Monday, June 30, 2008

Standin' Up

Gus has been pulling up on everything lately. As a result, we've dropped his crib down to the lowest level to prevent him from trying to climb out. This is often what we see when we're leaving his room after putting him down for a nap:

Now that he can stand, we've also taken the opportunity to teach him how to surrender should someone come to the front door with a gun. After he surrenders, we're not quite sure how he'll reach the door knob though.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jail Time

We've just installed our first baby gate. Although I'm so glad that Gus is developing so well, I'm kind of a minimalist when it comes to baby gear so putting this up was hard for me. This gate will be very visible for the next few years. Oh well...I guess you give up a little to gain so much more (namely, Gus!).

This gate is cool!

Where are you going?

I have to stay in here???

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Second Word!!!!

It's been a busy day here. Gus pronounced his second word...within ten hours of the first one! If you haven't heard the first one, scroll down. With both words, he was interacting with the subject so, for me, there's no doubt. Take a listen and tell me if I'm crazy.

I'm glad to have caught his second word on video. Gus was getting tired. I thought he'd have to go to bed before I could get him to say it on film. He came through, though, just in the nick of time. We may have to get one of these cheap, digital video cameras after all. It's been fun to record these last few momentous steps! We're so thankful for our little man...and that would be true even if he never spoke!


At least we think so. Take a listen and judge for yourself! I actually caught it on tape the very first time he said it which was a good thing b/c Amy wasn't home at the time! Another little blessing from God! You'll be able to tell by the sound of my voice that I was pretty excited.

Did you notice Kanba (the cat) kicking Gus in the face there at the end?? He's been so great letting Gus poke and prod him, and he usually purrs through the whole thing! By the end of this clip, however, Kanba had had enough of Gus trying to milk him!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I realized today, after heating up my coffee in the microwave for the 4th time, that life at the Noll house has officially transitioned into "completely crazy." A few people teased us when we told them that Gus was crawling, and now I know that it's because they knew that life would suddenly be in fast forward whenever the little man is awake.

Not only have I been trying to drink my single cup of coffee for an hour and a half now, but already this morning, I have fished about 6 pieces of catfood out of Gus' mouth (as well as some sort of round seed he found on the floor), started a load of laundry, made breakfast for both of us, changed two diapers and two outfits and read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Now, he's sleeping and I can sit down:)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Wavin' Man

Here's the latest video. Be patient, he doesn't really wave on cue. We have one more thing to capture (him standing up) and then we have to give the video camera back. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Eatin' Man

Gus fed himself a complete meal for the first time yesterday. He used to make sounds while he ate, but he doesn't do that as much these days. I guess he's getting too mature for that. We caught a few in this video, however. Enjoy!

The Crawlin' Man

Straight into your living room...V Man goes mobile!

Reverse angle.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mad Skills

These are pictures of Gus with Kanba, one of our two cats. Kanba has done much better adjusting to Gus than Mariko has. It's amazing what Kanba will let Gus get away with...especially when Kanba is hungry (as he was in this situation...not venturing too far from the food bowl)! The scene above is not normal, however, so it was really cool to watch Kanba accept Gus's excitement and rough play.

In addition to cat wrangling, we thought we'd let you know what Gus is into these days.

Interests: phones, remote controls, spoons, cats, dogs, food (especially peas, bananas, carrots and yogurt), buttons, ceiling fans, lights, sucking his thumb, mirrors, splashing and picture books (which he can hold on his own...sometimes).

Words he understands: Mama, Dada, Gus, Kanba, Mariko, cat, dog, eat and up.

Signs we are focusing on: Mama, Dada, cat, dog, eat, up, ball and hi/see ya.

Signs he understands: dog, eat and hi/see ya.

Signs he can, well, sign: hi/see ya (new over the past week! he waves at himself instead of waving cute!!!!!!!)

New accomplishments: signing hi/see ya, crawling, sitting up from a crawling position, crawling from a sitting position, pulling himself up to a standing position (FIRST TIME TODAY; his motivation: he couldn't see the dogs he was eyeing!).

It has been so fun to watch Gus grow and learn. Seeing him crawl and wave have been especially rewarding. We are blessed to have such a healthy, happy and well adjusted boy. Praise be to God for the work He has done!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


The title of this post is in quotations b/c the word "camping" means different things to us. To Amy, it means "car camping." To me, it means "backpacking." The former involves coolers, bathrooms, swimming pools, games, communal areas, normal meals, etc. The latter leans towards minimalism, long hikes, solitary environments, etc. Seeing that we have never done much of either since we've been married (which is very sad to both of us), her way seemed best for several reasons. The first and most obvious is Gus. He's only 9 months old, so taking him camping forced us to err on the safe side initially. His young age coupled with our limited availability to get away from normal life, our rusty skills and the relative proximity of the campsite to home all added up for 18 hours of car camping.

We're so glad we went and we're hopeful that it will be a catalyst to some continued camping in the future...the form of which will be up for debate! Amy did pretty much everything to get us ready for this excursion. All I had to do was come home from work on Friday afternoon, pack a few things for me and then we were off! Great job, Frau!

Set up. We bought this very large, very heavy tent used from Unclaimed Baggage a while back and were unsure how easy it would be to set up. Thankfully, it was a breeze and all the parts were there. We couldn't be happier that $25 gave us this much tent! I'm not sure how it would perform in rain, but we'll leave that test for another trip. By the way, almost immediately after this picture was taken, Gus reached down, pulled up a large handful of dirt and ate it before we could extract ourselves from the various tent poles, rain flies, etc. that we were trying to assemble.

After we set up the tent, Amy made an attempt at the camp fire. She had some early, promising flame...but, alas, it wouldn't hold. Enter the man of the family. What is it about guys and fire?

We had hot dogs, baked beans and chips for dinner. For a nightcap, we made smores. Amy and I got to talking about the experience and both realized that we don't really care for smores. For me, it's the messy, sticky fingers you're left with. Amy would prefer the usage of dark chocolate to the traditional Hershey's milk chocolate. Sorry V Man, but that tradition may not be around by the time you're old enough to give them a try. I do like a good, roasted marshmallow, however. I used to burn the outside, slide off the burnt skin and eat it and then start the process again until there was no more marshmallow. Now that I know about cancer and excess carbon in food, however, those days are over. Then again, I used to eat raw hamburger meat when I was a kid, too. I guess we've learned a lot in the past 31 years. I still continue to eat raw cake batter and cookie dough, however. I don't plan to give up those rare treats anytime soon!

Gus slept in his pack and play on one side of the tent. He went to sleep later than usual, but once he was down he didn't wake up until about 6:15 am (which is pretty normal). Amy and I didn't fare as well. There were some rowdy Mennonites in the site next to ours. They stayed up until around 3 am talking, laughing, throwing green branches into their fire and otherwise making noise. If you'd told me when we arrived that they'd be the last group at the camp to go to bed... Who knew? They were asleep for the first two hours of our morning activities. I thought about going over to their campsite banging one of our borrowed pots with a stick to even things out a little, but Amy convinced me otherwise.

We spent the morning just relaxing from within the relative safety of the tent. We had breakfast burritos for, well, breakfast. Afterwards, Amy and I read. Gus read a little, too. He's got a book called First Words that he really enjoys. The rest of the time he just spent playing with his colored cups, my keys, Amy's phone and did some crawling, too. At one point he tipped over and hit his face on the floor of the tent. Wouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that there was a rock underneath the tent floor. He caught it right above one of his eyes and had a little knot to show for it. Sorry buddy! I'll rake the area before we set up next time!

And he's off......

Gus has been crawling for about a week and a half, and he's now beginning to realize that he can use this new mode of locomotion to actually get somewhere! He has already discovered the stereo and the bookshelf, of course. He is still pretty slow, so if I'm paying attention, I can divert his attentions to something safer....for now. Scott has been doing his best to help Gus' speed. He has figured out how to get him to do "wind sprints" by moving the cell phone from one side of the den to the other. Gus is so focused that his eyes never even leave the phone!