Nothing brings me more joy right now than to see my son Ryan laugh or giggle.

As any parent will tell you, a baby at first shows no outward signs of happiness or levity. Smiling starts to come at about three months or so (of course this varies) and you probably won't see the first little laughs or giggles till about a month later (again, your mileage may vary). The point is, at first, with your baby, the smiles and laughs are extremely rare and become more and more common as they develop. Why the positive emotions come later but they can immediately express sadness, anger, and frustration boggles my mind. But the fact is they do come later and you have to wait for them and when they do come cherish them. This is why it brings me so much joy to see my son smile and laugh. It's hard to describe why exactly. Maybe positive emotions are reflective and that's simply what it is; maybe they're just as contagious as yawns. Or perhaps it's just because I want what every good parent wants: to see their child happy, for them to be OK. Or maybe I just love to see it because my son is such a good-looking boy. I am biased of course, but I have been told by many others how cute my son is, what a cute baby he is. Wanna see for yourself?

But whatever the reason it causes me so much joy, if ever there is a day where my son laughs or something, it is without question the highlight of the day.

I have figured out various ways to bring it out of him. Let me pass on a bit of sage wisdom or knowledge to those of you who are new parents, will soon be parents, or who are thinking about spawning. The old standby, peek-a-boo almost always works unless your baby is hungry or has a diaper weighted down with ten pounds of shit. It not only gets them to laugh, but it's a good learning experience because it helps them realize that just because they cannot see something doesn't mean it is not there and it introduces them to abstract thought. Actually, quite frankly, a lot of adults would do well to relearn that lesson. But anyway, another thing that works is tickling, but we all know that. But don't overdo it because as we all know we may be laughing when somebody is tickling us but it doesn't mean we're enjoying it. I like to give my son raspberries on his tummy and he seems to like it most of the time. Making funny faces and noises, if you're good at it (which I am) also works.

Onto other things: (I haven't daylogged in a while so I have some catching up to do)

On the day the new pope was elected my son stood on his own for the first time. My wife saw it one time then I witnessed it once. It was only about three seconds or so before he fell on his butt, but he did let go of the couch and stand there for a significant period of time. Two Sundays ago, on April 17th, Ryan was very talkative. He said "dada" clearly for the first time. He was saying it all day, in fact. Whether or not he realized what he was saying is open to debate. He was rattling it off in the middle of other babbling nonsense, so who knows? He also has been saying "mama" but not so clearly. It sounds more like "meh-meh" most of the time. And I don't have a specific date that he started doing that, but I will say that I had not noticed it until the past three or four days.

I cannot wait until my son starts walking and talking, until I can play catch with him, have conversations with him. Then it will truly be like another person is in the house, in the family. I'm not saying babies aren't people, but let's face it, until they really start showing their personalities and expressing themselves in other ways besides crying or laughing and showing that they are aware of themselves as separate from you, as individuals, and you can tell that they do, it's hard to regard them as anything but this wonderful, precious thing that you have to feed and change and amuse.

But in some ways I can wait. I know he's only nearly nine months old now, but already it seems like so much time has passed, like the day he was born is really far into the past. Gone are the days where you could swaddle him up and just rock him in your arms. Where he'd just lie there and look up at you, wondering just who in the hell you are. Where the hell they are. Now just changing his diaper is an enormous undertaking. He may be a nudist at heart because as soon as the dirty diaper comes up he's off to the races. Getting the new diaper on is a tricky task indeed. So, the point is, at the same time that I cannot wait for him to grow up I already miss the days where he was a little newborn.

They grow up so fast. Oh, don't roll your eyes, I know! But it's true, I tell ya! It really is.

And now for something completely different.

Both I and the Mrs. are updating our resumes. We're both sick of our current jobs, our bosses (me especially) and both of us can potentially make a lot more money than we currently do for what we do. My wife, a microbiologist, needs to get out of academics and into the industry. I need to get out of this crusty old warehouse and work for a real web design firm. And we will be doing it soon. I can't wait to be wealthy.

Well, at least better off than we are now.

I have a good idea, I think, for my whole resume thing. Since I am a designer I'm designing it. Not only that, I'm doing this whole campaign for myself like one would normally do for a company. My resume, online portfolio, and a special Flash portfolio that I'm going to burn on a CD and bring with me to interviews, all are going to tie in together, have the same graphic scheme and colors, fonts, etc. I've sent off Word resumes before and have not gotten any responses to speak of. Having that boring Word resume might have been where I was going wrong.

By the way, we do not object to moving to another state if we must, if we find sweet jobs in other areas. If any of you noders out there who wouldn't mind a noder neighbor, if you hear of any great jobs for web designers or biologists who are great lab techs and have a Master's Degree, /msg me, please.