Monday, September 30, 2013

Four Months and a Dai Nyia

Last week Bobo passed the four-month mark, and also had his latest checkup.  He is doing great and looking nice and tall, but also nice and chubsy at twice his birth-weight.  The Wife already posted a great update here, including many great pictures, I just wanted to post a little something myself.  He is happy and funny, smiling and laughing more all the time, and getting a little better about "strangers" (like family and friends whom he of course loves).

For those of you who don't know, Hmong people are really awesome, and they make really beautiful things, even if they're primarily practical things.  One such thing is called a dai nyia, known to us Miskas folk as a baby carrier.  I've seen more Hmong ladies (and occasionally men) than I can recall walking around with a baby strapped to themselves with one of these things, so imagine my glee when dear friends from my last mission area sent one to me (along with some adorable hand-knit beanies) to use with our own little Bobo!  It was delightful, and he seemed to enjoy it.
And here we have the perhaps more commonly used Bobo-on-back variation.  It's quite something to see Hmong people strap a baby on like this by themselves.  At the moment I still require Wifely assistance.
We took it on a trial run on our last grocery shopping errand and it seemed to work like a charm.  He sat comfortably and didn't make a peep and occasionally patted my head or played with my hair and generally took in all the sights from this new vantage point (and it was very nice not to have to 1] fit the carrier somehow in the shopping cart, and/or 2] lug around the stroller as well as the shopping cart).  I'm still getting the hang of it, and he requires the occasional re-hoist, but it was great.  Also, he definitely attracted a lot more certainly due attention this way.  I can't wait to take it with us to Disneyland and on walks and when we go visit Julie's family this Christmas and all over the place.  Ua tsaug ntau, Seethong thiab Mai Chou!!!

We so love our little CAG!  What a delight it is to see his face light up when he hears my voice or sees me walking down the stairs.

[Also, in case you're wondering, it IS possible to write a blogpost with a kicking baby in your lap.  Occasionally challenging, but definitely possible.]

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Summer 2013 Races

(I started this post over a month ago on 8 August, but things happened and other posts and such, and then I decided to put them all together in the same post, so here they are at last, and the draft will finally not be sitting there forlornly looking at me whenever I post something.)

We had some races over the summer!  They were varied in length and style, but I'm (FINALLY) going to blog about them all at once, so here goes.

We heard that on 24 July there was going to be a Pioneer Day Temple To Temple 5K, starting at the old Provo Temple and ending at the construction/re-construction site of the Provo Tabernacle temple.  Julie thought this was good timing for her to try to get back into running and racing after having The Boy, so she signed up for it (along with, apparently, no less than FIVE THOUSAND OTHER PEOPLE...), and when we realized that there was this issue with transportation (how are the runners supposed to get back to their cars if they park at the starting point?!?), we decided I would just drop her off and then meet her with the little one to cheer her on as she crossed the finish line.  So The Boy and I dropped her off at the top of the hill, then drove home, and then picked up some race prizes for mum, and then had a short run from our house to the finish line downtown.
Here she is!  At a much quicker finish time than expected!

The Bobo was on hand to give flowers and encouragement.
A runner again!  Yay!

Showing great progress in the jumping picture department.

Mommy's little cheerleader.

We were both evidently very worn out after our little run (and also a peek at the temple construction).

She did so great!  She opted for the free registration (along with MANY THOUSANDS of others), so she wasn't included in the chip timing or get her official results on the printout or anything, but it was her first post-pregnancy run, and she ran it like a champ.  It sounded like a fun (downhill!) course, so maybe I'll join next year if they do it again, though the logistics do present a problem.

Next up came the Provo Pioneer Day (in name but not in actual date) Classic, the following weekend  Julie decided to sit this one out, satisfied with the accomplishment of having just completed her own race just a few days before.  For some reason (called peer pressure) I decided to do the 10K, which I haven't done in a while, and which I've never done for this race.  As it turned out, the peer pressure wasn't even true, since most of our party did the 5K, and it also turned out to be a terrible time to give in to it.  The prevailing attitude as I crossed the finish line, and for pretty much every step leading up to it, was NEVER AGAIN.  A 10K is one thing, but that 10K is quite another, and there is NO REASON to put runners through that torture during the first mile.  I had to drive Julie along the course on the way home because there's just no way to describe or imagine that monster slope, aptly named Goliath.  No.  I'll be just fine with the 5K next year if we do this one again.  It was also considerably less runners than previous years, but probably because most of them did the one a few days before, which was FREE, and didn't have a ridiculous hill.
Trying not to die.

Can you fix my feet, free massage dude?!?

I placed anyway!
Bobo woke up shortly after I finished.

There was a dance contest for prizes, but none of the judges seemed to appreciate this boy's already impressive moves.

Athletic supporters.

Everyone who ran placed!  It was fun that Emily was in town and could join us for this one.
I did all right, coming in at 45:31 (goal of 45, close enough), 7:20 min/mile, 14th overall, 9th in men, and 3rd in my age division.  I set a lap at the halfway point to see if the second half would be significantly faster due to no hill, and it was, but just by a couple of minutes.  It was tough recoup.  It should also probably be noted that at the finish line I BAREly measured six miles.  I mean, I was fine with a little bit of an early finish (though I ran it out to make a full 10K anyway), but come on!  How many years has this course been a quarter-mile short??

And then, as we sometimes do, we joined a bunch of kin to run the Alpine Days 5K in August.  For this one, we decided to run it all three of us together, including, for the first time (on the outside), The Boy.  I pushed him in the running stroller (thanks for the loan, Melody!), and it was fun to start and finish all at the same time (36:47ish).  CAG seemed to enjoy his first race, and Julie and I had fun running together.  I didn't keep close track of my placement, but it seems that even at my not-so-usual pace I placed in the top 10 of my division (maybe #7?).  That goes to show that there weren't too many people in my category.

Fun races!  We're glad you're back in the game, Wife!  I'm sure you are too.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Three(-Plus) Months

A week or so ago The Boy reached the three month mark.  He's growing so fast!  *sniff*  The Wife already did a great job of chronicling his life at the moment, but I wanted to document it a bit here too.
Bobo/Boo Boo/Boy/Little Toot
This boy is getting so big and chubby and alert and happy, it's hard to remember when he was so little and relatively unresponsive (luckily we have plenty of pictures and videos so we can look back and be amazed at how much he's already grown).  He's had a very busy and exciting summer, meeting many cousins and aunts and uncles, including aunts Emily and Elise visiting from out of town.  He's kind of come to this stranger-danger, freaking-out-due-to-overstimulation-of-new-places-and-sounds phase, but he's getting used to the world around him, and we're trying to take him out of our cool and quiet and calm house every now and then, so he realizes there's a bigger and noisier world out there and won't be distressed when he encounters it.  Hearing him cry (mostly in public, at home is fine) just really stresses me out for some reason.  People always say a crying baby is better/easier to deal with when it's your own kid, but I'm just not sure.  Sometimes it seems like it's worse when he seems inconsolable, because then it's MY responsibility to calm him down and satisfy his needs, and if I can't, who can?!? (Answer:  The Wife.  She really has a magic touch with him, and it such a patient mum, and doesn't expect him to be rational, like his daddy sometimes does.)  He usually is really quite good, but it's kind of like, when he's good, he's very very good (and he usually is), and when he's not, he's REALLY not.  He basically an on setting and an off-setting when it comes to the crying, there's no in-between.  Luckily, when the crying IS set to on, it doesn't take much or very long to calm him down.

(And yes, I know people understand that he's a baby and babies cry sometimes, but I just don't want to be like, oh, he's such a good baby! and then when we take him somewhere he cries, and people are like, oh, he cries all the time.  I just want people to know him as he usually is, which is sweet and funny and happy.  That's all, just an observation from this first-time daddy.  ANYway...)
He has really taken to the water -- more his warm bath at home than the pool or water park, but he's starting to realize the similarities and even splashed at the Seven Peaks wave pool more or less like he does in his beloved tub at home.  (Those Passes of All Passes have really paid off this year, especially since a one-day pass costs 30+ at full price, which is INSANE.  Why would anyone ever pay full price??  I have no idea.  Maybe they just don't know.)
His little hospital hat doesn't really fit like it did when he was a newborn.
He's sitting up pretty well on his own, and he even puts one foot in front of the other when we hold him up by his arms and walk him around.  Great instincts, little one!  He does his best waddling those chubby legs around, and really seems to enjoy kicking in general.  And not little kicks, like Elaine, BIG kicks.
He loves his mobile.  So many colors!
I cannot get over this picture.  Oh, that face!
He loves his reflection, as is evident from this glorious photo.  Whenever we hold him in front of a mirror, after he realizes what he's looking at he'll laugh and laugh, which is terribly contagious.  He's smiling and laughing more and more, and whenever we find a new trick that he likes, we usually just keep doing as long as he thinks it's funny because that sounds is just SO delightful.  He also recently started doing this thing where he makes a happy face but a crying noise so we're not sure if he's actually laughing or crying, and we don't think he's quite sure either.  He's starting to really recognize our voices and our faces, and whenever I come down from working or collect him from his nap I am often greeted by a big open-mouthed toothless smile, with those smiley eyes just like his mommy's, and then I'm basically a papa-puddle on the floor.
He likes reading with me, and he's already developing pretty good literary taste.
It's never too early to start learning to play the piano, right?  He has at least been taught where middle C is (whether or not he remembers... probably not).

Besides all that, in general he sleeps pretty well still (and in his crib now!), and he seems to be growing at just the right rate, and he's in general such a delight to be around.  What a boy this child of ours is!  We love him so, and look forward to the milestones that he'll continue to reach as time goes by.