrating Ethan that weekend, and making a special little trip downstate to his graduation.  He deserved it!     

We had a celebratory dinner on Saturday night at a yummy place in Frankenmuth, where we were staying (and, no, Ethan doesn't usually eat like that . . . he was just being "funny").  Quick shout out to KC, who kept Cabers happy and fed most of the weekend.   hehe.  Note - One should never stay in the city of Flint.  It just isn't done.  hehe.  But, campus and the few blocks of surrounding downtown Flint is really, very nice.

On the drive down, we all packed into our van, including my parents.  So every seat was taken and it was a cozy, little trip.  For the trip home, we switched it up a bit and Anna and I drove home with KC and Melissa (and Chuck went in the van) and had some fun, girl time.  Wheee! 
The pics above show a scenic overlook at a rest area along the way.  Benjamin goes potty about every hour, so it was a long trip, but with lots of pretty scenery.  :)   The other pic is from our hotel room at Zehnders's Splash Village in Frankenmuth.  My parents got a family suite there in honor of Ethan's graduation. . . and to make the trip exciting for the kiddos too.  
Also, check my dad's blog for a few pics of the kiddos in the awesome indoor water park at Splash Village.  The kids LOVED it.
It doesn't show the biggest water slides they have - that I would scream down when Anna or Ben insisted that I take them - but you get the idea.  :) 

The morning of the graduation, we had some time to kill, and Caleb needed some quiet for a morning nap.  Ethan and I took the older two to walk around Frankenmuth and we reminisced about how much we loved our time downstate.  (We lived about 15 minutes away from the Frankenmuth/Birch Run exit.) 

Ethan being hooded!!!  (Love the funny looking robes of graduate students. hehe.)
It was fun for Ethan to see most of his classmates again, and for me to catch up with the few I know.

Oh, my handsome man.  So proud of him. 

Love these shots of the kids.  You can see how excited they are for their daddy!  :)

Ethan with his proud parents, Chuck and Melissa.  And Ethan with his Gramma, Lee, who made her visit to Michigan long enough to include this graduation.  Thanks, we were so happy you were there with us!

And finally, me and my sweets.  Love him.

So.  Ethan has graduated.  He takes his licensure exam tomorrow.  He has a wonderful job lined up at U.P Rehab Services that begins on Monday.  I am so grateful for him, and all the hard work he put in to get us here.  Yay!!!  Good job, babe!  

Now, I can't believe we aren't students anymore. 
 But, it's a good thing.  :)