Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall Pictures of the Family

I just want to whet your appetite for the beautiful fall pictures that we just had taken over the weekend. As always, the preparation part (and the fact that it was stormy and really windy all day) almost caused us to postpone the photo session. Luckily, Sherry and Jory headed up the canyon and we all decided to give the pictures a try. Sherry did an amazing job, as always . . . and we couldn't be happier. These are just a few of the pictures I pulled from her site . . . there are many, many more to come. I can't wait to blow them up and put new family photos on the wall that include little Gavin.

Gavin loves to stick his little tongue out. It's his favorite new thing!!

I know I'm biased . . . but, I think Autumn is beautiful. Just wait for the other pictures!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Camping at Fish Lake with the Family

The days before our trip were pretty stressful for me at work. We almost had to cancel the trip and then had to delay our departure so that I could finish some projects. The beauty (and stress) of Fish Lake is that there is no cell phone coverage (and therefore no access to email) for miles around. We went down with our friends, Aaron and Becky, and their 2 kids and young baby. Jeff and Aaron got to ride their dirt bikes on the trails (they are like giddy little boys STILL about those bikes) and Becky and I even got in a really awesome ride on the ATVs up and down a mountain and over and through a river. It seemed like it took at least half a day before I could actually relax . . . but, after all of the packing and driving was done, I remembered why I've always loved camping.

Little Gavin was an angel as always during the days. He'd hang out in the swing and watch the other kids run around, play with his toys and generally stay as cute and cozy as possible. He wasn't lacking for attention between looking so adorable and having so many people around!

Autumn is fearless when it comes to climbing, jumping, riding her bike or 4-wheeler. We borrowed this one from Corbin (since he and Breeanna have graduated to the gas-powered versions) so that Autumn wouldn't feel left out. She didn't hesitate to drive full-force down and up the hills, smiling and squealing the whole time. Jeff and I told her that when she put all her pee pee in the potty that we'd buy her one just like it . . . and, of course, her response was what has become her very favorite word . . . "Why?"
*Even when we are reading at night, at the end of every page she says, "why?" I used to go into detail about explaining every page. Now, I've learned to just keep reading.*

Autumn loved to walk down from our campsite and pet the horses. They were the friendliest horses and colts around and a good chance for us to teach Autumn how mothers protect their babies. We asked the horse to stand in for Jeff since he was taking the picture.

So, this was my first time ever staying in a trailer. I don't think I'd even really walked into one in the past - especially not one like this. The Hickens borrowed a toy hauler from their friend . . . and although I have always loved and been completely satisfied staying in a tent, this was definitely a step up. It was so incredibly nice and convenient . . . and gave Jeff yet another idea of a toy he wants to have. Warm running water, a microwave, a stereo, a TV . . . it's almost like it wasn't camping . . . which is exactly what Autumn said when we got there. She cried the first night saying, "We're not camping. Where's the tent?" Apparently in Autumn's view, the only time we were actually "camping" was when we were sitting around the campfire. She's probably right . . . what happened to those days when I used to filter my own drinking water!? Ahhhh . . . but, it sure was nice in that trailer.

With so much going on and so many people around, Autumn didn't get her usual naps in. So, before we even got out of Fish Lake, this is what she looked like in the truck . . .

The Urge to Throw Dirt Can be Overwhelming

That's Jeff on the right going, "Autumn, don't throw that dirt . . . Autumn, don't do it . . . Autumn, put it down . . ." Jeff blames me for her stubborness and I blame him. Neither one of us will give in . . . hmmmm . . . there's probably not much hope for her!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Messy Eaters, Good Eaters, and Chocolate Lovers

At least he's not gagging at every bite anymore . . . but, he's a long way from getting the food into his mouth. He is good at getting it in his eyes, ears, nose and every other inch of his face, though.

Autumn is my very best helper in the kitchen. She has learned to crack open eggs, measure liquids and is the best little stirrer around. She drags out her stool everytime I make anything saying, "I help you, Mom. I'm a good helper, huh?" I truly cherish her time with me in the kitchen and hope that it's something we can do together for a long, long time.
I can say with almost 100% certainty that Autumn gets her love of chocolate from me. There's not much in this world that tastes better than brownies. So, making brownies is a definite treat that Autumn takes full advantage of. I have to say she does resemble Jeff quite a bit with her chocolate goatee, though.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Uh oh . . . a picky eater??

The new theory in medicine is to wait until a child is a full six months old before giving anything other than milk. This was confirmed in the Spina Bifida Clinic . . . so, we were pleased that our first few attempts at rice cereal were met with curiosity and a willing little boy. Gavin has seemed really interested in what we're eating and drinking for quite a while. I checked back in Autumn's first year journal - and she was actually drinking milk from a cup at this point (and - no - I'm not trying to enforce competition between my two kids!). But, truly, there hasn't been a food that Autumn has resisted. So, imagine our concern as Gavin has started gagging at anything (we've tried pears, carrots, rice cereal and barley) . . . as soon as it comes NEAR his little mouth. Real, physical gagging! This one is going to be a tough cookie . . . (hmmm . . .maybe I should try cookies) . . .

Painting myself Elmo

I must admit, I've taught Autumn to paint her fingers so we can make handprints . . . yet another way I can attempt to save every little stage of her growth . . . but, I did not teach her to paint her fingers, hands, arms and forehead. Again . . . I just have to think . . . we're fostering creativity. And, it's just so much fun!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Rare Family Photo

Yes - we have over 12,000 pictures on our Mac, it's true. So, why is it that it seems like I am missing from all the photos? Where is Mommy? And even more elusive is the complete Peterson family photo. You'd think with over 10,000 flashes in your face that you'd finally and fully succomb to that idea that every second of your life is going to be captured . . . but, Autumn has started to protest. She'll turn her head towards me but refuse to look . . . little fun things like that! Anyway - this was the last group shot I found. It was a self-portrait taken on 4th of July.

Creative License

We believe in getting dirty, wet, sandy, muddy . . . and, yes . . . even painted. As long as she's safe and not destroying anything, we allow her to have creative license. We give her a blank canvas, bottles of paint, sponges and brushes and let her imagination go wild. Most of the time she even leaves a little room for us to paint our own pictures with her. She's come a long way from insisting that she needs a paintbrush (the first time the sitter offered to let her fingerpaint).

Our Brown-Eyed Girl

If I could freeze time . . . I would save those big brown eyes, the full honest giggle that you get when Daddy tickles you, the crazy smart way you put words together, the fast little crooked way you run, even your passion of extreme happiness and raw frustration, and especially every time you smile and say, "I love you, Mommy" . . . and hope that you stay this way forever.

6 months old already

It seems like so long ago and in some ways just yesterday that Gavin was born. We look back at pictures to see how far he's come and how much he's changed . . . and we couldn't be prouder parents. Gavin laughs openly, gets nervous when Mommy leaves the room, has tried rice cereal a few times (although Jeff did say that Gavin actually gagged when he tried to feed him pears yesterday), and is happiest when he's sitting up . . . he weighs 17.6 pounds and is considered long for his age. He smiles all the time.