Mini-vacation... sort of

We took a four-day trip up north to Camp Luther in Three Lakes, WI. My family has been spending one week there, each summer, for over 20 years. We rent a cottage and spend the week relaxing, visiting with friends, and doing normal camp stuff – swimming, hiking, campfires, etc... I have a lot of great childhood memories from there.

This was Walter's and Nate's first trip to camp and it could not have been worse weather – cold and rainy! We went on a couple of short hikes, but were pretty much stuck inside the rest of the time. Even our usual campfire singing was held indoors, around a video of a campfire. How sad! And, I forgot to bring my camera along (I'm still kicking myself) so I don't even have any photos to share.

Nate played a little golf in the rain and I was able to relax and read while Walter was napping, so it wasn't a total loss. Next year, we're checking the weather before making the four-hour drive!


By request

Ok, Aunt Kristin. You wanted a photo of the haircut. Here it is:

And here's a shot Nate took today. He caught Walter whipping up some more dinosaur dishes at his new kitchen. Looks like they had sautĂ©ed dinosaur, followed by a dinosaur soufflĂ©. 


Salon Billmeyer

Walter got his first haircut today. And, coincidentally, I gave my first haircut today. We strapped Walter into our favorite chair and busied him with a snack while I got to work. He didn't even know it was happening. A quick five-minute trim and the mullet is gone! This might even cure those silly bed head curls – for a little while, anyway.

Happy Father's Day!

Father's Day and the first day of summer. It's going to be a good one.
To Nate – Walter and I appreciate everything you do for us. We hope you enjoy sleeping in today!
To all the Dads – Have a wonderful day!


Bed head

Nate is always trying to tell me that Walter didn't get any of my genes, but this bed head proves otherwise. This adorable curl stuck out just like this for an entire day. He might not think it's so adorable when he's my age. At least we know he's mine.


One-year photoshoot

We decided, sort-of through laziness, not to do traditional studio photography for Walter. We take a TON of photos on a daily basis – let's face it, this kid is well documented. But I wanted to have some nice one-year photos of Walter and some family shots, so we hired Kuehl on Location to do a photo shoot right in our backyard. John Kuehl, a co-worker and friend, does fantastic kids photography. He stopped over after work one sunny afternoon and spent about an hour snapping photos of us all playing in the backyard. It was nice to have a casual, familiar setting. Walter did great in front of the camera, and the shots came out beautifully. Here's a sample:

Just a few days after the shoot, John delivered a cd with over 80 photographs that we can print and share as we please. We're really happy with the results!

Note to family – we would be happy to print/frame photos for you. You choose or we can choose some for you.


Dinosaur stew

Walter is one lucky kid to have such an awesome Grampa. He built this kitchen for Walter's birthday. I think I'm probably even more excited about it than Walter is. But check this thing out! It looks great, there's plenty of storage for all his food and kitchen gadgets, and there's lots of room for imagination – the most important part of kitchen play.


Summer Weekend

We drove up to Green Bay to visit with Grandpa and Mary this weekend. Their new house on the bay is really beautiful, especially in the summer time. We enjoyed the outdoors and the gorgeous view of the water, birds and boats.

Walter made several trips around the yard, testing out the grass with his bare feet. We've come a long way, baby! Mary gave me a nice tour of her gardens, inspiring me to make some additions and changes to ours. In fact, we've already picked up a few new plants.

We took Walter to church with Grandpa on Sunday morning and he felt right at home. He even toddled up to the front of the church with the rest of the kids for the children's message. All by himself, he walked up and climbed the step to stand with the others. Another little boy dutifully held Walter's hand so he wouldn't fall. It was pretty darn cute.

We also did some birthday celebrating! The folks at Alpha Delights made a really cool cake for Walter. Nate was brave enough to let Walter eat while sitting in his lap. Here's the video, as promised: 

12 month stats

This morning's doctor visit went just fine. Walter is doing well – nothing too exciting to report.

Here are his stats:
Weight - 20 lbs. 2 oz. - 12%
Height - 32 in. - 96%

He's growing, as usual, tall and skinny. He had another round of immunizations today. Three shots, one purple-faced grimace, and three or four big screams before returning to his usual self.


12 months!

Happy birthday Walter! A year went by so fast!
It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago, Walter and I looked like this:

And exactly a year ago, we looked like this:

And today, we look like this:  

It's amazing to see how much he has grown and changed. This past month has been so much fun. Walter is getting really talkative. He mimics the sounds we make and strings together full sentences of babble. I think real words aren't too far away. He's constantly on the go – we're always finding one more thing we need to childproof. But it's a lot of fun to watch him play and discover new things. Along with climbing stairs, he has figured out how to climb up and slide down his slide. (Another great garage sale find. Thanks Gramma and Grampa!) 

He has lots of silly habits that keep us laughing. Like taking his right shoe off when he gets in the car. If we drive long enough, the left shoe will eventually come off too, but we can always count on searching the back seat for the right one when we reach our destination. And standing up in the bathtub – no matter how many times I sit him down, he immediately pops back up. Maybe he's trying to tell us he's ready to start showering.

Being a year old brings on a lot of changes for a little boy. He finally gets to sit facing forward in the car (assuming he's 20 lbs at his one-year doctor appt. on Monday.) No more cramped legs against the back seat. Hooray! He graduates from formula to cow's milk. He gets to add all sorts of yummy things to his diet – strawberries, eggs, chocolate, even honey, the one thing our pediatrician warned us about SEVERAL times at EVERY visit. OK, doc. No honey. We get it!

Photos from the past month are here. We will be celebrating Walter's birthday all weekend to make up for the cancelled party. I'm hoping to get some good birthday cake video... stay tuned!


Clean freak

Walter has a little obsession with vacuum cleaners. He's been testing out his cousin Kyla's toy vacuum when he visits her house. And the last time we were visiting, he decided to give their real vacuum a try. Imagine my surprise to see the handle of the vacuum cleaner moving along behind their kitchen island, only to find Walter pushing the giant thing around! 

He loves vacuuming so much that Grandma and Grandpa Bredel decided to get him a toy vacuum of his own for his birthday. He couldn't be happier. He's been vacuuming up a storm. If it could really suck up dog hair, we'd have the cleanest carpet around. The only downfall is the cheerfully rude commentary coming from the thing. "Let's clean up this mess!" it says. "Whoa! This place is a pigsty!"
Thanks for the photo Aunt Kristin!

P.S. Walter is feeling much better today. The fever is gone and he's acting more like himself. A good night of sleep and he should be good as new.


A sick boy

Poor Walter isn't feeling well. It started yesterday with a little fever. Then it turned into a big fever and he has been a sad, snuggly boy. And to top it all off, today was supposed to be his first birthday party. We had to cancel the festivities, but we'll reschedule when he's feeling better.

We're not sure what the cause of the fever is, but he seems to be on the mend today. His temperature is lower and he's got a little more energy. I hope he's over this soon. He's never been sick and it breaks my heart to see him so quiet and sad. I wish there were more I could do for him.

Here's a photo of the caterpillar cupcakes that were meant for today's party. Nate is pretty upset that he's going to have to eat them all himself...



I'm loving the weather these days. Not too hot, not too cold and just enough rain to keep me from having to water the garden. I love to see everything sprouting up out there in nice, neat rows. Unfortunately, the bunnies have already gnawed off half a row of my beans. I've got Nate on the task of putting up a higher fence. You would think a golden retriever would be enough to scare those bunnies away. 

I'm hoping that by the end of the summer Walter will be big enough to help me harvest the crops. Maybe that will keep him interested in eating his vegetables for a little while longer. Of course, Nate helps me and he still won't eat his veggies. I have my fingers crossed that Walter will take after his mom in this case. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?


He's so vain

Walter loves to look at himself. The screen saver on my computer is a slideshow of Walter photos. The second it comes on, he drops what he's doing to come over and watch. Mirrors are endlessly entertaining. He grins and laughs every time he catches a glimpse of himself. Just last week I hung a few photos of him in his bedroom and he can't stop staring at them. Can you blame him? I'd stare at that little cutie pie all day too, if I could.