Archive for December, 2011

A Look Back: 2011

From tiny guy...

...to reaching high!

It goes without saying that Mason grew this year. It’s almost hard to remember when he wasn’t walking or crawling. Were it not for pictures and video as memories, it would be like Mason walked out of the hospital room immediately after birth!

In addition to Mason growing, I grew as a father. It’s not like first-time parents have anything to go by! As much as I’ve looked for Mason’s instruction manual, I’ve realized that Holly and I have to write it as we go. Some instructions are easy.

Change when soiled. Keep clean. Seep safe at all times.

Others, we learn in the moment.

Keep onesies from becoming tangled. Stay away from nether regions to avoid urine.

And then there are the ones that haven’t been found yet.

How to keep boy happy at all times. How to get boy to eat all food properly. How to ensure entrance to Ivy League School.

Nothing is going to make my job as a father any easier, but at least I’ve got Holly and family to help me be the best dang dad I can be. For everything that everyone has done for me this year, be it giving advice, reading a blog, or connecting with a fellow parent, I say thank you! Also, thanks to Holly for being the mother she is…outstanding! The biggest thank you of all, of course, to the little guy. Love you Mason!

Dads, have a sippy cup toast with your kids on Sunday. Toast to all that 2011 brought, and all that 2012 will bring. Toast to all the bedtime stories and baths, as well as the scraped knees and bumped heads. Even though they are what we hate to experience, they make us the parents we are and keep us on our toes. We can’t be great parents with out these little humans to test us!

Again, thanks for a great 2011, and here’s to an ever better 2012!

Life as a father truly is “Daddily Ever After.”

Seeing the Light

What's he pointing at?

If Mason were a light bulb, this is what he’d do.

Mason isn’t talking quite yet. He babbles, coos and caws, and even gets the “s” sound out every now and again, but the closest he’s come to English is “mumumumumum!” In spite of this, Mason has shown that he does understand at least one English word.

LIGHT! My boy sees the light (and can show you where it is)!

This started a couple of weeks ago. Mason was in the car and was randomly pointing upwards and grunting. Couldn’t figure out what the heck he wanted, so I turned the dome light on. Mason smiled big and pointed at it again. “Light,” I said. “That’s light.”

This was the start of the endless game of “Where’s the light?” It goes something like this:

Mom/Dad: “Mason, where’s the light?”

Mason: **points upward at light**

M/D: “Yaaayyy!!” **applause** “Mason, where’s Mommy?”

Mason: **blank stare**

M/D: “Where’s Daddy?”

Mason: **blank stare**

M/D: Where’s the light?”

Mason: **points upward at light**

M/D: “Yaaaaayy!!!!” **applause**

(continue ad nauseum)

Yes, this looks about like me when Mason does cool stuff.

We always hope that today will be the day Mason figures recognizes another object. Until then, we’ll just have to keep playing “Where’s the light?” It’s still fun, because Mason never gets tired of it!

Of course, the boy understands “light,” but doesn’t understand more more common words spoken to him, i.e. “NO!” “Stop it!” or “Eat your dinner, dammit!” Heck he doesn’t respond to his own name yet! Still, he’s learning words, and that’s what counts. He also points at things he wants. We say what the object is when he points, but nothing has entered his repertoire except “light.”

Hmm…light…does this mean he’s enlightened to the secrets of the universe?

Happy Holidays!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Mason loves the Christmas tree...and all that hangs from it...

The holidays are a time to spend time together as a family and treasure not the gifts that you give, but the gifts that are always there. Wishing everyone out there a happy and safe holiday season!

Three Christmas Items That Can Hurt My Kid

Christmas trees...fun for toddlers, mayhem for parents...

Ah, Christmas time. Joys for families around the world. For Mason, his first comprehensible Christmas (he was only 2 months old last year). Already, the boy has gotten himself into more trouble with holiday-related items than I care to recall. But it got me thinking just how much stuff goes on the walls and halls that toddlers and new walkers love to tinker with. So with that, I give you three things that have damn-near injured Mason this year!

3. Christmas Ornaments

This year, we had to keep all the breakable ornaments off the tree. It looks bare compared to other years, but it’s for the better. Mason has already plucked some ornaments off the tree and chucked them in various places. Some of these ornaments have small parts attached, and Mason is in the “everything goes through the mouth” stage…yeah.

2. Baby Gate Blocking the Christmas Tree

As soon as the Christmas tree went up, Mason tried to pull the sucker down. To combat this, we put up a baby gate that surrounds the tree on two sides, cornered with the wall. Sure enough, the kid tried to pull the gate down. At least once, he’s pulled so hard he’s taken the gate down on top of him…that’s how strong he is.

1. Stocking Hangers

While Mason hasn’t actually injured himself with these, he almost did once, and it is the biggest threat due to the potential of injury. These objects are metal, weighted hooks that rest upon a mantle, allowing stockings to be hung by the chimney with care. Problem is, Mason can climb right up on the hearth and tug on the stockings! Thankfully, the one time he did, I was right there to stop him. Imagine a 3 or 4 pound square, pointy piece of metal coming down right on a toddler’s 3 or 4 pound fragile skull…inarguably the most dangerous Christmas item Mason has encountered so far this year.

Who knows what other items will make the list…there’s still a week or so let in the holiday season. Mason, please just leave your destruction to your gifts on Christmas morning, please. Thanks, son!

Walking Tall!

This post is long overdue! It’s been crazy busy with work, family commitments, holiday events, etc…anyhow, BEHOLD!

Mason shows off his new moves, making a point while doing so!

When I left off in my previous post, Mason had been standing on his own, but refused to take those steps. The parental waiting stopped on Black Friday, when the boy took 4 small steps for baby, er, toddler, one giant milestone for Mommy and Daddy to relish in and enjoy. The next day, it was 6 at a time. Sunday brought 8, then 10, and so on and so forth. Mason’s walking! My boy can walk like a big boy!…

…Oh god, Mason can walk! (worry worry worry…)

In the last week, Mason has become even more adept with his new mode of transportation. He still prefers crawling, and he still covers floor space much more quickly as a crawler, but the kid can take 15, 20, 25 steps or more without issue. Good lord…

This walking thing is an even bigger deal that I thought it would be. I’m so proud of him as a father, even though just about everyone learns to walk. It’s just amazing to see a child grow before you and graduate to these new levels of independence. Holly and I discussed whether this makes him a toddler instead of a baby…it was a discussion that actually brought a tear or two to my eyes. :’-(

The biggest challenge from Mason walking and being a mobile kid has been the Christmas tree. Oh, how he loves reaching for ornaments, even with the baby gate blocking access. Using a baby gate to defend things from Mason is like using a cardboard box to protect priceless belongings…they don’t stand a chance.

Now I get to worry about Mason learning to climb onto things he can’t get back down from. Any takers on the date that happens?

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