Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TJ's Eighteenth Month

TJ turned 1.5 years old yesterday. He is growing up, that is for sure. This month he started trying to talk more than ever. He tries to repeat words when you ask him, but the first syllable is usually all you will get. Bless his heart, surely one day he will be more articulate. This month TJ went from being a big flirt (like he has been ever since he learned how to smile) to being a little turd- giving strangers a slight scowl before eventually, sometimes, warming up to them. I used to be embarrassed with how much attention he would draw in public by waving, smiling, and being friendly with strangers, but this new phase is far more awkward. I feel like I have to constantly explain that he does this to everyone (so that they won't take it personal). Thankfully he is still as sweet as ever to his parents and most people he is familiar with, always giving kisses and hugs and making us all feel special with his excitement to see us. Hopefully his unfriendly behavior towards strangers is just a (quickly) passing phase.

We were able to spend a couple weekends with my Dad in Tallahassee (my mom was out of town). While we were there we spent time with my brother, Alex, and his family. TJ loved drawing and getting taken care of by cousin Rylee.

For Thanksgiving this year we were able to take a week long trip out west. We first flew to Arizona and spent one day with my mom and sister. We then flew to Utah and spent six days with Trent's family before DRIVING Trent's mom's car back to Florida (which took three days).

During our layover in Miami we had the super fun surprise of running into one of my best friends from freshmen year at BYU, Brenda, and her husband and adorable little twin girls, Isabella and Ava.

Since we both had long layovers, we were able to sit down and eat lunch together while catching up on each other's lives. TJ was pretty excited about these adorable little girls. I'm hoping he might run into one of them in about 20 years.

Our long layover in Miami turned into an even longer layover, which cut into our already short time in Arizona, but it was still so nice to see my mom, sister, niece, and nephew. We tried to get a picture of TJ and Mason with their matching shirts, but this was the best we could do.

TJ always has a blast with Kalil, she is such a fun girl!

When we arrived to Utah, Trent's sister, Sabrina, was there with her children. These three-Adie, Chase, and TJ- played so well together. It was so much fun to watch them run around and be sweet to each other.

Trent didn't tell his dad, Gene, we were coming to Utah, so Trent brainstormed, and planned, and texted ideas with his sister beforehand, and they finally came up with a fun way to surprise their dad. It involved something along the lines of Adie bringing TJ to his door. But TJ fell asleep on the car ride over to Gene's house, so we had to come up with a last minute change of plan. Sabrina took her kids inside and told Gene there was a surprise in the car. When Gene went out to the car he saw sleeping TJ. Trent and I were hiding in some nearby bushes. It was great. Gene didn't know who the sleeping child was at first, and was confused, but once he figured it out Trent ran over and gave him a hug. I think it turned out to be a great surprise.

TJ has a new passion for trucks, trains, and buses. When he sees one while we are driving (which seems to be every two point five seconds) he gets all excited and points and repeats, "Truck! Truck!" or "Bus! Bus!" both with that familiar quiver of excitement as when saying "Ball!" Trent's step dad, Wes, drives a school bus for Salt Lake City School District so we took TJ and Chase, who also loves buses, down to the bus yard to see Wes and all the big school buses.

TJ even got to sit in the drivers seat, and Chase got to pull the horn. What a treat.

Trent's dad wanted to take the grand kids on a train ride, but due to illnesses we had to reschedule and scale back from the Frontrunner to the Trax. We met Gene downtown, hoped on the Trax, then walked a few blocks to the library. Adie wasn't feeling well so I pushed her in the stroller and TJ rode on her lap. The trip to the library was a fun adventure.

Trent's mom took her grandchildren to Wheeler Farm. TJ is still really into animals, so he had a blast.

All the cousins: Austin, Cameron, Adie, Camie, Chase, Kaitlyn, and TJ. Missing James, Braden, Bryson, and Parker.

Family photo on the farm.

Judy took all the grand kids to the city pool. I accidentally forgot my swimsuit, which was probably a good mistake to make when you are seven months preggo.

I also forgot TJ's but Debbie was kind enough to pick one up for him at the DI. After the pool we spent time with my cousins, Sally and Tice. As usual, it was a great time chatting with them, although I didn't take any pictures.

We were able to spend a little bit of time with Trent's friends on Thanksgiving morning. It was so good to see John and Emilee again, and I was able to meet Jeremy and his family for the first time.

We had a big Thanksgiving feast in Morgan at Trent's Aunt Kate's house. There was lots of good food and fun company.

TJ hit it off really well with all of Trent's mom's family. He instantly loved his Great Grandma Heiner.

When we got home we quickly switched gears to Christmas, first by going to see all the lights and blown up lawn ornaments placed around the pond at North Florida Regional Hospital. TJ's excitement for everything Christmas this year is making it even more fun for Trent and I.

We also put up our own tree(s) and Christmas decor.

TJ loved the Christmas balls and carefully helped hang them on the tree.

The most anticipated change for TJ's eighteenth month was him moving up to nursery at church. We have been looking forward and counting down to this momentous occasion ever since TJ started walking. Six months of anticipation, folks. As such, we expected it to be a big deal, you know, where the nursery workers welcomed him in with open arms and he cries because he doesn't want his parents to leave. Nope. TJ just ran right in and started playing with the toys. No one noticed he was there and TJ definitely didn't take notice of Trent and I leaving, despite us pulling out the camera phone to take pictures and us yelling, "Bye TJ! Have fun! Be a good boy!"

What a "good boy" he is. I find myself saying this over and over throughout the day when he listens and obeys. When Trent gets home I hear him say the same thing over and over to TJ as well. We are both so proud of TJ and the sweet, obedient little boy that he is.