Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Happy Six-Month Birthday!

On this week of our ninth wedding anniversary and Tor's half birthday, Lars has absconded to exotic Cadaquès, España.
Cadaquès - Cadaques, Girona
Guess what, Tor? Life's not fair.
With hearty apologies, of course. I mention this state of affairs because our camera has absconded along with Lars, and so I am marking the occasion with a few recent Tor photos from friends, plus, of course, video from our FlipCam. I apologize if you've already seen the pics on Facebook!

Tor acts in an advisory capacity to Baby Flack

The Holy Grail of beers
Franklin does look slightly demonic here
Kickin' it old school

You've seen the still photos of the blanket nest. Now see it in Technicolor action!

And finally, some more Exersaucer. Ignore that voice behind the camera.

Tor's official six-month doctor's appointment will occur on July 13, so expect an update on his vitals shortly thereafter.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day and Its Surroundings

Last weekend was action packed, both academically and socially. Although Lars has been working his tail off to submit his NSF post-doctoral fellowship proposal (which he did on Thursday!! Wooo!), he made time to hang out with our good friends Lindsay and Dave and Aaron, Allison, and Madeline (and Tor and me!) on Saturday evening and on Sunday. He's leaving for a week-long conference in Spain tomorrow, so Tor and I must treasure up this time.

It looks like someone threw a drink in his face, but those
watermarks are just drool soakage

Madeline is invariably excited to see Tor, which is pretty fun. And here, returning the favor, Tor was excited to see Madeline, but he got leery as her proximity increased. 
"Hey lady!"

"Oh, I'm actually one of those guys who likes to catcall without
any prospect of interaction, so..."
[Adult voices]: "Gentle with the baby!!"
The next day, the eight of us plus friends Val and Ben headed to the Stone Arch Bridge Arts Festival, where we checked out hundreds of booths displaying tempting paintings, crafts, ceramics, photographs, food, and jewelry (though none as cool as Charmaine's). Although some members of our group who have real jobs engaged in actual art speculation, Lars and I stuck to buying beer and kettle corn. Kettle corn is the best Lars bait I know.

I commented on the large number of BOB strollers like ours,
saying, "I think of these as a luxury item," and Lars pointed
out that people who attend art festivals tend to be people
with considerable disposable income. Hobnobbing!

In the beer garden listening to bluegrass
"What's that on your face? Let me yank it off for you."

Lars and I both paid for our playtime this past week, as I prepped three classes and worked on an article and Lars ran a sample overnight, helped his lab's interns with experiments, and finished writing his proposal. Tor was definitely the most cheerful family member most evenings.

After the proposal went out, Dendro and Lars tried to nap while Tor had a grand old time.
Eventually, he got the floor nest all to himself.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Busy Busy Summer

It's been an eventful week. The heat wave finally broke, leaving us with an AeroBed, an air conditioner, and lots of photos of a scantily clad Tor.
All that mooing left him drained

Tor has gotten surprisingly effective at propelling himself around. I feel like it happened all at once. Now you can't leave him anywhere uncontained for more than a few minutes, or you'll come back to find him licking the hardwood floor or wedged under the changing table. A few snapshots of his proud progress follow. Note that powerful legwork in the first one.

Post-heat wave, the Pack-N-Play has remained in the living room. It's become crucial to pen in our whirling dervish while taking out laundry or cooking something. He's usually good for a few minutes either in that or the exersaucer.

We moved on to applesauce, with similar success in terms of mouthful retention.

Our great friends Aaron and Allison gave us a photo session with another friend who takes pictures professionally, and we had a blast doing that as a family. Check out a few of the shots here.

Thoughtful presents rolled in from both sets of grandparents. (NB: Thank-you notes for these and baptism gifts to follow once I get my act together!) We capture only a few here. Grandpa Chooch and Grandma Charmaine sent Tor his first puppet, slating him to follow in his father's magic-camp footsteps, as well as a "TOR" sign to add to our front porch hanging (right between "LARS AND ELISSA HANSEN" and "AND DENDRO TOO"--I'll post a picture as soon as we get it up there).
Now the Jehovah's Witnesses will come for you too
Oma and Opa got Tor a German book about counting to five, starring the claymationtastic Timmy the Sheep, and a Norwegian book naming different kinds of trucks.

Present-opening then devolved into Daddy-boarding (a formation derived from body-boarding rather than waterboarding), as most of our evening activities tend to do.

I started teaching my summer class, Analysis of the English Language, this week. It meets Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:30 to 5:30, so we hired a great babysitter named Erin to come Tuesdays and Thursdays (she's a dental hygiene student at the university). For the Wednesday class, a child development grad student watches Tor, and I watch her one-year-old daughter Victoria on Tuesday mornings. It's working out well so far, and I had a good first week of class, in case anyone was wondering.
Erin keeping Tor happy

Friday, June 10, 2011

Heat Wave

We had a killer heat wave here this last week (thanks, jet stream). Tor weathered it like a champ, probably helped by our buckling and buying an air conditioner when the thermometer hit 103. We had two nights of family sleepover in the living room (us on the air mattress and Tor in the Pack-N-Play), since our bedrooms are upstairs (= kilnlike environment). It brought back youthful memories of cloyingly hot nights sleeping on the pull-out couch in the basement with my brother and sister. Somehow those nights always seemed very festive. Too bad Tor's not old enough to appreciate it.

Here's the hot potato on the couch after he fell asleep nursing and I snuck out from beneath him:

Tor's drop-in co-op daycare, KidsPark, had a fundraising carnival on Saturday, so Lars and I volunteered in order to earn our summer co-op hours. We managed two games: Duck Catch and Fishing Pond. This was one of the more temperate days--80ish--so lots of kids came out. None of the games interested Tor, unsurprisingy, but Lars did take him to the little petting zoo to see the animals (including a kangaroo and a monkey!). Tor had a mini-meltdown and teeth marks for days following when a goat nipped the bottom of his foot, but his attitude bounced back fast and he chilled in the shade while we policed the ponds.

On Sunday, we drove to the Wisconsin border for a day of bouldering with our buddy Joe. We moved around to stay in the shade, and hardly any bugs are out yet, making for ideal conditions. Tor seemed engaged when placed on a slab:

He started the day wearing shorts but soiled them immediately
and he took a nice nap on the bouldering pad.

Most of the time, he just relaxed and observed. We can't put sunscreen on him yet (two more weeks), so he's wearing a little rashguard from Aunt Jodi with UV protection. When he gets a little bigger he'll fit into the matching trunks! The sun hat is a hand-me-down from Sonia--he's also still trying to grow into the two masculine ones he has.

Just like Daddy circa 2002
Finally, this was our first occasion to bust out the Kelty baby backpack that we got at REI a few months ago. Tor seemed to get a kick out of being at head height.
Is it strange that nine years later, Lars is still wearing my sunglasses?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Let the Baby-Proofing Begin

Last weekend, we captured this photograph of Tor after his first time rolling over from back to tummy! This means that he's capable of rolling across the room, at least in theory, so we should probably start putting plugs in sockets and things like that.

Madeline witnessed this new skill on Memorial Day. 

Lars is also working on getting the offspring to hold onto objects while standing up. Tor likes to do squats, particularly while standing on someone's bladder, so we're wondering whether he may bypass "creeping" and move straight to "cruising." (Those are technical baby terms. I'm probably using them wrong.) But in these pics, anyway, he's obviously distracted by his fascinating and charismatic mother.

And a  spot o' video:

The daily cereal meals are very much the same--we put it in, Tor blubbers it out--with one twist: he's become interested in gumming on the spoon. As you might imagine, this does not facilitate the feeding process.
"I look like I'm ready to take a bite, don't I?"
"Psych! Maybe I would if this SPOON weren't so awesome!"
Maybe we'll just start making him feed it to himself with his hands. 

And finally, my pictorial response to this photo: