Friday, July 30, 2010

Likes and a Dislike From This Week

I like the way my freshly bathed baby looked so content and cozy being wrapped in his towel and cuddled in my arms tonight.

I liked how adorable my freshly dried and naked baby was when he decided he didn't want daddy to put on a diaper as it was far more interesting to twist around and play naked.

I like the way he plays with more purpose now.  He looks at things, touches them, pounds on them, examines them now.  His attention span on an object is considerably longer and he does not always attempt to put all things in his mouth at all times but appears to be intrigued by looking at and testing the object he is playing with.  Often the object is a chair or remote control.

I like the way waking up lately has not been a simple process of opening his eyes but a mini production that lasts minutes.  It does not begin with opening eyes but with grunts and sounds as he stretches, twists, rolls over, arches, pushes himself up, lays back down, rubs his face, and then tests the light with his eyes.  It's a beautiful free flowing ritual.  Today, Maggie, our feline friend, jumped on the bed just after Enzo's eyes were opened.  He loves animals.  He gets quite excited and smiles and giggles when he sees them and he did the same this time.  But his excitement outweighed his muscle control which comes to him over several minutes when waking.  His eyes went wide and his smile did the same.  He pushed himself to touch her but made it only a fraction of the distance on the bed and came down into a soft blankety world of grogginess, smile intact.  In short time he was ready to mount another expedition of half a foot but Maggie had gone on to follow her own muse leaving Enzo to find his interests stimulated by the pillows, blankets, and dad that he had beside him.  He looked quite satisfied with what he had.

I didn't like the fear I felt during dinner.  Enzo had coughed a few times while eating rice cereal followed by him looking up with mouth open, still, and not making a sound for what was probably only 2 seconds.  In that time a horrible feeling of fear spread through me with the preparation to act if he was choking.  He wasn't and all was perfectly within the realm of normal.  But, I disliked that feeling of fear pervading my body, radiating from my heart outward as adrenaline infused my blood.  I was simultaneously scared, refreshing my mind on what I had learned in CPR class, and calculating the most efficient way to extract him from his high chair and get him into position over my arm.  The mammalian brain is a fascinating device.  I have done well in my life to separate myself from attachment to material objects through logic and rational thinking.  Doing this has saved me considerable stress in life and made for more interesting adventures.  But no logic I can try persuades me to remove even the slightest attachment of my being to my son, not even to relieve myself of stress.  My only peace comes in being with him or knowing that he is with his mother.  This is an attachment I shall have to deal with but one that I am willing to excuse so early in my fatherhood.  Perhaps the change will come naturally and is part of my normal evolution in this roll.

I like knowing there are places I can go and be as comfortable as I care to be like I was last weekend when Enzo played in the pool for the first time at Matt and Mitra's house.

I like the excitement in Tami's voice when she called me at work Wednesday to tell me that she just watched Enzo pull himself up from the floor to standing for the first time by holding on to our bed.  This is one trick he seems to have really taken to as he pulls himself up to, or nearly to, a standing position often now.

I very much liked receiving another call from Tami that afternoon telling me that she just watched Enzo crawl for the first time!  And, though I wasn't there, I would get to watch him do it!  Enzo had been playing with his Grandma Phyllis on the floor and playing with a wooden truck that his Grandpa Hun had gotten for him.  Tami pulled out her phone to video record him pushing the giant truck around but he stopped playing with it when she got the video going.  Luckily she kept recording because he then crawled for the first time.  He's been army crawling, pulling/pushing himself around with his belly sliding on the floor, for a while.  But this was his first torso-in-the-air locomotion.  And without further ado, presented for your viewing pleasure.... Ta-Daaaaaa....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stern Grove (*Updated)

I've been officially an Assistant Principal for three weeks now.  It's what I think I would like to write about but under limited wakefulness I am drawn more to write about my son with the words my waning wakefulness can afford to spare.  In brief, he is super.

(Enzo at Stern Grove in his Frog clothes.)

 This last weekend we went to Stern Grove in San Francisco.  Through out the summer, on each Sunday, concerts and performances are put on for free at this park.  This has been going on since the 30's.  Mrs. Stern donated the park and headed the organization to ensure that the public would have a chance to see for free the arts that are not always available to all.  You can read more here and see the schedule. It's the only place that the San Francisco Ballet will perform out of doors each year.  Tami and I found the event years ago when we wanted to see the San Francisco Symphony perform.  We simply brought a blanket and were amazed to see hundreds of people enjoying lavish picnics with plates of fruit, salads, sandwiches, and bottles of wine.  Ever since, we try to make several performances per summer and we are way better prepared than on that first occasion.  Like so many, we show up hours before the performance begins and enjoy a leisurely picnic, sometimes with friends, and chat away the San Francisco Sunday until the show begins.  The shows are very diverse and include poets, plays, ballet, and music from classical to popular groups like They Might Be Giants who will perform this summer.  On this last Sunday, we heard an impressive guitarist from Spain and his group named DePedro as the openers.  I loved their music!  The headline performance was a French group called Caravan Palace that combined synthesizers, string instruments, and more to create trippy jazz/swing/dance music.  Going to Stern Grove is like a sampling of culture from far and near whose common thread is a stage.  Our friend Tom met us for the last portion of the show and then spent the rest of the day in The City with us.  We had a great time.

(Enzo always likes hanging with Tom.)

 (You can see his first tooth in this one.)
(*Update: Just hours after publishing this post, we discovered over breakfast that Enzo now has two teeth!  His front two, center bottom, teeth are now growing out past the gum.)

 Though I've been working for the first summer in years, we've managed to enjoy ourselves very well.  We've had several friends over for dinner (I can not imagine how I did not pull out my camera on those days), visited with family, gone on walks through town, watched Enzo continue to enjoy the world and people, celebrated important birthdays, helped The Kid with his teething, helped me with my now removed wisdom teeth, talk, play, and love each other.  My favorite parts of these days besides the above continue to be the mornings where Tami, Enzo and I have time to wake up slowly and chat in bed.  Oddly, or I suppose, quite naturally, the more time I spend with them in the morning the more I miss them during my day.  It's VERY nice to have a reason to miss being somewhere with 'someone-s'.

(I feel that there are words captured in this snapshot of a gesture.)

Enzo also supports himself sitting now.  This has opened up the world of high chairs and the wonderful world of sitting face to face.  A couple of days ago, just as Anne, Perry, and their lovely three month old daughter Gwynn were arriving, I turned to see where my lying down baby boy had been to find my sitting up baby boy playing with the radio.  Awesome!  I missed and can not guess at how he did it by himself but I was very excited.  I look forward to watching him do it again someday.  The first time we sat upright and face to face on the floor Enzo appeared to assess the situation and then just laugh while looking up at me.  That's exactly the good feeling that was going through my mind as I took in the scene.  It was novel and giddy.  Admittedly, this kid laughs a lot.  I suppose the whole world is novel to him.  It's contagious; that feeling of joy goes through my mind regularly when I am with him or thinking of him.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Growing Enzo

Enzo has his own cup now, and he loves it.  As soon as he sees it he throws both hands out to grab it and hold it as we help him drink from it.  It's cute.  I'm surprised how excited he gets about drinking from the cup and I sit trying to think of an explanation but I can't come up with one.  He is only drinking breast milk or a very small serving of water from it when he is eating solid food.

Well, that's not all of the news.  Tami called me yesterday at work to tell me that she saw his first tooth popping out!  As they were at the A's game when I got home, and Enzo was asleep when he got home, I had to wait until this morning to see the tooth for myself when Tami got him laughing.  A small white tooth has broken through on the bottom, just to his right of center.  It's exciting.  In a short period of time Enzo has added solids, a spoon, a cup, a tooth, and a whole different type of solid-food-eating baby poop.  So far he is eating organic plums from his Grandma Phyllis' house and organic avocados from Whole Foods.  Eating is an interesting production, thankfully.  Viewed any other way than as a bonding and entertaining time the event would look like quite a chore.  There is no 'fast food' experience in such a simple meal for this new-to-the-world-of-solid-foods eater.  When people were giving us used items for our son I thought, "We'll never use all of these bibs but I guess we'll have options."  Oh, we will use all of those bibs.  It's one bib per meal and that bib is saturated in food and drink when The Kid is done with it.  It's more interesting to watch and help him eat then watching anything on TV.

I'll throw in a couple of photos from the 4th of July weekend below.  For those interested, I add photos to the picture links on this blog often even if I don't post a blog.  Right now those links are at the top right of this post and you'll find that clicking on the 'Life Pics,' for example, will lead you to a '2010' year link with over 200 pictures in mostly chronological order from just this year.

 (4th of July Parade in Fremont.)

(Playing in the light of a sky light.)

(Happy Birthday Nicole!)

(Stop in Santa Cruz for breakfast during a motorcycle ride.)

(BBQ at the Gomez's new house.)

(Enzo enjoying the Gomez's BBQ.)

(Me doing the same.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Eating Solids.... And a Little Bit of Finger Painting

How does a 1/2 year old follow up his big 1/2 birthday?  This one did it by eating solid food for the first time.  It was a mesmerizing experience, even more so then I would have expected.  I was enthralled, entertained, and fascinated by the event.  This morning Enzo ate mashed up avocado.  Then he did it again when I got home.  Tami looked up a list of appropriate foods to start babies on and avocado was on the list.  The list and rules of starting babies on solids is actually a bit more complicated than I imagined.  In essence, it boils down to picking one of the acceptable foods, a food that has a very low probability of causing an allergic reaction, and feeding that to a child for four to six days, a couple of times each day.  Then, if all goes well, a new food is added to the meal rotation for four to six days, and so on.  Tami also suggested that we let Enzo learn to feed himself so we did the second meal and while it explains some of the avocado on The Kid's face, I was surprised at how well he controlled the spoon.  Reflecting, it makes sense as he has two uses for his hands and arms that he practices most often; pushing his body and bringing items to his mouth.  It really was SO fun to help him and watch him eat the avocado.  Hours after both events and subsequent thorough cleanings, we continue to find avocado smudges on him.  Here is some video.

The First Meal.

The Second Meal.