Sunday, June 23, 2013

Zoo Day!

On Saturday, June 22, we took Calvin for his first visit to the zoo!  It was a lovely, hot day, sunny and clear, and Cal wore a perfect little mini-Jack Hanna ensemble.

As always, the zoo was beautiful.  

We first headed over to good ol' North America to see the sights.

We spotted some animals, too - imagine that.  :P

We then headed over to check out the polar bears (or bear, as it were).

Afterward, we stopped by the petting zoo.  Cal got a kick out of the goats and horses.

Then, we moved on to what had to be Calvin's favorite place - the aquarium.  He was immediately enthralled by all the fish swimming by, and got very kicky.  :)  He seemed to know it was water they swam in, because he repeatedly tried to splash with his hand, just like while in the pool.  He was enraptured for a good 15 minutes or more.

We wound down the trip shortly after, particularly due to the fact that it was about 200 degrees out, but not before getting a few more pictures.

We have a family pass, though, so we'll be back often to explore.  We're so fortunate to have one of the best zoos in the country just a few miles from home!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Calvin's First Indians Game!

On Saturday, June 15, 2013, we took Calvin to his first Indians game!  Oh, we were so excited.  We'd looked forward to this since the moment we knew he was on the way!

We drove up and stopped for a lovely visit with his great-grandma I and great-aunt Linda.  We're so blessed that she's been able to visit with him several times now.

Then, we patronized the West Side Market for various fruits, veggies, meats and desserts.  What a cool place!

After that, we headed over to see the ball game at Progressive (Jacobs) Field.  Calvin was immediately fascinated with everything there was to see.

Once inside the gate, we stopped by Guest Services to pick up a certificate for Calvin for it being his first Indians game.  Too cool!  It's a thoughtful gesture by the Indians organization, and we love that we have this special little memento to keep.

We went to our (incredible, thanks to Brian for being such a VIP at work and nabbing awesome tickets!) seats and snapped some more pictures.  We had to properly commemorate this big day!

Calvin was pretty great throughout the game, especially considering it had already been a long day, with the 2-hour drive, visiting great-grandma I and great-aunt Linda, shopping at the farmer's market, on top of the fact that he's right in the throes of cutting his first tooth (teeth?)!

Before the game got started, we went over to the Indians Hall of Fame plaza to find our personalized brick Calvin's grandma Kathy got us a few years back. It was a poignant moment.

Then, we settled into our seats and the game got underway.  It was so fun!  Calvin was a big hit with everyone who saw him.

There was only one moment that Cal lost his cool.  He was dozing, and the crowd suddenly erupted in deafening cheers for an exciting play.  The poor boy was so startled that he started screaming.  I hurriedly rushed him up out of the seating area to the concourse for some fresh air, to get him calmed down.  It was over as quickly as it began, though; the crisis was over in no time.  :D Cal laid low the rest of the game, cuddling alternately with mama and daddy, with the occasional cheering/ dancing session.

We had an awesome time, and even though the Tribe lost, it was still a memorable and wonderful experience to take our son to his first baseball game.  I took a moment during the game, as I cuddled my sweet boy close, to really soak it all in and feel amazing gratitude for my life with him.  Such lucky ducks we are!  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Love Is In The Air

This past Saturday, at only 6 months old, Calvin went to his very first wedding.  
I wasn't worried about how he'd handle it, but I was... curious.  It was to be a long day - the ceremony was at 1:00, with the reception not starting until 5:00.

Not surprisingly, Cal breezed through the entire day like a champ.  Brian did have to take him to the church's "crying room" during the ceremony because he was getting a little too restless (am I talking about Calvin or Brian here?); otherwise, he was an absolute angel, even amid unfamiliar surroundings, tons of people and lots of general happy commotion.

As soon as we got settled in the church for the ceremony, Calvin was taken with all of the beautiful stained glass and various lights.  And it didn't take him long to catch the eye of some pretty ladies in the pew behind us - he's such a little flirt.

The highlight for me was that, during one of the songs, Calvin was singing along!  People around us heard and were quite entertained by his lyrical stylings.  It was quite adorable.  :)

Between the ceremony and reception, we all grabbed a bite to eat (bite in the figurative sense for Calvin, thankfully) and then passed the time and browsed the wares at a nearby antique mall.  Then, we were wowed when we headed over to the beautiful reception site.

Calvin was a huge hit.  Everyone loved meeting/ seeing him, and we were more than happy to share him with the family.  It certainly didn't hurt that he was looking so dapper in his fancy duds, and that he was in such a happy, laughing mood.

He had little tastes of the pasta's alfredo sauce, a little bit of cake icing, and he got to try a lemon for the first time, and surprisingly, seemed to enjoy it.  (Of course he did.)

Many babies would be overwhelmed after a long day by a large wedding reception, with all the people, music, lights and all, but Calvin took it all in stride just like always, and it really seemed like he had a lot of fun!

We're so lucky to have such an awesomely go-with-the-flow baby!  Oh, and congratulations to Daniela and Ben!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Swimming, Swimming, In The Swimming Pool

On Wednesday evening, we had our first parent-baby swim class!  It was awesome.  Calvin had so much fun!  It was his first time in a (non-baby) pool, and he LOVED it.  Even before he was born, I really had a feeling he'd be a water baby, and so far that's proving to be true.  When he was still inside, he'd kick like crazy anytime I was near running water, and he has continued to do so.
Look how excited he is!
So, it's not surprising that, as soon as we got in the water, he started kicking his little feet like a pro!  He also really got a kick out of splashing in the water with his hands.  He didn't even mind when the water would splash him in his face!  And he loved seeing all the other babies playing and having fun.
Here we go!
For the first several minutes of the class, we parents got our babies acclimated to the water.  Cal had no qualms about diving right in, so to speak, so I quickly started trying him out in different positions.  Upright, tilted forward, 'floating' on his back, he was good with it all.  Then, we sang a couple of interactive songs, and helped our babies kick and splash in time to the music.  There were plenty of floating toys to be had, though Calvin was totally content enjoying the water, soaking in all the activity around him.
Kicky feet!
He smiled and laughed for Daddy (on the sidelines taking pictures), and babbled at the teacher, who seemed duly impressed by his innate skill (considering he was the youngest baby in the class by several months at least).  I didn't take him underwater, though he did dunk his face a couple of times, and while it seemed to take him by surprise, he was a-ok with it.
It was a wonderfully delightful time, and I was so happy to share in his first real pool experience - the first of many, many to come.
♥      ♥      ♥ 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Parenting From A Big Kid's Point Of View

***Guest Post By Brian!***

Ok, so I'm not really a kid, I'm 35 years old, but I have a basement full of arcade games, I still play Nintendo and Sega and I collect classic automobiles.  Now, amazingly, I also have a kid.  25 year old me would never have believed it, let alone 30 year old me.  But, here he is, and now Lisa gets to live with two kids (at least one is potty trained, though).

I never knew what to expect when having a kid.  I never read any books on how to be a good father or how to raise your child.  I never even WANTED kids until a few years ago!  Luckily, I had two incredible role models growing up in my mom and dad, and I always just planned to take their lead and raise Calvin with the lessons that they taught me.  They did a fantastic job raising me - I'm happy with the way I turned out.  They always gave me the freedom to be who I wanted to be, make the decisions and mistakes that I was going to make, and learn from them.  That's how I plan on raising Calvin, and Lisa shares this philosophy.  It's like Princess Leia said to Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope: "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."  Basically meaning that the more restrictive you are, the more you're going to have rebellion.  I got along great with my parents even as a teenager because they gave me the freedom to be me.
Why does Leia have a British accent in the first movie, but not the rest?
It does become so interesting, though, to see life through a new set of eyes.  As an adult, so many things have lost their, for lack of a better word, wonder. A tree is a tree, a cat is a cat, and swinging in a swing makes me kind of queasy.  But to Calvin, this stuff is freakin' fascinating.  His eyes get all wide when he grasps a leaf in his hand; he laughs his little head off when one of our cats rolls around on the floor, and when he's in his swing?  Forget about it.  It could be a rocket ship speeding through space for all he knows.  He's smiling and kicking his legs and waving his arms.  Even mundane things amuse him.  He absolutely loves ceiling lights.  We have this one fixture near our front door that he will look at whenever he's near it - to the point of craning his neck waaaaaay back to keep it in sight.  It's a nice light, and I like it, but he LOVES it.
Yes he does.
The point is, it's neat to see someone just learning all of this stuff.  Learning life, so to speak.  I can't wait for him to go to the beach for the first time, see the ocean, see animals at the zoo... all of these things that are old hat to us get that layer of dust blown off and become new again.  I never thought that sitting on the floor playing with blocks would be considered fun and exciting, but now it is.

So the journey begins - one adult woman, one baby, and one adult man who never grew up.