Sunday, April 24, 2011

New videos

Happy Easter, everybody!  Here are a couple new videos of Caleb from the last couple weeks.  We have a couple more from Easter weekend, so stay tuned.

Caleb playing with his Spaceship toy at 16 weeks.

Caleb talking in the morning.  He usually wakes up a pretty happy baby, and this lasts anywhere from one to ten minutes, depending on how hungry he is.

Waking up in the morning.

At 15 weeks, Caleb discovered he could grab his feet!  He's 16 weeks now and changing so fast!

Saturday, April 2, 2011


We just got back from our spring break, and we had a wonderful time!  Julie's parents decided they did not want to wait till June to meet their grandchild, so we planned to meet somewhere in the middle between Mali and California - but since the midpoint is in the Atlantic Ocean we settled on Paris.

It was a short trip - only four days to see the City of Light! - but it was well worth it.  Caleb loved getting to meet his Grandma and Grandpa Griffis, and they love him very much!  Highlights include:

Travel: Caleb did a great job with travel, and enjoyed his priority seating in the bassinet in bulkhead.  For those who haven't flown with a baby, shortly after takeoff they bring out a small bassinet that attaches to the wall in front of your seats.  We made the rookie mistake of traveling without a pacifier (we don't use them at home) but luckily a fellow missionary in Bamako came to our rescue (thanks Becky!).  I'm pretty sure some other travelers on the plane thank her too.  There was only a one hour time difference, so we'll have to wait till June to find out about baby jet lag.  :)
Caleb arrives at Charles de Gaulle Int'l Airport

Grandparents: Julie's parents were ecstatic, of course, to meet their little baby grandchild, and it was nice for Julie and me to have some help watching him.  They even gave us a night on the town alone - Caleb's first evening without Mom and Dad!  I think this picture says it all though - the very first meeting.
Caleb meets Grammie and Grandpa Griffis

Hotel fire: Yes, our hotel did catch on fire.  We came back from seeing the Eiffel Tower at around 5:30 PM.  We first noticed there was a lot of commotion going on up ahead in the street.  Then we saw lots of fire trucks and police, and noticed a fire ladder up against a building.  Hey, there was a fire pretty close to our hotel.  Wait, a minute - that IS our hotel!  The block was roped off so we could not even get near.  A few police officers told us in broken English that there'd been a fire.  When we told them we were staying at the Best Western they made a face like, "Ooh, too bad for you!"  It was looking bad and we couldn't get much information about how extensive the damage was.  Fast forward a few hours: Julie waited with her mom and Caleb in a different Best Western lobby down the street while her dad and I waited in line for an hour or so to be escorted inside and claim our belongings.  Turns out the sixth floor was wiped out - one guy lost everything but the clothes he had been wearing, including his passport - but the fifth floor was only affected by water.  The parents' stuff (fifth floor) got a little wet and smelled like smoke, and our stuff (fourth floor) was nearly unaffected.  By 9:30 or 10:00 PM we were settled in our new hotel, a Holiday Inn on the other side of the river.  Our new hotel was nicer, location not quite as great, but overall we were thankful not to have had any damage and thankful to have a place to stay.

The sights: We had a wonderful time touring around, though we've begun to see how having a baby changes the way you travel.  We toured around Notre Dame, the Champs de Elysee, climbed up the Arc de Triomphe, saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, went up the Eiffel Tower in the daytime, and spent one afternoon at the Louvre.  Four days is nowhere near long enough, but we felt good about what we did get to see.  L'Open Tour buses allow you to hop on or off all day at any of their tourist destinations, and that provided a great way to get around to the places we wanted to go.

Be sure to check out our pictures from Paris in our facebook album (It's a public link; you don't need facebook to view these.)