Thursday, April 21, 2005

Our Social Butterfly

Today, Gabriel took his mommy running at Piedmont Park. It was a nice day for a run, and we got back just in time to miss the drizzle. Patty's new running shoes, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, are treating her very well. Mrs. Brooks is doing a good job of correcting the overpronation of the right foot. Pushing the stroller, we only went a couple of miles before getting worn out, but it was a total body workout.

New canopy 1

New canopy 2

When we got back, we had a package waiting from Mom and Dad K. It was a canopy for our Kelty baby carrier. It's going to be extremely useful and has some really cool features. It's lightweight but has a rain shield that can fold down if it's raining or fold up if it's nice, side panels that stow in the inside top of the canopy if it's not raining, and netting in front, back, and at the top of the sides to protect against the sun. This is going to allow us to hike any day, rain or shine, and also to go camping when we aren't sure of the weather.

After playing for a while, listening to his newest CD (which he loves), and eating lunch, Gabriel took a very long nap. He cried before he went to sleep, but it was still better than it had been for so long. He got up, nursed, and got dressed to go out on the town.

We went to the Post-sponsored happy hour at Acapulco Grille and Cantina, just a block from our apartment. We each had a drink and some snacks, and we got to talk to a lot of people, some we knew, and some we didn't. Gabriel was the star of the show, and it was almost like having a babysitter - our friends Suzanne, Tanya, and Isi took turns playing with him, and we got to drink and converse. It was fun. He was even more social then he's ever been. He reached out for everyone who stopped to say hi. A man named Juan recognized us from church and stopped to say hi, and Gabriel didn't want Mommy to take him away from him. Juan's friend came by, and Gabriel instantly reached out for her to hold him for a while, and then we wanted to go back to Juan. Eventually, Mommy convinced him to come back.

Suzanne taught Gabriel to wave, and we were amazed. He's never waved before. He's also lately started saying Dada and Mama when we ask him to, and yesterday, he learned to climb. We turned around when he was standing in his playpen, and he had pulled himself halfway up the side. His feet were about 6 inches above the floor of the playpen. He's become quite good at crawling, even though he uses his stomach, and a couple of times, he's sat up from laying down, most recently this morning. He's really making great strides, and we're excited about all of the new things he is learning.

We finally got smart a couple of days ago and replaced the contents of the front of his favorite bathroom drawer with blocks. Now when he wanders into the bathroom, he comes back chewing on a block and not bath salts. [That's actually happened. They were blue.] We're still working on making a baby-friendly apartment, and little by little, we're making progress.

We added a pretty neat feature to our blog, but we're not sure yet if it works on all browsers. It's a favicon, which is an icon that appears next to the title of the page in the address window at the top of the browser. You can drag this icon to your desktop to create a link to our webpage, which is quicker than opening a browser, going to the bookmarks list, and clicking on our address... as if the 15 seconds it takes to do that was really slowing you down! Anyway, the icon is a picture of Gabriel, of course, and we think it's a really neat feature.

Church, Church, and Softball

Celebration bunting at CTK Cathedral

Gabriel had Tender Spirits playgroup today, which is hosted at our church. On our way in, we noticed that there was yellow and white bunting over the entryway in honor of our new pope. Playgroup was fun; one of Gabriel's friends, Patrick, was there. His mommy called us yesterday to let us know they'd be there, so it was nice to see them.

We found out that the moderator of the group, Julie Duncan, who is one of the two lactation consultants at Piedmont Hospital and who visited us when Gabriel was born, is from Sylvania, Ohio. Since Matt used to live there and lots of people we know still do, we are bound to have common acquaintances, although we couldn't find any today. We'll try again next time.

After playgroup, we stopped in to the Cathedral for a quick prayer for our new Holy Father, and there wasn't anyone in there except three people decorating the altar with flowers. Patty asked what they were doing, and a very kind British woman named Charlotte said that they were offering flowers to Mary in thanks and that there would be a mass at 5:30 pm. She cut Gabriel three little flowers from the arrangement, red, white, and yellow, and he immediately chose the red one and gently held it until we got back to the car.

Since Matt found out that his game wasn't until 8:00 pm, we decided that Patty and Gabriel could attend mass and still have time for a family trip to Willy's for tacos before the game. On the way into mass, Patty was interviewed by 11 Alive news. The reporter asked all sorts of questions, like, "How do you feel about the new pope?" and "Why was it important for you to come to church today?" Patty answered the best she could, and honestly, she'd thought of her answer to the latter in advance, guessing that since the news seemed to always be reporting from our church, they'd catch us sooner or later; they always ask that question. Anyway, she was so nervous that she was still shaking an hour and a half later. They also videotaped P & G entering the church, and there was another camera (for the webcast) on them as they walked up to get communion.

Since mass was from 5:30 to 6:30, we didn't see the broadcast, and that interview didn't air on the 11:00 broadcast, so we've contacted the station to see whether it aired and whether we can get a copy of the early evening broadcast.

Gabriel at the game

Matt played really well at his game. His season batting average is 1.000, and we hope that he keeps it that way. He had two doubles and a walk, scored one run, and made a couple of fantastic plays at first base. He also sacrificed his ankle to stop the ball on a rocket of a throw from second. We are compiling a spreadsheet this season of his stats. That will be a fun project. We had a great time tonight, and Gabriel loved every second of the game. It got a little cooler as the sun went down, so we put Matt's work shirt on Gabriel, and it was a little loose, as you can see in the photo. All of the players thought the Chipster was really cool, and Jason and "Papa Ray" had a blast playing with him.

The Intimidators lost 18-10 in 6 innings (game called due to time), but they looked really good. We hear that they lost last week too while we were out of town, but considering they were playing with 8 guys, it was pretty good that it was a close game.

Tonight, Gabriel fell asleep without even a peep. We think that his sleep problems are getting better. At least, we hope so. For his 6 month birthday, he started sleeping through the night. Maybe for his 9 month birthday, he's started falling asleep voluntarily. That would be wonderful.