Friday, July 23, 2010

Step by step

For those of you who haven't been around Connor lately, he is walking now! For the last several months, he's been working so hard at walking well when you hold both his hands, then he dropped one of those hands and practiced some more, and now he can walk on his own!! Although he took his first 2-3 steps on his own on Father's Day, we are counting his first official steps on July 9 when he took 15 independent steps between me and Brad. (The 2-5 steps before then were more of a controlled fall, so we didn't count those.) He was 8 months old!!! Now, all he wants to do is practice walking. He is so determined to be running around with his older friends! We still have to hold onto one of his hands most of the time, but the support he gets from us now is minimal. He is going to be walking by himself in no time, and then the real trouble will start. Here are a few videos of his new skills taken over the last couple months:

Because bending over and walking with him has been putting so much stress on our backs, Brad and I devised a system that makes everyone happy. He could do this all day (and he does)... (In my defense, I don't normally dress like this - I was dressed up to go to a line dancing enrichment activity, but I didn't end up going because Brad got home from work really late that night. And as if my looks weren't white trash enough for you - yes, that's a fridge in our living room. That's another story entirely.)

On the flip side, look how well Connor still doesn't crawl, although he is getting much better. What kid walks but doesn't crawl??

Connor is 9 months old today and he is happier than ever (except when you sit him on the floor when he wants to walk - then he'll really let you have it). He is so much fun. His newest skills (besides walking) include clapping, socially laughing (if you laugh, he will sometimes laugh back), stooping to pick things off the floor while standing, standing by himself with no support, and he does this shy gesture where he tucks his head into his left shoulder while smiling at you. Don't know where that came from, but it really is cute.

He's a good kid, albeit strong willed - he certainly knows what he wants and when he wants it. But I know that will help him later in his life. We love you Connor baby! Happy 9 months!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

El Segundo Farmer's Market

I absolutely love living in El Segundo. It is, by far, my favorite place Brad and I have lived (we've also lived in Provo, UT and Long Beach, CA - which is saying a lot because Long Beach is another really great city to live in). I won't get into all the reasons why I love it in this post, but I will share one.

My friend Becky and her son Kevin go walking with Connor and me every Thursday to the El Segundo Farmer's Market on Main Street. Even if I don't buy any of the delicious produce, it's so fun to walk around and enjoy the free samples of fruit. When we went on Thursday, July 8 the city was hosting Environmental Awareness groups with booths set up. One of the vendors there was the Aquarium of the Pacific with a trailer containing tanks of fish, lobsters, star fish, sea urchins, and sea anemones, most of which they let us touch! Connor had a fun time playing in the water and he was intrigued by the different textures of the urchins, anemones, and star fish. It was a fun afternoon! Thanks for going with us Becky and Kevin, and thank you El Segundo!

Friday, July 9, 2010

4th of July, First Annual Reeve Cousin Reunion Extravaganza

Connor and I just returned from a great week-long vacation in Utah fun-filled with immediate and extended family over the 4th of July holiday weekend. This is going to be a really long post - we did so much in only 1 week! Brad wasn't able to come up with us. He had to work during the week and then he planned a boys' weekend with my brother-in-law Sterling to go motorcycling up the coast.

What inspired this week away was a cousin reunion. On my mom's side of my family (the Reeve side) there are 9 girl cousins all within 10 years of age. Every year for the past several years, we have enjoyed getting together as we have all gotten married one by one. Fortunately, almost all of us are married now. Unfortunately, that means we no longer have an excuse to get together every year. So we gave ourselves one! We made plans at last year's weddings to get together for this year's 4th of July as our first Annual (or Semi-Annual - we haven't decided yet) Cousin Reunion (July 2-5). We all had a blast!

In order to spend some time with Brad's family while we were there, Connor and I decided to go up the Tuesday before (June 29). Connor loved playing with his grandma, grandpa, aunts, and uncles. This is what we did all week:

Connor and I landed in Salt Lake around 5:30 on Tuesday afternoon. Connor did fantastic on the flight!! He did cry for the first 5 minutes or so, but I think it was from being over tired. He slept the whole way there after that - lucky me. Brian and Brenda (G'pa and G'ma Jeppson) picked us up from the airport and they had so much fun playing with Connor that night. Wednesday Brian had to work so Brenda, Connor and I just played at home for the day.

Thursday morning my mother-in-law Brenda, sister-in-law Jenn, Connor and I drove down to Cedar City to visit with my sister-in-law Cami who is currently attending SUU. We went for a short hike (very short - the trail was closed) and all the girls saw Much Ado About Nothing that night at the Shakespearean Festival. If you are going to be in Cedar City this summer, I HIGHLY recommend this play! I normally like the Shakespeare plays, they are fun to go to and a nice evening out. But this play is above the rest - it's hysterical! Before our 3 hour drive back to Salt Lake Friday morning, we all woke up early (6 a.m.) for a hike up a slot canyon in southern Utah. It was beautiful and Connor loved riding along in his hiking backpack that Grandma Brenda bought for him! Thank you thank you!!

These two are my absolute favorites! Benedick and Beatrice. They were endlessly hilarious!!!

Friday afternoon around 3, I met up with all my cousins at Fashion Place mall in Murray, UT for a pedicure to kick off our cousin weekend, and Grandma Brenda watched Connor for me (thank you!). After our pedi, I picked up Connor and met my cousins and the rest of our families at a Thai food restaurant near the mall. There were about 20 of us, including 3 babies. It was a party !! We also met my cousin Erika's baby Stella for the first time - what a cutie!! And my sister Claire made little memory books for all the cousins with many pictures of the fun memories we've made growing up together. It was very sweet of her and very fun to look back and remember.

Saturday morning we all met at Hogle Zoo and walked around for about 2 hours. Then we ate sandwiches, strawberry salad, potato salad and chips for lunch at my cousin LaRisse's in-laws' beautiful house close by (where all the babies were able to take naps). Later that afternoon my sister Ady, cousin Noelle, Connor and I drove up Mill Creek Canyon for a short hike that took us up and around the front side of the mountain to a look out point that overlooked the entire Salt Lake Valley. It was a little difficult for me (there is something to be said for oxygenated air at sea level vs. thin air in the mountains!) but it was well worth it and so beautiful. After the hike, we headed back to Noelle's house in Sugarhouse for a big cousin BBQ - burgers, dogs, grilled peppers and asparagus, salad, chips, lemonade, pretzel M&Ms. So so yummy.

This giraffe was awesome. He was so considerate to stand at the wall so we could get a good height reading, and for whatever reason he kept licking the wall. Kinda weird...

What would it be like to be this tall??

Ever wonder what the animals see??

Not exactly sure what Connor is doing in this picture... L to R: Me and Connor baby, DeAndre, Noelle, Claire and Jaxson baby, Adrienne, LaRisse, DesiRee, Erica and Stella baby. The only cousin missing is Angelique, sister of Noelle and Erica. We missed you Angelique! (All the sisters/kids are color-coordinated.)

Halfway up the trail, Noelle offered to carry Connor in his backpack for me. I would say she was able to handle the extra 25 lb. load because she lives in higher-altitude Utah, but it's really because she is in much better shape than me. Thanks Noelle! He rode with me back down - the easy part.

Grill Master Jason.

The 3 babies together - Stella (3 months), Jaxson (15 months), Connor (8 months).

Stella with her dad Jason.

Sunday morning we drove out to Sundance for brunch at the Foundry Grill and then Connor and I drove back to Salt Lake to visit with Connor's great grandparents Gotberg and Jeppson for a couple hours. Then we drove back down to my Aunt Chris's house in American Fork for a Carver family 4th of July BBQ - BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, salad, rolls, BYU chocolate milk (oh how I miss this!!) and homemade ice cream - always delicious. Connor also got to play with his great grandparents Carver and my cousin Nikki's black lab puppy Ranger. So cute, so full of energy! We also met my cousin's new baby boy Craig for the first time and took some cousin pictures. He is so adorable!

Great Grandpa Gotberg (David) - I think this is who Connor gets his piercing blue eyes from. Don't know if you can tell from this pic though. Try clicking on the picture to make it bigger.

Great Grandma Jeppson (Mildred).

Great Grandpa Jeppson (Trent).

The puppy kept knocking Jaxson over because he was trying to play so Jaxson was afraid of him (Connor was ok around the puppy because I was able to hold on to him so he couldn't be knocked over). Anyway, Jaxson was playing with a spray bottle and as soon as he realized he could squirt the puppy, it was sweet payback - from the safety of one of our laps of course. Unfortunately, the puppy was game and he knocked over an unsuspecting Jaxson a few more times after this. Poor guy, but it was slightly funny. :)

Great Grandma Carver (Patricia).

The entire Reeve clan (my mom's side of the family).

Monday morning was more relaxing. My cousins all got together in the morning for a workout with Noelle's fitness instructor. I heard it was brutal - I didn't join them for this one. My father-in-law Brian had the day off and Brad's brother Jordan and his wife Jenika were down from Wyoming, and brother Brandon and his wife Jenn were up from Orem to visit with me and Connor (ok, just Connor - I know where I stand now :) ) so I thought it was better for us to stay home and play with all of them. It was great to see everyone, but I didn't think to take many pictures of everyone! Oh well, sorry guys. But I did get a great video of Connor and Uncle Brandon playing together! Then later that night Connor and I met up one last time with all my cousins and the rest of our families for yet another BBQ at my Uncle Ross's house. Swiss mushroom burgers, fruit salad, lots of other sides, and my Uncle Doyle's homemade pies - lemon, chocolate, cherry. Too good, I wanted to eat all night. After the BBQ, Connor and I headed back to the Jeppsons' where we said goodbye to our siblings and Brian, Brenda, Connor and I lit 2 small fireworks - only 2 because Connor was TERRIFIED. Poor guy. I'm a great mom though. I thought to grab the camera and snap a picture before I went to console my son. I know, mom of the year...

Connor's aunts, uncles, and grandparents were all so nice to literally run Connor around everywhere all weekend (that's all he wants to do these days) and he was so happy and excited that he would just keep his legs running even when Uncle Brandon lifted him in the air:

Is this not the sweetest face you've ever seen? I just love Stella baby!

Sheer terror. I felt so bad, but I wanted to light another one to see if a non-whistling firework would be any better. It wasn't.

Tuesday morning a few of the cousins (Ady, Claire, LaRisse, and I) met for breakfast at Mimi's Cafe in Murray. Everyone else had to go back to work. After breakfast, LaRisse, Brenda, Connor and I took a tour of LaRisse's Periodontics office (it's a beautiful office and she is going to be a partner soon!) and then we all drove down to BYU to eat ice cream from the creamery, and visit the BYU bookstore where I bought Connor his very first BYU hat. Later that day Connor and I flew home. Connor was a champ on the flight. He didn't sleep this time, but he was just laughing, playing, talking (sometimes loudly) and smiling at everyone around us. We made a lot of friends on that flight.

Connor and I had a blast all week. It was so full of activities that we almost needed a vacation from our vacation, but I was so sad when it was over. Can't wait for the next cousin reunion! We hope you all had a great 4th of July!