Monday, March 31, 2014

33 and Ten Months

A couple of weeks ago The Boy and I each reached a couple of milestones, so I thought I would just blog about them at once.

I turned 33!  My age is a palindrome for the first time in 11 years (can something be a palindrome when it's only two characters?...  Or when it's numbers, for that matter?  I'm going to say yes and yes).  First I was so excited that my dearest youngest sister and BFF and her two tots came to visit from back east, just in time for my birthday of all days!
Together again!  The older sister had by now found the toys in the kids' loft upstairs
BCFs.
Second, we thought it would be fun to throw a friend party this year (hopefully to make up for last year...), and it turned out so great!  My birthday was on Sunday, and there was a ward talent show on Saturday, so we had it a couple days prior to the actual day.  Julie made a fantastic Boston cream pie/cake (and yes, it was a total coincidence that this party fell on Pi Day), and a lot of fun friends and family came to share it with us.  We should have parties when Elise is in town more often!  HA.  Julie made the actual day very special, with surpreezes throughout the day.  I was glad to add Catching Fire to our DVD collection, and also Frozen a few days later.  I remember growing up that Disney movies often were released around my birthday, which was just the best thing ever.  I hadn't seen Frozen since we saw it in the theater (no, I didn't want to watch it online... the anticipation of the home video release was always one of the most exciting things about a Disney movie!), and we also a few days later saw the latest (brilliant) Muppet movie, which I call a continuation of the celebration.
It was delish, and not a single piece survived the night.

Penneh was really excited about the cake.
Later The Wife made one of her specialty gourmet Oreo cakes.  No one can make one like she can!
The next morning Mom and Elise joined us for a fun 5K in Vineyard, which we did last year, though this year's experience was quite different...  Not only was it a little more expensive and the course completely new, but we were all hampered by the FREEZING wind.  It basically was trying to knock us over the entire time.  Would it be too much to hope that the wind might at least SOMEtimes be pushing your back rather than against your front?  But it never really seemed to.  We all did all right (I came in at about 22:30, about a 7:04 mile, though it was a little more than a 5K at 3.18m... why is it so hard for races to be accurate distance?  Also, why is my racing pace so much faster than my daily run pace?  I mean, I can think of a few reasons, but still), especially when we realized that Julie and I hadn't run a 5K since last summer.  It was also exciting to have an opportunity to use my brand new LockLaces!  Never tying my shoelaces again?!?  YES PLEASE.  The Wife comes up with the cleverest ideas for presents.  Dad's recovering from a little injury, so he was good enough to watch the little ones, safe and warm in the car.  Then, of course, the next day we had a big family Sunday afternoon gathering with foods and treats and St. Patrick's Day/birthday fun for me and Penny and Jonny.
Note the flags and Penny's hair.  It was ever so windy.
Matching shirts from Mommy/Wife!
And then, just a few days later, The Boy reached the double digits!  (The Wife's update post coming soon.)  He's doing so great and growing so fast.  He's crawling and cruising all over the place, is a pro at going up and down the stairs, and is probably days away from walking (!!!).  We're working on clapping and waving (the first is coming along, and the second is taking a little longer, but coming too... we realized that since I work from home we hardly have any opportunities to wave bye-bye, so we're trying to remember to make a point of it whenever I go upstairs to work or whenever either of us goes anywhere for any significant amount of time).  He babbles and blows spit bubbles and sticks out his tongue and is starting to say sort of words, and he's very quiet and attentive and observant when we drive in the car.  He's much better around new people and places, though he definitely still loves to cling to his parents, especially his mommy.  He loves bananas, avocados and bread, and uses his four adorably spaced teeth (and counting) to great effect, though he's taken to grinding his little chompers, which makes a most alarming sound and which we try to prevent from happening.  He often spreads his arms high and wide as if he's just done the most amazing trick ever, and for the most part he's sleeping better than ever, which is a huge blessing that never goes unrealized or unappreciated by us.  Our place seems to be getting smaller and smaller as The Boy gets bigger and bigger, but we make it work all right.
Oh my adorable peeps.
We've been making our way through the Disney movies.  They don't usually hold Bobo's interest for very long.  But look!  They're making the same face and pose!  Lawlawlawl.
And here we see 1) his interest not being held for very long, 2) his love for the stairs around the corner, and 3) another pose similar to Bambi's!  Lawlawlawl again!
His hospital cap is definitely starting to reach its limit.

Oh, that face.  Also, note the most historically inaccurate Noah's ark toy ever.

It's blurry, but that's kind of what happens these days.  Also, note one of his favorite toys (you can play with it, but you can't eat it!).
He loves reading, which makes us ever so glad.  He really likes turning the pages and closing it at the end.
Just two more months until you reach a year, my son!  That is just crazy, but also awesome.  We can't wait to see what surprises this little man has in store for us.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Seven Eight Nine (Plus Valentine's Day 2014)

Nine months!  The boys has now spent as long on the outside as he has on the inside.  The Wife presented quite vividly the difference between what happens during these two nine-month periods in her informative and photo-tastic update, and although those first nine months were pretty amazing, the second nine have been more fun for all involved.

As I said above, The Wife posted most of the details of The Boy's latest developments, but I wanted to post a little Insta-log of some of the happenings over the last few weeks.  He's crawling and cruising all over the place, up (not quite down) the stairs, and we can't help but think he'll be walking proper within a week or two.  He's now showing a nice set of four teeth (the top two are just coming in and it's sort of a trick to get him to let you see them, but they're definitely there), he loves books and toys and crinkly things like junk mail and, lately, gently and methodically tearing apart a tissue.  His sleeping habits are mostly pretty good, even if he occasionally wakes up and realizes that he's not asleep anymore but also that he's extremely sleepy but also that he's apparently TOO sleepy to go back to sleep on his own?  I don't know, it is a VERY curious thing to me sometimes.  But the good thing is that this emergence of Mr. Hyde is definitely the exception, and usually our little Jekyll baby is as good as can be.  Most of the pictures we post here and there are of a happy baby, and though of course he has his down times (he's starting to develop a pretty mighty whine and even a fake cry), those photos are for the most part quite accurate.
The Little Merbaby

My master plan to train up a replacement dishwasher is working perfectly so far.
He's graduated to the big boy tub, which, as you can see, pleases him very much.  He often tries to escape.
The Duck and The Boy regarded each other.
 And now, a word about Valentine's Day.  It was here!  And it was lovely.  There were many delightful surpreezes for me scattered throughout the day, which made for a fun series of Instagram posts, and of course there were prizes for my loved one too (the usual things... flowers, chocolates... promises I tend to keep).
This is what I woke up to.  So much love!
This was delivered later in the morning by a little pony with a ribbon saddle.
And these came later in the afternoon!  Such nice salt dough hand and footprints.  And you can see The Boy trying to make his way into the picture too.

We had a great time having now-traditional sushi at Amber and Todd's house with all the married siblings and parents and overall just basked in the love we have for each other and this scrumptious little squishface of ours.
Mmmm...  I must say the sticky rice I contributed turned out pretty awesome, and Julie's two kinds of cookies were a big hit too.

Everyone having the Big Fun.  (Thanks for the photos, Dad's Insta.)
I hadn't come up with an idea for a Valentine's Day art until late in the morning, and then this happened, which it must.

Happy 3/4 of a year, son!  A few more months and you'll already be 1, which is crazy.  You make us laugh, you make us laugh until we cry, and occasionally we might also cry, but not because of you.

Fuzzy daddy kisses for my growing boy.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

After Seven Comes Eight

Last week this boy reached 2/3 of a year old.  That is crazy!  Crazy and wonderful.  The Wife posted a great update with lots of deets here, but here's a mini-report from Daddy-o.

Our mini-CAG is on the move.  He's been army-crawling and scooting and rolling around for a long while, but in the last few weeks he has officially started crawling, and is often exercising his legs by standing against furniture and walking along things.  That whole one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing is going to be no problem for him in the weeks to come, which is just amazing to me.  It's so interesting to realize that he basically knew nothing when he arrived, and that everything he sees is for the first time, and he actually has to learn everything.  He's talking and laughing (and only occasionally crying, and sometimes it's tricky to actually figure out just why), and it's very sweet to find him after a nap just sitting quietly and happily near the corner of his crib playing with his starfish.  He's eating more and quite well, trying purees and solids and frozen veg in the mesh feeder, and of course he has a great time making a nice mess about it all.  He loves to wiggle, which makes baths and diaper changing/dressing a challenge, and sometimes a two-person task, but it's always fun.  I've been trying to remember to sing more to him, and have recently introduced him to the magic of classic Disney animation.  So far he's only seen bits and pieces here and there, but he seemed pretty amused by the fairest one of all, or at least certain parts.  The opening credits especially seemed hilarious to him.

And now, time for some recent photos pilfered from my fancy new Instagram account!  Oh, this boy.
Santa bum!  Christmas pajamas are still in style as long as they fit, especially if they go on clearance sale the week after Christmas.

This new picnic basket from Mom doubles perfectly as a toy box/stationary chariot.
Muppet baby!  You make our dreams come true.  He also loves to chew on lotion bottles.
We will be a couple of sad pandas when he grows out of this scrumptious Sunday outfit from Nana Sue.
Thus officially begins the indoctrination of my firstborn.  He's a fan already!  Saturday morning cartoons FTW.
Climbing all the way up!  We have a stairmaster on our hands here.
At work we were all posting a favorite item from our office/cubicle/desk on the team G+ page (the only thing that's been able to persuade me to use Google+ in any significant capacity), and I posted this.  Awwwwww.
We love this boy!  He's a delight and a joy (even when he sometimes wakes up after being put to bed and makes noises for a while that babies make).
I waited too long to do a substantial art of my boy.  I even want to squish his drawn cheeks.
P.S. CHUCK.  We have been watching it.  I like it.  Oh Sarah and Chuck, just love each other.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Christmas In Missouri...

(... is better than Christmas at the Dursleys'.)

We had such a great time at Christmas, I would be remiss not to document it a little more fully.  The Wife is doing a fun series of Pretember posts too.
Just doing a little Christmas tree shopping.

So this Christmas was spent with Julie's family in Missouri.  It was splendid for Bobo to finally meet some of his cousins/aunts/uncles on his mum's side, and to get reacquainted with his grandparents after meeting them when he was much tinier.  We had also realized that we hadn't been to visit for FAR too long, so it was high time we had a good long visit (and quite long too!  Over two weeks, though apparently also not long enough, since I realized too late that I missed out on a couple weeks of vacation time this year...  I don't even).  Here are some the fun times we had:
  • The Boy's first flight!  I will readily admit that I have been inwardly anguishing at the thought of this for some time now...  I didn't want to be That Guy with That Baby who won't stop crying, but it turns out all my fears were totally unfounded.  This boy was a perfect traveler, he slept some of the time, and when he didn't sleep he didn't make a peep the entire time, except for the cute kind that causes everyone around him to smile and laugh and admire.  Let's hope this continues all throughout his babyhood (should we happen to travel again anytime soon...).

  • We had a fun trip to St. Louis, which included The Boy's first visit to an art museum, the zoo and the science center.  It was pretty nice weather to be out and about, and I even had a chance to meet up with one of my Survivor podcast friends.
The new sea lion/seal tank was a big hit, and the kids were gladly filling in strangers on the difference between the two creatures.
Tiger with tiger.

Aslan, O Aslan!
Photo shoot!
WHAT.
Then this invariably happens.  Ow.
But I usually get him back by gnawing on his lower extremities, which he evidently finds hilarious.
Just taking a little stroll with my new friend Ivy.

Those eyebrows.  Sleepy Bobo.

This is unfortunately as close as we came to seeing the elephants... But it was still the perfect opportunity for a Senior Picture photo.

He will love the dinosaurs one day, just like his mum.

What up, Jeremiah?!?

  •  We had so many funtivities.  We went roller skating and played TWO epic games of laser tag at the local funplace, we listened to a lot of festive music, we visited the library, we watched some fun movies (including introducing the kids to two classic versions of A Christmas Carol [Mickey's and The Muppet] and introducing almost everyone to Newsies... that movie is so engrained on my brain, and now I finally have it in my collection [besides the old VHS at home, ha.  Oh, obsolete media.]), and The Wife languished through The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug again, as promised, to go along with those who hadn't seen it yet (I didn't mind staying home with the kids).  We played lots of Wii too, most notably various versions of Just Dance, which we definitely couldn't seem to get enough of, especially this one.  You're definitely gonna hear me roar.  You should have seen us when that song came on the overhead speakers at Kohl's and we all three stopped wherever we were in the aisles and immediately started dancing.  It was like something out of a musical.
No school like the old school.
I opted for classic skates this time, for reasons I know not.
Such a big fun tiger at the renovated library.  Even the sniffles couldn't keep him from showing some excitement.
The most appropriate of lounge wear!  He only lasted about five minutes into his first MCC viewing, but there will be plenty more opportunities to watch it together.
Thanks for the fun jammie pants, Wife and Mama!
  • We ate so much great food!  Imo's, A Slice of Pie, TWO of Julie's gorgeous and delicious cakes, plenty of cheeses and dips and soups and other such nice things.
Chocolate strawberry for Marissa's baptism!
Chocolate orange for post-Christmas eatings!  Neither cake lasted very long...
  • We were glad to be there for the end of advent and also to see Marissa's baptism.  It blows me away how grown up those kids are, when I first met them when they were barely even four.  I sang a duet with William, which was really fun and turned out lovely (as did the trio I did with Sarah and Marci for the sacrament meeting Christmas program), even if I was dealing with a rare and even more rarely long-lasting cold.  I don't usually get sick, and even when I do it doesn't last very long.  Unfortunately, spending so much time with a little one led to...
He's learning to read already (jay kay).
He at least knows to look at books.

  • ... Bobo's first cold!  It was quite unpleasant, and took its sweet time working through his system as well.  He's such a happy and sweet and nicely-sleeping baby usually that it was especially rough for him not to be able to breathe and sleep well with his congestion and coughing.  It was so sad that he was so sleepy and unwell and couldn't be himself.  Luckily we had several days on either end of his sniffles for everyone to know what a happy and delightful boy he usually is.
  • Of course we had Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!  They were magical and fun and Bobo's first was brilliant.  I'm sure he'll remember every moment of it.
Thanks for the Christmas PJs, my parents!

Bobo examines the contents of his first stocking.

He loves his blanket from Mum!

As you can see.
He spent some quality time getting to know Puppy (and a puppy in general).

And I spent some quality time with these girls.  We were so sad when they had to head home a couple days after Christmas.
  • Also of course we had New Year's Eve and Day, which were fairly uneventful and spent mostly trying to keep The Boy sleeping soundly and happily.  We missed the ball dropping (as if it really matters, I know), and I didn't get my lifelong-dream-that-can-now-happily-come-true-every-year midnight kiss, but luckily there will be plenty more New Year's Eves, and hopefully not ones with a sick infant.  We even had a little snow, and he was feeling well enough to go out in it for a few minutes (which is a good thing, since we packed that adorable but quite fluffy snowsuit all the way across the country).
Do you want to build a snowman?

I do!  Also, my head was cold.

Om nom nom.  He has no idea.

Classic toys are the best toys!

This is basically the cutest set of church clothes ever.

  • I read the Chronicles of Narnia throughout the month, finishing just after we came home.  Those books are just brilliant, and perfect Christmastime reading.

  • Don't let's forget about the Great Annual Shave-and-a-Haircut!  It was high time, and we made sure that Bobo could be present for the whole thing so the transformation of Daddy's entire appearance wouldn't be such a jarring transition for him.  The Wife is getting better and more confident at cutting hair every time.
It's always a little difficult at the start.

But he thought it was pretty funny right away.

That's one mighty hairball, Owen.
Presented here in four phases: 1) Still always a little nervous, 2) The Jean Valjean, 3) Pretty much done, 4) Public reaction

  • And the flight back was equally as  delightful and stress-free as the way there, even though there was a delay to boarding, which they didn't make mention of in the slightest and instead stood around acting like nothing was wrong or delayed or anything other than On Time, even though we finally started boarding AFTER we were supposed to be in the air.
Both (sort of) sleeping.

Both (definitely) awake!
  • And in general we had a good time just sitting around and spending many hours chatting and talking and catching up with the fam.  It's always good to call or webcam, but it's always better to have some face time (literal face time, not Face Time), and we had a lot of opportunities to have fun, meaningful, interesting, deep, funny conversations, sometimes long into the night.

And there you have it!  And although we were glad to be home after living out of suitcases for a few weeks (and packing/traveling with three is definitely different from packing/traveling with two), we were sorry to say goodbye to Julie's kin for now.  Hopefully we'll be able to see them all before another shameful couple of years roll by.  We're already thinking ahead and have some tentative plans in the works, so hopefully that will work out.

Tee hee, his little grin.
A little present when we came home.
It was a most wonderful Christmastime, and The Boy's first was great fun.  He's more mobile and active and responsive than ever, and it was fun to see him react to all the glorious wonders of Christmas.