12th Month - Your First Word!

September 28, 2010

Dear Teo, 

I'm going to post about your birthday itself soon, but I wanted to write a little about your 12th month, first.  You are a real walker, now, and that's not all . . . You sometimes run, which scares the heck out of me.  You can also OPEN THE FRONT DOOR!  

Once you get the door open, there are four places you generally go - to grammy's house, to the watering can and garden hose (you do water play just about every day), to the garden to pick cherry tomatoes which you like to squish the juice out of and then feed to me, or to the end of the driveway to look for trucks and buses going by on the street.  

Which leads me to the other awesome development this month - you are officially talking.  Your first word (besides mama, bapa and bye-bye) is TRUCK, pronounced "chrck" and said with awe and urgency.  There was road construction outside our house a couple of weeks ago, and you were fascinated.  Even now, when you wake up in the morning, you lead me outside first thing trying to spot a "chrck" or a "bu" (bus). 

Transportation seems to be the theme these days.  Your favorite things to play with are grammy's matchbox cars and your Thomas the Train stuff.  

Your other great interest is . . . cleaning!  Really.  You just go around cleaning things.  You like to pick up leaves off the driveway and throw them into the flower bed (usually with an enthusiastic "Yaaa!" sound, as though you are heroically vanquishing the foe of messiness).  When you are done eating, you like to wipe your high chair with a wash cloth.  I took you to a picnic today, and you diligently picked up napkins and threw them into the trash can (not my suggestion, at all.  I didn't even show you where the trash can was.).  Seriously, this love of cleaning must be genetic, and you didn't get it from my side!  :0)

I love you once, I love you twice,
I love you more than beans and rice,
I love you more then earth or sun,
Te amo, bebe, little one!
-Lisa Wheeler

A few photos from your 12th month: 

With Auntie Sarah (Ra-ra)

Driving the tractor at Thistledown Farm.

Dancin' in your underwear. 

Eating a "grammy cracker" with your Grammy.

Sink bath (why haven't I been bathing you this way all along?  So easy!).

Summer Vacation, Part II - Rancho La Lomita

September 22, 2010

After leaving Kansas City, we headed south to Hugo, Oklahoma, where your Opapa and his wife, Mary Louise live on their ranch.  What a beautiful place this is - peaceful, quiet except for the steady drone of the cicadas.  It was over 100 degrees each day, so we didn't spend a lot of time outside, but we did take walks when it cooled off in the evening, looking for fireflies and rarely seeing a car. 

You warmed up to Opapa and Mary Louise right away.   Opapa gave you some of his Native American artifacts, including some arrowheads, a ceremonial fan he made himself, and some sticks used for a children's ball game.  He let you pick out a fetish, and you chose this little bear. 

When he gave you these things, he mentioned that this is the Native American way.  We carry things with us for a while, and then we pass them on.  Opapa also gave you a book he put together with documents and photos of your ancestors, and a family tree.  I think as you grow, he will have a lot of wisdom to share with you.

Mary Louise shared her gift of cooking with us, serving a wonderful Thanksgiving style meal one night, and filling us up with rich delicious food at every meal.  She also gave me some cooking lessons.  She has a very kind and gentle spirit. 

You enjoyed the animals on the ranch, especially Opapa's dog, Blue.  You liked watching the two miniature donkeys, Osito and Little Joe, although when we set you on Osito, you seemed a little skeptical.  These guys were nothing compared to the two longhorn bulls, Boris and Igor . . . they were truly intimidating (unless you are Mary Louise, and then they are pets). 

You also got to meet your Uncle Dan and your Great Aunt and Uncle, Jane and Jimmy.  I think everyone really enjoyed getting to know you.  When it was time to leave, Opapa and Mary Louise joked that they wanted to just keep you there and buy you a pony.  Maybe the next time we make it out there to visit, they really will have a pony for you to ride!
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