Monday, May 29, 2006


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Kelton loves books. He calls them ba-bas. He loves when we read to him. Our bedtime routine always includes sitting in the comfy chair with Kelton snuggled in our lap and reading a few bedtime stories. He used to enjoy whichever book we chose, but as he's gotten older he's gotten more specific and more emphatic about which book he wants. Now he'll even go get the book he wants and bring it over to the chair. Now he tries to strech out bedtime by asking for more and more ba-ba's.

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His first favorite book, which is now on the top of the list again, was "Way Out In the Desert". The next favorite was "Where the Wild Things Are", and he knew all the embellishments, like the wild thing dance that daddy added to the story, and Kelton would do them too. The next favorite book was Dr. Suess's, "One Fish, Two Fish". In particular he loved the page with the Gack. He's learned to say Gack and he thinks it's very funny. Gack! Actually it is very funny when he says it. Now we're back to "Way Out In the Desert" and starting to warm up to "Paddding Bear in the Garden".
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Kelton also enjoys reading his board books by himself. Here he is searching for the one he wants.

Some of his favorites are:
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On the move!!!


Kelton loves to move and explore. During our time in Italy he graduated from walking to running. David and I also had to step up the pace to keep up with him. Above is a post-gelato night shot of Kelton revved up and racing around a piazza in Florence. Pisa was great for running since the Field of Miracles, where the main sights are located, is a wonderful grassy field far from the road.
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The Cathedral has a couple of marble steps leading to a marble path all around, that Kelton loved to practice going up and down on, running around on top of and chasing pigeons all over.
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He also got to run around inside the Cathedral and the Camposanto Cemetery. It is a good thing that the Italians, including museum guards, really do love babies!
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We spent a lovely morning at the University of Pisa's Botanical Garden. It was founded in 1543! Kelton enjoyed touching the flowers while sniffing his flower sign, and was fascinated by the flight of the maple tree's winged seeds.
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Other touching experiences included petting a dog outside the Santa Miniato Church, where he also got to meet a priest, and feeling the water in a fountain in the Santa Spirito Piazza.
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Even a stroller ride could be exciting when daddy was in control.

Body parts

Kelton has learned to identify a lot of different body parts. Here he is looking at a door knocker in Florence and comparing noses.

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He also knows his head, eyes, ears, hair, teeth, knees, fingers, toes, feet, elbows and beard. Yes, daddy taught him where his beard is. We're ok as long as he doesn't try to point to mommy's beard...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kelton at home abroad

Kelton easily adjusted to our new abodes while we were in Italy. After checking everything out, he made himself at home. For the most part we were able to babyproof the apartments, but there was one stalk lamp Kelton wouldn't leave alone. We never did successfully teach him to stop trying to tip it over. Here he is in our swank Florence studio enjoying his frutta de bosca jam, then removing the contents of the suitcase and inspecting the swim diapers we never got to use.
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We brought an assortment of toys and books from home so Kelton would have something to do while we were busy. Here he is reading to himself and doing the sign for "train" when he looks at the train picture.

We had more space in our rooftop home in Vernazza. The livingroom was a nice size for Kelton to broom or spread out his toys. The bedrooms were one big step up from the living room. Kelton liked to be a little daredevil acting like he was going to jump when what he really wanted was one of us to come over and help him down. Apparently he's too big to have to crawl down backwards by himself. But sometimes even with all his toys and books he got a little bored.
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Kelton hates the shower. Every time we've had to wash him in the shower he let his feelings be known at top volume. So we were happy to find that the kitchen sink was big enough to fit Kelton. At first he wasn't happy with this solution either, but by the end of the bath he was having fun.
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And Daddy made himself at home also, here he is enjoying the rooftop terrace while Kelton is napping.
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Kelton's favorite part of the terrace was the skylight you can see in the lower right of the first photo above with David on the terrace. Kelton loved to climb up on it, stand up and walk across. David got a great sequence from below:
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Even though Kelton made himself at home abroad, he was very excited to come back home and play with all of his toys again!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hiking the Cinque Terre


The Cinque Terre towns are connected with gorgeous hiking trails along the Ligurian coast. During our 6 days in Vernazza we hiked all the segments. The above photo is a view of Vernazza from the trail to Monterosso. Our apartment was right behind the bell tower on the left of the picture. The towns are also connected by the train. It's very comfy hiking - 2 hours of hiking to a beautiful new town, we'd stop to explore, get gelato or lunch then take the train home. It was a nice mixture of walking and wandering with Kelton.

Our first hike was just up to the tower in Vernazza. The view was wonderful, and the tower stairs were fun if a tight fit with Kelton in the backpack. It also gave us a chance to build up our leg muscles for stairs. Everything in Cinque Terre was up lots of stairs.
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Kelton is surprisingly content in his backpack. He loves to look out at the water, see the flowers and even spot the occasional cat in town.
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Kelton will often fall asleep in the backpack and I suddenly feel a heavy little head resting on my back. On the long hike to Manarola Kelton slept for 2 hours, one on my back then another one in David's arms while we watched the sunset over the town.
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Of course usually when we get to a town Kelton will wake up and we'll let him out. He loves to run. Here's Dad in hot pursuit when he goes too far to fast.
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One day we took a boat ride to Riomaggiore then hiked the trail back towards Vernazza. It was Kelton's first trip on a boat. He really enjoyed the ride, although when the wind would blow strongly he'd hide his head against my back. He saw a man in a rowboat and was all excited - he thought the oars were brooms.
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We had such a nice time in Cinque Terre that it was hard to leave!