Stories of Declan in California

Xmas in Vermont!

We arrived early for Xmas in VT, and thankfully so, with all the weather that we're seeing on the news so close to the big day. Our travel was easy in comparison, and Declan was a trooper with no issues to speak of.

It was great to be back and get some snow, which was a thrill for Declan who's never been in weather colder than 50 degrees. We also got a chance to introduce him to some more family out of NY (Kiffy, Grace, Caity and Linda - see pics on the photos page).

We had great time, lots of good food, and fun at night with games and conversation. Laura and I feel so grateful for all our family everywhere, for all the love and support. Hoping we can get together in 2020!


As we head into the holiday season, I want to give thanks.

  • Thanks Laura Williams, whom I love with all my heart, ad infiniti, with sparkling moon dust. Yer the best.

  • Thanks Beth Johnston, for being a great mother to so many kids. I finally get it...

  • Thanks Williams family for all the love and support

  • Thanks Laurie Clark. YOu rOcK in so many ways...keep on keeping on.

Just Keep Swimming

If there is anything better than a pool that is bath water warm, I don't know what it is. Declan has been enrolled in swimming classes because, well, because Williams Family.

Laura's grandparent's installed a pool when Jen and Laura were young, and it has become a fixture in their stories over the years. I have become a better swimmer thanks to Laura's enthusiasm. I hope to swim with my son for many years to come.

More Shots

Kids get a lot of shots at appointments with doctors. We are about to have the next round tomorrow and I hope that he won't cry forever.

Truth be told, I'm pretty sure Declan won't cry forever. He's a pretty happy boy.

Laura and I are spending more time on the floor with him to see if we can't encourage a little 'scooting' behavior. It's working, kind of...

Aunt Jen In Town!

Jen Williams is in the hood! We decided a visit during Halloween would be fun, and she'll be in Burlingame for a week. We are all very excited, including Declan, who smiles when he hears her voice on the phone or in a video chat.

We had plans to go to wine country, but they cancelled our reservation due to the wildfires that are burning (Kincaid fire). We send our love and hope to everyone affected by this horrendous blaze.

Santa Cruz hotel on the beach for Halloween

Big Boy

We measured Declan this morning using a luggage checker - we think he may have crossed over 18 pounds, putting him slightly above average for his age (nearly 6 months).

He's had a few rough nights, and we're chalking it up to a growth spurt. Last night he went for 10 hours, had a feed at 4 am, and then slept until 7am. That feels like a huge win for Laura and myself!


We have been blessed by a lovely little boy. When you held him after he was born, he was just a handful, but now he's full of spunk and quite a handful! Declan will be six months old on November 1st.


Laura has created a new Google routine we're going to try out. With the simple word 'naptime' to our GHome device, the room lights dim and soothing sounds play. Awesome!

In The Game

For a couple nights in a row Declan has slept for 11+ hours.

That means that Laura and I have slept longer than ever.

Phew. Sleep is so great, let's all get more...


I personally eat a fair amount of oatmeal, but I've never enjoyed it as much as Declan. To be clear, he's been eager to start on solid food, so anything tastes magical after five months of milk. His two favorites so far are mango and banana which he can't get enough of.

Thank You, Jen Williams

We have a blessing to receive and give: Our dear son benefits from the focus and expertise of Jennifer Williams, whose keen eye is bent toward beautiful bargains from her Chicago shopping trips to stores such as Carters and more. We bless you, Jen, as you have blessed Declan with easy to wear and wash outfits! Thanks!

Hairy Reasoner

So, Declan is getting hair to grow, albeit slowly. It's still strawberry blond, but it won't grow on the back of his head, where he tosses and turns and rubs at night.

As far as we can tell we have both made it through the 'Regression' and through moving him into his own room. We call that room the 'nursery'. We don't call it "Declan's Room". In terms of conversations with family, we refer to it as the guest room. I think this naming confusion is cute.


We've been working on helping Declan to connect his sleep cycles and prepare him for the new life - in his own comfy crib, in his own cute room. The '4th Month Sleep Regression' is fully in process. So far, we're happy parents, as he has been enjoying longer and longer times asleep at night. Where we were feeding him two or three times, we're now down to a check-in for comfort and one feeding before morning. He's regularly getting 10 hours of sleep, which helps Laura and I find some comfort of our own.

But naps are a different matter. The experts say it's the environment (light, heat and sound) that can be an issue...and although we have used blackout curtains and black paper on the windows, the room definitely has some 'light leaks' (a camera industry term). We are spending our time helping him through his afternoon siesta, with two or three trips in to sooth his tired soul. Wish us luck! It will be about a week before we see results.

Play, Play, Play!

Declan is pretty excited to do a number of exercises:

  1. Jogging (hold him up and he will pretend he is walking like a two year old)

  2. Squats (sitting on someone's legs, lean him over and he'll stand)

  3. Crunches (Declan enjoys leaning over and grabbing his toes, which are tiny by the way, so they are hard to grab)

Holiday Outfits

Laura and her sister Jen are pretty excited to do some holiday themed photography. I am ambivalent, as the photographer pro tempore. I feel like putting a kid into a holiday outfit is like dressing a dachshund in a hot dog with yellow felt purporting to be mustard.

Where do you land? Please send us an email at us@lauraandken.com!

Outdoor pool!

Declan seems to love water...

Sit Up, Yup

He likes to sit up now. We can't stop him from doing crunches and sitting erect.

Shark Tank

Laura has taught Declan the joys of singing and arm dancing through 'YMCA' along with a number of other great toons. He smiles and laughs, although he's not smiling here.

Rolling Boy

We hit milestone number 37 with Declan's spontaneous roll-over this morning (from his tummy to his back). He is a very proud to show off the fact that he can almost walk on his own (check out the video page).

Bathing Dilemma

We had to splurge and get a bath for the boy, as the sinks in our house are not working too great currently. He had his first dip last night, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Baby Boom

Boom goes the dynamite! Our home weighing has shown that Declan is 15 lbs* according to our visit to the pediatrician. He's right on mark for weight and height, and his head circumference is above normal for his age (in terms of average growth). He's had a bit of trouble with constipation, but we've been advised and should be able to help.

He's been a wonderful boy so far, and a clean bill of health just makes us jump for joy.

*technically he's 14 lbs 14 oz

SF Wedding

Declan, Laura and I had a marvelous time at a local wedding. This event has deep roots, sprouting from Laura's friendship with Mike Madison working for Common Cause in Washington DC many years ago.

We witnessed Mike Madison getting married to Mike Locke (themikes.net) up in the hills of Marin county. Great venue, great food, just a wonderful time. We also went to Tiburon and enjoyed a morning out on Labor Day.

Declan was pretty well behaved until we drove back to the lodge. We had a log cry session and it was hard to console him. Then we all had a long sleep, which turned out to be the issue, from my perspective. He woke up refreshed and we headed home.

Sweet 15

In a few days we head back to Dr. Tan's office for our 4 month checkup. Our at-home weight check puts Declan at about 15 pounds, give or take. He's getting HEAVY to handle, but he's worth it.

Off To The Wedding #2

We head out of town this weekend for our second wedding of the summer. Some D.C. friends of Laura's are tying the knot about an hour north of us, and we're looking forward to the trip. Declan is undecided about which outfit he's ready to wear.

Play Date

We have had our first hangout with friends from the city. When you live on the peninsula, the 'city' is San Francisco. If you call it 'San Fran' then you are not indigenous.

Efrem and Rachel have two beautiful girls, at 5 months and over 2 years. It was great to chat about parenting, sleeping schedules and chew through some quiche and fruits. Little did we know that little Shayna loves mangoes, which we had in great supply.

Summer Times

We made it home from our week away in Vermont, with Laura's parents. We ate well, we slept well and most importantly, we bobbed about in the pool for hours every day! We're already missing Bob and Ann and Jen and the quiet of Poultney life. Jen returned home to Chicago and a new position at a restaurant where she's working with old friends.

Declan had a pretty uneventful flight back except another United delay in Chicago as our plane had to be swapped. He only cried during the last few minutes of the ride before we landed in SFO - the crew told us to get him out of his comfy car seat and into someone's lap, which triggered the tears.

Family Action

We have had two sessions in the pool so far with Declan, and he seems to be okay with playing in the water. He's been sleeping well, eating a lot, and generally been the sweetest boy you could ask for! We're really lucky he's been so engaged and relaxed...

United 959

Declan did great on his first flight, despite sitting at the gate for 3 hours while they maintenance crew reassured the pilot that they didn't have to fix a problem with keeping the panel of instruments cool on our way to Chicago. We had to call customer service from the plane to reschedule ourselves, and Jen Williams, onto a later plane for our flight from Chicago to Albany. The whole trip, including the rental ride to Poultney went great.

Pool Time

We are in Vermont! The West coast family is hanging with the East coast family and Jen is representing the midwest. Thanks, Jen.

Looking forward to many hours splashing about, and for me, some fun with photos during our visit.

Blue Ball of Fun

Laura got me a cake for my birthday, topped with a fabric ball that has a delightfully crunchy sound. Because it is easy to grip, we usually do a 20 minute exercise in the bouncer my Mom got for us...

Good Day Out

We are headed out of town to Vermont in a few days and needed a quick house cleaning - which means we leave in the morning and do errands for a few hours. We visited our favorite San Mateo restaurant for b'fast, and then a Target run, and lastly a visit to Michael's for foam that they don't carry. Declan had a rough morning and pulled through with quick feedings in between parking lots.

Standing Tall

Declan is ready to walk and roll! He kind of hates 'tummy time' which is a common complaint it turns out. When we first put him on a blanket on the floor, he instantly wanted to crawl. Now it's lots and lots of complaining 'cause his legs are not working right and he can't hold up his fat head and blah, blah, blah.

Rolling Over Practice

We have a diva on our hands. Like most babies, Declan enjoys a mirror. As far as we know, he thinks he's looking at a different baby, and that baby is damn cute. He is able to lift his legs and roll onto his side for a long while, and he usually enjoys trying to get his thumb into his mouth.

Happy New Year!

Declan, Laura and I rounded the corner of the decade by eating decadent food, going for walks and heading to bed early. We had a lovely New Year's eve, in other words. Thanks for the great jacket, Beth Johnston (grandma on Ken's side).