Saturday, June 30, 2007

Auntie Bret changes first diaper!

Bret has sooo many amazing experiences under his belt but when Keenan was born we found out that he had NEVER changed a diaper. We vowed that someday he’d be responsible to change Keenan and he managed to dodge the task until we sprung it on him one evening shortly before Keenan’s first birthday. He bravely stepped up to the plate even though we couldn’t guarantee a poop free experience. The following video documents that monumental event. Oddly Bret keeps calling Keenan “Baby” even though he’s known him for a year, perhaps some sort of subconscious dissociation instinct was kicking in. Bret’s participation took about 6 minutes with Sean stepping in a couple of times to wrangle Keenan and then in the end to dress him. After a couple of minutes of shooting this video I was laughing so hard that I hit the stop button on the camera by accident so there’s a wee bit of a transition. You don’t actually see too much in the following video but the commentary is truly priceless.

Friday, June 29, 2007

13 ½ months

There was just no time to write a 13-month update so Keenan’s public will have to be fine with 13 ½ months! I figured the video would be a crowd pleaser too!

So much has happened in the last 6 weeks and as much as Sean hates to admit it Keenan is now a full-blown “toddler”. Apart from that the biggest news to report is that Keenan has finally made the leap from being afraid to try walking to wanting to do it all the time. We bought him a Fisher Price walker a couple of months ago and he could only ever push it in straight lines and would freak out when he got it wedged into a corner or under the table. Now he runs with it, spins it around corners and pushes balls around the apartment with it. The other evening Sean and Keenan walked to the drug store together and Keenan had his walker with him. They were walking thru the cookie aisle and Keenan spotted a package of the raisin cookies he likes and he picked them up and put them right in the basket area of his walker! They proceeded to the checkout where Sean paid for their cookies and then they walked out. You can imagine how everyone in the drug store melted into pools of oob due to the extreme cuteness overload. While Tom and Pat were here Keenan ventured into full blown walking attempts sans walker. And within hours he had all of us on the floor encouraging him to walk between us. Now he can manage a distance of about 15 feet on his own. He’s also mastered getting up from a sitting position on the floor but still doesn't consider walking as his primary mode of transportation. I’m sure that’ll come in the next month or so and should make our 7 days in Tokyo that much more interesting!

The thing I find most endearing as of late is the rapid development of Keenan’s “ha ha I’m a funny man” personality. Basically he’s a ham and he totally knows how to work the crowd. He has a fantastic repertoire of gestures that he’ll do on command including “Power/Hulk Smash”, “Who knew?” “Sniffy face while eating”, “yeah while clapping” and the cutest one so far titled “Oooohhhhhh”. They have to be seen to be believed so hopefully I can get them all (there's a wee bit of the Power/Hulk Smash gesture in the video above) on video and posted. Not only is Keenan a funny guy himself but he finds many things around him funny like silly faces, Sean sitting on the toilet and putting his fingers up anyone’s nose. Actually that last one has become a bit of an annoying past time and although we should probably be trying to discourage it we still find it too cute to do so! Adding to the laughter it appears that very recently Keenan has become a walking tickle zone. It seems everyday he develops a new ticklish spot and we can send him into peels of writhing and giggling with very little effort whatsoever.

This week there has been a new development in his limited vocab. Apart from calling us mumum and dada he’s starting saying “oh ma ga” or “oh ma gu” which I guess is “oh my God or goodness”. And he understands the context in which they should be used. Interesting, as I didn’t think either one of us said either of those phrases very often. I guess it’s time to start watching what we say. Especially the “f” words. Frig it is from here on out!

Books glorious books. Our child is a bookworm and we love it! He loves all of his books and reads most of them several times a day. Keenan will get up in the red chair all on his own and sit and go through 4 or 5 books on after the other. He inspects each page, looks at the pictures and talks to himself all the while. He’s quite particular about when we read to him though. If he’s quietly “reading” to himself he usually doesn’t like to be disturbed by an adult butting in to read to him. He does love to be read to but under his own terms. He especially likes his books being sung to him in silly voices, which is cool cause that’s generally my favorite way to read to him!

We haven’t been buying Keenan very many toys recently since we’ll be leaving so soon and don’t want to pack many back to Canada with us. It really is amazing how few toys kids actually need especially when so many household items make good stand-ins. There are a few things he can’t seem to live without like his Duplo, ring sorter and growing collection of balls. He’s up to 6 different balls now and loves rolling and chasing after them. Yesterday I bought Keenan a couple of water park toys. There is a fantastic kids water park at Ecology Park in Otofuke and I’m sure we’ll be heading back there a few times before we leave. Keenan fell in love with another kid’s truck when we were there last so I got him one of those, a small watering can, rake and shovel. They’ve proved to be hits around the house already so maybe they’ll come to Canada with us.

There seems to be interesting developments in Keenan’s eating behaviors on perhaps a weekly basis. While Tom and Pat were here Keenan starting doing this business where he would scream and scream when we put him in the high chair and then we’d have to hold him down and put a taste of food in his mouth. After that first bite he’d totally shut up and sit there with his mouth open like a starving little robin. Very strange. Then there was the “I’ll eat anything if you coat it in yoghurt” phase which quickly turned into the “I won’t eat anything unless it’s coated in the yoghurt you’re eating right now at this very second” phase. Confusing. I’m not sure words can convey how vile Vegetable beef rice pilaf coated in tropical fruit yoghurt smells. Sean nearly barfed up his dinner over that one. Now we’re in the “I’ll eat anything if it’s coated in green” phase. Yup, that’s right. If Keenan doesn’t want to eat his rice just dot it with green peas. Not eating the toast? Then just shake some dried parsley on it. Oh and he won’t eat oatmeal without cinnamon.

Keenan has possibly the cutest, most perfectly square, bright white front teeth, which have earned him, the new nick name “Chiclets”. He also sprouted a lower incisor about 10 days ago and last week he sprouted another on the other side. Today I noticed an upper molar punching through on one side and another on the other side just under the surface. The amazing thing is he isn’t making much of a fuss about it at all. Just lots of drooling.

Despite all the teeth I’m still breastfeeding him about 3 or 4 times a day. He is gradually weaning himself and no longer needs the boob to fall asleep at night or for naps. I’d like to keep up the breast feeding for the flight back home as it is so comforting for him and really helps with the ear pressure change during take off and landing. I imagine some time after we get ourselves settled in Canada he’ll be fully weaned. I’m not in a great rush though.

I’m really reticent to type this for fear of jinxing us but it appears the Holy terror diaper changes are growing less frequent. He’s moved up to the next size in diapers as of this week. We’ve started using diaper liners again because we’re simply so sick and tired of scraping shit off diapers and subsequently reaming said shit out from under our finger nails. Someday I’ll plant a tree for every 100 liners we’ve used.

Our little guy is getting so tall but he’s a lean fellow too. He still has his umbilical hernia but it’s not as bad as it used to be. Hopefully it heals itself soon. I don’t have recent weights and measures but will update this likely by the end of the weekend.

Keenan was a very lucky little boy to have his Gramma and Grampa here for a fully month between May and June. From the first morning they were here he pulled them into his tractor beam of cuteness from which they will likely never break free! It was especially great for them to see him take his first steps, develop his gestures and just be a part of his daily life. They were likely 10,000 photos taken (I really do wish I were kidding!) to document their stay and many are of the boy with Tom and Pat, which is really lovely.

In the next month we’ll be leaving Keenan’s birthplace to return to Canada. Sean and I will be going home but Keenan will be leaving his. It makes us sad to leave but we’re also very happy to be going back. Sean and I are looking forward to bringing Keenan back to Obihiro when he reaches an age when such a trip has meaning for him. I hope time continues to creep by in this part of the world. For the next 15 to 18 years at least.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just the 3 of us again

At 12:30 am on Saturday morning Tom, Pat and I struck out for the Obihiro train station. The train ride to Chitose would be their last adventure in Japan on this trip. They left for the train station tired and nervous but were smiling and waving as the train pulled away from the platform. We had a good visit. No month long adventure with ones family is ever without a few bumps in the road but we all survived. Once again we logged lots of miles on the car, toured the spectacular Hokkaido countryside, met lovely people, bought lots of bits and bobs and ate great food. We watched plenty of “Keenan as TV” and he really loved having his gramma and grampa around to kiss (oob), chase, read him stories and hold his hands while he practiced walking (yes, the bunlet walks, more about that later). We did too much to include in what is supposed to be a short post but I’ll try expanding on the highlights in future posts.

So yesterday morning Keenan had a 3-hour nap while Sean and I cleaned house and enjoyed a rare two-latte morning! I had a great phone chat with my sister for almost an hour and a half. We could have gone on longer but we were disconnected. We spent the afternoon running errands and then we fully enjoyed an in car MOS burger dinner at Obihiro no Mori park whilst our babe slept in his car seat in the back. Then we headed over to the A Co-op and I bought a few groceries in a sleep deprived, zombie-like stupor. I don’t really remember getting home but I do remember Sean waking me up on Tom and Pat’s bed at 8:30 pm to help him put Keenan to bed. Then I woke up once again at 6 am in Tom and Pat’s bed feeling remarkably refreshed. My first 12-hour sleep since Keenan was born! Both Sean and Keenan are still asleep and it’s 7:40 am so I have this delicious time to myself! I’ll upload some photos and perhaps start another post before reality sets in.

The countdown is officially on. 1 month and 3 days until we leave Japan. Oh, bring on the mixed emotions, long lists of things to do, packing and teary good-byes already. We are finally ready to return to Canada.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Japan is better with more Japanagans

Well Sean, Keenan and myself are feeling much better a week after the snot fest. Last Friday we did indeed take Keenan to the hospital, as he didn’t since to improve on Thursday. The sensei gave us a decongestant/antihistamine/cough suppressant/mild sedative concoction for Keenan that worked absolute wonders. He was feeling much better in just a couple of days. Sean and I still have a fairly persistent dry cough but we’re doing much better all the same.

So last Saturday morning we packed our wee family into our car to make the trip to Sapporo to pick up Sean’s parents. The 3 of us were definitely not feeling top drawer but a trip to Saptown always lifts ones spirits so we were happy to hit the road. Sean picked up Tom and Pat at the train station late in the evening and due to the complete lack of train service back into the city they took a $140 cab ride back to the hotel. Regardless it was great to see them again the next morning and we had a great time farting around in Sapporo before heading back to Obihiro. We’ve had a great first week and the next 3 promises to be just as fun if not funner!

I really feel like our time is slipping away from us here though. After Tom and Pat leave Sean, Keenan and I will only have 1 more month here. It seems hard to believe that 3 years have gone by since we set foot on this island. Time is flying and I wish it would crawl.