One Year Old Odie 028

Our little Owen (a.k.a Odie, a.k.a Ode) is now one. He actually had his birthday November 21, but he’s sort of a handful, and this is the first time I’ve felt sane enough to sit down and pause for a few moments of child-related reflection.

He’s tons of fun — so little and happy. I could do without the way he likes to yell at us when he wants something, and the way he loves to throw chewed food off his highchair, but all things considered, he’s a

cute little bundle of joy.

Also, he already knows how to say “remote” and “poop.” These are two of the most important words in the male vocabulary, so I feel like I’m pretty far ahead of the game as far as my paternal duties go.

We have a video of his first year, made by Leah, and it’s awesome…but it’s also 15 minutes long, which I’m pretty sure is well over the limit for YouTube. Maybe we’ll split it up into chunks at some point. More likely we’ll just start making smaller ones.

Actually, it’s probably most likely that we’ll just say we’ll make smaller ones, but our intentions are pure.


Splash 4

Our boy is now more than nine months old. Where does the time go?

Because so many people have asked me in the weeks since I wrote about Owen as an infant, I will say here, for the record, that I no longer believe my son is trying to kill me. Since making his debut as a cranky, occasionally implacable baby, Owen has become the happiest little guy I’ve ever known. Of course, he has his fussy moments — especially now that he’s growing a mouthful of teeth — but even when he’s crying, it’s easy to make him laugh.

He’s also impossible. Where his sister was a very quiet, thoughtful baby, content to sit and absorb her surroundings in relative silence, Owen is a writhing, babbling whirlwind of activity. A snuggler he ain’t — as soon as you pick him up, he’s trying to make a ladder out of your ribcage (or, if you’re Leah, he’s trying to use your shoulder as a teething ring). He can’t sit still — turn your back on him for a minute, and he’s found his way into a drawer or cabinet, or better yet, pulled the kitchen garbage can down on his head.

(The garbage can in our kitchen has a totally awesome motion-activated automatic lid. Sophie has named it Roga. I’m assuming it’s short for Robot Garbage.)

Anyway, here are some basic facts about our son:

Little O
Obert (or Bertie)
O-down and Dirty
Obot (or Brobot)

Garlic bagel chips
Undivided attention
Green beans
Ice cream
Grinding teeth
Open showers, toilets, cabinets, drawers

Car rides
Pineapple Jell-O

As you can see, he’s quite a lot of fun, and it’s only getting better, especially since we’ve agreed that two children is plenty. Now I can look forward to being able to sleep again…in ten years.

Next: Sophie goes to preschool!


California 063

No, it was not supposed to be over a month before I wrote in here again. What can I say? The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak. Or maybe it’s the other way around. All I know is, after I spend the daylight hours writing about movie stars and new music, I find that the synapses in my brain aren’t good for much besides watching TV.

Also, I recently took a trip across the country with Sophie. That picture up there? That’s her, reading a story (it’s actually a coloring book, but whatever) with her Grandpa Jim. My little girl and I flew to California to help my sister celebrate her graduation from college, and it was absolutely wonderful — especially the part where I got to spend a weekend with my family, including the unexpected addition of my brother Rich and his fiancee Veronica.

Absolutely wonderful. But. Flying with kids will take a lot out of you, and by “a lot,” I mean “what feels like five years of your expected lifespan.” Our friends Rahul and Sarah are very nonchalant about taking their daughter Tatiana to all sorts of exotic destinations whenever the mood suits them, and Rahul is forever expressing surprise at my reluctance to travel with Sophie and/or Owen. This is just one reason why I hate Rahul.

Sophie, it turns out, dislikes planes. She’s a lot like me in this respect, with the subtle difference that I don’t freeze in place and start screaming bloody murder as soon as I step into the aisle, ignoring my sweating, red-faced father, who is standing behind me, holding my carseat and buckling under the weight of two duffel bags slung over his shoulders like a pack mule, pleading with me desperately to just move already.

(Also, I have never peed in my seat on a plane, but based on some things I’ve recently read, I’m relatively certain that my daughter has plenty of grown-up company in the whole “unplanned relieving of one’s self while flying” department.)

Anyway, in case you were wondering, it is possible to survive three hours in O’Hare with an unhappy little girl, two bags, and a carseat. It is also possible to remove 99% of the vomit that comes spewing out of said girl and into your mother’s car with less than one box of wipes. Finally, provided you have a portable DVD player and some well-timed nachos, it is also possible to get that girl through a college graduation ceremony.

What you may not survive, however, is the week it takes to rid the girl of the supervirus she picks up somewhere between California and your home. Whoooooooooooo. She’s back to normal now, but let me tell you, Sophie does not like to be sick, and she will do everything in your power to make you understand how deeply displeased she is.

Really, though, Sophie did a tremendous job on the trip. Sitting on an airplane for six hours is difficult for me; I can’t imagine how crappy it must have been for her. And then with the disruption in her routine, and the barfing, and all the moving around — well, she was a real trooper.

And what about our boy?

Boy Has Balls

This little guy has a terrific personality. He’s always laughing and smiling and babbling happily. There are a lot of times when Sophie, in the midst of some terrible-twos tantrum, will cross into Owen’s line of sight and his face will light up. He just loves people, and he’s particularly fascinated with his sister. She, of course, wants little to do with him. I keep telling him it’ll stay this way for probably the next 16 years, but I don’t think he understands me yet.

In terms of developmental milestones for Owen, I don’t think there’s anything to report here, other than that he’s branching out into non-breast-derived foodstuffs for the first time, and they have affected his diaper output accordingly. No crawling for him yet. I’m pretty sure that when he does turn mobile on us, no one will hear from me for quite awhile.