Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kiefer is walking! He took his first steps last Friday (July 18). He's slowly getting the hang of it. The first few days, he would build up momentum as he went, which caused him to fall face first! He's learning to take it slow and although he's getting good at it, he still prefers to cruise or crawl most of the time.

Last Saturday (July 19), Kiefer hung out with his pal, Vivi while we went to The Wiz's wedding. Laura and Deana were kind enough to take care of Kiefer so Roel and I could enjoy the wedding without having to run after a curious Kiefer. Luckily, Kiefer and Vivi had a great time. They laughed and laughed at the dinner table and had loads of fun playing together. We're looking forward to seeing them again next weekend. The wedding was great. Julie Wismar (aka the Wiz) met when we interned at Late Night with Conan O'Brien 11 years ago! My how time flies.

Kiefer has been having loads of fun playing with the slide/play structure we bought for him a couple weeks ago. Roel noticed that our neighbors across the street were having a tag sale and that there was a slide just Kiefer's size. We quickly went over to investigate and were pleased to find that it was only $10. We bought it and took it home to clean up. It had been outside for years and was in desperate need of a scrubbing. A couple hours later, Kiefer was happily playing on it. He likes to climb through it, and go down the slide. He prefers going down face first. Why? We have no idea, but he laughs as he does it.

Last week, I tried installing some software and ended up ruining our computer... at least we though so, anyway! I spent 6 hours on the phone with the Microsoft help desk in India before they were able to help me fix the problem. I think neither Roel nor I realized how dependent we are on the computer. We've been talking about getting a laptop for quite a while now and I think we're going to get one today. It will be nice for me as I will be able to take it to the library (or anywhere outside the house) so I can get some work done on my comps and dissertation which are coming up quickly. It will be nice for Roel because he doesn't get much computer time because I'm either working from home via remote desktop or writing a paper for school. That leaves him little opportunity to get behind the computer.

Summer seems to be going by very quickly. The last few weeks have been extremely humid, so it hasn't been so great to be outside. Yesterday was beautiful, though and so is today. We're going to our friends' house to barbecue!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Aunt Janice & Uncle Geoff are married ~ Kiefer's Cousin

What an exciting summer it has been. In mid-June, we flew to Arizona for my sister, Janice’s wedding. Kiefer did fantastically on the plane. On the way there, he flirted with other passengers, played with Thomas the Tank Engine and pulled the shade over the window open and close. When we got to Phoenix, it was 8:00 p.m. (11 p.m. east coast time) and Kiefer was exhausted. The 107 degree (!) heat didn’t seem to bother him and he fell asleep in the car on the way to the hotel, which was only about a 10 minute drive from the airport. As soon as we in the hotel room though, he woke up and wanted to check everything out. I think he was excited he could actually crawl around since he couldn’t on the plane. We gave him a bath, read him some stories and he finally fell asleep (and so did we)!

The next day we met up with Grandma and Grandpa,
Aunt Janice and friends John & Bev Campbell, who were staying at a hotel not too far away. After some catching up, we all got into our rental cars and headed north to Flagstaff, where we had a fantastic lunch at a local restaurant (Roel even got to watch a Euro Cup soccer match on TV), bought groceries and drove about 45 minutes west to Williams. Grandma, Grandpa, John & Bev were renting a house in Williams. We stopped by there first because we had to pick up a pack n’ play for Kiefer to sleep in. We also discovered some fun toys there, which we took with us to the other house. We were staying about 20 minutes outside of Williams with Aunt Janice, Uncle Geoff, their dog Pico, and some of their friends. The place was called the Llamacasa and as the name indicates, there were llamas corralled there. Kiefer even fed them some baby carrots!

Some of the hi
ghlights of the trip were: eating a huge piece of pie at the Pine Country Restaurant in Williams (John and Bev gave Kiefer some whipped cream so he was hopped up on sugar and didn’t want to sleep); seeing the Grand Canyon Railway trains; and going on a hike to Maricopa Point in the Grand Canyon. Of course, we were there for the wedding and it was absolutely fantastic! Janice & Geoff held their ceremony at Shoshone Point in the Grand Canyon. The views were incredible and although the pictures give you some idea of what it was like, they don’t do it justice. We had to hike Kiefer’s stroller out to the point… there were rocks and steps and we couldn’t push him out there, but hiking the stroller out was worth it because neither of us would have wanted to hold a 21+ pound Kiefer for the length of the ceremony! I was scared when we first got out there because it is just rock and it drops off… no fence, no guardrails… nothing! We placed Kiefer in his stroller well away from the edge and on a flat surface. We engaged the brake and put stones under the wheels as extra precaution. He was great throughout the ceremony and clapped when everyone else clapped at the end of the ceremony.

After another day in the park and a little time in the extremely hot Phoenix and Tucson, we headed home on the red-eye flight. Kiefer slept across our laps on the flights home. He was so good! Roel and I got little if any sleep. We all went to bed early the night we got home.

Now we’re back at home and I don’t think we’ll be going on vacation again any time soon. We used up all of our days visiting the Netherlands in January and going to Arizona last month. That’s fine with us as there are plenty of fun things to do in New England during the summer. Kiefer has gone swimming a few times. He was terrified to be in a big pool the first time, but he loves it now.

We received some very exciting news two weeks ago… Roel’s sister is pregnant. Paula and Frank are expecting their first child on January 4, 2009! We’re very happy for them. We also heard from our friends in Belgium, Delphine and Werner, that they had their baby girl, Valentine, on July 3. Congratulations to them!