Dearest Violetta, it's been a long time since Daddy has written a post, so this post may be the only story we read tonight because it's gonna be a long one!In a span of 8 days, I celebrated my first Father's Day and had my first birthday as a Daddy. Celebrating Father's Day was a very unique experience. For my entire life, I've always celebrated Father's Day for someone else. It was a day to make burnt toast or runny eggs and proudly present them to my father as if they were made-to-order from a Michelin star restaurant. Dad would smile and tell us how great they were, and we would swell with pride that we made such a fantastic breakfast. I've been looking forward to Father's Day since celebrating Mother's Day. I've been so excited to celebrate the greatest gift ever - being Violetta's Daddy! Leading up to that weekend, it felt like the combined anticipation of a lifetime of Christmas Eve's - and this is coming from the guy who still wakes up around 5am on Christmas. It was a mix of excitement, feeling honored to be a Father to Vivi, and utter joy knowing your Momma and I never been happier. Yeah, Father's Day is really that special and meaningful. We spent the weekend in Hood River and got to take you out in the backpack carrier. Despite lots of high wind and a cloudy day, so it was a bit chillier than normal, you had a blast. Below the treeline, Vivi was in a constant sleepy daze with the warm, shaded temperature. But once we got out on the ridge, the wind really picked up and you
loudly politely let us know that while you greatly enjoyed our hike, maybe it would be a better idea to come back when it's sunnier and less windy.
Since I've been out here, I've celebrated my birthday every year (except once) with one of my bestest buddies, Juan - since his birthday is the day after mine. Meli always helps cook up the best birthday parties, and my personal favorite was renting out a climbing gym with pinatas, video games, lots of a local brewery's finest and lots of climbing. This year, Uncle Juan has been over climbing in Istanbul and off the island of Kalymnos in Greece, so we're taking a rain check on the usual birthday celebration. We celebrated family style by Momma and Vivi taking me out to an amazing steak dinner. And I got the best gift during dinner: Vivi is our little peanut, and highchairs have lots of room so we usually shove a blanket behind her to hold her in place - otherwise she'd get up and climb out of that highchair. We didn't have a blanket with us, so I used my arm to keep her in place, which meant I was within inches from her cute, little head. The highlight was when I sat and moved my arm to get a drink of water. Vivi looked up at me and then reached to give my arm the tightest little hug ever, lasting nearly a full minute. She had the biggest grin on her face too. Best present ever.
We had really nice sunny weather over Memorial Day weekend. It was so warm that we had to do a few different outfits for our photo shoot!
Over a warm, sunny weekend, we took our first trip to the Portland Zoo. It was so much fun, and I absolutely felt like "that Dad" who was decked out in camera gear, a backpack full of extra baby gear for any situation we might encounter at the zoo, and a memorized map of the top spots we wanted to visit early - the giraffes, lions and rhinos being the top spots.
After the zoo, Vivi showed us how she likes to eat like a wild animal roaming the Serengeti!
With the warmer, drier weather we've been taking lots of walks. During one trip, we saw a halo around the sun - a phenomenon that occurs when water is reflected at a 22 degree angle. Our little Peanut is very social and loves waving to the other parents and kids as they walk by her classroom. The best part of the day is going to pick her up after work and seeing how happy she is to come home with us! Momma has a little garden in the backyard, and last year she ate a lot of strawberries while pregnant - even back then, Vivi was jumping around from the sugary sweet taste. The berries are ripening and we've had a constant stream of berries. Vivi absolutely loved them! And she was very sad when she realized she had eaten all of them! We've had some weather swings these past few weeks, and some of the babies at school have been getting sick. Unfortunately, Vivi came down with her highest temperature yet with a 102.9. We felt bad because we were constantly thinking we have the cutest sick baby ever! A doctor's visit reassured us that her fever was likely a result of her teething, and the next morning she was back to her hap-hap-happy self all over again! We also have 4 teeth coming in - yes four! It's so funny watching her gnaw on anything and everything she can get her little teeth on to. At first, I thought I would really miss her gummy smile - but those little teeth are so cute because she's so tiny that I can't wait for the rest to come in! Now that Vivi has teeth, she eats nearly everything that we eat. We like to grill steak in the summer - before her teeth, we would be momma birds and chew up the food for her. Now that she has teeth, she can eat little chunks by herself. And the little chunks add up - she eats around 4 ounces at a time! The most mundane of activities are so much more fun with Vivi. Vivi also celebrated her 9 month birthday and is just 3 months away from being a whole year old! The time has completely flown by. Every day, she's doing something different. One day after her 9 month birthday, she gained enough confidence to start letting go of things and stand on her own. Three days into 9 months, Vivi even took her first (assisted steps)! Along with learning to walk, Vivi is learning to cut a rug with her dancing skills. She loves dancing in the garage while Daddy works out. Now that our lil' Peanut is getting close to walking, Momma thought she obviously needs shoes to celebrate her coming of age and speaks to her style. Vivi, you're growing up so quickly and watching you grow and develop is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. We love watching you pick clothes out of your drawer and put them on the floor, then reach in and get even more clothes to put onto the floor. We love playing "pick up and clean up" with you! Our little princess is growing up so fast! Every day we love you more and more!