Tuesday, September 30, 2008

He may be ready, but I'm not.

We start Conrad in daycare tomorrow. I'm not sure why I haven't mentioned it here yet. Probably because we're feeling very conflicted about it. This was the plan all along, but the opening came up several months earlier than we expected it. We have such a wonderful situation with Bonnie taking care of him here, in our own home, but we knew that was going to end at some point. I guess we were both thinking it would end, oh, maybe when he went away to college.

Not only will it be an emotional adjustment, but a logistical one as well. Right now, Jean is downstairs preparing everything he might need for the day tomorrow, and then labeling it. All of it. The sippy cup, for instance, requires three individual pieces of identifying tape. (One cool thing is that they assigned our boy the color black as his personal identifying hue, which means we also got a way cool silver Sharpie. I assume they gave him this color combination because they saw his name and knew he was badass.)

I know he'll be fine there. He's a happy, well-adjusted baby and he responds well to other people and activity and attention, and we're getting him in before he's started showing any signs of separation or stranger anxiety. When we took him to the daycare for orientation, he had a great time. At one point we were all standing in a circle listening to the director, and Conrad started looking around the room at everybody, alternately grunting long, drawn-out "Arrrrrrrrs" and cackling maniacally. The other parents laughed, but I know inside they were thinking, "Please don't let the giant pirate baby eat my child."

We're starting him off slowly and transitioning him to full days over the next two months or so. Does he need that much of an adjustment period? Probably not. Do I? Probably so.

It's not all babies around here

The cats no doubt feel neglected at times. Enough, apparently, to overcome some issues. Hastings and Roy sought solace in each others' company this afternoon.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Just to be clear...

... while there are many photos of him looking at the surf with his characteristic analytical gaze, he totally dug it. Each successive morning when we walked down to the beach, he would smile and laugh when he saw the waves. Click on the picture to enlarge it and get a better look at the expression on his face.

Four days at Topsail

We just got back from four days on Topsail Island with our friends Memsy and Gill and their daughter Katherine. Traveling with the boy certainly changes things. After a long day experiencing the sun, sand and surf, and getting a lot of attention, it was all we could do to keep him awake until 6:00. Which of course means he woke up earlier than usual. This morning he woke up at 5:08. We were actually up too early to see the sunrise; by the time it was up we were inside doing something engrossing and baby-related. But we didn't have to worry about making the 11:00 checkout time from the beach house. We were actually home by noon.

Here are some highlights of the trip (more on his Flickr page, as per usual).

On the first day we realized we had forgotten a hat, so we improvised. I predict all the babies will be doing it next year:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It all goes in the mouth

Dave and Barb also sent this cool dinosaur pull-toy, which is pretty much a chew toy as far as the boy is concerned.

Have we mentioned that he's crawling?

He's crawling. He also has a tooth, but don't count on a picture of that. I've only seen it once, this afternoon (at least a week after it popped) when he was loudly expressing his displeasure at what we assume is the imminent arrival of the next tooth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bite Me Elmo

Barb and Dave sent a box of great stuff for Conrad, including an Elmo hand puppet which quickly became his favorite thing, and not just because the big googly eyes are fun to bite.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Visit from Grammy and Grampy

Grammy and Grampy (not their real names) spent a few days with us last week getting caught up on all of the boy's recent accomplishments.

He was completely fascinated by Grampy:

Grammy got in her share of Conrad time as well:

Monday, September 22, 2008

And the award for the worst product name goes to...

We recently started Conrad in his new high chair, which is Swedish, I believe, and apparently a marvel of modern design and is no doubt on permanent display at the Stockholm Museum of Modern Art. It's designed so that it will fit him now, and grow with him until the age of 16 when it turns into a Volvo. We love it. But come on folks, not since I lived in Tokyo have I come across a more ridiculous weren't-there-any-native-English-speakers-around-you-could-ask name. It's called the Tripp Trapp. Quick, name two things you don't want to happen to your toddler: 1) tripping over something, 2) getting trapped in something.

Regardless of the name, the boy seems to like it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our first chilly weekend of the season

Fly the Conrad Skies

Did I already use that post title? I may well have. I've taken so many pictures of the boy. It's always rewarding, but I end up with more pictures than I can edit. Today, for the second time since he was born, I got a "memory card full" message on my camera. The way I have the camera configured, the memory card holds about 6,000 images. (Fewer if you shoot video, but still.) So here are some pictures I forgot to post when they happened.

Here's one on our flight back from our trip to Chicago and Michigan in late July. It would be funnier if he had caused trouble on the flight but of course he was completely cool the whole time.

Here's another of the many early attempt at solid food shots:

And from that same trip, a gathering of Conrad's board of advisors:

And finally one shot in a sunny Chicago park at a picnic celebrating Emily and Karen's commitment ceremony:

Mommy with a Station Wagon

I went and got my car washed on Friday. I realized that I hadn't done this since before Conrad was born, so it was time. As I was standing inside at the cash register, in came one of the carwash workers shouting, 'Mommy with a station wagon. Mommy with a station wagon.' I kept looking around, waiting for somebody else to step forward... And then I realized that he meant me. It seems that I had left my cell phone in the car and it was ringing. He thought it might be important. Being a mommy and all. It reminded me of our wedding day when during the reception someone asked me where my husband was and I gave them a blank look and said, 'my what?'.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cup practice

We read somewhere that now is the time to start the boy learning how to drink from a regular, adult-style open cup. I don't really remember why, although the same book said that sippy cups are the tool of the devil. I don't really remember why.

Anyway, cup practice is good fun for all involved, although it requires even more bibbage than usual. And often a change of clothes. For everyone involved.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quite possibly too cute

I considered waiting to write about this until we got a good picture, but I can't. Last night when I was holding Conrad, he did this funny little thing where he opened his mouth and leaned forward and pressed his lips against my cheek. He's done it to Jean and Bonnie, and our friend Lisa who was visiting. Then we realized (or projected): He's giving us a little kiss.

It is almost painful in its adorableness.

Get used to it, kid

Just the first of many, many times your Daddy will embarrass you.

The many faces of pureed banana

Lots of new pictures on the Flickr page, by the way.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two milestones in one weekend

Big doings this weekend. First, after weeks of getting up on all fours and leaning purposefully forward, followed by weeks of rolling and wiggling that approximated forward motion, the boy managed an honest-to-goodness crawl. By the end of the weekend he was doing it enough that I was able to shoot a video, although the mesmerizing presence of the camera slowed him down a bit.

Pretty good work for a holiday weekend, but he didn't stop there. Opa came over on Saturday for a family cookout. Conrad was lying on the rug between him and Jean. I looked down and said, "Say Dada." He looked up at me and said, "Dada." We were pretty stunned. Of course he hasn't done it again since. When I try to get him to do it he gets what I imagine to be a performance-anxiety face, as though he's thinking, "Daddy wants me to do something but I'm not sure what it is."

The baby-proofing has commenced in earnest.

No matter where we put him in the family room, within ten minutes he'll either be trying to pull the diaper pail over on himself, or under the Pack and Play. We end up doing what we've come to call the "baby reset": picking him up and putting him back down in the center of the rug to start all over again.

Last week he got under the Pack and Play and within a few moments managed to turn the knob that collapsed the whole thing. Pretty impressive considering that I can't manage to do that when I want it to happen.

Monday, September 1, 2008

We've moved him up to the big boy stroller.

He's big enough now to go in the jog stroller without his car seat. He's taken the change with his characteristic equanimity. Although this picture makes it look like he's much too small for it.