Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Whoa! Time to Measure...

"Hmm, let's see- that's about 23" across..."

Mom's belly is increasingly impressive- so much so that Roanan decided it's time to get some numerical data on just big that tummy is getting. So, like any good aspiring builder he pulled out the tape measure and went to work.

"I need longer arms"

Ronan's methods seems to have a similar precision to those taken by the OB-GYN but the process was far more entertaining. After Ronan had finished taking the measurements, he concluded, with eyes wide, that in fact Mommy's belly was, "Hmm! BIG!"

"Yikes! Mommy, that's BIG!"

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Just a few photos of Ronan during bath time. A few of the things he loves to do when cleaning himself at the end of the day:

Play with his firetruck

Blow bubbles with a straw

Splash me (I need to towel off after his bath as well)

Use his boat to pour water on various things (or to drink the bathwater!)

"You're Mine!!!" ...use a squirty toy to soak both Mom and me

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meditation of an (Almost) Two-Year-Old

Zen and the art of recycle truck placement

Some children hum, some bounce, other sit quietly, and a few cuddle appliances (Ronan's cousin Lexi used to do that!) as a method to assuage anxiety or simply chill out. For Ronan it's all about organizing his cars.

First the motorcycle...

... and then the recycling truck

He likes to line up, rearrange, line up again, move, then line up once more his rolling armada of vehicles. There are cars, trucks, helicopters, motorcycles, trains, and sometimes boats that partake in his orchestrated movements; it's about the only indoor task he becomes thoroughly engrossed in.

A rare interruption of his time with his vehicles

Mom and I hope that one day he'll do this for all of our books, papers, groceries, linens, CDs, and shoes but until then we'll be happy to enjoy his quiet time with all of his little 'things that go'.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Golf Carts are Sweet

He's late dropping off food at the dorms

Living next to Stanford University has it's benefits for Ronan, not the least of which is easy access to a veritable stable of clean golf/utility carts (another is an abundance of construction which means lots of big wheels). This is great because Ronan *loves* these vehicles even though he's never actually been in a moving one.

Our little maniac driver... wishing for more watts

Left foot- brake, right foot- gas... driving just like Nanna

He seems to be getting the hang of what's important- using the wheel for steering, using the pedals to go forward/stop, and, of course, using an indicator (what it is used for, though, is still a bit beyond him).

"Yo! Move it, fool!"

Demonstrating the proper dismount

It's probably the cart's accessibility that makes it such a powerful draw. For a todder, having no (real) doors makes it easy/welcoming to climb into/out of and it's on a more manageable scale than, say, a giant excavator. Regardless the carts are a big hit with Ronan. One of these days we'll find a cart with keys left in the ignition; I'll be sure to have the video camera handy for that.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hanging with the Cousins...

Ya- 'dem some good looking kids

Last Tuesday we had a real treat- Auntie Allison, Uncle Danny, Drew, Lexi, Grandma and Grandpa came up for a short but fun visit. We spent the day at Ronan's favorite hang-out beach in Santa Cruz; it seemed that Drew and Lexi also approved.

Auntie Ala!

Uncle Danny & Drew on a jetty

It was a blast to spend time with all of them... it was just too bad that we didn't have more days to hang out. And the weather cooperated too, especially for a mid-March day.

Hanging w/cousin Drew & a dozer

If there is a bulldozer at the beach, you might as well play next to it

Ronan really loves his cousins. The next day he was asking after them, as well as inquiring about 'cutie patootie', Lexi's little plush toy. Even today Ronan was saying, "come back... Dew, Lessi!"

The fam... and check out that sweet sock tan on Grandpa

"Kiddos on a sunny beach... life is good

And based on how sweet and accommodating Drew and Lexi were with Ronan I'd wager they are fond of him as well. Chickapea, though was another story. Mom's ever-increasing belly was a bit off-putting to both of them... Lexi was unwilling to even touch it.

Mom's belly unnerved Lexi... and Drew was wise to stand a few feet back

Thanks so much to all of you guys to make the trip to visit!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And So It Begins

"Sweet track!"

No, we did not make Ronan draw free body diagrams with his crayon set, but we did have "fun with physics" thanks to a soap-box car track at Ronan's (hopefully) future elementary school. Ronan was intrigued by the aluminum panels and the spring-loaded release mechanism; this curiosity morphed into delight after he rolled a tennis ball down the track.

The switch was to test the effectiveness of 'lashing' the tennis ball to see if that would encourage it to go faster. Alas, no such luck.

I tried to explain potential & kinetic energy but Ronan seemed more interested in stylistic release approaches (see photo) and figuring out why the tennis ball would sometimes careen off the track (there was a protruding bolt head in some of the tracks that would send the ball flying). Sadly he also showed no interest in learning about moments of inertia. Perhaps we'll need a gyroscope to get him to ask, "how does it do that?"

This is how we do it... with *style*

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jack Johnson Jr.

Every great guitarist ensures they are playing on a properly tuned instrument

Ronan is starting to enjoy music- one of his favorite CDs in our carosel is Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams (thanks, Auntie She). He's also a bit more patient with his guitar; even though be broke a string he still enjoys trying to hold it properly and strum some chords.

This photo is for Mom...

We'll see just how musical he will be- perhaps we can take lessons together as a father/son weekend activity. God help our neighbors.

"Feeling" the music. Literally.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chickapea Strikes Again

"Woah, sweet Jesus"

Poor Mom is slowing down- she's now at 36 weeks and in her words, "It has been a much tougher pregnancy than Ronan's." As a witness to both pregnancies I can say that I have even greater sympathy for Mom during this one. It's been trying, but she's almost there.

Wednesday we had a surprise visitor- Auntie She (always a favorite) dropped by and marveled at just how impressive Mom's tummy has become. Chickapea did not disappoint; s/he moved around quite a bit and several times made Mom gasp for air.

The look on their faces says it all...

Last night Mom suffered quite a bit- she claims that Chickapea changed position and it felt like s/he rearranged Mom's internal organs in the process. As Mom is already dilated 1 cm and 50% effaced, Chickapea is likely to be with us before the second week of April (the official due date).

Monday, March 8, 2010

What Little Boys Do

Saturday we took Ronan to Bol Park... it's interesting to see how his interests have changed in a fairly short amount of time. Ronan has solidly entered the 'little boy' phase of his life; stick and stones, dirt, adventure, wonder, and independent exploration. Our commands have quickly become the classic 'wah wah wah' of a Charles Schulz parent from Ronan's perspective. Here are some of Ronan's pearls of wisdom on how to be a little boy:

Dig: dirt is fun... to wear, to eat, and to move around. If there is no 'inside' near to put the dirt, cover the nearest shiny object with it.

Stick your tongue out: it's stylish and helps with thermal management

Hang around like a monkey: we're all primates anyway

Run: it's faster than walking

Acquire sticks: at least one for each hand

Touch everything: if it's interesting, grab it. Ignore your parents, no matter what they are yelling. Smile at them and they will forgive you.

Trail-blaze: have a total disregard for existing paths and procedures

Find rocks...

...and throw them

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Who are You Calling Colander Head?

Just like the firefighters in his favorite book

Over the weekend, when we were reading Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, Ronan was fascinated by the old time firetruck and the firefighter pigs that rode on it. He pointed to the pig that had a nice shinny colander on his head as a helmet and said, "Ro! Ro!"

"Wanna piece?" Bluster replaces reservation when Ronan thinks his head is safe. Helmets- courage for your head.

Being accommodating parents we fished out our own colander to humor him. Sure enough he grabbed it, put it on his head, and seemed to delight himself in wearing it. It's fun to see what kids notice and act upon- this particular instance left us laughing. Another example was later that evening- Ronan fixated on pronouncing 'onomatopoeia' correctly (from a snarky question I had asked him earlier, "why is it that many of your words are onomatopoetic?"... I should have known better). The tenacity and silliness he brought to his effort made us crack up; we'll have to get his, 'enemempema' on video.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yes, It's Chickenpox

The rash started around Ronan's mouth

The past week Ronan worked through a bout of chickenpox. Given what looked to be uncomfortable fluid blisters and the severe constraints put on his freedom (we kept him mostly confined to the house) he did surprisingly well. The acyclovir (an antiviral drug) likely helped keep the symptomatic phase short- by this morning the rash had cleared to just a few red marks.

Hundreds of little blisters exhibited on his shoulders and back

Ronan received the vericella vaccine in April of last year- apparently the innoculation is only 30% effective for his age group. The pediatrician claims that what Ronan had was a vericalla variant and thus the symptoms were not nearly as severe as what is expected from a typical bout of chickenpox.

The wrists and hands also looked to be very uncomfortable

He's now in good spirits and looking forward to getting back to his normal routine. Mom and I are as well. Many thanks to those who asked after him, we appreciate your warm wishes.