Thursday, November 20, 2008

8 Weeks Already?!

Walker is already 8 weeks old! The time is flying by (just like our parents always say), and he is growing so quickly and becoming more and more expressive, which is tons of fun! He is definitely showing us his own personality these days. Looks like he is going to be at least a little stubborn (just like his mom AND his dad) because he already knows what he wants and the best way to get it.

He has been really good on family outings, such as shopping for several hours and eating at PF Chang's for Jamma's (Janet's) birthday. He definitely has a preference for being held. When we are out and he falls asleep in our arms, he doesn't like to be put down in his seat in the stroller. He likes to be held the entire time, which usually isn't a problem because we all love to hold him close. He's quite a snuggler!

I love this photo because he looks like he's resting on the arm of the couch. Plus, he is wearing one of my favorite pj's (can't believe it's a 3-month outfit). It's a gift from my friend Sarah, who lives in Oklahoma and who came to visit as a surprise for one of my showers. The outfit is appropriately covered in elephants since Sarah's hubby works as an elephant trainer at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Pretty cool! Love the matching hat! And I'm ridiculous because I like to make sure he has the matching bib and blanket when we take him out.

Last Saturday was Walker's first party, a bridal shower for Aunt Ashley. She and Uncle Kyle will be getting married on January 24th--YEY! Walker was so good hanging out with all the ladies. Looks like he is going to be a ladies' man!
This was Walker's pose during most of the shower. Apparently, female chatter and wowing over gifts makes him a little on the sleepy side.
Here's Walker with Aunt Julie, Mommy and Aunt Ashely at the shower. In case you are wondering, it has been pretty cold here lately (it's 44 outside right now!), but it was very warm last weekend, so Walker got to break out his summerish clothes again. This little hoodie outfit is terry cloth, so it's a little warmer than it looks.

This was a tough week because it was my first week back in the office. Although I love my job, it was something I was dreading and having so much anxiety about for the last couple of weeks. I was fortunate because I went in to the office for two days, then I got to work from home during the rest of the week.

This was Walker's 2nd day at Jamma's house! We are truly blessed to have our wonderful families in town to help take care of Walker. And he is having a blast at Jamma's house!! I cried the first day, but we are so comforted in knowing he is in such good hands. Jamma is having a great time hanging out with the Walk-man!! They do lots of activities like reading and singing and playing.

Can you tell it was freezing outside this week? We had Walker bundled in at least 3 layers here. He is truly a "Habesha" (Ethiopian) baby--Ethiopians always bundle their babies in multiple layers, no matter the temperature outside.
We've had so much fun with Walker this week. Getting to know him is just amazing. He is incredibly alert. I'm sure he is staring at a light in the room in this pic. That's one of his favorite things to look at besides our faces. I also think he's gonna be a Momma's boy! Everyone says he responds most to my voice, which is very flattering. No worries--he loves his Daddy too! I'm still amazed when I see photos of us together because his hair is so blonde and his eyes are such a dark blue. I just love it!

Okay, so this activity is sleeping, which Walker does well (at times). Actually, he started sleeping a little better at night this past week. We got 2 nights of 4 hours at a time, then 2 nights of 5 hours at a time, then--deep breath--6 hours in a row! We were amazed and refreshed. You know life has changed significantly when 5 hours of sleep in a row sounds like heaven!
I couldn't resist including this pic because you can see that Walker is getting some chubby rolls, which I just love! Those little thighs are adorable! We've already had to let out his car seat straps a couple times to allow for his growth.
The is the famous "burp face," which his Aunt Julie and Aunt Ashley just love. Usually he has wide eyes, but here he is falling asleep. He just loves to be burped in this position. He does not, however, like the over-the-shoulder burping. That just makes him fussy!
This is a fun pic of Walker enjoying his bouncer. He loves hanging out and even sleeping in the bouncer. We don't know what we'd do without it!
Here's another cute smile, this time after a bath. Bath time is getting much more exciting now that he's enjoying it a little more. He barely ever cries, except when we take him out to dry him off.

Here's a BIG yawn!
And the frequent wide-eyed look that really makes us think he's interested and listening to what we are saying to him.

So fun! He is smiling, cooing and even starting to giggle a little too.
Love that toothless grin!
Walker absolutely loves his floor gym (not sure if that's what it's called). It lights up and plays Mozart and has lots of colorful hanging toys. He stares at the animals and smiles and kicks. It seems like he is going to be an active boy, which his daddy will love. We're already wondering if basketball or taiji will be a future interest.

This is one of our favorite sleeping positions. Looks like he's had a hard day.
Another cute sleeping pic. He is so expressive with his little hands. And he is getting the cutest tiny dimples on his hands.

This is a sweet kiss from cousin Kenzi! We got to go on a date night for some yummy thai food--my fav!--one evening recently while Walker hung out with his Grandma, Aunt Wendi and Kenzi.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Visit from Mesfin

We are thrilled that our friend Mesfin came to visit us from Kansas. He is one of our dear friends from Addis who recently moved to the states to live. We and the Lyles invited him to come to Jax for a week and we had a blast hanging out, taking him fishing, showing him the beach and eating Habesha (Ethiopian) food that he made for us. YUM! We also had a little shopping trip to get him some warm clothes since he is going to live in a freezing cold place for the first time. I feel for him living in a place where it snows so much!
A trip to FL wouldn't be complete without a Florida Gators t-shirt--YES! Here are the boys: James, Caleb, Mesfin, Matt and Jackson.
It's so crazy because we never thought we would see Mesfin in Jacksonville. It was so strange--and cool, of course--to have him in our home. We had flashbacks to our apartment in Addis when Mesfin used to come over to give Matt guitar lessons. Mesfin was the administrator at the school where we worked.
The boys went fishing this week (Mesfin's first time), and Matt brought home two big drum.
This was a special day because it was Mesfin and Walker's first time at the beach. Walker slept through the whole experience, but at least he got to see the beach in his first few weeks of life. He's now a true Floridian!
I love Mesfin's response to his first few minutes on the beach. He loved it! He and the kids ran down to the water, despite the fact that it was a bit chilly.
Walker has been so fun this week! He is becoming so expressive. He loves to stretch his arms over his head.
Here's our little naked guy chillin' on his changing table, one of his favorite places to hang out and play. Can you tell how long he is getting?
I can't take enough pics of him sleeping because he just looks so precious! On a side note, he outgrew his newborn clothes this week and I thought I would cry. Some of those pj's are my favorite! He is growing and growing these days.
Here's another BIG stretch!
It is so fun to talk with Walker! He is now smiling and responding to us. Here he's being so talkative (like his momma!) and kicking his legs and waving his arms. It's amazing how quickly they change. We are cherishing every moment.
I had to take this photo of Riley because she was being so cute and sweet at our small group last week. She loves to sit in small chairs to read her books. She saw this chair at our friend's house and immediately ran to it and sat down to read.
Don't be too shocked to see this crazy hairstyle that Matt gave Walker while he was innocently sleeping on his lap. I came to the rescue to comb it down pretty quickly. Poor Walker is going to be tormented his whole life.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

May the Force Be with You

Happy Halloween! Even though we could have dressed him up as Luke Skywalker for Halloween, we thought dressing Walker up as Yoda would be hilarious...and it was! He only wore the costume for about 3 minutes, but we got to take a few pics and some video too before he started screaming.
The ears are the funniest part for sure! Here he's trying to figure out what kind of torture Mommy and Daddy are putting him through.
The costume is obviously HUGE on him, but it was worth it just for the pics. Part of the reason for picking Yoda is that my siblings called me "Yoda" when I was a baby because I had big ears and no hair. Luckily, that's not the case with Walker.
This is about 2 seconds before the screaming begins, but at least we got one good family pic in before he was too upset (although he looks more like Yoda when he's screaming because of his furrowed brow).
We had to show you the back because it is so dang funny! I really wanted to dress Mei-mei as Darth Vader and Belle as Princess Leia or a Storm Trooper, but I didn't get to this year. Maybe next year!
Our small group came over for Halloween, which was great fun! Jill dressed Alex (who is 19 months old) up as a farmer and he was adorable. I couldn't get a pic with his straw hat, though, because he didn't wear it for long.