31 March 2009

Zak Goes On Vacation

Our daycare provider Debbie went on a week's vacation recently. This was the first time that we had to figure out an alternative daycare plan, but thankfully we were able to come up with several options. Thanks, Doreen!

The funny part is the scheming that went on beforehand. Zak was pretty excited about the trip. But for some reason he never mentioned it at all when we would be there to drop off or pick up Anders. And when Corinne told Zak to "Have fun on your trip" the day before they left, he was shocked. "How did you know?" he asked.

As it turns out, Zak was planning to take Anders with him on vacation, all without our knowing. But of course when we found out about his trip, his plan was thwarted. After Corinne left that day, Debbie (Zak's mom) got "in trouble" for telling us about their vacation.

If Anders ever turns up missing, we'll check Zak's room first.

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

26 March 2009

Laughing at Everything

One of the greatest milestones so far is when Anders started to laugh! It's pretty interesting to see what he finds funny, too. I guess when the whole world is new to you, lots of "ordinary" things seem funny.

Vroooomm Sbusch
Apparently some sounds are just naturally funny. In this instance I made up some sounds to go with his inability to sit upright. I love that later on he starts laughing even before I get to the "funny" part.

Blowing on a Mobile
We put Anders down on the bed recently under an electric mobile that we got from a friend. I decided to blow on one of the hanging figures to add some lateral motion, and I unintentionally blew air at Anders as well. Hilarity ensued. Halfway through he seems to be trying to mimic me.

We have learned to try to have the camera on hand before introducing any new toy or putting him in a new scenario. You just never know when he's going to find a perfectly ordinary situation absolutely hilarious.

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

25 March 2009

6 Month Percentiles

Anders turned 6 months old in March! At his 6 month well baby checkup, the doctor took his measurements and plotted him on the growth charts; his percentiles are all across the board.

27 1/2 inches
(90th Percentile)

16 lbs 10.8 oz
(50th Percentile)

Head Circumference:
16.5 inches
(15th Percentile)

Most everyone agrees that Anders looks most like Corinne. A couple of years ago, Corinne discovered that she has a small head when she had to special order an x-small snowboarding helmet. No wonder hats always fall in her eyes. Anyway, maybe Anders will have a small head (but high brain density) like his Mom, rather than a huge head like his dad.

To celebrate his one-half-year mark, Anders may have gone a little overboard...

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

21 March 2009

Mike's Birthday

Mom, Aunt Patsy, and Mark & Carol all decided to make a trip down to the Gorge while Aunt Patsy was out west visiting. So for the weekend of Mike's birthday we had a full house.

The weekend consisted mainly of playing with Anders. Carol & Mark brought him a new cow toy for his activity gym. Aunt Patsy brought him a story and shirt from the Seattle aquarium. And Mom brought him a new set of swaddling blankets that she had made as he had outgrown his first set. (We are doing a modified swaddle these days - arms out.)

One of the projects for the weekend was making Taryn's veil for her upcoming wedding. Mom (super-seamstress) had offered to do that and now she had help from Aunt Patsy (uber-seamstress). Carol is about the same height as Taryn so she ended up being the model.

We did actually celebrate Mike's birthday as well. He received gifts of cheese, wine and kitchen gear - perfect! And Aunt Patsy made him a delicious banana cake with cream cheese frosting.

Happy Birthday Mike!

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

17 March 2009

Two Handsome Guys

Like father, like son. Need we say more?

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

15 March 2009

Bowling for BBBS

Insitu recently participated in a benefit for the local Big Brothers / Big Sisters organization in the Gorge. The company formed a total of 5 teams, including two from software on which Corinne and I played. Since the lane times for our two teams coincided, Anders of course came along with us. He became the official "mascot" of both teams, and even received his own T-shirt onesie.

Pledges were not performance-based; individuals were asked to pledge a fixed amount to a given team, rather than an amount per pin. This was definitely to the benefit of BBBS. At least on our teams, any score that broke 100 was considered good. ;) Through corporate and individual sponsorships from a variety of local businesses, the event raised over $40,000!

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

13 March 2009

A New Hunting Strategy

Warning: Graphic Content

And now, for something completely different... Now that the snow is melting, the afternoons are warming, and the sun is shining, Max is spending more time outdoors and has resumed hunting.

Last year, he would bring us the fruits of his labor in the whole. We would tell him what a good hunter he was, give him extra attention, and then promptly throw his gift into the woods.

Well, Max has wised up and has a new hunting strategy for 2009. His first catch of the year (that we're aware of) was consumed in its entirety on the front step. There was just a blood spot left behind to let us know he had caught what we assume was a mouse. Today he decided to make the evidence of his good deeds a little more obvious. I sure hope the other half was consumed and wasn't left as a gift for us to find later.

- Corinne, Mike, Anders Rocket, Max, and half-a-mouse

10 March 2009

Trains, Babies, and Family in Seattle

We recently made a quick trip to Seattle, both to visit family and return some borrowed items. Since Corinne is still working a three-day week (Monday-Wednesday), she was able to drive up to Seattle with Rocket on Thursday. The family got a few extra days of Anders time.

Anders and Chloe, Mark and Carol's Westie, were pretty curious about each other. Thankfully Anders's grip wasn't quite developed enough to get a strong hold on any of that hair.

I stayed home to work the remaining few days and would take Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle on Friday night to join them. I was hoping that I would get to sleep in on Friday morning - with no baby to wake me - but of course I ended up having a restless night without the rest of my family with me.

I left work a little early on Friday in order to catch the 6:30pm train. Along the way I stopped at IKEA in Portland to pick up some pieces to an office desk that I had been trying to get for several months. As anyone knows, it is difficult to get in and out of IKEA in a timely manner. On this particular occasion, however, I was prepared: I knew the specific aisle and rack on which my items would reside in the warehouse section; I went in the Exit and hopped the gate across a checkout aisle; and then proceeded directly to the self-service checkout. I was in and out literally in 10 minutes! After all, I had a train to catch.

What I didn't account for, though, was rush hour traffic. (Our rural area doesn't have traffic!) When Corinne called me on the cellphone about 5 minutes before the scheduled departure, I hadn't yet arrived at the train station. I managed to pull into the station parking lot just as the train was rolling in - but I still had to pick up my ticket! I grabbed my bags from the trunk, managed to lock the car, literally ran at top speed to the station, grabbed my ticket, and jumped on the train seconds before it started moving. I don't think I could have cut it any closer - and I don't intend to try. ;) Thankfully I had several hours on the train to unwind after all of that excitement.

One of the motivations for the trip was to return some borrowed baby gear. Our friends Malinda and Jean loaned us some much needed gear when we were unexpectedly in Seattle with a newborn back in September. Since Malinda was due in March with their second, we had a definite deadline for returning their bassinet and car seat. We ordered dinner from the same Chinese restaurant that we had the night before Anders was born, hoping to "induce" the same result in Malinda that it did in Corinne (no luck). Before we left, we put Anders down for one last nap in the bassinet.

The other motivation was to visit with family, including Corinne's Aunt Patsy who was on a month-long visit from Ohio. We met up with her daughter (and Corinne's cousin) Andrea for brunch on Sunday. Anders is in his "fancy" outfit, since it probably won't fit him for that much longer!

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

09 March 2009

Rocket Doubles His Weight

We weigh Anders once a week. Sometime in the first week of March he passed 15 lbs 6 oz - double his birth weight! Our baby book says that babies typically double their birth weight by 4 or 5 months. Rocket doubled his at 5 1/2 months which is a little late but that seems to be the trend with his milestones, probably due to being born early.

Regardless of milestones, he is healthy, happy, and thriving which is what is most important.

- Corinne, Mike, and Anders Rocket

04 March 2009

Vaccinations Aren't Fun

Rocket has been pretty easy on us. He wasn't colicky, hasn't gotten sick, sleeps through the night, and is easy-going pretty much all the time. Even his cries are mild.

After a recent vaccination visit that changed, and we got our first small taste of what parenting could be like.

Our first few vaccinations went fine; he didn't mind the needle stick and mostly slept afterward. He would get his shot shortly before lunch on Wednesday and be back to daycare by early afternoon. This time, though, we got a call from Debbie shortly before 5:00pm, our normal pickup time. Anders had been crying inconsolably for the last 45 minutes! We knew something must be wrong, since he has never cried for more than a few minutes before. We left work quickly, stopping for some infant Tylenol along the way. By the time we got there he had calmed down somewhat but was clearly still uncomfortable. The instructions on the Tylenol said to "ask your pediatrician" for dosage instructions for someone his size and age, so it was a few minutes on the phone with the nurse before we were able to administer. A short time later he had calmed down, and it wasn't too long until he fell asleep, no doubt tired from both the vaccination itself and his extended reaction.

As we found out later, many doctors (and mothers) recommend pre-dosing your child with Tylenol before a vaccination, to lessen the possibility of this situation. I wish we had known that beforehand! The following day he was perfectly fine.

(Okay, so that photo was not taken during his vaccine reaction and was mostly included for laughs. The distortion was caused by a wide-angle lens.)

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

02 March 2009

Farm Fresh Eggs

When was the last time you bought a carton of eggs that looked like this?

And no, it's not for Easter. These eggs are all natural - no dyes involved. We buy all of our eggs from our neighbor Pat who has a few hundred hens of various varieties. She makes a point to populate each carton with a mixture of colors and sizes, although we suspect that this particular carton - with its perfect chromatic organization - was a result of her daughter Abby's presence.

If you haven't had fresh-from-the-farm eggs recently, you'll be amazed at how different they are from what you buy in the store. The yolks in particular stand up so high and are bright orange.

For the past few years I have become "the egg man" at the office, as the local distributor of farm eggs when Pat's hens are at their highest production levels. It supports a local farmer and it's really fun to see and hear the reactions from someone after they experience a real egg for the first time!

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders Rocket

01 March 2009

Anders Photo Shoot

One of the items that has been on our to-do list for a few months now is to have some professional photos taken of Anders. Being the small community that it is, every so often I run into the local photographer we hired for the Massman family reunion a few years back, Michael Peterson. One such encounter finally motivated us to schedule an appointment with him in his studio.

Anders has always been interested in cameras; when you point one at him he will invariably look directly at it. I figure he must be into electronic gadgets. ;) Combine that with his generally happy disposition and we were hoping for a good session.

We wanted to get a few family photos but spend the majority of the time capturing Rocket. After all, he's changing so quickly that who knows what he'll look like in a few months?

We're really happy with the results. We got lots of great shots of Anders; below is a sampling. The first shot is even going to be featured in a showing of Michael's work at a local restaurant.

- Mike, Corinne, and Anders "Fabio" Rocket