Unbelievable excitement ensues as two Seattleites prepare for a baby!

Friday, April 14, 2006

South Dakota Trip Reports will continue ...

Here's Amy holding the cutest baby that has ever existed. Sorry, Amy, but it's true.

I'm sure everybody is feverishly awaiting the arrival of more South Dakota Trip Reports - they are no doubt riveting to those of you who have never been to South Dakota and don't know my family - so to tide you over and make up for my comment about my sister in the post below, here's a photo of Amy holding Sophia during the visit.


Here are a few playtime photos that are a bit more traditional than what I posted below.

With apologies to all of the other babies, past or present, and especially to my sister, who always does a slow burn when my parents say this, but I think it can be empirically, scientifically proven that Sophia is the most adorable baby that has ever existed.

Well, when she's not making her metallic-edged shriek, that is. Think Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber when he asks, "Do you want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?" Then amplify his sound by a factor of 10.

But that's a story for another day.

And for those of you wondering if that open expanse of carpet is actually in our office, well, yes it is. I can understand your confusion, though, because I share it also. Who knew that once we cleared those stacks of boxes and car magazines there would be some carpet under there?!?!

The Phia Monster!

Sophia is at the really active stage where she loves crawling maniacally, arms pumping and breathing fast, all the way across the room, then standing up, balancing on Daddy's prone form, and trying to crawl over him. Usually she also tries to spindle my glasses, gouge out my eyes, and reach into my nostrils as part of the same effort.

Last night I had the digital camera on hand, and using it as bait, captured point-blank (without lining up or focusing the image) her attempts to summit Mt. Hafner and reach the digital camera so she could use it as a chew toy.

By no means is this great - or even good - photography, but I find it pretty entertaining and it really captures Sophia's intensely playful mood.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

South Dakota Trip Report - Sophia Meets the Family

Sophia makes her first pilgrimage to the Heads along with her Grandma, her Aunt Amy, and her lame-o parents. Like, whatever!

One of the highlights of our trip back to South Dakota was Sophia meeting all of her wild and woolly relatives for the first time.

Since this will be largely a photographic exercise depicting the young one in the arms of various members of the family, I'll hold off on any further description, except to note that Sophia did her normal trick of behaving herself perfectly at major events and convincing everybody around her to completely fall in love with her.

Since I remember vividly when Cousin Lauryn was Sophia's age, it's a bit surreal to see her as a young lady holding my infant daughter. Pretty cool, but it's kinda weird how quickly time passes. Lauryn, just wait - before you know it, a grown-up Sophia will be holding and cooing over your child!

Great-Grandpa Holland and the little one share a quiet chuckle.

Grandpa Mike and Sophia engage in some rigorous intellectual discourse.

Great-Grandma Holland and Sophia hit it off right away.

A napping Sophia made copious use of Grandma Cathy's drool rag.

Uncle Joe said of Sophia "this is my favorite age!" Now that Sophia no longer sleeps through the night, that age goes down as our favorite too.

Aunt Becky has a great touch with kids - as well she should, as an award-winning teacher.

Aunt Deb and Uncle Jim shower more attention on the little one, as Leigh helpfully holds up Cousin Aaron's picture into the frame. It's almost like he was there, isn't it?

South Dakota Trip Report - Introduction

A much younger Sophia takes her rightful place among the great Presidents.

I'm about to unveil a series of posts that have been nearly six months in the making. Around October of last year, the Hafner clan journeyed back to the Black Hills of South Dakota for my cousin Carol's wedding - a weekend-long spin through the homeland and through both sides of my family. Since two weeks in South Dakota isn't nearly enough time to pack in all of the fun and socializing we like to do, a weekend is such a short amount of time to reconnect that it's almost painful.

Okay, okay, here she is actually at Mt. Rushmore, not just in front of the picture at the airport. As you can see, Sophia very much enjoyed her time at this scenic National Park.

There's something about going back to South Dakota that is very special for me - after moving around a lot as a kid, the Black Hills was the one place that always felt like home. For many people, family is a burden. Not for me. For me, getting together with family is a chance for fun and relaxation. It's the one place we know we belong.

Sophia sacks out while Momma gets her caffeine fix in the airport.

Everybody in South Dakota - we enjoyed seeing you (although it was six months ago). We love you all and miss you even more intensely than before, if that's possible.

This also marked Sophia's first time on an airplane - an event we approached with much trepidation. We needn't have worried. Our worst fear - a baby who screamed and wiggled non-stop through a total of eight hours in the air, failed to come to pass. However, and fans of the poop shoot blog story should enjoy this, she reached new levels of creativity with her poop. More on that, and the trip as a whole, in later installments.

Here's Sophia with her Grandma & Grandpa Hafner, along with Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Holland.

And, yes, I realize that these photos are six months old. She might have been smaller, but she was still cute - her screaming fit at one of America's most patriotic landmarks notwithstanding. Perhaps she just wasn't a fan of Teddy Roosevelt - he was a pretty polarizing figure.

I couldn't resist putting in another recent photo of Sophia, again with Kal Marie.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Finally ....

Whoa - Daddy put a new post up on the blog!

I realize that I owe the stalwart readers of this blog (assuming there are any left) a very sincere apology. After all, I know all of you would really prefer to continue looking at Stackson surveying his flooded domain, and here I am ruining it all by putting in some new photos of Sophia.

The primary purpose of this post is to not only show off our daughter a little more, but also to let people out there know that no, we are no longer submerged or bobbing around in our basement. I suppose I could make excuses for my lack of posting, such as the rigors of parenthood, a job that keeps me wildly busy, the failed attempt to maintain some degree of contact with my friends, and trying to get back in shape. But, really, I should've posted before. My apologies.

Sophia has all of the wit, good humor, and natural charm of her mother.

So what's been going on? I hope to expand upon all of this in future posts - stop your uproarious laughter, I do hope to catch up a little with my posting - so here's just a quick summation:

- The house is dry once again, all the repair work has been done, and we've been left with a cool $10,000 bill for the whole fiasco. The drama only begins there, though - it's a sordid tale of professional negligence, legal saber-rattling, and soggy diapers that will no doubt bore you to tears once I get around to telling it.

- Leigh and I have been on a rigid exercise and diet regimen and between us have lost nearly 30 pounds. I've lost more than 20 pounds to date (trust me, I had it to lose) while Leigh is back down to her pre-baby weight.

Sophia gets jiggy with Auntie Kal Marie.

- Speaking of baby, Sophia is now eight months old and as gregarious as ever. With her gorgeous big blue eyes and sparkling personality, she's a hit wherever we go. In the space of roughly a week she mastered the art of crawling, learned how to haul herself up to a standing position, and even now is able to stand on her own without support for several seconds. She's eating solid food also; but teething is appearing to take its toll. Between the pain of teething and the developmental milestones she's flying through, she's not sleeping well, which means we're tired and edgy much of the time. But that's what parenthood is all about, right?

- We've sold the Volvo and the Valiant. Yes, sports fans, the Volvo is no longer part of the family. And to my shocked dismay, we've gone from a three-car family to a one-car family.

That's the quick and dirty update. I'll try to get more up here soon - yes, hold the belly laughs.

One other quick note - the Blogger spell check system doesn't recognize the word "Stackson" and wants to replace it with "sadism." Now that's apt.