Friday, June 29, 2012

Denver

Last Thursday, we flew to Denver to celebrate the wedding of Kim's good friend, Molly. Matt and Kim were glad to finally get on the plane. We must have been a sight to see carting all of our luggage through the airport. Quite a few random strangers offered assistance. Did we really look THAT needy?? :)
We weren't sure how Ryan would enjoy his first flight. Despite how this picture looks, Ryan (and Ian) flew like a champ. Many fellow passengers commented on how they didn't hear either boy!
Ian was happy to help with wheeling the luggage around. He also insisted repeatedly that we let him drive the rental car, until we told him that it wouldn't make the police officers happy to see a three-year-old behind the wheel.

Though Ian has stayed in a couple of hotels already, this was the first trip when we decided he was old enough to participate in a long-standing Walquist tradition (passed down from Kim's dad's family to Kim's family and now to Ian's family): jumping on the hotel beds and having pillow fights!!
While Ian thought the jumping on the bed was fun, he really enjoyed the pillow fights!





At the end, he wanted to build a "pillow house." Then, he got to try out the hotel's pool! He loved showing Daddy everything that he had learned in swimming lessons.

Molly & Steve's wedding was on Saturday!
Molly was one of the first people Kim met on campus at Concordia Nebraska. We were in the same Freshman Seminar group and were A Cappella choir tour partners all four years of college. I love this girl and was so happy that we could meet Steve and celebrate with them. (By the way, Matt did a fantastic job of keeping both boys occupied during the rehearsal, wedding prep, and wedding! What a stellar dad!)

We were also thrilled to be able to see another of Kim's college friends, Amy. Amy and Kim lived next door their freshman year, were suite mates their senior year, and were fellow altos in A Cappella all four years of college. We hadn't met Amy's two sweet girls (Anna - two weeks older than Ian or Lacy - one year old) or husband Tony until this trip. It was kind of them to have us over for play time and dinner!
Ian and Anna were fast friends and giggled like crazy over dinner.
After playing in the kiddie pool, they thought they should take a ride on the garden hose! Giddyup!
Then, we went to Olde Town Arvada to splash in the fountains ...
... and then enjoy some ice cream together at an old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
(Yes, Ian ate the WHOLE large cup of ice cream without any difficulty. Gotta let the rules slide on vacation!)
It was so good to see you, Amy!
By the third night of staying up until 11:00, Ian was pretty wiped out! But he was a trooper and SUCH a good traveler!
He loved watching Thomas movies and drinking apple juice on the plane.
Ryan, as usual, was pretty mellow the whole flight.
He loved being carried around in the Moby Wrap at the airport. (And Kim loved having both hands free to help cart our massive amount of stuff! :))
We loved our trip to Denver, and it makes us all the more excited to think about lots more family vacations in the future! Next up?? Billings! :)

Prayers Answered!


Remember our post a couple weeks back about Ian having some difficulties transitioning to having less of Momma and Daddy's attention now that Ryan's here? Well, let's just say that we should ask y'all to pray for things we're struggling with a lot more often! :) God heard all of our prayers, and we've seen some definite improvements in Ian's temperament! (We're SO thankful!)

Ian has been a lot more interested lately in playing independently while Momma nurses Ryan. Here, he shows off a tall tower he built with the Marbleworks set Grammy and Papa gave him for his birthday.

I've also been taking the advice that a few of you suggested about making a special time most days for just Momma (or Daddy) and Ian. One day, Ian wanted to play with sidewalk chalk outside. He surprised me by being able to write his name! (He's been able to write an "I" for months, but I didn't know that he could write an A or N.)
One day, Ian wanted to throw water balloons together.
Ian has been very interested lately in doing art projects. He loves coloring, drawing, and painting especially. Here, he's making a gigantic Father's Day card for Matt. (He really wanted to write his name on the bottom of the card, although at first he told me that he could only write his name with sidewalk chalk.) Ian was proud to hear that Matt hung the "card" up in his office.

One day, I decided to show Ian what glitter was all about. He was a HUGE fan! He probably spent an hour using glitter the first day, and then asked to use glitter a few days in a row after that. I don't know if using the glue or the glitter was more enjoyable for him. :)



A few Sundays ago, Ian spotted a battery-powered Percy (train) in the Target ad and asked, "Can you buy that for me?" Kim reminded him that he had gotten $10 from Great-Grandma Schleicher for his birthday. Ian was so excited to notice that the number ($)10 was right by the Percy picture, too. He asked if we could go to Target right after church. We were already planning to swing by Costco, and Target was just right on the way home, so we agreed! Ian was so excited to choose his own train. He decided upon a battery-powered Harvey (train) and was so cute handing the cashier his money. He's played with his train often!


Remember how we mentioned that Ian cried during the majority of his first two swimming lessons? We were thinking about not bringing Ian back for the remaining four lessons, but the teacher encouraged us to stick with it, saying that most kids feel a lot more comfortable by the third or fourth lesson. She was exactly right!! There were only tears once during the third lesson and none during the fourth. By the last two lessons, Ian was volunteering to go first and chattering away happily the entire time. The videos below (taken during his third lesson) show off some of Ian's rudimentary skills ... blowing bubbles, kicking his legs, "swimming" underwater, and monkey walking. It was fun to see him gain confidence and learn some swimming basics! We're so proud of you, Ian! :)

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In other happy Ian news, he has successfully transitioned to the 3-year-old Sunday school class, including going all by himself. (Parents attend the 2-year-old class with their children.) We've discovered that telling Ian story upon story upon story ... prior to new events really helps him feel more comfortable when they actually happen.

And, what's that latest with Ryan??

Our cute little guy keeps growing bigger and bigger! We like how much more alert he's getting.

Our "mellow fellow" is not mellow ALL the time ... especially on days when he decides that he only wants to catnap. :)
 
Ian got to meet sweet, smiley Sommer (about five months old) for the first time a few weeks ago. Thanks for bringing us a meal, Jenn (and all you other wonderful friends who brought meals)! We really appreciated them!

Some friends from Albuquerque, Mr. & Mrs. Erickson, sent Ryan these cute crocheted "sneakers." They're adorable and bring compliments wherever we go!

Bath time is becoming much more enjoyable for Ryan these days.


Below are some sweet pictures of sleeping Ryan. Notice that none of the pictures are taken while he's in his crib or Pack 'n' Play. Lately, during the day time, Ryan will only catnap for 5-10 minutes while in his crib or Pack 'n' Play but will sleep a much more extended time while being held or while swinging.  (Any tips or suggestions, anyone???)


Ryan (unlike big brother Ian) is quite the pacifier fan! We're thankful that it seems to help him relax and get comfortable.


Our MOST exciting Ryan news is that ... he's now smiling!! :) We love our littlest guy!



On June 14th, Matt and Kim celebrated NINE years of being married. We are so thankful for the opportunity to share life's ups and downs as best friends. The Lord has blessed our marriage richly, and we can't wait to see what amazing things He has in store for us!

We celebrated our anniversary by going out to the oh-so-romantic-but-tasty Fuddruckers with Ian and Ryan! Ian thought the chocolate shakes were the best part of the meal!

It was a special treat to go out to eat. (Thanks for the dinner money, Mom & Dad W!)

Matt requested that we go blueberry picking as a family outing to celebrate Father's Day. We ALL thought that was a fantastic idea. (What a great Daddy!)

Ian was very engaged in picking blueberries for most of the 1.5 hours we were there! Some of the berries he picked even ended up in the bucket!
Here's a video of Ian while picking. He loved telling Matt, "Look at THIS one, Daddy!" after picking each berry.
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Ryan slept or looked around contentedly while we picked berries!

In all, we picked about 11 pounds! (For those in the Houston area, we highly suggest going to Moorhead's Blueberry Farm. At $2 per pound, you can't beat the price! And the berries are certainly juicy and abundant this year!) We're looking forward to enjoying these yummy berries for months to come.

A few days later, Ian helped Kim make some yummy blueberry kuchen.  Ian helped with all of the steps but most enjoyed throwing blueberries on the top and acting as "stem spotter" whenever Kim forgot to take the stem off a blueberry.


We're thankful that our boys like spending time together, even at an early age! :)