Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ronan's Take on Chickapea

Mom impressing Ronan... "Heahvee!"

We're almost at week 30 and Mom is already starting to slow down due to her increasingly protruding tummy. Fortunately for us Ronan is an eager helper who is excited (for now) about having a little sibling join our household.

At one point this was an 'inney'

Both Mom and I are surprised at how gentle he is with her and how often he reminds us that there is a, "baby" growing inside of Mom. At daycare he has taken to the little dolls they have in the classroom, occasionally giving them a bottle or putting a blanket over them when he imagines they are sleeping. Given these dolls have no wheels, gears, or tailpipes this is clearly un-Ronan behavior.

Only those Ronan truly loves get the motorcycle treatment

We'll see if Ronan's tender and loving disposition continues after Chickapea arrives; until them we will simply enjoy his nurturing and loving actions.

Obligatory cuddle shot

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ronan's First Haircut

'Before' shot #1

'Before' shot #2

We held out for as long as we could but Ronan's long, tussled hair was becoming a liability. Those shaggy bangs often caused him to run into objects that he would have otherwise seen. Twice someone called Ronan 'our daughter' and that was the last straw for Mom.

So we took Ronan to Jenny, our beloved hair stylist, for his first haircut. He was great through the entire process- no screaming, no kicking, and, with the distraction aid of a motorcycle magazine, he was relatively squirm-free.

Ronan at study and Jenny at work

It's amazing how different he looks with shorter hair. It's as if he aged a year in the 10 mins it took to cut those infant locks. Gone are most of the light blond highlights but a bit of waviness in the back surprisingly remained. Drying his hair after bath time is blissfully easy.

Looks like both Ronan and Mommy approve

Thankfully he is no longer running into things because he does not see them... rather he runs into them for a host of other reasons. Our little baby is now a little boy.

'After' shot, with all three of us and our spankin' new do's

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Nothing like a little head-to-head time with Grandpa...

A week ago Grandpa made the trip up from Cambria to hang out with the three of us. Ronan loved it- he had a blast showing Grandpa his ever-improving set of skills. There was quite a bit of chuckling between the two of them... Mom and I are still not entirely sure what the two of them were up to. On Sunday, after Grandpa had departed, Ronan kept looking for him, peeking into empty rooms and calling, "Grunpuh! Grunpuh! GruuuunPUH!!!"

Hope you're doing well Grandpa, Ronan misses you!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Big, Beautiful Muddily Puddle

It has been a wet six days this past week here in Northern California and being stuck indoors made Ronan stir crazy. We were relieved yesterday when a slight break in the weather meant Ronan could finally enjoy the outdoors.

Mom and Ronan enjoying the seashore

We decided the rugged and rural coast was just the place for Ronan to burn off his excess energy. He enjoyed the large waves and sweeping views, but what he loved most was running through the large, muddy puddles left behind in the various parking lots we stopped at during the trip.

One down... several dozen to go

Thinking out the optimal path to splash through each puddle

He also loved visiting the Pigeon Point Lighthouse (Ronan pronounces it, "liahtuh... howz') and tried his best to veer off the well marked trails onto the beaches below. After a snack, more running around, and obsessing over a little yellow Mini, Ronan took a long nap on the twisty drive home.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse- dilapidated but still beautiful

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Papa!

Papa and the young ones blowing out the candles on his birthday cake

Last week Papa turned a number much larger than what Ronan can count to... We thought we'd post a "Happy Birthday" as Ronan loved the party Grammy threw for him.

So, here's a quick clip of Ronan unsuccessfully trying to count to Papa's age- enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Make Your Own Parfait? Really?

The menu for snacks. The parfait was magical. And how many kids Ronan's age are served minted baba ganoush? Funny, though, as it's pretty easy for them to pronounce.

Yes, Ronan, at twenty one months of age, is enjoying breakfasts like the one he had yesterday- house made granola layered with homemade yogurt and fresh mango pieces. It's all in a day's food at his daycare.

And yes, he loved it- in fact he ate three large bowls of it. There they were, Ronan and four of his classmates, sitting around their little table wolfing down these healthy parfaits. It was amazing- five children, all under two happily (and voluntarily) feeding themselves for over twenty minutes. We can't get Ronan to watch Pixar's Cars for twenty minutes.

Ronan's lunch menu for yesterday and today. Ya, Ronan is spoiled. We know. Sometimes his food is better than what they serve at the cafe closest to my desk. Perhaps I need to start eating at his daycare.

And it looked like lunch was equally as delicious- roasted free range chicken in a balsamic reduction sauce paired with a rosemary white bean puree.

At least two days a week, Ronan eats well. Very well.

Clothing bears the brunt of the damage from letting toddlers feed themselves delicious parfaits

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Arastradero Preserve & Portola Pastures

After looking through some recent photos of Ronan's long-since departed BFF Laurin (he's getting big... he's a full blown little boy now), we decided to go for a hike at one of Laurin's favorite local parks- Arastradero Preserve.

The boys at the start of a May 2009 hike @ Arastradero Preserve

Ronan taking his puppy for a walk this morning. Amazingly he carried the puppy, without dropping it, for the entire hike.

Like Laurin, Ronan loves to be outdoors. Ronan loved running up and down the trails, enjoying being the crisp air and dirt path. He was intent on finding some hoofed mammals; the last time we visited a few equestrians stopped and let Ronan pet their horses. For the first half of the walk all he found was hoof prints and poop; Ronan was always more than happy to point out the feces.

Mommy's homemade waffles = very big smiles

On our way back to the car Ronan came across several riders; one even stopped to say hello. Unfortunately that mare was 'temperamental, like most Arabian horses' so the rider advised us not to get too close.

"Poop. Here. Poop."

Rather than stay at Arastradero and hope an equestrian with both the time and approachable animal would pass by, we went next door to the local stable called Portola Pastures. When we arrived at the riding ring Ronan met two stunningly beautiful and gentle mares, Rose and Bessy. The gracious owner encouraged Ronan to have a quick sit on Bessy- we were all surprised at his comfort on such a large animal.

Much easier to spot things from an elevated perch

It was an adventurous morning enjoyed by all three of us and a perfect way to start the weekend.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Day At The Shore

"Oh Sea, how I love thee"

During the holiday break we headed down to the Monterey Peninsula for 24 hours, giving Ronan the opportunity to once again explore the shores of the Pacific. We had a great time, visiting some dear friends who were gracious enough to host Mom and me, plus Mr. likes-to-touch-everything-breakable.

"This! Is this breakable?"

Shoulder rides beat walking in Roshambo... especially en route to the beach

The highlight for Ronan was exploring the tide pools; he found sea stars, starfish, urchins, sea cucumbers, muscles, anemones, nudibranch, young abalone, and of course lots of crabs.

Just a few fun items Ronan found on the rocky shore

Looking for anemone

Tide pool hopping with Mom

On the way home we stopped at the Monterey Bay Aquarium- a reason all in itself to make a trip to Monterey. Grandma and Grandpa had given us a family membership, meaning no waiting in lines to get in (many thanks- we love it!). Ronan had a blast, quickly moving from exhibit to exhibit but the impressive holiday crowds seemed to overwhelm him after about an hour. Ronan found solace from the chaos in a little part of the aquarium that contained old canning equipment; he was able to check pressure gauges and turn (non-operational) steam vales in peace until his little heart was content.

Enjoying a tide pool exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium...with a grain of suspicion

"As Mr. Seahorse drifted gently through the sea, he passed right by..." - Eric Carle

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome Back!

"Uncle T's got a scarf and I'm sporting a sweater vest- high five for Christmas spirit!"

Uncle Todd and Auntie Mel were in Indonesia for the better part of 2009- Ronan was able to see them again over the Christmas holidays. Yes, he's happy they are back and hopes to see more of them in 2010!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Where's Ronan?

Our spur-of-the-moment family portrait on New Year's Day

This New Year's Day Ronan came across my camera tripod and was curious to learn more about it's bubble level. Talking him through the various parts of the tripod spurred an impromptu family photo- with Ronan being central in orchestrating it.

However, when it came time to actually take the pictures, Ronan was coy and decided to play hard-to-photograph. Below are a few shots taken during his game of camera peek-a-boo... the above photo is the only one with an unobstructed view of his face. Mom and I were cracking up at how silly he was being doing something that he himself had instigated.

The test shot... Ronan working through exactly where he should be.

Hiding technique #1- sneak a peek through the slats

Hiding technique #2- can you spot his little eyes?