Friday, April 25, 2008

The First Year

Last night we put you to sleep as our baby and this morning you woke up as our little toddler. So much has happened in just 365 days and you've grown so much. With each day you learn a little bit more, grow a little bigger and get even cuter. We think you are the greatest thing on earth.
In the middle of the night one year ago, we raced off to the hospital, having just sold our family's first house in Ottawa. We were planning big changes for that year, but nothing could compare to the excitement of having you join our family. Until that point, we had only seen blurry ultrasound images of you moving around in your mom's tummy. As the sun rose above the horizon on April 25th, it filled the long windows of delivery room at the Ottawa Civic Hospital with rich, bright light. Minutes later, at 7:34am, you were born.

It had been a tough journey for you, and your head had been squeezed into a leaning cone shape. Squinting against the unfamiliar sensation of sunlight, you waited quietly while the nurse wrapped you in a tight bundle and let me hold you for the first time. For the next hour I held you in one arm and your mom's hand in the other while the doctor took care of her. Finally, after 9 months of living together, you got to meet your mom. You two have hardly been apart since then.

... but your head isn't cone-shaped anymore.

When you were first born, you really didn't do much but sleep, eat and lift your head. We were very proud that you could lift your head so well. With time, you became much more aware of the world around you, and you decided you preferred to look at things from a standing position. You have strong little legs and you have always been happiest when you could hold onto us for balance and jump, jump, jump.

And you laugh, laugh, laugh.

Not only are you a cute little boy, you are also a happy little boy. Everyone we meet loves your big blue eyes and your wide, toothless grin. They also comment that you are exceptionally well-behaved. Although you love to romp around and play at home, in public you go mute. When faced with strangers, you prefer to carefully observe before venturing forward. That hesitation fades fairly quickly and you are very open to strangers, willing to climb into anyone's arms after a brief period of acclimatization.

At home you are hilarious. You crawl circles around the house and you hoot at everything. Point and Hoot. When you see something interesting, you point a chubby finger at it and say "Oooh, Ooooh!" in a surprisingly husky voice. What a change from the first few months, when your uncle thought you sounded much like a squeaky toy. Your range is impressive.

So far, your favourite toys are the remote control, the phone, car keys, the computer mouse, the piano, and anything else that is electronic with buttons. Some other favourites are your white monkey and the ceiling fan. I used to always lift you up to let you pull the cord for the fan -- which you loved. I would point at it and say, "fan". You would even make an attempt at it, saying "Rah". We were sure that your first word was going to be fan, but now it will probably be something else, like rabbit. [Point and Hoot]

There is so much more to say about your first year -- more than I can say here -- luckily, we have a blog and more than a thousand photographs to help us tell the story.

Happy Birthday Scotty.

From Mom and Dad.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Camera: Found!

I got a call this week from a guy I know from church. He was at the building Tuesday night and found my camera tucked in my hat in some back corner of the stage (even though I left it down in the audience seating). I had posted some notes up so he knew it was probably mine. I'm so relieved, but I little disappointed that I don't get to upgrade to a newer camera. I'll wait until I have some cash and then I'll strategically "misplace" it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Missing: One Camera Full of Cute

It was bound to happen. I take that camera all over the place. I've taken it on trips to England and Quebec, on camping trips in Alberta and Ontario, and down hills on iceblocks and snowboards.

Now it's gone.

We took it with us to a church event on Saturday night where I was dressed like a rapper and R had Scotty wrapped up in a maman kangourou baby sling. We were on stage near the beginning and changed seats twice. In all the fuss of moving around and changing outfits, I managed to leave the camera under my chair, sitting inside a baseball cap that I bought in San Diego in 2000. It is sad to lose the hat and the camera, but it's the pictures inside that are the real loss.

We had a few weeks worth of photos (and we take a lot of photos in a week) of Scott, including a few videos. We were trying to capture some of the really cute things that he's started doing lately, as he's getting more mobile and more vocal. In case the camera is never recovered, I am going to describe these cute habits here:

1. Head shaking: Since he was born, we have given Scotty "Eskimo kisses" by rubbing noses with him. I think he has equated the related head-shaking motion with contentment, because he often does it when he's playing or when he's happy. With his limited motor skills, the motion comes out pretty wobbly and very cute. It can be confusing when shake our heads and tell him not to play with power cord for the piano, because he just smiles back at us and shakes his head too.

2. Monkey: R's mom gave us white toy gorilla during R's baby shower last spring, and it sat on the sewing table in Scott's room since we moved here in August. A few weeks ago, R took it down and let Scott play with it. The pair of them have been best friends ever since. We say, "Where's you monkey?" and he points to the gorilla and says "ooh-ugh-ooh" through his trademark puckered lips.

3. Rabbits and Cars: Scott loves to point and hoot at other things too -- mainly rabbits and cars. He loves to stand on the couch and look out the window as the cars go by. He frequently points at the cars (and sometimes the trees) and chants "Doo, doo, doh" with husky voice and a very solid "d" sound. You can see his little body bracing for each syllable and I can't help but chuckle.

4. Dishwasher & Fridge: If you open the dishwasher, you had better work quickly, because you've got between 6 and 10 seconds to get it finished before the self-appointed dishwasher king arrives on the scene. He's learned to climb up on the door, which puts nearly any dish within his pudgy grasp. The fridge is not much different -- just harder to climb on.

5. Keys: When R locks the house or opens the car, she is careful to shield her keys from Scott's view. Otherwise, he demands that the keys be handed over to him for safekeeping. We've given him his own ring of keys which satisfies him some of the time.

6. Tooth #1: Scott broke his first tooth a few days ago (about 10 days shy of his 1st birthday) and we've noticed that he sticks his tongue out a lot more -- possibly because he is getting used to the feeling of having this new fixture in his mouth. Add the increased tongue activity to his hooting and pointing and you have quite an assortment of facial expressions coming out of this little guy.

It's hard to believe that just a few months ago he would just lie on his back and stare at the world...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Credit Card Protests at U of C

This morning I was studying in the MBA lounge here at the University of Calgary and suddenly I heard a loud rumbling. As it turns out, right next door to us there is a meeting of the University Board of Governors this morning to review a decision to discontinue the use of credit cards as a method for tuition payment, and a group of students decided to rally a protest. Campus security is standing by, but it is certainly distracting to have such a ruckus going on just down the hall.

There's a guy on a bullhorn leading the chant and a lot of people are banging garbage cans, but I'm still waiting for them to break into "Do You Hear the People Sing?" from Les Miserables.

You on the barricades listen to this...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

iPod Baby

I finally brought my cord to download all the pictures from my phone. Here are some good ones from the last few weeks:

It was so warm earlier in March that we were out on the playground down the street almost every day before dinner. Scott really likes the swing.

I was trigger-happy with the phone at a family dinner one Sunday.

Here are Grandma M and our little niece A with some nice sunlight effects.

Back on the swing, but still wearing a jacket. Look at how his little legs dangle!

No snow, but plenty of brown grass.

Here's another one from the MBA lounge at the University. Scott's new buddy AV let him borrow his iPod (don't worry, the volume was turned down low). Scott loves to dance so much, he will start bobbing and swaying to the sound of a power drill (which is a sound devoid of rythmn), so he was quick to respond to actual music.

This shot was taken at 10:30 this morning. When I arrived at school at 7:15 there was no snow on the ground. I know the quantities don't compare to Ottawa, but it's interesting how much variability there is in the weather. I expect this will all melt within 24 hours.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Babies, MBAs and Excel Lovers

Some Mondays, R drops off baby Scott at the University so that I can watch him for a few hours during the afternoon while she does performances with her singing group. Scott puts on a little performance of his own, distracting a large number of MBA students who don't need much of an excuse to drop their accounting homework. Here he is sitting with Toronto native and former investment banking analyst AV. I am certain that AV is teaching him Excel shortcuts to help improve his productivity. Right now, Scott mostly tries to tear the keys off of the computer, so any tips would be helpful.

Speaking of Excel lovers, yesterday morning we had a hilarious incident during our decision modeling class (basically an Excel course). Our class meets in a lab with windows running down each side that look out across a narrow hallway to a row of glass-walled study rooms and another computer lab. The whole class became uncomfortably distracted when two students started making out in one of the study rooms right across from us. Finally, our instructor decided to bang on our windows and wave her arms to get their attention, effectively throwing a bucket of cold water on their intimate little moment.

When they realized what was going on, the girl turned beet red and dropped back to her books and the guy grabbed his backpack and bolted without looking up once. I took a picture after everything was over, but you can see the study room through the windows on the left.

Oh, it still makes me laugh to think about it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Haskayne MBA Lounge

Since the MBA lounge at the University of Calgary is the place where I spend the majority of my time, I thought I should take a few pictures. Walk with me on a tour of the facilities...

This is Scurfield Hall, the home of the Haskayne School of Business at the Unversity of Calgary. The building is conveniently located near a light rail (C-Train) station and an LDS chapel. I have received parking tickets at both locations.

Here is the interior of Scurfield Hall, as viewed from the 4th floor, which is where the MBA lounge is located.

MBA students have access to a lounge with 7 "breakout" rooms, a lunchroom, a computer lab and a common area. The lounge is in constant use from about 7am to midnight (you can stay late if you want, but the doors to Scurfield Hall lock at about 11pm).

Some MBA students hard at work.

We have lockers in the basement of Scurfield Hall, which is not that convenient, given that we do all of our studying on the 4th floor. Our classroom is on the 2nd floor, but I didn't take any pictures of that. Just try to imagine a room with wood panelling and stadium seating for 50.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Cracker Poses With Rice Rusks

Scott is 11 months old and he still doesn't have any teeth. He's all gums, and he's not ashamed in the least. In fact, his lack of teeth doesn't really stop him from eating his favourite foods. He just relies on us to cut his food into small pieces -- everything but his rice rusks:

There's a company called Hot Kid that makes their own brand of this cracker-like treat which they call "Baby Mum Mum". It's kind of like an oversized rice crispy and it just melts in your mouth -- so you don't really need teeth. I came down the hall the other day and saw Scott sitting on the ground with a whole risk rusk sticking out of the side of his mouth. It was so cute that I had to run grab the camera.

By the time I got back he'd already gummed most of it to pieces, but he still looked plenty cute.

And when he'd had enough of the photoshoot, he took off in search of other mum mums.