Sunday, January 21, 2007

Alex Goes to Michigan

Our trip to Michigan was a wonderful and much-needed time of rest, relaxation, and special moments with family. We arrived late Christmas Eve, tired from our trip and from all of the excitement of the past few days.

The next morning, we opened stockings and presents around the tree. Alex got some new books, a set of blocks, clothes, a ball, and a really cool riding truck!

But one of the most special gifts, and one that he will cherish for years to come, was a stocking lovingly made by his Nyanya.

My Aunt Cindy and her family joined us for Christmas dinner later that day.

Alex was worn out from all the excitement!

Alex enjoyed meeting more of his relatives during our trip -- including Great Grandmother and Great Grandaddy Clutter...

...Uncle Matt...

...and Great Grandma and Great Grandpa "B" (honorary great-grandparents).

He also enjoyed playing the piano...

...going to see the elaborate electric train at the Henry Ford Museum...

...pulling pens out of Babu's pocket...

...and going with Babu up to the front for Kids Time at church on Sunday morning.

Rusty and I enjoyed taking advantage of the free babysitting and actually went on a date -- out to dinner and to see a movie ("We Are Marshall" -- highly recommend it!). We were, of course, thoroughly spoiled by Mom's delicious home cooking, and the cookie trays that seemed to magically appear at the end of every meal!

It was hard to say goodbye, but we look forward to the next time we can all be together, whenever that may be!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Christmas in Portland

We had a nice Christmas in Portland with Ronda, Robbie, and Johnny. We celebrated on Dec. 23rd because Rusty, Alex, and I had to leave for Michigan on the 24th. Good thing Santa makes special early deliveries! The weeks leading up to Christmas were full of all kinds of special experiences for Alex... helping pick out the Christmas tree...

...and meeting Santa Claus! He wasn't too sure about the stranger in the red suit with the long, white beard, which is why Rusty is in the picture too!

Christmas morning was a special time. Alex was a little too young to be Santa's helper and pass out presents this year, but he did let us take his picture wearing a Santa hat. He got lots of cool new toys, and a HUGE stocking (as in, he could have crawled inside it!) stuffed with all kinds of goodies. But he seemed more interested in the paper and bows! It is truly magical experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nine Months Old

Alex was nine months old on November 28th. Where does the time go? He is crawling like a champ, pulling up on anything vertical (furniture, lamps, pant legs), and cruising. He has developed a fascination with shoes. Seriously -- put the kid in a room with a bunch of really cool toys and a pair of old dirty shoes, and he will go for the shoes every single time! I've decided I'm not going to spend any money on toys for this child since he's just as happy to play with my sneakers. What are grandparents for anyway?

Since this month was really busy with Thanksgiving and my parents' visit, I didn't get around to doing a photo shoot with Alex. So, just enjoy the photo montage below (courtesy of my Dad, who took all of these pics)!

Nyanya and Babu Visit Portland

My Nyanya and Babu came to visit me in Portland for two weeks in November. It was great to see them again after so many months. This time, I could actually play and interact with them. We had a lot of fun together. Here are some pictures from their time in Portland.

Nyanya and I read books. . .

. . . and played the piano together.

Babu let me try on his really cool Indiana Jones hat!

We played on the floor together.

On day, we went to OMSI to see the special "Star Wars" exhibition. Daddy and I had our picture taken with Chewy. He's really tall and hairy. Chewy, I mean.

And Babu posed next to Darth Vader.

And Nyanya, Mommy, and me posed with Princess Leia, R2-D2, and C-3PO.

I was fascinated with the huge marble run.

Also, while Nyanya and Babu were in Portland, we celebrated my first Thanksgiving. We had a big family dinner in the fellowship hall at the Eastside church with relatives from both Mommy's and Daddy's sides of the family. I tried turkey and pumpkin pie for the first time, and I also ate lots of mashed potatoes and gravy and Mommy's rockin' sweet potato casserole!

My great-grandma Nadine celebrated her 80th birthday while Nyanya and Babu were here. We had a big birthday bash at the Metro church. Here's a picture of four generations that was taken at her party.

Stay tuned for pictures from my trip to Michigan in December!