Holidays, Grandmas and Earthquakes

Jason enjoyed his first Thanksgiving with daddy’s extended family this year, then had a blast visiting with Grandma Patricia and Great-Grandma Marie for a fun five days at the start of December. We fit in a “four-generation” portrait while they were down, since it doesn’t happen every day.

Having survived Hurricane Isabel, Jason seems destined to try out all the other natural disasters, too. Tuesday, Dec. 9 we had an earthquake here that measured 4.5 on the Richter Scale. Small potatoes to our friends out west, but unheard of here since way back in 1897! Daddy was at work…in a basement…when it hit, and Mommy had some anxious moments at home. But Jason slept through it all, as he did the worst of the Hurricane. Nerves of steel, that kid.

We’re all looking forward to spending some time together over the Christmas break. Jason is enjoying the lights on the tree and his teddy bear that recites “The Night Before Christmas.” Otherwise all this hub-bub is going right over his head. But next year should be a big deal for sure.

Six Months (!)

Incredible as it seems, Jason is now six months old. Last week we took him in for his check-up and it’s official…he’s big.

The scores went like this: height = 90th percentile, weight = 97th percentile, head circumference = 97th percentile. The 97s were only because the doctor doesn’t believe in giving 100s. We also found out that the strangely low figures from last time (see entry: “Four Months“) were because the doctor looked at the chart wrong. She used the 6-month markers, meaning that at 4 months, Jason was racking up “average” scores for a 6-month old.

A few days earlier, Jason attended his first group play date at a neighbor’s house and had a lot of fun seeing and interacting with the other kids. One little girl put a ball in front of him and to our surprise he immediately figured out how to roll it back and forth to her (he’d never seen a ball before). So we went out and got him a ball of his own, a “basketball” about half official size, and he loves to lay on his back and transfer it from his hands to between his feet, let go with his hands, lower his feet with the ball between them and raise it back up again to his hands. In short, he seems to have some chimpanzee blood in him. Maybe we have a future soccer player on our hands.

Front Porch Adventures

Dorothy found that everything she ever really needed was in her back yard all the time. In Jason’s case, it’s the front yard.

A few days before the hurricane, we lost power when a “waterproof” seal on our electric lines took in water and exploded. The guys from the power company dug it up and replaced it, which made for an entertaining show for Jason. A bit later, Daddy cut the grass, which was also good for a laugh, and last week the neighbors across the street had a crane brought in to lift trees off the back of their house, over the roof and down into the front yard to be sawed up and chipped. Another great show. A couple days later came the lawn care guy to do a core aeration.

When all else fails, it’s always fun to watch the cars go by. Jason’s gotten so he can hear them even before we do, and he’ll follow them with his eyes til they’re out of sight.

Who needs cable when you’ve got a front porch?

Hurricane Izzy

Well, we survived Hurricane Isabel with no injuries or property damage, though it did get a little scary for a while. Some neighbors lost trees (and one might lose his house due to a fallen tree), but we just lost power. Then again, “just” may not be the right word, considering how difficult life can be without electricity.

Jason took it all like a trooper, and if nothing else we have a story to tell him when he gets older. We went ahead with our trip to Duck, NC as planned, and found everything there okay, though it was Thursday before we were allowed to venture into Nags Head and take a look around. We had a great time at the beach and Jason enjoyed being spoiled by all his adoring relatives.

Four Months

Hard to believe it’s been four months since Jason was born. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday, but at the same time it’s hard to remember what life was like before him.

On the 15th, Jason had his four-month check-up and got a clean bill of health. He weighed in at 18 lbs, 9.5 oz, with a height of 26 inches. Surprisingly, this only puts him in the 75th and 58th percentiles, respectively (or thereabouts), which I guess means there’s a lot of big kids out there these days! Everyone who sees him guesses he’s more like 6-8 months.

Jason’s vocalizing a lot more, now. It started with squeals and it’s turning into mutterings and “sighs.” Words are still a long way off, but it’s fun to hear his voice anyway. We had fun recently when I sang him a Beatle song and he squealed through it like a teeny-bopper at Shea Stadium (his uncle suggested maybe this wasn’t adoration but an attempt to scream, “STOP IT!”)

Also he loves to stand up and even puts one foot in front of the other to move himself closer to things that interest him (like his reflection), but so far he doesn’t show any interest in crawling and in fact really dislikes being on his stomach. Hand-eye coordination is getting better, and now that he’s discovered he’s got two hands, he’s just as content pulling his own fingers as playing with toys.

Following up on the previous entry, the trip to Minnesota went very well…Jason slept for the two flights up and almost all the way back, which made the plane rides a lot less miserable than we’d expected. The weather was great and we got to see lots of family.

There have been a few sleep-impaired nights lately as Jason experiments with tantrums. He dislikes being put down alone and would prefer to be held all night…wouldn’t we all?