Monday, October 30, 2006

Just when I thought I might go crazy

Keenan has been a bit of a workout lately. He makes this incredibly aggravating noise (honestly, I now love the sound of nails on a chalkboard) in his throat which we have come to call whinging (pronounced win-ging). It kind of sounds like ehhhhh, ehhhhh, ehhhhhhhh and if he goes long enough it ends up as a waaaaahhhhhhhh eh eh WAAAAAAAHHHHHH. He does it between the times when he’s being engaged. Many times daily I run through the list of “Are all his crucial needs being met?” which 9 times out of 10 they are (hey, I’m not perfect you know!). In the end he just wants to be entertained a la “I don’t want to play with my toys but I want you to play with them right in front of my face while I watch”. Don’t get me wrong we’re not the type to leave our kid unattended with the Playstation and a myriad of other toys and expect him to get the job done himself. I just would like to be able to go for a pee or brush my teeth to the sound of a cooing baby not a whinging one. So we’re walking down the path of this phase pulling out all the old tricks and always inventing new ones along the way to keep our little guy amused. And I guess it’s that concept of this being a phase that he’ll grow out of that keeps us sane. Just today I heard him wake up from his morning nap and I peeked in on him to see what he was up to. He was keeping himself perfectly content by sucking on his toes and waving his hands in front of his face and did so for about 15 minutes.

So now he’s down for the ultra rare afternoon nap and this is my time. During the morning nap I fly thru the house like a banshee trying to check off as many things as I can on my self imposed, huge, long list of domestic responsibilities. But when he goes down for an afternoon nap I do a little happy dance, make some tea and gear gown. This is when I get to surf the net, blog, tweeze my eyebrows, frown in the mirror over my grey hairs and possibly string a couple of beads together. Today I came across an article and video on the internet that made all my fussing over Keenan’s whinging seem…well like I was whinging.

Please check out this link for the story of Dick and Rick Hoyt. It will inspire you to see the tough times with your children through new eyes. At least it did for me.


Originally uploaded by kuckibaboo.
We had a great time with Keenan on his first Halloween. We had a party on Friday night at Katie's and then we went to huge celebration at the Tokachi International Relations Centre. Keenan was a little overwhelmed with all the costumes and general scariness at first. He was even a little freaked out about my mask for a while too. But hey, what's Halloween without a little fright! We entered Keenan in the costume contest and he was the youngest contestant by far! He won two prizes...the most unique costume and either the cutest or most realistic costume. He got a couple of bags of candy which he is of course too young for but he really enjoyed the crinkly packages! I have been teaching a couple of classes lately and I've been able to take Keenan with me so he got to wear his costume yet again today. The kids really got a kick out of his cuteness!

Well there's no trick or treating here so we'll spend tomorrow evening at home and probably crack open one of the newly received Bounty bars from my sister! I hope you all have a spooky good time and eat some of those mini chocolate bars for us!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Mommy and Daddy time

Last week Wednesday Sean and I went out on our first date ALONE since Keenan was born. Alixe and Eiko offered to take care of Keenan as a team (each was there in support of the other!). Keenan sees Eiko about once a week and they are totally in love with each other. He sees Alixe less but is very comfortable with her and always flirts with her! So we knew he’d be ok to be alone with them if he woke up. So we followed the plan to have Keenan in bed before we left. He was out like a light and so far he’s never woken up before midnight when we put him down at around 7 pm so the ladies were pretty confident they were able to handle their charge. So after many “ok, here’s what to do in case of’s” and double checking cell phone numbers we left Keenan in the very capable hands of our babysitting team and made our way out the door at 7:45. It felt really strange for the two of us to get into the car and drive away without him. By the time we were 3 minutes from home I was having butterflies and starting to feel a bit anxious. All the while Sean was reassuring me that Keenan was ok and when I asked him if it felt weird for him to be away from Keenan he did in fact admit that it did. A few minutes later we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. As I got out of the car I looked into the car seat in the back and it was empty. Weird. The restaurant we went to is called Nagoyaka-tei and it’s a great kaiten zushi place here in Obihiro. We went to the new one on Odori but there was a 20-30 minute wait. Too long and still in baby mode we drove 10 minutes across town to the other location which is a 15 minute walk from our apartment and waited for 10 minutes to be seated! Oh well! We had a great dinner and just chatted and enjoyed watching the sushi glide by. We went for dessert at Baskin and Robbins and did some people watching at the Ichi maru grocery store. Something we both love but don’t have time to do with a squirming 5 ½ month old. Up until this point we had been away from home for 2 hours and that was about all either of us could take. We walked in the door to find Alixe and Eiko watching Murder She Wrote on Alixe’s computer and Keenan fast asleep. He didn’t make a peep the whole time we were gone and Alixe was just getting up to call us and tell us to take our time. I’m not sure what we would have done with that extra time but we felt great for time we did have to ourselves. I think next time we’ll strive for 3 hours!

A million thank you’s to Alixe and Eiko for taking care of Keenan for us!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

5 months…and a week

Keenan & Shinada
Originally uploaded by kuckibaboo.
Dear Keenan,

Happy 5 months birthday my sweet boy! You are growing so big so fast it’s almost hard to believe that you were born only 5 months ago! Your dad and I measured you on Sunday and you were 65 cm long. You’ve grown 4 cm in length in 3 weeks! It seems that every week there’s another sleeper or onsie going in the recycle shop bag because you manage to squeeze your shoulders out of the neck! You still have just two teeth. The first one appeared on September 1st and the second one came in on September 10th. So far no others have broken thru but you’re drooling so much that we’re pretty sure one of your upper front ones will be making an appearance any day now. I don’t weigh you too often but you are about 6.5 kilos (about 14 lbs). Your eyes are still blue though they are a little darker blue than when you were born. Your infant hair is nearly all gone and most of the new hair that is coming in is blond. In the last couple of months we’ve noticed that you are developing two dimples in your chin. One is the same as your dad and gramma Pat’s and is right in the middle of your chin. The other one is a bit of a rogue and can only be spotted on the left side of your chin just under your lip when you’ve got a huge grin on. Your ears have kind of gotten to be well…a little bit “sticky outy” and I find them to be insanely adorable! Your body, arms and legs are so long it makes you look like you are a lot older than you actually are. I was sitting next to a woman with another baby yesterday and we had the typical mommy chat. How old? How much does he weigh? Well, it turns out her kid was 9 months old and you were longer than him!

You’re really getting into food. You’ve been watching us intently every time we put some in our mouths for about 2 months now. We let you have your first taste of banana on September 16th and you really liked it. Since then we’ve let you try apple juice with water, sweet potatoes, carrots, pear, apple-pear and mango. You loved everything except the pear. We haven’t really started you on solids yet but we figure since you like trying new things there’s no harm in letting you try a new taste every now and then. You’re all set to go with dishes (Buzz Lightyear and Woody patterns no less!), sippy cups, spoons and bibs. I’ve got some baby food making supplies and I’ll likely make most if not all of the baby food you consume. It’s pretty easy to make and this country has about a million gadgets to get the job done!

You still really love getting out and meeting and being with new people. You are starting to develop a bit of a shy side to you but that’s pretty natural for a wee guy your age. You love being taken out to see the sights and really enjoy being in stores or out walking with us. Yesterday I took you into Nitori to shop for a steamer and you had to touch everything I did. So I carried you and let you reach out and pick up the odd thing. You were a real hit with all the other shoppers, which is always the case when we’re out.

On a good day you have two naps. The first one for about 45 minutes at around 10 am and the other usually in the early afternoon for a couple of hours. If you get all cranky and don’t want to nap I load you into the stroller and we go for a walk. You are not such a fun guy to be around when you don’t have a nap. You are a pretty demanding hands on kid to begin with but if you miss your nap you are a total wingey grump! Needless to say your dad and I have become quite good at what normal/childless people would call idiot behavior! Grinning, jumping up and down, singing in bizarre voices, making faces, knee slapping, clapping all in the name of bringing a smile to your face. When I’m really desperate to bring you out of a funk I break out a set of spoons and play them while I sing to you and make goofy faces all at the same time. The sound of the spoons seems to mesmerize you and you kick your feet and smile like crazy. Nice to know we’re going nuts simultaneously! I know I’m going to jinx myself the second I type this, probably have already for thinking it anyways…there are two times of the day where your schedule is pretty concrete well, for now anyways. You go to bed at 7pm otherwise all hell breaks loose. The 60 minutes between 6 and 7 are usually pretty hairy but if we try to keep you up past 7 it gets ugly (unless of course we’re away from home and then for some reason you’re an angel!). Then you wake up between 3 and 4 to be fed. I put you back in your crib and you sleep until 6 or 7 am and then we bring you to bed and you sleep for an hour or two. You’ve been like this for a while and we count ourselves lucky for your sleep patterns!

You love other children, especially babies. You reach out for them and smile and coo and exude more angelic qualities than I can list. The ladies are still your favorite. You never miss a chance to flash your two pearly whites at the pretty girls no matter their age!

Crawling is in your near future. You can hold your chest off the ground by pushing yourself up on your arms and you can stick your bum in the air by being up on your knees with your face mashed in the floor but you can’t do both at the same time. Once that level of physical dexterity and strength is achieved our lives will change drastically! Right now you inch worm your way around. Never very far all at once but far enough that we have to keep an eye on you when you’re left on an open surface.

You still have one hang-up in the getting dressed/nudity department. You HATE having sleeves pulled over your arms. This is particularly frustrating given the colder weather we’ve been hit with. Layering is going to be a nightmare with you!

Your hands and arms finally are co-operating with your brain! You are constantly reaching out for things that come within or just outside of your grasp. We have to keep an eye on you when you’re in the stroller in the grocery store as you’ll pull things off the shelf if we get you too close. You are most adept at pulling your father’s goatee. You can get all 5 fingers of one hand completely tangled up in it in less than 2 seconds. Then you pull as hard as you can! It’s gotten to the point where your dad has said he’s keeping the goat until Halloween for his pirate costume and then it’s gonna get a serious trimming. Who knows we might even see that handsome dimple again!

Your favorite toys are your rattle with a bunch of different rings on it and your red Shinada creature. If either one gets lost we’re screwed. I’ve considered buying back ups to both but that seems a little extreme don’t you think? You still like your rocking chair and play mat but you get tired with both pretty quickly. Methinks a high chair will be coming into our lives soon. You like having your toys in front of you on some sort of surface where you can move them around, bang them into submission and then discard them onto the floor. Our computer mouse has met with this fate on occasion. Might be best to have a back up of one of those too!

Well, it’s taken me a little over a week to write this! You keep your mommy busy these days but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m looking forward to what the next two months hold for you…solid foods, possibly crawling, more Keenan speak and perhaps even sleeping right through the night!