Saturday, September 27, 2008

More Fun, Fun, Fun!

During Kelly's visit, we left Ethan in Ingrid's incredibly capable hands for nine whole hours! We knew that he would be fine, but it was still hard for Sarah since she had never been away from him for that long. We took advantage of having an excellent babysitter and went up to Sonoma for the Harvest Party at our favorite vineyard, Stryker. In addition to wine tasting, we were able to get more hands-on and learn about the winemaking process. The first thing we did was sort through the grapes on the crush pad.

We were a bit shocked to learn that they were letting us amateurs handle the grapes that would eventually be turned into their award-winning Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. We're pretty sure they'll mail us a medal if they win again this year, since we're now official honorary winemakers.

Other events that day included a grape stomping contest and a tour of the vineyard. We're lucky to live near such a beautiful location. It's so peaceful in Wine Country, and it has been a long time since we were able to make a trip up there.

We had a great time with Kelly, and are so glad that she was able to come visit! A special thanks goes out to Ingrid for taking such good care of our baby boy while we were out having lots of fun!

In other news, Ethan had his two month checkup yesterday. He's now 14.6 lbs, which is in the 97th percentile for his age. He's a high scorer for his length, too - a whopping 24.5 inches puts him in the 90th percentile! His doctor continues to be so pleased with his growth and development, especially the fact that he's sleeping for nine to ten hour stretches at night. What a good baby we have!

We have a particularly fun photo shoot planned for the two-month shots, so check back in a few days!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun!

The Notch household has been buzzing with activity lately! We've had so many adventures, in fact, that we're making this post part one in a two-part family fun series.

Grandma and Grandpa Ventura arrived for a visit and got to meet their new grandson for the first time. They were both a big hit with Ethan, who showed his love with lots of smiles and cuddling.

Shortly after their arrival, Aunt Kelly flew in to join in the family fun. We had a great time touring the city, especially when we stopped by Musée Mécanique to take some photos in an old timey booth. Technically, this was Ethan's second photo booth experience, as Mommy and Daddy took some pictures together right before Ethan was born.

To commemorate his birthday, Grandma and Grandpa Ventura brought over a cake, complete with a zero candle! Ethan was sad that he didn't get to taste it, and is looking forward to next year when he will not only get to eat his cake, but will also get to smear frosting all over his face!

We have more pics of and stories about the fun family visit and will post them in the next few days. Be on the lookout for part two, coming soon to a computer near you!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Better Late Than Never!

Yes, we're really behind on posting this last picture from Ethan's one-month photo shoot. You know what they say, though... good things come to those who wait. Those eyes! That hair! The sweet little cleft in his chin! We're so enamored with our little man, and (like all parents, we suppose) happen to think he's such a handsome baby boy.

Don't I look all grown up? Thanks for the big boy shirt, Aunt Mary!

Of course, he's not sitting up on his own yet, but with careful incognito off-camera propping by Mommy, and Daddy's quick shutter finger, it appears as though he can!

We had a great time with Grandpa Emerson last weekend! We started the visit by "breaking into" his hotel room to set up several framed pictures of Ethan and leave a special snack. Grandpa arrived so late that he wasn't able to see his little buddy in person on Friday, so we figured some pictures scattered around would be the next best thing. While in his room on the eighth story, a 4.0 earthquake struck, pretty much centered directly below the hotel. We've felt lots of earthquakes before, but it's a different story when the quake is so close and you're up so high! In accordance with tradition, we had a wonderful breakfast at a rustic, bear-themed diner on Saturday morning, the site of Ethan's first restaurant experience. We took a walk to the park, spent a lot of time eliciting cute little baby smiles, and made sure that Grandpa had plenty of quality cuddling time. We also worked in a quick photo shoot. Here are some of the highlights (click on picture to view in larger size):

Grandma and Grandpa Ventura arrive for a visit tomorrow, and Aunt Kelly is soon to follow. We're so excited about their visits and can't wait to introduce them to our sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Tribute to Dr. Kaplan

Sarah had her last post-baby checkup appointment today with the most amazing OB in the world, Dr. Alan Kaplan. At the end of the appointment she shared pictures of Ethan and taught Dr. Kaplan all about baby blogging. Feeling a bit remiss for not having more classic Kaplan anecdotes in our blog postings, Sarah promised to write a proper tribute to our favorite doctor.

Dr. Kaplan put us at ease from the moment we walked into his office. Being that this was our first pregnancy, we were a bit nervous and neurotic (and let's face it... by we, we really mean Sarah). Dr. Kaplan not only took all of our questions in stride, but also put a spin of humor on everything. His laid-back attitude and East Coast sarcastic personality made each of our visits entertaining as well as informative and reassuring, a combination that is very rare to find in a physician. He always listened to all of our concerns and questions, and never made us feel rushed or as though we were wasting his time. In fact, we quite often spent a few minutes after each appointment chatting about Ryan's photography or Dr. Kaplan's fishing vacation. For all of the fun we had at our appointments, it was never at the expense of top-rate care. We trusted him implicitly, and from our scare with placenta previa to Ethan's eventful delivery, we knew we were always in the very best hands. Thanks, Dr. Kaplan, for bringing our beautiful baby boy into this world safe and sound (and keeping us sane through the entire experience)!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our Big, Big Boy!

Ethan had a pediatrician appointment today, and has definitely grown a lot since birth. He now weighs 12 lbs. 13 oz. and is 23.5 inches long. That's exactly four pounds and two inches more than he was when he entered this world! The doctor assured us that not only is this much growth okay, it's a really good thing. Sarah did some quick math, however, and determined that if he keeps growing at this rate, we'll have a one-year-old that weighs over fifty pounds and stands almost four feet tall! Thankfully, his growth will not continue in such outrageous spurts... and if it does we'll at least have the privilege of calling Guniness to see if he qualifies for a world record.

In other growth and development news, Ethan is continuing to build his strength and is doing really well with supporting his own head. While he's not able to consistently master this skill, he's certainly spending a lot of time practicing. He also is able to roll onto his side and has discovered his hands and feet. He enjoys toys now, especially rattles and anything with flashing lights. The most exciting new skill of all - he is smiling! He's smiled here and there for the past couple of weeks, but he's now deliberately smiling as a reaction to things (and people!) that he likes. It's such a heartwarming thing to see!

Speaking of heartwarming things to see, here's another pic from Ethan's one month photo shoot. We have a few more, and will post them soon. The round two photo shoot attempt was much more successful than the first, thank goodness!

We're getting really excited for Grandpa Emerson's visit this weekend, and will soon be counting down the days until Grandma & Grandpa Ventura and Aunt Kelly arrive! It's hard to be so far away from our families, and we feel very thankful that so many people have been able to come out for a visit!