Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Strider's travels and tales

Strider and I visited Charlotte this month, staying with Nonna and Poppa for a few days, while Pete was away on a trip.  Some pics from the trip....

With Chelsie

Quite a large chair for quite a little guy
 We also went to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving:

Strider and Eden

Nate and Eden

Other tidbits about Strider:

He still loves church – he is in awe of it pretty much the whole time.  At least until it gets too quiet and we’re not praying.  Or at the end when he wants Cheerios.  But he always knows where the Cross is, and still watches it solemnly as it goes up and down the aisle.  I hope he’s always like this!

And he’s still a cuddle-bug.  When he gets up from his nap or in the mornings, he’ll often just want to lie with me and rest.  Then sometimes he’ll reach out with both hands and touch my face very gently… so cute.

Going to bed at night is still the same routine, generally.   He asks to start it;  “nnn  nnn   nnn” and then I feed him.  After he’s done eating, as I start to carry him upstairs, he is now starting to protest, though.  Some nights he’ll squirm and yell as we go up.  But as soon as we get to his crib, I start to sing his song, and even if he’s mid-yell, he’ll immediately put his head down on my shoulder and that’s the end of the protesting.  After the song, he is laid down, and then he just says “bye bye” and that’s it!

Going to the grocery store is a very high-energy activity for Strider these days.  As soon as I tell him we’re going shopping, he immediately starts talking about all the balloons he’s going to see when we get there.  Once we’re actually at the store, he has to identify everything!  All of produce is “ball-ball” at this point – except for the very exciting “na-na’s.”  Then there are fans, balloons, crackers, cereal, bread, raisins, juice, etc to point out.  When we just start walking towards the colder section, he immediately starts saying milk.  Plus he has to identify every sound he hears (often interrupting what he’s already “saying” to do so) – such as every bell tone he hears, or every baby crying.  He even does his sign for “thank you” when he hears someone say it over the intercom.  Everything gets named and a commentary!

For Christmas we went to Charlotte with the Wray family (but I only have non-digital pictures!)...

Strider loved playing with Uncle Deuce at Christmas.  Called him “dooos” and waved his arms back and forth…

Got a kick out of all of his aunts, uncles and grandparents actually.  He thought his little cousin Lizzie was cute, too…  Although sometimes she needed a little help.  Like when she had a runny nose one day.  Strider looked at her and pointed at her nose with a pained expression.  Then he picked up her blanket and tried to rub it off for her!

In the car to and from Charlotte we again had our “conductor” giving us singing instructions.  He would ask for Row Row Row Your Boat, and then when one of us wasn’t singing, he would say our name until we joined in.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

More and more personality showing...

Strider as a 15-month old...

This totally typifies Strider’s personality these days:  He was sitting playing with a toy that was frustrating him because he couldn’t figure it out.  He got so mad that his whole body started to convulse and he threw his head backward with a big yell.  When he threw his hand back behind him to catch himself from falling, it came down on a toy that plays music.  As soon as the music started, he stopped mid-yell, switched to a huge grin and started dancing! 

He’s now really into praying before eating.  And not just before HE eats… anytime he sees people sit down to eat, even if he’s supposed to be playing, he’ll come running over and reach out both hands to be included in the saying grace part.  And then sometimes he just wants us to keep praying and praying.  But when it’s HIM that’s about to eat, he’ll pray for a  little while, but if the prayer gets too long, he’ll pre-empt with an AMEN so he can get to eating!

He said/signed his first phrase today!  (At least the first one that doesn’t include the sign for “more” in it)  When we go to play on the swings, he always wants me to swing next to him – which he indicates by leaning way over and pointing and grunting vehemently at the empty swing next to him.  Today finally, though, he said “Mama” and signed for “swing” at the same time.

Today on a tv commercial he heard the doorbell rang.  He immediately ran for our door and started pointing and grunting.  I thought he would be satisfied if I finally opened the door, but he still was becoming increasingly more upset as he tried to communicate something to me.  Then he started banging on his head with his fist!  I couldn’t figure this out for awhile, until I recognized that he used to do this when we would play “Knock on the door, peek in the window” game (where you touch the various points on his face).  So I suggested that game and immediately his face lit up!   Funny how he connected a doorbell noise to that game!

Laughing is becoming a dangerous sport for Strider, or I should say, still is.  He laughs so hard at things that he falls over – even if he’s just sitting!  Today I was doing this silly slapstick-like thing over and over and each time, as soon as I started making a goofy face, he would start laughing uncontrollably, fall over and then get to the point where his laugh wasn’t even making any noise – he was barely breathing!  I quickly learned to move all objects away from any area around him so he couldn’t fall on them!

Sunday, September 30, 2001

14-month old Strider

 Some glimpses of Strider as a 14-month old...

Today, in all of our activities, (we played around the house, went to the nursery at church, went to school with Daddy, went shopping, etc.) some things today have made Strider sad – like when we told him he couldn’t have any more milk, or like when we told him he couldn’t get out of his stroller.  But he’s only thrown 2 major tantrums today.  Know what they were for?  One was when Pete didn’t unload the dishwasher like he often does in the morning, and the other was when we put the vacuum cleaner away after using it!  For some reason, he gets a MAJOR kick out of housework activities, and, obviously, gets very disappointed when he can’t do them more often.

 Two of his other favorite activities:  having Pete brush his teeth (using a little toothbrush with no toothpaste), and getting his hair brushed (stands in the doorway of the bathroom and points at the brush until we brush his hair).
Hmmm…. cleanliness and personal hygiene are his favorite things….  Could this be Pete Frank’s son????

Doing his famous "sniff" face

Tonight Strider was driving me crazy with his eating patterns.  He keeps refusing to eat foods that I KNOW he likes… it gets pretty old real fast.  So Pete came up after awhile and was trying to feed him.  Sometimes he would push his peas away, and sometimes he would strain for them.  So I started ranting in a very whiny voice,  “No, I don’t LIKE peas!  Now I WANT my peas! Give me peas!  Now I don’t want them!” etc.  Then I looked at Strider and said “Now who does that remind you of?” – and he raised his hand!

The other day when I was feeding Strider, I turned my head to look out the window towards the playground behind our house.  Even though his BACK was to this window and he couldn’t see out it, he started making his sign for “swing” – because he knew I could see it!  Another day when I was changing his diaper, again he couldn’t see out the window.  But when he saw me turn my head so I could see out the window, he said “Woof woof” – because we always see dogs on that side of the house!

When he was sitting on my lap a few days ago he pointed at my neck and said “mama.”  I said, “Can you say ‘I love you Mama?”  He thought for a few seconds then put his head down on my shoulder!!!
Strider at 12-months old -- with his friend Sloane.

Thursday, June 7, 2001

Strider's First Year

As I type this, it is January of 2013, so I feel rather transcendent, being able to back-date this post as if it were published in 2001!  Over the recent years, Strider has enjoyed reading what I write about our adventures and all the cute things the little guys say, etc. He's often asked me what he was like when he was little.... and poor boy, he was born long before blogging was!

So I've decided to go back and pull out the pictures (fuzzy as they are, since they are scanned pictures from film -- not digital --- what??!) and the little anecdotes I wrote in a word processor from the early years of Strider's life.  The rest of our family life is currently recorded in actual scrapbooks (again not digital!), so I won't duplicate most of that.

Pete and I were transformed in June of 2000 when we became parents, so it only makes sense to extend our blog backwards to that point.

So, as my "first" post, here are some pictures from Strider's first year of life:
We brought our new little baby home to a temporary apt.
6 weeks old on his second big trip--
 up to NY for Aunt Katie's graduation

2 months old -- after our move to Virginia

His baptism day

 In this one brief year, we lived in 4 different places and traveled to several states.  Pete had two different jobs and started a PhD program, and I started teaching at George Mason.  It was a busy time of transition -- and Strider slept in a pack-and-play for the first 5 months of his life.

What an exciting time it was!  Strider and smily face brought joy to us every single day.