Journal for Ethan- Year 1
Smile for Mommy                        Smile for Daddy

9/7/08 We went to the zoo today, Ethan's 4th time. He enjoyed the elephants again, and even showed the zoo keeper what elephants do (with his shoulders hunched and swinging his arm like a trunk.) He got to ride the train, and go on the carousel, but the carousel went pretty fast and we were on the outside ring, and he got scared and cried. He held onto my arm and anything else he could clutch until it stopped and I held him while I sat side-saddle on the lion that he was originally on. He enjoyed seeing the monkeys and bears, and the giraffes too. One giraffe was born on the same day that he was. He finally got to see the lions moving too.
9/5/08 Ethan loves tossing items down the stairs, or dropping them, or wacking at them until they start the tumble. He's also quite good at sharing, and will hand you something if you ask him to. He responds appropriately to lots of commands now, like: give that to me, close the door, sit down, put that down, push the button, turn the page, take that to mama.
9/4/08 Ethan said "thank you" today.
9/2/08 Lydia was watching a 3-4 month old in Ethan's room and he liked to touch the boy's face, and rock him in the carrier. One was more effective than the other at maintaining a sleeping state.
8/28/08 Ethan loves balloons. He calls them "babooms" and likes to pinch them. He's recently started spinning around too.
8/27/08

Ethan says "bubble" in context - has for a week or more. It sounds a bit like "ba ba" but you can hear the "L". He says "up" a lot now, to mean that he wants to be picked up.

I was at the store after reading that we should be letting Ethan use a spoon on his own more (despite the mess) to allow him to practice the feeding himself with silverware skill. I got a bit teary-eyed when I picked up the "big-boy" plate and flatware, and thought about his one-year birthday coming up. He's almost all grown up! :-)

He walked backwards yesterday- watching Daddy and taking about a step per second, for about 6 steps.

8/26/08 The Olympics in Beijing just ended, and the Democratic National Convention just started in Denver. Ethan didn't really get to see much of the Olympics though we were on vacation during the 2nd week, because the coverage always started at 7pm, and he tends to be asleep by 6:30pm. There's lots going on in the world at this time of his life, and near his birthday.
8/24/08 Ethan knows to sniff at flowers, and today he stayed on the grass of the backyard since each time he neared the rock border, Mommy said, "Stay on the grass" and he changed directions toward the center of the lawn.
8/23/08

Ethan said "weeee" after Mommy did when he went down the slide. He also says "hot" when near the stove. He used to wave "bye bye" sometimes (never consistently) but now he doesn't wave as often, but says "bye bye" sometimes instead.

He runs to the family room gate and says "Da da" when he hears the garage door open.

8/22/08

For the past week or so Ethan has been very interested in putting items inside containers. He likes putting Dominoes into the box (Mommy likes this concept of putting things away too), and he likes putting balls inside the dragon ball-container. He also likes to put the Mega Bloks into the dump truck they belong in, as well as in the swing-set mesh container, with the Dominoes and balls then ended up there too. Or, he'll put toys and shoes into the trash can. Mommy isn't as pleased about the indescriminate placement of these items. Though, it's better than the take-everything-out-of-the-container-stage that he apparently is out of now.

Today at Home Depot his daddy was holding him up to some yellow balloons and he pinched one and it popped. Everyone looked at him for a crying and scared response, but he just looked blank for a second, then got a big smile and reached for another balloon.

8/20/08

We went to the children's museum in Breckenridge today and he liked the colored pasta container the best - why it's in the "under age 2" area, I'm not sure. He would bring a handful to me, then I'd give it to James, who would return it to the container while Ethan grabbed a new handful. Then he started placing those inside other toys and their innards in the pasta container. He and I really enjoyed it.

He also enjoyed the drum, and turning other items into a drum by beating them with the drumstick. Then we went on the train, which was also fun for him, especially because it had bubbles coming from the engine car.

8/19/08 Ethan started anticipating and making the sounds of one of his bedtime stories, The Napping House.
8/18/08

Ethan said "all done" today after doing the sigh language for it. He played in the kiddie pool (1 foot deep) and when he tripped and fell into it, each time he got into the back float position. He didn't like it, but it made Mommy feel a lot better about his ability to handle that if needed. He cried when we left the pool, pointing to the pool with obvious desire to return. He did the same when we left the shower after the pool as well.

He went down the slide on his own for the first time today- Mommy was at the bottom for catching if needed, but it was only needed about half the time. He likes the slide.

8/14/08 Ethan can imitate an elephan, monkey, and lion upon command/request.
8/12/08 He can say "apple", "hot dog", "up" and "tock" in context. He says "ba ba" for bottle now, instead of using the "milk" sign that he used to use.
8/11/08

Ethan has a tooth coming in on the bottom left.

He went to the zoo today for the third time. This time he walked around to see the animals, whereas the last two times were in the carrier and the stroller. He loves to see the animals.

8/10/08 Ethan saw a cat today and was very interested in him. It wasn't his first kitty seen, but it was the first time he really took notice.
8/9/08 Ethan can go down the stairs backwards now, without any problem or hesitation. It's so cute - he gets down on his tummy a little far from the edge, then scoots to the top stair to go down backwards.
7/27/08 I gave Ethan a choice between a half a grape and a goldfish cracker for a snack and I was pleased when he selected the grape. Then with the same hand he grabbed the goldfish and put them both in his mouth.  I wasn't as pleased, but I was amused.
7/26/08 We went to the zoo today and Ethan pointed or reached at the animals he saw. He was so much more interested this time than last time.  He saw kangaroos and said "boo, boo" which is his way of saying "roo".  He also saw elephants, bears, penguins, monkeys, and lorikeets.  He really seemed to enjoy the trip.  Next time we'll ride the train and see the great apes.
7/21/08 Ethan loves fruit, almost any kind.  He loves kiwi, raspberries, applesauce, strawberries, and more. He also like yoghurt, and his favorite is still his first solid food: cereal.  He says lots of words including hat (which we're counting as his first word), dog, up, moo ( the sound a cow makes, but he says "boo"), roo (meaning kangaroo, also said as "boo"), food, and more.
7/15/08 Ethan's such a joy to be around.  I look forward to my 2 - 2.5 hours of play time with him every day, and the weekends I get even more.  During the day while I'm working I may see him here and there, and it's so nice to have him smile at me, or squeal when he sees me, or come and hug me.  He's the best little hugger, he even puts his head on your shoulder when he hugs.

Last night said "Pooh" (as in Bear) and "pet" (as in "pet the giraffe") in context.  I wonder if he's been talking for a while and his parents just hadn't noticed. Or maybe those were just coincidental sounds...

Today Ethan pointed to a hat, shoes and Mommy's eyes when prompted. In fact, he walked across the room and poked Mommy's eye.  He pointed to the hat in a book, then his own shoes instead of the ones in the book.

7/13/08 Ethan went through the dog door today for the first time. We knew he had been playing near the door, and when I looked up from my task, he was outside just sitting in front of the dog door.  Finding this child just sitting is a rare event.  I said, "Ethan's outside, looking like he's not sure how he got there."

He says "up", "hat", "mama", "mom", "dada", and "dad" so far.  It actually seems like he says them in context now, but I can't be sure.  I don't know which he said first but he's been saying the dadada and mamama sounds for a while.

7/12/08 We got Ethan a toy piggy bank and already it's teaching him things.  He's learned that it's much more fun to withdraw money than deposit it, and much easier too.

He has several favorite toys right now: Mom's cell phone, any home phone w/ lights and sounds, the ceiling fan/light remote control (he points it at the fan when he pushes the buttons, it's so cute), Dad's hat, real car keys, music table, stuffed giraffe, any ball, and any dog toy that Foster will try to take from him.

7/11/08 I watched Ethan at the end of his third week of survival swim lessons, and it was incredible.  He was put into the water at various angles, including head-first and on the tummy in a forward motion, and he'd react by kicking and moving so that quickly he would be floating on his back and breathing.  That's all good news, but it's very hard for Mommy to watch.
7/10/08 I thought I'd record a few things about Ethan's personality and preferences right now.  He likes hats, but only if he gets to take them off someone else's head.  He'll put almost any item on his head, whether hat-like or not, at least temporarily.  I don't worry about him getting off couches anymore as he's got that down. He likes lifting the lid of the metal trash cans.  He enjoys toppling any structure made by dominos. He prefers to have someone else hold his bottle. He enjoys cereal and doesn't often enjoy meat. Fruit's his favorite, though bananas have fallen out of favor.

Ethan was just accepted into a local charter school, Kindergarten class of 2012.  We're not certain that's where he should be going, since we haven't seen the school or talked with the staff, but we wanted to have the option, and it's a difficult school to get into.  They base admittance solely upon when the letter of intent is received.  Fortunately we were early enough.

7/6/08 This morning was a lazy morning, and Ethan's parents were getting their coffee and hanging out in the family room.  Daddy said, "Will you watch cartoons if I put them on?"  Mommy said, "I don't know, does he ever pay attention to the TV?"  Daddy responded with, "I don't know either, we never have it on."  So, today Ethan sat down and watched a TV show, a cartoon, the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
7/5/08 Ethan will play peek-a-boo now, but he'll be the one hiding.  Today I was sitting in the rocking chair in his room and he would go behind the chair, I'd say, "Where's Ethan?" and he's poke his head out to see me.  Then repeat.  It was very cute.

Today he had a homemade popsicle of diluted apple juice.  He enjoyed "biting" at it (he still has no teeth) and ended up holding it and eating it on his own.

7/4/08 He's walking everywhere now.  He'll crawl only when needed, like if something he wants is just a few feet away, but otherwise, walking is his preferred method of propulsion.  He fell down a few stairs today (because he was so fast getting up them that his parents standing very close didn't notice it).  He's fine, but it scared him.  Perhaps that's a good thing.

Brother Jake noticed a little girl unconscious in the pool during the 4th of July festivities, and pulled her out, calling for help. She was blue.  Our friend Peter gave her two breaths after identifying that her heart was still beating, and she started breathing on her own and throwing up a bunch of water and more.  The paramedics said she'll be fine, but the neighborhood won't forget Jake's efforts for a long time. He was shaken up and seemed in a daze much of the rest of the evening.

7/3/08 Since the raspberry incident, Ethan has tried to put his open mouth on our faces many times.  I've decided that he really does mean to kiss.  And when taken in context, it seems to fit.

He spent some time with CJ recently and didn't like the loud noises (barking) that her dogs made.  I hope the fireworks noises aren't a problem for him tomorrow.  Ethan's a pretty good hugger.  When I picked him up from CJs he gave me a big smile and walked over and right into me.  I hugged him and he seemed to hug back.

6/29/08 Recently Ethan's been opening his mouth and aiming it at our faces.  At first I thought it was an attempt at a kiss, and someone else mentioned it may be because he's teething.  Today while trying to show him to close his mouth for a kiss, I realized that it's not meant as a kiss at all.  He's attempting to do a raspberry.  It's very effective on the landscape of an arm, but not as much so on facial features.

He's also recently been playing tug-o-war with Foster a lot, using Foster's toys.  Foster is a sport about it and sometimes lets go, letting Ethan "win".  Most times however, he just takes the toy and turns around, not going far with it, so continuing to taunt the child.  Ethan's persistent and they play like that for 10-15 minutes sometimes.

6/26/08 One of Ethan's favorite things to do is play in or with the dog's water bowl. This doesn't please the dogs since the water inevitably ends up in some place where it's no longer lapable.
6/25/08 Ethan's been cruising along and letting go of things on his own, and just continuing to walk.  He usually prefers to be near something he can hold onto if he needs to, but he's more confident in his walking ability now.
6/21/08 Ethan took 8 steps from Daddy to Mommy today, approximately 3 feet. He still prefers to hold someone's hand, but he can stand and walk on his own now.
6/18/08 Yesterday Ethan started his Infant Swimming Resource lessons, the ones that should help him save himself if he ever falls into a pool.  He really doesn't like it, but I wouldn't either if I was forced to try to float on my back for 10 minutes every day.  It's going to last 4 weeks, so I hope it starts getting easier for him.
6/16/08 Ethan has stood for about 10 seconds in one place a few times.  Today he took 3 steps on his own. I don't know if that counts as the walking milestone yet. I think I'll hold off for 5 steps to make sure it counts.
6/13/08 Ethan played in the pool again today in Mexico and walked on his own in the 1.5 foot section.  He did great besides that as well.  He had floaties on his arms and was able to walk and trip and keep his face out of the water, or several times he got water in his mouth and spit it out. He even (probably accidentally) flipped over to his back and floated there for a while.
6/11/08 Ethan's afraid of Elmo.  He cries when Elmo laughs and does little whimpers when he's not laughing but nearby.  We noticed this first on 5/31, but it continues to the be the case. We even saw Elmo on TV and Ethan made a few sounds like he was uncomfortable - not sure if he recognized Elmo, or if it was a coincidence.
6/10/08 Ethan had difficulty sleeping one night that we were in Mexico so he was sleeping with us.  He woke up in the middle of the night and tweaked my nose, making a noise while he did it. I wasn't too happy with his recent learning at that point, and explained to him that the nose noise doesn't work after dark.
6/8/08 I started making noise when Ethan would touch my nose and not long after he would reach for my nose and make a noise of his own.
6/4/08 Ethan's really good at getting off furniture relatively safely, and has been for a long time.  It just struck me yesterday that this may not be a normal skill.  He turns around and slides his feet off, still holding onto the seat with his hands.  That doesn't mean that his mother doesn't worry about him crawling off a bed or couch though.

He's recently started to spin around while sitting down, by using his feet/legs to spin around on his butt.

6/2/08 Ethan waved at me today - it was more like waving both hands and not very directed, but it was in response to my saying "Hi Baby!" and waving to him. <- That statement was made in the morning.  By noon he was waving with one hand exactly as we showed him, at the appropriate times.

The neighborhood playgroup starts today and I'm looking forward to seeing his interaction with the other kids.  I think this little socialite will enjoy it. <- Another morning comment.  Our "socialite" preferred playing with the new toys to playing with other kids.  He pushed an 11-month old, but I don't think we should label him a bully yet.  He was just excited. He squealed a bunch too, and crawled around and played a lot.  He enjoyed it, which was good since it took the place of his nap.

6/1/08 He enjoyed touching and looking at the roses in the nursery, but I couldn't get him to smell them.  I guess that's an advanced concept, but I'll keep working on it.
5/31/08 We went to the Children's Museum for the first time today.  Ethan enjoyed playing with the toys, especially the low-hanging mobile, and the vertical net that he hung onto. He crawled over rough surfaces, opened and closed little doors, turned knobs, and climbed a big teddy bear.  He met a little girl who was 2 months older, but much smaller and spent quite a bit of time squealing at her. We had to prevent him from touching her head/face, but other than that they got along well.  At some point the girl began to squeal too, but Ethan had to squeal afterwards louder, to have the final word.
5/29/08 The 9-month doctor's appointment went well.  He is in the 75th percentile for height, a big jump from his approximately 50th percentile last time, and about 50th in the other measures, and a little lower on the head circumference.  He may get his pin-head from his mother.  He doesn't have anemia, and the doctor said that he's been advanced in all of his developmental behavior, so she predicts that he'll be walking at about 10 months.  He's already taking off walking and holding onto only one hand of an adult who follows behind.
5/26/08 Ethan got a big hug and kiss from a 19-month old girl while waiting for shoes at the Stride Rite store. The hug was so big that he started to fall over, but was caught by Mom and Grandma.  The girl wiped her lips after kissing his cheek, because of the slobber, but I think overall it was a positive experience for Ethan.
5/24/08 Ethan held his own bottle for the first time (for an extended period of time) today.
5/10/08 The second swimming lesson went well too.  He splashed when everyone else did, and played with toys and "floated" on his back and tummy, with Mommy holding him. He got water in his mouth a few times an didn't appreciate that.

Today was the first time Ethan fed himself a whole meal.  He had ground beef (for the first time), chopped pears, and Cheerios. He used his hands to pick up and feed himself all of it, but Mommy was placing small portions on his tray.  Later in the day he tried shredded cheese (colby & jack), a McDonald's biscuit (bad Daddy), and orange bell pepper.

5/3/08 Ethan's getting around on all fours now quite nicely and has even taken two steps without support from Mommy or Daddy.  He climbs everything and can stand up by holding just about anything, including items that are only a few inches off the floor.  He's grown out of several of his 6-9 month outfits and is starting on the 12 month ones now, and he's only 8  months old.  Since he's always been at the 50% area since he was 3 months old or so, I wonder if clothing just isn't calibrated correctly.

Ethan's first swimming lesson went well.  He kicked on his own, wasn't afraid of any of it, and got to meet several other people about his size: a 10-month old, a 12-month old and a 13-month old.  There were others, but Mommy didn't talk to their parents to find out their ages.  Daddy got some of it on video and took some photos.  Ethan liked the toys and didn't even mind going under water much, except when Mommy stayed under a bit too long.

5/1/08 It's snowing today. Ethan will check it out later after the snowing stops. We have 3 inches on the ground so far.
4/30/08 Twice today Ethan removed his bib.  He just pulled on it and it came off because it's secured with Velcro.  Apparently not very strong Velcro.
4/27/08 Today Ethan walked with me by holding just one of my hands for the first time, for about 5 feet. Before today he always would hold both hands.  He's been able to get back on the floor (sitting or lying down) from a standing position for a while, but he's very graceful at it now.

He also clearly recognized the sign "banana" since I fed him cereal until he didn't want to open his mouth anymore, then I did the sign for banana and he bounced with some excited noises and opened his mouth really wide.

4/26/08 Today Ethan stood up in his crib for the first time, that I've seen or heard about anyway. Instead of just fussing a bit before his nap, or crying a little till he fell asleep, he stood up, walked around the crib rail, sat down and rolled around, stood up again, and put his arms over the side crying and looking at the door. I took a video from the monitor.  He stayed awake longer than usual before going to sleep, probably because it was a new experience for him.

He's spending more time crawling with his tummy off the floor, but often reverts back to the army crawl.

4/25/08 Ethan broke his first item today: Mommy's laptop keyboard.  The "K" key is no longer there.  How he did this, I'm not sure. It didn't seem much of a risk to allow him to touch the keyboard, but perception can be deceiving.
4/24/08 Ethan loves crawling up the stairs, and it's such a new thing that we're happy to follow him, for safety.  I think we've just decided that a gate at the bottom of the stairs is in order.  He can also stand up from a sitting position very easily, as long as there's something to hold onto to give him support: a pant leg, an ottoman, a toy, a dog.  He can stand there very well, but sometimes he forgets that he needs to hold on, and just walks away from his support, leaving him on the floor not too happy.

He can move around any way he feels like it now, scooting and crawling in his crib to get a pacifier in the middle of the night, chasing the dogs, opening drawers and cupboards.  He has such focus.  I've read that when a baby this age is doing something you don't want him to do, just distract him. Riiiiight.  That just doesn't work in this case.  He may be engaged temporarily in the distraction, but he always goes back to his original interest. 

He'll also look at an item and seem to study it. 

4/22/08 On Daddy's birthday he got to see Ethan's first sign, milk.  He does the sign when he sees the bottle, and he's done it several times so far so it's been confirmed that it wasn't an accident.  I personally have never seen him do that with his hand (make a milking-a-cow squeezing motion), so I'm looking forward to seeing it in person when I return home in two days.
4/21/08 The trip to Idaho was nice.  Ethan got to meet lots of relatives and we got to see people we hadn't seen in a while as well. Jake was bored most of the time (needs video games to be entertained), so I'm glad that Ethan is interested in interacting with the people, and I hope it stays that way.  Unless it's an educational game (and I'm not certain of that either), Ethan won't be allowed to play video games.  I'm guessing there are a lot of other activities that can engage him, and have other benefits, like exercise, social growth, or community contribution. 

See the Boise trip details in the Ethan's Trips section to get more details and photos from the last few days.

4/17/08 Tomorrow Ethan meets his grandparents in Idaho.  It's a wonderful time for them to meet him. He has such an expressive personality now, and is a pleasure to be around. He smiles when he wakes up, laughs a lot, and crawls around to every corner of every room.  He'll pull himself up to a sitting or standing position from lying down without any problem, as long as there's a place to hold onto.

The child proofer was here yesterday and told us of lots of options for baby proofing.  Many options he'd qualify with something like, "A determined/strong baby/child would be able to get around this."  That's when I wrote off that item.  Ethan is both.

He seems to no longer like the veggies he used to like.  I think he got spoiled with the sweeter taste of fruit.  And Cheerios are a favorite now too.  They help us get through our meals with Ethan in his high chair with us.

4/15/08 3 weeks ago was the last time Ethan breastfed, and today is the last time he's going to have breast milk, the last stores from the freezer.  I stopped pumping 3 days ago, and as the saying goes, you can't go back. 7 1/2 months of breastfeeding is pretty good. It certainly got him a better immunity, and probably other advantages. 

Ethan's so active. He climbs everything he can, the couch, his toys, Mommy, the dog, whatever.  Recently naptime has become a negative event with Ethan crying himself to sleep at least half of the time. He just doesn't want to miss anything, even when he's tired. He also really likes chasing Guinness.  Somehow it's not as entertaining to chase Foster.

Ethan finally was assigned a swimming lessons slot, Saturdays at 9:00am.  I can't wait - we start on May 3rd.  I think he'll love it since he likes baths so much

4/7/08 We thought Ethan had another ear infection, but the doctor said he doesn't.  That doesn't mean his ears aren't bothering him, so we're keeping an eye on him.

He's able to walk pretty fast when he's holding onto someone's hands or a walk-along toy.  He also started to climb the person holding him, as if their torso were a rock to repel on/from.

4/5/08 This little boy is doing things very purposefully now.  He plays with the music table by choosing what he wants to touch or hear and keeps doing that until he finds something more interesting or is bored with it.  He plays with the train by sliding it on its wheels instead of picking it up now, and he's walking to what he wants to see.  Sometimes that works well, like when he's holding onto a parent's hand, but other times that means he just falls down because he's left the support he had behind.
4/1/08 Ethan sat down from a standing position by bending his knees and leaning back.  It was quite graceful.
3/28/08 We are going to move the crib mattress down tomorrow, since Ethan is sitting up from a lying down position, and standing from a sitting position now.  The baby proofing consultation is scheduled for next week.
3/27/08 Ethan surprised me three times today.  First he climbed up several levels of items, trying to go much higher on his toys than this mother would like.  Then while lying on his tummy he put his butt in the air by bending his legs and pushing on his feet.  And finally, the took a couple of steps along the ottoman, while holding onto it.  What will this baby think of next?
3/25/08 For the last week at least, Ethan has not been very interested in breastfeeding.  A couple of days ago may have been the last time he will breastfeed, we'll see.  Perhaps his new-found independence leads him to want to hold his own bottle and not depend on Mommy. 

Ethan can crawl around now, pretty quickly.  He's using his knees, but I'm not sure he's using both at a time. It's amazing how fast he can move, and scary too.

3/20/08 Well, the days of putting Ethan down and expecting him to be there a few seconds later are over.  He's Mr. Mobile now. I'm not sure I would say he's crawling, but he is certainly scooting around very well, and adding a roll here and there for style.  He can get to what he wants on the floor, as long as he can see it.  James and Lydia both characterize it as crawling, but I'm not convinced.
3/19/08 Ethan climbed from a position standing in my lap facing his high chair, onto the chair foothold, leaning over the small tray, pulling on the straps inside the seat.  He basically scaled the chair and though I had my hands on him in case he lost his balance, I was not supporting him.  He's going to be a real adventurer, I'm sure.  He's been trying to climb everything for several days, regardless of his orientation to start - sitting, standing, lying down.

He also starting patting things, like his parents' wrists and hands.

3/18/08 Ethan was pulling on his left ear yesterday so today we took him to the doctor, and sure enough, he has an ear infection in that ear.  It's so nice that he can let us know that now. 
3/16/08 I signed up Ethan for his swimming lessons today (the life-saving ones versus the all-fun ones), and one of the questions was when he sat up on his own without assistance.  Since I don't have the milestones chart filled in yet (bad Mommy), I had to review this journal to get that date.  After reviewing lots of entries (which really wasn't so bad) I came up with 4.5 months.  The form had options, the earliest was 5 months.  C'est la vie.

Ethan's been leaning to the side a lot, especially when being held, so he's a lot more slippery than before.  In fact, today was his last shower being held, as he's getting heavier and squirmier.  It'll be baths for a while now.

Yesterday we went to the plant nursery and Ethan enjoyed looking around at all the new items he hadn't seen before.  The pickin's are still slim this time of year, so I'm interested to see how he'll like seeing all the flowers in bloom in a few months.

3/13/08 Ethan likes to tilt his head sideways now, perhaps to see the world from a different viewpoint, or maybe it's just to appear cute to his adoring parents. The squealing continues and he is eating finger foods very well now, especially with his right hand.

He went into the playpen for the first time today and seemed to like it. He had several toys around him and he just played for a while on his own. Then he decided to look around and was happy to see Mommy and the dogs through the mesh.

3/10/08 Some very odd high-pitched squealing has been coming from this little boy recently.  I hope he's just experimenting with newly-developed vocal chords and that he's over it soon. Update on zucchini - he doesn't really like it much.

Ethan pulled up to a stand from a sitting position several times today. He wasn't sitting on the floor, but on my leg, and pulling on the ottoman to stand supporting himself by holding on.

3/9/08 Ethan slept on his tummy for the first time last night.  I saw him that way for at least 3 hours, moving occasionally and not complaining (as he did the previous 3 nights).  I guess he's comfortable with that position now.
3/8/08 Ethan ate zucchini for the first time today, and seems to like it. 
3/7/08 The little guy has been rolling over at night onto his tummy, then getting mad because it's not easy to roll back (especially in the same direction) when you're up against the edge of the crib. So, he and we have had some sleepless nights, and he's gotten a few bumps on the head from the crib.  Consequently, we decided to put the bumper back in to protect his little noggin.
3/2/08 We gave Ethan some banana puff finger foods, but he didn't quite understand that they were food versus toys. I think that's rather odd, since most things he touches end up in his mouth.  So, I put a few pieces in his mouth, telling him to "eat" in sign language and though he grimaced as he does with all new food at the start, he did end up swallowing a few pieces.  He hasn't put one in his own mouth yet.
3/1/08 Peaches were the new fare today, and Ethan is not convinced that he's very fond of them, but he ate them. He prefers cereal.  We'll try green beans in a few days. On the whole he seems to be more of a veggie kid than a fruit lover.
2/29/08 6 month birthday!   The doctor said he can start eating 3 meals per day instead of just the 2, and that he's quite advanced with respect to his development, since the pincher grasp isn't expected until 9-12 months.  He's allowed to start "finger foods" as well.  His next appointment is at 9 months of age.
2/26/08 Ethan started eating applesauce today, and he likes it.
2/25/08 I'm going on a business trip tomorrow, my first one without Ethan. It will be Tuesday afternoon through Friday afternoon, his 6-month birthday.  I considered taking him with me but various factors led me to decide against it this time.

The thumb and forefinger maneuver is nice, except when Ethan chooses to use it by pinching his mother. We are no longer as amused.

2/24/08 Ethan lifted something with his thumb and forefinger today. He also walked (holding onto Mommy's hands) to a particular toy that he wanted to play with for the first time. Usually he is led by us, or just stands there, but this time he selected where to go and went there.

We went into the backyard today, with Ethan in the Baby Bjorn carrier, facing out.  He especially liked watching the dogs play in the yard. I showed him some of the more interesting plants, the hot tub, and the path leading to the bottom, plus the area I've designated for his little garden when he's old enough.

2/23/08 We started Ethan on bananas today and he seems to like them.  His serving size is 1/2 a banana, which means I get the other half.  I like feeding him bananas the best so far.
2/21/08 Ethan's been sleeping on his side for about a week now. I was previously under the impression that babies chose between on their backs and on their stomachs for sleeping.  Now I know better.  We put him down on his back and he moves onto his side and goes to sleep that way.  Even when he moves around during the night he ends up on his side.
2/20/08 We started with pears yesterday and Ethan was not entirely enthusiastic about them.  I was convinced that he'd like everything, but he was wincing and even shook his head when he ate the pear. However, he kept opening his mouth for more, so how bad could he think they are? Perhaps he noticed that it was the first veggie/fruit that his parents hadn't prepared for him - "What, store-bought? Hrmph."

We noticed recently that he's favoring his left hand when he grabs things. We'll keep an eye out to see if this continues or is a short-lived trend.

2/15/08 We started with peas today and Ethan loves them.  He also had his first poop ball - related?  Above are pictures from the professional photographer. The white background was the best smile Mommy could get before Daddy arrived, and the cloudy background is the biggest smile captured on film ever - of course this was Daddy's doing.
2/10/08 We started with sweet potatoes today and Ethan loves them.  I can't wait to see his reaction to peas, which are not supposed to be very tasty to the immature palette.
2/9/08 Ethan's shown excitement each time he's seen the sign for "milk" recently. It's amazing how much he understands. He also has started getting very excited to see the dogs. He even jumps up and claps his hands while squealing!
2/6/08 Daddy made butternut squash baby food last night and Ethan got to try it for the first time today. He didn't have the huge reaction that I thought he'd have, but he clearly liked it.  He seemed very calm when he finished his squash serving, and waited patiently for the oatmeal that followed.  He's such a good eater.  Our plan is the feed him squash each morning for the next 3 days, then try sweet potatoes, then carrots, then peas.  After two weeks he may get to have veggies twice a day.
2/5/08 Today Ethan went to see the eye doctor to see if his "crossed" eyes are a problem.  The doctor said that they aren't really crossed, and that the bridge of the nose hasn't grown out yet, so there's extra skin that covers the inside of his eye a bit, making parents think that their children have crossed eyes sometimes. She concluded the exam saying that his eyes look perfect, and that they'll probably stay blue.

Last night we went back to oatmeal from Barley to see if the increased spitting up and gas are related to that diet change. We also started investigating what to serve him for his first "colored" food.  I'm thinking peas or squash first, then sweet potato.  After a few more veggies, we'll start on the fruit, which is much sweeter.

2/2/08 Ethan was able to stand without support from his parents today (but holding onto a toy for support) for 1-2 minutes.  He also rolled onto his stomach while on the changing table, reinforcing the fact that he needs to be strapped down when on it.
1/30/08 Ethan started eating barley cereal today and it seems to be his favorite so far.  He enthusiastically lunges at the spoon, making it more difficult for his parents to actually get food in his mouth, but adding comic relief.
1/28/08 Ethan decided that it was fun to bite Mommy today while eating. Thank goodness he doesn't have teeth yet.  At first I just said "NO!", and I believe he thought that was another of his noise-making toys. The bop on the head while saying "no" was effective though.  We'll see if that lesson sticks. <Note: It did.>

He's now looking at the pages of the book I read to him at bedtime. So much for reciting "Goodnight Moon" from memory without a book in hand. All this development really keeps us parents on our toes.

1/22/08 I was finally able to get Ethan to do a belly laugh like he usually does with his dad.  This was playing peek-a-boo, then just "boo" later in the day.

This evening during his good-night story (often Goodnight Moon), Ethan looked me right in the eye while I was "reading" and he even smiled a couple of times during the story. I was concerned at first that his newfound interest would be too exciting for him to sleep afterwards, but that wasn't the case.

1/21/08 This little baby is getting to be more fun to be around, more enjoyable each day.  He's so expressive now and since he can sit up for the most part, I can more easily use sign language with him. So, I think he'll be walking and talking before he's a year old- perhaps before 9 months.  Maybe not, but I can see progress almost every day, so it's hard to imagine him NOT hitting those milestones soon.
1/19/08 Ethan has been paying a lot more attention to his surroundings and to his own body.  He seems to have taken a renewed interest in his tongue, sticking it out in a pointy fashion, instead of the previous method of just pushing it out of his mouth.

Daddy made up the following song referring to Ethan, sung to the tune of "He's Mr. Heat miser":

He's Mr. Stinkmeister; He's Mr. Puke. He's Mr. Dirty Diaper; He's Mr. Up-Chuck-On-You."  This was right after he tossed his cookies on Mommy and not long after one of the nastiest diapers ever.

1/16/08 Ethan's first taste of oatmeal cereal. He seemed to like it as much as the rice cereal, perhaps more.
1/15/08 Ethan's first time sitting up on his own without leaning really far forward, and for longer than a few seconds.
1/14/08 I put Ethan in his activity gym and then placed my waffles in the microwave, and returned to note that he had moved 90 degrees from where he had started.  I stayed with him there for a while afterwards and watched him turn 360 degrees in about 5-10 minutes. He did it by arching his back and pushing with his feet.  His head stayed in approximately the same spot.  He also seemed to be more interested in the items hanging above him in the gym, and reached out for them and batted at them with more enthusiasm that normal. Today was also the first time I've seen him do a raspberry with his mouth, but without his tongue.
1/8/08 For several weeks James, Lydia and I have all been putting our hands out in front of Ethan while he's lying down saying, "Give me your hands" when we want to pick him up. At that point we grab his hands and pick him up.  Today, he actually gave me his hands when I asked him to.  I'm so proud of him.
1/2/08 Yesterday, the first day of 2008, Ethan ate solid food for the first time, rice cereal.  He wasn't so sure about it at first, but soon was eating it well.  He and his parents were both frustrated with the liquid consistency that the doctor recommended and slow speed of feeding, so today we improved that and all were much happier.  See today's photo for an example of how well Ethan is eating - he opens his mouth wide when the spoon nears.
12/20/07 I believe there have been only two nights that Ethan slept through in the last week and a half.  Now he's waking up closer to 4:00am or 4:30am.  Once at 5:00am.

Today Ethan had an interesting second breakfast (the meal at 7:30am following his 4:30am breakfast).  He was more interested in the lace on the bra, the pictures on the wall, his hand, my eyes, the light, the rest of the room, than eating. 

12/14/07 For the last four nights Ethan has woken up around 3am.  He was doing so well for so long... sleeping through the whole night.  Let's see if this trend lasts or if he'll go back to the whole night of rest for all of us.

His actions are much more deliberate now. He can rub his eyes when he's tired and often ends up with his fingers in his mouth, or whatever is between the mouth and fingers ends up in his mouth. He still doesn't seem to have much hair and his eyes are still blue. 

12/2/07 Today I heard Ethan laugh/giggle for the first time.  Lydia said he giggled a few times last week, but I hadn't heard it before. We captured the event on video.
11/26/07 Last night was the first time I didn't sleep within 20 feet of Ethan overnight.  He was up in his room, and I slept in mine downstairs, with the monitor on, being checked all night.  He was fine and I'll be able to make up the sleep.  Over the weekend he spent more time grabbing and holding things he wanted to play with, and standing/walking instead of sitting.  He doesn't seem to like to sit.
11/18/07 Last night Ethan slept for almost 11 hours (a little over 11 hours between feedings), and he woke up on his own.  The night before he went 10 hours between feedings again and woke up on his own.  I'm liking the trend. He's started batting at things and grabbing them, but doesn't hold on for long.  I'm looking forward to watching him select favorite toys and colors, or just play with things with his hands.
11/15/07 Last night Ethan slept for 9 hours (almost 10 hours between feedings), and I woke him up in the morning. I wonder how long he would have slept if I had let him.
11/11/07 We moved Ethan to his bedroom last night, but I couldn't bear to be a floor away, so we're staying in the guest room for now.  Once we get rid of the middle-of-the-night feeding, I think I'll feel better about moving back to my room.
11/10/07 Ethan is definitely a morning person.  He's so happy and social in the mornings, and today Daddy got to experience it more than usual (as he typically leaves for work before Ethan wakes up). He fits well into most of his 0-3 month clothing, but he's even wearing some 3-6 month stuff now that he's grown so much.  He's twice his birth weight already.
11/9/07 Ethan rolled over onto his side from his back today.
11/7/07 For a while Ethan's been pushing against his feet when we put them on the floor, which I understand is a reflex. Today he put one foot out like he was going to walk, so James moved him forward (still holding his weight) and Ethan put the next foot forward. This continued for about 2 feet until he reached me, then I supported him for the trip back to his dad.  He made three trips this way before he was tired (or bored?)
11/6/07 10 weeks old today. Ethan's a real smiler these days. He pays attention to the sounds, blinking lights and colors of his toys now, and seems to try to reach for them or bat at them.  He kicks at a noise maker on one of his toys consistently as if on purpose - perhaps it is.
11/3/07 Ethan had his first shower today and he seemed to like it. Daddy did a good job holding onto him and cleaning him off, and Mommy had towel duty.  He's been getting used to baths and even not objecting to them anymore.
10/31/07 Today is my first day back to work, and though I didn't need to go to an office, customer or IBM, I decided to dress in a suit to transition back into my role of professional instead of mommy.  We're still at the hotel, so I went downstairs for some breakfast before starting my work day.  I felt good, wearing black professional shoes instead of crocs, hair done, generally feeling the role - until I saw my reflection just before boarding the elevator. I had a burp rag over my shoulder!
10/29/07 Ethan's 2 month birthday is today.  At his 2 month checkup the doctor put him on his tummy and watched him hold up his head high. While she was exclaiming about how well he holds up his head, without prompting he rolled over . She was completely impressed and said, "Are you sure he's two months old and not four months old?"

He got his immunizations and cried a bit along with Mommy.  His weight and length both went up proportionally and now he's just under the 50% mark instead of in the 25% range that he used to be in.  That's one good eater. This was proven in another way today when he got the oral immunization that many babies don't like - he loved it.  11 pounds, 2 ounces, and 22 3/8 inches. When we were leaving the office the nurse said that he has a lot of expressions for a 2 month old.

Ethan's first overnight trip - we're staying down the road at a hotel for 3 nights while wood in the house is being treated with nasty chemicals.

10/28/07 About a week ago we started allowing Ethan to sleep longer than the pediatrician's recommended maximum of 6 hours per night and he's been sleeping from 7 to 8 1/2 hours per night now, or at least going that long between feedings at night. He also started noticing and paying attention to the dogs (though right now only Guinness is in the house since Foster is in a correctional institution for a month).
10/25/07 Whoo hoo!  Ethan had lost all hair from his ears forward, and now it appears to be growing back, and it's still dark brown!  I've been hoping that he'd maintain brown hair so he'd look at least a little bit like his mother. Red highlights are fine.
10/21/07 Ethan's first snow day - about 6 inches on the ground, but later in the day things warmed up and the snow melted from the streets.  We decided not to introduce him to snow in person at this point.
10/16/07 My poor little Ethan has an ear infection.  I feel so sorry for the little guy.
10/12/07 Ethan has been crying less and interacting much more recently, and I'm loving this change.  He has a cute little personality and it's great to talk with him and show him new and interesting things. He spends lots of time looking around quietly.  What a joy!

He's had tummy time about 3 times and today I showed him how to turn over from the tummy to the back, and he was able to do it on his own soon after.

10/10/07 Ethan's 6 week birthday is today, and it's amazing how much he can react to events and faces these days (compared to the previous lack of any reaction at all.)  He's been able to communicate much better as well.  He's told us, "I'm too tired to sleep", "I'm bored", "Let's change something (positions/clothing/people/environment/toys, etc.)", and "I don't like that!"
10/1/07 James shook a little bear rattle between Ethan's hands and he reacted with big smiling eyes and an open mouth. It was the first time that he seemed to react to his environment, besides the standard crying. 
9/29/07 We took Ethan out to eat for the first time this evening.  He had a bottle shortly after we finished our meal at a restaurant.  This is also the day that he scooted so far down in his Pack 'n' Play (bassinette) that his butt was against the edge and his feet were bent up above it. So far that's the only direction he moves on his own, besides a flip up to his side occasionally.
9/23/07 Ethan is a very strong little boy, and has decided recently to grab onto the ribs/side of people who are holding him.  Jake and Kir have fallen prey to this little feat, much to their displeasure.

Kir and Scott seem to think Ethan has my chin as well as my ears, so I'm happy that he's resembling me a bit more than I originally thought.  His hair is continually getting lighter, as if each shampoo washes out the dark brown.

9/19/07 Ethan learned about his tongue today, so he often seems to be playing with it and sticks it out.
9/18/07 Today I noticed that Ethan scoots down toward his feet while sleeping.  I haven't seen this in action, but I've seen the result of it - he was up against the edge of the crib with his legs bent, and nowhere else to go.

Today's my original due date. Who says it's bad to be born early? He's way beyond where he'd be if he were born today (in weight and other development as well), I'm sure of it!

9/14/07 He's been holding his head up for a while, moving it up away from the shoulder that he's burping over. However, today he somehow moved away from the rolled blanket that was propping him up to be lying on his side. He ended up several inches from that blanket.

He may get his ears from his mother.  The inside portion has the shape of a stylized Australia or that vague bear carving when looked at the other direction.  He's also getting much more pudgy- today he was spotted with a double chin.

9/12/07 Ethan had his two week birthday today, which included his second doctor visit.  He was quick to notice that the doctor's office personnel zero out the scale each time before putting him on it naked, but they don't include a blanket or other comfort-providing items like Mom and Dad do on their scale at home. That was his introduction to the lesson, "Not everyone is good at their job." The doctor indicated that his weight gain since the last visit was impressive and checked his large cheeks for ballast.

He doesn't go in the sun very often, but when he happens upon a sunny spot, it's clear that his hair has some red in it.  Each day it seems more red, and Ethan's mother is not entirely pleased about that, seeing that the only currently identifiable feature of his that comes from her is his hair color.