Saturday, July 21, 2012

Adventures with Walter, Month 8

Tomorrow, Walter will be 9 months old.  We don't have as many photos of month 8 as we do of previous months, and most of them are cell phone photos rather than real camera photos. Many of them are a little blurry. There's a good reason for that: we are having a tremendous amount of fun.

I think 8 months is my favorite Walter age so far.  Yes, he's kind of a dickens.  He uses every ounce of his increasingly daunting strength to resist diaper changes, which is no fun for anyone.  But he's also genuinely enjoyable company, game for adventures, taking in and taking on the world with a "ba-BAH! Ba-BAAAAAAAAH!"

We go to fairs and festivals and markets and stores.  We go out to eat in restaurants.  We can be fairly spontaneous.  It's amazing.

Here's a list of just some of the foods Walter has eaten and enjoyed this month:

Scrambled eggs
Pasta salad
Rice (white, brown, fried, Spanish)
Belgian waffle
French toast
Breakfast sausage
Sweet potato fries
Pulled Pork (no sauce)
BBQ beans (saucy!)
Rotisserie chicken
Mashed potatoes
Mexican-style black beans
Amy's roasted vegetable vegan pizza (onions, mushrooms, artichokes, red pepper.)
Canned artichoke hearts
Corn dog

... and that's not even including the foods he's eaten at day care. Or the foods he's tried and not enjoyed (those are pretty much all in the fruit category.)  It's a whole new world of eating, people.  I'm a little surprised by the shortness of the strained food phase.  In Room 2, though, there's no baby food.  It's the same breakfast and lunch the big kids get, just cut up into baby-sized pieces.

Speaking of Room 2, here are my two favorite "Today I enjoyed ..." messages from his teachers so far, reproduced verbatim:

Today I enjoyed ... dancing to Chinese folk music and hiding under the colorful scarves.
Today I enjoyed ... chasing Chelsea around the table while roaring like a lion.

The second one was from Friday.  Sean said, "Yup! That's our boy."

At an Albright family gathering a few years ago, I watched as Matt and Kate caught each other's eyes over their kids' heads and cracked up ... a moment that struck me as distinctly, beautifully parental.  I think of that sometimes when I catch Sean's eye over Walter's head.  We've got a very funny little boy.

Sometimes Walter and I share jokes, too.  Like today, when we both took a break from nursing to eat some pretzels.

You had to be there, I think.

The highlight of the month was definitely our adventure in Red Wing, MN this week.  I talked myself into and and out of applying for the Emerging Leaders Institute about 100 times before I shared my worries with Sean, who said, "Just apply!  If you're accepted, we'll make it work.  It's Parker Palmer!" Indeed.  Making it work meant Sean had to use a pretty significant chunk of PTO, we had to unsettle Walter's routines (he's pretty game for adventure until bedtime rolls around, and then he says, "OK ... time to go home!") and Sean and Walter had to brave the ridiculous heat and find ways to fill their time while I was at the retreat.

Somehow, they managed.
I'll let Sean fill in stories from their time together when he's able to grab some computer time. But, to give you a glimpse, here's a video of Walter enjoying the mirror in our hotel room:

Some more things I want to remember about Walter at 8 months:

**His hair is reddish blonde, and very curly in the back. It's extra curly when he's sweaty, which is often these hot hot days.
**If someone says "Bye!" he says, "Bah!"
**He loves balls: chasing them, catching them, rolling them, watching other people throw them in the air and catch them.
**His ears lengthened out this week--they look more like Sean's, now.
**He's very interested in women.  We're trying not to read anything into that--his interest could be purely academic.  Or culinary.  Whatever it is, it's pretty funny to watch.
**On a somewhat related note, we have no idea whether Walt is left or right handed.  Lately, he seems to favor the right hand. But there was a long stretch of lefty-ness, too.

Bedtime for Pastor Mama.  As Walter would say, "Bah!"

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