Friday, November 12, 2010

never before seen footage: the first year

I've looked forward to doing a "then and now" type post for Lo's first birthday, and though it is almost 2 weeks after his special day, I was waiting until we got his birthday photos cd in the mail, and it just came today (yay!!) so here are a few comparisons:

Here is our tiny Lo just minutes after birth.  Note that he likes to stare at Mommy...(try to ignore my water retention, make-up free, sweaty-haired, in labor for 2 days straight appearance and just focus on the precious babe in arms)

Now, at one year old, Lo prefers Daddy most of the time.  Actually, I don't mind Lo being a daddy's boy since I still believe Jerry worked harder during labor than I did (he was my hypno coach, and never left my side for a moment--what a lover!). 
Back then, in the first couple days of his life, our poor Lo did not even have the strength to breastfeed, according to the pediatrician.  Lo had only IV fluids for the first couple days until his heart rate calmed down. 
Now, one year later, we sometimes wonder if that heart rate is back in the sky.  =)  Lo is a bundle of energy who climbs, shrieks, undresses himself, and causes general havoc wherever he goes--and we love him for it. 

But he is a good boy who knows how to have calm moments as well of course. 

Currently, our one year old is a lover of books--doesn't he look like a smarty pants sitting next to this pile of classics. These days he often brings Mommy a book with "ah ah ah" type pleading noises for her to read it with him. 
And oh guess what--back then he liked books too!  Here is Daddy reading a Chinese comic book to one-month-old Lo. 

With lots of loving nourishment, from Daddy, Mommy, and many friends and family (like Grandma Valerie pictured here with one week old Little Lo), our wee one quickly turned into this chunk:
Yeah, I've had to grow arm muscles to lift this kid on a regular basis. 

But he is just so squishably adorable, I do not mind his heavy figure one bit. 

We loved his feet from day one. 

And still cannot get enough of those toes. 

I still remember the way his teeny limbs curled into his body in the beginning.  This is the day we took him home from the hospital.  Don't his legs look like twigs with those hugest socks at his extremities??  aaaah, I cannot even believe he was this little just one short year ago. 

Well, I'd better wrap things up since we are not even packed yet for going to Hong Kong in a couple days.  Also, I have to drag myself off this bloggy post since my cousin Lindsay took the 1-year photos for Lo and was so generous to include a couple dozen fabulously edited, beautiful photo gems in the cd she sent, I could go on for way too long--and I've got to keep some of my favorites from that photo shoot a "secret" for family gifts.  So I'll just stop now while I'm ahead.  =) 

Also, the formatting of this post got a little wonky and is starting to give me a headache.  Sorry for the lack of symmetry/size issues in the photos and captions and thanks for sticking with me this long if you even got to the end of reading all this.  Ok, tired and have miles to go before I sleep...signing off. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boise Zoo

Though it was a couple weeks back, figured I'd still get more of the Boise trip photos put up here. We went to Zoo Boise one day, and I was pleased to find they have continued to make it bigger and better since my elementary years of visiting it.
Yeah, this komodo dragon is just a statue, but Lo still approached with caution. I was so thankful to have Zhou Zhou Brandon there (did I get the pin yin correct? Not even trying with the tones). He was an extra pair of arms/legs to carry/chase respectively when I needed help with Lo, who appeared to have much fun, thus all our exhaustion was worth it. =)

These tigers used to be the crown jewel of Boise's smallish zoo, until they got an African corner that has lions. Well, I still like the tigers better since they were lounging around right next to my spot on the viewing window.

Lo might have liked this tiger better than the real ones. Also, note his tiger backpack. Yes, that was a spur-o-the-moment purchase in the overpriced zoo boutique, but it was one of those backpacks that had a leash attached--and a leash appeared to be a necessity once we arrived at the zoo so no regrets about buying that one. Lo walked/ran at least half the journey through the zoo. I was surprised his short legs didn't get more tired!

These goats made me laugh so much. They are totally aggressive about getting fed, and when they heard me put coins in this machine the whole herd came barging up to the fence, trampling each other in a feeding frenzy.

Yes, that is my child putting his fingers in his mouth after petting a goat. No signs of salmonella poisoning yet...

I think penguins were Lo's favorite. He liked the way they came right up to the glass. Is it just me, or do penguins actually seem to like the attention? There were none there when we first arrived, and then as soon as we crowded around the glass they all appeared and started swooping around, doing tricks for us, showing off, etc. Fun!

We accidentally chose the animal that did not move up and down. It was stationary camel and maybe a little boring to that Lo. Oh well. First time on a carousel.

This bobcat is blurry in the photo because it was weaving so quickly back and forth right in front of us. So close up!

No live elephants at this zoo, but this statue squirts water when passersby pause to look at it. I tried to keep Lo away from the water since it was a chilly autumn day, but he happened to like getting sprayed. So he threw a little tantrum when we finally carried him away.

This slide looks like a giant giraffe. Wish I got a photo of it from the side. I was apprehensive about sending Lo down by himself, but more scared of sliding down with him since I know kids who have gotten broken legs that way. So down he went, all alone, and seemed okay with it though his smile turned into an "Oh!" once he got started down, as I heard later from the reports of onlookers on the ground.

Of course, the squirrels were more of a hit than any exotics, since they entertained us by eating our snacks. That's great-grandma's foot in the corner of the photo--she was a trooper and walked the whole zoo with us. Thanks for putting up with us, Grandma! If you have a photo of the shot we took of all four of us by the colorful tree, please email it since mine didn't turn out the greatest.
This was the portion of our Boise trip when Jerry had already returned to Ohio, so we'll have to visit the Boise Zoo again someday when he can be there.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

prayers and profiles

For family prayer last night, Lo folded his arms on his own for the first time. Jerry had showed him a photo of a little boy praying, and then suddenly Lo folded his arms, just like the boy in the photo! We smiled and practiced doing it again, again and again, because he is just so adorable to us with his chubby arms that cannot even reach all the way around his belly.

Also in faith/religious news, I finished my profile on this morning. It is still pending review, so it might not be visible for awhile. Not sure why it took me months to complete, but it feels great to have it posted anyway. They have some great new profiles up right now on the home page. Check it out.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Odds n Ends

Seems a little out of order to just dump all these photos now, but figured I'd get them up while it is still recent enough after Halloween. Even though I've been listening to Christmas carols all day so it feels like Halloween was ages ago. =) A few days before Halloween, a local library did trick or treating for the kids. We took Lo and it was pretty cute to see him catching on to the idea of grabbing candy to put in his bag. Check the video at the bottom to see his very first time "trick or treating." We love libraries.

The children's section has this bubble tank. Lo can never get enough of it.

Cute smiles on both my boys.

For our candy basket we handed out to trick or treaters this year, I included a bunch of fake rubber rats, tarantulas, lizards, etc. Here is Lo playing with one of the fake rats on our deck. For about an hour on Halloween night, we left our candy basket outside unattended. When I checked it, there was still plenty of candy left, but someone had gone through and picked out all the rubber critters. Good to know what is the popular thing to give out these days.
We made Lo wear his costume all around the house for awhile, so here is a random picture of that. He was pointing to some lint on our carpet. He always finds the "treasures" I fail to clean up fast enough.
The day before Halloween, we had some fun with friends. Dropped by Kayla and Jeremy's house where Lo experienced his first video gamage. He played DJ Hero with surprising success.
Lo fell in love with their array of Halloween toys, so we had to include them in the impromptu family photo.
Also on the Saturday before Halloween, we hosted a costume party for some of the other kiddos at church. It was fun to see a matching panda for Lo to play with. The funny part about this party is that Lo slept through the entire thing--fell down for his nap right at the time people started arriving, and woke right as guest began to exit our home. Still getting his schedule back from our travel in Boise. For that party, we had a couple different kinds of soup. Jerry made a chicken noodle soup from scratch, and it was so yummy! I made a pumpkin curry soup (also from scratch) and it was so...interesting. We still have a lot of is sitting in our fridge if anybody wants to try it. =)

I carved this pumpkin once it had already been baked (it was our soup bowl pumpkin). Carving a cooked pumpkin is loads easier than carving a raw one, note to self.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One Year Stats

We had Lo's one-year-wellbaby checkup last night.  We sure do like his pediatrician. Glad she can do evening appointments so both Jerry and me are able to attend.  She said our baby is still following his own curve, above 95% for measurements, though she remarked that the nurse didn't get the correct height measurement so we are not sure how tall he is.  Lo wouldn't stand still long enough to measure him!  It is pretty cute that he can stand now instead of laying down to have his length taken.  Also, last time and this time they weighed him on the "big person scale," instead of the infant scale.  So that was cute to see him standing there like a regular kid.  29 lbs. is the current weight.  He is on track developmentally for language (says a few basic words) and all other areas look good.  Except when he got the lead/hemoglobin test done it showed that his hemoglobin levels are 10.1 and the doctor likes to see them more in the 11-15-ish range, I think is what she said.  So it means he needs more iron-rich food.  Ack; now I feel guilty for slacking on feeding him the iron-fortified cereals and leafy greens.  But since he's borderline, the doctor didn't seem too concerned and just said to try to feed him more of those foods.  No need to do an iron supplement for now.  Whew.  Interesting how I find myself consumed with guilt over not feeding him more vegetables.  Motherhood. 

I've mused lately on parenthood, and how this first year of it has changed our family.  Though parenting carries with it solemn responsibility and frequen challenges, we feel such richness of purpose as well.  I love the way Jerry and I plan for the future and work together teaching and growing this wonderful child.  Lo amazes and delights us, making us laugh a hundred times every day--not an exaggeration!  He is a generally joyful child.  We have noticed he seems outgoing, often greeting others or engaging them in play.  He is such a blessing to our family.  We love you Lo!

My cousin Lindsay took some darling photos for our little guy's one year mark.  They are still in the editing phase, but one of them made it on her website.  Check it out.  Getting so excited to show off the rest of them! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First Birthday Fun

Yesterday Lo decided since he turned one year old, he could fit into Daddy's shoes now. I found him trying to put one on, so I helped him get another one on his foot and then he just stood there, like "Um, now what?" He couldn't walk in these shoes of course. Since we will be in Hong Kong for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to do a turkey earlier in November. Lo's birthday feast seemed the perfect excuse. Turkey and cake. What more could a kid want.
We were feeling frugal with the cake, and just took a quick trip to the local grocery store where they give out samples. Yep, Lo's cake is just two sample slices wedged together. He didn't seem to mind.

Oh, and the banner in the background! "Free" through vistaprints (we paid shipping). Lo keeps waving hello to the hands on the banner. Funny kid.

For the birthday activity, we took Lo to the mall. It was special since we normally have some kind of agenda when we take him shopping, and have to rush around, not letting him explore like he wants to. So this time, we just let Lo wander around to his heart's content. We sat him in these coin-op boats, trains, cars, etc. (without putting in a coin) and he loved it. We also spent some time in ToysRus, with the video showing a little of that fun. Overall it seemed like a great birthday. Special and different compared to the humdrum routine of life, but not too big or stressful. Wish we could have done a party with friends out here in Ohio, since Lo has so many cute "baby friends" around his age. But with lots of travel (Jerry even has to go out of town for a business trip in a few days!) and church activities, etc. we just couldn't figure out a good time to get everybody together. Oh well. Lo didn't know the difference anyway.
I'll get some photos/video posted next week or so of his Boise Birthday Bash. Waiting on family members to send their photos and videos to us...thanks again everybody for manning the cameras while I chased the baby around. =)

The toy we ended up buying him is a "bath-ketball hoop," which is nice because he really didn't have a single true "bath toy," despite all his other mountains of play things. He loved these little basketballs so much, we couldn't get them out of his hands even at bedtime and he slept with one.

He did not ingest one single speck of this birthday cake. Good thing I hadn't slaved over baking it. He just kept handing me fingerfuls of frosting...

All things in common

I was just laying here unable to sleep at night, thinking about something we saw yesterday.

We walked out of the shopping mall, headed for home after a full evening of fun. A feast awaited us (turkey roasting in our oven...explanation to come in another post). As we left the mall, we saw a little girl about Lo's age spread-eagled on the ground sleeping. I glanced around for her caregivers and saw a couple sitting, also on the ground about 10 yards away from the child. I asked them, "Is this your baby?" And they nodded assent. The mother had red eyes. Crying or drugs?

Once we got in our car, Jerry and I concurred the family looked homeless, wearing clothes people don't normally wear in public, and having their baby asleep on the ground like that at 7-ish in the evening. Furthermore, the parents looked young. Teenagers. We drove home.

Our abundance strikes me. We have a guest bedroom with fresh sheets on the bed (I washed all the linens yesterday), more food than we can possibly consume (I threw out food yesterday that had gone bad due to us being too slow to eat it--common occurence), so many toys for our child that we have boxed away half of them to keep him from getting overwhelmed, etc. etc. Not to mention the innumerable friends and family who fill our lives with the non-tangible types of gifts. Truly, we are blessed.

I wish there was some way to share what we have with that family we saw. I wish the world was a safe enough place that we could have told them, "Come, get in our car, visit our home, sit at our table, eat of our food, rest in our beds, feel friendship and care from our hands."

I read Acts 2:44 and 4 Nep. 1:3. Pondering the law of consecration, and concept of "all things in common." Not a fan of communism, but still not sure what the answer should be...something along the lines of relying primarily on grassroots, NGO type organizations filling needs. Jerry and I donate to the poor in general through our church and feel good about the percentage of our income that goes to charity. But anyway, I don't want to get into the technical stuff for this post. I'm pondering a different angle of this issue. Yesterday I read in our church manual Behold Your Little Ones. At the time I read it, I recall being impressed by a phrase about sharing, so just now I re-read the whole lesson on sharing. I love the role playing, parents and teachers leading by example, and teaching from the scriptures. I also appreciate that the lesson cautions, "Do not force children to share." Forcing people to do anything invites resistance, breeds discontent, and is contrary to the agentic plan of happiness God has for us. I love how our church is full of commandments but we are invited to abide by them--ever having choice before us. But relying wholly on volunteerism to solve the inequalities of the world is a bit much to ask in a pre-millenial state of worldwide imperfection.

Just thinking. And looking forward to a day when Christ reigns on the earth in perfect government.