News 2004

11.09.04 - Adam comes home - Day 982/6

Owen seems to understand the whole baby thing better than we thought he did. When I picked him up from the neighbor's Thursday morning I told him Mommy had Adam taken out of her belly and did he want to go see him. He said yes, and the whole way to the hospital I would ask him who we're going to see. "Mommy and Adam!" he would say.

He was very shy when we walked into the room and Yvonne was in bed holding Adam, but he knew exactly who the baby was. He got very upset when I tried to put him on the bed while she was still holding the baby, and he wouldn't go to her until I took Adam off her. So we thought we might have some problems. But to our surprise later on, while we were changing Adam's diaper, Owen got very upset and yelled "Me do!" -- he wanted to change the diaper. Later he insisted on helping Yvonne feed Adam, and even later on said he wanted to hold him!

I told Owen he should give Adam one of his old toys. He walked over to his toy box, looked in it for a moment, then selected a stuffed sheep (which I had dug out of the attic and planted intending to 'suggest' it, but he selected it all on his own). He gave it to Adam when we went to the hospital.

Yvonne came home on Friday. Owen insisted on helping her carry the car seat into the house. Then he couldn't wait to show Adam his prized toy cars.

Since then Owen has been dealing with the whole thing very well. Just today he seemed to be showing signs of slight jealousy, so Yvonne made certain to have some "Mommy and Owen" time together.

Yvonne has been doing well, too.

In other pre-baby news:

For Halloween this year we decided Owen should dress up as Cookie Monster. Yvonne made the costume herself after a lengthy search for furry blue fabric. She whipped up the suit and... Owen flat out refused to even try it on!

Come Halloween I explained to him that today was the day kids dressed up in costumes and got candy from the neighbors. When asked what he wanted to dress up as, he replied "Spiderman!" Yvonne managed to get him into his devil suit from last year. So I gave him a piece of candy. I told him if he put on Cookie Monster he could have another. "Okay." (!!!!) He got in the suit, I gave him a piece of candy, and Yvonne rushed him out the door to show him off. Long story short, after the third house Owen understood the concept and was out with Yvonne for nearly 90 minutes!

I've mentioned in the past that Owen loves the Proclaimers. We recently bought the Shrek DVD and when the Proclaimers song I'm On My Way comes on the soundtrack he shouts out in excitement.

- Brand new website!! We now own and rented plenty of server space! I have also completely rebuilt the website so some things might act funny, or not at all, so please be patient.
- New pics!
- Two new videos! Owen dances (a must see), and Owen meeting Adam for the first time. Since so many have been having problems with the Quicktime videos lately I've started using Windows Media Player. The new website should also allow for streaming video so you will no longer have to wait to download the clip to watch it.


11.03.04 - Blanket no more: Adam finally comes out to play - Day 976/0

Yvonne, Owen and I are pleased to announce the arrival of Adam David to the world! He was born November 3rd at 7.56p, weighing a hefty 9lbs 10oz, 22in long and 1 week late.

I'll post more pictures here in a couple of days when the new website is launched.

Yvonne is doing very well. There was concern yesterday when the weight estimate ultrasound showed the baby at 11 1/2lbs! We disagreed with that estimate, and especially when they said they'd be scheduling a c-section! Yvonne expressed her displeasure at this idea and her doctor checked with the chief baby doc who agreed to proceed with the vaginal birth, with caution.

There was a time where Yvonne was in serious pain and didn't think she'd be able to make it, but as soon as she got a booster shot of pain-killer it was smooth sailing after that. We are pleased to say that she managed to give birth to Adam without having a c-section and both are doing fine.


10.11.04 - Owen Pets a Goat and Other Stories - Day 953 - Minus 15

Owen has kicked his pacifier habit!! It wasn't a big one since he was only allowed it in his crib but it was still a habit. We didn't even plan on it, it just happened. He was being very naughty during breakfast so I sent him to his room to "think about it." I took his pacifiers so he would feel punished. Later, at nap time, I put him down but forgot that he didn't have any pacifiers in his room. I realized when I saw them in the hall where I put them and decided to see how it went. Well, he refused to go down for his nap but it didn't seem to be because he didn't have a pacifier, I think he just didn't want to go. Eventually he did fall asleep on his own.

There have been a few bed times where he was more insistent on not going down, but only once have we noticed him wondering where his pacifiers went. Now the pacifiers have been replaced by his cuddling a stuffed animal - usually a member of his self-named dog family (Ma Dog, Daddy Dog, Baby Dog) if not all of them.

We decided to take a trip down the the San Diego Zoo. We did this last year, but felt Owen would get more out of it this year and we wanted to treat him to something new and fun. School is in and the place was dead so we were able to see all we wanted to fairly quickly. Owen's favorites were the giraffes and elephants. He was surprisingly brave in the petting zoo; petting the goats over and over.

Sadly Owen's gym, Top Gun, has closed. For some reason attendance started to dwindle and the owner couldn't keep afloat. Owen seems to understand that "closed" means we can't go there, but time will tell if he truly understands what we really mean. So far if we ask him about it he shakes his head and says "No. Closed." There are other places to take him but they're a bit farther away and class times are less convenient. In the meantime we'll probably start taking Owen to Jump n Jammin more often -- a big indoor playground for kids which he has a ball at. But we'll still miss the interaction with other kids and learning new things to do.

To teach Owen letters we've been assigning a word to each letter: D=Daddy, M=Mommy, T=Train, etc. Owen has started assigning words to letters himself, amusingly. I=Eye (he points to his eye), X=Eggs! This last one was a stumper as he'd point to an X and cuckoo like a chicken. Took a bit for us to figure that one out.

In an attempt to take Monty somewhere fun we decided to pay a visit to the ocean. Monty loved it and immediately ran all over the place. Owen, despite (I'm sure) recognizing the place from his DVD, was afraid of the water. Wouldn't let Yvonne take him anywhere near it, even while she held him. But when it was time to go he didn't want to leave.

He seems to be afraid of potentially scary things which didn't bother him before. For example, he likes to growl like a monster. But if I do it back to him he gets scared and runs to mommy. He has, however, overcome his fear of Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer (see 02.04.04 in Year Two section) and insists on watching it at least once a week. But he insists we skip past the Abominable Snowmonster bits.

Blanket - Time is getting near. Yvonne is at the point where she has weekly doctor appointments. She's been having contractions but he hasn't dropped yet (Owen never did). The doc feels we're still on target for the due date.

- New photos
I have new Owen artwork but need to take pics. Soon.


08.30.04 - Big Boy - Day 911 - Minus 57 Days

Owen is officially a Big Boy now! We finally decided it was time to move him to his own bed and out of the crib. It's said we need to move Child #1 out of his crib at least 2 months before Child #2 arrives to #1 doesn't feel he was "kicked out" of his crib. We got him a toddler bed shaped like a train and, oh man, does he love it. The day we put it up he wanted to go to bed early just so he could lie in it. We've moved one of our baby gates to his doorway so he can't get out and wander around in the middle of the night.

After a few days we took down the crib, to much protesting. We asked him if he wanted to sleep in it that night. He said 'no' and that was the end of it.

It's getting harder to take pictures and video of Owen lately. Beyond it being uninteresting taking pictures of him doing everyday things like playing with his cars and eating, he also won't let us. When he sees the video or digital camera come out he's more interested in looking at the LCD screen than letting us snap pictures.

Somewhere he picked up this fake crying thing. We've tried over the past months not to react every time he started crying to avoid this but there he goes. "Owen, no jumping on the couch!" Waaaaah! The tearless crying, then the instant switch off. He's been pulling this act constantly whenever we scold him for something - kicking at Monty, flinging himself on top of us, climbing up the back of the couch, etc. The instant we say no, off he goes.

He loves to jump. Jump jump jump. Jump jump jump. Big grin on his face as he jumps in place in the living room non-stop, vocalizing the whole time. "guh-guh-guh-guh-guh!" Sometimes he'll let his legs fold underneath him so he'll tumble to the floor resulting in gales of laughter. Naturally this also leads to jumping on the bed, and more fake crying when we tell him to stop.

He's finally broken of screaming when we try to brush his teeth. In fact, he brushes them himself now. We need to help, of course, otherwise he'd only brush the front teeth.

He has also become quite the helper lately. We'll sweep the leaves in the backyard into a pile and Owen takes over. Brushing them into a dustpan and dumping them into the yard waste bin. He does a fine job of it, too.

My brother and his family came to visit at the end of their Southwest vacation. We all went to Disneyland's California Adventure. Owen rode the Merry-Go-Round with great success! We've been on a few local Merry-Go-Round's with varying degrees of success, but this time I was able to get him to hold on all by himself (after I managed to get out of his head-lock). He enjoyed the Aladdin show (but was afraid of the cave that looked like a skull with fiery eyes), and was frightened by the MuppetVision 3D movie - didn't understand the whole 3d thing.

Blanket - Earlier this month we had a 4D ultrasound taken. A 4D ultrasound gives a realistic look at the baby while still inside the womb. Our actual images look nothing like the demos available on various 4D websites. In the picture below you can clearly see Blanket's face. His hand is up to his mouth; probably sucking the side of his hand as Owen did. More pictures in the photo section.

- New photos
- New ultrasound photos
- Art Gallery
- Updated menu


07.11.04 - The Neat Freak - Day 861 - Minus 107 Days

Blankette - We are pleased to say that Yvonne had her amniocentesis and the tests show the baby is fine. We have also discovered that it's a boy!! I think we'll start calling him Blanket now.

Yvonne is having a little more of a difficult time this time around. Blanket is sitting differently than Owen did and she is experiencing a bit more discomfort. But other than that everything is going smoothly.

Owen - He is obsessed with his toy cars. They're pretty much all he wants to play with and everything else has taken a back seat. If we tell him we need to go upstairs to change his diapers he scrambles to grab as many cars as he can to take with him. When he has to go potty (which he hides behind the table to do) he grabs a bunch of cars and takes them with him. I have since taken nearly all of them off him as he has become far too obsessed and demanding with them. Now he only has a handful and while he sometimes asks where all the others are we won't give them back for a while. He needs to play with other things.

He enjoys dancing. After seeing the Proclaimers in April I started listening to them in the car. Owen nods his head to the music on all the uptempo songs. He will even drag Yvonne into the garage to sit in the car and listen to them. I recently showed him their DVD of music videos and now it's one of his favorites. A typical conversation will be:

O: "Boppa. dee dee dee!"
Y: "You want to watch a DVD?"
O: "eh-heh."
Y: "Which one?" At this point Owen will start dancing.
Y: "You want to watch the Proclaimers DVD?"
O: "eh-heh. Yea!" Then he throws his hands up in the air.

He's much more eager to talk on the phone these days. In the past he would just listen then walk away. Now he listens and pays attention, nodding when asked a question and talking back. It's amusing when he tries to show the person on the other end something. He'll say "monster truck" then hold up his truck car to the phone. Or he'll start jumping up and down, holding the phone at arms length so the person can see him jumping.

He never used to sit still long enough for us to read to him, but lately he's started bringing me his books to read. Unfortunately he wanders away about half way through to get another one.

He has mastered drinking from a cup simply because he wanted to. We'd give him a cup occasionally but the danger of spilling and his desire to pour the contents in any other container was too great so we didn't do it very much. One day he just insisted on drinking from an open cup and was very careful in doing so. He refuses to take anything else now (he prefers bedtime milk in a sippy cup, tho. some things must be in certain containers). There's the occasional mishap, of course. Like accidentally dropping a chocolate chip cookie in his milk which resulted in a look of absolute horror from him.

When we go out to eat he doesn't need a high chair anymore, and even a booster seat raises him a little too high. We usually skip them unless necessary or it looks like he'll have the tendency to hop off the chair and run off somewhere. We only give him a bib if he might be eating something messy.

Yvonne has started him on painting, tho he refuses to do finger painting as it's too messy.

Since we'll be needing the crib for Blanket's arrival we have picked up a toddler bed for Owen - it looks like a train! We haven't put him in it yet, we'll keep him in the crib for a little while longer. Recently, while on vacation, we let Owen sleep in the sofa bed in the suite. He pretty much stayed in bed until we woke up and said it was okay for him to get out of bed. By the last day, however, he felt comfortable enough to get out of bed himself and come wake us up.

- Added three new videos!!
- Owen's favorite segment from his DVD, filmed in September 2002
- A clip of Owen dancing
- and the montage video from his DVD in all it's glory. Due to it's size it will only be up for a limited time.
- Added new photos
- Added first ultrasounds of Blanket.


05.10.04 - Choo! Choo! - Day 799

Before we get into Owen's update we would like to announce that Yvonne is pregnant with puppy number 2! The due date is Oct 27th and you may have noticed that we've added a countdown timer at the top of the page. Following along with Owen's pre-birth code name of Blank, we will be calling this pup Blankette. No, this is not an indication of the sex of the baby. We don't know what yet. Watch this page for further devopments!

On to Owen News:

Shortly after the last update Owen actually asked me a proper question. I was putting on my shoes to go mow the lawn. Owen pointed at the garage and said "car?" Not thinking I said Yes and he immediately went to the window where he usually waves bye-bye to me when I leave. This is the first time that we're aware that he has asked something using a proper word rather than gesturing and grunting.

We decided to expand his fascination with trains and took him on his first train ride. We live between two train stations (Irvine and San Juan Capistrano) so we drove over to Irvine, bought one stop round trip tickets and rode down to SJC. As we waited for the train he made sure everyone within earshot knew it was coming.

We also brought out the train set he got for his birthday. It's currently his favorite toy. The trains are remote controlled and he just had to see me work it once and he knew exactly what to do. Unfortunately his favorite thing to do is to arrange train wreks...

The depot in SJC is actually in a nice area with buildings built around 1900. We took Owen to the petting zoo there but once he saw the miniature train for children to ride he couldn't have cared less if he was standing next to a goat and an emu.

He had two babysitting experiences. The Proclaimers were in town and we wanted to attend two shows. For the first show we had a friend come over and we snuck out after Owen was asleep. The second time was a little more risky - our neighbors not only offered to baby-sit, but to take him overnight as well! Yvonne took him over at 6.30 and when they answered the door he walked straight in and went right upstairs to where he knew the toy cars were. Then we left. The first time he realized we weren't even there was around 9p when they tried to put him to bed. He cried for a few minutes and that was all. Yvonne called over when we woke up the next morning and they said Owen was perfectly fine. We are pleased that he is comfortable being around other people without us around. It allows us to be more secure when it comes time to introduce him to babysitters more often.

He's getting better at words, but they still need translating. He will go through his box of toy cars and as he pulls one out he will identify it to me and go one to the next ("de-de" = bus, "ca-ca" = car, "cla-cla" = truck, "choo-choo" = train).

His stair climbing has dramatically improved. He can now walk up the stairs without even holding on to the wall or railing. He just takes it one step at a time.

- Added new photos
- Added Blankette countdown timer


03.18.04 - Two years - Day 746

March 2nd was Owen's 2nd birthday. Wet and rainy, we even had a rare thunderstorm and, believe it or not, hail! Yvonne took the day off and we wanted to take him somewhere special, just for him. Most things are tailored for 3 and up around here, so we decided to go to Irvine Park where the Orange County Zoo is located. There is also a train ride around the park. The train was closed and the zoo was tiny but it kept him interested. The animals are all indigenous to the area (bears, foxes, mountain lions, and even a bald eagle). There were a few peacocks wandering freely.

At Christmas the whole present thing confused him, but he knew exactly what to do today! He dug right into the gift pile, shredding the wrapping paper. We're only giving him a gift or two at a time to play with, bringing things out occasionally to keep him happy, as we did at Christmas.

Yvonne baked him a train shaped cake -- one of his favorite things. While the shape interested him he had little interest in actually eating the cake.

Owen has started laughing when he finds something funny on tv. He's done this in the past but we sensed he was doing it because we were. Now he clearly laughs on his own. In his 2003 highlight video there's a segment where he wanders up to me holding the video camera then hauls off and slaps it. This sends him into gales of laughter when he watches it. He even begins to smile when he knows it's coming up. America's Funniest Home Videos keeps him in stitches all the way through.

His speech has really come along this past few weeks. More words come out like they're supposed to. Words like "cracker", "Sesame Street", "cookie", and "DVD" etc are starting to become clearer. He still doesn't use many word properly, like asking for a cracker. He still points and gestures when he wants something.

He has an odd compulsion to organize things. He'll take all his toy cars and line them up front to rear or side by side, all in a straight line -- and all will face the same direction! The other day we found him taking his crayons and lining them up next to each other. We're not sure what this means but we hope it's a good thing and not an indicator that he'll start washing his hands 30 times a day.

Yvonne noticed for the first time imaginative play. He loves busses and has several play busses. Recently she saw him lining up his play people along the couch and driving the bus up to them, putting them in the bus, taking them out and waving "bye" and pushing the bus went to the next person.

I have finally realized that you can kill a good half hour by simply going down to the train tracks watch the trains go by. Two come within ten minutes of each other. The first time we did this he was a bit shocked, but later attempts resulted by him impatiently pointing down the line and waving franticly as the train goes past. Sometimes the conductor waves back. We end this excursion by walking through the tunnel under the tracks (he also loves tunnels and I sometimes make places for him to crawl through with blankets and cushions). One of these days I take him to the airport so we can watch the planes take off.

- Added new photos
- Moved last year's updates to a dedicated page
- Updated Growth Chart.


02.04.04 - "Owen is a dog's best friend" - Day 703

Long time between updates! I wanted to wait until we were clear of the holidays, but then I spent the entire month of January editing Owen's 2003 highlight video and ultimately authoring a DVD of all his short films. A lot of hard work but we are quite happy and proud with the results. Anyway, here's what's been going on for the last couple of months: He has decided that it's now his job to feed Monty. If he comes across Monty's food bowl ("fooo booo") empty he carries it over to the container with Monty's kibble, opens the lid, reaches in, grabs a handful, and drops it in the bowl. Eventually he'll stop, pick up the bowl, then start calling out for Monty ("daaaa-daaaa!"). Sometimes he'll take it outside and put it down next to Monty's water dish.

Similarly, he will insist Yvonne hold him while she makes her morning coffee and he will dictate the steps. Watch out if you do something out of order!!

While he's still not speaking clearly he definitely seems to be saying something. For instance he is learning his colors and while he doesn't clearly say "blue" he says something like "doo", "de-do" for yellow, etc. Yvonne has head him say "good job" and "tractor". He frequently says "uh-oh" whenever something happens that shouldn't (ie: dropping his cup, his train coming apart, etc).

BREAKTHROUGH!! Since I wrote the above he has properly learned the word "juice" and uses it properly, not just when asked! "Owen, would you like milk or juice?" "juzz!" He'll also hold up his empty cup and says "juzz!"

I took him to see Santa this Christmas, and spent the 30mins in line telling him about Santa and pointing alternately to the poster for Santa Clause 2 (even Santa has a corporate sponsor) and Santa himself, and commented at how well all the babies were doing in Santa's lap, etc all to prepare him. But it only took two steps into the area and he had a complete and total meltdown. We spent a few minutes trying to get him to at least stop screaming and squirming but he wasn't having any of it. We even tried sitting him in the Old Man's throne (!! I never even got to do that!!) and have Santa sneak up behind him but that didn't work either. But as soon as we started to leave he stopped crying and waved and said "bye!" to Santa as if nothing was wrong.

Further mall visits found us standing outside Santa's area and my suggesting he might want to go sit on his lap. This invariably ended in his clutching onto my shirt and whining. Walking through the mall and stopping at a life sized (well, if you're twelve) dancing Santa would make him cry out.

We tried to get him to watch Rudolph but the talking snowman freaked him out. Who knew Christmas was so frightening?

We took him to Disneyland to see the parade and watch the fireworks. He enjoyed waving at all the parade participants as they drove by. He was a little frightened of the fireworks, but he handled it ok.

Everything is a phone these days to him. The remote control. A shampoo bottle. Anything. He picks it up, holds it between his shoulder and cheek, says "hello" and proceeds to walk around gabbing away -- just like Mommy!

His favorite shows (we don't let him watch too much TV but he does have favorites) are Caillou (the cartoon segments, he ignores the live action bits) and Sesame Street. He gets very excited when Cookie Monster comes on, when Ernie and Big Bird sing the Journey to Ernie song (dances in his high chair) and when Mr. Noodle shows up on Elmo's World. Cookie Monster is his favorite stuffed animal.

He's very insistent that he do things himself these days. He will throw a fit if you dare to do something for him, like open a package to give Monty a treat. It is now his job, when we go shopping, to hand the money or credit card to the cashier and get the change. He also insists on putting the credit card back in my wallet.

- Added new photos