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Sunday, April 30, 2006

caltech with aunt nancy

Saw the turtles and frogs Sunday at the Caltech campus with Ryan's aunt Nancy. It was fun to show her Ryan's new world and walk around a bit in the beautiful afternoon sunlight with a cup of coffee. Because of the good sunshine, there were lots of turtles sunning themselves at the pond edge, perfect for pictures to share with everyone here.

Tons of turtles sunbathing on the rocks.

Can you see the gigantic frog?!?

Even more turtles!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

brief update

9 1/2 month update:
-Dylan loves to play peek-a-boo with just about anything. Around corners, going up the stairs at night to bed with daddy holding him and mommy peeking around his shoulders, under the covers.
-He has been rocking himself on hands and knees to help put himself to sleep for naps and at bedtime. I
read online last night (partially out of concern for normal development and curiosity) that "stimulation of the vestibular system is very important to motor learning and possibly higher cognitive development."
-When playing with his toys, he now will carry one with him while he crawls to another. And sometimes when he is standing at the coffee table, playing with something and drops it, he reaches back down to pick it up again. Pretty amazing how these little developmental milestones just happen.
-And yesterday, according to Ryan, while feeding him breakfast: Dylan reached out for Ryan's closed hand, opened his fingers with one hand, then placed his plastic egg toy into it with his other hand.
-Seems to "study" the workings of wheels on his toys.
-Still loves shoes and doorstops.
-And today held up his right arm in response to daddy waving at him across the room (probably a prelude to a wave-back)!

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Friday, April 28, 2006

fingerpainting masterpiece

Dylan wore his Cardinals onesie jumper today. All I'm going to say is that it is frustrating how fast kids grow. He is nearly outgrown it already and only has worn it once! Anyhow, he is such a cutie in it. Even though we've moved away from St. Louis, we'll always stay Cardinals fans! (Sorry Dodgers).

We (that is, Dylan and I) have been going to stroller strides for a few weeks now and really enjoy it. It is a good way for me to work on getting more in shape and I'm actually going to be taking the AFAA course to be fitness instructor certified after next weekend. I'll be teaching one of the classes in a couple months, once a week at the Caltech campus. I am excited to get involved a bit in the community with new moms postpartum who are in those first few months. I remember how hard it was for those first months (really, it took probably about 6 months before I started feeling more adjusted) and I'd love to be a part of helping them get to feeling back to themselves again. My mama-roos group in St. Louis really encouraged me when things were at the roughest, and I'm so thankful for them. What an incredible group of women.

I'd love to get involved in something that offers an avenue for support and encouragement for others when they need it most. Having other new moms to commiserate with, encourage, and learn from, makes the world of difference in my opinion.

So anyhow, today I learned that Caltech agreed to let stroller strides hold a class there once a week. And the owner of the franchise in Pasadena wants me to teach it for her, which I'm both excited and honored to do. I'll be taking the class with another lady who is going to be a new teacher, so that will be fun. Wish me luck (there is a test at the end of the day)!

Regarding my new job: I've started working at the hospital now, which is good for me. This means that Dylan has also started at his new daycare. He seems to really like the caregivers there. I'm relieved to see that he doesn't cry when I drop him off (although I have to fight myself wanting to stay with him and force myself to actually leave) - and he is always busy doing something with the other kids when I come pick him up at the end of the day. On Monday (his first full day) he did his first fingerpainting masterpiece. I've never seen something so pretty. A collection of smeared paint streaks on a crinkled piece of paper was quite beautiful. Yeah, I'm one of those moms now. Let's face it, how could I not be?

Getting ready for work one morning earlier this week.

Friday, April 21, 2006

sacked out

Today Dylan had a half day at daycare. It was harder on me than on Dylan, as he loves playing with the other kids and seems to really enjoy his time there. I dropped him off this morning for just a few hours (part of his "transitioning" schedule) and went to run a few errands. I literally felt sick about leaving him and as I thought about it, I realized that I don't like the idea that someone else is going to be scooping him up to dry his tears when he falls down and I might miss out on his first word or few steps.

I know deep down that him being at daycare just two days a week won't make that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I worry. He is growing up so fast, it seems, and I don't want to miss out on a single moment of the wonder of watching him learn and explore and exhange those precious smiles that he shares with me as he discovers the world around him for the first time.

So today after I picked him up, we drove off to the mall to meet some friends for a while. When we got back home, he was sound asleep in the backseat. I fully expected for him to wake up as soon as I unhooked his seatbelt to carry him inside... but he didn't. He just rested his tired head on my shoulder and fell back asleep.

I took him over to the couch and drank in those wonderful moments, feeling him fall deeper asleep and watching the little rise and fall of his chest with each breath. It was perfect. I wouldn't have traded those moments for all the whiskey in Ireland.

And when Ryan got home, Dylan was still sound asleep enough for daddy to steal some snuggles as well while I made dinner.

new friends

We've been hanging out with a few new friends the past couple weeks. Here are a couple pictures from recent days spent at local parks, Caltech's turtle pond, shopping at the mall, and walking along Pasadena's beautiful Lake Avenue.

Dylan is on the far right, busy as always (with someone else's toy).


Look at that precision. He seems to be saying, "and you see here Frankie, this one here is a ball."


Mommy with her favorite little peanut.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Looky here. Daddy thought it would be funny to see his face when he tried a pickle off his plate, but to our surprise, he actually liked it!

And here he is playing peek-a-boo with grandma.




I love our new night-time ritual when we are taking him upstairs to bed: Ryan carries him up and as we walk up each step, I peek around Ryan's shoulder behind them. Dylan eagerly searches frantically from side-to-side for my face, and each time he discovers me, he giggles. It never gets old for him. Me either.

Friday, April 14, 2006

photo double

Now who do we have here? How about Briana, back in 1978.
I came across these old childhood pictures of me when I was around Dylan's age. Just look at the mouth and nose. Sometimes I wonder if he looks like me at all, and now I guess the answer is "he sure does." I always thought he looked more like Ryan, but this is pretty amazing.

And how about a side-by-side comparison?
(Briana left, Dylan right)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

play hard

Dylan and I played long and hard today. First we went to the turtle ponds at Caltech with about 12 other moms with our groovy-mamas meetup group, then went walking along Lake Avenue, had some soup at the Corner Bakery, and did a little window shopping on the way back to the car. By the time we got back home again, it was 6:00pm and we were both very tired. The weather was beautiful, but warm. At one point, I saw that it was 88 degrees on my stroller temp reader. Dylan had on lots of sunscreen, however we both got lots of sun during the afternoon and that tends to drain your energy. Anyhow, we got home and I put him in his beloved Jump-A-Roo for a few minutes while I did a few things. For about two minutes I heard bounce-bounce-bounce, some cooing and babbling, and sounds of him playing with his toys. Then complete silence. No more bouncing. No more babbling. I peeked over my shoulder to see what he was doing, only to discover that my little baby boy had fallen asleep mid-bounce, head resting on his jumper tray, completely sacked out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

9 month checkup

Today was Dylan's 9 month pediatrician appointment. All was well. And he has made some serious progress in his weight and height these past two months:
Weight: 19 pounds (25%-ile)
Height: 29.5 inches (75-90%-ile)
Head circumference: 46cm (75%-ile)
In summary, he gained 6.5 pounds in the past 3 months, which is amazing. And has grown over 3 inches in length!
What a busy little boy we have on our hands.
We really like our new pediatrician. She was very informative, thorough, and listened to our concerns without rushing us along, which is a bonus these days in healthcare. We go back for Dylan's 12 month checkup and shots in July.

Monday, April 10, 2006

new hat

Dylan got a new hat the other day. Ryan thinks he looks more like an old jewish man and Dylan doesn't know what to think (as you can tell from the picture below).

Poor little pumpkin. On Saturday he was showing off for his grandma and grandpa by the coffee table, got distracted by his super cool grandpa, and slipped to the side. He didn't wack his head at all on the table, but his mouth was bleeding (blood everywhere!) and screaming out of control. Good thing his grandma was there to save the day and help calm us down. Later we realized what happened. His bottom two teeth must have bumped the skin connecting his upper lip to his gumline. I didn't know that area would bleed so much! Yikes.

Well, later on he was all smiles again and didn't remember a thing. And he still loves that coffee table. Go figure.

Another thing he has started doing just recently: when we put him down for the night in his crib last night, we heard a creaking sound on the monitor downstairs. After investigation, I discovered that he was rocking forward and back on his hands and knees until he fell asleep. I guess he likes rocking himself to sleep now.
Speaking of my little sweetie, he just woke up from his afternoon nap.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

shoe snatcher

Whenever this little boy spots a pair of shoes, he zips straight for them and pops them into his mouth. Luckily his mama is never far behind to save him from the cooties that may befall him if he were to succeed (except this once). Promise.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Ryan here. Dylan's teeth are coming in full force. They broke through a few weeks ago, but you can see them better now. Coincidentally, Briana has stopped nursing him. He chomped down a couple times, and that was that. There are also a few pictures of him in his bathtub now that the water pressure got fixed.

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