June 2008


Height: 29.5 inches
Weight: 22lbs 4oz
Head: 46.5 cm

On Friday, Walker went in to be weighed and measured. He continues to flourish — Dr. Mimi says he’s not too thin and he’s not too fat. She went over the nutrition information — 20oz of milk per day, 5 servings of fruits/veggies, etc. She said a serving was 1 tablespoon at his age so that would be a slice or two of banana per serving. Well, given Walker eats half a banana and a few oz of applesauce for breakfast, I think he’s getting his quota before 8am. Nice job Mr. Walker Pie.

Since he’s getting so big, it was time to dig out a few bigger boy outfits. One of them was a very cute pair of overalls. The straps are easily adjusted — so easily in fact, that Walker managed to crawl right out of his pants. Yeah, that’s right. Crawled right out of his pants. The straps came undone and as he was making his way down the hall, the pants stayed put and he peeled out of the fabric like a wiggly little snake shedding his skin. One moment a fully clothed boy was crawling down the hall, the next moment I see a naked pair of legs and a big ol’ diaper heading into the living room.

Today my sister hosted a wonderful brunch for all the babies she knows. There was Walker and Jet (10.5 months and born on my brother’s birthday) and Molly and Oliver (2 year old twins). There was wonderful quiche, zucchini bread, bagels, and fruit. The kids had a good time although Walker was a bit shy at first. He didn’t know what to make of all the new kids. Oh, and the dog that gave him a few big wet kisses the moment he sat on the floor. (Now that was a bit surprising!) He got used to the scene once Uncle Thayer brought out the poker chips. The kids had a great time throwing them around (the little kids) and picking them up (the big kids).

Walker recently decided to drop things behind him. Sometimes it’s food which I later find down his shirt. Sometimes it’s his sippy cup which gets lodged between his head and his highchair. And today it was some blue poker chips. We didn’t find them until after everyone left and Walker ate. He spent a good 30 minutes standing and eating his cheerios and melon and then we took a bit of a play break with PopPop who declared, “What’s that?!” I pulled a poker chip from the top of his diaper. A few minutes later, I noticed another one, a bit deeper down in the diaper. Walker had poker chip imprints on his butt. Most folks have to make sure the baby doesn’t eat things. I have to make sure he doesn’t put it down his pants.

Two new things to note. First, Walker loves melon. Watermelon, Honeydew, Cantaloupe. Doesn’t matter. It’s all yummy. He loves it so much he jams a few big pieces into his mouth so his cheeks get big and puffy. He works his jaws and melon juice gushes out of his cute little puckered lips down his shirt. It’s simultaneously disgusting and endearing. And messy.

Second, Walker is very interested in pointing. He started awhile ago but it was a casual, “hey, look over there.” Now, he’s a pointing maniac. He points left, right, middle, up and down. He points when he wakes up, when he’s eating, and even when he’s falling asleep. He points out everything. I’d love to know what he’s thinking — “hey, look at that! I’ve seen that before. Do you know what that is? And look at that! It’s a groovy color. Can I eat it? Can I drop it behind me? Do you see it? Oh, now look over there! That’s new too.” And over again, and again.

Kalamai, our nurse, meets Walker Walker started his 1st birthday the same way he started his actual birthday — by greeting Kalamai, the labor and delivery nurse. The greeting was a bit less traumatic today than a year ago. He only had to get out of his car seat to say “hi”. We thought it would be nice to thank Kalamai with a bottle of wine, a card with Walker’s photo on it, and introduce her to the sweet little boy she helped bring into the world. She works from 11pm to 8am and stayed past her shift until Walker was born (something, I’m told, very few nurses do). Her care and skill meant so much to us at the time and it was very important for us to express our gratitude. We got up and bolted out of the house at 7:30am in order to catch her. We made it just in time — she was stopping by the nurses’ station as she headed out. There was Walker, on Daddy’s back, reaching out to say “hi” as we handed her the wine. We had to wait a few moments to document the moment because she was so overwhelmed. (We overheard another nurse proclaim, “None of my patients have ever done that!”)

As I’ve been planning today’s activities, I’ve been very adamant that today is all about Walker. It’s not about us. However, this morning I was thinking more about what today really meant (not just what were were going to DO) and I realize, perhaps it is about us, maybe just a little bit. The last year has been amazing and exhausting and full of adventure and beyond my wildest expectations. My sister asked me the other day if I’m full of love for Walker. I’m not what you’d consider a “Romantic” so I don’t think of it in those terms but, suffice it to say, I can’t imagine my life any other way. I love the time I spend with Walker and I don’t miss traveling, movies, day long-excursions, or anything else that might take me away from the time I have with Walker. I love my job and am so glad I’m working. It maintains my sanity and keeps me balanced which is essential to my being a calm and nurturing mother. And, my free time with the Little Man is so precious that I’m present every moment (uh oh, that was getting a bit overly introspective for me).

I think Walker knows there’s something special today. He awoke smiling with rosy red cheeks and singing “mama” and “dada”. As we were having breakfast, Walker was eating and I was making faces at him. He just giggled away and it was the most incredible sound I’ve ever heard. (He giggled so much, there was some projectile cereal that decorated my face so that was the end of that.)

Yesterday, I dropped Walker off at Sofiya’s and she brought out a present for him. All the kids sat down and sang Walker “Happy Birthday”. It really made it real that he’s 1. His little 2-3 year old friends sang to him. He is a little person with his own life and his own friends. He’s ours and yet he’s his own person. I can’t think of a better gift.

Happy Birthday Walker! Mommy and Gigi love the show

Sofiya planned a big birthday bash for Walker. Gigi, Daddy and I arrived at 11:30ish to a din of activity. Helen and the kids sang a bunch of songs to Walker including a song about fingers which Walker thought was the funniest song he’s ever heard (of course, he hasn’t really been able to understand the Barenaked Ladies kid’s album SNACKTIME which is, in fact, the funniest set of songs he’s heard). When they sang “Happy Birthday” to him the first time (they sang it at the beginning and the end of the show), I had to choke back the sobs as to not freak out the little kids next to me. Walker was overwhelmed at the beginning but really got into the music, playing the bells and skillfully banging on the drum. As the kids danced around, he sat with Mommy and smiled or crawled through the mob of children. In a few short months, he’ll be on his feet, dancing around with everyone and there will be no stopping him.

I'm a full integer When it was time to wind down with a Thomas the Tank Engine story, we gathered up our Birthday Boy and whisked him to his next birthday event — lunch with Uncle Thayer, PopPop, Zia Hilary, Gigi, Mommy and Daddy at Jillian’s, a local sports bar/restaurant downtown. (Chosen because of its proximity to the old Carousel that used to be at Playland — the Ocean Beach amusement park that entertained children for so many years. The plan was to dine and then introduce Walker to the joy of the Merry-Go-Round.) Walker caught a few minutes of sleep during the commute and was ready to be the most charming and attentive child for his birthday lunch. He was very polite and cheerful, albeit a bit quiet, during the lunch and present opening. And there were A LOT of presents. He is very well loved. He got some neat clothes, books, toys and a picture of a rare octopus his Uncle took in a homemade submarine at 2400 feet under the sea. Walker enjoyed the big dinner candle in the middle of his carrot cake (just like his Daddy’s first birthday candle) and at 2:30, we wrapped it up and packed up the stroller. I poured Walker into his carriage (he was so tired he appeared to be in a waking dream) and determined that I couldn’t jam ONE MORE THING into his big day. The carousel would have to wait.

Walker fell asleep in his carseat before we left the garage.

Four generations Twenty minutes later, we arrived home and Gigi offered to sit in the car with him while he napped. I warned her we could be in for the long haul. Ninety minutes later (and a few digital Solitare games and a phone meeting) Larry delivered two big glasses of water. Yes, we sat in the car for two hours while the Birthday Boy recharged his engines.

And now it’s 11pm and Gigi is jetting her way home, the kitties are snuggled in bed, and Walker is finally back to sleep, preparing for being 1.002739726 (yes, that’s the actual number for being 1 year and 1 day old). He fell asleep after having been read a new book, “Happiness is a Warm Puppy” by Charles Schultz. And I can tell you…

Happiness is a first birthday.

Enjoy a journey through Walker’s life with some photos that were taken every three months of his life, from 7 hours to 52 weeks.

Baby Boy Young Very serious Can't get enough pictures of Walker covered in food I'm cool Mom! Did you see? I went clubbin'

52nd Sunday

Today is the 52nd Sunday of Walker’s life. He celebrated by inviting Gigi from Cincinnati, Zia Hilary from Milan, Uncle Thayer from wherever he might be traveling to next, and a bunch of friends to join him in eating fruit, cheese, and other yummies. There were red wagon rides in the back yard and lots of fun with building blocks. Mommy and Daddy had a wonderful time and noted that all the children were boys! (There were five from 10 weeks to 3 years old.) What’s in the water? Walker went to hug Malcolm when he was leaving so he clearly was very happy to have such a special day. He even had a nice long nap at home.

It was great to know that the rooms we built downstairs so easily accommodate so many people and kids. At one point during the day I looked around and realized how comfortable it felt, seeing all these little people around. I never thought I’d feel in my element with so many runny noses and grubby hands and drooling chins but I can’t think of any place else I would have enjoyed being more. I envision many more of these little events in the future — with crayons and cakes and soccer balls.

Walker hits the club

Yesterday was tons of fun. Walker, Zia Hilary and Mommy went to Baby Disco — a dance party at a hip local club. Ruby Skye was transformed into a kid-friendly playground with a very hip DJ, healthy finger foods (mini carrots, broccoli, goldfish), board books, crawling tubes and hoola hoops. There were kids EVERYWHERE! Controlled chaos is the only way to describe the atmosphere. Everyone was having so much fun dancing around and Walker didn’t know what to do with himself. There were so many options and he was tired and sick but he soon found his rhythm and had a few dances with Zia Hilary. The swirling lights were fascinating and the hoops were very big and fun to move around. Walker enjoyed crawling through a big orange nylon tube although he was a bit wary of it at first. He had to pick it up and look around it a few times before he would get in and crawl to Mommy. But once he committed, there was copious giggling.

So all in all, it was an eventful weekend.

All that dancin' makes me HUNGRY Mom! Did you see? I went clubbin'

About ten years ago I was asked by an industry magazine to write a monthly column about web strategy. I was completely honored to be considered thoughtful enough to author something that would be read each month by my peers. After emerging from the fog of bliss I realized that I would actually have to write something worthwhile each month. It was only 500 words but I can tell you, it was excruciating. The first article took me more than three weeks to write and when I submitted the draft, I was so relieved I burst into tears and chugged a bottle of wine. The second article took me a little less time, I only drank half a bottle and shed no tears. Each consecutive article was easier and took less time. I had achieved a personal goal — overcome my inhibitions about crafting written communications in a focused and persuasive manner on a regular basis. You see, I had a serious block when it came to writing.

My father is a writer. My sister is a writer. My brother is a writer. My husband is a writer. My mother was a writer. I, am not a writer. I make websites.

So, it’s ten years later and I find I have spent a year blogging — a less stressful forum for communicating. No editors and no paycheck, but it’s been equally as rewarding and I hope as meaningful for all y’all. And it was seriously more fun (wine was involved — being consumed DURING the writing, not AFTER).

Here’s what I looked like a year ago. Gosh. I feel a bit less… big.

Knocked Up

Happy Father's Day

Swings are SO FUN!

Comin' at cha'

We have a guest blogger today:

“Da da da da da da da. Da da da. Dadada dadada dadadada. Dada.”

Walker wanted to be sure to take a moment to wish his Dada a very, happy, first Father’s day. Larry had to wait a long time — it’s been 51 weeks since Walker was born. (OMG!) We had a wonderful day — Larry took some time off from slaving in preparation for the San Diego Comic Convention and we all went to the zoo for a picnic. For the first time, Walker seemed to really notice the animals. The big, pink flamingos were captivating and Walker was torn between gazing at the koala or the kids watching the koala. He got some serious play time in on the swings and seems to get how to make it go faster and higher, as he shifts his weight forward and back as he swings. (He’s so ADVANCED!) As he swings through the air, he giggles and kicks and babbles and claps. There was much crawling through the sand and standing up to bang on some of the playground structures. There may have even been some licking of the structures. (Good thing we weren’t in Minnesota in mid-winter.)

I wonder what this tastes like? Does this one taste the same?

Yesterday he went to the local library branch and he got his very own library card! It was teeming with kids (there was a big event at the recreation center next door) so we didn’t check out any books. Daddy did get a new book for Father’s Day — Dr. Seuss’ “Hop on Pop” — so he was able to expand his reading horizons by +1.

Walker is coming along with his sleeping. There have been a few nights when he’s slept from bedtime to 4:30 or 5am (and will go back to sleep until 6:30 or 7 if I pat his head a little). For the last few evenings he has awakened a bit more and started a funky new habit. He’s been compelled to sit up as soon as he wakes. However, he’s so tired that he leans forward and sleeps with his head resting on whatever is close — the crib slats, his feet, or if we’re snuggling, me (which is so sweet it melts my sleepy, sleepy heart). When I try to unfold him and put him on his back, he gets quite contrary and bolts upright again. Not to worry. This phase will pass and he’ll go back to sleeping (relatively more) soundly.

We’ve been doing a lot of crawling and standing. He has tons of fun crawling down the hall and giggling as I chase after him. He also loves to crawl after his bouncy balls — a little purple one or a big yellow one with a red fire truck pattern. He’s learning to share. He frequently offers me Cheerios and cheese. He likes to sit opposite us and roll his ball or truck in our direction. Who knew that’d be way fun to pass the time just rolling things back and forth?

So, Happy Father’s Day to all y’all out there who speak in funny voices, tell stories, make up rhymes, sing Rolling Stones songs, fret over banged heads, and revel in hearing your child’s giggle.

Every day, when arriving at Sofiya’s, the kids all greet us with a loud and happy “BABY WALKER!” and they run over, crowd around him and offer their favorite toys as if they are paying homage to the King. He’s been called Baby Walker since they day he arrived. And it’s important to point out that when you pronounce it, you have to say it fast, as if it’s all one word “BabyWalker”. BabyWalker has made such an impression that Ocean, a 2 year old girl, has named ALL but one of her dolls “BabyWalker”. When I see the parents, they all inquire after BabyWalker and comment on his size, personality or new found mobility. And it’s not just Day Care where he’s been given the moniker but my friends and family sometimes refer to him thusly and it’s gotten me thinking…

Will he always be called BabyWalker? Might he graduate to ToddlerWalker or ChildWalker and how will we know when that happens? Will he be 40 years old and folks will still call him BabyWalker? (Kinda like adults who are called “Tiny” or “Timmy” or “Chip”) I remember we had to come up with a nickname for my brother because both he and my father share a name. He was called “T” for a long time and then somehow it evolved to “Thayersie” which, of course, is the studly name you want your girlfriends to know when you’re a hip, urban teen…

A good friend of mine said she calls him BabyWalker because WALKER is such a strong name and he hasn’t quite grown into it. That’s the best explanation I’ve heard so far, especially when considering the origin of the name. According to my baby book it means “thickener of cloth”. Now, I’m not sure what that means (it sounds like the Old English tailors could have used some starch) so according to the trusted Web where all things are true, it means:

Occupational surname for a fuller, or person who walked on damp raw cloth in order to thicken it. Derived from the Middle English “walkcere,” meaning “a fuller of cloth,” and derived from the Old English “wealcan,” to walk or tread.

I’m sure he’s glad we didn’t call him “Treader” or “Wealcan”. (And since we’re on the subject of names, there’s no definition for “Mimi” but it is often a nickname of “Miriam” which has something to do with being rebellious and strong-willed and of course Laurence means “victor” or “crowned with Laurels” so I think we’ve grown into our names. We’ll see what cloth thickening Walker does as he grows older.)

You can see from the video that Walker is eating a lot of other foods. We tried out a few things and the biscuits are very, very messy. Thank goodness he’s interested cheese, banana, avocado, Cheerios and crackers, which while messy, don’t register as a 10 on the disgusting scale. The other day, he was very generous and offered me some of his cheese which I thought was very sweet. He’s also interested in yogurt and is now drinking a full sippy cup of milk a day. All of this eating has seemed to plump him up in the last two weeks and could be helping him sleep — for the past two nights he’s slept from 7:30 – 4:30/5:00 without too much waking (meaning, he yells a bit but puts himself right back to sleep!). It’s crazy that we feel so rested by just having a few nights of relatively uninterrupted sleep.

Stopped at the gateThe little guy is pulling himself up on everything and is getting to be a very fast crawler. Sofiya claims he’s keeping her fit with all the exercise she gets running after him and making sure he doesn’t topple over. The other evening Walker was crawling around the floor and little George, who will be 3 the day after Walker’s first birthday, came running in the room and sprinted in circles around us. Walker straightened his arms and legs as far as he could, clearly trying to stand up to join George in this extremely fun activity. As he couldn’t break gravity’s grasp, he yelled at the top of his lungs, plopped on his butt, and watched George with a big smile. I can tell he’s going to be a very active child once he figures out the walking. To that end, we’ve started putting up gates (and you can see he’s not entirely sure what to do when he gets to one other than sit in front of it or climb on it), hiding brick-a-brack, and generally being more aware of what goes on the ground. Probably good advice at any time but not something that was top of mind pre-baby.

Chillin' by the the 'Gate Banana!

Yesterday was a beautiful day and we had a fun picnic on the beach at Chrissy Field. Walker enjoyed the sun and the waves and the wind and sandy Cheerios and banana.

So, Walker is now 50 weeks old and I’ve been doing this blog for a week shy of a year. The time has gone so quickly and it’s amazing that a year ago, I was still contemplating girl names, taking long hikes, and seeing all the movies I could work in. Today, I have a baby who is on his feet and climbing over anything he can find, who greets us in the morning with a “hi mama” and “hi dada” (yeah, “hi” is first, non-name word) and I’m sore after the type of walk/hike I was doing regularly when pregnant. Whoda thunkit?