Trash the Dress!

Just a quick post, this is a non-Maxwell entry, advance warning that there are no pictures of him in this post. Last weekend I did a super-fun “Trash the Dress” session with a group of mom friends and a couple great local photographers. If you’re not familiar, the idea behind “Trash the Dress” is for a bride to go out after her wedding, put on her wedding dress and take fun pictures now that she doesn’t have to worry about staining that beautiful gown. We decided that doing a group session would be fun, and it definitely was. We went to Seattle Center, which is where the Space Needle is but also home to the Experience Music Project, a big musical fountain, and a carnival/arcade area. Lots of fun backdrops, and we finished off the afternoon by getting soaked in the fountain! Both photographers have some “sneak peeks” up on their websites. The first is Justine Shelton, our family’s fabulous photographer. See her Trash the Dress photos here . I’m in the group shots, of course, and the sixth one down from the top is me. The lovely Stacey Atkin also put her photographic skills to work and got some wonderful shots. See the peek here . The 8th and 9th ones down from the top are me, check out the double rainbow in the 8th one! Justine and Stacey were assisted by the awesome Katia Lines, who posted some of her own great pictures from the day here . Since I’m not in a fountain in these, I think it’s pretty easy to tell which ones are me.

This was such a fun day, I highly recommend trashing the dress to any bride!

Random Fun at 18 Months

I don’t have a theme for this week’s blog entry, but here it is Sunday and I’m trying to stick with my goal of posting something once a week. I know the grandparents check eagerly for new entries, so here you go, folks: some random thoughts and photos from our week. Max is continuing to be on the move, walking all over the place and exploring everything. My mom signed the two of them up for a Kindermusik class and their first session was Wednesday. Max enjoyed the class, stuck pretty close to Grandma and waited until he got home to try out his wooden music maker (just as the teacher said the 18 month olds typically did).

Today is a special day in our household…not only is today the day Max is officially 18 months old, but it also marks six years since Jeff and I had our first date! It’s been the best six years of my life, I am so blessed to have these two men in my life. Maxwell’s official 18 month checkup isn’t for another week, so I’ll have to post his height and weight stats after that. Max currently says “Da Da” and his versions of: meow, woof woof, whoo-whoo (he has owl jammies so we taught him the owl sound), vroom-vroom, and he attempts to say “Down” and occasionally “Mama” (usually comes out as “Mmmmmmm”). He signs: More, All Done, Water, Milk, Apple, Banana, Sleep, Bath, Book, Bird, Eat, Airplane, Change (we use this when we change his diaper), Thank You and Please. Max can point to his: ears, head, hair, mouth, teeth, tongue, cheeks, chin, neck, tummy, belly button, hands, fingers, feet and toes. Eyes are funny, he clearly knows what they are and can point to our eyes, Chester bear’s eyes, or eyes in a picture book but if you ask him where his eyes are, he points to his ears. I think maybe it just feels funny to him to touch his eyes.

Max loves books and definitely has his favorites, and also has favorite pages. When we reach such a page, he wants to stop, or turn back if we’ve passed it, and spend some time looking at it and pointing to his favorite things while we name them. He still loves to swing at the park, and often holds something small in one hand. We’re working on using utensils, he still flips the spoon over before it gets to his mouth most of the time, but he has the idea. He has definite ideas about how things should be, and will let us know if something isn’t right, such as a light that should be on. Jeff and I were just talking today about how much fun he is, we love this age.

And now for some pictures! Here’s a couple from a play date we had with some good friends last week. This is my friend Leanne’s son Oliver with Max. Max is sitting in Oliver’s baby sister’s Bumbo seat. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Bumbo, it’s for babies to sit in in that phase where they want to be upright but can’t quite sit there on their own. We had one for Max but it’s been packed away for almost a year now. Maxwell thought the Bumbo was pretty cool and had to sit in it. Here he is consulting with Oliver:

Then Ollie tried to push him across the floor in the Bumbo, but it was hard to get up much speed:

The other day I came home from work and my mom showed me a couple things Max had done during the day. They invented a game where Maxwell sits on the first stair landing and Grandma tosses him a ball, which he then tosses back down. Here he is moving his arms and legs in excitement as he awaits the ball:

The other funny thing Max had done that day involved a blanket that Max decided he wanted to wear on his head. He had a great time wearing it draped over his head, walking around, peering out from underneath it. He decided that it should not be on his head when he was in his rocking chair, so he would climb in there and then take it off, then want help to put it back on before climbing down. He had the cutest grin while wearing the blanket. What a funny Bug.

Climbing into the chair:

Playing with Grandma:

So cute!

We’re Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo…..

Last weekend we took Max to the zoo for the first time along with our friends Angel, Eric and Emmeline. The weather forecast was for showers, but the skies cleared and we had great weather. We saw lots of cool animals, shared a tailgating picnic lunch, and squeezed in a few more animals before Max was almost asleep on his feet. He zonked out before we got back on the freeway. We had a great time and look forward to going again! Here’s the picture bonanza, in a few of these you can see a small rock in Max’s hand, he held that through almost our entire visit.

These monkeys were making a crazy amount of noise that could be heard all over the zoo. Check out that huge balloon-like throat they have inflated!

Car picnic!

Max loves to be tossed in the air:

Signing “more” as soon as I stopped:

Happy boy:

We set the kids next to each other to take a picture. Maxwell sweetly reached over and held Emmeline’s hand. Awwww…..

Wait, what’s that in his hand?

Oh. He stole her snack.

I love the way you can see Jeff laughing in this one.

Max is walking really well these days. He looks so cute walking along, holding his hands out a bit for balance, self-correcting when he starts to tip over (most of the time) and standing up again when he does lose his balance. When we were at the zoo he definitely didn’t want to sit in the stroller for long stretches, but would much rather be out and moving. We had the fabulous J. Shelton Photography take Maxwell’s 18 month pictures (a week early) yesterday. I will definitely share those when we get them!

First Haircut

We took Max for his first haircut on Saturday. I took a gazillion pictures, no surprise, so be prepared for a picture-heavy blog entry. We went to this cute children’s salon called, appropriately enough, Bella and Max. They even have a cute sign out front that I forgot to take a picture of. Oops. I’ll get one next time. We weren’t too sure how Max would feel about sitting in the chair (actually, an airplane) for the haircut so we stopped en route to get a food bribe. Poor kid doesn’t often get sweets, so we got a piece of Starbucks’ pumpkin bread to use as a distraction. It worked well, when we first put him in the plane he started crying and reaching for me, but as soon as Jeff cracked out the bread, he was happy to sit there and kept signing for more. Here he is getting started, look how much hair he has in the back (he held his Duplo blocks the whole time):

The first snip:

Putting on the cape:

Here he is with a full mouth, beginning to sign “More” since the bread just can’t come fast enough:

Almost done!

Doesn’t he look so much older?

The salon gives a free ticket to ride the train when you purchase a haircut. So after Max got his new ‘do, we walked up the hill to the train, and the three of us went for a ride. Here’s Max and Daddy walking together, I love this.

Waiting to start the ride:

Max loved the ride. Much of it was over gravel, so it was really bumpy, and that was a big hit. Here he is enjoying the view:

In addition to the train, the shopping center has some other really fun things, so we checked it all out. They have birds:

And toys (yep, he’s still holding the Duplos):

And a play house:

Even a rooster named Bob!

Max thought this fountain looked like it would be fun to swim in, here he is attempting to climb into it:

All in all, a very successful morning! In other news, Max has gotten really good at walking just in the last few days. He can now walk much longer stretches, and while he still falls down fairly often, he has mastered getting up from the floor without any assistance. We have some recent video, so I’ll try to get that up with the next blog entry. Max still loves to wave…at us, at the kitties, at the garage door when it closes….the other day he was walking and passed the outlets on the side of our kitchen island. They have the safety plugs but he’s still not allowed to touch them. He stopped, looked at the outlets, gave them a wave, and kept going. So cute! He’s also learned how to get down the stairs by himself on his tummy. He’ll carefully lay down at the top of the stairs, then scoot back until he reaches the first step and slide down to the landing. Then stop, lay down flat on his tummy again on the landing, and repeat. It’s so much fun to see him learning new things all the time.

Wishing everyone a great holiday weekend! We are headed to the zoo with friends on Sunday (Max’s first visit!) so I’m sure I’ll have lots of pictures from that to share soon.