Friday, December 11, 2009


There is a little girl at the daycare named Samantha who is very shy. When I visit Gabe, she keeps her distance and watches me without expression on her face. Today, for the first time, she brought me toys. Later, when I was getting Gabe’s coat on him, she walked up to us at the coat racket and said “jacket”. I had never heard her speak before; nor had I ever seen her grin.

With the ice finally broken, Samantha suddenly had the confidence to goof around in front of me. She started walking back and forth between the hanging coats and the wall. The static made her hair stand up in every direction. I don’t know if it was the hair, or the way she was repeatedly hidden in coats, but suddenly Gabe was cracking up. He was laughing so hard, I had to repeatedly pick him up off of the floor. The teachers apparently don’t hear him laugh like that in class, because they were quite surprised by the sounds he was making. They compared him to a Tickle Me Elmo.

Gabe almost then got himself into trouble. He decided to start touching Samantha’s face. (This must be how he has gotten himself bit in class so often.) I told him to be gentle, and good boy, he listened! There was no pinching or pulling or fingers in eyes. Patient Samantha held still while Gabe touched her face.

And *then* the silly boy kissed her! With a big hug, right there in the coats, in front of his mama. It was the most sweet and innocent thing I’ve ever seen.

Sweet little Samantha let him. Then she ran around in the coats some more, and got more giggles from Gabe, and a second kiss.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


We've been working on expanding Gabe's vocabulary since he started talking and slowly but surely he's using more words. Like any Toddler his newest words are often half words which we understand and hopefully he'll fill the rest in with time.

I was especially happy to see Gabe start using his third sign. I've been using the Hungry sign whenever I put him in the highchair to eat, and after literally months of showing him he now uses it when we ask him if he's hungry. Success!

Vocabulary List:

Appah = "Apple"
Dis = "This"
Ba = "Ball"
BuhBuh = "Bubbles"
Ah Da = "All Done"
Uh Oh

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun at the Playground

This Sunday afternoon we traveled up to a local park that has a great playground for toddlers. Michelle would remember the name, but I can't. Gabe has gotten so much better at walking. He really launched himself up the ramps.

He's learned to position himself at the top of the slide and then push off so he slides down.

One of us is at the bottom to catch him. This is the only slide he can safely go down. The others are too step for him still, but this one is perfect and he loves it.

We climbed to the very top and Gabe went down the twisty slide on mom's lap. He was laughing at Daddy who was sliding down backwards to take a picture.

A happy pair reaches the bottom.

Gabe shocked us when he ran up to the slide, dropped to his belly, and launched himself down face first. He later tried to run down, but we stopped that experiment in the nick of time.

He thought sliding was the best thing ever and did it endlessly until dad stopped lifting him up to the entrance near the top of the slide.

I can't believe how fast he's growing up!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Prelude to a Bath

After lunch, Gabe was lifted straight into the tub.

Things have been great fun on the talking front. The day after "up" Gabe added "book" to his vocabulary, and promptly gave up on it in favor of saying "up" every seven seconds. Gabe has also made an effort to say "all done", "ball", and "no", but these are all half-baked as of yet.

I took Gabe on his first real walk into the woods today, because he finally seems to have reacheed the stage where walking is the standard mode of transportation. Hooray! But my fiendish plan was foiled when the silly monkey became more interested in my apple then in the walk. I tried to tell him that he had just eaten an entire apple of his own, but nothing could keep him from devouring my precious honeycrisp while sitting in the grass at the edge of the woods.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gabe's First Word

While Gabe has been babbling for a while and saying mama and dada, they are mostly mantras. Dadadadada, mamamama. This morning Gabe said "Up" very clearly and distinctly several times when Michelle asked him if he wanted up. I can't wait to see what will come next!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gabezilla Attacks

Daddy likes to play with blocks.

Gabe comes to see daddy's block tower up close.

Careful Gabe! Daddy's tower is fragile.

Oh no Gabezilla attacks!

Gabezilla delighting in destruction.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Astronaut Pajamas

Our friend Kristin works at NASA. She gave Gabe some official astronaut jammies:

Gabe usually isn't quite this enthusiastic about brushing his teeth. . .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh look, today is the 27th. . .

. . .which makes Gabe 15 months old. He is now officially a toddler!

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Steps

We ate out at a local family friendly restaurant called Ricks this evening. When we arrived home we were playing with Gabe when we stared playing the stand up on daddy's knees and fall to daddy game. He laughs like crazy when we play it and usually ends up falling in a random direction, sometimes backwards. One time I scooted backwards on my butt to get some distance and he step-fell towards me. After repeating it a few times he actually took several steps forward towards me and never really lost his balance.

Michelle and I were beaming and laughing in excitement and Gabe was too. Before it was all said and done he walked about two meters to me without falling and I was ecstatic that he was finally reaching this long awaited milestone. I know running around is just a short time away and I both can't wait to run around with him and dread chasing him;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We've offered Gabe ham plenty of times, and up until now he's rejected it. Tonight he ate all the ham chunks in his mac & cheese. The thing is I was cooking the mac & cheese and had a bowl of frozen ham by the stove waiting to be dumped in. Gabe saw the frozen ham and asked for some. I gave him a small chunk on a lark, and he sucked on it for a while. Chewed. Then swallowed and asked for more. He ate a half dozen more frozen chunks before dinner.

If you had told me that this would the way we'd get Gabe to start eating his ham I would have called you crazy. Sometimes ideas are just crazy enough to work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Book Time

Gabe is feeling much better now. Here he is, reading with Daddy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary

Last weekend Jen and I went to Stony Brook to photograph the Autumn foliage, but of course Gabe got a lot of attention, too. (To see the landscape and plant photos, click here.)

Gabe is on the verge of walking. He is cruising with more confidence by the day.

Yup, I let him crawl on a boardwalk over snapping-turtle-infested waters. He was amazingly careful about getting too close to the edges. (And I was prepared to hop in after in, should he go over.)

Gabe, Jen, and Gabe's future girlfriend. (She's still in the oven.)

Here's Gabe crawling off into the sunset. Of all the things to catch one's attention at Stony Brook, he was most taken with the crooked yellow step. Twice he got his foot stuck while climbing over it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Week of Sick Baby

Two weeks ago it was an ear infection. Now it's bronchiolitis. I need to get to bed so I won't be a wreck when we wake him at 2 AM to use the nebulizer again. Poor little muppet.

Up and Up to No Good

I am the coolest: my shoes match the wagon!

The wagon! So heavy! But I make it go all by myself!

Oh shit, I've been caught! Abort mission!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good Morning Daddy

This morning Michelle plopped Gabe down beside my head just like any other morning. As I rolled over and opened my eyes my vision blurred as a baby fist punched into my left eye. I yelled rather loudly and sat straight up. At this point Gabe went quiet, and after a few moments Michelle asked, "Are we going to the emergency room?"

Luckily there was no need for a trip to the ER. My eye is still sore, but no permanent damage done that I can tell. Baby fist in eye, not the best part of waking up;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So That's Why He's Been Fussy

Poor Gabe! He is currently at home with an ear infection. We paid a visit to the doctor yesterday after three days of intermittent low fevers, and it was a good thing, because his temperature spiked right after the visit, and tried to stay up all through the night.

Wonderful Chris is on sick baby duty today, and last I heard he was trying to wrangle Gabe down for a nap.

Gabe is one tough cookie. Even when his temperature hit 102.9, he was still smiling and scurrying around in laps. I had to wake him up during the night to give him Tylenol. Aside from wanting comfort foods, he’s trying his hardest to pretend that he isn’t sick.

Oh yes – Gabe took his first steps over the weekend! He stood up next to the toilet, held his arms up to me to indicate that he wanted to be picked up, and then did a two-step shuffle. After that, he decided to sit down.

There hasn’t been a repeat performance for Chris yet, but I’m sure it’s because Gabe just isn’t feeling up to it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sweet and Sour Face

Tonight at dinner Mom was drinking some pure cranberry juice and making all sorts of funny faces. Dad took a sip and tried really hard to keep from making funny faces. Gabe wanted to get in on the action and being mean awful parents we figured why not. He does love lemons after all.

"Oh ya! I get the good stuff. That mom and dad drink. From the big cup. Cause I'm a big boy. With a big thirst. For the good stuff."

"I have begun to reconsider the wisdom in my current course of action."

"Oh Dear Lord what have I done!"

"I think my face is going to be stuck like this forever."

"Ok, maybe not forever."

"Actually that has a good burn to it, bring that back."

"Come to papa, you hurt so good."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First Day at the Playground

Our local elementary school has a wonderful playground structure. Gabe immediately took to the bridge. After this first cautious descent down its steep side, he scooted back and forth across it like he owned it.

He didn't so much like the slides on this trip, but on our second visit to the park, riding the slide on daddy's lap became the giggle source of the afternoon.


So, we were having tomato soup one night. I let Gabe drink some of the soup from my bowl, which was messy, but he loved it. After Chris cleaned him up, Gabe sneezed - and soup shot out of his nose, all the way down to his chin.

After we picked ourselves up off the floor (having been taken down by laughter) Chris grabbed the camera.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Photos from Frye Island

After a photography expedition was cut short by mosquitoes, Chris and I met up with Gabe and my parents at the island's community center playground.

I like this sequence:

Everybody say chee. . .

. . .OMP!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bucket Time on Frye Island

I has a bucket!



So this is the mysterious "wet" of which they speak.

More wet!

My minions obey.


Tastes like duck.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beach Bums

Gabe's first visit to a beach:

Clean, salt-free water; crystal sky.

Gabe handed 3,572 pebbles to Grampa, 374 of which he first tried to eat. . .

. . .and Gabe wondered why Grampa kept dribbling water on his foot. After this came much fun with a bucket, and then it was sitting-in-the-water time!

We shared the beach with a family that had a pair of toddlers (one of which was toted down to the sand under one arm, looking like a piece of luggage), and this family of ducks, who popped out from the shade of a rock just next to me, thereby making me jump two feet in the air. These are the scariest ducklings I've ever met!