Eleven Months Old

Walker, you turned 11 months old at the end of May! Your mother is in denial that this first year has flown by in the blink of an eye but here we are. You are a busy guy and this month was another exciting one!
You became incredibly smiley and sweet this month! Your personality is shining so brightly and you are so much fun. We can barely keep up with all your changes and we love seeing you grow right before our eyes. 
You are going through clothes these days like a force to be reckoned with. You wear size 12-18 months now and we are really getting a kick out of seeing you in so many things that we swear Carter was just wearing last year! I don't know how much you weigh or how long you are, I just know you are a chunk! You love to eat and you are getting hard to carry around for very long, ha ha! Thankfully you are sleeping beautifully and still napping twice a day (Hallelujah!).  You have a pretty predictable routine and you seem to thrive on it. You are so very flexible and I am so very thankful for that! 
The big news of the month is that you cut two bottom teeth almost instantaneously, and finally! We have been waiting and waiting for those teeth to come in and now they are here and we love to see them! Your new smile already makes you look so much older. 
I only wish you didn't have soooo many more to go!
Walker, you LOVE being on the go and exploring the great outdoors! We have a fun routine of picking up Ava from school and then hitting the parks to play. You no longer want to sit on a blanket or in your stroller and watch though, you want to get right out there in the middle of the action!
You even braved the slide with Ava and Carter and you love it!
You see a slide anywhere now and immediately try to climb on it! 
You know there is fun to be had there  :) 
You still love your paci, Walkie! I have to keep track of them like a hawk now because you have a habit of taking yours out and dropping it wherever you seem to be playing. It's like a game for all of us to find Walker's missing paci! 
Not only do you love the parks, but you also love being on our porch! You play out there for long periods of time and you love to sit and watch cars go by or people walking or birds in the trees. 
I love to see your sweet smile out there.  You aren't quite walking yet, but you are crawling at warp speed like a madman and you love to cruise along anything you can hold onto. Not being able to walk hasn't really kept you out of anything yet! The common phrase I hear whenever I pick you up from the Church nursery is, "Wow, he sure is fast and busy!" You are not one to avoid the action, so far you like to be right in the middle of it! 
You also learned to wave this month! You aren't overly generous yet but you like to wave to us at home all the time and you are always very proud of yourself when you do it!
You are also a little stingy with your smiles at this point, we like to call you Mr. Stoic :) 
Getting you to crack a smile is hard work sometimes, even though we know you are enjoying yourself!
I'd love to know what's going on in that contemplative mind of yours! You and those big eyes sure love to take the whole room in and observe a situation before you show how you're feeling about it. Who knows if this is just a phase or if you'll always be like that? Sometimes your Daddy and I compete to make you smile! We're like your very own circus sideshow and yet you just look at us like you are truly wondering if we are indeed fit to be parents?!?!  Ha ha! 
When we do break you down and see that smile however, you sure are adorable! 
After Ava finished school, we took a little roadtrip to Iowa and while we were there you discovered the joy of chalk! 
And also, the joy of a sprinkler! You are a tough nut to crack because until this very moment, you have screamed and cried your way through every single bath and yet, when the freezing cold water of the sprinkler enticed you, you crawled right over and got wet and giggled your head off! 
Explain that, Mr. Texas Ranger!?!?! 
You got to spend some time with your cousin Sawyer while we were there, which was hilarious! 
You aren't totally interacting yet but you both got closer and closer to each other, usually without incident, ha ha! Like the youngest sibling you are, you also stole Sawyer's snack cup and helped yourself again and again  :) 
You did share a phone though, so there's that! 
After we conquered the sprinkler mountain, we tackled the pool! 
And just like that, you loved it! Of course you did! 
A cold backyard pool, green light. A warm bath with toys and siblings, nope. 
Makes total sense  :) 
This is what's so fun about you being 11 months now, you are finally joining the big kids in all the fun and they LOVE having you in the mix!
It's precious to see you play with them and them with you. I am excited for you to always have a big sister and a big brother in your corner. That is a gift, Walker!
This month has been full of all three of you learning how to play with each other and share spaces and toys. Your siblings are very patient with you and they are doing their best to let you destroy things without losing their minds  :)  You do have an uncanny ability to go straight for the the one thing they are enjoying. Enjoy your freedoms now Walker because you won't always have the grace from them you presently receive! Ha ha!
One of our sweetest discoveries this month is that you L.O.V.E. watching the Praise Baby DVDs! Like you seriously stop what you are doing immediately, and you sit up straight and usually start clapping your hands and then you are totally transfixed for the next 30 minutes. It's a beautiful thing for Mommy and Daddy...
I won't lie, we have used it to our advantage this month! All we have to say if you are crying or want something you can't have is, "Do you want to watch Praise Baby?" and then you are instantly thrilled! Obviously we love that, but we also love that those great worship songs fill our home and hopefully your little heart and mind even as a baby. We long for you to know Jesus Walker, all of us, and we go to great lengths to give you as much of Him as we can. Even your sweet brother and sister pray that over you! Carter made Mommy and Daddy cry at the dinner table one night when he asked God to "help Walker to know you God and to love you" totally unprompted. He and Ava are passing on what they are learning to you and more than anything we could ever give you or provide for you, we pray that Jesus will always be our greatest priority. We are so tickled to see you love music and respond to it. We know the words don't mean anything beyond repetition at this point but we do pray that the Lord will begin to let those seeds of truth take root in your heart so that you will know and believe His Word all the days of your life. 
Walker, you went to camp this month! Just like Ava and Carter before you, you were the youngest camper at Daddy's JH JAM camp! 
You did so well while we were there. Before we left you had a terrible, terrible time with some teeth that were trying to break through and we weren't sure you could go but you woke up happy the morning we left and you were wonderful all week long. There is so much activity and noise and constant changing circumstances but you rolled with all of it and loved it. Way to go, buddy!
Your favorite time of the day was probably after dinner and before chapel began. The kids were all lined up in the grass during their mail time and crowd-breaker games and you loved crawling through the ranks so you could steal someone's booklet and pen! And those sweet junior high girls were always so kind to let you have free reign. You did it every night and then sat so happily pretending to write! ha ha! You were enjoyed by all of us at camp and had no shortage of people wanting to see you, hold you, play with you or just make you smile! You are a lucky little guy Walker!
When we got home we enjoyed another special treat when Aunt Shaye got to spend a little time with us. It was your first time to meet her and we played at the Mall of America with her! We enjoyed a special tour at the Aquarium and you loved the water and seeing all the fish all around you!
Thanks for visiting us, Aunt Shaye!!
Walker you are a good eater! You expanded your palate even more this month eating most of our meals with us and so far, we haven't found too much you won't at least try! Spaghetti was new for you this month and like most kids, you loved it and wore most of it. 
You are a demanding little guy when you're in your high chair! You've taken up yelling as your new trick and you like to yell when you're hungry, if we don't get food fast enough to you and when you're done. Your volume has significantly increased this month! 
Good thing you are so cute! It saves you many, many days  :) 
Carter and Ava love to entertain you and you get a big kick out of them! Most of the time anyway  :) You are into everything these days and sometimes I have to get creative to keep you from destroying everything in your path. We put you in the stroller one night while I was trying to quickly load the dishwasher and before I knew it, you were giggling your head off while Ava and Carter blew raspberries on your tummy! 
What a loved little guy you are! 
Walker, you are loved and adored by your Daddy and he is enjoying you and all that you can start doing with us now that you are getting older. Your Dad makes you laugh and is often the first face you see every morning and the last one you snuggle with at night. I am so thrilled for you to grow up with the Daddy God has given you!
On the eve of your first birthday, you had us all feeling sentimental and so very thankful! God sure blessed each of us and these 11 months have been an incredible gift.  Ava and Carter prayed so faithfully for you before we ever knew you were coming! They asked God over and over for a baby and how great for all of us to watch the Lord answer us while He knitted you and formed you for 9 months. You were the one we were waiting for and you have been SO worth the wait!
I enjoyed one last snuggle with you before we woke up to a one year old and admittedly, I shed some tears that night to think how quickly time has flown. Eleven months!!  We made it through that first year with such JOY and it has been nothing short of amazing to love you. 
Happy 11 months Walker Cole!!  
I sure love being your Mom. 

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