I can't believe 2012 is already here! This ought to be an incredible year, considering 12 has been my lucky number since I can remember . . . . so let the fun begin!
This past year was full of so many exciting adventures. I wanted to write a quick post to help remind me of all the wonderful moments that have happened since June, my last blog update (sad, I know).
We were so excited for "SUMMER OF 2011"!!!!! James graduated in May and quit Costco, and I always have summers off because I'm a teacher. This was going to be our summer of boating, swimming, beaches, camping, family, tanning, playing, hiking . . . . It was our first summer together that I wasn't pregnant, we didn't have a newborn, and neither of us were working. Here's a quick glimpse of some of what we did.
After I finished my Praxis Test for teaching, and James took the GMAT, we were ready to jump start our summer of fun with the Banks Family Reunion, up at the new cabin in Huntsville (June 26th - July 5th). It's crazy how big my family has gotten, and we're only increasing in numbers, with two newborns and two on the way.
We were so excited that my dad decided to buy a boat, and we loved tubing, wakeboarding, and watching others ski (not me). Caleb especially loved being out on the boat, playing in the sand, and going on the tube.
It was a blast spending the 4th of July in Huntsville. The town had a really cute parade, then we had a bbq, and at night we watched the 2 fireworks shows from the cabin, since it has such a beautiful view of the entire valley.
We took Caleb to Wheeler Farm with Auntie Ro Ro, Cody, and Makayla. We milked a cow, road on the tractors, and fed the ducks wheat . . . well, Caleb fed himself the wheat.
On the weekend of July 8th, we went up to the cabin with some of my friends. It is always so much fun spending time with my girlies and their families. We had incredible water all day, Alan wakeboarded and tubed for the first time, and the next day we were all super burned and sore, but it was well worth it!
Although camping isn't really my thing, the Kellys all LOVE camping (except for maybe Megan). They go camping somewhere in the Unitahs for their annual trip. Although I'm always a bit reluctant at the beginning, I always enjoy it a lot more than expected; especially this year. Caleb was at a fun age, where he loved exploring and was sleeping through the night. Although, it made mommy a little anxious, worrying that he was going to fall into the fire or wander off and get attacked by some wild creature. I loved the camp ground this year, even though it was quite a bit further. There was a beautiful waterfall (caused from lake water flowing over the dam) we could see and hear right from the campsite. It drowned out any other noise, to the point where we didn't even need to use Caleb's noise machine. We had a blast hiking, playing games, and just relaxing and chatting.
We had our 3rd year anniversary on the 18th, where we ate at Olive Garden, went to the new Harry Potter movie on the DBox seats (my favorite), came home and packed for Hawaii!!!!! We decided that this was the summer to go to Hawaii, especially since Caleb only flew for free for a couple more months, we both had our summer off, and I wasn't pregnant (well, at least I didn't know I was pregnant). We stayed for a couple of weeks with my sister Tiffany, and it was incredible!! Caleb had so much fun playing with his cousins. It was the best; as soon as Caleb was up in the morning, James and Josh would come grab him and play with him until we were ready to get up. Here are pictures of some of the fun things we did in Kauai.
We LOVED going to the beach and playing . . . especially Caleb. You'll notice at the beginning we had him all covered up, and with a life jacket on, which Tiffany totally made fun of me for. However, towards the end he was in just swimsuit bottoms.
Miniature golfing was great, although I probably chased Caleb more than I golfed.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Hanalei Farmers Market. This place has the best smoothies, food, pineapple, coconuts, apple bananas . . . pretty much everything!
We got to watch "Soul Surfer" at Hanalei Park, and met the real Bethany Hamilton! She is so inspirational! It was also fun spending time with the McGrath family, who I got to know when I lived with Tiff, during the summer like 5 years ago.
We all had so much fun surfing at grandpas beach with Mike. Even Caleb caught a wave with Mike. I'd like to think that I'd be a surfer chick if we lived out there :)
Mike also took us sailing through Hanalei Bay. It was a blast!!
We were so sad to be leaving beautiful Kauai. If I could live anywhere in the world (other than Daybreak, te he) it would hands down be Kauai!!
Some other fun things that we did were snorkeling, hiking to Queens Bath, eating at the St. Regis new tapas restaurant for free, going to Poipu where Chris got us rooms to stay in (so nice of them), going to the Colburn's luau, eating at Bubbas, eating an ahi tuna wrap from the Kilauea fish market, running with Tiff, James did a lot of paddle boarding with Tiff, getting the flu (all 3 of us . . . not so fun), and especially spending some quality time with my awesome sister and her incredible family! I love the Spencers!!!!
I found out I was pregnant on August 5th!! Turns out I got pregnant either right before Kauai, or in Kauai. I'd like to think though that I conceived on Kauai. We are so excited to be having baby boy #2, who is due on April 6th!! We still don't really know what we'll name him, although I really like Zachary and Elliott right now.
We watched Cody and Makayla for a couple of days while Ro and Ryan went to Aruba. We went to Kennecott and saw the "UP" house for a fun adventure.
Since Caleb is obsessed with "Taws" we decided to have a "Cars" theme for his 2nd birthday party!!! James took it upon himself to make the cake from scratch. I was completely skeptical, considering he'd never made a cake in his life, and watching a couple of episodes of "Cake Boss" didn't make him an expert . . . or so I thought. Turns out that James is LITERALLY a "Jack of all trades." He made this cake from scratch, and everyone was completely impressed! It really made the party!
Since our immediate family is huge, we decided this year to just have our immediate family, and Caleb's cousins come to his party. We had pizza, watched the BYU game, and Caleb was spoiled by all of his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He received some fun cars stuff, including cars geotrax, a cars motorcycle, and a cars tent. We also had a race car pinata at the party. It was a blast! Oh, and if you look closely, you'll notice that Caleb's shirt says "Big Brother" on it. That's how we announced that I was pregnant to our family. It was hilarious how it took some people so long to get the hint. The first one was Grandma Kelly, and I won't repeat what she said, but it was really funny!
We went to the state fair with grandma and grandpa Banks on Caleb's birthday where he rode a "Choo Choo" and a "Horsey" for the first time!
Nicole invited me to go to the Real Game and One Republic concert on September 17th, and even though I had fought hard to get my dad's tickets to the BYU vs U of U game that same night, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Real and One Republic. I'm so glad I chose the Real game, because not only was it a ton of fun hanging out with Nicole and Real won; but the BYU game was a total bust.
One of my very favorite fall activities, that we've been doing since Caleb was only a month old, is going on the witch scavenger hunt at Gardner Village. We went with Auntie Kamber and Dalloway, and had so much fun. Caleb LOVES Dalloway, and they're really cute when they play together.
One of my other favorite fall activities is Corn Bellys. It's literally a magical fall land, full of rides, play grounds, corn mazes, jumping pillows, tractor rides, food, and fun!
Caleb was a dragon for Halloween this year, and I'm really sad that I don't have a picture with James and I in our costumes. James was a knight, and I was a princess. I love doing family themed costumes, which we can only do while Caleb is young and isn't embarrassed by it. We had the fun Kelly family halloween party, my friend party at Lisa's house, James' work had a party for families, and on Halloween we went trick or treating just in our neighborhood with Maya and the Morton girls.
Caleb had his very first dentist appointment with Dr. Barney on November 10th, and I was so worried he was just going to do terrible. Luckily, he proved me wrong and did awesome. I think it partly had to do with the fact that "Cars 2" was playing on the tv. His teeth looked great though, and I'm just still hoping that he has daddy's teeth and not mine.
I took Caleb on his 2nd ever zoo excursion with Aunty Kamber and Dalloway. He loved the monkeys, elephants, tiger, giraffes, and his favorite was the train ride.
Caleb also had fun on his very first merry go round ride, at the zoo!
A great Christmas activity that we did was going to the Grand America to see their Christmas Windows. It was the cutest thing. There were around 20 windows. We had to follow each window, which told a story of a penguin. Each window also had a hidden star which we had to find and write down. At the end, we took the paper to a toy shop to get stickers, then to their bakery to get one of the best cookies I have ever tried! Grandma and Grandpa Banks also came with us.
This year we went on the Polar Express with Ro's family, Troys' family, and Ryan's sister's family. Since Rochelle lives in Heber, she got the tickets for half off, and Caleb was free this year!! We all got together for dinner first, and then went to the train ride. Caleb is obsessed with "choo choos" right now, so he loved it from the get go. They also fed us hot chocolate, cookies, we sang Christmas songs, told jokes, and then when we got to the "North Pole", Santa got on the train and met with all of the boys and girls! It was a great experience!
This was sadly the only Santa/Caleb picture I took this year. Caleb was cool with Santa, until I tried to get him to hold Caleb. . . baby steps I guess!
It wouldn't be Christmas without the Banks family Christmas pajamas, and of course Caleb loves his "Tars" pajamas and only wants to wear them to bed.
I'm really bummed that I didn't get any good pictures of Caleb on Christmas this year :( He was sooo excited when he woke up in the morning. He was jumping up and down in his crib yelling "choo choo". I didn't think he'd remember that I told him he'd get a train for christmas. He ran downstairs, and immediately started playing with his choo choo train on the train table from grandma and grandpa. We didn't spoil him too bad this year, but we gave him "Kung Fu Panda 2", a bible quiet book, a dinosaur book, and a bubble machine. That night we went to the Moses' house for Christmas with the Kelly family. We had the annual silly string fight, had yummy turkey and Vicki's awesome cinnamon rolls, opened presents, and played games. From Megan we got a really cute frame, with a K and circles behind it. Caleb got some books, puzzles, stacking blocks, little people nativity set, felt #s that Michelle Kelly made, etc. It was such a fun Christmas (other than the fact I was sick), and I'm so excited to have 2 little ones next year!
To end 2011, we spent New Years eve in Huntsville with Troy's family, Ro's family, Trevor and Kamber, and a couple of Troy's friends. We ate, did fireworks, played games and hung out. On New Years Day we went to the Moses' where we ate and played games. The next day, James didn't have work so we went to the dino museum at Thanksgiving Point, and Caleb thought it was so cool!
Some other big things to happen in the past 6 months is in October, James got a job in the accounting department of Enterprise Car Rentals. Trevor gave him the heads up about the position, and we're so happy he got this job. There's a lot of room to grow, and it's a great, steady 8 to 5 job. Unfortunately, that meant we'd need to get a replacement babysitter, since daddy was now working full time. It's worked out perfectly where I put him down for a nap at 12, then leave the monitor with Auntie Nicole. Caleb wakes up between 2 and 3, and then plays with "Cole", picks up Maya from school with her, and then I get home around 4:15. I'm so lucky that Nicole is able to watch Caleb, and Caleb absolutely loves her and Maya. Nicole also had a new baby on Christmas Eve, named Ethan Makai, and he's super cute!
Here is my Caleb update:
*Caleb's 2 great loves right now are "choo choos" and dinosaurs, which he calls "roars". He loves any clothes, shows, books, pictures, anything dealing with those 2 things. He also still loves Cars, and especially enjoys watching "Cars 2" on mommy's iphone.
*Caleb is now loving nursery (after 6 months, lol). His nursery leaders even say how he's really good in nursery, plays well with others, helps clean up, and listens . . . they must be doing something there that I'm not :)
*Caleb is talking a lot more now, and the words he says are hilarious. My favorite word he says is instead of saying "grandma", he smacks his lips together, because that's what Grandma Banks always did when she saw him. No matter what she tries, she can't change it. It cracks me up. He's very good at associating sounds for words, so he know all of the animal sounds, but not all of the animal names, he does a sound for rocket "Peew", witch "he he he he he", santa "ho ho", car "vroom", sleep "honk shoo", etc. My other favorite words that he says are "copcor" for popcorn, "boo-ka ka" for booger, and "wa-tee" for water.
*Caleb loves the ipad, my iphone, and now mario kart on the wii. I'm amazed at how this little boy knows how to work electronics.
*Caleb is a great eater, and will eat just about anything. Breakfast is his favortie meal, and he can eat 3 eggs, a piece of toast, a smoothie, and fruit, and still have room for more. He loves "sou" cereal, juice, oranges, grapes, strawberries (pretty much any fruit), pb and banana with honey sandwiches, chicken sandwiches with cucumber, avocado, and lettuce, salad (especially Zupas), spaghetti, mac and cheese, quesedillas, tacos, chicken nuggets, etc.
*I'm loving Caleb's sleep schedule, which is about 9:00-9:00 at night, and then a nap from 12-3. I'm getting spoiled right now, because since I teach in the afternoons, I get to sleep in with him.
*Caleb loves babies, and will pat my tummy saying, "Bebe"
*Caleb loves his cousins, especially Maya, Wesley,Cody,James, and Josh. He also loves it when Kamber and Dalloway come over. He seriously freaks out.
*Caleb is seriously the happiest little guy, and gets excited about everything. He jumps up and down in place and flaps his arms when he's excited, and it's the cutest thing. I can't say no to it . . . he usually does it when he wants chocolate, or as Caleb calls it, "Chaco".
*I tried potty training Caleb over Thanksgiving break, and the first 2 days he did great, and pooped in the potty. Unfortunately, it went down hill from there, where he pooped on the carpet/blanket multiple times, and I even stepped in poop. He's just not quite ready.
*Caleb is beginning to throw temper tantrums about what to wear. He loves his monkey boots, and hates coats. He also has specific pajamas that he has to wear (dinosaur and car pajamas) and freaks out if I don't put them on. Man, I thought that boys weren't supposed to care what they wear. . . . especially at age 2!
*Caleb LOVES going to the movies. I took him to "Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chipwrecked" and he was cracking me up the entire time. He'd scream, cheer, dance, say "Oh no" and "cool" the entire time.
"Caleb's favorite word is probably "cool". He says it about everything.
*Caleb knows the #'s 2, 1, and 8; the color blue; and the letter C.
I apologize for having the absolute longest post ever, but I guess that's just what happens when my posts are few and far between.
By the time I post next, I will probably have baby #2 . . . . yikes!! Wish me luck :)