Ethan 'n Beckett Land

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Day in the Life - Part 1 - Morning

Ethan has been sleeping through the night for almost a whole week now - HOORAY! But since his sleep has been so solid (and deep I guess) he has been waking up early, as in between 5:30 and 6:30 am early. If he gets up at 5:30 I listen to him play in his crib until six (like this morning) because I do not want to encourage him to get up before then. Six is early enough!
Almost every morning since he was born, we take the dog out for a walk - rain or shine. After breakfast and playtime and getting ready for the day, we go outside by 8am to start our walk. Remembering this is something I would take for granted because we do it everyday - so I wanted to journal it for my memories and to show Ethan things we did when he gets older.I put Ethan in the stroller and usually let him sit on the porch and watch other dog walkers and kids on their way to school and buses go by while I water my flowers or hanging paskets.
Then, we 4x4 down the stairs (it was too tough to get a picture of that one by myself).

We go to the playground sometimes at the start, or sometimes at the end of our walk. We play on the swings. When we first put Ethan in the swings he would look kind of ill if we pushed him too high - now he loves it...the higher the better!
Here we are in the park looking at some ducks off a bridge. We wind through the trails and say hello to our neighbors and other dog friends, watch Cooper chase squirrels and jump on logs, and check out the foliage on our travels (which Ethan tries to eat most of the time).
This time of year has been great because we don't have to bundle up anymore and the park is so lush and beautiful.

Here we are at the edge of the mall parking lot by Silvercity. There is a park sign that Cooper jumps up on to so I can put his leash on. "Get up there!" is what we say to him and he jumps - over and over again if we ask him to. Ethan finds it very entertaining. I love our neighborhood because we can walk everywhere and there are lots of stores and parks and a movie theatre and a rec centre all within a kilometre of our house!
Many mornings we go to Starbucks if we walk through this park (instead of the Waterway). Mommy NEEDS coffee (especially when she gets up at 5:30 in the morning).

When we go to Starbucks we also usually share a piece of lemon raspberry loaf or banana bread - its a nice treat for all of us - even Cooper!
Today we got lucky! There was some excavating going on at the rec centre when we walked by - they are building a new library on to it! Ethan loved the big trucks and shovels - we sat and watched for a few minutes.
Than it is time to go home and have a nap by about 9:30. After all this action in the morning Ethan is usually pretty tired. Remember...we leave our house at 8 if you want to join us one day (oh, but not Wednesday because that is the day we go to the swimming pool). See you soon...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Photo Shoot

Today we had a photo shoot. Ethan wasn't really into it.
Ethan is giving me the "stink-eye" as we call it at our house: "mom, please put the stupid camera away I'm ready for lunch!". Doesn't he so look like a baby Popeye?

"Seriously, I told you I didn't want my picture taken..."

"I'm just going to ignore you and and pretend how interested I am in this block - mmmmm." He seems to be looking at me with pity in his eyes - such range I tell you, such range!

"Ppptthhh on you - I will not co-operate by smiling."

End of photo shoot. That is the face of whine being busted out warning me that he will not smile for the camera until after nutritional requirements have been met.

So the lunch bell rings...

And, we're out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Long Weekend

This is Ethan's friend Ula. Really it is the first time he has ever met her - and she lives in Fort St. John so it will be a while before he sees her again - but they seemed to like each other. She is only two weeks older than Ethan, and was visiting town with her mom (who I know) so we thought we'd get them together. They played a bit...

But really, Ethan was only interested in the pretty pink buttons on her overalls and the little butterflys on her shoes. He spent the majority of the visit pulling at her articles of clothing!

Later on in the weekend I came into the living room from the kitchen and found Ethan standing - YES STANDING - like this. When I left him he was sitting and playing with the toy and when I came back he had used it to climb up and stand! He does not seem very interested in crawling still - but will use crawling to get to another apparatus (couch, tall toy, people's legs) and scramble and claw his way up. Look at the "innocent" expression he has been practicing!

This picture below I just thought was precious. Dad and Ethan dressed like twins kicking back and enjoying a snack on a long weekend morning. Ethan gets the bottle and Troy gets to nibble on toes and baby sock lint! Ethan LOVES LOVES LOVES his daddy - weekends are the best (especially long ones) because he is home all day. Hope everyone enjoyed theirs.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Happy Thursday

I love the mornings when I hear Ethan awake and I go into his room to this:

Today was such a nice day that I decided to work in the front yard and let Ethan putter around on the grass - please disregard the graffiti in the background, we are re-roofing the house this weekend and that is the bin that was dropped off to take away the debris - its all a part of living in the hood - WESTSIDE!!!

If you look closely at the picture below you will notice his first little tooth under his tongue...

And here is our weekly Thursday photo - it is getting harder and harder to get this kid to sit still with the pillow for scale. But look at the belly button... and the twitchy toes.

Well, short on substance this time - its all about the pictures anyway...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Seven Months Old


The weeks are flying by!

This last month has been all about mastering skills for you. You eat almost everything that we eat right now. You are sick of baby food unless it is fruit - so we have almost stopped feeding it to you and letting you eat little bits or mushed up versions of what we eat. Watching your face scrunch up with each new taste is very entertaining. You seem to love most things you try.

Your hands are becoming very skilled! You can now do things like grab cheerios or bits of rice crackers off of your tray and put them into your mouth. You are very slow and delicate when using your fingers and I love to watch you gently use those pincers to explore the small details of your toys like tags and strings. You still love to smash and bang your toys too - especially two toys together like you were leading a marching band.

This month you spent a lot of time rocking back and forth on your hands and knees - especially when you would wake up in your crib at anytime of the day or night. You also spent a lot of time crawling backwards as you did not figure out how to put one hand in front of the other until just a couple of days ago. So right now you a crawling like a frankenstine baby all jerky and wobbly - but it is working and I know that by next week you will be zooming around the house.

Franken baby...

This past month was the first time you slept all of the way through the night. You usually get up to eat once (sometimes twice) and go right back to sleep, but the nights seem to be getting longer and longer for you which means that I have been sleeping well - which is nice.

You have started to really voice your opinions and preferences which is fun to watch. You get really excited to see daddy when he gets home from work and if he disappears into the bathroom for a second after you've seen him you get concerned and start looking around for him. You also look for me when you get tired - it is usually the only time you like to cuddle and you nestle your face into the crook of my neck and grab onto my shoulder which melts my heart.

This past weekend you were waking up at 5:30 and being really grumpy! Finally we noticed that a little tooth had broken through the gum - your first one! This month also marked the first time you were really sick - you threw up all over your crib and yourself and me one night - but you were such a trooper and went back to sleep with no complaints after it was all over.

Every time I look at you, I feel like my heart is going to burst. I am so proud to watch you learn and grow - but I sometimes feel a little sad. You are so perfect right now with your soft hair and skin, contagious smile and laugh, the brightest eyes, pudgy thighs and corn cob toes. I want to nibble on you every minute of the day it seems - and when I do you squeal in delight! I don’t think you will let me do this when you are a teenager - so I eat from the Ethan buffet as often as I can.

Love always - mama

First time eating watermelon with Auntie Natalie - Yum!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day

These pictures are not from Mother's Day, they are from the week before.
Our Mother's day pictures would have been: mom lying on the couch for most of the day due to the martinis from the ladies night the night before, Ethan with a pout and whining as he was cutting his first tooth and woke up at 5:30am and miserable, and dad running around like a maniac trying to get lumber from Cowichan for our new fence while doing something special for mom.
We took no pictures to document....
The day did proceed to get better - Ethan took a great afternoon nap (as did mom) and when I went to go get him when he woke there was a jewellery box and a card with him in his crib. What a clever baby!

We went to my mom's house for dinner (yum! and no cooking) and left with some chocolate cake to top the day off. If a picture had been taken at the end of the day it would have looked something like this:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Baby Friends

Recently, we had some friends with babies come to visit. Aiden, Kirsten’s son, is 3 months younger than Ethan - and Cason, Holly’s son is 3 months younger than Aiden.

It was fascinating to see the different stages together all in one room.

Cason is still brand new, and wanting to nurse and be held non-stop. His cry is weak and strained and purposed for his mother. Life is about eating, sleeping, pooping and some cuddles. When he nurses, sweet little sighs squeak out of him quietly with every gulp. During his awakenings his eyes open and close slowly as if to slow down all of the activity and stimulation going on around him.

Aiden is in the midst of his permanent awakening from infancy at three months. Conscious more, he is quick to smile and has some giggles. He is very aware that there is a lot going on around him! He is studying his surroundings and gesturing towards people and objects with his hands ready to join in the fun and games. He has learned that his cry can be purposed or a protest - but so has his mom!

Ethan is a happy, playful, jumpy monkey now that his limbs are becoming so coordinated and strong. He is ready to get going, frustrated that his parts are not working together smoothly yet, and voicing agitation that he has to rely on adult hands to move him place to place. Cuddling runs second to independence for him at this stage - which is positive as independence is the ultimate goal eventually.

I say eventually because a pang of sadness and sweetness hit me I sat and watched the two younger babies fall asleep on their mothers after nursing. Ethan is all protesting arms and legs right now and he has a hard time falling asleep in anyone’s presence anymore as he is so social and will play and play and play and play until he crashes into a miserable writhing spastic heap from exhaustion unless you take him away from the action. Whew!

Today as we were hanging out, Ethan woke up early from his nap, probably from all of the extra noise and commotion in the house. He had had enough of a rest to be in good spirits and ready to play with all of the company. He was full of beans and in awe of Chloe (Holly’s energetic and entertaining five year old). Later on as people were packing up and exiting - the effects of the short nap were starting to appear in Ethan’s behavior.

I found myself prematurely dreading the hours between now and bedtime - when Ethan is tired he is no fun and constantly needs to be entertained and appeased - hmmm when will your daddy be home to help entertain you….

I cozied up with him on the couch with some Treehouse on to distract him swaying back and forth to the background music on the show. Then something amazing happened! His eyes got heavy, and he nestled into my armpit. I slowly laid back, and turned off the TV and hummed him a little lullaby. He hummed a little along with me finally closing his eyes with a blink that lasted a little too long. Heaven!

Dad came home shortly after finding us cuddled up on the couch. He looked longingly at Ethan peacefully burrowed between me and the couch and simply said “lucky you”. Don’t I know it.

Six Months Old


You are now six months old! I had not written to you before as I was busy with your milestone calendar, taking and sending pictures to everyone, and just plain overwhelmed with you since you came. The time has gone really fast since you were born - but it is hard to remember life without you!

When you were teeny -tiny at two and three months old we were impressed that you could hold up your head so well and even try to stand! We lived for your smiles and acknowledgment between the long sleepy stretches of your days. When you were four and five months old you learned to roll over and your hands started working really well. The sound of your belly laugh and squeals of delight ring through our days.

Some of the days and nights have been long…really long. But the memory of any difficult time we have had with you has been long wiped away with gaping gummy smiles. When you came along we thought you were the coolest, and we fell in love right away…the time since then has been spent getting to know you better and watch your personality develop.

You, for the most part, are a good sleeper. You get super cranky if you are late getting a nap…we have found that it is just not worth it to alter your routine too much. You are a very happy boy when you are well rested (just like you daddy).

You love to nurse and eat all solids - you have yet to refuse anything tried so far! We saw your stubborn streak appear last week when we tried to introduce formula in a bottle - you were irritated with us, but came around quickly. You LOVE to drink out of a cup, or my water bottle - and we love to watch how eager you are (you often end up with a red ring around you face from pressing into the cup so hard!)

You are trying to crawl. You do push ups and scoot your knees underneath you but then crumple up and face plant when you try to move forward. You’re still not coordinated enough, though each day you practice. You can sit up and roll over, and show off your standing skills…crawling has proven to be too frustrating when you can be sitting upright or protest a little and be whisked away to someone’s lap.

The cat and dog are both marvelous and hilarious to you. Cooper is a little jealous of the attention you get - but will gladly wash your face or restyle you hair for you at any time - your defenses are getting better (boxing style duck and cover). Oscar enjoys rubbing up against you and is very patient when you grab a fist full of soft fur and skin.

This month I feel like you’re on the verge of so much. You’ve started looking like a little boy to me—rather than a baby. And you’re so dexterous and purposeful with how you handle objects now. You switch them easily from hand to hand, and have just discovered the joys of POUNDING THINGS ON THE FLOOR.

Today when dad came home from work we put you in the stroller and took Cooper for a walk in the forest by our house. It was so sunny and the spring air was warm and fresh. Your sweet face had its usual look of wonder as we listened to the birds, watched the dog chase squirrels, and survey shadows on the ground from the wind tickling the trees. For you, all things are serious business and joyful amusement simultaneously - it is so fun to watch you take it all in.

Your arrival has reinforced and multiplied any intention I ever had to appreciate the simple things in life. We love you so much! My heart has never felt so big, so gleeful, so proud, as when I am looking at your face (daddy must feel the same as he rushes home for lunch almost every day to get his Ethan fix). I love watching you learn and being home with you to witness these small miraculous discoveries occur.

We are so happy you are here!