Nina’s Baptism, Part IV

Presently: I’m pretty sure we can count Nina’s first word this morning (8.28.10) as “Mama.” She’s getting very close to crawling as well — she sort of pins one arm under her body and scoots along on it, like a rail.

Meanwhile, back at Nina’s Baptism on June 13th, 2010… the after party has become the after-after party!

So much to celebrate! See this image larger.

Ian graduated to a new class, if you’re wondering what the little cake was for in the picture above… here he makes short work of it! Nice catch on the picture, Uncle Chris! See this image larger.

I can’t remember what happened, I think Nina started crying endlessly and I couldn’t figure out what to do — Mommy and some of the others were strolling around downtown Rockford… and I needed to make an emergency run to Meijer… Uncle Chris stepped in here for a bit, and did a fine job. See this image larger.

Grandma Marcia holds Nina while she “noms” her fingers! See this image larger.

Grampa Dave takes a turn with the Princess! See this image larger.

I know that means she’s tired but it sure looks like she’s saying “ENOUGH PICTURES!!!” See this image larger.

Four out of five isn’t bad for smile to people ratio! See this image larger.

Chapman guys over four feet tall, represent! See this image larger.

Nina’s saying *Grampa Ray is a-okay!* See this image larger.

Cousins-in-a-box! See this image larger.

I never do win the “who is looking at what camera” war! Ah well, almost everybody’s smiling! See this image larger.

Now I can’t even get the kids to look at any camera! What, the couch and the floor are more interesting? See this image larger.

The brothers gunna work it out! See this image larger.

Grandma Sue takes Nina for a stroll! See this image larger.

Alright Ian and Kaylee, that’s a long enough blog entry, why don’t you two take us out with a — SLAM! (giggle!) See this image larger.

Think Pink!

Ladies and Gentlemen! The Chapman line has produced many quality young men in its time, but it is time to get over the “boy’s club” mentality and start thinking pink! That’s right, we’re going to have a baby girl sometime in January.

We explained this to Ian last night, and he didn’t seem to care much at the time, but later, on the way to dinner:
“Is not a little boy in mama’s belly… little guh-ul.” His tone was awesome too, it was like he was telling us, and we were slow. He was adamant in his correction.

We only addressed the subject about three times that night, each time saying “little girl.” So I was a little surprised to see him put two and two together as I was recording. Click here to hear the very brief sound-clip.

Someday I might put the audio clip of our reaction on here as well… I had recorded our ultrasound appointment for kicks, and I accidentally kept it on during our giddy post-appointment conversation before Melissa and I went our separate ways to get back to work.

But let’s get on to some ultrasound pictures! Don’t get too freaked out by the imagery, this is just the way ultrasounds work. You end up seeing a “slice.”

Either she’s waving, or she’s trying to tell us that she’s 5 months old. Either way, genius confirmed!

Side view, you can see spine, etc. Head is on the right, looking up.

Ok, so imagine you’re holding the baby at arms length, and her entire body is facing you. Now imagine her in the fetal position. That’s what we’re looking at here. Her head is looking down, so we’re in turn looking down across the bridge of her nose. You can see the umbilical cord there, as well.

Baby lying on her back. The legs are on the left, bent at the knee. One arm is in foreground but the “depth” of the camera is too shallow to get fingers for this shot. Right arm is in background. Her head is NOT fully in the picture, because other bits were in the way… so the technician trimmed the photo to show only the baby parts. So you’re really just seeing her face, looking to the left, back to her ear.

We’re looking straight at the baby’s face here. You can see lips, very nicely in the center bottom… her nose obviously above that. Her eyes look a little strange, but you can almost see better if you sort of squint at them. Imagine eyes shut, the darker lines looking almost like eyelashes, and you might see things better. You can also see her right arm up to the hand, and her left arm where it tucks behind a part of the placenta.

I have a few more shots of her feet and stuff, but I figured this is what everybody wanted to see. I counted 10 toes and 10 fingers!

PS – I was having some odd body aches recently that turned out to be purely muscular in origin. Unfortunately the placement of said aches (left arm and chest) scared us all into thinking I was having heart issues. I’m writing this to let everybody know that I’m fine. Going in for a full physical in a month.

July Catch Up, Part IV

On the 15th of July, Miss Preggo over there (pointing to Melissa) had a hankerin’ for IHOP for dinner. Ian had little or no recollection of the few times we’ve had breakfast food for dinner, but he fully approved. See this image larger.

Excitement built as he started seeing pictures of pancakes on the menu and walls. When the waitress arrived he said “I want pancakes!” Of course as Melissa ordered her own food Ian decided he wanted that as well. You can hear that clip by clicking here. He also went out of his way to thank everybody for everything, even the hostess that seated us. See this image larger.

I didn’t take a picture of the pancake when it arrived, but it was the size of a flattened beach ball, had a whipped cream nose, strawberry eyes, and banana slices for a mouth. Ian destroyed it over time, sometimes a nibble here or there, sometimes eagerly hefting great hand-sized slabs. (Which we would try to take from him and help him cut down to size… “small bites” is the newest lesson we’re trying to teach him.) See this image larger.

And then it was gone. Alas Smiley-Face Pancake, we hardly knew ye. But ye were sweet and delicious and remembered fondly ye will be. See this image larger.

July Catch Up, Part II – New Baby Stuff!

Ok so let’s go over the facts that we know…

Baby is due January 7th!

On June 27th we had our first ultrasound, unscheduled and frightening as all get out. But then there was waving and happiness! His/her head is on the left, facing up. If you look carefully you can see a chin right around where the two dotted lines cross, lips and a nose slightly above that, in profile.

On July 2nd we had an ultrasound when we got back to Grand Rapids… In particular can you see one of his/her hands up there near the top? Four closed fingers and a tucked-in thumb!

When we finally got in to see the doctor, on July 8th, she allowed us to record the heartbeat… I have that recording for you here. Click here to listen.

We have another doctor’s appointment next week, we’ll let you know if anything new is revealed!

Fawn Island, May 22 Trip, Epilogue

So, we got home and Ian was fine for a bit. At some point I think it sinks in that he can’t ask anyone for a boat ride, that he’s down to just his parents — and they are watching his behavior very closely. He got in a bit of a funk, and I admit I did as well.

At dinner, he blew a fit. He did not want black beans and rice, which is one of the first “real food” meals that he fell in love with, and subsequently somehow began to dislike. We explained to him that this was the stuff he loved, that this is the stuff he eats by the greedy handful at Taco Bell but that perhaps has a few more spices in it. He was just not happy with anything. I thought for a minute and grabbed his plate. Added a packet of Taco Bell taco sauce from a meal long ago, and mixed it up with the rice. He still wouldn’t try it at first, but you could kind of see reason catching up with him. He suddenly said “I try it… I LIKE it!” (Hard to say for sure, but I think he might have been sort of imitating the little skit that Melissa and I sometimes put on for Ian to make it look like I tried something and like it…) In this case, it actually worked; he tried it and really DID like it. Ate a whole plate and asked for more!

Here’s an audio clip of a bed-time story Melissa read to Ian one of the nights during the Fawn Island trip. Melissa does a nice job of repeating what he says, so you should be able to figure it out… but the short of it is, he’s getting smarter and his communication becomes clearer every day. This book is called No No Yes Yes. Things to listen for:

“Dumpin food on hi’ hed!”
Shortly after he says the above, he says “No, No” and you can hear an emphasis that is different from the others. It is the emphasis of an adult — sounds like his mommy’s.
“Drawing on the wall.”
“Drawing on the paper.”
“No no no, picking onna nose, onna tissue.” (Don’t pick your nose use a tissue) This is particularly awesome, because without any help other than the drawing, he supplies what the child SHOULD do, on his own.
Remember, his Fs come out as Ps sometimes. So “doggy’s pood” is “doggy’s food.”
There’s a large discussion trying to determine if the baby’s mother is in a few drawings.
“Is this his mommy?”
“This is his mommy.”
“Pet the kitty! Luv the kitty!”
“Kitty go to sleep and get a popsicle.”
“Read the bunny book.”

The clip weighs in at 6.1MB, so you might want to shy away from this one if you have a really slow connection. Click here to hear it!

Grampa Dave and Grandma Marcia Play Easter Bunny, Part I

Grampa Dave and Grandma Marcia (or Grampa Dafe and Gramma Mahshah as Ian is currently pronouncing) arrived perfectly on time on Easter morning, April 12, 2009… but Pastor Riley went a bit long at church, so Ian, Melissa and I ended up being a little late to our own house! This turned out to be a bit of a good thing, as the Easter bunny had hidden a number of eggs around the front yard! (Video of this to follow in the 3rd part of our latest Easter expose.)

“Hi Grampa Dafe and Gramma Mahshah!” See this image larger.

Ian did not need to be reminded that eggs hold things. Good things. In fact he developed a bit of a technique with them… Step 1. Hold the egg like so… See this image larger.

Step 2. Immediately devour all contents. See this image larger.

Step 3. Repeat. See this image larger.

Marcia applauds and Mommy looks surprised as Ian blows his first solo non-spit bubble. (By which I mean, I believe this is the first time he dipped a bubble wand into bubble juice, removed it, and successfully aimed a gust of breath to create a bubble. I know, we’re stretching for firsts here… lol!) See this image larger.

Ian’s been getting into golf a lot lately… he had me watch a game the other day. (Brian Gay’s recent 10 stroke victory, don’t recall the name of the event, but it was fun.) Here Grampa Dave gives Ian a few pointers! See this image larger.

Happy Birthday, Grandma Betty!

And now a special message for Great Grandma Betty on her birthday!

Click here to hear the message, it is short and somewhat to the point… because he’s just getting better and better at speaking! An easy download for any connection.

Have an awesome day Great Grandma Betty!

Awesome Audio

I’m going to break the continuity here again to get this out there for all to hear. It’s an audio clip recorded on April 6th during Grandma Sue’s visit, while we were eating dinner. As usual, be prepared for the volume to be all over the place, sometimes too loud, sometimes too quiet.

Here’s what you’ll hear:
“RECYCLE!” (his post popsicle request, meant for the wooden stick, as mentioned in a previous entry.) “RECYCLE THAT!” “DADDY!” “I yelled dat.” “I yell.” “I yell at daddy like dis ‘DADDDY!'” “Feet on table, no!” (A perfect one through ten that had us all silent, with our mouth’s agape.) “GO!” “Yaaaaaay!”

Here’s the clip, weighing in at 1.5MB, should be fine for anybody at any speed.

I particularly love the part where he says “I yell at daddy like dis ‘DADDY!'” It isn’t quite as clear as what I just wrote, but it is what he’s trying to say. I love it because he’s doing many very advanced things with that… he’s recounting an event that just happened, he’s quoting himself, and he thinks that something that he did was funny. There’s a whole lot going on in that brain!

More Fun and Games

Today is Saturday March 21st… and spring begins from a chronological point of view, but we woke up to a light coat of snow over everything.

At the moment Ian is upstairs doing this kind of warbling mumble that he sometimes croons before taking a nap or going to bed. Seth is asleep on the recliner I didn’t buy for him, and Mommy’s napping on the couch, having woken up far too early this morning with a little early bird knocking on his door.

We’ve been practicing all kinds of stuff with Ian, so he’s had few more tries at the alphabet; mostly on par with the description I gave a few entries ago. If you’re interested in hearing it, here it is… twice. The second one is about what we usually hear these days. It was recorded on Monday, March 16th. (Aunt Annie’s B-day! Hope you had a happy one!)

Click here to hear Ian singing the alphabet, it is 1.37MB in length, so even the slowest connections shouldn’t have too much of a problem with it. I particularly love “elemenelloemennopeeee.”

Yesterday we let Ian play that WiiFit game again. You’ve got to understand that up until now, he has stood on a pressure sensitive board, and watched, while I put my hands down near his feet, and pushed around to make things happen. In other words, I’ve been playing the game for Ian. (For those that don’t know, changing your balance slightly on the board steers the object on the screen… difficult for many adults to master.) So yesterday I leaned his body around for him, with my hands on his shoulders or hips, and taught him how to really play. I figured he’d maybe understand a bit of what I was saying and we’d come back to it again later, but was floored when I saw him play a game where he had to drop a ball through a hole. It requires some subtle movements… he made the ball move over near the hole, but was shooting too far to the north of the hole. He carefully shifted his weight back on the board, steering the ball to the south, but as it had been moving, it was now too far to the west. He shifted his weight to the right, to counter this, and the ball plunked in the hole perfectly. I guess this is maybe too hard to explain in a way that highlights just how neat it was… suffice to say he learned before my eyes, he did so very quickly, and perfectly.

Grandma Sue will attest to the fact that I get this look on my face sometimes when the TV is on, as well. See this image larger.

Yes, I rolled up his pant-legs eventually. That’s quite a soccer team he has there… (you can customize some of the characters on this game system) — left to right that’s Mommy, Gma Barb, Csn Connor, Gpa Dave, Unc Chris, Unc Ben, Aunt Mel, Gma Marcia, and Phil Oosterhouse. (The game chooses at random or else I’d get a family shot going.) See this image larger.

A few entries ago I talked about hiding the bunnies in the house somewhere… here’s a quick shot of the kind of place they end up, although most are a lot more hidden than this. (They’ve ended up on top of the picture frame on the left, wedged in a door-frame where it almost meets the neighboring wall, in a plant, on the thermostat, behind some dinosaurs, in a couple toy trucks, toy farm, etc.) See this image larger.