Friday, July 30, 2010

Ronan Makes Me Smile

Sometime soon I'll have to do a post titled, "Ronan Spikes My Blood Pressure... Again" as he has officially entered the dreaded "terrible twos", but for now I thought I'd share something that puts a big smile on my face every time I see it.

Apologies for the bouncy video... it's hard to hold a phone still, pointed backwards, while riding!

Ronan and I often get around via bicycle, with me pedaling and him riding in a trailer. When in the trailer Ronan likes to watch for large trucks, play with his model cars, read board books, and, on occasion, make his pinwheel spin. It's the pinwheel spinning that is most endearing- he puts it up into the wind and firmly holds it there, usually until it spins so fast that it gets stuck. Sometimes he watches it spin, but mostly he just holds it fast and gets back to searching for interesting vehicles on the road.

He seems to understand that it's the relative wind-speed that makes the pinwheel spin, as evidenced by his command for, "faster" when we are riding. Soon we'll discuss how to get the ideal angle of attack to optimize rotational speed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Hungry Little Girl

In the evenings, before bathtime, Ronan and Nieve settle down on our bed with Nieve feeding from Mom and Ronan having his sippy-cup of milk. Nieve has always been a voracious feeder and she watches us eat intently; in fact one of her nicknames is "Nievezilla". Last week when she was lying next to Ronan during our pre-bath routine we snapped the following series of photos.

"Hmmm... I wonder what he is drinking?"

"Oh yeah, move your face... I'm going to get me some of that"

"Nievo wants some! Gimme!"

A generous gesture by Ronan is foiled by Mom's quick hand

Yes, Mom and I laughed at the entire series of events... it was priceless to see Nieve's eagerness to eat whatever Ronan had. And Ronan was a great sport about it all- he was cracking at Nieves aggressiveness. It was fun, funny and telling; I envision future dinners where Ronan and Nieve have it out over the last remaining pork chop. May the hungriest little one win... and my money will be on Nieve.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yep, That's a Slow Slide

Bing Nursery School is just around the corner; Ronan and I found it yesterday during one of our bike rides through the neighborhood. It looks like a fun place for kids, though not quite as impressive as Ronan's daycare (and I'm certain the food is nowhere near as tasty).

While we didn't spend too much time exploring the grounds we did get a chance to try out the small play structure and the slide that was a part of it... you can see for yourself in the above video exactly what that was like.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nieve @ Night

"There will be no flipping me over... move along"

Nieve has a unique sleeping style- on her back with her arms spread wide against the mattress. It looks as if she has her armw extended to guard against anyone trying to flip her onto her stomach.

What is not captured in the photo- by morning Nieve will have rotated, without fail, counter-clockwise until her head is up against the side of the co-sleeper. It's always to the same side, and she inevitably manages to work herself into that position regardless of the bumpers and props we brace her with. Also not captured in the photo is her snoring- it's loud enough for Mom and me to chuckle at but not loud enough to wake us from sleep.

Her defensive, rotating, noisy habits are a bit odd, but otherwise she's a fantastic sleeper (for now, at least). We hope she stays this way!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Saturday Ride Through Stanford

Enjoying the shade afforded by the barn as well as the interesting habitants

Ronan and I had a little over an hour to kill on a hot July Sunday, so we decided to take the bikes to Stanford and see what kind of interesting things we could find.

Ronan was impressed with the magnificent animals

We made it all the way to the stables (on the other side from campus from our house) and Ronan was happy to introduce himself to as many horses as would respond to him. I'm impressed with his lack of fear around these very large animals- I remember being twice his age and quite timid around horses (cows as well).

Yep, this is what we do...

Of course we had to stop and check out a loader and Ronan's favorite part of the stables was to watch the stablehand use the loader to move a large pile of manure into a dumpster. Our time at the stables finished we headed to the main quad to ride the smooth concrete in the arcade.

Cruising the arcade... shady and smooth makes for perfect summer riding

It was a great way to stretch the legs- we're lucky to have the campus so easily accessible.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Playing on the Floor

Cool Hand Nieve... she's unflappable

She's always been a stiff little baby, but Nieve is really getting the hang of holding her head up. When she's subjected to 'tummy time' (her daily exercises) Ronan does his part to keep her entertained and engaged. It's fun to watch him interact with Nieve, and we're surprised at how much she follows him with her eyes and head movements. It's still blissful sibling harmony at the moment. Sure, it won't last, but we're loving it while it does.

Mom's current computer desktop background

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Shreddin' It

Taking it nice and easy in the beginning

Burgess Park is a great place to take children- there are large soccer fields, a baseball diamond, an excellent swimming pool, a picnic area, tennis courts, and indoor facilities for basketball/volleyball/badminton. Of course, what Ronan loves most is the 15k square foot all-concrete skate park.

The skate park is not just for skateboards (apparently... the rules say otherwise)- when we were there the next youngest kids (age 9) were blasting around on Razor scooters. Ronan took his push bike and the kids came over to check it out... a toddler on a pedal-less bike with cartoon dinosaurs on his helmet was apparently intriguing.

Mr. Potato Head showing solid form while ramp riding

The kids were great- they barraged Ronan with questions, and, when his answers were slow in coming, they asked me how old he was. Upon learning that Ronan was a good year or two younger than their own youngest siblings, and watching Ronan ride some of the 'street' ramps, they seemed mildly impressed. It probably helped that Ronan was obviously infatuated with their riding ability. The kids spent a good ten minutes showboating their scooting skills, popping in and out of the concrete bowls right in front of Ronan.

Soon bored with the 'street park' portion, Ronan looks to the bowls to get in some serious riding

This, of course, made Ronan want to do what they were doing. Unfortunately for him, I was not ready to watch him face plant down a six foot high concrete ramp... even the ever-wise scooter kids kept shouting, "No! He can't do that!" So we struck a compromise- I helped him down into the multilevel bowl and he the rode the various levels as he pleased.

Now riding the bowls Ronan performs a short drop in...

There was one level to level transition that required a bone fide 'drop in'; Ronan managed this with ease on his bike while I skidded and fell trying to keep up with him. Getting out of the bowl was a bit of a problem- it required quite a bit of pushing from me (it was far too steep for Ronan to walk up) and of course, as soon as he was out (with me still stuck back in it), Ronan would turn around and ride back in.

Solid turning technique on the wall... too bad he's not really paying attention to where he is going

Thankfully we finished the session with no blood, no missing teeth, no ripped clothing, and no tears (other than those shed when I told Ronan it was time to go). Fun as it was, I'm not sure how I feel about fostering a love for something that will lead to multiple trips to the ER. That said, I admit riding ramps was awesome when I was a kid and looks just as fun (although more terrifying) now. I can likely deal with the medical emergencies (besides, that's Mom's job)... it's the grunge skate style and ridiculous energy drink swilling that gives me reservations. As long as Ronan keeps wearing helmets decorated with cartoon dinosaurs and having only water in his sippy-cup, I suppose he has my endorsement.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Windy Beach Day

Even blinding amounts of sand blown into his eyes could not keep Ronan from enjoying the beach

We decided to spend Sunday morning at the beach; both Nieve and Ronan were accommodating and eager to get out the door right after breakfast. The early departure saved us from the traffic and crowds that flocked to the beach around noon but it meant our time at the beach was spent in chilly and exceedingly windy conditions.

Building sandcastles... Ronan of course likes to use the machinery to do the heavy lifting

Ronan did not seem to care- he loved playing in the sand, chasing the waves, and exploring the various terrain that Pescadero Beach offers.

Exploring some of the boulders left exposed by the low tide

Nieve, on the other hand, was nonplussed by the crisp, relentless breeze. She made her displeasure known by complaining loudly to Mom as soon as the car door opened. Lots of swaddling and wind protection later, Nieve and Mom ventured out of the car to the shelter of our wind break.

Me and Nieve napping on the floor after we arrived home... we were both that spent from the morning

Hopefully the next time we head to the coast the weather will be more to Nieve's liking!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Happy 4th!


Ronan 'Crack Kills' & Nieve 'Kathy Ireland'

Nieve sporting the Old Glory swimsuit for you patriotic types

Ronan's future as a plumber is looking up... he thought you'd enjoy this shot. No? Really? Fancy that. I suppose even Bootie McLackin' makes mistakes.