Thursday, October 05, 2006


Lots and Lots of News

Firstly, we are moving.
Secondly, Nathaniel picked out lunch for us on Monday. We had Pastaroni Shells and White Cheddar, and Generic Brand Blueberry Muffin Mix. It was delicious. Thank you Nathaniel.

But the biggest news!!! We think we have a first word!!!
His word is "Meh!" If repeated it is "Mem."
It means "I want that!"
It is being used consistently to mean the same thing. I think it counts.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Long time no update

I have not posted here anywhere near often enough.
We have running.
We have tickling.
We have mimicking mommy and daddy's actions.
We have shaking our head enthusiastically when we know we are doing something we shouldn't.
We now also have two of our back teeth coming in.

He is taking it very well. A little crankier than standard at bedtime. A willingness to eat frozen vegetables. A fondness for icecream. Okay, maybe one of these will not go away when teething is over.
He is also sleeping through the night more often, and eating solid foods as a larger percentage of his diet.
He had his first taco today. It was softshell. He ate the inside out and left the lettuce and tortilla shell.
It is very odd. Somewhere along the line we stopped having a baby and started having a little boy.
It is undeniable now. We have a little boy.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Out and About

Nathaniel has been growing like a weed. He walks with confidence now. He sits down in chairs (that are the appropriate height) by himself. He holds our hand walking across the parking lot. He hands us his shoes when he wants to go out. He may not be talking yet, but he is clearly making himself understood.

Today was a first. Nathaniel told us he wanted to go out for a drive. More to the point, he handed us his shoes. Then he walked over to the door. (He did not wait for us to put his shoes on him before heading to the door, but still...) Once the door was open, he walked up the stairs himself. He waited for one of us to hold his hand before venturing into the parking lot. He charged straight to our car without distraction, reaching his hands out toward the back seat for the last few steps, very happy. Once he was loaded in and the car was started up, he was happy and bobbing, and making laughing cooing noises in the back seat. It was very clear that he had wanted to go on a car trip and was delighted to have gotten what he wanted.
We took him to Wal-Mart. While there he walked around happily. He pushed the cart. More to the point, he chose a chair. A toddler height chair of his very own. He had been very happily sitting down in his booster chair that his Grandma Marjie gave him, whether he was hungry or not, simply for the joy of sitting in a chair. We felt it was time to get him a chair of his own. We let him pick it out.
Then we took him home. He was tired enough that he was carried back to the car... Or maybe too hyper and so being carried so as not to run in front of other people's carts. When we got home he walked down the flight of stairs. This was a first. He had climbed up the stairs on his own many times, but only ever down two or three steps. This time he climbed down the whole flight. Sixteen steps. The first half he took clinging to his father's hand and his father's pant leg simultaneously. The second half he let go, deliberately, of his father and instead held onto the vertical bars of the banister rail. He made it down the rest of the way smoothly on his own. When he got home he pulled a banana that we had just purchased out of our shopping bag and began waving it at people until someone agreed to peel it for him. Then he sat in his high chair (we did have to put him in ourselves) to eat it. Once he was done, we released him, and he happily went to sit in his new cushy chair.

So that was the outing. Many of these things Nathaniel had done individually, but this was the first time he ever did them all in a row, sequentially. Our baby it growing up. Whoa, baby.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Birthday extraviganza

Nathaniel celebrated his one year birthday yesterday.

It is hard to believe that it has been a year already.

We took lots of photos and a movie also.

The movie is huge, even severly edited. (58 MB)

Please watch it, as I feel it is worth it, however it would probably be best if you clicked to save it to your own computer and then watched it there.

A friend who has lots of webspace has agreed to host the movie for us, but not forever...

So one month.

You have one month to watch the movie, download the movie, share the movie with friends.

It is just over 8 minutes long, and the points where the images speed up and slow down are deliberate.



(Also here are the photos we took of Nathaniel eating cake)

Click on the little image tomake it bigger.


Saturday, April 22, 2006



We have steps!!!
Two of them!
He was standing, holding onto the computer chair.
I was kneeling in front of him, making faces.
He let go and took two steps toward me.
I scooped him up so fast, I doubt he even realized that he had done something special.
Despite prompting, he has not repeated the trick yet.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Tuesday, the Concert

Nathaniel went to see his first concert last night. Ball in the House was performing at the auditorium at Mars Hill College, about a half hour outside of Asheville. The whole family are big fans and the concert was going to be within the scope of Nathaniel's bedtime, so off we went.
He did very well. Sometimes he ate. Sometimes he jumped. Sometimes he crawled from chair to chair, over Mom and Dad and Uncle Brandon. Often he played peek-a-boo with the family sitting in back of us. But over all, he behaved beautifully. At the end of the concert, when the band came out to say hello and sign autographs, the bassist played peek-a-boo with Nathaniel as well. Other band members complimented his dancing, saying that they could see him from the stage. It was great.
FYI: Ball in the House is an a cappella group (this means no instruments, only voices) consisting of five men. They sing a wide range of songs, include some they wrote themselves, which is less common for a cappella groups. During the concert, in addition to their own work, they also sang some classics, such as Suspicion, Rockin' Robin, and I Don't Want To Be. They were amazing. The evening was great. You can find their website at:


The Playground

Monday was a bright and beautiful day. So beautiful that Ben and I decided to take Nathaniel out to the playground. (The playground is maybe 75 ft from the door to our apartment.)
Ben took him out first while I grabbed shoes and keys, and turned out the lights. I step outside to see, not Nathaniel being carried to the playground, but Nathaniel crawling through the grass TO the playground, with Dad standing maybe five feet in front of him, prompting.
He had started maybe 15 ft from our front door. He crawled all the way to the mulch that lined the playground floor. I was sooo impressed. Then we took him up on the smaller of the two slides. Dad held him the whole way. (The slide is maybe 3 ft long, and also 3 ft wide.) I waited at the bottom to catch him. He seemed okay with it. He seemed he might even be beginning to enjoy it. Then we tried a run where Ben was not holding him, and I picked him up only about half way down. That was too much. He didn't want this game anymore. So we took him back to the grass. He was happy.
The peak of the playground trip (after the handful of mulch from the playground,) was the dandelion blossoms. He tried for about a minute straight to pick one up, then once he did, BANG, straight into his mouth. Then out again and shredded. It was great fun to watch. I think it was great fun for him as well. Summer is going to be a blast.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


New Photo-ish-ness

I have been trying to take photos of Nathaniel.
The newest ones are never coming out well.
So have some videos instead.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006



Friday we gave Nathaniel some Cheerios. He loved them. So much so, that now, he won't eat anything else. He'll grab a handful and try to get them into his mouth without opening his fist.

It's a few days later now, and we're slowly getting him to eat other foods. A few bites of this or that before going back to more Cheerios. Today he's got Beech-Nut brand diced chicken bites in one hand, and a molded plastic baby spoon in the other (one of those with the short, curved handle). Since he likes to put the spoon in his mouth, you can actually put food on the spoon, and he'll put it in his mouth.

...Of course, he'll probably spit it back out again.

...especially if it's not a Cheerio.

Saturday, March 04, 2006



It was quite a whirlwind trip. A seven hour drive to Virginia, and then another seven to New York City, to see Natalie, his second cousin once removed, who showed us all over the city. At almost 9 months old, Nathaniel got to see the view from the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, the WTC site... It was very cold in NYC, so Nathaniel was bundled up in his poofy blue snowsuit.

He had just gotten in his top two front teeth, and spent most of his time in the city sticking his tounge in and out like a snake. It was so cute, it was contagious. We had subway cars full of New Yorkers grinning and sticking their tongues out at Nathaniel. The city will never be the same. Apparently it runs in the family (Cousin Emma sticks out her tongue too!)

We then drove on to Cape Cod to stay with Grandma Barb, Grandpa Jim, and Great Grandma Vee. I'll get some photos of the stay there soon.

On to Millers Falls, MA to visit Mom and Dad's friends George and Gretchen (and their two monster cats -- Nathaniel played nicely with the cats). While in the area we went to visit the Magic Wings butterfly museum. The photos on their website really don't do justice to the sheer number of butterflies in that greenhouse. If you're in the area, it's definetely worth the trip.

Back homeward again, we stopped by Peaks of Otter on the last night of the trip. This time of year, the lodge is nearly deserted. We just about had the place to ourselves. Nathaniel was a hit with the staff.

We finally made it home Wednesday night. After unloading the car, rather than fixing dinner, we got back in the car (!) and went to eat at Michales, a local restaurant, where the waiter told us that Nathaiel wins the award for the best behaved baby.

All in all, we had lots of fun. It's too bad all these great people have to live so far apart. Still, it's good to be back home.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


New Tooth

While Nathaniel and Mom are both still sick with a cold, as of this morning, it is official...
Nathaniel has cut his 3rd tooth. It is just through the gum line now. I expect the fourth to follow within the week.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


"Pick me up"

While Nathaniel isn't yet speaking English, when he wants to say something, it's usually pretty clear. He will crawl over to me, and, kneeling on my feet, grab a couple of big handfulls of my pantlegs and pull himself up to standing. He then reaches up again, and tries to pull himself up even higher.

He knows what he wants, and usually makes that sure we do too.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Mmmmm.... Pbbthbth!

Two days ago, Nathaniel realized that we smiled at him when he said "Mmmm" after every bite of peas and cereal . It really was quite cute. Yesterday it had sort of evolved into a growl after every bite. Today it's more like blowing a raspberry. Not nearly so cute. It's actually a rather messy thing to do immediately after taking a bite of rice cereal mixed with mashed peas.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Nathaniel Favorite Game

Today while Brandon was holding Nathaniel, I handed Nathaniel a small cloth bag for him to play with. Rather than reaching out for it, he leaned forward and grabbed it with his mouth. He looked rather silly holding a bag in his mouth, so I grinned at him. Nathaniel grinned back, and dropped the bag. I managed to catch the bag before it hit the ground. Nathaniel thought that was pretty funny. I gave it back to him. He held it in his teeth (both of them) for a moment, watching me, and then spit it out: "Bwah!"

We proceded to play this game of catch for quite a few rounds, with Nathaniel spitting out the bag, Brandon holding him, and me catching the bag, followed by Nathaniel then laughing heartily, and Brandon and I grinning till our jaws hurt.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Butternut Squash

Today at lunch, we fed Nathaniel a jar of "Butternut Squash" baby food. He was suspicious at first, but after tasting it, he kept opening his mouth for more.

This evening, at dinnertime, we sat him down as usual to eat his oatmeal. He was ready to go! As soon as he was in his high chair, his mouth was open, waiting for that great new food. Boy was he surprised when he got a big mouthful of oatmeal instead. He spat out as much as he could, and started crying angrily. How could we trick him so!

After a few unhappy spoonfuls of oatmeal mixed with the squash, we ended up switching to squash altogether. With his lips pursed tightly closed, he eyed the spoonful of yellow mush suspiciously before deciding to try it.

Now he's happily eating again.


The Little Boy and His Great Big Wail

Once upon a time, there was a young boy with an enormous wail. The boy’s name was Nathaniel. The wail didn’t have a name.

When the wail showed up in Nathaniel’s house, his parents said, “No! This is a very small house. There’s no room for you, wail.” But the wail liked Nathaniel, and Nathaniel liked his wail. The wail had nowhere else to go, so Mom and Dad just had to make room.

The wail followed Nathaniel everywhere he went. The wail was there in the car when Nathaniel rode in his car seat. The wail went shopping with the family when Nathaniel was riding in the shopping cart. The wail sat at the table with the family when Nathaniel was sitting in his high chair.

But when Nathaniel fell asleep, the wail vanished!

…And the sleeping boy dreamed of swimming in the ocean all night with his whale.

The End.
Story ©2006 Ben Kershner

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