Caleb is now about a week (and a half?) past 7 months old. Highlights include: stage 2 baby food, no teeth still, almost getting his tummy off the ground occasionally, advanced rolling and scooting skills, an intense love of chewing on things, an extreme attachment to his mommy, an intense hatred of having his nose messed with (wiped or de-snotted), improved skill of toy grabbing, a still bald-appearing head, and an adorable giant toothless grin. Oh, and he's still not sleeping through the night. And he adores Aiden.
We have been visiting my family in Utah. My mom flew down this past Sunday and helped me drive up with the boys on Monday. Mike stayed home to go to work as usual, in addition to partying and generally living it up while his family is away. Our drive was largely uneventful, save for the giant hail storm we drove through, Aiden throwing up while we drove through a mountain pass, Caleb having a giant blow-out while I was trying to get his jammies out of the trunk in the middle of nowhere necessitating a change of clothes for both him and me, two terribly runny little boy noses, a very long stop at a park in Panguitch so Aiden could run and Caleb could roll and both found sticks to play with, and lots and lots of other stops along the way as well. My mom was incredibly nice and did the majority of the driving, and had lots of presents that she used to entertain Aiden with (and he now has some very cool new toys). I had packed a preposterous plethora of snacks, most of which I have eaten in the days since we got here.
On Tuesday, we went in the morning to Wheeler Farm, where Aiden's favorite thing was climbing on the giant gutted tractor and pretending to drive it. His second favorite thing was running and falling down on the grass. I think he also liked getting splashed by the pig, and found watching the horse eat vaguely interesting, and all the ducks, geese, and swans were kind of fun to look at for a bit.
(I neglected to mention that before the farm, we went to Target, where my wonderful mother bought us all new shoes since I had forgotten my tennis shoes and my feet were hurting from my flip-flops (no arch support has finally caught up to me after years of wearing my flip-flops non-stop) and neither of my boys had closed-toe shoes that fit them.)
In the afternoon we went to Thanksgiving Point ($2 Tuesdays!) to their Farm Country. Aiden liked pushing some leftover corn that was on the ground through the fence for the goats and sheep to eat. He really enjoyed playing with the Fisher-Price Farm house that they had set up on a small table inside. He thought it was interesting watching them milk the cow, but was too scared to touch it himself. He thought the chickens were a little funny. For the "pony ride" (due to a 9-ish year old girl in the group in front of us deciding last second that she didn't want to go on a ride), he ended up on a full-size horse, which absolutely terrified him and he was crying that he wanted to get off most of the way (though later that night he proudly exclaimed that he rode a horse). Once again, though, his favorite thing was running around on the grass and falling down, and laying on his back in the grass looking up at the sky, with his limbs spread-eagled. He varied it up after a bit by jumping off the child-size picnic table they had outside, tumbling across the ground upon landing, and rolling onto his back for a moment of peaceful sky staring before repeating. His second favorite thing was probably the cow-shaped bench, which he quite enjoyed trying to climb onto the head of.
Wednesday my mother was quite busy for most of the day so we stayed home. We went and played in the backyard for a bit, where Aiden decided the trampoline was too big and scary to want to jump on (even when I held him while I jumped, and when I held his hands for him to jump, etc.) He had fun digging holes in the garden (no biting ants!), playing with the grass, looking at the tomatoes (which he has since learned to pick, but only if they are red), and running around throwing some balls. Caleb had a marvelous time grabbing at the grass, tasting it, grabbing it some more, staring it down, waving it in the air, and so on.
On Thursday, we went to the zoo with my cousin and her family. There, Aiden's favorite thing was the bulldozer that we saw sitting in one of the old exhibits waiting to renovate it. He also enjoyed the train ride, where he saw a goat and a buffalo and a cougar and some hairy pig things I've forgotten what they were. We also saw some bats and bugs, the giraffes, the elephants, the tigers, the snow leopard, the bird show, a variety of monkeys, the orangutans (my favorite that day, since one of them was playing), a gorilla, and oh, yes, a rainstorm of monsoon proportions (we sheltered by the monkeys where there is a roof). And my younger sister and her husband came over for dinner, which was a lot of fun.
Friday morning we went to the Discovery Gateway children's museum/activity-center/what-have-you. Aiden loved all the child-sized vehicles they had to ride around in (his favorite was the pick-up truck), and the larger pretend vehicles. After playing there for quite awhile, we went and had lunch with my dad at his office building, where I had a lovely lunch and Aiden ate practically nothing, but had lots of fun seeing Grandpa and running on the sidewalk and grass to get there and then back to the car.
This morning, we went to Kennecott Copper Mine so Aiden could see the giant dumptrucks. It was insanely windy, so he didn't watch them for as long as he would have otherwise. He liked looking at all the model construction equipment inside, and really enjoyed running around and around in circles, and then resting on the floor and the bench, alternately (flopped all over the place with no regard to other people there). It was quite entertaining. His comment about the bronze statue in the entrance of the visitor's center (of a miner and his family) was, "He don't have eyes!" Then we went and I got to see where my younger sister is living, and chat with her for awhile, and then it was home for lunch and naps. Tonight we are going to an extended family party for a cousin that is getting married in a few weeks, which should be fun, and then tomorrow is church and then dinner and games with my younger sister and her husband, which I am very much looking forward to, and then on Monday we drive back home to Arizona (and my mom flies back up to Utah on Tuesday morning).
Oh yes, and my amazingly talented brother-in-law, who happens to be a very skilled jeweler, re-set the stones in my wedding ring, which were on the verge of falling out, rounded out the band, replated it and polished it and now it looks like new and is absolutely beautiful.
It has been a wonderful trip so far, and so very much fun to see my parents, whom my kids both instantly adored. Aiden has gotten a bit mixed up the past few days and has started calling both my mom and I "Grammy" (a mix of Grandma and Mommy). He still is saying, "I'm a man" regularly. The most recent was, "I'm a man using my fork!" There has also been, "I'm a man running," "I'm a man eating food," and the most entertaining to me, "I'm a man changing his diaper!" He has also added the variant, "I'm a guy."
I'll post some pictures a few days after we get home.