Friday, December 31, 2010

A Special New Year's Message From The MVP

For auld lang syne, my dear

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, MVP

Well, we did it.  We kept another human being alive for an entire year.  I'm pretty sure that's some kind of record.

Here are some quick stats on how we managed to do that

Then:  6 lbs 7 oz, 19.75 inches
Now: 21 lbs 12 oz, estimated 29.5 inches

As you can see, our daily stretching regimen, which incorporates an ideal ratio of passive, isometric, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, allowed the MVP to increase his length by about 50% over the course of the year.  Meanwhile, our modified chankonabe diet which consisted of large amounts of porridge (true story) allowed the MVP to more than triple his weight over the same period!  Eat your heart out, Akebono!

Anyway, we'll post more thoughts about how this year has gone in the near future.  In the meantime... lert's unwrap some presents!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my sanity

It may seem like we here at Baby Vivandres have cut back to holiday posts exclusively, but there is a very good reason.  It takes all the attention of two adults to keep up with our crazy son.  I don't mean he's a little crazy... I mean like full-on, no-common sense, one large fries short of a super-saver combo, Tom Cruise crazy.  Please see exhibit A and I trust you'll be a bit more sympathetic to our situation.

Exhibit A

Anyway, we made it down to Grandad and Abuelita's house for Thanksgiving and a wheat-free, dairy-free, garlic-free, onion-free, egg-free feast, as well as a memorial for my mom's brother who passed away not too long ago.  This gave us another one of those too-few opportunities to get MVP and his cousin together with their grandparents and snap some photos!

Here are some faves:

The cousins reconnected early with a cousinly hug.
"Say, Cousin.  You know what would make us look proportionally larger?"  "Gasp OMG I was thinking the same thing! Let's do it!"

"Let's tell everyone he's a Greyhound/Great Dane mix and they'll think we're HUUUUGE!"
What's up?  You wanna run with the big dogs?
Happy Grandparents
Welcome to my "Maison d'amour"... allow me to freshen your champagne.
Listen - nobody in this family can be trusted with knives.  We'd better take care of it.

Babies.... attack!
Up high is always the place to be.

And here's a bonus video of MVP redesigning our living room a few weeks ago.

The feng-shui was all wrong

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A very spooky MVP update

I haven't posted this yet because I was planning to write more.  But MVP has had a bad fever the last couple days and things are hectic, so I'm just going to post what I had so far and will follow up with some other cool stuff soon.

Halloween was a bit of  surreal day. Babies are supposed to do new things all the time, and they do.  But it comes in spurts.  So MVP has been crawling over other objects a lot and he's gotten quite good at it.  We have an end-table in the living room that has a cross-bar and MVP frequently climbs over it.   So that morning, he went chasing a ball at speed and took a shortcut through the end table and basically hurdled the cross-bar - arms went over, left leg went way up like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, other leg went up and over.  Never slowed down, never touched the bar.

We've also come to realize that if MVP gets outdoor exercise, he sleeps well, and if he doesn't then he doesn't.  They actually realized this at school, and they hate rainy days because it means MVP isn't going to nap.  We've taken this to heart to excellent effect, and we basically hit two playgrounds per day on the weekends.  We went to the Huntington gardens this morning, and let Mateo climb some stairs.  And like I said, he's gotten very good at it so he climbed up like 6 steps, then we took him to the bottom and he did it again... that was like 12 steps!  Wowsa!

My first 12 step program

Flash forward a few hours to that evening, at the Old Town Pasadena Halloween event.   MVP got tired of watching the costumed passers-by, so we found some steps in the corner of one of the buildings.  It goes five steps, then a landing (so a total of 6 steps), then five more steps to the left, then another landing and so on.  We set MVP down at the bottom and I follow him up.  And up.  And up.  The metal steps are making a cool sound and he's slapping them harder than he needs to as he ascends. Second story.  He's laughing as he goes.  Third story.  The costumed people in the plaza below us are starting to look very small.  As we approach the roof door, a security guard checks on us, decides we are unlikely to pose a security threat, and leaves us alone.

In all, The MVP climbed 55 steps to get to the top of that building, and laughed while doing it.  Which means he is in better shape than I am.

Rounding the steps on the third floor

In other news we are up to 21 lbs and four teeth.   Now let's go back in time for some photos.  First, a few more Halloween pics from The Huntington and Old Town Pas.

Spooooooky Monkey

Atop a conquered set of steps


These so called "fountains" are the greatest things I've ever seen!  Why wasn't I informed?

Hey, is that a fountain?

We took MVP to his first USC football game two weeks ago.  As you might expect, he loved the band, and bopped up and down to the tune of Conquest.  He also brought his team good luck, as they absolutely crushed the Bears.

Taking in the smackdown

That's all for now.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All I want for September is my two front teeth

Yes, it's true.  The gummy smile is gone forever, or at least for the next 80 years or so.  MVP started sprouting teeth in September. They seem to confuse him sometimes when he's biting down on a piece of food and it actually breaks off in his mouth, but he's starting to get the hang of it.  He's also comfortably over the 20 pound mark now, so he seems to be getting plenty to eat.

See 'em?
In other good news, after a little bit of painful sleep training, the entire family is getting more sleep!  Now if only someone can tell MVP that 5am is not a suitable wake up time...

On the less pleasant side, we did some more comprehensive testing with the allergist and discovered that MVP is allergic to a whole bunch of things, including most of the foods we were giving him every day.  The worst, by far, is garlic.  If you'd like to get an idea for how annoying that one is, next time you go out to eat anywhere, try to eat a whole meal without consuming any garlic.  Of all his allergies (milk, wheat, egg, soy, avocado, peanuts, salmon), garlic is probably the one we most hope he'll outgrow.

On the move and getting into everything

MVP has been getting into everything lately.  And he'll try pull himself up to a stand on anything... tables, chairs, shoes, other babies, beach balls, Jenga towers, you name it.  So we finally had to get around to doing some childproofing.

Let me out!  Or in!

And he's starting to mimic people, though he mainly mimics other babies.

Learned this from a baby at school - Mom just piggybacked

And just because we're a little slow posting around here, let's end on a picture I like from early September.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

August in Review: I *do* got time for the jibber-jabber.

If you're not reading this, I don't blame you.  One post a month is hardly worthy of sitting at your computer hitting the "refresh" button.  But August was an eventful month for the MVP.

Oak Knoll Swim Team - Post Race Debrief
Towards the end of July, he was just starting to get mobile with some tentative crawling. For most of August the MVP avoided crawling (though it was clear that he could do it), his favorite form of locomotion being a sit, lie, pivot, repeat combination that was astoundingly effective.  He's turned on the high-speed crawling in the last week, but he has also learned how to pull himself to a standing position and prefers to spend more time practicing that.  Since we're trying to sleep train him, the standing is a skill we could do without.

Over the last month, The MVP's babble has become increasingly entertaining.  It's especially entertaining when you put him in front of another baby and they talk or laugh back and forth.  His favorite babbling partners are Moochie, the other half of the Oak Knoll Swim Team, and "Angel Baby," a new friend from daycare.  Angel Baby is so named because while The MVP has stepped up his efforts in his "Only Child Campaign" to unprecedented levels, Angel Baby's every action seems designed to make his mom's life easier.  I wouldn't be surprised if he runs the vacuum after he eats in the unlikely event that he's inadvertently dropped any bits of food to the ground.

"Um, MVP?  Can you let me know when you're done with that so I can return it to it's proper place on the shelf?  I'd hate for our play to inconvenience any of the adults."

In other good news, he's now full time in daycare and he LOVES it.  The other babies cry when their parents drop them off, but not him.  He gets very excited when we go anywhere, but especially the daycare, which is full of two of his favorite things: babies and musical instruments.

Snagged this from a passing reindeer.

Yes, the MVP loves music.  As you'll see at the end of the video below, when he hears music he bobs up and down roughly to the beat.  He does it often - at home and away, with the radio, songs we sing, or to any beat.  I'm pretty sure he gets his rhythm from his dad.

Another favorite thing he discovered when he he visited his cousin Lias in San Diego.  Lias has a dog, and MVP lunged for the dog every chance he got.

When I grow up, I want to be either a rock star or a dog catcher.
Cousins at Play
 And his feeding has amped up.  His favorites are still fruits like nectarines and mangos, but he sure as heck won't turn away a good chicken bone.

Hey Auntie An - Are we doing your next birthday at medieval times or what? 

August in Review - Jibber Jabber and Dancing

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ok, who taught my son Judo?

because you can expect to receive a sternly worded letter from me.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

July in Review - Food and Exercise

The last month has been all about food for The MVP.

On the plus side, we've introduced solid food and he's taken to it like, well, like someone who hasn't eaten real food in six months.  We were planning to skip purees and go straight to finger foods, but he likes purees so much that we're doing both.

On the downside, due to some ongoing issues with hives and rashes the docs ordered an allergy test for the MVP.  The results - he's allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and wheat.  That is a crazy combination.  Anything that doesn't have wheat has eggs.  Anything that doesn't have eggs has dairy.  V-Train been trying to avoid all of those, but it's been pretty tough.  No improvement yet, so the docs think he's reacting to something as yet unidentified.

We've also been going to physical therapy appointments and he's been making rapid progress.  He's just about on the move (see video below) so we're furiously childproofing the house.

Finally, V-Train went back to work on July 21, so MVP has started daycare.  He's in a backup daycare and I'm covering a few days a week as a stay at home dad, until his regular daycare starts in  September. So far, it seems like things are going reasonably well, but we're all still a bit nervous.

It seems like time is scarcer than ever, but we'll try not to go a month before the next post.

He's chompin broccoli

Broccoli accomplished!

Upside down -- the new favorite position

Swim team game faces

Catching the wave

Post-swim prune feet

Sweet potato is teh awesome!!111!

Canteloup - GRRRR!

On the field of the Rose Bowl

Loving the mango

Who me?

July in Two and a Half Minutes

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thanks to Cousin Bill

Since The MVP was born six months ago, he's definitely become the most popular member of our nuclear family, collecting the most compliments and the most gifts.  While we definitely appreciate it, we are not so great with timely thank you notes.  So anyway, Cousin Bill (aka The Ice Fisherman) sent The MVP a "Jump Around" t-shirt, in reference to The University of Wisconsin's 4th quarter tradition.  And while we definitely don't approve of that kind of early lobbying, surely a thank you card was in order and we blew it. 

The MVP has been BADGERing us to rectify the situation, so we finally let him record this brief thank-you message.   Cheers, Ice Fisherman Bill!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Happy 1/2 Birthday to MVP!

The MVP turned six months old today.  This is how he celebrated:

Roll on you Bear!

We were becoming convinced he was never going to roll over.   As a lingering effect of his premature birth his legs are excessively stiff and he doesn't really bring his feet up, which his therapist tells us is something of a prerequisite for proper rolling.  But he's doing everything else really well, so it seems like rolling might be the only thing he never did.

I had this vision of him as an adult playing football for his college team.  He drops back to pass (he'll play qb, of course) and immediately spots the corner blitz.  Cool as ever, the MVP realizes this means that his wideout is single covered on the left side.  He looks off the defender, and then lofts the ball over the line into the hands of his number one target just as he takes a vicious hit from the blitzing corner.  Flat on his back, he watches the receiver hook around the safety and then run the rest of the way to the endzone unchallenged.  The crowd goes wild, but the MVP can't get off the field because he's on his back and he... can't... roll... over.

Hey, you guys?  Little help?

Lately he's been making some good attempts, getting essentially all the way over, but then uncoiling like the propeller attached by rubber band to one of those balsa gliders.  Yesterday he had his first success on flat ground (and the wind within acceptable limits for an official attempt as determined by the judges).  Today, he locked it in as skill he can summon at will.  We're comforted to know he'll be able to get off the field after his big play (as long as the ground to his right is unobstructed because that's the only direction he knows how to roll).

In other news, the MVP is now a beefy 17 lbs, 5 oz.  And he smiles a lot.  Like we're worried he may not be discriminating enough.  And usually, when he smiles, this happens:

This trail of drool will help me find my way back if I accidentally roll away.

Also, we think we're detecting nubs of teeth on the bottom left and right of his mouth, which will look pretty funny if those are the first to come out.

Does it get any better than chilling in mom's arms?

It does!  Airborne!
P.S.  V-Train, maybe you shouldn't be trying to catch a baby with a broken wrist or whatever?

Feliz 1/2 cumpleanos, MVP.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Photo and video update

We've been sitting on some of these a while, so before they go stale:

MVP's been doing this for a few weeks.  If we're too slow putting the bottle in his mouth he grabs it from us and does it himself.

On the path to a self-sufficient baby.

My sister and the MVP's cousin came up to visit a couple of weeks ago, and we finally got the triumvirate of babies together:
Hands across Pasadena

Our good friends from Joisey, whom we see every year (AKA The Minister and The Minister's Wife) came and visited us and brought their impossibly happy 3.5 year old daughter J-Yeah!  Here they are at the Pasadena Kids' Museum:
I get to wear a helmet!  Yay!


J-Yeah! knows how to make the MVP laugh...

but nobody makes the MVP laugh like Uncle Jorge.  Moochie is cool as ever.