Dash - Fall 07

What's New? Events Archives Galleries Special Moments Dash Timeline Babbles

Archives 1-2-3 Archives 3-2-1

Dash - Birthday
Dash's 1st Month
Dash - 1st 6 Months
Dash Sits and Crawls
Dash Walks
Summer 07
Dash - Fall 07
Dash - Spring 08
Dash - 08 Oct
Dash - 08 Nov
Dash 09 Spring
Dash 10 Summer
Dash 11 Oct
Dash 2012
Dash 2013

Sunday Night, 9/30/07:


I was feeling a little overwhelmed Friday and Saturday with work, some projects that aren't getting done, and a growing list of household projects building up.  The Gators losing of course didn't help.  Was thinking that I should work all day.

Had a better idea: "don't postpone joy."  That's a good saying.  So we bought some passes to Legoland and finally made the trip 20 miles north.  I knew it'd be a good park for Dash, as it pretty much has little purpose other than entertaining 2 to 10 year olds.  Leigh was surprised by the size of it and the amount of rides and entertainments for the boy.  I was pleased by her enthusiasm.  Dash, of course, enjoyed it a lot (I have to say Disney World was his favorite by far.  He enjoys the zoo and Sea World, but he loved Disney (the characters in particular).  To the right is him in the pumpkin patch (I cropped out the giant Lego pumpkin).  


"Dash, do you want to drive the Jeep?"

He give a curt nod and a "Yeah" rather matter-of-factly.  

Half an hour later (slow line, but they're smart: lego play tables for the kids to play with while a parent waits in line) he's at the wheel.  

He also steered boats and made an airplane ride go up and down and a bunch of other things.

Fun for all and a nice change of pace from Sea World and the zoo.  Have a lot more to see there but it lacks the extreme convenience of Sea World or the zoo.  We'll go back soon enough.

After his nap and a Chargers loss we went down to the bay to ride his tricycle and fly his kites.  The wind was strong, like it is every afternoon and we did some real flying (last time was earnest but shaky).  This time we had a turtle maybe 75 feet up or higher.  Had to rescue the string from a few trees.  He rode his bike some.  

Dash is not afraid to help himself to other people's goodies.  There were some cute twin 30-month-old boys with a lot of loot (balls and tees) lying around to tempt him.  Dash grabbed a bat and ball, starting a minor ruckus when the owner immediately laid claim.  I successfully distracted Milo with the turtle kite which set off Riguez.  After running to the truck to get the snake kite for Riguez a semblance of shaky order was restored.  I guess the key is to have more objects than available hands.  Another fun half hour.

So, a very fun, nice day.  All else being the same, don't postpone the good stuff.  The work will get done eventually.

Tuesday Night 10/2/07:

Couple comments from the boy:

Entering the house, I was asking him (sometimes he prefers one, sometimes the other) "Are you my little baby?  Are you my big boy? Or are you my little baby?"  He says "Son.  Son."  I guess we're entering the "wisdom from the mouth of babes" phase.  Very interesting and amusing and sometimes profound associations in that little mind.

Mama is up in Orange County tonight.  She called after dinner and before his bath.  I put her on speakerphone.  Those of you who have tried to talk to Dash on the phone know that he doesn't quite get the whole "phone thing."  After a couple of "Hello Dash"s, Dash volunteered, with no prompting on my part "I love you, momma."  He can be very sweet.

Now as an ex non-parent, I do remember how pointless and irrelevant these syllables-by-syllable seemed at the time.  But that was then, this is now.  It's really cool how this little being who has been physically functional for some time and mentally cognizant for a shorter time is becoming conversationally interactive.  Not only is he is own little person but now becoming a little person who can share his ideas and views of things.

Tuesday Night 10/23/07:

Dash had his second birthday.  He's so big.  I'll post some pictures.  Grandma Martin is out here.  


We've extended her stay until Saturday so that she can babysit Dash as the DayCare is closed due to the fires.  We're fine, the air is dusty, but we're about as safe as possible.  Dash and Grandma are getting along fabulously and we're very appreciative. 


More later.  Stay tuned for pix.

10/24/07: click for bigger:

10/27/07, Saturday evening.  

All week Grandma Martin watched Dash.  Yesterday afternoon we all went to the pumpkin patch again.  Alex and Marisa met us there.  In addition to the adult-assisted big slide, the boys went up the medium-big slide by themselves, I'll have to post pictures.  They had fun on all the rides.  

Dropped Grandma off at the airport, sad.  We then went to Legoland which had nice short lines.  Dash went on a helicopter, airplane, boat and jeep (rides).  

I'm just putting this one in cuz I'll forget if I don't:  Dash has a book from Grandma that he's like for some time with a Halloween theme.  At one point he'd point out the mummy and emphasize, drawing it out with great care "Muuuummmie."  And the he'd point to mommy and say "Maahhmie."  I'd tap a finger on his chest and say "Dash Potaaaaaaatoooh" he'd giggle.  We still do that occasionally, but it's trailing off.  Had to write it down before it passes away in memory....



I have a lot of good shots of the small Halloween get-together we hosted last weekend.  Just no time to collate and post.  As usual, the only reason I was able to post this shot is that I couldn't resist making it the background of my computer desktop.

Dash was a little under the weather this weekend, fussier than normal.  Can't blame the teeth as they're all in.

He's starting to try to sing a little.  The "I'm bringing home a baby bubblebee" song and the alphabet song.  A long ways to go, but it's cute when he tries.  Of course, his first attempt at a full sentence was after the Orlando trip with "No more monkeys [jumping on the bed]."

Gotta go back to work...

Click for bigger

Thursday Night, 11/8/07

Was heading to better, feeling that I was forgetting something.  Oh yeah, gotta write down the cutey stuff he's doing so that I don't forget (I am finding that things are starting to blur as there is so much going so far back).

One of the great things about being a dad, getting to do those childish things again.  It makes those things that were so much fun as a child fun as an adult.  Without Dash I'm not sure I'd want to go to the zoo and sea world and now Legoland every week.  I like the Air and Space Museum here but Dash really likes it, so that makes it that much more exciting for me.

Take carving pumpkins for example.  Leigh had been suggesting it for years but I never had the slightest interest.  This year I thought it would be interesting to see Dash's reaction.  So we carved a pumpkin, the first I had done in perhaps thirty years (it is so freaky to say "thirty years ago, I...").  I wasn't particularly good at it, but Dash thought it was really cool when we lit it and turned the lights out.  Which made the whole thing very special.  Next year: lots of Jack O' Lanterns.

Yesterday picking up Dash from DayCare, Ms.  Yaya (there are two of them. (!) (?)) engages a conversation with Dash:

Ms. Yaya: What's your name?

Dash:  Dash.

Ms. Yaya: What's your full name?

Dash: Dashel Martin.

Ms. Yaya: Where do you live?

Dash:  San Diego.

He can count to twelve but scrambles the teens.  He can pretty much go through the ABC song, though he'll miss one or two.  It's really cute when he sings.  I really like when he says "Yeeeaay."  It's a pure innocent expression of joy.

As all parents know: all babies love to run around naked.  Dash is no exception and has been delighting in running around naked probably since he could run around.  What's made it a lot of fun lately is that when he's running around naked he now yells "I'm running around naked" at the top of his lungs the whole time.  Not that we're not exclaiming "Oh my! He's RUNNING AROUND NAKED!"  Great fun.  Every night.  Before and after every bath.  Like clockwork, but still a lot of fun.  I

Tuesday Night, 11/13/07

Dash got his first look through the telescope tonight (the moon).  Remind me to talk about his pacifier and how we cut the tip and his reaction.

We were reading an ABC book and the letter J came up.

I said "Do you know Daddy's name?"

He says "Jeff."

For the next 10 minutes (until nite-nite) he would look back over his shoulder and say "Hello, Jeff" like he was in on some big secret.


Monday Night, 11/12/07

One fun thing about talking toddlers is the surprise you get from there lack of context-sensitivity.  Things that are very different get treated identically.  The obvious is stated as informative.  Lots of funnies.

Saturday morning Dash was sitting on my thigh as I was eating breakfast.  Dash starts pointing and describing:

Daddy's whiskers.

Daddy's face.

Daddy's nose.

Daddy's boogers.

Like they were any permanent body part.  I laughed hard.  and the at first chance ran to a mirror.

We have sliding closed doors that he's been walking behind since he learned to walk.  Good place for peek-a-boo.  Sunday morning as he was disappearing behind his closet doors he says "I'll be right back."  

Sunday Night, 11/25/07

Aunt Joanna spent almost a week with us. Babysat Dash Monday and Tuesday.  Legoland Friday.  Lots of fun for all.  Got along fabulously with the boy.  Left early Saturday morning (boo).

I took Dash shopping with me (as long as I'm babysitting, let's do some errands...).  It was three hours on Saturday and two today.  I enjoyed it immensely.  I was getting some running shoes, Dash was pushing boxes all over the store.  It takes longer to shop, but it definitely makes it more fun...

Dash is very sweet about kissing boo-boos (some might call him a necrosophile).  I banged my big toe when I was setting up the Murphy Bed four weeks ago and there's one of those black pools under the nail.  I can't go barefoot for fear of Dash tackling me and kissing it.  They do believe it helps, don't they?

This morning Kili had a limp, a bite(?) on his front paw.

  "Dash, Kili is hurt, so don't chase him or be mean to him. Okay?  He's hurt."

"I need to give him a kiss."

"That might frighten him right now. So we better not."

"Can I give him a hug?"

We settled for a gentle pat on the head.


I left the redeyes in this shot, cuz it matches his shirt (click on it for bigger).

Okay, the pacifier story:

Now, like all toddlers, crying is a major component of how Dash expresses his displeasure and how he asserts his will.  He can be quite dramatic.  To cope you have to get a little numb to the whole thing.

There are times, however, when he's truly upset and it gets to ya.

One technique in breaking the pacifier habit is to cut off the tip and gradually cut it shorter until it provides no satisfaction.

I wasn't even around for it, but it still makes me sad.  I cut the pacifier tip, but Leigh put him down that night.  Apparently he was genuinely distraught and kept fingering the hole, saying to mommy "Fix it, fix it."  Forlorn and feeling the loss (like a lost pet).  And the trust that we could (and would) fix it.

Clearly it was the right thing to do, he'll thank us when he's older, and he's probably already forgotten his shock and aw.  But it's tough not to feel guilty that he trusted us as guardians of his battery of pacifiers, and we deliberately damaged them.  

Follow up: he never really sucked it after that but he still likes to play with while falling asleep.

The picture below is not really all that good, but it strikes me that he might look like that in a few years (much like this shot foreshadowed his current look).  It also has the Moon and Jupiter visible...



Dash is becoming Fast as Lightning, too fast for even the camera...   --->


12/1/07: The other day I heard those three words that daddies yearn to hear most from the moment they hear they're going to be daddies:  "wanna play catch?"  It consisted of sitting down, legs wide, and rolling a ball back and forth, but, hey, he initiated it.  You can see he's moving from the "parallel play" stage to planned interaction.  Daycare certainly has it socializing benefits.

12/3/07.  The more I love my son, the more I miss my dad...

Recent Web Updates

Why's he look so grown up?

Picking up Dash from daycare, I thought to myself as he was dashing to the car, "Dang he looks so grown up."  It took me a couple of days to figure it out: we was running with his hands down around his waist, as opposed to flapping up around his shoulders.  It makes a big difference.

Pee Wee's Big Adventure

A couple of Saturdays ago, Mom was feeling under the weather.  I was going to take Dash to the AeroSpace Museum and was headed there when I realized that we weren't going to make it on time.  

"Hey, Dash, do you want to take a ride on the trolley?" 


"There's a tunnel.  Do you want to ride in the tunnel?" He likes the "Would you, could you, in the dark" part of Green Eggs and Ham.


We boarded the trolley at it's eastern end.  I forgot how far it was to the SDSU station where we'd do our turnaround.  We had to go past an at-grade crossing, a golf course, two big shopping malls, housing, Qualcomm Stadium (with a football game going on and a big paintball tournament in the parking lot), and a long bridge over the highway.  All this prior to the tunnel.

Lots of wide eyes and hobnobbing in the train (women feel compelled to flirt with Dash), through the tunnel, out and about in the underground station at SDSU.

Very fun.

On the way back, as we were slowing into the Qualcomm station:

"Dash, you wanna get out and walk around?"


Big, high trolley station, lots of concrete leading to a big giant concrete stadium in a big asphalt parking lot.  Impressive to a two-year-old, for sure.  He's in my left arm as I'm pointing and yakking.  

"Hey, look, Dash.  That plane passing over the stadium is dropping streamers, which they use to tell which way the wind is blowing: for parachuters!"

After walking around for a while, it was clear that we'd have to wait half a quarter until halftime.  

"Do you want to go inside?"


As we get in and wander around we finally get to our seats with the game underway.  Dash has that look on his face, that rare one where you can tell he's just thrilled.  I was thinking "Ah, my boy at his first football game, loving it."  Upon closer inspection he was paying no attention to the game: we was delighted to have his own seat.  Just like the seat I was in and the seat next to him and the seat next to it and so on...  He spent the next five minutes rolling from one seat to the next with a big smile.  Running around the aisles and the corridors and the stair ramps seemed to be the highlight for him.  Even the five parachuters (the "Blackwater parachute team (which I find disturbing)), while appreciated, didn't seem to have the impact those seats did.

Cold, dark, a short trolley ride home.

A nice surprise from a repeat visit to the Aerospace Museum...

2007 in Review

Thanks to everybody who sent "Year End" letters and email.  Thanks for keeping in touch.

I've been spending lots of time lately trying to get photos and videos organized.  I should put in a a big summary of the year, but I hear the bed calling me.  So no summary, just this long-running narration.

2007 included all the typical highlights for toddlers in their second year, which, frankly, made it a great year in my mind.

It makes long reading, but I'm glad I kept track of those little things like lately he's on more than one occasion said "I'm a big man," something I'd have surely forgotten.  The fact that he really got a kick out of "Little Bunny Fufu" the first time I sang it to him.

Note the Santa shot to the right.  Remember last year?

One advantage of this web thing is the slow incremental pace of it allows including moments/milestones that you couldn't or (shouldn't) include in a news letter.

I like the shot to the right, captures Flirty Dash.

My favorite "pictures" that stick in my mind are those big-big-grin Dashes, running on the beach into the water with a really long start (like a cricket pitcher), running around after and before his cousins in Florida, laughing in Eyeore's parade at Disney world.

"Traditional Highlights" include the trip to Florida and the trip to Traverse City, Michigan and visits from Grandma M and Grandma and Grandpa Stokes, and Aunt JoJo.

Finally, over six months late, I posted photos from the Orlando Trip.


And finally posted: Traverse City 2007

2/7/08 - Good grief, it's been a while...

I remember being largely overwhelmed by Dash the newborn.  And then once he was four weeks old, he started smiling.  I knew then that it would all be all right.  While I've enjoyed all the little milestones over the next two years, I have to rate Dash being able to talk (well!) as a milestone of about the same magnitude.  It's just an absolute blast.  It's so interesting him being able to express what's going on in his head.  It amazes me that after being alive for just two years that brains can handle so much abstract stuff like language and all sorts of concepts.  It's been such an amazing privilege to be able watch a baby develop into a person (and him laughing most of the time while doing it).

I'm afraid I've failed to capture so much of what he's been saying.  Stuff like "Mehdi gave me this book." "We didn't go outside today because it was windy and raining." Waking up after the babysitter the night before "I had fun with Ms. Connie last night."  The other night at the end of the Harold's Circus book, after Harold drew the audience Dash started pointing out the audience members: "Dash and Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa and Grandma."  

"I want the Diapers with Circles on it."  I can't tell if he's being discriminating or whether he's just being manipulative, not accepting the diapers with squares on them.

We all flew to Oakland for a weekend.  Dash was awake on the plane both ways and seemed to be "aware" more than he had been on previous trips.  Fun stuff.

Discipline has become something of an issue as his TimeOuts have become a game to him.  I had to spank him once (for hitting the cat and biting).  Haven't had to spank him since.  


He's singing a lot which is such as joyous thing.  I do believe that if there is indeed a heaven the winged babies are a-singing.  

Monday, February 12, 2008

Have to relay this conversation Sunday morning.  Dash was stirring.  Leigh and I were anxious to get in and talk to him (we were out (separately) the night before.  Leigh says to me "I love it when the first thing he says after a babysitter night is 'I had fun with Ms. Connie last night' (or whoever babysat him (actually his teacher Miss Yaya sat last time and he still woke up and said 'I had fun with Ms. Connie last night')).

We get in. 

"Hi Mommy, hi Daddy.  I had fun with Ms. Connie last night.

"Daddy, did you look at the stars last night?"  "Yes."  "With your friends?"  "Yes."

"Mommy, did you go shopping last night?" "Yes."

Grabbing her head (to show seriousness, I guess): "Did you get me a toy?" "No, honey, I didn't."

No matter.  Before putting down his stuffed polar bear "I love you, polar bear."

He picked up Andrew, "I love you, teddy bear."

He pick up Molly, his lamb, "I love you, yamb" (he still can't do his "L's").

And finally the last critter in his crib "I love you, teddy bear."

What a sweetie.

We did have to point out his oversight, though  "What about Mommy and Daddy?" to get in the list...

Dash rode his first roller coaster Saturday with Leigh, Lonnie and me at Legoland.  I guess I'm very proud, even though it's really irrelevant.  He was very brave. I'll let him initiate next time, as I don't want to overwhelm him.  

Sunday we went to SeaWorld with Lonnie and Cheryl.  Very fun weekend after a week where Leigh and I weren't with him together due to business travel.


Happy Valentine's Day! 

(click for bigger).


He asks me 

"Did you eat all of my chocolate?"  

"I had two pieces."  

"You're in trouble."  

"It was over a week ago!"



2/23/08: A sad day in the Father/Son relationship (one I knew would come):

Driving home from Day Care:

"Hi, Dash Potato!"

"No 'Dash Potato.'  Only 'Dash.'"


"No 'Dash Potato.'  Only 'Dash.'"

I figured I'd get a few more years out of it.  He isn't real consistent about it, but the Dash Potato days are numbered...

Click for bigger

Smart kid.  I couldn't understand him last week when he was talking about the "Incredibles" movie.  I broke it down into In  cre di bulls for him and he picked it up right away.  This morning he asked about the Incredibles movie and again I had no idea what he was saying.  I said "what?".  He said "In  cre di bulls" exactly the way we practiced we practiced it the previous week.  I mean exactly.  It was uncanny the way he mimicked it.

On other fronts, he's been getting more manipulative and throwing bigger fits.  Everything has to be "the blue cop" or the diapers with circles on it, not squares.  Most often very loveable, of course.

Back Up Next