Saturday, December 29, 2007

All Will Got For Christmas...

Dan and I were considering leaving Will's Christmas presents for him to open after the new baby was born. That way, he would have something to do while we were attending to the little guy. However, we decided to open Christmas presents on Christmas anyway. How did this go? Will was so excited by his presents that he wouldn't take a nap on Christmas Day. He finally fell asleep on the way home from dinner with Scot and Tammy after being awake for 12 hours.

If you have 10 minutes and 20 seconds to kill, check out the exciting present video montage.

video


Monday, December 24, 2007

Who needs a baby name book?

Once again, Dan and I have put many minutes of thought into the naming of our child. Here is what we have come up with:

The Dan Factor
Daniel Kroboth - Sound familiar? That's right, if the little guy is born on Dan's birthday, he will get to be Daniel Kroboth.
No, we aren't going to call him "Dan." Will would try to "voice dial" him all the time. "VOICE DIAL - DAN - MOBILE"
It would also be confusing when we see my step-sister Michelle and her husband Dan.
No, we can't call him "Daniel." That would confuse him with his Uncle Daniel.
No, he wouldn't be Daniel Kroboth, Jr. That would be confusing since he is not the first born.
So what would we call the new little Daniel Kroboth? I think we will need a good middle name. Perhaps something listed below...

California Meaning
When Will was born, we gave him a middle name to reflect his birth in Japan. Kengo means "wise protector" which is similar to William which means "protector." As the new little guy will be born in California, it seems that we need a good "Californian" middle name, maybe something from the surfer or Hollywood genres.

Surfer Options
  • Barney - Someone who is less than skilled at surfing. - Would also fit with our Hollywood theme by naming him after a character in "How I Met Your Mother."
  • Bennie - A tanless tourist on the beach. - Seems appropriate as the little guy may end up with my skin color.
  • Bro - A buddy or friend...or used as a greeting. - Seems appropriate given that he is Will's bro.
  • Dude - General reference to a male surfer. - Plus, Will can say "Dude."
  • Epic - Beyond the usual or ordinary. Generally used in the positive sense. - Once again displaying our great expectations for our children.
  • Zimzala - Free spirited person who finds peace with the sand between toes. - Wouldn't have trouble at school with too many kids with the same name!
A Hollywood Option
Topher Grace Kroboth - Dan and I find the name "Topher" (short for Christopher) to be amusing. Plus, we like "That 70's Show." I mean, both of us were born in the 70's, right? Plus, "Grace" is a family middle name. Dan's sister's middle name was Grace. Seems fitting, yes?

Science Fiction Option
Worf - Since Will got named after William Riker, William Shatner, or Wil Wheaton, we might as well name number 2 kid after Worf. Well, Worf is kind of big, and we are really aiming for a smaller baby this time. Perhaps a smaller Worf.

Another California Option
As we do live in Los Angeles and occasionally go on the 405 Expressway, Dan thinks that if the baby is born on the 405, we should make his middle name Japanese for 405. That would be something like Yonreigo. I do have an interview down in Irvine on January 8th, perhaps that would be our best opportunity for traveling on the 405, giving birth, and justifying this awesome middle name.

These are my sons, "Protector" and "Protector"
Why mess with a winning name meaning? William means protector, Kengo means wise protector. Here are some more protector names!
  • Alexander - protector of men - One option is Alexander The Great Kroboth.
  • Edward - wealth protector - Edward Longshanks Kroboth (EL was known for just legal reforms) or King Edward VI Kroboth (KEVI became king at age 10, in line with the great accomplishments we have planned for Kroboth II).
  • Raymond - decision protector - "Everybody Loves Raymond" would also fit quite well under our Hollywood options.
So, will it be Daniel Zimzala Kroboth or Worf Yonreigo Kroboth? Take your pick. Although there isn't much time left in Dan's birthday, we may have to forgo Daniel as the new little guy's first name.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


All Will wants for Christmas...

As you may know, we don't have as many toys for Will as most people have for their kids. Why? He really doesn't need them. What? You don't believe me? Perhaps you will realize that he can entertain himself with this (warning: long & unending) evidence caught on film back in June...

video

Who knew that toilet paper could be so interesting?

Now, this is not to say that Will does not have some toys. He is in pretty good shape. If he were to acquire additional toys, here are some ideas:
  • GeoTrax Train - Will loves trains. Any GeoTrax would be great. If you are unsure about whether or not he has them, just send a gift receipt (or a gift card even) and we can return any unneeded duplicates. Or ask and we can tell you that yes, he has a Rainbow Bridge.
  • Drum or other musical instruments - Will loves to say "boom!" He is also fascinated with guitars and whistle/recorder type instruments.
  • Digital Camera - Yes, they actually make digital cameras for kids. As our digital camera is large and bulky with lots of dials and buttons, it would be nice to not let him use it and instead use one that is built to be dropped occasionally.
  • Mega Blocks - Will likes to "dump" these all over the floor. He also will build with them. He especially liked it when Darren built him a tunnel for his train out of the mega blocks. He's not old enough for legos and they would be bad for the new baby anyway, but mega blocks are good. Orlando brought us the first batch for Will's 1st birthday party and they are a hit!
  • Wooden Toys - These were on the list last year. I still really enjoy the look of the wooden toys that Will has. While we never got around to building him a wooden toy box, we did get him some Melissa and Doug wooden tools. Additional wooden toys are welcome. Perhaps a rocking horse.
  • Montessori Equipment - Will has started to enjoy quite play by himself. What more fun way to enjoy playtime than by LEARNING!
  • Tricycle - Will needs wheels. With a concrete backyard, this is a great way to get around. Of course, this brings up the question that was never asked during my youth, "Does he need a helmet or other safety gear too?"
  • Clothes - Will's rate of growth has slowed down a little from last year. However, he is a bit tall for his age. He outgrew his 18-month-old clothes the day he turned 18 months old. He can now wear anything that is 24 months and up. Long pants are good. Footed jammies are good. Not so much with sweaters as it doesn't get too cold here.
  • College Savings - Yes, you can still contribute to Will's future education.
  • Books - Yes, you can still contribute to Will's current education. He's on the verge of learning about colors and numbers.
  • Wishlists/Registries - If you are super un-creative, feel free to check out my Amazon wish list. I updated our delivery address there and added a bunch of stuff that Will would be interested in. Or, you can always go the route of getting something for both the boys, like maybe matching bathrobes or sunglasses. There are some of these things on our baby registries on Babies R Us or One Step Ahead.
Why acquire additional toys if we really don't need them? As Will is soon going to be transitioning from the only child to the one child out of two that doesn't require 24 hour surveillance, he's going to feel a bit put out. We look forward to bribing our child to be happy during this transition.

As for Dan and I, we are in good shape. If you really feel the need to get us something, check our baby registries. Or check our Amazon wishlists. Or you can put $ towards the "we-love-our-roomba-and-now-want-a-scooba" fund. Or, if you want to really make us happy, buy us something that is consumable and won't clutter up our house which seems to be cluttered by mega blocks most of the time. We like Penzey's spices, Leonidas chocolates, Trader Joe's wine (or other wine), and Starbucks.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Will is Just Like Us

Eye Care
Lately Will has been fascinated by eye care. Fortunately I have gotten him to stop trying to bend my expensive eye glasses. Unfortunately he destroyed a perfectly good pair of cheap sunglasses a few months ago.

As Will has my and Dan's genes, it is likely that he will end up wearing glasses sometime before he turns 10 years old. He is already practicing with my glasses.

Will the Egghead

Will is also fascinated with my contacts. He will give me the contact case and say, "Mom-Eye." If I hand him the (empty) contact case, he will touch the inside of it and then touch his own eye. Or, he will touch the inside of it and touch llama's eye. It seems that Mom, Will, and llama all need contacts.

Pushing strollers
Will should make a good older brother, at least in the area of stroller pushing. He will push his stroller every chance he gets. He is even pretty good at steering. This past weekend we went to Big Lots and he and his friend Asha ran around the store pushing matching, pink, princess strollers. It may be sexist of me, but I did not buy him the pink, princess stroller. Plus, I put the blue colored baby in the stroller for him.

Strolling at the Store

There are some better pictures that Lynn took from her camera phone displayed on their blog.

Starbucks
Will isn't one of those kids who recognize and request McDonald's. Instead, he is learning all about our yuppie lifestyle and the consumption of Starbucks. For a while we would only get him a small ice water. But then he learned how to take the lid off the ice water and get to the ice. Like Dan, much to our dentist's dismay, Will loves chewing on the ice cubes. When we fly, I always ask the flight attendant for a cup of ice for Will. It entertains him for minutes. But, the consumption of the lid-free Starbucks water usually ends in pronouncements of "wet-wet-wet" when Will ends up spilling the water on himself and his car seat. We have transitioned to occasionally buying Will a kid-sized hot chocolate. I believe that the cost of this tiny hot chocolate is $1.85. As part of our Christmas tree shopping, we stopped at Starbucks prior to going to the tree lot. Here is Will drinking the Starbucks in his car seat.

Mmmmmm... Starbucks

I guess it is true that kids take after their parents. Given this, Will has a strange life ahead of him. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Angela's Pregnancy FAQ

In an effort to be fair parents to our second child, I am providing a pregnancy FAQ for this guy too. You see, so many parents put all of the emphasis on their first child, that the second one goes under-noticed. While we can't be completely fair since Will was here first, we can try. For example, for Will, we had photos done of him every month for the first year and put them safely in his "My First Year" photo frame. It's quite cute. We are planning on doing the same thing for kid number 2. We are hoping that some of the 2nd child issues that most 2nd children develop can be mitigated. Any advice on how to do that, Robin?

Here is the Pregnancy FAQ:

Top Question: How are you feeling?
A: Why is this the only question that people can think of asking? Why do people think I want to talk about my feelings? Have I done something in the past that made you think that I want to talk about how I feel? Or do you really want to know how I physically feel?
  • To answer the question, I feel fine. Other past answers have been, "I feel underemployed." "I feel tired because Dan has a cold and isn't sleeping well which causes me not to sleep well." (He's gotten a lot better at not tossing and turning lately.)
  • For a little while there I had some back pain and a pulled leg muscle. Fortunately my coach at the YMCA was able to recommend some stretching exercises that fixed them.
  • Lately I have had a weird hormonal shift. This has caused me to be too warm at night and unable to sleep very well. While I think that you sleep better before the baby is born, I can understand how most women in their 9/10th month of pregnancy think that having the baby will somehow improve their sleep. (Even though they are wrong. Got to remember that.)
  • I think that people who have toddlers should not be pregnant. How am I supposed to pick up a 28lb child when I have a 6lb child inside me? Holding Will on my lap is difficult. Getting up and down from the floor is difficult. Fortunately Will is a little patient with me. When he demands, "hand" so that he can guide me to where he wants me to go, I tell him to wait until I get up off the floor. He is usually cool with this. An added advantage to Will is that since he has been walking for 10 months now, he gets around pretty well. I gave up carrying him so much when I got pregnant. He actually follows directions such as "stop" and "this way." It is quite useful.
Q: Is Will excited about the new baby?
Will is excited when he sees babies. We have tried to explain to him that there is a baby inside my tummy. He is at the age where he doesn't get it. He also thinks that there is a baby in Dan's tummy and his tummy. At night when we kiss him good night, he kisses my tummy goodnight, then kisses Dan's tummy.

Q: Are you still planning on having the baby at home?
Yes. The closer we get to the due date, the more and more it makes sense. The alternative is: contractions start - call someone to come take Will - get stuck in traffic - go to place that freaks me out (hospital) - get poked and prodded - get sent home with false labor - pick up Will - if actual baby delivered, bundle self and baby into car within 24 hours - put poor new baby in car seat - go home. It just seems easier and more friendly to: contractions start - maybe they continue - if so (or not), hang out and play video games or watch TV from our comfy couch - continue in a warm, friendly, relaxing environment - use Will as a distraction from contraction pain - have baby.

Q: When do you think the baby will be born?
A: I'm going with January 8th. We are not planning on actively doing anything to encourage the baby to come during this tax year, although that would be nice financially. I believe that the baby needs all of the time he can get inside before emerging to face the cold, windy world. His lungs can develop fully, he can put on some extra fat cells, and his stomach can hold more milk if he is bigger. (I believe this leads to better sleeping.)

Q: Will the baby be as big as Will?
A: This may sound crazy to many people, but I am hoping the baby weights between 9.5 and 10.0 lbs. I suppose that it would be fine if the baby was as big as Will, but I really hope that he does not exceed the 10.5 lbs that was Will at birth.

Q: Will the baby be as cute as Will?
A: We hope so. Will kind of sets a high standard of cuteness. I mean, he has hazel eyes and golden hair! How cute is that! I guess an acceptable alternative would be to have a baby that actually looks like us. Brown-eyed brown-haired can be cute too. Just look at Dan. If we draw a goatee on the little guy, the look will be complete!

Q: Where will the baby sleep after he is born?
A: Ultimately he will share a room with Will. However, we don't want him to wake up Will at night. For the first week or so, he will sleep on a low bed next to me. Then we will move him over to the portable crib, probably put in my office. Then, once he sleeps through the night, we will put his crib in Will's room.

Q: What do you need most for the new baby?
A: Unfortunately some things that we need are expensive. Our digital camera and photo printer seem to be on their last legs. As we got them 5 years ago, this makes sense. But it will be somewhat frustrating to take and print pictures of the next baby until we upgrade. We also hope to get a Sit and Stand stroller. One of those that has a normal seating area for the baby, but a place for Will to stand on the back. Or a little jump seat on the back if he gets tired. Fortunately we do need some less expensive things too. If we are going to take pictures of the little guy each month, we will need some clothes that do not have banana stains on them. Will was not the neatest baby in the world. We are also thinking about replacing our entire collection of bibs. If you feel the need to get us something, check out our registries on Babies' R Us or OneStepAhead. One of the things we are registered for is a video baby monitor. I am really curious to know what Will is up to in his room after we put him down for a nap or bed and he is still talking to himself. Also, it will be good to check to see what the two of them are doing once they start sharing the room.

Q: What is your most unusual pregnancy symptom?
A: I am terribly clumsy. It is a good thing that Rich and Amanda bought me drinking glasses for my birthday when they visited last May. I think I have broken at least 2 wine glasses and probably 4 or 5 drinking glasses. Fortunately I have been able to sweep up most of the glass after the breaking. Only once did I "find" a piece with my foot in the kitchen. Will has been safe so far.

Q: How much weight have you gained?
A: If Will stands in front of me, and I look down, I can't see him. My tummy is very large. So far, I have gained over 30 lbs which is more than I gained with Will.

Q: Are you nesting?
A: Sort of. While I only performed virtual nesting via my Sims2 game last pregnancy, I actually live in my own house this time. Last weekend I made Dan organize in the garage and help with organizing books on bookshelves. I also made Will help me organize my closet. It's not really a personal nesting thing, more of a directing others to nest for me. Must be the residual effect of too much Sims during last pregnancy.

Q: Do you want to go out for coffee?
Yes! If you are in the Redondo Beach area and are bored during the day on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, call me to go out for coffee. Am I limited to decaf coffee? Not anymore! I figure that the little guy has successfully developed his nervous system by now. Will survived the coffee drinking that accompanied my Japanese pregnancy (where they are confused if you order decaf). And it's not like I am having that much coffee. I'm still on half-caffeinated. Most pregnancy references say up to 2 cups a day of regular coffee is fine. My midwife says that it is possible that caffeine may cause smaller babies. I told her that was not the case, that Will was 10.5 lbs and I was drinking coffee every day near the end of the pregnancy with him. Her response... "Just imagine how big he could have been." So, come and help me in my efforts to have a "smaller" baby!

Q: Have you had the baby yet?
A: Ok, this is not really a question that has been asked yet. But I know that as I get close to my due date, people will keep calling and asking. Here is the general guideline: Immediately after we have the baby, we will post to the blog. We may even email you. So before you call, check the blog. Then, a little while after we have the baby, we will set up our web camera so you can all see the new guy.

The end of the pregancy FAQ. Did you notice how I failed in my efforts to help this baby to be special like the first one? Nearly every question or answer had to do with Will. Ah well, that doesn't mean we should stop trying to be fair, right?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Downside to Will's Bed
(or my excuse to finally post a video on the blog)

Will's bed is awesome. We were originally thinking about designing and building a bunk bed when Dad and Lee visited back in July. However, when Dad and Lee were taking Will for a walk to Starbucks, they found a perfect bunk bed, free to a good home, just a couple of blocks away from us. So Dad and Dan re-finished it, we got mattresses, and it is now set-up in Will's room. Perfect for the plan of the two boys sharing the same room until one of them decides to move out.

A bit ago, we started putting Will in his bed for naps. This worked well. Then we started putting him in his bed for nighttime. As he is kind of big for his portable crib, this gave him a lot more space to move around at night. Plus he is able to sleep with about 10 stuffed animals now whereas in his crib he was limited to more like 1 or 2.

Will has learned how to climb in and out of the bed pretty well. This is good because it is an indicator that he is ready to sleep in it. However, we have found two problems with this. First, if he wakes up really early, like 6:30am, he can get out of bed. If we haven't closed the door to his room, he will wander over to our room and wake me up. Fortunately he can't jump up on our bed, he just taps me and says, "mom-mom-mom-mom." I like closing his door, but it can get pretty cold in there as our heater is just outside in the hallway.

video
Will Getting In and Out of Bed

The second problem is that if Will gets out of bed in the middle of the night, he gets confused since he is still mostly asleep. Then he has trouble getting back into bed or realizing that he needs to get back into bed. Unfortunately we aren't the lucky parents who wake in the morning to find their child curled up with his blanket peacefully sleeping on the floor. Nope, he makes us remedy the situation immediately and get him back up into bed. This causes Dan to be unable to fall back asleep which in turn causes me to have trouble falling back asleep.

We are working on these issues. If Will gets out of bed immediately after we put him there and shut the door, he might come over and knock on the door. However, if we tell him to get back into bed, he usually does this on his own as he is still fully awake during this time. We are hoping that this action of going back into bed will get stuck in his head and that he will learn to do it even when he is asleep.