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Dinner Peek-a-Boo

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Just after dinner I caught this video and thought this would be a good place to share it…

As you can see, Mason and Caleb are doing a great job of playing together. Yes, they have their moments, but they light up whenever they see each other. It’s really sweet and here you get to see some of their spontaneous play. 

Cruising

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I think we’ve finally come to the post-holiday cruise. Where we aren’t trying to recover from the holidays anymore and life is starting to fall back into what feels like a familiar rhythm. Which is funny, because I’m not sure exactly what constitutes as a familiar rhythm these days, as the last half of 2013 jumped from massive traveling, to the tail end of pregnancy, to new baby living, then straight into the holidays. So maybe it’s less that things are returning to normal, but that with the absence of any major plans on the horizon, I feel like we’ve finally hit that ledge that leads into deeper water. The opportunity to be relatively still for a while. To be homebodies, and feel out this life now, which has managed to ease it’s way out of the family with a newborn stage and into whatever is next.

There have been so many changes already. I don’t even know where to start. Maybe with just a few.

Mason. His baby talk feels like it has faded all together. Which doesn’t mean that we can always understand everything that he says, but he’s nailing, not only actual words, but sentences and common phrases that we use. Thank you is no longer “Thap tham”, but actually sounds like “Thank you” or even “Thanks” He’s taken to saying, “Maybe tomorrow” and “maybe next time” when we ask him to eat or do something that he isn’t interested in at the moment. And when you ask him what he thinks about something, or if he likes something, you can see him pause and consider it… If it’s food, he tastes whatever is new, furrows his brow and goes “hmmm” before he reports back. I would give anything to be inside of his head and witness the process of thought that goes on in this little 2 year old’s brain. But in the absence of psychic powers, I am content with watching the expressions and opinions that come out of this kiddo from here.

Caleb. Is already 3 months old. Life definitely is moving quicker with two little ones than it did when we just had Mason. I can hardly believe its been three months already. This tiny tiny boy is such a sweet bundle. He is quick to smile, and loves to gurgle and coo make sounds at you, and breaks out into a huge grin when you repeat them back to him. He works so hard to pull himself to sitting and looks so proud when he stands now too, all unsteady and wobbly, complete with bobble-head action up top. Little things are different about the two boys at this age. I remember when Mason moved into his own crib, every now and then he would let out a terrified scream in the middle of the night, and I would leap up and race down the hall to see that he had pulled his blanket up over his face accidentally, scaring himself when he woke up. Caleb loves pulling his blankets up high when he’s nestled in the swing, snuggling into them and falling asleep easily that way.

There are so many more things. So many things that I want to record, to share, to remember.

But a little at a time.

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Photo by Elaine

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Hawaii Pool Time

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Here is a quick collage of our day at the pool! To no surprise he had a great time swimming and splashing around.

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A well-loved blanket

photo by Mark

Q&A About Mason

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I’ve had this idea about a Mason Q&A for a couple weeks and I’m excited to cross it off my list and post it.

Here is the set up… Elaine and I came up with a series of questions about Mason and parenting.  We then answered the questions in private and will post both of our responses.  It will be interesting to see how they compare, differ, and offer our own unique perspective.

Eventually this will be something that we can all do as a family, but right now we need to wait a little while since he can only say a couple of words.

1) What are three of Mason’s favorite things?
(mark) Ruby, his ma-ma-ma, iPhones/iPods
(elaine) Ruby, Books 🙂 & Apple products, iPods, iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc… Of which he does not get to play with, but somehow feels strongly entitled to. (But also shiny crunchy red apples of the fruit variety)

2) What are two of Mason’s favorite activities?
(mark) Going for walks outside & putting random items in his mouth and trying to eat them
(elaine)Climbing.  Up and down steps, And he’s recently figured out how to climb onto the chairs and the sofa and the ottoman in the living room. One of his new favorite things to do is to climb on top of any given piece of furniture, look over at us triumphantly, and then proceed to either bounce, drop something over the back of the furniture, or toss all the pillows off the couch.

Being outside. In the backyard, at the park, he even likes stroller ridin’ down the street, although I’m fairly certain he prefers to roam free.

3) Where is Mason if you can’t find him?
(mark) In the bathroom playing with the toilet
(elaine) If the back door is open, he’s probably in the yard, shoving various plant objects into his mouth, or splashing in puddles. If the doors are shut… He’s found Ruby’s water dish and is quietly scattering her food and overturning her water dish.

4) Choose only one of Mason’s favorite food
(mark) Tofu
(elaine) Raspberries

5) If Mason was granted one gift from a genie, what would it be?
(mark) No more eczema and food allergies
(elaine) The ability to float objects to himself, just by pointing.  (With no interference from mom and dad please.)

6) Describe a recent favorite moment
(mark) A couple nights ago Elaine told me that Mason has learned how to curl his fingers in ‘come over here’ motion and he will give her a hug or cuddle. Last night I was feeding Mason in his high chair and he gave me the motion and scrunched up his little face. I got a little sentimental and lowered my head only to receive a burp in my face
(elaine) Yesterday morning, Mark called me into the living room to catch Mason, who had escaped from him during a diaper change, and was sitting bare bottomed in the corner of the living room, playing with the radio and dancing.  Nothing is cuter, than a half naked dancing baby!

7) Using seven words, how would you describe Mason?
(mark) Curious, loving, creative, flirty, adventurous, friendly & expressive
(elaine) Full of smiles, opinionated, experimental & loves affection

8) What are two surprises about parenting?
(mark) 1. How quickly he changes. Mason jumps from one developmental stage to the next almost overnight. He is such a sponge and it amazes me how quickly he figures out little life puzzles, like how to climb onto the furniture without help or eating without assistance. I joke with Elaine, but he’s no longer a baby… he’s a toddler.

2. This is a random one, but I didn’t know that I would have a hard time falling back to sleep after helping Mason in the middle of the night. I guess I just thought that sleep wouldn’t be an issue as I would go from helping to sleeping immediately. What I’ve found is that my mind starts to wonder about work, my to-do list, and projects and it takes a little while to quiet it. It’s better than before but it came as a big surprise.
(elaine) 1. I shouldn’t be at this point… But I am utterly surprised each and every time I get emotional and teary over how fast he is growing! I broke down in tears just yesterday because we’re now down to just one nursing before he goes to bed… And I know it will be over soon… and it’s just a big big sign of his waning babyhood. :-‘(

I cried when he first moved into his own crib at 3 months old because it suddenly occurred to me that in the blink of an eye, he would be grown and moving out of the house! I get hopelessly sentimental every time we scroll back through his newborn photos. There’s a quote I read several months ago by Elizabeth Stone that says, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  This is the best way that I’ve seen to describe such an indescribable attachment, and the immense desire I have to soak up each stage and change and just eat up every moment.  And how devestating it sometimes feels to think that one day I might not remember exactly how he would throw his head back and wail when he doesn’t get what he wants, or how he will curl his lips around his open mouth when he says, “Oh!” or crinkle his nose at me before he comes barreling in to crash into a hug. Oh, the time passes so achingly fast!

2. I think another (among the many) surprise about parenting is how much of a teacher you must become. I mean, I guess it should seem obvious that babies come into this world and need to learn how to function in it… But I don’t think I really grasped it before.  We’ve had to exaggerate chewing motions in order to try and demonstrate eating to him, to show him how to swing his feet around to climb down from the couch instead of just walking or diving off of it. We’ve had to create opportunities for him to put his own arm into his coat sleeve, and we’re still trying to figure out how to get him to understand that dirt and leaves and wood chips from outside are not edibles!  I mean, you know about potty training, and teaching your kid to ride a bike someday, and teaching them manners and talking to them about ethical situations and all that… But all the tiny bits of teaching and learning that must come before… And all the things you don’t realize you’re teaching! Like the way you tilt your head to the side and smile when you’re asking for something… Or when he snags a tissue out of the box and imitates the sound of blowing his nose.  It blows my mind!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little Q&A and Happy December!IMG_4612