Friday, December 30, 2011

Theo Running Laps

Theo's latest fun game from the past few days has been to run laps around the fishtank. He stops long enough to occasionally pick up a different object to accompany him on his journey. He did this for a good 20 minutes this evening!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Quick Video From a Christmas Present

Sarah got me this really cool gadget which ends up shooting a 360-degree video using the iPhone camera. I played around with it a bit this past weekend, and shot this video of Theo running around in our basement.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Theo's Day Today

December has set records in how little it's been raining. The gorgeous sunny days we've been having also lead to cold nights (Seattle's temperate winter temperatures are helped by a generous layer of clouds without which it often frosts overnight as it has been doing). Anyway today we took him to the South Lake Union park just outside my office for lunch. He had a blast running around:



And later this evening, Theo mightily entertained us both by retrieving two things he sleeps with -- his jez and a cloth diaper he sleeps with -- and walking around, shaking both, throwing them on the ground, picking them up, shaking them, throwing, and on and on. He did this so many times we finally decided to take a video:



Sarah is in the background, taking her own video:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seattle Street Scramble

This past Sunday we took part in the Seattle Street Scramble. It's something we've never done before but all three of us enjoyed it. In fact, Theo enjoyed it so much he opted to stay awake for the entire event rather than taking his morning nap! The street scramble is basically a planning problem -- you're given a map with 30 checkpoints, and 2 hours to visit as many checkpoints as you can, racking up points for each checkpoint you visit. I'm pleased to report that we finished first in our category, families with strollers. That's not impressive though, because the category only had two teams. What is impressive, however, is that our score was high enough to take first place in the families with children under 8 category (but the kids need to move under their own power), fourth place in the family category, and in the top five for a number of different categories. Most importantly, we were 40th overall (out of 103 teams), and a couple teams were obviously experts at this, scoring a perfect 1,000 points! See all the results (we're Team Theo) or learn more about the Street Scramble.

I used EveryTrail to track our progress, but I forgot to turn it on at first, so I've manually edited it to show our approximate route along 1st Ave, having started at Pike Place Market. Unfortunately the manual edit has made the start and stop look like it's in the wrong place, but you can still get the idea. Impressively we walked about 7 miles during the 2 hour period, all the while I carried Theo in a backpack (Theo now weighs more than 23 pounds, and the backpack is about 8).

Seattle Street Scramble

Monday, December 12, 2011

How Time Flies

A long time ago, on a sofa far, far away our PEPS group gathered, plopped all the children down, and took a photo. Then a couple of weeks ago we gathered the same group of kids, and the same sofa, and through some magic none of us know about, got them to sit still for the same photo.
Our PEPS group back in March 2011 (Theo was just shy of 5 months old)
9 months later: our PEPS group in December 2011 (Theo was just shy of 14 months old)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

O Christmas Tree

We finally got around to putting up the Christmas tree on Saturday night while Theo was asleep. He is not impressed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Car!

Not our car, but the same color!
We bought a new car over Thanksgiving. It's a wonderful brand new Mazda5. We're familiar with the car as we'd rented it several times over the past year (Hertz has it available as an intermediate size car). It seats six, and was only manufactured in 2006-2010 and now in 2012 it's back, making used ones pretty difficult to find, particularly with the manual transmission we both wanted. It's much much easier getting Theo in and out of the Mazda5 than it is with either one of our existing cars. One day we'll probably post some photos here, but in the meantime feel free to read more about the car at Mazda's Website, Edmunds, or Consumer Reports.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's That Time Of Year...

...when folks might need gift ideas! Here are some helpful links:

- Michal's Wishlist
- Sarah's Wishlist
- Theo's Registry

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Theo's First Walking!

So Theo's been able to stand since at least June and he's been taking steps with two hands to hold for almost as long. He eventually progressed to needing just one hand, and then for the past month or so he's been willing to walk about 3-5 feet between two people sitting on the floor waiting to catch him. But today at 5pm he decided that he'd had enough practice, and walked across the nursery. Mom opened the doors, and off he went! Some videos for your pleasure; the long one gets a bit dull in the middle but has a wonderful point-of-view shot at the end of Theo going all over the house!





Saturday, November 5, 2011

Theo's Recent Activities


Beacon Hill Harvest Festival




Amelie's First Birthday Party




Northwest Chocolate Festival


I also uploaded a couple of videos of the pumpkin carving which had gotten misplaced previously.

And finally a video taken just a few hours ago of Theo eating blueberries. He signs he's done a couple of times, but as you can tell, he's not!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Carving with Theo



As it turns out, Theo had no interest in participating in anything related to the pumpkins, until they were fully scooped out and ready to play with. This was surprising to both of us, as we thought Theo would just love to stick his hands into the goopy pumpkin guts. See the photos.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!


Theo went trick or treating at my office yesterday afternoon, and had a blast! He outlasted several other kids, and loved walking around and, once he got the idea, putting candy in his basket. See all the photos, and prepare yourself for an onslaught of Halloween-related photosets coming soon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Theo Eating Spaghetti

I recently got myself a brand spanking new iPhone 4s, which takes pretty good videos (although not as good as our dedicated video camera). It integrates closely with YouTube (or, perhaps I should say, it integrates easily with YouTube) so I'll probably be posting some YouTube videos here and there. So I'll start with here:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Orange Revelry



We recently hosted this year's Orange Party, the Orange Revelry. See all the photos.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Theo!


The best birthday wishes for our big birthday boy! To celebrate, we got Theo five balloons - a red star, an orange star, a gold circle, a red happy birthday circle, and a first birthday circle with a red one on it. We tied them to his chair overnight and sure enough, he noticed them first thing this morning on his birthday. He loves them. His newest trick is blowing, and he blows every time he wants you to blow on the balloons and make them move. He also loves batting them and pulling them and anything else that will get an effect.

He learned how to blow so we would blow on the mobile attached to the ceiling light in his room. It's super cute. He did not manage to blow his candle out this morning, but he did really enjoy the birthday cream puff. After contemplating it for about sixty seconds, he stuck his face right into it, no hands necessary. Once he worked his way through the top to the cream (apparently there were two different types of cream in there), he started scooping it out with his hands and eating it. Super duper cute, and adorable and a classic first birthday shot. By the end of the "meal" he had a Santa beard and cream up to his elbows, with some on his forehead and behind his ears for good measure.

After the balloons but before breakfast we opened presents until Theo got tired of the game. He took a few rounds to catch on, amazingly not bothering any of the bags or boxes piled on the coffee table until encouraged. (He played with the balloons instead.) The biggest a.m. hit was the musical card from his grandparents, which plays Tigger's theme song. After that, he was finished with presents for the morning and we moved on to candles and cream puff.

In the middle of the day Theo attended story time where the entire group sang him a lovely rendition of happy birthday. He enjoyed it as usual, especially browsing board books at the end. He had peas and mango yogurt with croissant and grilled cheese for lunch before retiring a second time to recover for more fun.

Once he woke up, we took him the pumpkin farm. We went last year when he was just shy of two weeks old to the same place, and boy are the photos different this year! Instead of an infant we could lay anywhere we had a mobile 12 month old. He loved the mud and the wheelbarrow and every single pumpkin. He became especially attached to the miniature variety and had to be pulled away kicking and screaming. He recovered nicely as our next stop was a dinner buffet. We started dinner at 4:45. Theo normally eats dinner between 6 and 6:30. He ate from 4:45 until 6:00 p.m., consuming cantaloupe, red jello, edamame, peas, black beans, spaghetti, pizza, macaroni and cheese, pineapple, and whatever else he could con from someone's plate, or snag from the table. We left the restaurant with one very happy boy. Also one very round boy.

Once back at the house, we polished off the remaining gifts, and finished the day with the monthly giraffe photos. What a difference in a year!

Here's to our one year old boy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gatlinburg Vacation

We recently spent ten days in a lovely rental cabin on a very windy road above Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We were fortunate that many of our relatives were able to come stay at least some of the time with us. You can see all of the photos, and I'll go through a smattering of photos representative of the activities we did below:


Kasia and I started off by hiking 11 miles (round trip) to the top of Mt. Le Conte.


The Bryc family took Theo up to the top of Chimney Tops, a trail we used to do as kids.


We took Theo to the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies


Granddaddy Cony stayed home with Theo while everyone else went zip lining.


Theo turned 11 months old.


Kasia and I biked the 11 miles around the Cades Cove loop.


Bears came up to the door of the cabin. Everyone except Rachael saw bears no matter how short they stayed!


Theo discovered that he liked to play in ball pits.


We did the alpine slide at Ober Gatlinburg.


Theo rode a carousel.


We visited historical buildings along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.


Michal went all by himself one morning and got within 2,000 miles of Maine


We hiked to Grotto Falls


Theo played with tractors at Inman Farm Heritage Days

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Surprise #2

Two bottles of wine just appeared on my doorstep, courtesy of UPS and addressed to yours truly. I have no idea where they came from. Wait, that's a lie. They came from Leon. Leon, Virginia. But who sent them? If it was you, 'fess up, because you can be my new best friend. They are chocolate and peach bottles of wine. YUM!

A much better surprise than finding a pea in your child's diaper, I must admit.

Pea-Yew!

Theo had a smorgasbord for lunch today: sweet potato, banana, chicken, green peas, pasta, and great northern beans. He was wearing overalls and a green onesie. For the uninitiated, that means he had a shirt that snaps below his crotch, as well as the bib of the overalls to catch things. He also wore an actual bib, which admittedly does form a shelf to catch food, particularly when combined with overalls.

He pooped after all that food. No surprise there. But I was very surprised to find a pea (uneaten) in his diaper lying on his belly. How on earth did he get that one past the bib, overalls, and onesie?

I guess kids will always keep you guessing.

Theo at Eleven Months


Time flies when you're a growing boy. That's Theo eating a popsicle. We spent Theo's eleventh month birthday in Tennessee with family, and we all had a great trip. (More about that once we get the photos uploaded.) In the meantime, Theo has grown into his personality quite a bit. His favorite toys, by far, are his Baby Einstein music box, where he can push the button to get classical music, and his pinwheel. They are the first two things he must find in the morning and the last two things he is willing to part with. Generally he plays the music and leaves it sitting until the song goes off. He seems to know the repertoire well enough, too, that near the end of the song, he will drop whatever he is doing and scoot back in a hurry to hit the button for more music. Given the choice between a bin of toys, a bin of stuffed animals, and a bin of books, he goes for the books every single time. He can read a book over and over and over again and not grow tired of it, and then yank another one out or off the shelf and thrust it at you with a "uhhh." Which clearly means read. And he's a speed reader at flipping pages. He loves the Priddy books most consistently, it seems. The images are real and on bright backgrounds. He also loves "Swing" which has cool moving images, and he enjoys just about any touch and feel book.

His favorite thing to do is point at something and see who will get it or let him touch it. It's usually accompanied by a grunt, and sounds of satisfaction when he gets what he wants. He's learning that not everything goes his way, and is definitely throwing a few more fits. When he is really sad, he bends over so far he lays his forehead on the floor. He hates being changed or restrained in any way save for meals.

He's eating us out of house and home and growing like a weed. Anything with feet in it is of course already too small. But I haven't managed to get any 18 months sized pajamas yet. Instead his are getting a little extra stretch and he's busy wearing the bottoms thin from scooting - which is a problem we have with all pants, even if they do fit. He's hard on shoes these days, too. He likes walking around holding onto hands almost as much - if not more - than scooting, especially outside where he can destroy a pair of pants on rough surfaces in a matter of minutes. Indoors, he will happily stumble back and forth on his feet with no assistance - as long as someone is sitting on the floor. He often closes his eyes and falls forward since he knows someone will catch him. It's great to watch but nerve-wracking as well. And he's cruising like a champ, too, from furniture to people and back again. Nothing compares to the fun of walking in circles.

He loves to take things in and out of containers. That's a popular activity, and we managed to entertain him on the airplane for at least an hour with that. He enjoys trying to feed himself with his spoon, dipping it in and out of the dish and pushing things around. He will often put finger food on the spoon, then take it off and put it in his mouth. I am determined to capture this on video.

He's eating about 6-8 ounces four times a day still. Eventually I am sure we will add another snack, but for now it's all we can do to keep him fed four times a day. His favorite seems to be beans of any kind, and avocado has finally fallen from the favored food. He likes complex combinations like banana oatmeal or papaya mango better than single items like plain yogurt or oatmeal or a single fruit or veggie. And anything that comes through a straw is highly prized. He still loves to drink from a cup with no lid, and that's good for a last resort when he gets tired of being fed and wants to do it himself. He still requires lots of entertainment while eating, mostly something to keep his hands occupied. And he's great at finger foods. His favorite seems to be any flavor of Babybel cheeses. Those top even goldfish, which are our go-to item for just about any problem.

Theo loves fish. He spends a lot of his time watching the three fish in our aquarium and has trouble dragging himself away. He loves dogs and cats and buses and airplanes, too, but I imagine it all pales compared to fish.

Theo is sleeping well still. He goes to bed around 7:30 and gets up between 7 and 8 most mornings. He generally has one feeding in the "middle" of the night, around 5 or 5:30 and goes back to sleep afterwards. For naps, they can still range from 30 minutes to about 1 hour 15 minutes, but the hour naps are much more common. He's exhausted by 9:30 most mornings and ready for nap number two at 1:30 or 2:00. He cuddles up with his flat hedgehog and has outgrown both sleep sacks - they have extra room at the corners where his feet have stretched them out. He still loves to sleep on his side or any position where he can get his legs at a ninety degree angle.

Theo makes lots of sounds and signs for "more" almost non-stop: more food, more toys, more music, more. He can say dada and mama and nana and almost anything else, but has yet to apply these sounds to one specific item. Instead he babbles happily away. His excited inhales are less frequent, but occasionally something still excites him. He also still shakes his head "no" when he's super excited. But now he does it so hard he has to grab onto something to while he's doing it.

We've got a month to go until his big day, which is hard to believe. Theo lacks for nothing, of course, but if you know someone who can't resist, he has a wish list at Amazon. It's just an updated baby registry which can be found under our last name.

In the meantime, we plan to continue watching our boy grow and learn and light up the world.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What We've Been Up To

We've attended a lot of small events last weekend (and more generally in the past few weeks) and not all of them have merited their own mention on the blog. So I'll try and round up most of those into this single blog post full of shiny photo goodness. If you want to see more photos from each event, just click the photo posted and you'll be whisked off to the gallery.

First up, we've got Theo eating olives at home. He absolutely loves putting his finger through the middle.





Almost two weeks ago we attended the first of what I'm sure will be many, many children's birthday parties; this one was for Elliott's first birthday.





The very next day, our neighbors on 19th Ave had their annual block party; we hadn't been for a couple of years but we went this year. Although I'm a fan of our (18th Ave) block party which happens earlier in August on National Night Out (you've seen it on this blog), 19th definitely has the larger party!





That evening, our friends Ethan and Stefanie had a housewarming party for their new home, which has absolutely stunning landscaping (which of course is only incidentally featured in the photos I took).





Last Sunday was the final Beacon Rocks for the summer, where musicians take over the street outside the light rail station. Not only did Sarah's A Capella group perform at the event, it was also marked by the official renaming of the block to Roberto Maestas Festival Street and so brought out all sorts of local politicians, including the King County Executive and Seattle's Mayor, Mike McGinn.





This past week I had to run to deal with the chickens fighting while Theo was eating. Although I was gone for perhaps two minutes, and despite having ensured the bowl of yogurt was out of his reach, Theo managed to yank on the placemat and get ahold of the bowl. It was a hilarious mess, and in the end it turns out he ate quite a bit of the yogurt (and especially its blueberries) on his own.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Steps!


Guess who made it very official today! Theo took his first steps with no encouragement about sixty seconds after I took this photo, at 1:27 Pacific Time today. He let go of the coffee table (no news there - it happens all the time), gave me a big grin, and went about four steps to where I was sitting in the middle of the floor.

Unofficially he's been willing to let go and barrel back and forth between Michal and me for two weeks ago tomorrow. And Tuesday he took a few steps on his own, too, but that required lots of encouragement on my part and letting go and moving out of reach.

Too cute! I am sure many more will follow...


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Theo Says Yeah!

Lately Theo's been saying "yeah" a lot. It's really cute even if he has no idea what it means. We got it on video only recently:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Theo at Ten Months


Theo turned ten months old Saturday. We took him camping on the beach to celebrate such a big milestone - double digits! He had a blast digging in the sand and trying to eat rocks. He also thought the scenery was pretty neat - worth kicking off a shoe for sure.

In other news, to celebrate on his own, Theo popped his first upper tooth through the gum. He has four on the bottom, and clearly felt the need to add to the set. He is putting all of his teeth to good use, since he eats almost everything now. We haven't tried nuts and he can't have honey until after a year of age, but he will eat almost everything else now. He still prefers his spoon-fed food to be fairly mushy, but finger foods come in all shapes, sizes, and consistencies. He will gobble as many goldfish as you can feed him currently, but I'm sure that will change. He also really enjoys eating whatever is on someone else's plate, although that's not always the best strategy as a lot of it gets dumped overboard. He sits down for meals four times a day, generally every 3 hours for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. He'll also freeload off anyone else eating at any time of the day, though. He still does not care for rice or rice products, or carrots. They make him vomit. He loves guacamole and yogurt and bananas and mangoes are still near the top of the list as well. Peas are fun to chase and eat, and macaroni and cheese and oatmeal are frequent meals as well. He nurses five to six times a day, which brings us to the sleeping portion of this update.

Theo is still sleeping nine to ten hours at a stretch at bedtime. He typically goes to sleep around 7:30 and wakes up about 7:00, with one nursing around 5:00 or 5:30 a.m. most nights. On a particularly plentiful eating day, however, he will sleep straight through that feeding until 6 or later. That's only happened a few times in the last ten days or so, but I imagine the trend will continue. He falls asleep either while nursing or directly after when taking a small (1 or 1.5 oz) bottle of breastmilk,but also can put himself to sleep if he doesn't pass out.

Theo has started walking around with only one hand for guidance. This leave his other hand open to get into things. In irregular surroundings (on slopes, on boats, etc.) he still prefers the two-hand method, but he's basically got his balance under control. He has taken a few independent steps going back and forth between me and the coffee table or bookshelf or me and Michal, but really he's putting one foot in front of the other and leaning in the direction he wants to go. He assumes we will catch him in theses case and so far he's been right. He will also take a few steps when he's holding onto a prized object of some sort, but he doesn't realize what he's doing. He's pulling himself up only on select items: people, the coffee table, the sofa in his room, and his bookshelf. He can get to his knees to pull things out of his toy bins no problem. His newest trick is to bend over while standing to pick something up. That way there's no need to sit down.

If he is sitting, he can scoot around without any issues. He travels far and wide to explore whatever captures his interest. He can do it outside or inside, over the hardwoods, tile, or rugs and carpet. It is definitely taking a toll on the seat of his pants, which are not quite up to the rigors of the butt scoot. He has scooted around so much that he has a sore spot on the outside of his right ankle from the constant rubbing. Band-aids are no match for the friction and socks generally mean he slips when he's standing or pulling up, which is more and more often these days.

His favorite toys are the plastic beads we bought on a whim at the store, probably because he's had teeth coming in more frequently. We bought two more of the exact same thing so we don't have to move them around as much (stroller, car, home, diaper bag, etc.). He also really loves his spatula, and still enjoys moving around the house and banging it on different things. He adores the dog's cage, particularly the water bowl inside. He likes to stick his hand in and splash around. He loves books, both pulling them off the shelf or out of the bin and flipping the pages. He also still loved both Rocket and Tetley. I would estimate that each of them lose at least one handful of hair a day, but neither one will move out of his reach, so they must not mind too much. Tetley's tags are particularly attractive, especially since he got a haircut recently.

And nothing tops a bath, particularly if there are ducks and a cup involved. He moves from one end of the tub and back over and over again scooting to his heart's content.

He hates getting into the stroller or car seat, or really anywhere he is constrained. But he recovers fairly quickly, and still loves to go out and about. He likes the fish at home or anywhere else he sees them, and knows to look for airplanes based on the noise they make. He's still terrified of sudden loud noises like the blender and vacuum but is becoming accustomed to them again. He enjoys live music shows quite a bit, and sits for longer at those than anything else.

He's outgrown most of his nine month clothes and is hitting the limit even in some twelve month stuff, particularly if it's footed (like pajamas). Luckily most of his stuff is short sleeved even during the not very warm summer we're experiencing, and it's much harder to outgrow those items. A few nine month onesies will still fit with only a little extra showing at the neck. We will have to upgrade his sleep sacks in the near future even though they are labeled 6 to 12 months. He's just too long. On the other hand, he is just now getting into his 6 to 12 month shoes (size 3 I think). Before they had a little too much room in the toe and tripped him up when walking. Now he can manage in most of them with only a little spare wiggle room at the end. And he can be rough on shoes, especially outdoors when he sometimes drags his feet on the pavement.

With the exception of the crib, where we have never once found him sitting up, much less standing, he spends very little time lying down, on either his back and definitely not his stomach. He also has begun to hate diaper changes again because they require laying down for several minutes at a time. He has too much to see and do to put up with that inaction. He can handle steps up to about half his height. We have no idea where or how he learned to go over obstacles, but he swings one foot up and out until he can get his foot down and plows right along.

In sign language, he waves hi and even sometimes bye, but both are infrequent. He doesn't sign for changing as often, but that's probably because he hates the changing process so much more now. He does sign all done at the end of a diaper change. He has recently picked up the sign for more, and uses it to get more, mostly more goldfish. He is a huge pointer, and will point at whatever he wants these days. And once he sees something, he will not forget about it. It's harder and harder to distract him from his goal.

Overall Theo continues to delight and amaze us and we're looking forward, as always, to the next developments.

Camping on the Beach IX

This past weekend we went camping on the beach. It's an annual trip we take out to the peninsula and this year was the ninth year in a row. While it did rain briefly overnight, both Saturday and Sunday had quite nice weather and it was unusually warm for the coast.


Theo enjoying the view from the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island as we set out.


Unpacking the cars (Carrie joined us, driving up from Portland)


The hike in is tiring, especially in the shade. Time for a nap.


I love sand!


The campfire, ready for action.


At sunset.


Eating breakfast.


The hike out is also tough work. Naptime.


On the ferry home.


Post-camping bathtime!

See all the photos from the trip.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Annual Block Watch Party


Our two-block blockwatch participates in National Night Out which is pretty much our only summer get-together (we also have a holiday party each year in December). We went and Theo had such a good time that he stayed up an hour later than usual, which made his Wednesday a little sadder than usual since he didn't sleep in an extra hour. All the neighbors contributed to the pot luck, and one of our neighbors who is a musician had his jazz band play a set. [my photos] [a neighbor's photos]

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Miscellaneous Weekend

Did a bunch of somewhat small events recently, and I took some photos:



On Thursday, Theo enjoyed a raspberry popsicle. [photos]



On Friday night our neighbors hosted a guest BBQ at the Jefferson Park Lawn Bowling Club. We attended one of these a few years ago where we actually participated in the lawn bowling, but this time we just attended for the food and left a bit early to put Theo to bed. [photos]



On Saturday, we went to a BBQ hosted by friends. [photos]



Sunday was Beacon Rocks, where about 7 bands take over a street next to the light rail station and play a free concert for the community. It's organized by a bunch of folks we know (and Sarah helps with the publicity) so of course we attended. We won a free wading pool in the raffle! [photos]

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Family Photos from Atlanta and Cincinnati


We spent most of the last month on the east coast visiting family in Georgia and Ohio. All the photos of Theo on his adventures can now be seen online here and here. Keep in mind, however, that Xander (pictured here with Theo), who is 3 years old, had control of the camera and therefore the photos for a significant portion of the photos on my site.