Monday, June 30, 2008

Nature versus Nurture

As an adoptive parent, I find nature versus nurture studies to be particularly interesting.

We were asked to participate in an infant growth and development through the University of Minnesota and I was happy to participate. We'll be interviewed at 9 months, 18 months and two years.

It was a LONG 3 hours, they put all of us through our paces.

As part of it, they gave him a new toy to play with to see how he'd respond.
The BumbleBall was a hit!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sorry I got so behind

We were traveling and Bob had to finish setting up the new computer.

Here's a picture of Anthony and Grandpa Vince.

(My sister sent some pictures of Anthony with my parents, I'll get them up soon.)
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Friday, June 27, 2008

Minnesota Zoo

Our last day in Minnesota we went to the zoo. I have to say, I was pretty impressed. Anthony slept through the morning part, including a beautiful butterfly garden. They had a lot of animal pelts that he got to pet. (Always pet the kitty nicely!) Bob got to be nose to nose with a grizzly bear.

He did get to see the bird show. At one point a white bird was cruising around overhead and totally got Anthony's attention.

Vince loves Eagles, so we were sure to get a picture of Anthony with one.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trip to Walnut Grove

I've had a fascination for "Little House on the Prairie" for YEARS and YEARS. (I vaguely remember being disappointed by Minnesota winters as my years there were nothing like "The Long Winter".) I hated the tv show, though, it was not true to the books.

Grandpa Vince came up and joined us after reunion and we went on an excursion to Walnut Grove. Some of the historic artifacts were pretty darn neat. My favorite was actually a letter written from one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's elementary school friends to her after the books came out. She reminisces about their time in Walnut Grove.

It was a LONG drive on country roads, but I'm glad we went.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Class of 2030

Last weekend we went back to Minnesota for my college reunion.

You can't tell in the picture, but Anthony is wearing his "Future Carleton Graduate" duds. He also has a Carleton hat that he wasn't wearing at the time.

Unfortunately, Anthony had a cold, so he was far from his best. The real issue was eating and sleeping. He still had plenty of energy to flirt it up.

Friday night I took him outside for his bottle (it was cooler) and rather than eating, he "toddled" around in his diaper smiling at everyone he could find. He got to play in the sandbox a bit (our dorm had TWO sandboxes), but I declared the bouncy house too much fun for a little guy.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Visiting our cousins

We went down to Orange County Father's Day weekend to visit Anthony's new cousin Erik. It was a great visit!
We arrived Friday night and Anthony was ready to party! He spent awhile visiting with his grandparents and then we finally got him to bed.

Saturday we had a nice visit with my sister and her family. Unfortunately, Kurt really wouldn't give Anthony the time of day. Unclear if he was jealous of his grandparents playing with this strange baby or if he objected to Anthony playing with his toys. (Or if he objected to the existence of another baby.) Erik slept most of the time we were there, but he did wake up and let me give him a bottle.

Its funny how fast they change. Anthony was only 8 months old, but I had totally forgotten what the teeny little ones were like. (Erik was about 6 weeks old.)

Sunday they all came over for brunch at my parents house and we took pictures of the cousins. You can't tell, but in the bottom picture Anthony is totally pulling on poor Kurt's shirt collar. (A few seconds later Erik tried to nurse on Kurt's other arm.)

Unfortunately, while we took plenty of pictures of the boys, we didn't get any of Anthony with his grandparents.**

**Anthony certainly had lots of time playing with his grandparents--went left him with Grandma to take my Dad to the ball game, left him behind so we could see the Terra Cotta Warriors at the Bowers Museum, not to mention plenty of morning playtime so we could sleep!
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Monday, June 9, 2008

Eoin's Finalization Party

This weekend was the party to celebrate Anthony's friend Eoin's adoption finalization.

Poor Eoin was sick this morning. They still had the party but Eoin didn't get to play with any of his friends! Around mid-afternoon he had some food and water and that perked him up a bit.

Anthony enjoyed playing with some of Eoin's friends, though! Eoin's mommy Saran bought a bubble machine that churned out enormous quantities of bubbles. I'm not sure Anthony quite knew what to think of them.
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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Teeth are growing in!

Here's a better picture of Anthony's teeth.

(It still helps to click on the photo to make it fill the screen.)
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Eight Months Old!

Can you believe it????

Let's see, how has our little guy grown.

Well, to begin with, he is just over 21 pounds. I can't remember how tall he is, but he's well balanced for height and weight. He has nearly outgrown is 6-9 month sized clothes. He has some 6-12/9-12 that fit nicely and we are buying him 12-18 month currently.

He's got all sorts of new tricks, too. The biggest is that he's figured out object permanance. (The idea that even though something hides, it still exists.) Last weekend when I hid his little crab toy under a cloth he knew immediately where it was. (Unlike the previous months when he was utterly confused about what happened.)

Anthony also started babbling this month. He'll happily roll out a long stream of da-da-da-da-da. He will sort of blow raspberries, too, but those aren't quite as fun.

He's also started using body language to indicate what he wants--down is the big one, but sometimes he'll reach out to go to someone.

He LOVES water out of a real glass. I'll need to post video on it, its pretty fun to watch. He really will drink it.

And, of course, Anthony has two beautiful little teeth.

On the down side, transition to new daycare this last week has been pretty rough. He's gotten a little discriminating about who his people are. Basically, he's been screaming if he's not being held. We've had a few good moments--Thursday afternoon he was happy to play nicely, and Friday he went to Maria. (And then demanded to be held the rest of the day.) Generally Anthony is such an easy-going guy that I really hope that he'll adapt fast.

Sorry I'm a little late posting, I was waiting to get a fresh set of pictures.
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Our Little Sea Anenome

Today was Anthony's first day of swim "lessons". Anthony did really well, especially since it was his first time in a swimming pool. It took him a few minutes to decide how he felt about the water, but he took to it pretty quickly. They played "Ring Around the Rosie" and a motorboat game. And there was some general splashing. One funny thing--in the bathtub he's all about kicking and splashing, its like the Shamu show at Seaworld. Today he didn't do too much kicking.

I just love his little swim trunks with the surfboards. They go down practically to his ankles when he stands up.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

A few more picnic pictures

Anthony and Caden checking each other out. They're both still learning about being gentle with their friends!

A few seconds ago Anthony was chewing on the giraffe's feet while Eoin had the head. Sophie the giraffe is Eoin's favorite toy and it was very nice of him to share.

(Everyone had a good chew on Anthony's crab, so he's learning to share, too.)
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IAC Picnic

Today was our adoption agency's annual picnic. It was a LOT of fun. Most of our friends from our monthly support group were there. It was fun seeing how much all the babies have grown and watching them play together.

We mostly hung out with Caden's and Eoin's families. (We were all in group together for quite awhile, but they've finalized so we don't seem them anymore.) The boys seemed to enjoy each other. They stole (and chewed on) each others toys. They're grabby little creatures!

Everyone seemed impressed with Anthony's "walking trick". He's getting pretty darn good at it. He also wore his new sandals for the first time today. They're pretty big but he'll grow into them soon enough.

The picture on bottom is ordered youngest to oldest, but you'd never know it by size. Caden is almost 4 months older than the other two! (But, Anthony is a moose and Eoin is even bigger)

Unlike his other pals, Anthony still enjoys wearing his hat! Too bad it covers up all his beautiful hair!!!

I brought Brown Sugar Cookies to the picnic, a new recipe that is sure to be a keeper:
1. Brown 10 T butter over medium-high heat. Transfer to a bowl and mix in 4 T butter to melt. Let cool 15 min.
2. Add 1 3/4 c brown sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt, beat until no sugar lumps remain.
3. Add 1 egg, 1 egg yolk and 1 T vanilla extract, mix until thoroughly incorporated
4. Add 2 cups + 2 T flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp baking powder, mix until just combined.
5. Roll into balls (approx 2T/ball) and roll in a mixture of (1/4 c granulated sugar and 1/4 c brown sugar)
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-14 minutes until cookies are browned and still puffy. Edges will have begun to set but centers are still soft. 7. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
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