Today is the day: one year ago this very day, our little boy was born. It’s been a wild ride, as you’ve seen in thes pages; if you haven’t been on this site in a while, make sure you poke around and check out the posts from the last 12 days – we put up one post each day taking a look back at a specific month over the last year. It was a fun trip down memory lane to put it all together, and it was a great reminder of just how much fun and joy the little guy has brought us.
Monthly Archives: July 2012
Last in a 12-part series looking back at the first 12 months of Nyan Thomas’s life, in advance of his July 26 birthday.
What a wild and wonderful year it’s been. And Nyan Thomas’s 12th month of life – which stretched from late June through, well, today – was no different. It was the start of our new life in the UK, and it was pretty unsettled, as Mommy and Daddy hunted for jobs and a new home (with success on all fronts, we might add).
We arrived in the UK just before the start of his 12th month, and since then we’ve been staying with Uncle Noel and Aunt Lisa, not far from the other K. siblings (literally – three of them live within a five minute walk from here. And that’s if you walk very slowly!), and just a short drive from Pho Pho and Phwa Phwa’s house. So we’ve had a ton of support in taking care of the little guy as we look for homes and jobs.
It was a busy month, with lots of travel and lots of change. But through it all, Nyan Thomas was a trooper, with the worst effect being a slight disruption to his sleep patterns brought on by jet lag. But even that was fairly mild.
Tenth in a 12-part series.
Our last month in New York! It was the month where Daddy left his job; where Grandma L. came to visit for a week or so; and where our nice hardwood floors were covered in cardboard, packaging tape and bubble wrap. But we still managed to find plenty of time to have fun with the boy – and we even let him “help” with the packing!
Before all that, though, at the end of April, Nyan Thomas went to his first art show, a gallery in Chelsea that was displaying the works of a photographer who had been among the Karen freedom fighters in the Burmese mountains. We met some interesting people, and most of them were quite impressed with our boy, as you saw here.
Month Nine in Nyan Thomas’s life – from late March through late April – was a big month for both Nyan and for his parents, with lots of travel for him and for them, and with some major life decisions finally set in stone and begun to be implemented.
When we last left our hero, he was having a good time in the UK; that’s how his ninth month of life started as well, as Mommy was putting the final touches on her preparation for her professional certification exam. Nyan, meanwhile, was hanging out in laundry baskets, here; and enjoying the cozy comfort of a bucket for a bath, here; and playing with his relatives, including Auntie Zuzu, here, his cousins the cheeky moos, here, and Uncle Noel and Auntie Lisa, here. Oh yes, he also very much enjoyed hanging out in an empty cardboard diaper box, here.
Eighth in a series
Nyan Thomas got to spend much of his eighth month of life in the UK, with the K. side of the family. Mommy, you see, needed to take a big exam to maintain her professional certification, and needed to study hard for it; that was proving impossible to do in Brooklyn, where she was on full-time baby duty all day every weekday. So in early March the two of them flew back across the Atlantic. (She passed the test, of course; hooray!)
But we packed a bit of family fun into the days before they left. First off, Daddy took a day off from work and rented a car, and the three of us drove down to Chinatown in Brooklyn for a weekday Dim Sum lunch, as you saw here.
We also captured this video – still one of my favorites – of Nyan tapping his feet while waiting for dinner to be served.
And one chilly winter day, Mommy and Nyan met Daddy in the city for some personal errands; on the way back, they passed through Manhattan’s Chinatown and came across a random dragon parade. We’re still not sure what it was for, but it was certainly colorful.
Then it was off to the airport – where he charmed the ticket agents and TSA guards, as you read here – and over the sea.
Once he got there, it was time to be spoiled again. He got to attend Phwa Phwa’s 60th birthday party in early March, as you saw here. And his auntie and uncles took him to the playground on a regular basis – it was cool, but not as cool as New York, and plus spring was on the way. Turns out, as you saw here, the boy loves to swing.
And in between study sessions, there were plenty of Skype sessions with Daddy back in New York.
As the end of the month rolled around, Nyan Thomas was still in the UK, but preparing to return to Brooklyn, where spring had sprung in his absence, and where Mommy and Daddy were about to set in motion some big plans that would mean big and good changes in all of their lives. For more on that, check back tomorrow for the next review!
Nyan Thomas’s seventh month of life – from late January through most of February – started with a bang when, on the afternoon of Jan. 31, we got visual confirmation of the young man’s first tooth! We were quite excited, of course. We noted at the time that it came hard on the heels of a new food regimen, built around less formula and more food, albeit mushy foods like rice cereal, mashed sweet potatoes and the like. The boy was loving the new tastes, and was grabbing for the spoon and leaning forward to get the next bite.
By mid-February we had another tooth in full view, as reported; both were on the bottom, but we could see some on the top that were about to break through as well. He was having some teething pains, especially in the middle of the night, which necessitated some teething gel applications in the wee hours.
We also reported around this time that Nyan was figuring out how to crawl. As we said midmonth:
The young man is figuring out how to crawl – and Sunday afternoon, he actually got it! Butt up in the air, propped up on his front arms, he scooted forward! It was a legitimate crawl, though just a one-time deal. But he did it again this morning. It won’t be long until he figures out how (or builds the strength) to do it for extended periods. At that point, of course, the entire apartment will be up for grabs. We’re still not sure how we’ll deal with that; the kid has boundless energy, and we can just imagine the hijinx he’s about to get into…
That was certainly a very accurate prediction, we can say today…
Month Seven also featured a visit, in late January, from Aunt Maggie and Grandma L., as reported. It was Maggie’s first time to meet the boy, and they got along great; she graciously gave him lots of cuddles, kisses, and baths.
We also bought ourselves a video monitor this month – we should have bought it ages ago, we realized! – and amused ourselves by using its infrared record function to take short videos of Nyan sleeping, or not sleeping as the case may be, as you saw here.
In mid-February, we took Nyan to a nearby Sears portrait studio for a photo shoot in honor of his six-month birthday on Jan. 26. As you saw here, the kid loves the camera and, we’d say, the camera loves the kid…
Nyan Thomas certainly packed a lot into his seventh month of life!
Sixth in a daily series
The six month of Nyan Thomas’s life – stretching from the day after Christmas until late January – was a busy one. Lots of fun activities, lots of developmental milestones.
We started the month with Mommy, Daddy and Nyan spending another week and a bit in the UK. There were relatives to meet, friends to catch up with, and even a trip to the zoo! As we reported at the time:
Nyan was less than impressed at first, as he was in his stroller and couldn’t see much. So Daddy started holding him. He was ever so slightly more interested, but let’s be honest: five months old is a bit young for a kid to enjoy a zoo. Still, it was a fun family outing, and mom and dad certainly enjoyed it.
The UK is not quite as chilly as New York, so we spent a fair amount of time outside, bundling up the boy and going for stroller rides through the forest paths near the K. family home. We also took the boy one day to the seaside village of West Mersea, where we enjoyed delicious fish and delicious oysters (which, sorry to say, led to a bout of food poisoning…)
The flight back to New York was mostly uneventful (though the lad decided he’d poop not once, not twice, but three times over the course of the eight hour flight. So we got to change his smelly diaper three times, in a tiny, unventilated airplane bathroom. The less said about that, the better.) He did just fine with the flying itself, and to alleviate the occasional bouts of boredom, he did what he does: flirted, as you read at the time:
The kid is a flirt. Big time. Any female within about 20 rows of our seat was a target: he’d find a pretty female, stare at them ’til they caught his gaze, and then smile, coo, stick his hand in his mouth – you know, standard flirting behavior. He got really tight with one of the flight attendants, too. (As for the fellas, young Nyan Thomas couldn’t care less: one dude was passing by and stopped by our seat for a minute, waiting for the aisle to clear. The guy looked over at Nyan and gave him a smile; Nyan had been looking at a toy but looked up when he felt someone staring at him. When he saw that it was just a dude, he couldn’t be bothered and immediately went back to his toy.)
Back in New York, it was time for Nyan Thomas to graduate from an all-formula diet and on to solid food! That came in early January, with messy (but, to us at least, adorable and hilarious) results, as you saw in this video.
It took a while to get him eating well – hell, we still struggle with it today – but we slowly started to give him more solid food and less formula. Other than that, the boy spent the month just being Nyan. But by the time his sixth birthday rolled around on Jan. 26, he was about to cross another landmark, one that had been causing him the occasional moment of mild pain and massive drooling over the previous few weeks. Can you guess what on earth we could be foreshadowing? Yeah, I bet you can. But come back tomorrow for the next update anyway!
Fifth in a series.
Our boy had another medical checkup in late November, just after his four-month birthday. It was all good; he weighed in at 13.9 pounds and was 25.75 inches long (or tall?) – a bit low in the percentile for the weight, but nothing to be alarmed at. The biggest thing, as we reported at the time, was that he had to have another round of shots for his vaccinations. Once again, Mommy and Daddy proved more anxious about this than our boy:
But he was fine. Brave, stoic, didn’t even cry out once. He was, in fact, mostly annoyed that Mommy’s hugs were cramping his style – getting in the way of his flirting with the nurses. He was a little fussy and a little feverish and just a bit off for the next couple of days, but this morning he’s back to his old self – gurgling and chirping and playing and kicking and waking up at 5:30. He also rolled all the way onto his side for the first time ever this morning!
Also around this time, we tried to figure out his penchant for pulling off his socks, and I theorized at the time that it was just a side effect of his love of kicking his feet. Nope: I can report now, nearly eight months later, that he just loves taking them off, by any means necessary. Back then, he had to use the friction of the floor; today, he just reaches down and pulls them off. (And usually puts them right in his mouth.)
Nyan Thomas’s fifth month of life took up most of December, and featured another major first: his first airplane ride! Mommy and Nyan spent about three weeks with her family in the UK, with Daddy scheduled to come over at Christmas for a little over a week. That meant he got to meet Pho Pho, Phwa Phwa, his cousins, and the aunties and uncles he hadn’t yet had the chance to charm.
We didn’t know how he’d do on the flight, and were naturally worried that he’d be fussy, wouldn’t do well with the change in air pressure, etc. But no. As we said at the time:
Mommy reports that he was a perfect gentleman the entire flight, even during the two-and-a-half hour departure delay! He spent the entire time either sleeping or – natch – flirting with the flight attendants. That’s our boy!
The next three weeks consisted of Mommy catching up on sleep, and catching up with friends and relatives, and of Nyan getting spoiled, as reported:
Young Nyan Thomas has been winning the hearts and minds of the United Kingdom for the past two weeks. He and his mommy have been getting deservedly spoiled with family love, home-cooked meals, and lots of sleep.
It was, admittedly, not that much fun of a month for Daddy, who was working back in a chilly, dark New York – but there were plenty of Skype calls, and Daddy was happy that Mommy was getting a break from New York, and that Nyan was being well taken care of, not to mention getting to know the K. side of the family.
And at the end of the month, Daddy boarded a jet himself and took the red-eye from New York to London, arriving on Christmas morning. Daddy slept a good chunk of Christmas Day itself – jet lag, you know – but did manage to join Mommy and Nyan for a visit to Mommy’s friend Sharon’s house for Christmas night activities, as we chronicled at the time.
That was also the start of Daddy’s 10-day stay in the UK, which featured lots of fun activities with Mommy and their boy. Coverage of that will have to wait until tomorrow, and the recap of Nyan Thomas’s six month of life…
Fourth in a series.
Baby’s first snow!
Yes, it snowed in October – Saturday, Oct. 29, to be precise. The weather report from the time, via this very blog:
Last Saturday, New York and much of the East Coast got blasted by a rather nasty, wet, slushy, icy, snowy – and early! – storm. In Brooklyn, we got a full day’s worth of cold rain, sleet and really heavy snow that snapped some tree branches, caused plenty of localized flooding on the roads, and generally made for a wet mucky day.
We stayed in that day, and held the boy up to the big windows in the front of the apartment so he could see the snow. He didn’t seem to care.
The next day was bright, clear and cold, but warm enough that most of the snow and slush had melted away by midday. We decided it was a fine day for Nyan’s first road trip, and his first visit to a Burmese Buddhist temple in New Jersey, about an hour’s drive from Brooklyn. The temple itself was modest but filled with warm and welcoming Burmese-Americans; out back was a stupa modeled after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangoon, Burma – to a much smaller scale, but still impressive, and looking lovely in the late afternoon sunshine, partially covered with as-yet-unmelted snow.
A week later, the first weekend of November, was the New York Marathon, which runs right up the road near our apartment at the time. It was another bright and cold day, so we bundled up the boy, slapped on his too-cool-for-school sunglasses, and headed out to cheer on the runners.
Later in November, Nyan Thomas took his first ride on the New York subway system. (The theme this month seemed to be movement: road trip, marathon, subway.) We were a little worried that the noise and clamor of the trains would freak out the boy, but as with most things we worry about, we needn’t have worried. He was totally fine, more interested in checking out these new inputs and making funny faces at his fellow passengers.
Also in November, we finally accepted that the boy wasn’t eating or sleeping as much as he should, and buckled down and put him on a stricter schedule of both, with pretty fast and remarkable results. He also became more needy when it comes to wanting cuddles, and found his crying voice, which led to numerous bouts of crying for no reason whatsoever. All of this, we were reassured, was perfectly normal, and thanks to his grandparents and other family members offering us countless advice, we were able to manage through these new challenges this fine.
Nyan Thomas’s busy fourth month of life ended with a bang and a whole slew of visitors: first came Uncle Phil, Aunt Jill and their three boys, followed by another visit from Grandma L., who flew out for a few days. We took another ride on the subway for a visit to the 9/11 memorial in downtown Manhattan, a somber experience that, of course, meant more to the adults than to the boy himself.