Saturday, May 30, 2009

All About the Wheel

Checking spoke tension

Ronan's fascination with wheels was evident even at a few weeks of age. When we would take him for our nightly walks around the neighborhood, Ronan would fix his gaze upon the wheels of any vehicle in site. The bigger the wheel, the better.

That observance has developed into a full blown obsession; Ronan cannot get enough of wheels. Bicycles wheels, motorcycle, car, truck, & bus wheels, stroller wheels, the large wheels on a backhoe loader, steel cylinders on steam rollers, tactor tires, tire swings, rollers on luggage, gears, covered wagon wheels, sliding door rollers, shopping cart casters, pulleys, the list goes on and on. Getting Ronan to leave a wheel without performing a "category 5" meltdown is a tricky negotiation that neither Mom nor I have been able to perfect.

I like to think that babies recognize the inherent efficiency value in perfectly circular objects; Mom argues that it's just a fluke.

Ronan inspecting Laurin's stylish stroller wheel

Vintage wheels work as well

Logo identification on Ronan's favorite car- a neighbor's electric blue Toyota Yaris

Stopping spinning wheels requires brakes... he's learning about cantilever design

Big trucks need big wheels... little trucks need little wheels

Monday, May 25, 2009

Photo Anthology - #16 @ 13 Months

Age - 13 Months
This is the last photo for the anthology- it was taken in our backyard when Ronan divided his time between chasing bubbles and helping Mom do some gardening. We tend to dress Ronan in red as we want a high visibility color to make spotting him easier. Although Ronan's hair has darkened just a bit, his eyes have remained a clear light blue.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Photo Anthology - #15 @ 12 Months

Age - Exactly 12 Months
On Ronan's birthday, he was playing in our backyard with his bright colored pinwheel seen in the background. The pinwheels are reliable indicators of breeze levels; whenever Ronan sees it spinning he notifies us with a, "hmm... ummmph" and an emphatic point.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Photo Anthology - #14 @ 11 Months

Age - 11 Months
This is one of Mom's favorite photos of Ronan; she claims it's his gentle, tender eyes, his loving smile, and the hint of a dimple on his right cheek. More likely it's that she can't get enough of green and yellow plaid flannel, especially with a matching bib. He's our little Green Bay Packer Mountain Man!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Photo Anthology - #13 @ 10 Months

Age - 10 Months
Ronan's favorite stuffed friend is a purple hippo named Happy, given to him by his cousins Maia and Makena. Ronan uses Happy as a play toy, a teething chew, and of course as a sleep prop. In the photo above Ronan is settling himself down for a nap by kneeding Happy and repetitively vocalizing, "aaa... aaaa... aaa". A few minutes later, Ronan was fast asleep.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photo Anthology - #12 @ 9 Months

Age - 9 Months
This patchwork flat cap, while twisted and pulled low in the photo (Ronan's attempt at a beret?) is a conversation starter. It seems everyone loves how it looks on Ronan... the only problem is that it refuses to stay on his head. Alas, do we have a fashionista or Mission Hipser in the making? Sacrificing function for form at the tender age of 9 months... zut alore!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Photo Anthology - #11 @ 8 Months

Age - 8 Months
Ronan is only cuddly when he is either going down for a nap or waking up after one. He gives a big, broad smile when you walk in the room- in this case he was already standing waiting for us to come and get him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Photo Anthology - #10 @ 7 Months

Age - 7 Months
In this photo Ronan demonstrates his mastery of the art of flirting. When he needs something he has learned to turn on the charm... at this moment he was getting tired of riding in the backpack and wanted "down". Only minutes after this shot, when his beguiling charms were unsuccessful, he used his other well developed tactic... fussing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Photo Anthology - #9 @ 6 Months

Age - 6 Months
Ronan's first Halloween costume was cute- he decided to dress up as a leopard cub (thanks Auntie Lisa & Uncle Steve!) No candy this year, but he did take a few gleeful laps around the neighborhood to help spread smiles. Ronan loved watching other kids in costume pillage all of the candy on our street.... now we have an idea of what awaits us in the coming years.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Photo Anthology - #8 @ 5 Months

Age - 5 Months
It's the stink-eye! Arguably my favorite photo of Ronan, we caught him mid-complaint about the excessive number of photos we were taking of him. The pumpkin hat (knit by a long-time friend Linda) was just perfect.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Photo Anthology - #7 @ 4 Months

Age - 4 Months
This photo cracks me up- it also makes Ronan giggle. Mom always sings, "Nudie cutie baby bootie!" when Ronan finds this picture in the family album... her off key song & his own gentle grin make him chuckle with delight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Photo Anthology - #6 @ 3 Months

Age - 3 Months
Hooray for sun hats, sun screen, rash guards, umbrellas and neurotic parents! Ronan was so sheltered from UV rays that it's amazing he did not get rickets. This photo was taken at the Del Mar beach during his first visit to Southern California. He left his little footprints in the sand and squealed with delight when the water lapped on his legs... it was a blast to experience it with him. Here's to Vitamin D fortified everything.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Photo Anthology - #5 @ 2 Months

Age - 2 Months
At two months Ronan still hated taking baths; we chalked that up to temperature shock. More likely, Ronan was afraid of his specific bathing situation- his small tub (bucket?) was precariously perched upon a wobbly stand in our tiny bathroom. One small slip and baby, bathwater, and bathtub would all go tumbling. Post bath and back into the safe arms of his parents, Ronan's mood visibly changed as evidence in the photo above. Auntie Shelia's friend commented, "wow. you get lost in the blue ocean of those eyes"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photo Anthology - #4 @ 1 Month

Age - 1 Month
Ronan was looking up at his Nana when we snapped this photo- even at a month of age he engaged directly with people around him. I recall Nana talking about baby-tear-duct-function & blink frequency... she claimed winning a staring contest with a small infant is tough as they blink roughly once or twice a minute.  Ronan proved her right as none of us could best him. 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Photo Anthology - #3 @ 1 Week

Age - 1 Week
Ronan was struggling with a high bilirubin count when this photo was taken, thus the yellow tint to his skin. At this age, he was, like us, fascinated by the delicate but growing movements of his tiny fingers and toes.

Photo Anthology - #2 @ Birth

Age - 10 Minutes
Just before this photo, Mom spent 28 hours in labor, the last four hours pushing (he was wedged due to his left hand being held obstinately up by his face)... the delivery team was concerned about the stress he was enduing during pushing, but his heart rate was steady. Though his face was covered in vernex, his skin a purple hue, and his motions terribly awkward, he was, unquestionably, more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

And, to Mom, Grammy, Grandma, and Nana, a very Happy Mother's Day!

Photo Anthology - #1 @ Minus 1 Month

On each of the next fourteen days I will post a photo of Ronan accompanied by a short note for context. The posts will be in chronological order and the time between when photographs were taken will be spaced roughly a month apart, starting with this one at minus 1 month. Enjoy!

Age - minus 3.5 weeks
A photo of Ronan inutero; what is not shown is the pre-birth excitement and nervousness. This photo was taken in our backyard during a weekend visit from Nana, Aunty Melissa and Uncle Todd; they marveled at how labored even small movements were for Mom. A video would be more informative as Ronan's kicks and twists were quite visible and wonderfully strange to watch.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ronan's 1st Birthday

Ronan Now: His first Birthday

Ronan Then: The day he was born

On a sunny Wednesday at a hospital in San Francisco, Ronan was born. He was 53cm (21") long, 3.3kg (7lbs, 4oz) with bright blue eyes, a healthy heart and a fast holding grip. The first slow, cautious car ride home seems like only yesterday, yet that was an entire year ago.

How quickly infants change - it turns out children remain babies for a remarkably short amount of time. I now better understand the clamor of seasoned parents and grandparents to get even a few seconds with an infant; it is but a fleeting moment before they become independent, fearless toddlers.

Those changes during the first 365 days are dramatic. For Ronan, when he was born, he could barely open his eyes yet now it's a struggle to get him to nap. He used to gently fall asleep on my chest; now he requires the space and firmness afforded by a mattress. He has moved from a bassinet to a co-sleeper to a crib, and within the crib we have had to lower the mattress three times with it now on the lowest setting.

A year ago breast milk was his only nourishment yet now only breast milk, formula, and nuts are *not* a part of his diet. He's almost half again in length and more than tripled in weight (now over 82cm/32inches and 10.5kg/23lbs). He has added 4 teeth (which he brushes!), has leaned to babble a bit, and has mastered walking. He used to love the thrill of playground swings but now quickly tires of them. From time to time he will dribble a soccer ball with his feet where as a year ago he couldn't even hold one in his hands. His car seat has gone from rear to forward facing, he's outgrown four pairs of shoes and no longer can fit into the Bjorn, swings and bouncers we once used to portage/placate him. Gone are the days of size 1, 2, or 3 diapers, and Ronan now bathes in the full bathtub and not the sink. He's even changed hair styles, going from a dark, curly coiffure to a straight (albeit wildly uncontrolled) blond 'do.

What will the next 365 days hold? Only time will tell, but thankfully we are a bit wiser, knowing now to cherish the moments as they last.

The road ahead?