Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just Your Average Super Baby

As you may know, Alex was nearly 11 lbs when he was born.  So you might think that he would maintain this absurd size into his toddlerhood.  Oddly, he is average-sized now.  In fact, he is below the 50th percentile in weight and height.  

Back when Alex was nearly 4 months old, we realized that he was "behind" Will developmentally.  He couldn't sit on his own, couldn't stand next to an object, and he didn't care for sippy cups.  The only reason we point this out is for the sake of comparing our two children.  Because that's why you have more than one, so you can constantly compare the younger to the older and develop their oldest/youngest children syndromes.  

We weren't concerned about Alex's development since very very few babies can do anything before 4 months old.   Plus, he started sitting on Mother's Day which was when he was about 4 months and 1 week old.  He waited until about 5 months old before he started standing next to objects.  Then he surprised us by starting to stand without support in mid-September.  As we learned from Will, it takes a month between standing on own and walking.  Will started standing in mid-January 2007 and started walking in mid-February.  

Alex Standing in mid-September

Alex did not disappoint our expectations.  About a month after we found him standing on his own, he started walking.  Yup, he beat Will's record of 10.5 months old and started walking at 9.5 months old.  Roll Tape...

Alex Walking and Performing Feats of Strength

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our First Family Vacation

At the beginning of September, we took our first, and probably last for a while, Family Vacation. We went to New York City. Why "last for a while"? You see, traveling with an infant is a problem after they learn how to crawl and are no longer happy sitting on your lap. Traveling with a toddler is good as long as they are entertainable with a portable dvd player and you actually remember to bring dvds.

There are some advantages to traveling with both a toddler and an infant. And I'm not just talking about getting sympathy from other travelers. No, it turns out that the toddler can push the infant's stroller. And that's about the extend of the advantages.

Will pushing Alex on moving walkway

We didn't have a brainstorming session and decide to go to New York. Like many of our trips, this one was to attend a wedding. Dan's friend Tamara got married on Staten Island.

We just happened to run into Tamara downtown

We went over to the island on the weekend, but during our time in NYC the week prior, we rented an apartment in Harlem. We shared it with Dan's friend Rich, his wife, Amanda, and their 10 1/2 month old daughter, Nora.

Group Shot of Vacationers
(thanks to Deuce for the picture taking and the visit)

Notice Will is resisting. He resisted photos for just about the entire vacation. The only time he was happy taking pictures was when we met up with Grandma in Central Park.

Angela and Alex, Grandma and Will
in Central Park

Alex in Central Park

As Alex was only 8 months old at the time of our trip, we were a little surprised that the 3 kids played together. Primarily it was Alex and Nora crawling around after Will.

Natural History Museum

Rich Explains Ancient Egyptian Stuff to Nora
Alex sleeps after Dan's Explanation

As you may know, "llama" was one of Will's first words. Here, he gets to fulfill a lifelong dream of feeding a real llama at the New York Zoo in Central Park.

We rode the subway a lot. Usually it was pretty useful and convenient. However, sometimes it was kind of crazy and tiring.

Oh why are we on the subway!

One place that we visited after wandering around Chinatown and Little Italy was the Children's Museum of the Arts.

Will Builds "The Chrysler Building"

Of course we visited the Statue of Liberty.  This was an event that I had been explaining to Will for weeks.  I showed him YouTube videos about the Statue.  I explained that we could go inside and go all the way up to the top.  I pointed it out everytime we could see it from a high building, ferry, or the airplane.  Will was terribly disappointed when we told him that we couldn't actually go inside the Statue.  He kept explaining that we should go around to the back and go in the doors and go to the top.  

Someday I will implement closed captioning on kid videos

Kids Crawling around on Liberty Island

How did the actual wedding go? Well, in our efforts to move all of our stuff from Manhattan Island to Staten Island, plus a "we are really tired and can't communicate well" episode on my part, we managed to get to our Staten Island hotel with all of our stuff and all of our children about the time the wedding started.  After the quickest change into formal wear ever, Amanda and I continued our prep by putting makeup on in front of a hotel lobby decorative mirror while waiting for our cab.  We got to the wedding as it was finishing and went to the area for cocktail hour as the most prompt cocktail hour guests.  The cocktail hour room was next to the room where the wedding ceremony took place.   The guests without children who actually made it to the ceremony started filtering out the back doors through the receiving line.  After a few moments of thought, we entered the side doors, then walked through the receiving line too.  The bride's comment as we carried the tired kids through the receiving line, "The kids were great, I didn't hear them at all!"  So, if Tamara ever gets around to reading this blog... by the way... we didn't make it to your wedding ceremony and are very sorry.  :)  

After wandering through the receiving line, the jet-lagged kids decided that cocktail hour meant naptime.  Fortunately, Rich and Amanda's stroller was nearby and Nora had decided to party while the guys were asleep.  The stroller provided a place for Will to sleep and it also prevented people from walking on Alex.

Cocktail Hour at the Wedding

What about the reception?  Nora and Alex tried to dance.  With help since neither one could walk yet.  Will... it could have gone better for Will.  Let's just say he ended up wearing a pair of Nora's shorts by the end of the night and stealing Alex's socks. 

Babies Don't Really Need Socks

Overall the trip was a success.  We had the amazing experience of not getting sick of our travel buddies.  You know how if you go somewhere with people for more than 4 days, you start to get annoyed with them?  Oddly, even though we were there for a week, we still enjoyed Rich and Amanda's company at the end of our time there.  Even with 3 cranky kids between us.    

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Will and Alex's First Photo Contest

We finally did it. After 2 and a half years of hearing from others that I have cute kid(s), I finally took the first step in exploiting their cuteness by entering them in a "Cutest Tiny Tot" photo contest.

Actual Contest Photo Not Shown

Now, I know I missed the exploitation window with Will. He was the cutest baby and would smile every time we put him in front of a camera. He probably could have sold ice cubes to an Eskimo by holding them and smiling. But now he is a cranky 2-year old who resists most things.

Oddly, he did great at the photo contest, smiling and being calm and everything. I don't know what got into him. Of course, he is just getting over a cold and was kind of red and blotchy in the face, so no chance of him winning. Plus, there was this cute girl about his age with pigtails who will probably win anyway.

So how did Alex do? Yes, he was kind of suffering from the "I'm just getting over a cold look too." Plus, he had just woken up from a nap. And he is growing his incisors right now. He was cute, but wouldn't smile. This is what typically happens during his pictures. He has sort of a blank look. So even though he has grown cute curls in the last month, he doesn't make the most of it by smiling.

Ah well, there's only about a million other cute kid contests. Maybe we will try one again. Got to do something with the cute green-eyed guys.