5/31/08 Pics added for 5/16 and 5/18. During my morning feeding with Dude, he has become extremely neat - getting only a couple of drops on the bib and usually none on the tray. I don't know why this is. 5/30/08 Lots of pic & video additions 5/29/08 Well, perhaps I spoke a little too soon, as Dude has been having a harder time going to sleep lately. This may be his first attempt (of many I'm sure) at manipulation. You can never start too early. "Dawn" from Early Intervention came (I slept through it). Apparently she was very happy with Dude's all around progress and abilities. 5/27/08 Note there's a new entry for 5/25 below. Dude & I have done a lot of jumping (mostly him). As described a while back, sometimes I'll be lying down and supporting him as he jumps up and down on me. Well, that game has evolved into a kind of Russian Roulette. He'll jump a bunch of times and then without warning, he'll suddenly stiffen his legs to stop. If I don't guess correctly, his feet gore into me, possibly wreaking havoc with various & sundry organs. I don't know exactly what "sundry" means. We're continuing to meet and see neighbors as walks often happen a couple of times a day. As for sleeping in his own crib in his own room, it's basically full-time now. Sometimes he'll wake up and need to be re-plugged but that's no different than it was when he was in the basinette. Occasionally if he wakes up at around 4:00 am or 5:00 am or around there, it's easier on everyone to just bring him into our bed (which is absolutely fine with me by the way!) But that seems to be developing into the exception rather than the rule. When we went to Gramma & Grandpa's house yesterday (Monday, 5/26), I did my annual "taking-down-of-the-lawn-furniture-from-the-garage-loft". This time I also took down my old blue plastic lawnmower which I used when I was 3 or 4 ish years-old. I remember being disappointed that it didn't actually cut grass, so I used to rip up some and then claim the mower really cut it. That anecdote was probably one of the least interesting ones I've ever put forth. Coming soon to this website - a new feature called, "The Parallel Universe"! I'm still debating whether it should be called "The Perpendicular Universe" but I have to figure out what that would actually mean first. 5/25/08 It appears that "peek-a-boo" is Dude's first game. One of his big things now is when he has a blanket, he pulls it over his head and then back (video coming soon). It's always accompanied by a big smile. He first started doing this yesterday (5/24) I believe. 5/24/08 I will preface this by saying once again that I think I've been very good about not overdoing "bathroom talk". However, I must share a very special father-son moment from this morning. First of all, Ma - there's nothing to see here; why don't you play some Word Whomp and come back later? OK, so I was feeding Dude his breakfast. Not surprisingly, he farted. As is our custom (at least before he learns to talk), I immediately said, "Nice Faht!!!" His subsequent reaction is always to smile mischieviously back. Or perhaps it's "smile impishly". In any case, this happened a couple of times. Then (Da - make sure Ma is somewhere else right now) I farted. The best part was he suddenly looked up and smiled and I could swear he telepathically said "Nice Faht!!!" to me! So I started laughing, he giggled & laughed, we both boofed & laughed a couple more times, and as immature as it sounds, it was a real bonding moment. It was as if we had a brief moment of actual language-based communication. Ma - come back in the room. As reported by Melissa, Dude had his first pissed-off tantrum this evening (although it was fairly brief). She was trying to change him and he was rolling over on the changing table. So when she kept straightening him out so she could snap his clothes, he made it clear that he disapproved. We took another trip to China Cuisine and Dude was absolutely perfect. Patient, quiet but engaging, and calm. 5/23/08 Y'know, another reason Dude may be waking up more frequently at night these days is that he's that much more mobile. Now that he can twist, turn, and roll over (repeatedly, mind you), he probably wakes himself up or gets himself into uncomfortable positions more often than when he used to just lay there more or less still. Melissa did her first real estate closing since BD ("Before Dude"). Dude & I took a walk around and wound up in a neighbor's driveway shooting baskets (well, I was, not him) with a couple of kids who live there. It reminded me of when I was growing up how various neighbors would stop to shoot baskets in our driveway. Melissa is still appalled at how I "bastardize" (her word) some of the songs she sings to Kevin. My position is that if you heard them as often as I do... well, never mind; she'll be reading this eventually. We've got two new PhotoDude pictures. 5/22/08 Yes, Virginia, there are more new pictures & videos... Dude (and us, providing transportation) went to Gramma & Grandpa's house and hung out with Aunt Becky and her roommate from college, Michelle Carter (who is visiting from Mozambique where she works for C.A.R.E., I believe). I then headed off to a softball game. The rest of them didn't so I don't really know what else went on and thus I can't report it here. I do suspect, however, that Kevin was involved. On my way to G & G's house, I believe I saw the Eagle Nebula somewhere over Needham (image). Finally, fear not (for those who were fearing), as there are a bunch of Dude & Grammy pictures still to be added. 5/20/08 We had another Duolith Day - first, Dude & I had our first game of catch (video)! Then also today, he ate THREE MEALS OF FOOD for the first time! My morning routine with him now includes a jar of baby food; not just a bottle. Otherwise, he's still making the transition into his own crib. At this point, he can usually take his afternoon nap there without interruption. As for night time, he lasts from about 9:00 pm - 1:00 am or so before he's ready to come back in our bedroom (except when his teething bothers him in which case he doesn't want to sleep anywhere). New pictures & videos... 5/19/08 I need to add one thing to what I said yesterday about the cats being "Pavlov's Cats" when they hear the baby-swing's music box. I realized that when I turn the music on, I start to salivate and think about my chocolate milk. Grammy left yesterday late afternoon to spend a couple of days with Auntie Amy before returning to Florida. I believe Melissa & Dude will be going to Amy's house tomorrow to see her again. 5/18/08 (late Big day today, as DudeFest '08 was held at our house. Attending were many aunts, uncles, & edition) cousins (on Melissa's side of the family), along with some of Grammy's friends and Melissa's friends. Grammy, Gramma, & Grandpa were there as well. Dude was so well behaved, happy, and playful for hours (with a quick intermission out in the driveway). He was, as they say, "a good sport". Earlier this morning, Dude got ticklish for the first time - under the arms, specifically! I figured out something else this morning. Our cats came from the Northeast Animal Shelter. That means at one time they were most likely born to cats that had a previous owner. I'm thinking that with a decent amount of certainty, this previous owner was named Ivan Pavlov. This is because in the morning, after I give Dude his bottle, I put him in the swing, turn on the swing's little music player, and make myself a chocolate milk while sneaking a little milk to the cats. Now, as soon as that music comes on, both cats come from the woodwork meowing and jumping, waiting for their milk before I've even gotten to the kitchen. Dude's afternoon nap (and a good long one) was in his own crib. He went to sleep at night in his own crib too, although we'll have to see how long that lasts. 5/18/08 Something occurred to me while we gave Kevin a bath this morning (which included a brief whiz (noon on his part). I believe it is generally accepted that "wee wee" and "tinkle" are the cutest terms for edition) "urination" in use today (with apologies to "pee"). I would like to contend that, only being able to be used accurately for the first year or so of life, "sprinkle" is in fact the cutest. This morning as Dude was going back to sleep after his morning bottle, I saw him in the little crib staring at and flexing his hand, as if he was trying out a new device he had just acquired (video). Yesterday, I caught on video an actual Son Set! There is also an addition to the PhotoDude collection. 5/17/08 El Señor Dude has been rolling over on his back & stomach so much that he may be mistaken for a flopping fish or a rotisserie by someone who doesn't know him. He's been sleeping on his stomach more and the other day he was in a "rabbit about to pounce" position with his butt up in the air as he slept (pic coming soon as I update that page). Very funny. Another good trend is how he's becoming more "huggy". Not too many things out there better than that as a parent. He continues to work hard in his "office" and keep himself amused there for large chunks of time. A couple of big moments today (Saturday, 5/17): We established that Dude is in fact a carnivore as he had meat (chicken) for the first time. He commented that it "tasted like chicken". Dude also went to bed at night for the first time in his own crib! He slept for two hour-long chunks of time before deciding he had had enough of that for the night and moved back into our bedroom. By the way, a day of two monoliths is actually a "Duolith" day. Grammy still keeps thinking he's cute. So surprising. We (Dude, Melissa, Grammy, & I) went to China Cuisine last night (Friday, 5/16). 5/13/08 Dude took his first trip to Shaw's Supermarket with Mommy & Grammy (yesterday - Monday, 5/12). He was serious and analytical at first but smiling by the end. 5/12). He was serious and analytical at first but smiling by the end. His "Sensory Overload Chamber" (the round "ExerSaucer") is now being renamed. It will now be referred to as "Kevin's Office". He can amuse himself there for over 15 minutes and he rotates from station to station very purposefully, looking like he would prefer not to be disturbed until he has taken care of the tasks before him. Today (Tuesday, 5/13), LilDawg came on Daddy Dawg's motorcycle and Dude got his first chance to sit on one (see pix page)! He didn't get to ride it though, which disappointed him but he got over it. Finally, The DudeMan spent Tuesday evening with Grammy while Melissa and I went out with Dave & Joyce to celebrate their 20th anniversary. 5/11/08 Melissa's first Mother's Day! Dude got her a Forsythia bush which we planted in the side yard. When I went at about 12:45 am to CVS to get a Mother's Day card for Melissa to open later that morning, I was amused to find about seven other gentlemen doing the same thing! We went to Gramma & Grandpa's house (Gramma got a jigsaw puzzle with the picture of Dude sitting in the white wire chair in the driveway) for Mother's Day pancakes & bacon. Gramma & I took him for a walk around the neighborhood and as expected, made it only thirty feet before the neighbors came out to "hang" & chat. He got to meet Tim McGinn (with whom I commiserated the night the Sox lost the '86 Series while he burned his VHS tapes of the games in a fire pit). We also saw Barbara Owen and Steve/Heather/Kira Ellenwood (yes, 3 generations) as well as Jane Barry, Cindy McGinn, & Julie Rogers. 5/10/08 Just as I finished typing the entry below, I hear Melissa in the other room lamenting the fact that addendum we had our first double-double-Dude-doodoo-day (that would be FOUR bowel movements in one day, for those of you keeping score at home)! 5/10/08 Grammy's been here for a couple of days now and my incredibly fine-tuned instincts were correct - she was in fact eager to see Kevin. See picture & video updates I've had a couple of amusing experiences feeding Dude in his high chair. I especially like when he and I both shove spoons in his mouth at the same time. His facial area just seems so "busy" at those times. Dude & I have taken a couple of road trips recently. One led to one of the most ironic moments we will ever experience together. I became the first person to take him to a... ahem... mall . Now lest you think I've lost all sense of manhood by having a baby (well, not literally having a baby, which would in fact have impacted my manhood physiologically), we went to the Woburn Mall because I had to go into Sports Authority to get batting gloves and a softball scorebook. Not once did I look for candles, shoes, casual wear, or anything else normally associated with malls. You know, I just realized that even after getting that off my chest, having gone to a mall still makes me feel kind of dirty and violated, so I'm going to go take a shower. 5/7/08 Dude & I spent some more time out on the front lawn. Now I realize it's a good idea to have him on a blanket and for the most part we will, but the grass is such a new world for him I want him to explore it. The sprinklers wash down any "schmutz" each morning. See 5/7 videos on the video page (of all places!). Today was also his FIRST HIGH CHAIR FEEDING (see those on the video page too). Grammy came up from Florida today and will be staying with us for a couple of weeks. She seemed slightly eager to see the Dudemaster! 5/6/08 As Dude woke up, he was playing with his "keys" (that his Gramma bought him) in his LilCrib (video). He was so quiet while playing and it seemed like he was just keeping himself amused until the rest of the world woke up. This was the first day he was intentionally dressed WITHOUT a onesie (I accidentally forgot to put one on him a couple of weeks ago). Later, Dude helped me & LilDawg do some work in the yard (once again in a supervisory role). He was cranky in the evening but we later discovered that part of the reason was his THIRD bowel movement of the day! And of course, 3 BM's is actually a 3M (logo). I had the honor of cleaning the "rectoplasm" that last time and he was nothing but giggles & smiles afterwards. Dude & all eagerly await Grammy's arrival tomorrow. 5/5/08 We enjoyed the nice weather by taking Dude outside several times, including a couple of walks and some hang-out-in-the-yard time (see pictures on Pix page). Something else I've been enjoying with him more and more recently - when I hold him, it's much more of an "active holding" (he holds on, puts his arms around, rests his head, etc.) It used to be more passive (him just sitting there being held as if he were an inanimate burlap sack filled with plastic nickels, brassieres, or crumpled Origami swans). Metaphors rock! 5/4/08 We went to Wellesley for our semi-regular breakfast at Gramma & Grandpa's house. There's not a lot of Dude News ("Dews") over the last couple of days. He's completely able to "replug" himself (putting his pacifier in his mouth by himself). Sometimes he appears to be trying to fit the whole thing in there. I've discovered another one of those "cool to have a baby" things. When I go to pick him up (or even before), he often reaches out with his arms in excited anticipation of "being plucked". Finally, I've recently watched a couple of times as Dude's eyes start to droop and finally close as he drifts off to sleep. This is the human equivalent of watching a sunset (in this case, a "sonset", as my mom pointed out). Likewise, "sonrises" are cool too! 5/1/08 Melissa certainly hit a home run with the bouncing horsey chair thing (see four videos for 4/30). Dude is going to have a 72" vertical leap before he's ten! It is truly an entertaining thing to watch in action.