Sunday, December 6, 2009

The (almost) all video post

We've gotten some great videos of Oliver lately that really capture his personality. He's been a real hoot to be around these days - full of laughter, babbling words (pronouncing 'ball,' 'moon,' and 'bravo' pretty well), going crazy with the cognitive skills, engaging friends and strangers...and there's so much we haven't written about in the past month or so - Halloween, Alexander's birthday in LA, Thanksgiving with cousins Emma & Andrew in Ohio, Anais' birthday, the beginning of Christmas season....

Many, many more photos (and videos) are here, including him and Anais in their Halloween costumes, snuggling with Alexander, drawing, Grandpa, reading with Emma, and driving his favorite toy around the yard. There’s even a video Emma took of Oliver in her room over Thanksgiving – gotta give props to the budding filmmakers in my family!

On to the videos – the first one shows him successfully using a fork while eating yummy lasagna dinner (note his hand usage – I personally am encouraging him to be a lefty so that he has a better chance of becoming a MLB pitcher).

The next one shows vintage Oli now – racing about and being chased by Amanda around the dinner table.

Later that night, I couldn’t resist tickling him and eating his feet while preparing him for bed. You just can’t stop what you’re doing when a kid’s laughing like that!

I wanted to upload the video we took of Oliver waking up from a nap and seeing the Christmas tree for the first time, but it’s about 5 minutes long, and I need to buy more space to make it work, so I’ll see about editing it in iMovie and posting it later. In lieu, I leave you with two photos of Oliver at Christmastime – exploring the tree lot on Saturday and reveling in the splendor of our Christmas tree. Happy Holidays, everybody!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bob's Pumpkin Patch

This weekend, Oliver's Grandparents Brian & Connie made the long drive down from Yreka to spend some time with us. Our big outing was a Saturday morning trip to the pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. For those of you who don't know, Half Moon Bay is the pumpkin capital of the world. They boast many, many pumpkin patches - some are pretty desperate, capitalizing on their proximity to the nearest seafood restaurant for business. Others, like the ones that cause ridiculous bumper to bumper traffic on highway 92, are simply amusement parks with dirty bounce houses masquerading as pumpkin patches.

We managed to work our way through all that mess to find a pleasant, humble patch called Bob's. The pumpkins lay right out there in the fields where they grew, only they're pre-cut (which meant we unfortunately didn't need Grandpa Brian's new machete). Those of you who don't know Grandpa Brian probably think I'm joking. Those of you who do know Grandpa Brian probably think I'm not joking. I'll leave that brainbuster up to you.

At Bob's, we had such fun. Oliver rode in a wheelbarrow, tromped through the patch, met his first St. Bernard, made friends with some sheep and goats, and tried his darndest to climb a hay pyramid (which was successful, with a little help). For me, it was a moment in which I felt so extremely lucky to be a father, seeing Oliver pat large pumpkins as if they were drums, smiling and babbling at the St. Bernard, walking around smiling and laughing the whole while. Enjoy the photos. More here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Toothbrushes & Figs

Lately, Oliver's favorite tool has been his toothbrush. He was so excited watching us brush our teeth and grabbing at our brushes that we bought him his own little green one with Elmo & Big Bird on it. However, lately he's been insisting on using one of our old ones, that looks more like the ones we use. It's pretty cute - him walking around "brushing" his teeth all the time.

We've also got a mature fig tree in our backyard in Redwood City. It's currently dropping its fruit, and Oliver loves to trot out there, pick up figs off the ground, and devour them. They're yummy - Amanda and I indulge as well.

I've uploaded a lot of photos from the past month or so - opening the firetruck birthday present from Great Grandma Althea, playing at a playground (where he finally agreed to leave a hat on his head!), photos of him dancing and eating pizza from a band photographer at a street fair in San Carlos, some silly bathtub photos, even a sneak peek at his Halloween costume.

He's a lot of fun to be around these days. He's becoming more intentional with his actions, and is showing more mastery at small tasks. This morning, before Amanda and I went off to work, Oliver stacked 3 blocks in his room. We couldn't be more thrilled.

More photos here

Monday, September 14, 2009


Today Matthew brought Oliver over and said "Can you show Mama what we've been working on?" Oliver brought out his wooden ring stacker and carefully took off all the rings, then he grabbed them one by one and put about half of them on before starting over. What a genius we have! The top of the ring stacker has a ball/knob that fits on the end. That one is the hardest and it took him several times to get it on. At one point when it fell off again he grabbed it and shook it up and down several times in frustration. You can really see the wheels of concentration turning and the deliberation in his tasks these days. Of course with this increased sense of purpose comes frequent melt downs when he doesn't get to do what he wants. He's pretty patient with himself if he has to try several times to get something, but he's not patient with me if I won't let him do something dangerous. It is a challenge to enforce boundaries after a long days work, for sure. You end up pausing and saying to yourself, "Let's just make the next 2 hours happy ones. Is it so bad to suck on a rusty nail really?" Then you come to your senses.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Today Oliver made his first drawing. This may not seem like a big thing, but I got this sidewalk chalk and for the past week every time he holds one it immediately goes in his mouth (of course). I kept taking it out, then showing him how the chalk makes colors on the ground and encouraging him to make his own. Today when we went out to the patio I handed him a piece of white chalk and he made four lines very deliberately in the cement, looked up, and smiled. Then he put the chalk in his mouth. :)
It made me realize how excited I am for him to start learning to draw. It was a big moment for me, seeing him begin that process. Yay Oli!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oliver Turns 1!

Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer for us, and it was the day we celebrated Oliver's first birthday. About twenty friends came to celebrate, including baby Anais, Alexander and Henry. We had banana cocktails, and a cake in the shape of a banana. Matthew made slider burgers as well. Matthew got an amazing baby pool for the occasion (which was a God send in the heat). We had a wonderful time, and so did Oliver. It was extra special to have my sister here, visiting from Rio.

To see the full set of photos, click here:

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend in Denver

We had a great time in Denver last weekend having cupcakes, ice cream, and going to the Rockies game. Here is a link to more photos:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Oliver, Anais, & Dominique

Oliver's new nanny, Dominique, started today. She's bringing her daughter, Anais, who's three months younger than Oliver, everyday. Oliver was pretty excited to have a new friend in his house this morning. After naps, they played with blocks that rolled, and while Anais took all the newness in, Oliver goofed with her, babbled, and walked around the house. And now they're off on a walk to the park in their new twin stroller.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

These boots are made for walking

Oliver is a walker now. It's legit. He will walk about 50% of the time at this point. When walking, arms are always in the air. Not sure how that helps with balance but it must.

Some videos:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moving Weekend

Last weekend was a big one for us. We moved to Redwood City and Oliver got a taste for what it's like to put everything you own in a box and move to a new place. Honestly I feel like he's adjusting the best out of all of us.
A million thanks to Mary and Den for helping us to move and unpack, and for taking care of Oliver. Oliver just loves his grandma and grandpa so much. Though he has separation anxiety, when grandma Mary would go outside to read her book, it was "Who cares about mom, where is grandma Mary!". And the first time he saw Denny during this visit he just looked and looked. I can only imagine there was some sense of, "Who is this guy who looks just like me and dad?" Den and Oliver had a great time reading books and playing "goofy".

Sunday, June 28, 2009


A summary of new Oliver milestones:
1. Talking: he says three "words". Na na is the most common, which means I'm hungry but also specifically banana (his favorite food). I think for Oliver the food pyramid is more of a food wheel with banana at the core. Mama and Dada are the other words and they now clearly refer to us. We are starting to hear Ba when he's playing with balls, but can't officially confirm that yet.
2. Taking steps: yesterday was a world record with five steps in a row before plopdown. I don't think he realized what he was doing.
3. Object manipulation: Oliver spends all his time manipulating objects these days. He takes things out of containers, puts them into containers, whacks one object with another. Instead of playing with one object and putting it in his mouth, a project will be to take all the blocks out of a wagon and toss them on the floor. When the house looks like its been attacked by wolves, he's ready for a nap.
4. Bedtime tantrums: It is now pretty common for Oliver to have a longish meltdown at nap and bedtimes. He will stand in his crib and throw out all the toys and blankets that are in there with him to show how annoyed he is.
5. Snuggling: Oliver has a new love for stufffed animals; the bigger the better. He played with a large tiger at Dad and Connie's house and just wrestled and wrestled with it. At home we got him a large soft dog that he jumps on and hugs on the floor.
6. Challenges: We have been doing sign language with him for months but he isn't interested in it. He is also due to start transitioning from bottle to sippy cup but he hates sippy cub. He's always very annoyed when we bring it out.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Showers, Weddings & Springtime

Waiting for the ferry to Orcas Island

Amanda hosted a baby party for her good friend Molly a few weekends ago. Husbands and babies descended upon the house as well, and Oliver had his first big party in his room. Tracy & Will brought Stella, Joanne & Russ brought Alexander, and Kristen & Martin brought Liam. Caryn handled three of the four babies in her own corner for a good 10 minutes. They all had fun with the toys and mirrors and parents playing around.

Oliver & Stella

At the Stanford/OSU ballgame

Oliver likes pushing things. His cart now contains tamales and we play "Tamale Lady" whenever he comes around with it, in honor of our Zeitgeist matriarch. He's begun pushing his highchair and the chairs around our dining room as well. Doors and cabinets are more exciting these days. He's more emotional as well - he crawls into our arms when he gets hurt and reaches for Mommy all the time. He's babbling constantly.

At Amber's wedding

We're took the long journey to Orcas Island for a wedding this past weekend. Oliver had his first experience on a boat and we enjoyed getting away from the bay area for awhile. Amanda's childhood friend Amber got married amidst sheer beauty - out in a field overlooking the sound. Oli made some friends, but when the speeches started, he wanted to give a speech of his own from upstairs, where he was "sleeping." We had to leave early, but them's the breaks when you've got a boy testing the limits of his vocal volume.

Hope you're all well. Enjoy! More photos

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hangin' Out

Today we ended up waking Oliver up from his nap after two hours. When we came in this is how we found him. So silly!

My new world

These days, anytime I put oliver down this is what I get. ...along with some whining.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Strolling with His Cart

Oliver is a champ at walking with his cart. Take a look!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Smooth Sailing

Tonight Matthew is working late and so I picked Oliver up from Daycare at 4:30 and we read three books, then played with blocks, then skyped with Lexi, had a bottle and a half of milk, went into his bedroom to play and push the laundry basket around, then two more books in the rocking chair with the light out and set him in his crib. He rolled over, put his thumb in his mouth, and not a peep when I shut the door. Today was one of those easy nights. Sure I didn't get dinner, but hey.

Periodically now Oliver will just start standing on his own. It's a much harder milestone to notice because he's always standing against something, then at one point you look and notice he's not holding anything. Then two seconds later he plops on his bottom.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Today we went to Sears portrait studio to have some real photos of Oliver taken. Miraculously he was relatively calm and happy, with very little scuttling about. We got a lot of great ones! Links to the photos below, but we should have a lot of prints to give out in May.

To see photos, click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Heat Wave

This weekend Matthew is visiting his sister and her family in Seattle. This is my first solo time with Oliver and we are doing just great. Updates for him are that he's now eating all types of food other than dairy. Eggs, Chicken, Beef, veggies, fruits, etc. So he's all set. It's nice to go to a restaurant and mash something up for him like a banana or some yogurt.

Oliver is working hard on his pincer grasp but doesn't have it yet. He is able to grab one thing with his left hand and another thing with his right hand and bang them together which is a big win for him. A week or two ago if I handed him a second thing he would need to drop the first to take it.

Oliver is getting BOSSY. I'm having to remind myself that I am the adult and he's not really upset. He will stand in his crib and scream in the hope that I'll get him out, or start crying if I close a baby gate as he's approaching.

We went to the Santa Cruz beach yesterday and to SF today. Oliver will eat fistfuls of sand repeatedly if allowed. We did not sit in the sand long. It's been very very hot here, which is new for Oliver. Today I let him run around in diaper only for a few hours to air out a bit. He's not thrilled with the heat, and hates the 70 sunblock I'm spritzing him with all the time. With his love for baths I'm just biding my time until the pool opens. Boy is he going to love that!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Egg Hunt

We celebrated Easter in Berkeley today with Mimosas and Quiche. Oliver had a great time with the grandparents, and especially Ella and Lucas. To view more photos click here. Thanks Nina for all the cooking and eggs for the egg hunt! We had a great time.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Denver Trip

Just uploaded photos from our trip to Denver recently. We got there just before the big snow storm. This photo is my favorite. Oliver sure looks like grandpa! more photos

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Growth Photo Project

I have to say that I'm going to be happy when Oliver turns one, if only because it's becoming increasingly more difficult to take his monthly onesie black and white photo. This latest one is heavily photoshoped, making it look like it was done in a studio. In reality he's standing at the end of a bed with a black blanket on it. The whole background is dubbed in. He moves so quickly that I'm having trouble getting the shots I want, which show how he's growing. I have one or two from each month and will stop this insanity after month 12. Here's what I have so far, and below is the latest. For the rest of the photos click here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This past Saturday, Oliver turned 7 months old. We were in Denver with Matthew's parents. Oliver celebrated the day with the arrival of his first tooth. He's been a bit cranky with the teething but nothing too major.

Oliver is also becoming more communicative. Rather than babbling just for the noise of it, he makes small specific sounds while looking straight at you. If he is being held by dad and wants mom to see it he'll make a pointed grunt while looking at her. It's sort of an "Uh!" meaning "Hey! Pay attention." The other thing he communicates is sort of "again" or "let's go" by wiggling his chest forward and back a couple of times. It's sort of a giddyup mom type of thing.
We have been trying to do sign language but so far he's not using the signs back at us at all.

He's beginning to focus on the use of his index finger rather than all the fingers in a raking grasp. Not quite coordinating the pointer and the thumb into a pincer yet.
There are new foods in his menu, including Zweibach toasts which grandma introduced him too. They are an instant favorite, and something will concentrate on until finished.

Two weeks ago I was a nervous wreck dealing with Oliver's new mobility. He was so excited about being able to crawl that he would just do anything without any real ability at physical control or awareness of consequences. It's just so amazingly exhausting trying to keep a moving robot boy from hurting himself every single second. Just two weeks later he has MUCH more control and is able to get himself out of the tight spots he gets into.

These days dad is good at getting Oliver to laugh by blowing raspberries on his belly and face. Oliver is not a snuggler, which is a bit of a bummer sometimes, but it might just be his age. Book reading time is a special time for me because it's the one time he will sit on my lap for ten minutes and be still. Well, and also when he is getting a bottle.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yreka and Standing

Last weekend we went to Yreka to celebrate GG's birthday. Oliver showed off his crawling skills and taunted the geese with Grandpa. Yesterday Caryn came over and was surprised at what a crazy mover he is. He is starting to leverage large objects to get up to standing position, as seen in the following video. For more photos or to order prints, go here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crawling, upside-down, & thumb-sucking

It's been about three weeks since we last posted, and Oliver's grown by leaps and bounds in that time. We had a great time at Marissa's 30th birthday celebration in Sonoma, where we took Oliver on his first wine tasting. We also took a bottle of wine we bought from Preston Vinyards on a picnic, where Oli explored bark and grass and dirt and nature stuff. Last weekend we were up in Yreka celebrating G.G.'s birthday. He came down with his first 2 ear infections, and was a pretty sad little guy for awhile, but he's getting over those quickly.

When he's not preoccupied with a good book, Oliver's main object these days is to crawl as far and as quick as he can. And he's getting pretty good at it, too. Franco is patiently keeping his distance, but it's only a matter of time. Oli smiles and laughs a lot these days. He loves to be held upside down and is a sucker for a zerbert on the stomach. He's pretty much sleeping through the night, thanks to the discovery of his thumb-sucking skills. The power of his right thumb to put him to sleep quickly is miraculous, and Amanda and I are very grateful. Just yesterday he started bouncing in the Johnny Jump Up as well, which was a real treat to watch.

More photos and videos here:

Enjoy, and love and happy spring to all!
- Matthew

The fountain at Preston
Don't mess with me

Not many crawling videos - you'll have to Skype us to see that.
A couple of cute ones with Daddy, though....