Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ride 'em Ethan! Yeee Haw!

Wasting time at Costco... Giddy Up Horsee!!

Ethan's Crawling!!

It truly is bittersweet :) Today our little guy turned his threat into proof that he can... oooooh boy! Next search---> Amazon: Baby Gates.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Grandpa Turns 96 and the Sun is Jealous...

96 years ago, Edwin Walter Wager was born. He married a beautiful girl named Esther (powerful name, powerful woman!) and they raised 4 children: Julie, Shirley, Walter, and Carrie. 3/4 of Ed's children were in attendance as well as 2 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

Here are 4 generations on one couch:
My Dad, Edwin Walter Wager, Jr. - Me - Ethan - and the Guest of Honor himself, Grandpa.

Birthdays are always a good excuse to spend time with loved ones and after 96 celebrations, this man is truly loved.

Growing up I have memories of taking walks with Grandpa, his dog Ginger, and my brother on the levy by the University of the Pacific. My grandpa loves geology and used to make jewelry out of rocks, crystals, etc. While on our walks, he would pick up a stone and tell us about it. Still looking at a filthy rock, I was uninterested and frankly more taken by his big hands that were lined with dirty cracks. Grandpa was a working man! Then he would lick his finger and brush the stone. Instantly the stone was smoother, shinier, and more precious!  These were stones I would have kicked around or more likely, just stepped on or over because they were nothing special... at first glance. Grandpa saw more. He saw more than broken, dirty pieces. He saw beauty and value.

Grandpa isn't just this way with rocks, he's like this with people. Always smiling, welcoming, and non-judgemental, Grandpa finds the best in others and really has a gift for providing the opportunity to allow people to value themselves. In his own quiet strength, he gives so much love and acceptance. He bears so much fruit in this way and we are blessed to be his family and doubly blessed to still have him around!

If you have more stories of my grandpa... share them in my comments! I'd love to learn more about his heart and his character :)

Below are some of the family who came to celebrate this extraordinary man:

Here's my brother, Ryan, with his nephew

 Ethan with his Grandma playing the drums. Grandma Wager rushes to hold this child!
He is truly blessed :)

 Dad and Uncle Phil... who by the way, gives the best hugs! I would go so far to say they are bear hugs. Everyone needs a bear hug once in a while :)

Grandma feeding our hungry hippo :)

This handsome man is my Husband. I'm always so proud of him when he helps out...

   Here is my grandfather's only son's only daughter... Allie is what I usually go by.

Auntie Carrie busy at work...

Auntie Julie... one to blame for the amazing apple pie!
The Wager women not only cook, they have green thumbs! Before we left the party, Auntie Julie gave us a bag of home grown zucchini, squash, and eggplant. It was as if I had left the farmer's market that night!

Make a wish! It's never too late... Abraham became a father at 99!
My Aunts say he's a hot ticket with the ladies still...

Our messy boy at the dinner table. No pie yet! Sorry buddy.

Ryan and his friend Louise

Family picture before leaving the Smith Family Vineyard... Phil and Julie Smith that is :)
We just couldn't pass up these beautiful flowers. Okay, I couldn't pass them up... Ethan was already suited up for bed in his jammies.

Oh how the Sun got jealous!
It's not enough that our world evolves around you bowing at a 23.4 degree axial tilt!
Grandpa turned 96 so you had to show off your triple digits! Do us a favor and cry us a river!!

Here is some evidence of Fall around our neighborhood today.

 And evidence that Summer still lingers...

Ethan enjoying the colors... and some shade!

Daddy's home!!!

Fall decorations are out:

We call these "Boo Lights" - Solar lights that change colors in the dark.
Costco never fails to provide for the holidays :)

Flowers requiring "full sun" are still in full bloom:

And one little boy finds his little pumpkin in our pumpkin patch of 3:


Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Magical Weekend Grounded by Reality

Disney. The word itself is magical and provokes a plethora of sugar plums to dance in my heart. Disneyland... truly the happiest place on earth. Even the drinks are laced with pixie dust as Diet Coke never tasted better (nevermind that I'm a Pepsi girl...).

Mark and I had a magical long weekend (and drive!) to Anaheim with our amazing staff - Erin and Melissa and their hubbies. It was our first Creekside Endo retreat and we really wanted to surprise the girls on their one year anniversary to Disneyland (we figured that if they could put up with us for a year, they deserved to be happy!). Erin hadn't been since she was in middle school and Melissa had been talking for months about Disney withdrawl. Note: Yes, we are all adults over the age of 27 and No, none of us brought our kids. This trip was for the child at heart :)

We arrived the first day Disney put out their Fall/Halloween decorations, so we kicked off the season in a magical way this year. The Haunted Mansion was a deck the halls theme for the Nightmare Before Christmas.

Although it was quite impressive as no detail was spared, we all agreed that we are Disney traditionalists and prefer the old fashioned ride.

We had lots of fun, lots of sugar, and plenty of forced patience... walking around Disneyland is like mall shopping during the holidays with stroller traffic thrown in for kicks. But the funny thing about Disney is that it all doesn't matter. Now that's magical!

Dinner in Downtown Disney @ the Rainforest Cafe. Vol-can-oooooooo!

A little Splash on the Mountain...

Laser tag with some famous toys...

And some good ol' fashioned California Screamin'...

But perhaps the most magical part of the entire weekend was time spent with my hubby on the happiest place on earth without a screaming child of our own.
(although we couldn't help but miss him just a little...)

this is the REALITY part of the post...

Our little guy, Ethan, has threatened to crawl for days now and in all honesty, he's a pretty strong little man. You've heard of the Spiderman expression, "With great power comes great responsibility"... well, it is totally applicable to infants as well once they become mobile. But, the responsibility part is for parents... for the kid you might as well replace the word responsibility with pain.

Ethan has experienced more pain in the last 24 hours than ever in his 7.5 months of existence. Yesterday morning, I won the diaper battle and somehow was able to pin the boy down to change him. I turned my back for a few seconds to wash my hands and "SMACK!" Ethan is on the floor, on his back, crying. Crying was a good sign, but the poor boy was in pain. Luckily we had a doctor appt. at 2:45pm later that day so we ran the casualty by him. The doctor didn't flinch at the news and said that all was well because of his pliable little bones... Just as soon as the good news came, more pain awaited Ethan as he was quickly thrown back into a tearful state with 3 immunization shots to the thighs. Poor guy.

This morning the boy smacked his head on the concrete that is part of our fireplace. You can see the redness (soon to be black and blue) on his face above his left eyebrow.

Mickey the band aid
Resilient little thing!

Reality these days also means messier meals:

It's true when they say that life is messy... especially with a kid. But life and therefore reality is also full of joy these days. Each and every morning without fail I walk into this little boy's room and the minute I say, "Good morning, Ethan!" a tiny face with a big smile pops up from behind the crib railing... and all of a sudden the previous day's aches and pains disappear.

God is good... and clever! He keeps Mommys going with this joyful amnesia.

I would do anything for this little guy in a heartbeat.