I (Jordan, just to clarify since this blog is typically Karin's domain) may have mentioned this before, but I think one of the big challenges in life and especially with kids is taking a deep breath and enjoying the stage of life you're in for what it is. It's pretty easy to look forward to some state of nirvana down the road and in the process miss some of the best things about where you are now. I think that's a major temptation when you have a newborn; I'll be the first to acknowledge that I struggle a little bit with the "little baby" phase because there is a lot of work and sometimes not a lot of real interaction.
It's a pitfall that I'm trying hard to avoid. Isabelle is about 3-1/2 months now, and we were just saying last night that she doesn't look (or feel) like a tiny newborn anymore. She starting to smile and "talk" a lot, and I know that in just a few months really she'll be crawling all over the house. As much as I'm looking forward to that, I also know that this may be the last time (given that we don't really know whether there will be another) I'll be able to hold my baby almost in the palm of my hand and where the only thing she really wants is to be near us all the time.
In the spirit of enjoying the moment, then, here are some great shots Karin got of her the other day:
With Matthew, I've loved pretty much every stage so far, but one thing to which I've looked forward all along was the day when he was old enough to go to baseball games with me. In some ways he may not yet be there, but last night I took him to his first anyway. It went a lot better than I had expected, and as mundane an experience it might sound to someone else, to me it was one of the best times I've had with him since becoming a dad.
I'm sure he won't remember everything, but if you ask him today, the best part of the whole experience was eating popcorn. I helped a bit, but he practically downed a whole souvenir hat-full by the end of the 3rd inning.
Given that I didn't know how things would go, I bought the $5 cheap seats, but we could see well enough, and Matthew (being a bit of a media junkie sometimes) was just happy to find out that they have a ginormous HDTV. He was a little disappointed that the green relish hotdog lost to the yellow mustard one in the animated hot dog race, though.
I'm sure a few people in our section questioned my parenting skills when I let him put the empty souvenir hat on his head, but in my defense I did wipe it out pretty well.
After about the 4th inning we headed over to the kids' play area ("the Sandlot"), stopping to say hello to a few giant Dbacks along the way.
It's a bit early to tell, but I'm not sure Matthew is cut out for professional sports, because anytime he falls down he has to come show you his "owee." OK - maybe he could play European pro soccer.
They had slides and stuff like that, but mostly he just wanted to run around in circles (hmmm... maybe I'm really onto something with this pro soccer thing).
By the time he got done, he was pretty sweaty. (It's hard to take self-portraits with our new camera, by the way.)
Right near the kids' area was the organ player, and Matthew was fascinated watching that guy play and hearing it over the loud speakers. We stayed there through the 7th-inning stretch - I guess I need to teach him "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" pretty soon, because when I asked him what song the guy was going to play next, he said, "Twinkle Star."
Baxter (who I think is a bobcat - not really sure) was hanging around there, so we got in a shot with him. Matthew wasn't too sure what to think of him at first, but he seemed to like him better later when he saw him on the big screen (maybe he figured the one on the big screen can't eat you).
I gave him the choice to go home after that, but he wanted to stay, so we headed back up to our seats for the last few innings and actually made it all the way to the end. Matthew didn't watch a lot of baseball, admittedly (mostly, he entertained the people sitting around us), but he did clap for a few home runs and got excited when a few guys caught routine fly balls. We'll work on that part later, but for now, I'm just enjoying what for me (and I hope for him) was a great little life moment.