Lewis 龍一 (Long-Yi) Zeller
September 29, 2020
September 29, 2021: You’re 1 Year Old, Louie!
Times flies. I can’t believe how much you’ve grown and how fast it happened. Your beard, driver’s license, and unwillingness to hold my hand in public all appeared out of nowhere. I’m joking. As a 1 year old, you crawl super fast and enjoy your independence. You really seem to love cars, trucks, and wheels. You also like music, listening to people sing, and dancing. And you like to use our home phone, which you seem to have mastered and know how to use better than me. You’ve deleted a voicemail, muted the ring tone, and changed a variety of other settings I have yet to discover. You still make it very difficult for us to change your diaper, except for Benjie, your nanny. Unfortunately, we had to cancel your birthday party because you woke up with a fever. We still went to the venue and let you play and eat cake. But it was a low key day without guests. The good thing is your fever changed to a cold and then went away. Your Mom puts so much time and effort into caring for you. I’m busy with work so I do miss out on some things. But working from home has been really nice because I get to see you much more often. We love you very much, Louie.
August 29, 2021: You’re 11 Months Old, Louie!
Wow, you’re almost 1 year old! Summer came and went so quickly. You really enjoy playing with Bailey now, and dancing with Mommy. But it’s becoming very difficult to clean your nose or change your diaper, because you’re a wriggly, squirmy wormy, a wild stallion that can’t be kept in one place. You’ve started learning how to open drawers and cabinets, and to turn the radio on and off. You really like Mommy’s milk but we’re focusing on getting you more used to solid food now. You like broccoli, which is amazing to me.
July 29, 2021: You’re 10 Months Old, Louie!
Mommy and Daddy both got their second dose of Pfizer vaccine against COVID. We had minimal side effects other than feeling tired. But parenting you and your brother Bailey has made tired our new normal state of being. So it didn’t phase us. But we do feel incredibly fortunate to be among a small percentage of the world who have received both vaccines. Daddy started a new job and is working from home again. He likes being able to spend more time with you and Mommy. He tries to be quiet when you are napping, and sometimes you distract him, but always in cute ways. You like pulling things off of shelves, out of the dryer, out of the dishwasher, out of the ottoman, and basically making a mess wherever possible. You like to scratch different surfaces with your index finger. When you don’t feel good or when you want something, you will shout: “maMAAAA!”
June 29, 2021: You’re 9 Months Old, Louie!
You can actually crawl now, and you’re so eager to explore all of the places we try to block off. You’re a curious little explorer who also enjoys standing (can lean on things without much assistance). Eating noodles & rice, watching clothes spin around in the washer and dryer, playing with Bailey, going to water parks, and riding on Daddy’s or Mommy’s shoulders are things you enjoy. We went berry-picking with you in Delta, and you tried fresh tayberries (a cross between red raspberries and blackberries). It was messy but Mommy was smart and put in a tie-dye shirt, so it looked natural. Thankful that you didn’t get any bug bites like we did. Those are itchy and not fun. You got your first haircut and you’re bathing in the big tub now. You like to say “baba” a lot and it warms my heart every time. Just don’t forget to say “mama” too, especially when you’re happy. We love you lots!
May 29, 2021: You’re 8 Months Old, Louie!
You can crawl now! But only backwards. You can hold yourself in a pushup position for longer now. You opened a drawer all by yourself. We have to seriously look into babyproofing the home now, especially anywhere you can reach. Daddy has let you fall from a sitting position onto your chest on the cushioned play-mat 4 times now. Half of the time, it is an accident. The good thing is you don’t cry and seem ready to try to push yourself up afterwards. You don’t look hurt or angry. Anyway, your Dad wants the best for you and is far from perfect as a parent. But you are a growing baby who has a very cheerful personality and a fantastic laugh. You’re ticklish when Daddy holds you on his shoulder and his scratchy beard touches your side. You graduated from your starfish swimming class. Once you’re one year old, you can move up to the next level and become a future Olympic swimmer. Mommy has been helping you try lots of new foods, and so far, you aren’t allergic to anything (including peanuts/peanut butter, eggs, cheese, ice cream, and more!) You like sweet food, I think. Watermelon is your preference over grapefruit. You like to have a blanket on your face, which scares us, but you also love having the blanket removed. I guess it’s a kind of peek-a-boo. You got accepted into one daycare, but we want to have you start later (January at the earliest) and are hoping to find a good one closer to us that has a spot for you. You react to pictures of babies and also to seeing other kids in real life. You’re going to be a social kid, I think. Really curious to see how you grow next month! Oh, and we hired a sleep consultant who really helped us to help you sleep through the night and have regular nap times during the day.
April 29, 2021: You’re 7 Months Old, Louie!
You are getting pretty good at staying in a sitting position on the floor all by yourself now! But as soon as we look away, you will fall over. Thankfully we got a nice padded mat for you to play on. We take you for walks where one of us carries you and the other parent pushes the stroller with you in it. Some people may think your parents are weird, and they might be right. But normal is so much less interesting. Today I thought you said “Roomba” but maybe I misheard. You can say “Mama” and “Baba”, but we’re not sure if you know what those words mean. Mom is teaching you sign language. You’re eating solid foods now! You like to put your feet in the sand at the beach and parks, to take bus rides, and playing with Bailey. Your brother Bailey and you are closer now, especially when you drop your food on the floor. He loves that!
March 29, 2021: You’re 6 Months Old, Louie!
You enjoy going on swings at the playground, by yourself (with Mommy or your nanny, Benjie, nearby). You’re swimming more and like wearing a floatie so you can kick and splash on your own (with Daddy nearby, as a helicopter parent). Recently you’ve started making a fast-paced breathing sound often, that you may have learned from Bailey. It can be scary for us, so I hope it’s only temporary. You are exploring eating solid foods now, but not really swallowing much and mostly just trying out textures. It’s messy but fun to watch your complex reactions to different foods. You’re meeting more of our adult friends, and might have a new friend named Seb. You’ve been to Steveston and Port Moody now, and are pretty good at sleeping during car rides. Mommy works very hard to take care of you. I hope you know how lucky and loved you are, because she’s an amazing Mom. Oh, and it’s really fun to make you laugh!
March 1, 2021: You’re 5 Months Old, Louie!
You’re still learning a lot of the same things you were doing last month. You’ve been swimming twice now and while it’s hard to tell if you enjoy it, but you definitely sleep well after all that exercise and sensory stimulation. You’ve also seen snow for the first time! Recently you started making new noises: high-pitched cries like an alien or heavy metal singer. Your friends now include Phil the Moisturizing Lotion Bottle, Mr. Moosey, Taika the Octopus, Tricia the Crab, Kao the Cow, and H264 the Half-robot Hippo. You like to turn the pages of books (apparently you ripped one), put things in your mouth (especially your own hands), dance with Mommy and Daddy, shake rattles, and splash around in your bath. It’s amazing how fast you’re growing. You are super cute and we love you.
January 29, 2021: You’re 4 Months Old, Louie!
You are learning to grab things, hold on to things (you can almost hold your bottle), roll over, and still figuring out how to give your parents enough sleep. Your Mom has been giving so much of her time and attention to you, and as a result, you’re growing big and healthy. But please try to rest more from now on, so she can rest more too. Your laugh is adorable and we’re finding more ways to make it happen. You like playing with Daddy’s hand, laughing at your friend Phil the Moisturizing Lotion Bottle, laughing at monkey sounds made by the monkey on your mobile, and laughing at Daddy’s face for no reason. You also have a friend named Mr. Moosey, and Baby Octopus. We love you very much, but when are you going to start going to school and taking care of yourself??
December 29, 2020: You’re 3 Months Old, Louie!
Yes, we often call you “Louie”. You’ve started trying to roll over from your back to your side, but only on the right side. Your legs don’t quite go all of the way with you. But it still makes diaper changes more challenging. I have a theory that you’re trying to crawl through a portal that only babies can see. You smile and giggle more, and a very talkative. You make little “coo” sounds when you’re happy or comfortable. The black and white book we have really calms you down. You like to nibble on your hands. Mommy and Daddy have a special, relaxing routine for you every night, involving a bath, bed time, and gentle music. Preparing for sleep training, which starts around the 4-5 months mark. Wish us luck, and keep being cute!
Merry Christmas from the Zeller Family!
November 29, 2020: Happy 2 Months, Lewis!
You are growing so much every day! Soon you will be too tall for your bassinet. You are able to hold your head up very well for your age. You also can recognize and follow faces with your eyes. The longest amount of time you have slept continuously was 7 hours. But usually you only sleep for 3-4 hours at a time. You smile and make cute noises, as well as grunts and crying. You have a strong grip that refuses to let go of our fingers. Your hair is long and sticks up like an anime character’s: it’s pretty cool.
Your Favourite Things:
- Being held
- Being sung to
- Taiwanese love songs and Justin Bieber’s “U Smile”
- Kisses from his Mommy
- Your own hands
- Bright lights
- Gazing longingly out of the window
- Riding in the stroller as the little bumps in the sidewalk put you to sleep
- Practising Wing Chun and shadow boxing
- Creating abstract art pieces in your diapers
Life Lesson # 2: Your Name
How did we choose your name? The short answer is: very carefully. Your Mother had specific criteria: it cannot be too common, too obscure, or the name of a child she knows about from her social work. As your Dad, I also hoped the name would connect you to some virtuous and inspirational people. I spent many hours pouring through thousands of names, pitching them to your Mom (sometimes in the form of a PowerPoint). But it was very challenging to find a name that both of us strongly liked. You gave us some misleading kicks of approval in Mommy’s tummy when we said random names like “Alibaba” or my Dad’s suggestion of “Big Bob.”
When we were able to narrow down a few names, the opinions of friends could easily change our minds, and the search would begin again. In the end, what worked best for us was narrowing down a few options we liked best, and keeping those secret from others until we were ready to share. It also felt odd to name you before we could actually see, hear, touch, and meet you face-to-face. So your Mother suggested we wait until after you were born to make the final decision. The top contenders were: Barry (which we worried sounded too much like Bailey), Philip, and Lewis.
After you were born, we met you and felt like Lewis was the best fit. My grandmother was born in the city of St. Louis. Besides Saint Louis, your name also reminds me of the great jazz musician Louis Armstrong (What a Wonderful World), as well as gifted authors liked C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland). We had already spent a lot of time considering the spelling, since Lewis is more commonly used in Britain, versus the French spelling of “Louis”, which is pronounced “Louie.” While we use Louie as a nickname and you are welcome to as well, it felt best to have the less common but easier to pronounce spelling for you. Plus, if you Google “Louis Zeller”, you’ll find lots of Instagram pictures of a teen model. We hope you will grow to appreciate your name, and know you will add so much value and meaning to it for us.
Your middle name became your Chinese name, which was selected by your Mother’s Father. It means “One Dragon” and is a strong, powerful name. Or as my friend Jack from Taiwan said, it’s “badass.” It also is shared by a talented Japanese film composer: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Babel, The Revenant). The Mandarin pronunciation of your name sounds similar to Lewis in Chinese. This name connects you to your Asian heritage and your Mom’s side of the family, while your last name of Zeller connects you with your Dad’s family. We hope you take pride in your mixed heritage, and will use the cultural and linguistic knowledge you gain to help people around the world better connect, understand each other, and create peace.
Life Lesson #1: Mom, Love, & Cinnamon Rolls
This is your Mother. Isn’t she beautiful? She is the most important person in your life, until you are an adult (at the very least). Listen to her, do what she asks, and show her respect and love. You will make mistakes and sometimes upset her. That is okay. (I do too, buddy). But if you deliberately try to make her upset, then you will encounter the fiercest lioness, the strongest storm, and the tallest ocean wave. But rest assured, that if anyone tries to hurt you, they will also be at the mercy of the same powerful force of nature. You are in good hands. I’ve witnessed already how much your Mother cares for you and it inspires me. Let’s continuously rediscover how extraordinary she is, every single day.
We love you. Some parents try very hard for a long time to have a child. You arrived in our life as a surprise to us. This does not mean we love you any less. This also does not mean you were an “accident.” It would be arrogant and selfish for me to consider you as an “accident.” Your Daddy and Mommy did not plan to fall in love with each other. To call it an “accident” simply because we did not plan it ourselves would be foolish. Life doesn’t always follow your plan or my plan. Surprises are an essential part of life that prevents it from becoming boring, routine, and noneducational. The reason you are here, now, is the result of billions of successful and unsuccessful plans interacting together with the choices made by your parents, their parents, technology (your parents did meet through the internet) and humanity as a whole. You are part of one small family that is part of multiple bigger families! I thank God for the opportunity to meet my wife, my son, and experience the ups and downs of life by your side. I am excited to get to know you, watch your grow, and explore the future with you!
PS: You don’t know about them yet, but there are these things called “Cinnamon rolls” and they are DELICIOUS and smell AMAZING. Daddy will happily accept one as a Christmas or birthday gift. I think you’ll like them too.
Your First Photo Shoot
Today (October 13, 2020) will be your first professional photo shoot! After taking our engagement, wedding, and maternity photos, we’ve once again asked Joy Chen to capture newborn photos for us. She is our favourite family portrait photographer! Looking forward to seeing and sharing her photos of you, Louie. You are 2 weeks old today. Time flies!
Welcome to the World, Lewis!
You were born on September 29, 2020 at 5:18AM at BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver.
You weighed 6.4lbs (2.9 kg) and were 18.5 inches (47 cm) long.
You were a fussy little guy at first, but you calmed down later.
You are strong, silly, curious, demanding, and fun to watch.
You arrived earlier than we expected (on the first day of our vacation), which we were not excited about. But once we saw you, we felt incredibly thankful to be able to spend extra time with you, face-to-face. Mommy and Daddy spent 4 nights and 5 days with you at the hospital, because the doctors wanted to make sure you were healthy (and probably also because you were “the cutest baby on this floor.”) We are not sure about the cuteness of babies on other floors. The only reason we finally had to leave the hospital is because Daddy kept trying to order too many entrees from the hospital meal service. We are especially appreciative for the excellent care given to you during your first week of life by 4 doctors and many fantastic nurses!
The Child Awakens
Here is the first video we edited for you. It’s a parody of the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, because your Daddy loves Star Wars. And here is the second video we made for you, called “Lewis Comes Home“.