Saturday, June 27, 2009

Solid Foods

Zeke went to see his new doctor yesterday. She said that he looks very healthy and strong and is ready to start solid foods. Hooray! We've been allowing Zeke to chew on a baby spoon in anticipation of this grand occasion.
Today we waited for a moment when Zeke looked happy, had just had a good meal of mother's milk, and was energetic about the world. Then we dusted off the high chair we got at a garage sale and set up our new video camera (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!). Mike mixed up a half tablespoon of some of the runniest Oatmeal Cereal and I put our biggest, thickest bib on Zeke.
Here is what unfolded:

Overall he did very well in the new high chair with the new experience. There was no crying or protest screeching, but it did seem like he was more interested in gumming the spoon than eating its contents. We were very pleased with ourselves until, about ten minutes later, he spit up pretty much all of the oatmeal and a good quantity of milk.
Yea, Zeke!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whitney Prep 04 - Mt. Shorty

On Saturday Mike and I went for a trial hike in Dry Dusty State Park. Our goal was to make it to the top of Mt. Shorty (a scant 2,800 ft. tall), but, more importantly, to be gone long enough to practice the pumpanddump.

Dry Dusty State Park was actually clouded over on Saturday. We trudged in deep cloud cover and often rain for most of the way. I took a jacket that had served me well in the past but turned out to be not-so-waterproof.

Mike is standing in front of what should have been a look out over a valley vista. Too bad all you can see is the Yucca plant in full bloom.

Because of the cloudy conditions we couldn't see very far ahead or behind and we were forced to follow the trail signs. This turned out to be a bad decision and we spent too much time hiking on a wrong trail. A chance encounter with another hiker coming off the peak put us back on the right trail. The damage was done, however. We had planned to be gone for only two Zeke feedings so we had to turn back just short of the summit.
This adventure taught us good things. Like the importance of wearing pants and knowing the poisonous plants on the trail. And the importance of having a pair of flip flops handy after the hike is over.

(Caption: Tina Revels in the Poison Oak. There was plenty on the trail and most of it had turned a lovely shade of red.)

(Caption: This Is A Weird Plant, Eh? There were a lot of these too, but they look like they belong to another planet. The color didn't come out in the picture - they were rainbow colored.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Graduation Day

On Saturday we celebrated Mike's graduation from University In A Big City. Below is Mike in his official get-up: The orange tassel is for the school of engineering, the gold forrages show his Latin honors, and the collar and honor cords are from an honors society he was invited to join.

Here is Zeke all dressed up to go to his Dad's commencement ceremony:

And here is the cheering squad in the stands:

We hooted and hollered whenever Mike did anything, for example, walking in with the processional, walking across the stage, walking out with the recessional...

This is Mike listening to a boring speech at the ceremony:

He is the guy on the isle seat with a white collar on and one leg sticking out into the isle. The leg sticking out is clearly wearing a tennis shoe and white athletic sock. Mike wore shorts and a T-shirt under his robes instead of the traditional shirt and tie.
And this is our little family after the 3+ hour event (Zeke was wiped out):

Thanks to everyone who supported Mike in this effort. And thanks to everyone who came to the party afterwards to help us celebrate!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Whitney Prep Hike

Mt. Baldy, which is the local name for Mt. San Antonio, stands at 10,064 ft. The Whitney Team (minus Tina, who could not go on this hike) planned, prepared and addressed the mountain on Saturday morning with celebratory PBJ sandwiches in their packs for the summit. Here is how the summit looked that day:

What's that you say? The summit appears to have tiled floors, dining chairs, and air conditioning? Why, you're quite right. This is not really the summit of Baldy. This is the PX at Fort Irwin, California, which is quite a long hike from the start of the Baldy trail. At approximately 8am on Saturday morning we received a phone call from Litos :

who said that he had permission to receive visitors that day. Litos is shipping out to Iraq soon and this was a rare chance to visit with him. (He is regularly stationed at a post in faraway Missouri.) The hikers immediately changed plans and began a trek out to Ft. Irwin instead. Mike especially enjoyed all the road signs that said "tank crossing", but we did not see any real tanks.
Juliet and The Baker actually hiked Mt. Baldy and made the summit. If the Fates are not kind on July 10, they will be the only hikers to actually summit Whitney as well.
Zeke also made the very long drive to Ft. Irwin, and we all nearly died. Being in the car seat is not his favorite activity. Let's just say we had to sing "The Wheels on the Bus" more than three times.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Zeke's First Trick

Ta-dah! The promised video of Zeke rolling over. Okay, so it's more like he just falls to the side, kindasorta. It's better without the cheesy audio.

Zeke's Second Trick

   This particular trick is impressive because he is using his own muscles to hold his head up and to pull into the standing position.  He usually ends with a giant smile but didn't this time because he is suspicious of the camera.
   Yea Zeke!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Whitney Prep 03

   The hiking party has been finalized and the training has begun!  
   A huge thanks to Juliet for her motivating influence.  Juliet made a goal to get out and hike something - anything - every Saturday between now and D-day.  I could not go with her this last Saturday and, it seems, cannot go with her for the next two Saturdays.  It may be a good thing that I cannot go because I do not have the milk supply for multiple long hikes.  When hiking I will be forced to "pump and dump", which means that Zeke will be fed from the supply of milk I have accumulated in the freezer.  I will need approximately 32 oz. for D-day itself and my current supply is about 24 oz., so I don't have a whole lot of milk to spare for training hikes.  
   Instead of hiking, Mike and I have committed to running.  Tonight I ran 2 miles in the hilly streets of my neighborhood.  Mike is currently out running his route.  The goal is to run everyday and hike when we can.  It may not be ideal training for Whitney, but it will have to do.  
  The finalized hiking party is:
   The Treat
   The Baker