Baby Steps


My baby has started taking steps (finally)!  Tatum is a rascal, she usually gets what she wants, but not in the same way Piper did as a baby.  Piper knew her manners, and before she was able to talk, always said, “please” and “thank you” in sign language.  Tatum, she grunts and does this open and close fist thing a million times until you give her what she wants which is usually whatever you have.  We try to have walking lessons with her, like we used to do with Piper, and she turns into spaghetti legs.  Don’t think we are crazy overzealous parents, what I mean by lessons, is just that we would sit on the floor a few feet away and try and get her to come to us, usually through bribery with one of her toys.  Tatum, won’t have anything to do with it, she just goes straight to the knees.  I am also pretty sure that Tatum might do the shot put in Track and Field when she is a teenager because she throws everything.  Her open and closing fist, which so badly wants the cracker I am eating, takes it and throws it to the ground.  I have a 3 times daily routine of moving her crib and collecting thrown pacifiers before she lays down for her naps and bedtime.  And THIS is why you shouldn’t compare kids, right?  But today, Tatum has decided that June 1, she would not give her Mommy and Daddy wiggly wobbly spaghetti legs, and that she would actually attempt walking.  She has maxed out at around 5 steps, but she has done 5 steps probably 10 times today, so I am thinking that we are on way from all 4s to 2.  Hopefully more to come on Tatum’s baby steps…

The video is short and doesn’t capture much.  I wasn’t able to get the whole clip unfortunately, so this is all I have to prove I’m telling the truth. 😉

In my own life, I am attempting to take some personal baby steps.  Some of which are related to this book I am currently reading, Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv.  We all can get nostalgic about our childhoods and how things were in the good ol’ days, but what are we doing to recreate that?  The book talks about the impact and healing powers that nature has on our mind, body and spirit.  The numbers are staggering on the amount of time children spend in front of a computer or T.V. and equally staggering is to see open space get developed.  We continue to push the boundaries, and then we complain that their are coyotes in are yard!  One little boy he quotes in the book said, “I like to play indoors better, ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”  While I have wonderful memories of playing indoors with my Barbies, and dolls, I also remember rushing to finish my homework so anxious to get outside and play until my mom would call me in for dinner.  So much learning takes place through exploration and unorganized free play!  I am only into the first 50 pages or so (so perhaps I will have more insight later), but today I decided to be intentional about exposing my family to nature and I packed a picnic, picked up the hubby from work, and headed to the back bay for some play and exploration.  Now, we are not a T.V. family and we do go to the beach regularly and go on family walks almost daily, but even that can become routine.  And as I have said before, I don’t want to live a claustrophobic life.  Our life in Germany was filled with new experiences and fun adventures and we wanted to be sure to include that in our life back here in Southern California.  So, although, Newport Back Bay is practically in our backyard, it isn’t a typical family outing for us, which made today all the more fun.  Hooray for Wednesday!  Talk about getting over the hump!  I think I will have to try to be spontaneous again, probably not next Wednesday, but definitely again.

Picnic at the Bay

"I spy a white Eurovan, can you?"

And lastly, but certainly not least, I am taking baby steps in the area of a family addition.  Whoa!  Don’t go jumping to any conclusions now, it is just that we are coming up to one year that Biltmore died and he was a huge part of our family and our lives.  Piper got a Beta fish for Christmas, a definite first baby step, but I think I am ready to move on to something a bit more cuddly and intelligent.  You see, yesterday, for some reason, we had a birthday party for Tum Booty Boy, that’s the fish’s name.  Piper named him after Biltmore, and don’t ask me why, but Tum Booty Boy was one of Biltmore’s nicknames.  Piper threw the party because apparently, Tum Booty Boy was turning 16 months and every fish needs a birthday party at 16 months.  She wrapped up a big bouncy ball and some hair clips.  I actually am staring at this ball right now which is on my bookcase next to the fishes plastic home.  Poor fish, he can’t even play with the ball, not because it is twice the size of his tank, but because he can’t play anything!  Last night, as Brian and I sat on the couch chatting after the kids were in bed, we wondered how we ever got to the point where we were singing “Happy Birthday” and enjoying some healthy rice crispy treat-like bars at a 16 month birthday party for a fish we have had for 6 months.  It made me think that Piper really needs a dog, because that was pathetic.  Biltmore was the master of gift opening, he tore open presents and even knew which ones were his under the Christmas tree.  Biltmore was a real pet, and I think the Ristows are ready for another dog!  No dog could replace Biltmore, but just as my kids seem to be so completely different, I will try and love this new pup and not compare him to Biltmore because they are all one-of-a-kind.  I’ll keep you posted on this one as well!

Bitlmore's 1st Christmas and he's already a pro

Birthday Boy turns 4


2 responses »

  1. So excited Tater Tot is finally walking!! A little curious why she is learning to walk inside the car as oppose to the house? Is this part of your new adventures, new places phase, if so what’s next picking out a dog from the dog park? Just wondering, love you guys!! 🙂

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