Now we just have to get through February and March and it's all downhill from there until summer.

We've all been feeling a bit more housebound than usual this winter. Normally, Sarah, Dalla, and I would hit the trails for hiking or skiing or snowshoeing most weekends in the winter. If it was colder than usual, we'd just wear more clothes and stay out for less time. Now that we have Garrison, however, our options are a bit more limited. He really can't tolerate weather colder than 15 degrees and they don't make serious outdoors clothing for babies, so we have to pick and choose our days for outdoors exercise more carefully now. Fortunately, the weather was in the twenties last weekend, so we were able to get out and go hiking both Saturday and Sunday.

Garrison's birthday came and went a couple of weeks ago. Sarah's parents drove out for the weekend so they joined my sister in helping us celebrate. Garrison still doesn't quite know what to make of presents, but he gave us the gift of walking the night before his birthday. It was actually a rather dramatic moment when he started. We were sitting around the living room chatting after dinner. GMan has a truck that he pushes around and he pulled himself up using the truck in the middle of all of us. Then, he rather dramatically pushed the truck away and stood there quite deliberately without holding on to anything for 30 seconds or so. It looked a bit like he had something very important to say and he was just searching for the best way to say it. Then, he toddled over to me and gave me a big hug. Then he toddled over to Sarah and gave her a big hug. Then it was back to me and back to Sarah. Then it over to his Grandma and back to Sarah. Then back to me. This went on for five minutes or so and he was just tickled pink every time he completed his little mini-journey. Now, he's toddling all over the house. His toddling expeditions are getting longer every day and he probably spend more time upright now than he does crawling. He still uses his truck for balance when he wants to run, but he uses it less and less every day.

Sarah made cupcakes for Garrison's birthday, but he was probably the person who enjoyed them the least. He doesn't seem to be terribly interested in sweet breads, and the frosting didn't seem to be his favorite either.

He's also been eating a wider variety of foods the last couple of weeks. He still doesn't like foods that you'd expect him to like (jelly, candy, some fruits), nor does he like most meats, but his list of foods that he will at least try has grown. Most startlingly, he really doesn't like cheese. If he's going to grow up in Wisconsin, that's one dislike he'll probably have to overcome. Our Australian readers might be interested to know that he does seem to enjoy Vegemite, which we have been led to believe, is commonly fed to Australian babies.

In other news, I almost ended up under a stationary bus this morning as I tried to board it. I stepped up to board the bus with my left foot and my right foot lost its grip on the icy curb. The next thing I knew I was dangling partially under the bus while clinging to bars on the door of the bus with a death grip. Eventually, I was able to right the ship and board, but it was an experience that I'm not in a hurry to duplicate.

Sarah recently learned that her brother and sister-in-law are expecting a baby in early September, so that means that we're an aunt and uncle to be. That's almost a harder concept to grasp than becoming a father. I never pictured myself as an uncle.

Sarah and I have tickets for the Camp Randall Hockey Classic this weekend here in Madison. An ice arena has been created on the football field at Camp Randall Stadium and potentially 80,000 fans could attend the game this Saturday against Michigan. The Badgers have another good team this year (ranked #3 in the PairWise Rankings) and Michigan is respectable, so we hope to see a good game. The weather is predicted to be chilly, but we both have plenty of warm clothes, so we hoping to have a good time. One of our neighbors will be babysitting Garrison, so it will be a bit of a night out on the town for us.