Sunday, February 26, 2006

Language log: bird, banana, mama, dada

We seem to have entered our first word spurt. Birds and planes never escape Kelton's gaze nor his pointing finger, but only now does one of them have a name: bird comes out "beu" or "irda" (for birdie). Banana came out for the first time when a still-hungry boy pointed from his high chair to the counter where we cut up his banana bits. I looked at him and said banana, and he thought for a moment then clearly enunciated "nana". And then over and over -- we got through a whole banana that way! Since then he says "nana" at random, but moreso when we're eating one. Lastly, those "ma-ma-ma" and "da-da-da" sounds finally seem to mean something! "Ma-ma" isn't just the desperate whine of a hungry boy, but a word to use when Mom comes ino the room. And "da-da" pops out in the middle of excited play with Dad, or when seeing him still lying in bed when he's just woken up for the day. And he can turn his head toward either of us if asked.

Monday, February 20, 2006

In the Park

News flash: Kelton storms the local parks, taking advantage of our February spring weather:

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My day in San Francisco

Last weekend I met up with Auntie Nikki in San Fransisco. I had a nice little nap in the car on the drive up so I was rested and ready to run when we got there. The first stop of the day was at an awesome playground near Fort Mason. There were swings, and I love to swing, and a wonderful play structure shaped like the golden gate bridge.
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There was also a nifty metal slide. Mommy taught me how to turn around and go down the slide backwards all by myself.
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The nifty warm blue coat I'm wearing in the photos above was a first birthday present from Auntie Nikki. After the playground we walked to a little restaurant for lunch. After lunch Mommy and Auntie Nikki stopped for a coffee and Daddy caught me smuggling a bag of beans.

Then we walked back to Fort Mason with our coffees and Auntie Nikki and Mommy took turns taking photos. I got to be in all the photos.
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Then Auntie Nikki headed off to her her improv class, and we walked along the bay. I was entranced by the waves. Here I am showing off my newly learned pointing skill.
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After all that business I was tired and rested in the grass for a moment.

Lastly we ran across a little art fair. One of the painters, named Zanne , was wonderful and she showed me how her umbrella worked. I thought it was hilarious. She kept running it up and down for me making me laugh and laugh.
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All in all it was a very full day and I think I was asleep before we pulled out of the parking lot on the drive home....

Alphabet soup

1 large bag of multi-colored letters
1 rubber duckie
1 cute-as-a-button baby

Put all ingredients in a small tub and just add water and splash.

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Language log: boom

I think we have our second official word! When Kelton falls down we usually say "boom" and now he says it too. It's more of a "ba" than a "boom", and like "uh-oh" this one has evolved out of a babbling sound that still burbles out indiscriminately. But we know it also has meaning since he almost always says it after a fall. I usually repeat it back to him and he'll repeat it too, and we get into a very fast back and forth for a few rounds.

His comprehension is also starting to reveal itself. Lisa told me to ask him "Where's the mousie?" while reading his book, and he pointed right to it. (My response of "Holy crap" instead of "Good boy" got me chastised by Mom.) He also can answer "Where's Tigger" but it only works for the picture on the cover of that book.

And lastly when we spent Saturday in the park (it was a sunny-and-70 February day, another reminder why we're making that big mortgage payment...) Kelton's truck was 20 feet away and when Lisa said "Kelton, go get your truck" he did.

We really better watch what we say now!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

At the beach with Larissa and Company

Just like old times, when Larissa came to visit a couple of weeks ago, we went to our favorite Half Moon Bay beaches. But unlike old times, now we had 3 kids with us! On the drive to Half Moon Bay, Kelton and his little friend Jakob fell asleep in their side by side carseats. They were so adorable together. Lukas rode with the big guys looking very cool in his sunshades.
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Here's the Schwirner gang at the beach. It was a little chilly, but not bad for mid January! We've had colder visits in August with the heavy summer fog.

The kids had a wonderful time at the beach. David, Kelton and Lukas had a blast running through the foam created by the strong surf, sometimes coming a little too close to the waves. Kelton even got his little shoes covered in foam.
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All the kids loved playing in the sand. Even Jakob could enjoy the feel of it in his hands. Kelton and Lukas found some driftwood to play on.
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Kelton wanted to walk everywhere on the beach. He still needed Daddy's support for balance, but he could go for long distances under his own power. He still enjoyed a high ride from Daddy once in a while.
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One of our favorite beaches is Pebble Beach. Part of the beach is made up of millions of beautiful tiny pebbles. Here's Jacob playing with his mommy on the pebbles.
There are also lots of strange eroded rock patterns. Kelton concentrated feeling some of the tiny holes in the rock.
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Finally after so much fun and running around Kelton couldn't resist a nap. He was so tired he slept on Mommy's lap on the beach for almost an hour, then stayed asleep while Daddy transported him down the beach, up to the top of the cold windy bluff, and into his carseat to finish his nap.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Three weeks ago we had a week of firsts. I guess Kelton was trying to complete all his project milestones ahead of his birthday deadline.

On Saturday January 14, Kelton spoke his first word. It was an apt one, and one he'll have much use for: "uh-oh". Sure, he's made all sorts of babbles over the last couple months, including "ma ma ma", "ba ba ba", and he's long loved to mimic coughs and silly "uh uh uh" sounds. But those are just for fun and don't seem to mean much. Then all of a sudden, he began to say "uh-oh" when he drops a toy, throws a spoon from his highchair, or hears something loud or unexpected. If we repeat it back to him (as you can imagine we do!) often it turns into a game, with several "uh uh uh"'s followed by a long "ooooooh" with the most precious pursed lips you've ever seen. Excuses for more hugs!

Just four days later Kelton took his first steps. Larissa, Hartmut and their three-year-old Lukas and eight-month-old Jakob were visiting for the week, and watching Lukas must have inspired Kelton. Of course he's been leading up to this for a while, with cruising, truck-pushing, double-handhold walking, then shaking off one of my guiding hands. But just as with "uh-oh", a synapse somewhere suddenly solidified, and he took off on several ten-foot sojourns which you can see below. His pride and excitement were beyond bounds, especially with his audience of six.

Also this week Kelton learned to wave. He'll only do it with his right arm, and his hand kind of flops forward and backward instead of side to side. But he's very fond of his new skill. When we wave at him, there's usually a quiet moment of concentration while he works up to it, then finally comes the wave accompanied by a big smile. The bigger waves and accolades he receives in response only spur him on to do it again.

And by the end of the week he was also beginning to point. Usually upwards, at a light or at who-knows-what. We're taking the opportunity to point out more things ourselves and name them.

All these firsts remind me of the other milestones he's reached over the last months, which I have neglected to record here. Long ago the first reaching-and-grasping, the first two-handed grasp, the first ride on my shoulders, and many others all lost in the mists of time already. I will have to do better.

But the walking is the biggest step yet, so to speak. It's enabling him to get into new kinds of trouble, as you can see below. Uh-oh, indeed.