Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas at the Beach


Dan, Calvin, and I spent this Christmas at the beach in South Carolina. It was great to get away and be with family to play for a few days. We had a great time, and we are so thankful that Ace, Jeffy, Sam, Abbey, and Ben were willing to make the long/expensive treks so that Dan and I didn't have to. We love you guys!

Here are some highlights of our time together:

1. Getting some down time while other people watched Cal. This does not happen a lot, and unfortunately it didn't happen without great effort while we had many willing sitters for Cal. Cal was not feeling well and was extremely clingy....I spent a lot of time hiding because when he saw me, he was immediately discontent....more like screaming.

2. Having all the "kids" together. It love watching Dan with his brothers...he acts like he is 10 all over again.
What this picture does not show is what happened when they reached the open beach at the end of the dock. Ben decided it was time for a frigid swim. Of course, Dan and Sam had to follow suit. All three grown boys....in their skivvies.


3. Walking the beach. It was very windy for the first couple of days, but the last day was gorgeous. We walked a couple miles down to a pier. On the other side, we found a starfish graveyard. I think there were between 50-100 starfish of all shapes and sizes within 100 yards of each other. It was pretty incredible.



4. Watching Cal with his grandparents, uncles, and aunt.


After bath time has always been Jeffy's special playtime with Cal. I don't think Calvin likes it very much. =)

Awww.

Calvin is getting initiated early into the world of golf. I love this picture of Cal on the golf cart with grandpa. It is windy, but neither seem to mind too much.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Birthday Boy


Calvin celebrated his first birthday on December 26th. It is hard to believe that a year has already passed! Here are some highlights from his first day-after-Christmas birthday. We tried to make it special.


Cake....like many other foods, Calvin was unwilling to try it since it was not his idea. But, he was thrilled to feed it to Dan. Then, Uncle Sammy was happy to eat the mutilated scraps.

Calvin's hair had been getting pretty unruly, so we decided to give him his first haircut on his birthday. If Cal's Uncle Ben's career as a geologist doesn't work out, he might be able to make it as a baby hair stylist!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

First Snow and Big Steps

It snowed yesterday for the first time this year in Durham. We thought it was very pretty, but Calvin didn't seem to care too much. We thought we had to document the event, so here are some pictures of Calvin not caring about the pretty snowflakes.



Big Steps
Here is the scene that greets me as I rush over to offer some spotting. I always think I can be one step ahead, but I'm quickly learning that it is the other way around.


Here is what follows. Cal has gotten very good at climbing the stairs. He gets to the top and sits down (with only one cheek on the top step) to look behind with a proud smile and give high fives.

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Calvin has been learning how to steer his little buggy....well, sort of. He sometimes works himself out of jams, but not without whimpering and looking for assistance first. Here he makes a valiant effort to get free from the coffee table. =)

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Push and Ride Racer


I am constantly struggling to know when to intervene and make everything better for Cal and when to let him learn something. While teaching, I saw the results for some kids who received too much intervention, and I don't want to go there, but it is hard to know the line.

Here are some times recently where this has come up:

Steering the Push and Ride Racer:

Calvin has been loving this new toy from his Uncle Ben. He confidently walks behind it without anyone helping him...except to steer. He walks laps around our downstairs and loves it! However, Cal repeatedly runs into things and whines until I help him steer him clear. I've been helping him, showing him how I am turning while moving the car, but helping nonetheless. Not sure if this is the right answer or not.

I don't have a picture of his walking behind the racer, but you get the idea from seeing him ride it above. Cal has been doing what Dan is doing in the picture. Also, Dan's lips look funny because he was making a motor-ish sound. What a good dad!

Climbing the stairs:

We have 13 stairs connecting the two floors of our house, and I think they are steeper than normal. Last night when Dan came home, Calvin independently climbed every single one to get to Dan while he was changing out of his work clothes. It was quite an effort, and obviously I was centimeters behind him the whole way. This decision was obvious, even for me.....of course I don't let him learn this the hard way =).


Throwing the lamb blankie overboard:

Calvin has really been enjoying nap time and night time...too much. He stands in his crib and throws everything he can overboard...mostly socks and his blankie. This is fine until he realizes he wants his blankie to sleep. There has been some screaming lately because I've decided not to go up and give it back. Breaks my heart, but I don't want to play that game.

Even though I feel like I'm being tough, I think Cal is still a pretty happy guy!

Family Time




This is very belated, but it deserves a post anyway =).

Around Thanksgiving, we had fun seeing lots of people that we love. For about a week I felt like we still lived in the midwest as Kim, Jason, and Addie, and my mom came down south to see us. It was so great to get to show them our world here in North Carolina. Here are some of my favorite pictures of our time together.

Calvin and my mom really enjoyed hanging out together. I think this picture is sweet.



My mom helped me make a pillow for Cal's rocker. Incidentally, the fabric I chose had ducks all over it, and we stuffed it with duck feathers. The concept was brilliant. The mess was not.


Calvin and his Uncle Jason haven't spent a ton of time together since he is often at work while Cal is visiting and awake. However, Calvin knows when he is loved. So sweet. Jason also took the picture at the top of this post. He's good.

My sister, Kim, has quite a way with Cal. He always smiles with her. More than smiling, Calvin has taken to chasing his cousin Addie around. He actually took his first un-coerced steps trying to chase Addie while they were here.




Thursday, December 3, 2009

Clap, Clap, Clap

We've been having lots of fun watching Calvin follow verbal directions. So far, he loves to give "fives" and loves to clap. Hopefully he'll be mowing the yard by springtime.


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Persistence and Preference

I have never seen such persistence as this. Cal climbs the stairs (like all 13 of them) just struggling to get one big toe up around his hips to grip the step and then pulling the rest of his body up. Sorry the video is so dark...hopefully you can see enough.

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Calvin seems to really like "helping" with laundry. He particularly enjoys picking diapers out of the basket and scampering off with them. When I tell him to "bring it back!", he just turns, smiles, drops it, and comes himself. I'm okay with that!

Cal has been taking his books off the shelf and "reading." It is sweet to watch him turn the pages (...and chew on them).



Though the beloved golfball takes certainly takes preference over the books:

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And, here is a sweet video of Cal laughing while Dan gives him raspberries.


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Victory and Defeat

I feel like life is happening so quickly lately! Here are some of our latest victories and defeats.

Victory #1: The Vacuum Intervention

Calvin has been terrified of the vacuum lately, so I have just waited to vacuum until he is either asleep or away.....which means that the chore is rarely accomplished. I decided last week that this needed to change, so we had a little intervention.

Calvin is leary of the vacuum's quiet presence.

Day 1: After putting Cal in the baby carrier facing me, I started singing with one arm pulling him near to my chest. After turning on the vacuum, he screamed, so I walked away and continued singing until he calmed down...the vacuum humming in the distance. Eventually, I walked back to the vacuum and swept. Calvin survived.

Day 2: Calvin still in the carrier, I sang at the beginning, but was then able to stop after a little bit. I also didn't have to keep my arm around Cal's back. Yeah, 2-handed vacuuming!

Day 3: Calvin in the carrier, I didn't have to sing, but Calvin still cuddled under my chin in the carrier. After vacuuming like this, I put Cal in another room and vacuumed by myself in another room. He did fine.

Day 4: Calvin hung out with Daddy while I vacuumed. He did fine playing on the floor.

Success. Now I don't have an excuse for dirty floors.


Defeat #1: Sharing

Calvin has just started "playing" more with other babies since he is mobile. He suddenly cares when someone takes a toy from him, and he pilfers toys that his friends are playing with, too. How do you deal with this at such a young age? I'm at a loss. Some pictures of Cal with his friends Lucy and Mac. Mac is usually the victim of Cal's stealing. Lucy and Calvin take each others toys equally. =)


Victory #2 Seeking:

This is the face that pops around the corner to when I've hidden and Calvin finally sees me. We've been playing hide-and-seek for a couple of days now, and I still can't decided if the best part is this sweet face or his enthusiastic panting while he's scampering to find me. I love it all!

Defeat #2: Sick

Calvin has never been sick like this before, so the last 18 hours have been new to me. I think it's only a cold, but Cal can't seem to sleep. He just keeps sitting up in his crib and crying with snot dripping down his face. I'm sure laying down just feels terrible. I pick him up, and he immediately puts his head on my should and drifts off. I put him in his crib, and we repeat the process. Poor guy. I hope this doesn't last too long!

Victory #3: Walking!

Dan and I have been passing Calvin back and forth for a few days now. He is pretty much walking between us now. He loves it and so do we!

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Defeat (for Dan) #4: Washers and Boggle

Dan is on an ENT rotation this month, and it has been great. He's been working lots of hours since he goes in so early, but he's been coming home unexpectedly early some days. We've had some time to play together. Lately we've been playing games. Dan often beats me at things, but I have recently celebrated two monumental come-from-behind wins. One was at Boggle. We played to 200. Dan was in the lead for the whole game until the last couple of rounds where I snatched the victory 207 to 201.

The other game is Washers. Washers is a yard game (kind of like horseshoes or Cornhole) that Dan always beats me at. You try to throw the washers into the box (1 point) or PVC pipe (3 points), and the first to 21 wins. In this particular game, Dan was ahead something ridiculous like 18-4, and I came back to win 21 to 18! Here is the final round! I was so excited that I took a picture.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Peek-A-Boo!


Racehorse Rummy was my favorite game. Now it is peek-a-boo.


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Monday, November 9, 2009

"Toys"

Calvin is into EVERYTHING these days! Leaving Cal alone to play is a thing of the past. Somehow he sniffs out danger and gets his little paws into it constantly. Here's how he's been spending his time lately.


How do you put away every cord? Do people just do away with lamps with little guys crawling around? The philosophy thus far has been that he needs to learn how to control himself by obeying when I say "no." Hmmm....how's that going? Anyone not believe in original sin? I don't think anyone taught him to smile while repeating the same offense over and over.



If there is something to be under, that is where you will find Calvin. His favorite spot lately is under the dining room table. Up to this point, this has just been cute. However, he is starting to try to pull himself up on the chairs surrounding the table. Because they slide on the floor, he just scoots the chairs around. I'm afraid he's going to pull one over on himself. This morning, he did this with the bar stools. Again, do people just nail things that can fall over to the floor?


Of course Calvin's favorite piece of clothing is shoes...the dirtiest! He loves to gnaw on his own and ours when we are not looking. Here are some other things that Calvin has been getting into instead of playing with the toys I've chosen for him =):

The blinds-Pretty cute actually. He can barely reach, but his little paws just reach up and pat around for them. I don't even know why he cares because he can't even really reach them. He must know that they are off-limits.

The second book shelf- I've set aside the bottom shelf for stuff he can play with....thinking that defining the limits would keep him there and not to the higher shelves with our stuff on them. Hmmm...any suggestions about how to enforce "no" with a 10 month old? He definitely knows what it means, but chooses to interpret it his own way.

With all of these exciting "toys" to explore in Cal's newly mobile environment, Calvin's favorite thing to play with is still his daddy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mr. Distractible

Mr. Distractible

This is often the scene when Cal is in his highchair..he's not very interested in eating. Apparently there are other things to look at and do, and he's having a hard time getting the calories that he needs. We've had three appointments in the last 2 days....here's the rundown.

Pediatrician-10 month weight check: 16 pounds 11 ounces

This is an improved rate of growth, but still under the chart compared to his peers. Blood tests came back normal, so no leads about why he's not gaining weight there. What to do? See the endocrinologist and her nutritionist.

Endocrinologist and nutritionist- Get him to eat more calories.

They seemed pretty convinced that there is not some underlying condition happening that is affecting his vision and weight gain (yeah!). Instead, they think we need to just focus on getting Calvin more calorically dense foods since he's not interested in quantity (getting around 600-700ish calories a day instead of the 1,200 or so that he should be getting). We are going to start putting oil, butter, and whipping cream in his foods and give him 6 feedings with solids instead of 3.

Ophthalmologist- Left eye vision improving!

Last month we were a little discouraged to find that the vision in Calvin's left eye was not improving after pretty intense patching. The chart that was plotting his vision development had his right eye in normal range and his left eye below the chart. This time, the test showed that the discrepancy between the two eyes was cut in half! That is a huge improvement! We have known that he acts like he can see with his left eye, but it is really encouraging to have that affirmation from the doctor.

Dr. Wallace says that Calvin will need to have surgery again to correct the alignment issue with the eyes when his left eye has gained about as much vision as it will given the limiting nature of his retina. He thinks that could be anywhere from a couple months to a year. We are so thankful that he is gaining vision in his left eye!


Just a boy and a daddy....dressed like jail birds.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Cow"vin


What's with the tongue? He's been doing this for a few days now. It worked out well for his costume!


So, Dan and I were delinquent parents tonight. We went to a wedding instead of celebrating Calvin's first Halloween with him. Theresa made it a special night for the little guy and took great care of him!



Our little cowboy on the "mooooooo"ve. (I know, really bad)

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Cousins

Before heading back to North Carolina this week, we got to spend a few days with Kim (my sister), Jason, and Addie. Calvin was quite amused by his 4 year old cousin, and we were too!

Calvin and Addie actually played together a little bit! We put Cal in Addie's room to sleep the first night. Thinking he was asleep, we then put Addie to bed. A couple minutes later, we heard the two talking. We heard Addie's voice followed by a lilted "eh!" After laughing while listening outside the door, I entered to find Calvin and Addie each sitting up in their beds facing each other to talk. So sweet! Needless to say, Calvin had his own room after that.

Addie also responded to Calvin's beckoning. He would make a noise while looking at her, and she'd say, "Ok, Calvin, I'll get you a toy." Then she'd rush off to retrieve something. While she was a way, Calvin would "eh" and "eh" until she returned with something. He'd play for a minute and the cycle would repeat. Pretty funny to watch.


Addie dresses up everyday...sometimes multiple times. Her latest kick is being "fancy" like Fancy Nancy (a book series).

Here is Dan reading the Fancy Nancy book to Addie and Cal:


Here is the result. Addie thought that Uncle Dan needed to be "fancy," too!


Calvin loved Aunt Kim. He has always been really comfortable with her. During our visit, he laughed and laughed with her and often tried to get her attention with his lilted "eh."


Friday, October 30, 2009

Scooter

Calvin has been motoring around the house over the last week. Though his style is a bit non-traditional (what with the right leg dragging underneath and all), we think it still counts as crawling. At least he isn't using his forehead as much anymore...

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Dan is very happy that Cal's motivation for crawling came from a ball (and not the Barbie doll he was seen playing with a few days earlier - thanks a lot, Kristin Zeeb). Needless to say, we're baby-proofing the house now.

As a side note, we're really encouraged that Calvin is able to do all what you see in the video with a patch on his good eye!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cascarelli's Reunion

Homer, Michigan is located approximately halfway between Ann Arbor, MI and Fort Wayne, IN. With a population of only 1,851 people and a delicious pizza place called Cascarelli's, it has been the perfect meeting place for the Rocke's over the last 4 years. It was fun to share the meeting spot with some of our Ann Arbor friends on Saturday.

Fun times. From left to right: Cal, Erin, Amy, Daniel, Kelly, Dan, and Kyle. The waitress who took this picture remembered Dan, Calvin, and me from our stops at the restaurant in the past. After asking how old Calvin is, she said that she remembers when we showed Cal's ultrasound pictures to Ace and Jeffy there. Maybe we stick out like a sore thumb since we are "out-of-town-ers."





Thanks for coming to see us in Homer! We miss you and loved our time together!