Monday, April 30, 2007

A Wrinkle In Time

It seems that every week we vow to cut back on our weekend plans in order to avoid over-scheduling Owen and to find some time to relax and maybe even make a dent in the long list of projects we have for the house. The reality though is that something always comes up, and since we haven’t managed to add any hours to our day, the relaxation part of our weekend tends to get the short end of the stick. This past weekend was no exception. We squeezed in lunch with the Hyatts, dinner at Mom & Don’s, and a visit with the Brown family, and that was just Saturday! On Sunday we took Owen to his first baseball game, on Friday night I went to the Dismemberment Plan reunion show at the Black Cat, and I think I ended up at the extra-innings Nats v. Mets game Saturday night as well (thanks Elaine!).

Despite the hectic pace, it was a good weekend (except when Owen got suntan lotion in his eyes at the Nats game -- apparently there is crying in baseball). The most interesting part though was seeing Owen interact with Kaden at lunch while we were visiting Nabeel and Megan, and then seeing Owen with Mia later that night when Brad and Marlo came over to Mom’s place for pizza. Kaden turned two a couple months ago, and Mia just turned two months, so Owen went from being the little kid at lunch, to being the big kid at dinner. I was struck by the juxtaposition of seeing how far Owen has to go in the next year to be able to walk, talk, and interact like Kaden; and seeing how far he’s come in the past six months since he was a tiny infant like Mia, still longing for the comforts of the womb. Amazingly, at this stage Owen seemed to have more in common with the two year old Kaden than the two month old Mia. Kaden and Owen could play with the same toys, chase each other around, and get into all sorts of trouble; while it will still be a few more months before Mia is really ready to interact with another baby.

Our two visits also reinforced how dynamic the task of parenting is. Living through it all we've certainly felt how fast things are changing; every time we start to feel like we're getting the hang of things, Owen changes the game. But when I held a crying Mia and shushed and swayed her to sleep, I couldn't help but think how obsolete those techniques are with Owen now. And watching Nabeel and Megan try to convince Kaden of the values of sharing showed just how much our skill set will have to evolve. Thankfully we have some great friends that can help us out when we need parenting advice, empathize with our trials and tribulations, and share in all the joys of child rearing. If only we had more time to see them all!

Friday, April 27, 2007


Best with sound...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Decreased Entropy

For the last few months Owen has greatly increased the entropy of our household. In his wake, toys are strewn about, magazines are shredded, and the contents of shelves are dumped on the floor. Wherever Owen goes, disorder follows. That's why I was so amazed by our little boy's simple act of putting one of his stacking rings back on it's base. With that little act, he increased the order in our home, and decreased the entropy (of course in our home we obey the second law of thermodynamics, so it's important to note that Owen and his toys are not an isolated system ;-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Catching Some Z's

This weekend brought Grandma and Grandpa Zimmerman ... eventually. They were supposed to get here in time to wish Owen goodnight on Friday, but their flight was delayed due to bad weather in Denver. Then the plane they were supposed to take was decommissioned and they had to find another one. After they found another plane and got everyone boarded, four tornadoes touched down near Dallas resulting in an emergency evacuation. Owen was fast asleep by the time they finally rolled in around 1 am. The morale of the story: don’t fly on Friday the Thirteenth.

Grandma and Grandpa Z did get to wish Owen, “good morning” on Saturday, though, and then got to go down the slide with him at the park, play the “spin the stacking rings and cups” game Allen recently created, feed Owen bananas and rice cereal while Mommy & Daddy got ready for a night out, put him to sleep, and baby-sit Saturday night while Allen and I attended our friend Mala’s wedding.

Despite the brevity of the visit, Grandma and Grandpa managed to witness some new developments. Owen’s first tooth made an appearance Saturday, Owen waved goodbye to Mommy and Daddy on Saturday night (which I missed but Allen and Grandma swear it happened though it hasn’t been replicated since), Owen learned how to "high five" and Grandma taught Owen to raise his hands above his head whenever she said, “So big!” We’re unclear as to the utility of this last skill, but they both seemed to enjoy it so who are we to judge.

Sadly, Grandma and Grandpa had to go home Sunday night. But Owen’s looking forward to visiting them in July for his baptism, when he really will be “so big!”

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dental Eruption

We have a tooth siting. It appears that Owen’s lower right central incisor has pushed through his gums (though it could be his lower left central incisor, it’s hard to tell with only a single reference point…). Hopefully, now he’ll be in a bit less pain and sleep a bit more soundly – at least until the next one appears.

Friday, April 06, 2007

B B B BumBle Bee

One of the axioms of early childhood development that we've heard over and over again as new parents is that babies tend to focus on one area of development at a time. In other words, early walkers tend to be late talkers. For the last few months, Owen has borne out this conventional wisdom as he's been focused on movement, while his vocalizations have remained somewhat random. We've been trying to pique his interest in talking for a while now by working with him on his consonants, particularly his D's and M's. The goal, of course, being that if he hears "D D D Daddy" and "M M M Mommy" enough times, he might break out a "da da" or "ma ma" and melt our hearts. For the most part, he's responded to all of these sounds with only mild interest. That is until we went to St. Louis. Cate joined in on our consonant fun, skipping past "D D D Daddy" and "M M M Mommy," and going straight for the jugular with "B B B BumBle Bee." Owen must of loved it, because for the past week he's been all about the "B". It's quite adorable to listen to him experimenting with the sound, but at the same time it's a little bit sad that his first pseudo word isn't "ma ma" or "da da," instead he can't stop saying "Buba".

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stair Master

While we were visiting Joe & Cate, their friends Craig and Amy stopped by with their two kids. Craig and Amy are both pediatricians, so we were a little curious what their take would be on Owen. Craig observed him for a few minutes, asked a couple of questions and then promptly told us we were screwed.

Craig’s prognosis stems from the fact that we can no longer place Owen in one spot and expect him to still be there five seconds later. We understood that Owen’s new found ability to pull himself up would complicate matters further, but felt that Craig’s alarmist tone was a bit extreme and probably more due to his sulking over a home improvement project gone horribly awry than any real peril we were facing.

But then we got home, and decided that after being cooped up in an airplane all day, we should let Owen crawl around a bit before bed. At first he just meandered around the living room. Then he decided to explore the dining room, but turned back before noticing the bookshelves with their many breakable knickknacks. He was almost back to his play area when he turned again, this time heading to the staircase.

Now we’ve known for a while that we need to get gates for the staircase (as well as the kitchen and his room), but the design of our stairwells don’t easily lend themselves to gates (particularly at the top), making the task a huge pain. So we’ve been putting it off.

We watched with trepidation as Owen approached the first stair, held our breath while he banged on it and quickly swooped down and grabbed him as he pulled himself up and started banging on stair number two.

Gates will be installed this weekend (because nothing says, “Happy Easter” like baby-proofing ones house). Meanwhile Owen is no longer allowed to be anywhere unattended for any amount of time, which means (among other things) that Allen and I either have to have company or hold it until the other is available in order to use the facilities at home.

Which is why, as Craig would say, we’re screwed.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Meet me in St. Louis

Where to begin? This past weekend Owen reached several new milestones, we heard exciting baby news from several friends, and we flew to St. Louis to visit our good friends Joe & Cate. All this was too much excitement to fit into one post, so I'll start out by writing about our trip to St. Louis.

We hadn't seen Joe & Cate since they moved from Charlottesville to St. Louis last May (which also meant we hadn't played bridge in all that time), so Elaine and I decided we needed to squeeze a trip to the show me state into our busy spring. Thankfully, Joe's mini vacation before starting his radiology residency coincided with one of our free weekends, and we jumped at the chance for a visit.

Joe & Cate's new home is adorable, but our favorite part of the whole tour was this little unfinished room in the attic, which is going to be baby Mettenburg's nursery! That's right, Joe & Cate are expecting a baby on October 1st (or as Cate likes to say, late September since October sounds so far away). Elaine had suspected for a while based on a few clues Cate let slip, but that was only fair given how early Joe & Cate figured out that Elaine was expecting.

The exciting news gave Owen a chance to break in the parents-to-be. He wasted no time sharing his adorable side with plenty of smiles, and not one but two developmental milestones! Leaving his endearing "beached whale" scooting phase in the past, Owen took his first few legitimate crawling steps. As if that weren't enough, he also perfected sitting up from a prone or supine position. We've known for a few days that he could do this, since we've found him sitting up in his crib at night, but he finally demonstrated his new move in front of us.

The rest of our quick little trip was filled up with delicious food, torrential rain, Owen's first visit to a zoo, and plenty of bridge. The next time we'll see Joe & Cate will be at the beach, when Cate should be showing, and Kaden can chime in on the parenting lessons.

(click here to see all the pictures)