Friday, December 30, 2011

First Yankee Swap

Usually a few days after Christmas, Grannie hosts another evening of gift opening.  This time our Yankee Swap was on December 29th.  It was the first time that Grannie's four great-grandchildren have all been together.  We all expected it to be a three-ring circus, and for about two hours it was.  But it was great!  The kids had a lot of fun!
Claire, Paige, Levi, Madison

The great-grandkids all got a bell necklace.  Poor Levi, though.  Everytime
he bent over to pick up his bell, it kept getting closer to the floor.

Maddie and Claire couldn't resist climbing on Andrew.

Levi really likes Aunt Mary Robert!

Andrew and his girls

First Music Night

Every year the Gorhams and the Haydens have a big gathering for Music Night.  Everyone gets out their old band instruments, dusts them off, and plays Christmas carols together.  It is always a kick in the pants!
Clockwise from lower left: Phil Hayden, Dan Hayden, Bob Gorham, me and Levi, Steve Wright, Ethan Wright, Garret Wright (on floor), Stephen Gorham, Nathan, Olivia Hayden (guitar), Nicole Hayden (on floor)

Camille Hayden played with Levi a lot.  It was great!

First time meeting a new cousin

Andrew and Mary Robert and Claire and Paige are here!  This is our first time meeting Paige, and she is SO CUTE!  After opening gifts together on Wednesday morning, my dad's parents came over for lunch.
Andrew, Levi, me, and Claire enjoying our stockings

Mary Robert, Harold, Ruth, Paige, Andrew, and Levi

First Steps

Oops!  I almost forgot!  Levi walked on Christmas Day!  We were all finished opening gifts down at Grannie's house, and Nathan was playing with Levi.  Levi turned towards me and started walking over.  Nathan let go, and Levi managed the next four steps on his own.  Of course, the whole house erupted in cheers, and the video cameras came out.  We spent about the next ten minutes trying to get Levi to do it again.  He took a couple more steps a few times before falling down, but what he really enjoyed was being the center of attention.  Way to go, Levi!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

First Boxing Day

Since we ran out of time to open gifts together on Christmas, Nathan, Levi, and I did it on the morning of the 26th.  Oh, and Oliver really enjoyed the paper.

First Christmas Day

The best Christmas gift is the little boy on the right!

Before church we opened our stockings.  Levi got this snack container in his.

After church we went down to Grannie's house.

The gang was all there.  Madison wanted to sit with me and read books.
We had Cornish pasties for dinner.  Mine is on the left, Levi's is in the middle, and Nathan's is on the right.

Before trying his first pasty

His first bite was a huge one.

He ate the entire thing!
I think Maddie was wondering what was under that white flap.  She and Levi got along really well all day.

Levi loves his Great Grannie . . . and vice versa, I'm sure.

He didn't mind having a bow stuck on his head, but having a bow stuck to his hand was an enigma.
The littlest Easterbrooks children changed into Christmas PJs before heading home.

Monday, December 26, 2011

First Christmas Eve

For Levi's first Christmas, we spent Christmas Eve with Nathan's family at Bob's house.  Instead of a traditional holiday meal, we had decided to do an Asian theme.  The food was delicious!  Stephanie and Stephen did most of the cooking.  After dinner we opened gifts, and then we all attended the Christmas Eve candlelight service at First Presbyterian.  We had such a wonderful time together!

Ethan, Levi, and Garret posed for a cousins photo with their Santa hats.

Between dinner and gifts, Levi played in this pack 'n' play.  When he started getting a little fussy, Ethan came in to try to help.  First Ethan sang through Levi's "Old MacDonald" book.  Then he read him this Elmo counting book, showing him the pictures and helping him "count" the objects on the pages.  Levi loved it.  It was SO SWEET!

First gift!  Being the cautious kid that he is, Levi took
it slow.  He enjoyed removing bows from packages.

Stephanie helped Garret assemble a Viking ship
while Ethan read an entire joke book aloud.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

We've had our Christmas tree up for the last two weeks.  Levi has been really good with it.  Although he can reach a whole bunch of ornaments (which were intricately wired to the tree so they can't be removed), he has a few favorites that he keeps coming back to.  He likes two wooden snowmen and two Noah's Ark ornaments, and I spend a lot of time walking him back and forth around the tree so he can touch them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


It is so fun to see Levi's personality develop.  Here are three brief stories of things he has done:

Last Friday, he was sitting on my lap on the couch, and we were reading a book about animals.  He enjoyed listening to me make all the animal sounds, but he started to get a little fidgety.  He turned around, climbed up, put his arms around my neck, and gave me a gentle kiss on the cheek!  (Maybe in order to appreciate this story you need to know that his version of a kiss is usually more like a bite.)  It was the sweetest thing he has ever, ever done!

Yesterday we were all eating lunch together.  Levi had finished half of his finger foods (banana, egg yolk, and multigrain bread).  Next I spoon-fed him his pureed garlic green beans and his butternut squash.  I decided to let him try using the spoon himself, so I loaded the spoon with squash and set it on his tray.  He picked it up and managed to get some of the food in his mouth.  I loaded his spoon again.  He took it again, and he got almost all of it in his mouth.  Yay, Levi!  I loaded his spoon again, but this time he was slow in picking it up.  He was looking at me, and the corners of his mouth were starting to turn down, and his eyes were starting to brim with tears, and he stifled a sob, and he started to sniffle.  By the time I loaded his spoon again, he was all-out crying.  The look on his face absolutely said, "I'm trying to be brave, but, Mommy, why are you doing this to me?"  It broke my heart!  We couldn't figure out what was wrong, especially since he was successfully feeding himself and receiving praise for it.  Later on I realized that I was sending him mixed messages.  Often at the end of a meal, I give him his spoon to lick and play with.  He was thinking that lunch was over, and he was devastated!

Also yesterday Levi and I were playing in the living room.  He had a cardboard tube that he was randomly flinging around, and he accidentally hit himself in the head a couple of times.  When he hit his head, I said, "Bonk!"  After a few times of hearing "bonk," he started to laugh at the funny sound.  But he kept twirling the tube, so I kept saying it.  He laughed more and more, so his hands moved more and more.  That child must have hit himself in the head about a hundred times!  I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face.  I probably should have stopped him, especially since he didn't seem to be enjoying it so much by the end, but we both had a great laugh!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ten Months Old

Levi is now ten months old and such a big boy!  He waves at everybody and greets people (and the cat) with a boistrous "Ha!"  He loves walking, and--as long as he is holding an object in one hand--he can walk holding onto me with just one hand.  Now that we have the Christmas tree up, he has a lot of fun touching the lights and trying to pull off the ornaments.

Dog pile on Daddy!  . . . Is it a dog pile if there is a cat in it?

Like any boy, Levi enjoys putting things on his head.  Not only does it look funny, but it sounds funny as well.  He usually talks, sings, or yells so that he can hear how his voice sounds in the different acoustic.
I mentioned that Levi is getting friendly with all sorts of people.  Well, last month, we went to the grocery store to get the fixings for Thanksgiving.  We had a lot of items, so we had time to chat with the cashier.  Levi was really flirting with her, and she kept trying to get him to smile and wave.  It was all really cute.  Well, when I got home, I checked my receipt to see how much I had paid for my 12-pound turkey.  However, I couldn't find the turkey on the receipt.  It never got rung up!  While Levi was entertaining the cashier, nobody (including me) noticed that the register didn't beep for my turkey.  Thanks to Levi, I walked out of the store without paying for the bird!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This was levi's first Thanksgiving, but, unfortunately, we didn't manage to take any pictures.  On Thursday we went up to Nathan's cousin Larry's house for a big family gathering.  Then on Friday we had my parents and my dad's parents over for another turkey dinner.  Levi enjoyed all the food, and we enjoyed some wonderful family time.  We are so thankful for our beautiful little boy!

For the last six weeks, Levi has hated bath time.  But the other night,
something switched, and he had a blast playing in the tub with Daddy!

Is rodeo in Levi's future? . . . Do they have blue hippos in rodeos?