Now that December is upon us, there has been no shortage of snow to remind us that winter has arrived. Two weeks ago we got fifteen inches of very heavy wet snow in less than twenty four hours. That heavy snow weighed so much that a large number of sizable tree branches in our neighborhood fell due to the weight they were carrying. Unfortunately, several of those branches fell in our yard. So, not only did we have to clear the snow from our walks and drive, but we had to break out the chainsaw to cut up those limbs. Sarah and I worked a combined six hours clearing just the walks and drive after that storm.

Garrison has taken a blue-collar approach to walking as he practices several times a day, every day. We bought him a truck that he can either ride or push and he loves to push that truck around the house. He walks lap after lap going out the north door of the kitchen, into the living room, through the entry way, into the dining room, and back into the kitchen through the south door. Initially, he couldn't really steer his truck very well, so if he ran into something, he was basically stuck until someone freed him. In the last week or so he's gotten the hang of steering the truck, backing up when necessary, and even switching ends when needed. He likes to walk around looking at the various flat surfaces in the house that are within his reach, looking for new items and things don't normally belong there so that he can play with them. All that walking and browsing is faster and easier than crawling over to a piece of furniture, climbing up it to see what's on top, and repeating as necessary until something fun is found. It is going to be a while yet before he can walk without some sort of support, but that day is clearly coming.

On the dental front, he finally has a tooth. After numerous false alarms, a tooth broke through his lower gum a couple of weeks ago. Neither Sarah or I has been able to get a good look at it as he's really not crazy about having people poking around in his mouth (understandably). We know it's in there because we can feel him bite spoons with it and it leaves a solitary tooth-mark in apples that we let him have.

As I reported last month, Garrison seemed to be trying to say "dalla" and we've decided that "dalla" is, in fact, his first word. He still uses it fairly frequently and incorrectly, but he uses it often enough in the proper context that we're sure that he knows that Dalla is some sort of "dalla". Now what exactly "dalla" means is open to interpretation. He doesn't call all dogs "dalla" so it likely isn't a general term for dog. He says it when she isn't around, and often when she is but he isn't looking at her. However, there are times when I call the dog and he does his best mimicry of my call and then looks for the dog to come running. It's actually pretty funny when he does it.

In Decembers past, we baked or six different types of Christmas cookies and treats. This year, we baked just two. I had no interest in putting up a big Christmas tree, but Sarah wouldn't be without one, so she bought a small (four feet tall) tree and put it up on a table in our living room. We put two strings of lights outside (which we don't normally do) and that's been all that we've done for Christmas decorating this year. I guess the Christmas spirit has yet to infect Sarah and I like it has in years past.

If you're looking for our annual Christmas card, don't bother waiting around the mailbox. If they go out at all this year, they'll be late.