Sunday, February 19, 2012

20 months old

I was informed by a friend that last week was a year ago since I last wrote on this blog. In general, I typically don't write much in public forums anymore. This is for various reasons which I won't go into hear, but as always, I wish I could write more.
Kenzo is now 20 1/2 months old, almost time to stop annoying everyone around my by stating his age in months. His speech is finally picking up, after overcoming mama and papa's obviously intentional efforts to confuse him by using more than one language in the house, on a dizzyingly consistent basis. But when a new word comes along, whether it be in English or Japanese, it's thoroughly exciting and we try to take advantage of it as much as possible. He's still a bit plump, but we're still in the "that's okay, it's so adorable" zone. He's running around the house enough now that you'd imagine he'd work the extra pounds off, but he just loves mama's cooking too much to turn anything down. The amount the kid eats astounds us both; he literally eats more than Ach does at basically every meal.
We'll be moving to Alexandria, VA in a month. My company is starting a new office, and Asako and I will be two of the three "founding members" (read: guinea pigs). It's a great opportunity but certainly isn't coming without a great deal of heartache for leaving a town we love, and family and friends we thought we'd be around forever. There will be an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities for us all, including Kenzo. We'll be sure to keep you all (read: both) up to date on how the new chapter of our lives unfolds...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

8 Months Old

It's been a while. Kenzo has been growing at a rapidly increased pace - emotionally, mentally, and actually, finally for once, not physically. You see, Kenzo is, how shall I put this - "great." He has always been in the 95th percentile for weight (at least) and usually about 90 for both head and height. So at least you can make the argument that he's proportional. (What am I saying? Actually, he's beautiful. No worries there.) But finally, the kid has begun to move around on his own, trying to crawl (can only do so backwards to date), rolling all over the place, and for some reason he gets stuck under the couch an incredible amount. So with this new activity, his body has de-chubbed a bit and he looks better than ever. The cheeks are still there - oh goodness, are the cheeks still there. But in all the other places he seems to be a bit more normal looking.
But the mobility is the real incredible part at the moment. As I said, he can't quite exactly crawl yet, but what he can do is sit up, then bend over, then get up on all fours and rotate a bit, then sit back up in a different position and start all over again. Some other recent huge developments are that he can now feed himself crackers with his hands, he can pick things up with his thumb and forefinger, and he can actually mimik us. If mommy and daddy say something that Kenzo says a lot, he will listen to us and start to make that noise. It's not quite talking obviously, but you can tell that the wheels are turning up there which is pretty awesome. Soon he will be crawling, then running, all over the house and our worlds will collapse. But to see his continuing development is incredibly exciting.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bath Time

One of my favorite times of the day (or, every couple of days because we're durrrty like that) is bath time. Since he was quite young, (specifically - since his belly button was fully healed) Kenzo has been taking a bath with me holding him in the water, and Mommy washing him. (Sorry ladies, no photos.) So I have the good fortune of getting to dunk his lower half into the water, which he looooooves.
I had always heard that bath time was one of the harder parts of parenting, and who knows, maybe one day it will be. But this kid loves getting in the bath. He can be screaming, screaming like there is no tomorrow, and as soon as his toes hit the warm water, he looks up at the ceiling with this surprised look which soon turns into pure contentment.
We systematically go through each step in the washing process, which stays the same each time. All in all the baths usually take about 10 minutes but with prep and cleanup that usually turns into 30.
Bath time is one of those times that is different in every household, so I think its a pretty special time for everybody. It's a moment where there are no interruptions, no distractions, its just the family working together to clean the little guy and have some fun if possible. I think out of all the great and horrible moments that come with raising a child, bath time will be one that I remember most.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

8 Weeks Old

Exactly 8 weeks today. There was no real fanfare - he's now part of the family rather than some sort of new addition - plus we have been celebrating behavioral milestones more than aged ones recently. Like his increase in smiles, the first actual tear shed from is eyes, and number of degrees of incline his head can achieve during 'tummy time.' Of course, that's only an exaggeration...we don't actually measure degrees.
There was a moment today which sort of freaked me out because I realize how easy it is to become horrible, horrible parents. Let me explain. Recently, Kenzo has been much more cooperative in terms of giving us time to eat. During the day, and into the early evening, he has become much more tolerant, quiet, and manageable. This makes it easy to let him do his own thing, whether it be in his swinging chair, bouncy chair, or on the couch. He loves these places, so we've been letting him just hang out more than we did before. So today, he was in his bouncy chair after being fed. It just so happened that at the same time, dinner became ready, and Asako and I realized that this was a great opportunity to try and eat together without interruption. So we ran over to the table and started scarfing while talking about each other's days. At a certain point, Kenzo coo'd out to us, and we realized that he was sitting in his bouncy chair, only 2 feet away from our large television screen, staring straight up at it while something awful like "Extra" snuck its way into our living room. Kenzo was just sitting there, alone, watching Extra. I wanted to slap myself on the wrist. So we ran over and saved him and we all ate as one big, happy family.

The end.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

6 Weeks old

Kenzo has been around now for 6 weeks and 2 days. That's almost as long as it takes me to typically get around to cleaning the toilet. But miraculously, I've cleaned the toilet at least thrice since Kenzo was born. That's what having children will do to a man.
The best moments of my day occur when he's laying flat on his back, doing the inverted running man in a desperate attempt to pass gas. Once he does, an angelic smile emerges on his face, and he is instantly the king of the room. Congratulations go around the room for relieving some of his gas, and with the very human-like stench of ripe fart still wafting, I pat his belly and declare him a very, very good boy. (Only in my dreams would I receive responses to farts similar to this. This boy has no idea how good he has it.)
The worst moments of my day occur around minute 85 of his gut-wrenching cry fest. The moment at which your checklist of possible quick-fixes has been exhausted, as has your last whit and ounce of patience. It's the moment where, may God have mercy on me for saying this, you wonder why you made the decision in the first place to put this child and all its responsibilities upon yourself. The moment where you feel the now-familiar chill of old sweat on your back after endless minutes of picking up, rocking, vibrating, shushing, singing, and any other -ing which might potentially put this little guy to sleep. There are many moments of what the Japanese call "Tai-hen," extreme difficulty without real mental challenge -- and from what I hear, that will soon change as they get older. But for now, the challenge is mostly physical. Besides that, there's the emotional challenge of not letting yourself feel like a failure for not knowing what on Earth is making him so upset right now.
But those moments when he locks eyes on me, when I know his belly is full, his diaper is empty, and every potential dream he could ever have is still alive and well - those are the moments that give me energy like I've never felt before. The moments when he turns his head and closes his eyes and looks just like his mommy did the night we met - or the moments when he yawns and starts to cough a little and looks just like I did in my last cute photo ever taken - and I think about the fact that he's got actual thoughts running through his little head - thoughts that are neither mine or his Mommy's, but are in some way mine and his mommy's...these are the moments that just blow my mind and make me realize that the "tai-hen" part of being a parent is only a quick anecdote. These are the moments where I am his father and he is my son, and I finally realize why my Dad didn't give up on me after the first thousand times I disappointed him, because this bond is like tungsten steel, and like nothing I ever could have anticipated.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Nil Lara - My First Child

I have known of a wonderful Cuban-American singer/songwriter named Nil Lara since a good friend of mine introduced me to him in college in 1998. One song was always a favorite of mine, entitled "My First Child." It was always a beautiful song, but obviously it's recently become even more dear to me since Kenzo came along. For any parent who needs an excuse to couple over in tears (that ISN'T because of sheer frustration and exhaustion) please listen to this song.

Amazon page - preview the whole album here - its worth it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have a son.

If anyone checks this blog anymore, which I believe they do not, I now have a son. Kenzo Finnegan Sperry was born on June 3, 2010, and I am so excited and a little terrified to be a dad. But mostly excited.
I'm going to start writing a lot about raising children, so if you're not into that sort of thing, I suggest removing this blog from your favorites list - since I'm sure it's already there currently.