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To Calvin, who is three months old today

It is hard to believe that another month has passed us by.  In the past month you have grown so much and in so many ways!  Physically you have gotten much bigger and stronger.  You are now just shy of fifteen pounds and twenty-five inches!  You regulary push yourself up on your hands while on your tummy now, can sit up with minimal assistance, and will pull yourself into a standing position while holding onto our hands.  But it is your mental growth that continues to catch us off guard and awe and amaze us.  Over the past month you have become far more involved with the world around you.  You no longer just stare at your toys, now you talk to them, bat at and grab them, and put them in your mouth.  You also have favorites, like the yellow giraffe, the blue elephant, Baby Whoozit, and, definitely, The Bear!  You also have favorite games that you like to play, like "fly Baby Calvin, fly!"  Of course, having favorites means that you are beginning to remember, and it has been a wonderful gift to see your face light up with the smiles of recognition!  Another delightful gift that you have given us has been the gift of your conversation.  Your coos and gurgles have become more varied and expressive, and you love to converse, not just with us but also with the dogs and with your toys.  It has been an exhausting month of amazing growth for all of us, so it's a good thing that you made one final accomplishment in the last two weeks - sleeping through the night!  We'll say it again (and probably again), we love you more every day.



Getting on up there in days

Calvin turned 91 days old today, that also being 13 weeks, or one day shy of 3 months.  To mark the occasion we took more comparison shots.  By our estimate (using a scale that measures to the tenth of a pound, and a measuring tape from our sewing box) he is 14.3 pounds and 24.75 inches.  Since he doesn't have a doctor appointment until October we won't be able to verify that, but we do know that he is growing.  We think you can even see his mental growth in these pictures (these days, smiles and thumb sucking as opposed to sleeping or blank stares).

2 weeks     vs.     8 weeks     vs.     13 weeks 

swing1too.jpg swing2too.jpg swing3too.jpg






3 days    vs.     7 weeks      vs.     13 weeks 

carseat1too.jpg carseat2too.jpg carseat3too.jpg


Where's the remote?


Hmmm....can't seem to find the game on this TV.

wheresmybeer.jpgHey, can you get me a bottle while you're up?  (or maybe he's just trying to show off how he can sit up a little)



We were enjoying a casual Labor Day visit to the Detroit Zoo today with Jon's parents and sister when we stumbled upon a correspondent and a cameraman from FOX2 News. The news that they delivered was quite the surprise: Steve Irwin, the famous Crocodile Hunter, had died in a freak accident with a stingray in Australia. The informant's delivery was a bit over the top; as we approached him he turned to his cameraman and asked "should we tell them?" Then he seemed to grapple with the decision over whether or not he should be the one to break our hearts. Ultimately he broke down and, deeply saddened by the weight of the secret he had been carrying, he apologized for being the bearer of bad news and told us that "the beloved Crocodile Hunter" had died. The delivery was so sappy, in fact, that we found ourselves asking "Is this a joke?" No, it was the real thing and they were collecting reactions from zoogoers for the evening news. So we were interviewed, Cortney trying to look sad while still laughing over the news man's tragicomic acting and Jon doing a much better job of expressing concern for the man's family. When our interviews were over we turned to go and, as we did so, overheard the newsman reading his card and practicing to record his opener "what's the man's name again? Steve. Steve Irwin. Irwin. Irwin. Right, let's do this." It was clear testimony to America's create-a-tragedy-if-you-have-to attitude about the news. At the same time, we can't really point fingers. Since The Crocodile Hunter, appealing mainly to the younger generations, didn't air until the second half of 1996 when we were already well into our teens, neither of us watched it and neither of us will miss him, making our own interview reactions a bit forced. That being said, we do feel sorry for his wife and his two children. 

The rest of the visit proved to be a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend the holiday - in the great out of doors with animals and family. Like his Friday visit, Calvin continued to spend more time awake than he did on his very first zoo trip. He even seemed to watch the otters play. And we could not have been more pleased to see the old friends Capybara and Pudu together again after a habitat refurbishment. Until next time, this is Jon and Cortney Ophoff, FOX2 News.


The season opener

Today we celebrated the opening day of Michigan football season with a great tailgate, a mediocre game, and a great after game party.  calvinsfirsttailgate.jpgThe tailgate was Calvin's first, of course.  We did our usual - park for free and walk about a mile - and on our way to the tailgate itself we were remembering that it was during last year's football season that we first found out we were expecting Calvin (or, actually, Raspberry).  We remember thinking back then about the day we would be pushing a stroller to our favorite pre-game destination, with the caveat "as long as nothing goes wrong."  June seemed so far away back then!  Thinking about the excitement and constant uncertainty of that time made us remember again how blessed we are to have Calvin.  It also made us remember the shaky football team of last season and we were hoping to be able to put that source of uncertainty behind us as well, but now we're not so sure.  But whether the win was shaky or not, both the pre and post game parties were a blast.  Calvin spent a lot of time sprawled in other people's arms and we spent a lot of time eating.  fourbabies.jpgThe post game party was, in some ways, a rehash of last weekend's barbecue and we blissfully found ourselves once again in the company of other young families and babies.  Some of those babies were a little more fuzzy than others, but we won't split hairs (insert groan here).