Thursday, January 28, 2010

Big Boy Bed

Elijah's crib has recently made its' transition into a toddler bed. He LOVES being able to get in and out of it himself! When we purchased our cribs for the boys we bought the "convertible" kind that switch-o-change-o-rearrange-o into day-beds and eventually become headboards for full size beds. It was a rather easy to take down part of the crib and I think the mental transition for Elijah was easier too. He didn't have to get used to a new bed or anything; he can just crawl up into it now!

Overall he has done extremely well with the transition. He has no problem sleeping in it, although sometimes he gets up to turn back on his projector night light that automatically turns off after 15 min. Nap times, however, are a different story. I think the dark at night keeps him from playing with all his toys and reading his books in his room, but during the day all those distractions have proved to be too tempting. He has one of those safety knobs on the door so he can't get out of his room and run around, but he can still find plenty to get into in his own little space. At first Ian and I thought, "oh well, at least he is having some quiet time, even if he doesn't fall asleep for a nap." But, that quickly went out the door when his afternoon mood turned into T-Rex due to no nap.

A few days later I tried a new solution. After an hour and a half of "quiet-playing with my blocks-time" in his room, I went in, changed his diaper and said, "Why don't we take our nap in Bubba's crib today? Bubba can sleep in the pack and play downstairs, ok?" Elijah was ecstatic because it sounded like a new adventure to be in Bubba's bed...a place where he doesn't get to go very often. Within one minute of putting him down in Joaquin's room, he was fast asleep. We did this for a while then moved him back into his own bed. Now (well, at least for the past 3 days) he is able to take his naps in his own big boy bed in his room.

It has actually been a nice change because Elijah gets out of bed earlier in the morning than he used to but he plays contentedly by himself for about an hour till I've gotten Joaquin fed and dressed for the day. Then, since he has been up longer, he is even more tired for his afternoon nap, so he does go down pretty quickly now. All in all, this has been a great transition for both parent and child! YEAH!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My new hobby

So, Ian promised me that this post wouldn't be cheesy, but I am little insecure about posting these videos he took. I've kinda gotten into a new hobby of playing the drums these past 2 weeks and it has been sooooooo much fun! I'm not much of a musical instrument person (I was first chair in flute the first week of band class in 6th grade--which means I learned how to hold my fingers over the keys the best--then moved down a chair during every Friday chair test after that until my friends and I permanently held the last few chairs the rest of the year), so I never really picked up any of Ian's musical toys around the house.

However, since Elijah loves to "jam" in Ian's music room with just about any of the instruments, we started having some family jam time and I thought it would be fun to play the drums. It has been totally addicting and I am loving it! Ian is super encouraging and promises me that I don't sound or look as stupid as I feel sometimes!

I've always thought chick drummers were freaking cool, but I never really considered how much time and practice must go into getting to be that good, and man, I am more in awe of them now than I ever was before since I know how difficult it is to keep two different beats between your feet and your hands! Props to all those drummers out there! It is one tough, but oh so fun instrument!

Anyway, here are two videos Ian took this weekend of our family jam time. (Please keep in mind I have only been playing for a few weeks now and be nice.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I wasn't kidding

I wasn't kidding last week when I said I would probably be moving on to my next step soon. Mommy and Daddy are astounded that I just learned to sit up last week and now I am already pulling myself up on everything in site. I am trying to crawl up the stairs, climb over my play yard fence, and walk around the coffee table! Being able to sit up just gave me this incredible confidence that I could go wherever I wanted and I'm not slowing down! You better hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, cause here I come! Peace out--Joaquin

This is how mom found me when she finished changing my hermano major. She couldn't believe it!

And here is a video of me trying to climb up the stairs!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Smartie Pants

This was a few weeks back when Elijah still had long hair, but you get the picture. :) You will have to excuse my spanish...I'm learning along with Elijah. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just like old times...

This weekend Ian, the boys and I drove to the San Antonio area so that I could have some stunting time with one of my old stunt partners from Baylor, Ronnie. I met Ronnie back in 98 when he was a swing dancer. Somehow my roommate, Melissa and I talked him into coming to learn how to stunt. We worked with him for a day or so and he was hooked! I'm so proud to say I helped teach Ronnie some of what he knows, because he is an amazingly talented man! There is a saying that "You know you are a good teacher when your student is able to surpass you in their abilities" and that is the case with Ronnie! When I was a Junior at Baylor, Ronnie and I got to be co-ed partners on Baylor's cheer squad. All that being said, we got back in touch this year at Baylor Homecoming and have been trying to get together to keep ourselves in stunting shape. :) It has been a looooooooong time since I have done most of this stuff, about 10 years actually, so it was soooooo much fun to get back into the groove. Here are some video's Ian took from this weekend. (By the way, Ian gets "Daddy of the Year" award for keeping the kids occupied while letting mommy stunt the day away! I love you babe! You're so good to me!)

Here I am trying to do a double twist down from a heelstretch.

Here I am doing a full twist on the way up to a toss-awesome.

And this one was the try-out routine we did together back in 99. We were still able to do it! :)

And the rest of these are some pictures I took while up in some stunts. It is fun to show the world what it looks like from that point of view. :)

From up in an awesome...both feet being held in one hand

From an open foot being held in two hands

From an extension...both feet held in each hand

Friday, January 15, 2010

Joaquin's new trick!

"Hey guys, it's Joaquin! Guess what I learned to do? I can sit up now! It is a much better view than being on the floor all the time! Aren't I such a big boy? My mommy and daddy think I am growing up too fast, but I can't move fast enough. I'm working on my crawling technique and I'm sure I'll get it down here pretty soon too! Peace Out"

Here are some pics mom took of me doing my new thang...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Post-Christmas with the Melton's

The Melton side of the family decided to get together after Christmas this year. We always have a blast being at my mom and dad's huge Queen Anne Victorian house. It is over 7,000 sq. feet and no matter how many people we cram into it there always seems to be plenty of room.

It was wonderful to be together with all the grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins! We had big family meals, game nights, and attic makeovers that stunned us all! The cousins were wonderful with our boys and we look forward to the next family get together! We love you all!

Evening meal

Bobby, the serious Mancala player

Sarah and Bobby more interested in getting the jewels to stick to their eyelids than the game itself :)

Mom and Dad bought most everyone these fleece onesie p.j.'s. They were awesome!

The girls all had pink bunny feet and the boys had monkeys!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas in Cali

All in all we had a blast at Mom and Dad K's this Christmas!

Every other year we fly over to Southern California to spend Christmas with the Kirkland side of the family and 2009 happened to be a Kirkland Christmas year. So, we packed up our things (and with 2 kiddos in tow it ends up being a LOT of "things") and headed to the airport. I was a little nervous about flying with 2 lap infants--ok, not just a little but a lot nervous. As many of you know who have flown carrying an infant, the flights can be a bit difficult. People are not understanding and kids are not always willing to cooperate.

However, we flew Continental on the way out to L.A. and that was WONDERFUL! I am going to use that airline from now on! Seriously! The check in line was like 5 people and they had all "lanes" open with just as many check-in attendants as there were people in line! We had the most helpful lady who checked our bags in while we were using the e-ticket kiosk! It was awesome! (And, did I mention this is the weekend before Christmas when everything is usually CRAZY!) Also, Ian talked me into one of the best travel decisions ever...first class tickets! Let me tell you, with two kids on your lap, the extra leg room is VERY useful! I was soooooooo glad we did that and it made the traveling with 2 infants that much easier. The boys actually did very well, considering. We had no major fits or outbursts and the people around us seemed pretty "goo-goo gaa-gaa" over our boys! :) I was hoping they would conk out, but Elijah fought it until we touched down in L.A. Of course he was knocked out when we first saw Gamma and Gampa; couldn't even wake him to stand up so we could grab our luggage! (Side note...I also had NO idea that first class means your bags are specially labeled and they come off the conveyor FIRST in line, I kid you not! And, there was no weight limit for bags for first class passengers!) OK enough about first class on Continental, but they really do know how to make your flight niiiice!

Christmas with the Kirklands was even better though! All four brothers and sister were home for the holidays and we had a FULL house! 7 adults, 2 infants and 3 dogs! :) It was so much fun running around the house, hanging out in the kitchen together, shopping at South Coast, having marathon wrapping parties with champagne, movie nights, and good conversation! It was also special because most of the family had yet to meet Joaquin. He got to make his debut to his God-parents, Marsha and Craig Stoneman on Christmas-Eve as well!

Since Elijah really wasn't aware of Christmas last year, this was a first time for him to learn about Baby Jesus and the manger, St. Nick, the Christmas tree, and of course actively open presents. (Even during his first birthday Elijah wasn't really into opening gifts, so this was a fun new experience for him!) Little Bubba, loved everything, of course, though he was totally oblivious about this day being any different from the rest! The boys got so many gifts we had to mail 3 boxes home to get them all back! Seriously, you guys went above and beyond!

As I was writing my thank you cards this year I realized that the thing I was most thankful for from all my family was the time they each spent investing in my children. I was incredibly touched to see Elijah and Joaquin playing and learning from their aunt and uncles and grandparents. It is really one of those feelings I could never imagine had I never been a parent. It somehow reaches deep down in your soul and softens you to see someone else loving your children so much.

Here are a few pictures from our time in Cali. They may be a bit out of order because I uploaded them at random times...

Christmas Dinner

Gampa and Elijah on Christmas morning. The fun starts early around the house with Gampa, the "everybody loves to hate what a good mood you are in" early riser! Elijah didn't seem to mind though.

The boys among the stockings after Saint Nick had come!

Barely made it through the first half of the Christmas Eve service. Daddy and Uncle Stu had to take the boys outside to run around about 1/2 way through the service.

Ian's childhood park

Elijah had a blast!

So did little bubba!

This is Flower Street. It is the street where Ian grew up and his parents still live. It is so quintessential Southern California with the palm trees and beautiful houses!

Outside the Kirkland house; on our way to Ian's childhood/neighborhood park

Elijah teaching Joaquin how to dance

All my precious boys. Daddy got a haircut if you didn't notice. :)

The boys first time on a merry-go-round. Elijah wasn't really as impressed as I thought he would be. :)

First Time in the Disney Toy store! Ahhhhhh

Gamma, Elijah, Ian, Joaquin and Chris all heading to South Coast to go Christmas shopping

Joaquin loved all his Gamma time!

Elijah and Uncle Stu hanging out around the house. This was a common site during the holiday! Poor Stu got dragged into a lot of play time!

But oooh how Elijah loved his Uncle Stu!

Joaquin with his God-parents, Marsha and Craig Stoneman

Gamma showing Elijah that Santa had come and filled all the stockings with gifts

Joaquin's special stocking

Chris, Gamma and Katie all during the unwrapping session

The boys going through their stockings

Christmas morning trying to crawl around on the floor. There was no room, however, due to the crazy amount of presents lurking around the tree.

Joaquin and Lita (Ian's grandmother)

Joaquin just loved being with Lita, if you can't tell!

Look who finally got a haircut!

I resisted cutting Elijah's curls for a long, long time, but after this Christmas and all the pony tails the cousins put on him, I decided I had put it off long enough. His little surfer-do is cute though. :) And, I have to admit, he does look more like a boy this way. :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Skydiving Videos Are Up!

Here are the skydiving videos for your viewing pleasure! Please do this at least once in your life! I apologize for the music; it came with the videos.

Rachel's First Skydive!
(I have to say the autofocus gets bumped at the end of the video so it is a little blurry on the landing, but the free fall is beautifully clear!)

Ian's First Skydive!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tupperware Drummer

This video was taken during our recent Christmas with the Kirkland's in Cali. in the same house Ian grew up in! I have this wonderful picture that Ian's parents scanned and emailed to me a while back of Ian sitting in the same spot, in this same kitchen when he was 2 years old, doing the same exact thing. I looked and looked through my pictures to try to find the corresponding image to go with this video (sorry Dad K), but I couldn't find it. It seemed so appropriate to attach it with this video, but alas, I couldn't find it. Sorry. I guess you can imagine the whole connection I was going for, like father, like son. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's Over the Seas for Cory!

Here is a pic from Cory's goodbye party.

Just a little shot out to Core-Core (phonetically speaking). Ian's good friend since childhood, Cory Hill, is heading off to India. He recently made a huge life change when he felt God's leading; he quit his job at Hurley, sold all his belongings and bought a one way ticket to India! We were so glad we were able to make it to his goodbye party in Cali this Christmas before he left! Cory is an amazing man and we are so proud of him!
Can't wait to hear about all the adventures God leads you in!
We love you Cory! -ian and rach

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ian's Christmas Present

First, I want to apologize for being off the map for so long. My photography business was crazy busy for the holiday season and to top it off Ian and I and the boys were traveling and living out of suitcases for a month during Christmas and the New Year. I didn't touch the Internet except to check my email a few times via my iPhone. So, needless to say, the blog got put on the back burner. However, that leaves us a lot of fun stuff to catch up on!

I got Ian the best Christmas present ever, skydiving tickets for two, and guess who got to go with him! :) It has been something we have both wanted to do forever, but just never got around to it. So, as a surprise to Ian, I booked us two skydiving tickets for Jan 2nd at 9am. The early morning probably wasn't as good of an idea as I originally thought. I just planned it around the boys naps, actually, so that mom wouldn't have too much trouble watching them. However, I completely forgot how much colder it is in the morning than in the afternoon. So, needless to say, it was about 30 degrees on land and just got colder and colder the higher we flew! I had on 3 shirts and a sweatshirt, stockings and jeans under my skydiving suit and I still needed to defrost when we landed!

It was such an amazing experience though! One I will never forget! We both decided to jump tandem since it was our first time and I loved the people we got paired up with. My guy, they called him Chief, was huge and I was like his 4,000 and something tandem jumper to go with him! I felt completely safe. Ian's guy, Johnny was totally chill and so much fun. Ian and he hit it off automatically.

I want to get to some of the pictures quickly and I will narrate through them, instead of telling you all the details first. We did get awesome video footage of our jumps, but Ian has to show me how to convert them to files that can be put on here or YouTube or something. Until then, I figured the stills would do.

Here is Ian getting geared up to go in the plane. You can see the shadow of the camera man. The camera and video were attached to some sort of hardhat he wore. It was crazy!

The plane is tiny! Just enough room to kneel down and jump out!

There they are crawling out of the hatch door.

Ian and Johnny, his tandem coach, did a back flip out of the plane! Crazy, I know, but Ian was like "go for it!"

There is a picture of them heading out upside down!

Right side up now and just dropping out of the sky!

It was crazy to see your videographer just fly up in front of you during your free fall. You are like "wow, someone else is out here flying around!"

Things are beautiful from up there!

Thumbs up!

That is I-35 underneath them

Ian had this crazy perfect landing! It was like they just floated down and stood up perfectly together!

Ian seriously was a pro! Everyone loved him, of course, and kept saying he had an amazing jump! Within minutes he was ready to do it again!

Here we are leaving the training area and heading out to the plane. I actually went first and Ian got to watch from down on land. :)

Chief was explaining to me how we are going to climb out on to that little pedestal on the top of the wheel and jump from there! Crazy! Actually, a side note, our plane didn't start at first because it was so freaking cold outside! We had to have it jumped! :) ha!

This was amazing! The most thrilling part for me was getting to open the door of the plane! He was just like, "ok, we're gonna open that door, climb out on the wing and jump for it!" It was awesome to open the door and feel the wind flying past you! All those times looking out plane window, you never imagined you could just open a little hatch and jump out if you wanted! :)

Here we are climbing out on the wing. This is one of my favorite shots! To me THIS was the crazy, death-defying act, walking out on the plank. Once we jumped it was just beautiful and almost a stress release.

And, there is the jump, my friends! Free falling for about 1 min! It feels like forever though!

I believe we were at about 10,500 feet at this point, just dropping out of the sky!

Still free falling here, there is a tiny round shoot that lets out and stabilizes you but doesn't slow down your free fall at all at this point.

I was trying to blow kisses to the Ian and the world far below. :)

Here the parachute starts to deploy and we get to float around and world-watch from a bird's eye view.

I held my feet up for the landing, since he was so much taller than me anyway. So, once he established the first contact to the ground, he told me to stand up and that was that. It was so much easier than I thought. You feel like you are some sort of self-controlled puppet, pulling this string to make you go left and the other to fly to the right, etc.

My tandem coach was awesome! I would do it again in a heartbeat. Although, for some reason, Ian and I were crazy sore for the next few days. I think it was the wind resistance or something. It didn't feel like we were using any major muscles, but apparently we were.