News 2005

11.04.05 - Adam, One Year On - Day 1342 / 366

In looking at Owen's One Year update I'm somewhat surprised to find they're in pretty much the same place! Owen used to eat cut up pieces of ham and after reading this we've started doing the same with Adam. He loves vegetables and crackers. Yvonne gave him breadsticks the other day and he was thrilled with these as well. As with Owen he's not steady on his feet but occasionally he'll stand for a couple seconds before plopping down. In terms of speaking, we think he's clearly saying "mama" and "dada." He will repeat these sounds when we ask him to, and when he's upset he will call out "ma-ma ma-ma." He does the "dog-dog" sound a lot, but we doubt it's in reference to Monty, as we believed Owen was. We believe he's mimicking talking more often now. When I asked him the other day if he wanted more Cheerios I'm pretty certain he was saying "more" back to me.

Adam has 8 teeth with EIGHT more on the way! When Yvonne told Adam's doctor this he didn't believe it. He said he's never seen a one year old with eye-teeth. Owen only had eight teeth at this point. The doctor said they should all be thru in a day or two.

I forgot to mention last month, but he is able to crawl up the stairs on his own. We need to figure out how to gate the stairs at this house...

Owen had a Baby Tad, which we really only used as a music box to help him to sleep - he wasn't interested in any of it's other features. We got one for Adam some time ago and he will frequently press the buttons when laying in his crib; something we could never get Owen to do. If fact, he seems to "catch on" more quickly to how toys work. He LOVES Owen's toy cars and plays with them properly (when he's not sucking on them) -- dragging them back and forth along the floor. When he comes upon a toy which is switched off he will turn it on, etc. We got Adam a classic toy telephone for his birthday and Yvonne believes he pretends to talk on it.

We're having some sleeping issues with Adam at the moment. He used to wake up at 5.30a every day and I'd change his diaper and he'd eventually go back to sleep. Lately, however, he's been refusing to go back to sleep unless he's getting attention - rubbing his back or stroking his head. As soon as you stop he screams the place down and doesn't stop until you come back. I've been wearing him down, tho, by letting him scream for 15 minutes, comforting him then leaving promptly for another 15m. Eventually he falls asleep. Eventually.

For Halloween this year Owen wanted to be a ghost. In fact he's been telling us this for months. Yvonne devised a nifty costume that practically glowed but, as with last year, when it came time to actually put it on he flat out refused. Took us an hour to convince him to put it on and, finally, to go to his friend Jack's house for some candy. And, as with last year as well, once he was out the door there was no bringing him back in. They came back after some time but after a few minutes Owen announced he wanted to go back outside for some more Trick or Treating. We went back to Jack's house because he was sleeping when Owen was over there earlier. They were having just as much trouble getting Jack to go out but Owen and I convinced him and soon we were all out doing the rounds. We got Adam a Bear costume but he didn't like being in it so that didn't last very long.

We took a brief trip out to Vegas and not long after we returned Yvonne's parents came to visit for a few days. Owen enjoyed running Grandpa to exhaustion playing soccer.

Owen's speech is getting better and better. He's still lazy on some words, but he is much more understandable since he started at his new school a few months ago.

Owen's behavior runs from good to bad. Sometimes he's the sweetest little boy - if he hears Adam crying he will bring a toy car or a stuffed animal to Adam and say "it's okay Adam." Other times he just simply ignores you when you ask him to do something or, even worse, talk back. Apparently, according to the Law of Three Year Olds the phrase "You're not my best friend" is the most hurtful thing you can say. And we hear this often.

Finally, we are saddened to announce the passing of Owen and Adam's Great Grandma May today. She was 103 ("and a half!" as Owen might say). Unfortunately she never got to meet Adam, tho we have a trip planned next month to do just that. But she did get to meet Owen in 2003. They are almost exactly 100.5 years apart in age.

Owen and Great Gran May - Feb 2003

- Two pages of new photos
- Reformatted Photos page
- Updated Adam's Growth Chart


10.06.05 - Day 1313/337

Shortly after the last update we paid Owen his much deserved reward for successful potty training - a train ride! We took the train down to the zoo (about a 20m train ride) which he thoroughly enjoyed. Too bad that, after several trips to the San Diego Zoo, the local zoo just doesn't cut it. We watched the dolphin show which Owen very much enjoyed. The rest of it was uninteresting.

He has suddenly started to be creative in his creative play. Instead of randomly stacking Legos he now attempts to build things like houses and boats. All 2D so far, but it's a noticeable change. Much of his drawing, however, seem to be shapes and small attempts to color them in. I believe this is because they practice shapes at school and he's just copying the idea. He does draw people in what I find to be a unique way. He doesn't draw faces as circles with eyes and a mouth, but just draws the features. See the Art Club for recent examples.

He has also come out of his shell at school. Previously we were told he was quiet, now he has become very social.

Adam is just Mr Mobility these days. He doesn't crawl on his knees so much, but he can. He just realizes he's so much faster on his belly. When he sees something... ZOOOM! He is completely obsessed with Owen's cars. As soon as he's let loose on the floor he heads to the library where the toy cars are usually littering the floor. He has a few specific ones that he always goes for. If all the cars are put away in a box, he franticly digs through them, cars flying everywhere, until he finds one he likes then he sits there quietly playing with it. He even rolls them back and forth across the floor. Take it away and it's the end of the world for him. Water bottles, too. If he's fussy just give him a water bottle and he's the most content baby in the world.

He now can sit on his own with ease, as well as pulling himself up to standing. He's also managed to stand on his own unassisted, tho for only 3secs max so far. He's a little unstable on his feet; he tends to stand on the toes or sides of his feet rather than the soles.

His seventh tooth has only just finally come in. We noticed because suddenly, instead of waking up at 5.30a he slept until 7. Yvonne checked and there was a new tooth! We've been waiting two months for it!

Adam is now eating solid foods - wagon wheels, vegetables, crackers, etc. He'll demolish a bowl of Cheerios before you can put the box away.

- Three new pages of pics
- New pics in the Art Club


08.01.05 - Adam's on the move! - Day 1247/271

Well, Adam is just cruising along since the last update. About that time Adam was just trying to get his legs underneath him. He does so expertly, now. He'll get his butt up in the air and straighten his legs so he's standing like a tripod, then push forward with his hands and plop! right into a sitting position! He also went from wiggling across the floor to rapidly dragging himself around. He is very fast and will go any route he can find to get to where he wants to go, no matter what is in the way. He likes to sit under tables for some reason and will crawl until he gets under the kitchen table and will sit up. Just yesterday he started pulling himself up to a full standing position! This is mostly out of a desire to get at Owen's toy cars, which greatly upsets Owen. We are uncertain if this is a deliberate act of brotherly harassment.

He's rapidly moving in his eating as well. Sprinkle some Cheerios and food puffs in front of him and he will devour the lot before you can turn around. Last week we went out to eat and gave him a cracker to gnaw on and he did pretty well. We are regularly incorporating new baby food flavors into his diet. Apart from one episode where he threw up, he's been coping fine with this.

Adam is very much a cuddler. Frequently we'll find him asleep in his crib with his arms wrapped around the bumper. We bought him a little baby blanket with a stuffed dog head in the middle and he cuddles that now. Put it in his arms when he's asleep and he'll go right for the ears and hold it.

He's been a little fussy lately. We suspect a few more teeth are coming in.

Owen is also well on his way to becoming a Big Boy. Going potty is no longer an issue with him. Never an accident and he will even go Number 2 on his own. We think he'll become a reader when he grows up. When he was a baby he had no interest in books. We'd try to read and he'd try to crawl away. But now he insists Yvonne read to him every night. In fact, he makes her read a book, and he sits next to her pretending to read his own. When she finishes he takes her book and pretends to read that one.

Owen has experienced his very first movie in a theatre, something I've been looking forward to for a long time. I took him to see Herbie Fully Loaded since it's a pure G film and the whole race car thing. He just sat there the whole time (apart from the one time he said quite loudly "Why did the car do that, Daddy?") and I thought he was bored. But as soon as we walked out I couldn't get him to shut up about it! He still talks about it some weeks later.

We are looking into investigating Owen's speech. He can still be hard to understand. He certainly has the vocabulary, but he's not pronouncing his words clearly. There have been a few times where he claims something hurts his ears, but this varies wildly - like a movie I'm watching downstairs, and not all that loudly. It was mentioned to us that he might have sensitive hearing and certain frequencies might hurt his ears and this could contribute to his not speaking clearly. It should be mentioned that he hasn't complained about his ears hurting in weeks now.

- Two pages of photos
- Added NEW gallery of cover images
- Updated house pics with Owen's room and the new deck.


06.19.05 - "I go nnngh on the potty, I get all the choo-choos." - Day 1204 / 228

Owen is finally all but completely potty trained. There are still some issues with "Number 2" but for the most part he's all done. He hasn't worn a diaper in weeks.

We pulled him out of Kindercare because he just didn't seem to like it there. More than half the time his teacher wasn't even there when we dropped him off and there was someone different there every time. Sometimes he had to wait in a different classroom which further upset him. He is currently going to La Petite Academy, which is closer to Montessori in the way the class is run and he enjoys it much more. He's also in a class of 3-4 year olds so he's at the younger end of his group, rather than the older end. He's going five mornings a week.

The neighborhood is starting to fill up as new families move in and Owen has found a friend in Jack, a 2.5 year old two doors down. They will certainly be getting into lots of trouble together over the next few years. I also took him up to see my friend Judi who has a boy six weeks older than Owen. He and Ryan clicked immediately and played all day without a single tantrum. (Owen on right, Ryan in middle).

Owen and Adam adore each other. Owen will quickly alert us to potential injuries ("Mom! Mom! Adam! Big Ow!") and will step in and help feed Adam or give him a toy if he's fussy. Adam, meanwhile, just lights up when he hears Owen's voice. Owen will often try to amuse Adam by pulling silly faces. But there's still some jealousy there. If I take Adam off Yvonne, Owen will immediately climb into her lap.

Adam continues to grow in leaps and bounds. He now has six teeth and eating jarred vegetables and fruits. He sits up easily without support and is trying to crawl. Right now he's just pushing himself backwards along the carpet. He's good at getting things into his mouth (such as his pacifier) but is still working on getting his hands to work for him. He likes to play with a xylophone we've dug out and you can see him clearly, desperately, trying to grasp the little mallet and pick it up properly. We are also trying to get him to hold his bottle on his own, but he isn't showing much interest in that.

Pacifier: little to no need in them. Doesn't stop us from shoving one in his mouth when he want him to sleep, tho.

At this stage Owen loved to stand. He would stiffen his legs straight out and we had no choice but to lean him up against a table. Adam doesn't do this and is perfectly happy being held and cuddled. In fact, too much so. While I seemed to be the only one who could comfort Owen, Adam only has eyes for Mom.

His "speech" has progressed to repeated "ba ba ba baaa" and the occasional pterodactyl screech when he's happy.

Yvonne gave him his first Cheerio today which he promptly spat out in disgust.

- 3 pages of New Photos
- Added New House section for pics. See menu at left.


04.20.05 - "Its not a plane, Owen, it's pasta." - Day 1144 / 168

Long delay again this time. Reason for this is that Yvonne and I had decided to make our big move and have left California for the suburbs of Chicago! So the last two and a half months have been a frenzy of cleaning the house to sell it, then cleaning it out to move. We've been in the new house about a week now and things are finally starting to settle down. If you count the basement, which doesn't exist in California homes, the new house is three times the size of our old one! We are happy and excited about the move. But more on that later. Here's what else has been going on:

Owen turned three last month and the lucky kid had TWO birthday parties. The first one was at school (where he got to "wear the yellow hat" which was really a crown). Yvonne baked a birthday cake shaped like a school bus which we took to school. With Owen sitting on a chair next to the teacher, she told the Story of Owen -- a general story about him being born and growing bigger and bigger. We brought in pictures which she used to show the class. Unfortunately it was during this that my video camera decided to go blind so I only have a small amount of this on tape.

Saturday we had a party at the house for Owen. We invited all his neighborhood friends over and just let them go crazy in the backyard. Owen had a lot of fun, and the parents all had fun cooing over Adam. We served pizza and Yvonne baked another cake. This one was a simple chocolate cake with a big white 3 in frosting, and sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Because we needed time to pack we started Owen at school five days. He was a little timid with school for the first two weeks (when he was only going three days) but soon after that he started to get comfortable and grew in his participation and playing with the other kids. Every once in a while he would proudly tell us something he learned at school. He even had a girlfriend named Sophia!

His potty training is going ok. Sometimes he refuses to sit where a minute ago he was all ready to go. We're getting there. Lately he's been going most of the day dry.

We feel he is very bright. He would repeat the entire schedule of our forthcoming move to us, or recant a story from so long ago we'd have doubted he'd remember it at all. We often find him "reading" books while waiting to be picked up at school.

The new house is in a growing subdivision. We don't even have a lawn yet and some of the surrounding houses are still being built. Owen is just loving all of this because there are bulldozers and big trucks all over the place! And there is a small airport nearby so there are always small aircraft flying overhead, which he thinks is great too.

We've started him at a new school -- Kindercare and we aren't sure about it. It's a little chaotic (unlike the calmness of Montessori) and Owen seems overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Adam is getting bigger and bigger. We've just dug out Owen's 6-9 month clothes. The outfit Owen was wearing on his Six month picture only just fits Adam! And at four months he already had two teeth!!

Shortly after the last update he started giggling and laughing. He enjoys sitting in his bouncy chair and batting at the mobile in front of him. He's also rolling over and propelling himself backwards when laying on his back.

He has recently started on rice cereal and sweet potatoes. We would have started this sooner but it came at the time we were moving. Since the boys were staying at Grandma's while we flew back to get Monty, we didn't want to burden her with that.

- Four pages of new photos!
- New pic added to Art Club


01.18.05 - Two and a half months already?! - Day 1052 / 76

First my apologies for not updating this sooner. We've been so busy there just hasn't been the time to sit and work on this. But I hope I've made up for it with no less than FIVE pages of photos!

Adam has turned out to be just as good a sleeper as Owen was. Pretty much right away he was sleeping nearly all through the night, only waking up once for feeding. However he now wakes up when Yvonne's alarm goes off. Owen used to sleep through it so she could get a shower in.

For the first few weeks, during the day, Adam was not always so much of a sleeper. We we're having trouble getting him into a set schedule. Somedays he'd sleep several hours, somedays he'd sleep 20 minutes at a time. Since Yvonne has returned to work and I have more of a set routine with Owen this has started to change. You can be certain he'll pass out shortly after his 8am bottle, and again by the time Owen goes to bed. In between it varies. What's most frustrating, however, is that he'll fall soundly asleep in your arms but if you put him down he will wake up within a few minutes.

He's HUGE too! At seven weeks we realized size 2 diapers were a more comfortable fit for him. We ran into someone from Top Gun Gym who was pregnant at the same time and had her baby two weeks before we did. Her baby was tiny in comparison. Adam, at two months, wears 3-6mo clothes (never fit into any newborn stuff) and is close to filling some of these out as well.

Owen is getting better at living with Adam. For quite a while there we couldn't turn our backs on him as he might just walk up to Adam and smack him in the face, or drop a car on his head for no reason. But we've managed to eventually convince him this was entirely not acceptable behavior. While he has still smacked Adam once or twice, we are more comfortable leaving him alone with Adam for a couple minutes (one time I turned my back for a moment to find Owen standing next to Adam, who now had a bucket over his head!). He frequently gives Adam kisses when he walks by, tries to put his pacifier back in his mouth, asks to hold him, and, more recently, plays with Adam. Adam will be in his bouncy chair and Owen will jiggle the toys for him and make him smile, or poke his cheeks which makes him laugh. We are still on edge, tho, when he does these things. Sometimes when Owen and I are out shopping alone he'll tell me he wants Adam to be sitting next to him in the cart.

Shortly before Yvonne went off work, Owen had started waking up in the middle of the night. He would just scream and scream (a fearless scream) until Yvonne made an appearance, then he'd drop off back to sleep. Owen's pediatrician suggested just letting him scream it out for as many hours as he is old. One night, after 45 minutes Yvonne couldn't take it. We came up with our own plan. If he wakes up Owen was to go to the gate at the door and call quietly for Yvonne. This would wake her up and she'd go to him. The first night he screams for 45m until he remembered what to do. The next night it was 30m, then he started going straight back to the door. He hasn't done it in a few days now. We hope he realized what a pain it was to get out of bed and just puts himself back to sleep.

Owen's speech is getting better and better and just recently something clicked and he started to try to repeat new words back to us. Yvonne has taught him to make the SSSS sound before words so now he says "sssssnow!" I taught Owen to say "snowman" which Yvonne loves to hear him say. He also recognizes most letters, has stopped saying words for the letters, and can draw an O and a W. Still can't say his own name, tho.

Owen has written his first song. A catchy melody-less tune called "Go in Daddy's New Car in the Dark." He sings this line repeatedly and in every way imaginable while jumping all over the room. Eventually he'll conclude this opus and take a dramatic bow.

We bought him some toy cups and plates and pots and he pretends to make cookies and serve them to us. He also clinks glasses and we have no idea where this came from. He also practices Ti Kwan Do, which he picked up from the boy across the street.

The big news, however, is that Owen will be starting pre-school this week! I realized that on days Adam won't sleep Owen gets frustrated that he's not getting the attention. These days are very hard on all of us. We decided that since we no longer have the gym, Owen should start going to pre-school.

We've also finally started potty training. We're just in the early stages but he gets very excited when he goes on the potty. We've told him if he does it five times Mommy will take him to ride on the bus. He is very much looking forward to that.

Finally, his memory and hearing are out of this world. Adam was in another room with the door closed and Owen was paying with his train set. Suddenly he stopped and said "Daddy, Adam [crying]." I didn't believe him but checked anyway. And he was! Softly. Owen will also recount events that happened several weeks or even months ago.

- FIVE PAGES of photos!
- Five New Art Club art images!