Archive for category Baby Dragon
Yesterday, the eldest turned four. Four. Four! It is equal parts amazing and confounding – to see how much he’s grown in so short a time. and yet how quickly that time has slipped by. We marked this milestone in an unusual fashion for us, for reasons. Instead of celebrating on his actual birthday, we took him – and only him (no brothers*) – to one of his favorite restaurants with most of the extended family, to celebreate. (The first picture, with the candle.) On his actual birthday? Recovering from all of the early mornings and playtime with grandmothers.
In something that’s become a bit of an annual tradition now, I bring you:
A Dragon, Aged 3
What you might just barely be able to see, in his left hand, is the trailing red ribbon of a balloon – the other side of the tradition. Three years… and each day a new adventure.
So, there’s this thing called a “birthday.” Pesky, tricksy things that keep coming back, year after year, sneaking up and pouncing on the unsuspecting. None are more “unsuspecting” than children under the age of four. By four, I think they’ve gotten the routine figured out, and know what to look for. Hell, they might figure it out by three, I don’t know. It’ll be another year before I solve that little mystery.
Which is another way of saying…he’s two. Two. Two? Yes, really. He’s two.
It’s been a wild year, seeing him grow, both cognitavely and physically (really, for two, he’s as tall as some three-year olds we know). Cognitavely? While far from being a chatterbox, he’s got enough of a vocabulary to identify some common things in the house, the pet’s names. He has some favorite things to request: “Mick Mou” (aka: Micky Mouse Clubhouse) is the current thing, but he’s also gone through stages of “Rat Cook” (Ratatouille), “Cars” (Cars), “Dragon” (How to Train your Dragon), “Nemo” (Finding Nemo), and surprisingly, “Redboot” (Robots).
He’ll dance with music, smile often, or just curl up with a blanket (if he’s watching something). He’ll bring us books to read, and likes to go “outside” (when weather permits), and doesn’t seem to mind the cold. Seriously. He experienced his first time playing in snow recently, and didn’t want to go back inside. He climbs, he slides, and generally makes each of our days brighter.
Here’s to the start of a third year. It’s likely to be just as wild, and just as exciting. We’re looking forward to it.
So there has been news swirling around the household for the past few months, and there’s a bittersweet edge to it. My step-father died in early October from complications after surgery. Two weeks before, right after his surgery, he at least knew the news.
We are expecting.
Hence the subtlety of the title… We made a big deal a few years ago about having a baby dragon. This time around, the delivery will be during the Year of the Horse… Stable… Get it? When MC first made the announcement on her Facebook account, they read it as an actual equine addition.
Only, it’s not just an addition. It’s a pair.
That’s right, twins. But we didn’t find that out until late-October.
For the first pregnancy, we didn’t find out the gender until he emerged. At the time, we said that IF we were to have another one, we would find out. With twins, the decision was guaranteed. Which was today. Would there be a filly and a stallion? A pair of stallions? A pair of fillies? Inquiring family members wanted to know.
We found out this morning.
Officially: A pair of stallions are due for arrival at the stable sometime in the spring.
There’s an axiom with kids that goes “no matter how much you spend on toys, the kid’s more likely to play with the box.”
However, we’ve been witnessing an extreme opposite phenomenon, an attraction towards really expensive playthings. Like this:
(yes, that’s an iPad)
Or this, which is one of his more recent “favorite things”:
The Mini. Before, if we would take him outside, he would be content to wander around the yard. Now, however, well…
Yeah, he’s already turned the dials for the radio, knows how to turn on the hazard lights… and how the push-button ignition works. That last picture? Checking his blind spot…I hope.
MC and I have generally been pretty easy-going when it comes to travelling. We like to explore, and have taken a few weekend excursions to celebrate events (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), or just to visit her folks.
That was before having the baby. Any thoughts for travelling easy, or at a moments notice go flying out the window faster than a speed limit on the interstate. A simple weekend getaway to visit in-laws now requires two to three days of advanced planning (which can still get tossed before setting off from the house).
Like last week. We took a three-and-a-half day trip to MC’s parents, which is the first time we drove there since Christmas, for… reasons. [Before you get snappy, they have come to us multiple times since, so there’s not a lack of socialization with the grandparents.]
Which is where we get to the best laid plans getting shot to hell.
MC had packed his clothes the night before we left. On the day of our departure, she worked a half-day while I kept him at home. During that morning, she talked to her mother and was informed of a cold front that had been squatting over them. Temps around 60, in August. So MC wanted to repack his clothes to adjust for the cooler (and rainy, it turned out) weather.
We made sure he was well fed and watered before we left the driveway, and he was asleep before we hit the city limits. Ah, the bliss of a sleeping baby in the car. So we thought, for the first hour of the trip. By the hour-and-a-half mark, he was awake, and starting to get cranky. We tried various means to stave off full toddler cranky-dom, before resorting to one of his favorite things: the iPad. For the last stretch of the journey, I sat in the back with him, and cycled through his routine of games or pushing on things, until we arrived.
Now, I tell you that to tell you this. That was our discovery run. When we drove home, we were better prepared for what to expect. We repeated our setup (well fed, and changed before leaving), and again he was out before we hit the interstate. This time, he slept longer, but still woke up well short of getting home. We stopped for food and ablutions, and MC rode in the back with him. Again, the iPad was the last resort. Not long after we got to that point, we got this:
Yes, he is well versed in how to swipe between screens, or to tap for apps (and no, we aren’t crazy enough to leave him with it, unsupervised), and if he is “done” with an app (for the moment), he knows how to press the button to exit – and he did that on his own. (There was one time we had started an app for him, and not long after he had quit the app, and got into the photo album and was scrolling through pictures.)
The pose itself, though, is the thing. He’s got the bored “been in the car too long” thing going on, but is channeling it into something that is at least some degree of mentally stimulating (between that and interactions with MC). It will be interested to see how this plays out as he gets older, or when we try travelling more often…
One year ago, this morning, several weeks ahead of schedule, we went from a couple to a family, when our son was born. It’s been a wild and crazy year, from awkward nights and sporadic sleeping schedules to seeing him grow, get teeth, develop mobility, and just seeing some of his personality starting to emerge.
We still catch ourselves watching him and thinking, “Wow… we made that.” And that thought brings a smile to our faces. Just like he does.
I am a flounder, not a fish. I did not grow up with regular access to a pool, and even summertime access was sporadic at best. I have become decent enough for regular pools, but competition for Michael Phelps I am not.
Our son, however, is much more aquaticly inclined. MC signed up for a “Mommy & Me” swim class at a local fitness center. Sessions are twice a week for four weeks, and the label is a misnomer – MC is the only “Mommy” that has been in regular attendance, ther other kids just have their dads. (Yes, I have been going as well, but we are the only full couple that has been in the water for most of the sessions.)
Since most of the children are so young (we are near the youngest end, although there is also an 8-month old in the class), they have several toys available: watering cans, little sailboats, plastic balls (like from a jump-pit).
His favorite? The jump-pit balls.
And when he has hold of one, when he be on his back, he looks like a human baby version of this:
Otherwise, he seems to be enjoying his time in the water, even though he’s not quite at the “stretch the arms to paddle” point, but he has the frog-kick going pretty well. And frogs aren’t that far from dragons, right?
JH started sleeping through the night around july 4th. And I mean sleeping. Until almost 7am. After going to sleep around 8pm. The pleasure lasted for almost two months, until the joyful evil that is teething started in earnest (two bottom teeth already through, and we think there may be up to four more working on coming in). Recently, he has been waking up pre-ass-crack-of-dawn (usually between 3:30-5am), which has not lended itself to us getting a full night’s sleep.
Such is life with a baby.
Back in July, though, something happened one night that I asked MC to write about, which I present here (slightly edited):
One long day after work, after dinner was done and the kitchen cleaned up and the baby fed I was tired and worn out. I had put the baby in his crib hoping that he would doze off on his own. I had made it downstairs to do something, I’m sure having to do with cleaning up when I heard my husband talking. (side note- we have a baby monitor in the baby’s room with one of the receivers in our living room.) I stopped what I was doing to listen and see just who my husband was talking too. I walked upstairs and stopped in front of the baby’s bedroom. There was my husband standing in the dark with the glow of his iPad illuminating his face as he looked over the crib, reading. He was reading Winnie the Pooh to the baby. As I peered over the crib the baby lay there with his hands clasped in front of him staring intently up at his daddy as he read to him. It made my crankiness disappear to watch these two in their private father son moment. My husband glanced up, smiled at me, and went back to reading.