13. Enough said.

7 Nov

Your first birthday seems like it was two years ago instead of just one month ago. Time felt like it contracted and slowed down to the speed of caramel dripping in the last month. Maybe it is because we have been through so many crazy weather patterns that it doesn’t feel like a mere month has gone by – snow then beautiful Indian summer days then frost warnings then warm again. Fall has finally come and gone but did so with the most gorgeous display of leaves I’ve seen in years.
You seemed to sense you turned one and decided that a few days after your birthday you would announce with great fanfare the arrival of the Temper Tantrum. Sure you could be fussy and whiny and twisty when annoyed but you have now taken your temper tantrums to a whole new level. These entail throwing yourself on the ground at the slightest provocation and screaming your head off or crying hysterically. They extend into the middle of the night when you wake up mad as hell that you aren’t getting the bottle you think you need and you throw yourself around the crib like a fish out of water wacking your head against the rails and giving yourself little bruises. These tantrums are sometimes amusing but a lot of the time frustrating and distressing for your parents. What happened to our relatively sweet tempered happy child? Many many discussions and emails with other parents later, we have figured it out: you are one and there is nothing we can do about it.
But the month hasn’t been all bad, in spite of the fact you decided to wake up nearly every other night around 1.00 or 1.30 or 2.00 and cry for hours on end. (We finally invested in some ear plugs and great god they are awesome – you will read this someday and be appalled that we wore ear plugs so we didn’t have to listen to you but you will also have a child of your own someday and then realize why we did it.)
We dressed you up as a little polar bear for Halloween and you looked unbelievably adorable. We all stayed home and watched the Utah game and handed out candy, which is my favorite part of Halloween. It was a much better Halloween than last year when you were still screaming through the night. The downside to Halloween was that it signaled the end of daylight savings and we gained an hour. My whole life I have enjoyed this additional hour and now it’s ruined. I think every single one of my parent friends agreed with this assessment because Facebook was filled with status messages like “So and So hates daylights savings.” “So and So has been up since 5.00 am and I am going to die.” The extra hour was brutal for everyone. You were up at 7.00 but it felt like 6.00 to us. You took a horrible nap and woke up at 12.30. This meant we had seven hours until you went to bed, which felt like 7 million hours. In desperation we went to the Zoo at 3.00 in the afternoon and rode the train for the first time. You absolutely loved it and laughed hysterically the entire ride.
But the biggest news is that you are walking. When I started writing this post this afternoon you had taken five steps at Little Gym that morning, your highest total to date. Until today you still cruised around the edges of everything and lunging forward to the next stable object to grab onto. But in the last few days, you had started to cautiously step out into the ether where there was nothing to grab onto. But you got up from your nap and Claire and Abby and Gwen and Chloe and their moms came over to kill a few hours and you actually walked. You took about ten definite steps with about half of them this adorable side step. Valerie and Amy and I all cheered and clapped and it seemed sweet that they were to see you achieve this huge milestone because they’ve known you since before you were crawling. And then after they left you tried out walking again. And again when your dad got home and we cheered some more. You look more and more pleased with yourself as your worry about falling seems to fading rapidly.
So I am trying to really fix in my mind how adorable you are when you crawl because you won’t do it for much longer. You have been a champion crawler since the day you finally figured it out. You are so fast that sometimes you trip over your hands in your haste to get somewhere and your little bottom swings back and forth and when you are excited you laugh hysterically as you crawl towards something you want.
Thanksgiving is a few days away and last week at Little Gym your teacher asked us to tell everyone what we were thankful for about our kiddos. I was first and so I blurted out how thankful I was for all the ways you have changed my life for the better. But your dad and I are thankful for so many other things about you. We are thankful for your wonderful laugh and your smiles when we play with you. We are so glad you are healthy most of the time and seem like a pretty happy kid. We are thankful for the big kisses you give dad when you go to bed at night, for the hilarious things you do like wiggling into our laps when we read to you. We are thankful for you making us into a family. Everything seems sweeter and more poignant and more achingly joyous this year with you in our lives.

One Year. 365 days. 12 Months.

20 Oct

No matter how you spin it we now have a one year old. You, our little bear, are one year old and oh how our lives have changed in a year. I used to drive around and hardly ever glanced in my rear view mirror – I’m really more of a side mirror kind of girl. I used to use salad spinners for their intended purpose, along with strainers, wisks, kitchen bowls and tupperware containers. Empty gatorade containers, egg crates and toilet paper rolls just went into the recycling. I used to walk from room to room without a thought in the world about shutting a gate behind me and used to walk up stairs without viewing them as a) dangerous or b) a way to kill time letting you climb them. I used to leave papers and remote controls on the edge of tables and never thought about the contents of a kitchen drawer.

No more.
However, in return for all of these sacrifices and so much more, we have you. Luke, you are the best kid. Sure you still don’t sleep through the night on a consistent basis and you have started throwing the most hilarious temper tantrums when we dare to take anything away from you. (Just for the record: you go from sitting to throwing your face to the floor and sliding your legs out and moaning and crying for a minute or two before you realize that we are not going to give whatever we took away from you.) But beyond those minor/major irritations you are a funny, sweet, adorable, wonderful little boy.
You babble all. the. time. You talk through books, while you are playing, in the car, while you are eating, watching television, sometimes when we are drifting off to sleep and it is so cute. You still won’t name animals when I ask you what a cow says but you do say “uh oh” when you drop things and at other random times that don’t usually call for an “uh oh.” You also seem to be getting the idea that we actually have names – mama and dada and you sometimes identify us correctly.
You are getting closer and closer to walking, cruising along the sides of everything – couches, chairs, cabinets, the fridge, your toy boxes, your crib, the wall and anything else that will hold you up. You have started to briefly let go of your supports and sometimes stand on your own for thirty or so seconds before you realize you are standing, dislike the sensation and sit down and crawl away.
This month you also got really sick. This was far worse than any cold you’ve had and we finally figured out that you had a double ear infection but not before your temperature soared to 102, you threw up all over me (an experience I had been dreading but found far more miserable for you than for me) and you spent three sleepless nights crying and fretting and worrying your parents to no end. We spent a lot of time on the couch watching Sesame Street because the television seemed to be the only thing that would calm you down. You would just sit and lean your overheating little body against us. After a week of feeling miserable and missing day care, Little Gym and playgroup you seemed to be on the mend. It was a long week.
But thankfully you got better in time to make a quick trip to Moab with us for our friend Megan’s wedding. It was held along the banks of the Colorado River in the morning and you had a blast playing in the sand. You crawled all over kicking up clouds of sand in your wake leaning your head down sometimes to lick the sand much to our chagrin. In the evening we went to the reception where you sported your cousin Avery’s seersucker suit. It warmed my preppy heart. After dinner the three of us danced on the dance floor under the stars, your dad and I holding you close and you threw your head back and laughed and wiggled trying to dance your own little baby dance.
A week later we celebrated your birthday with a lot of people. I invited nearly 40 people never thinking that everyone would come. They did, which I guess is a tribute to what an awesome kid you are. Thankfully it was a gorgeous fall day and we all sat outside and ate the amazing food your dad made and we laughed as you ate your birthday cupcake and I looked around the backyard and it was full of people who were all there to celebrate you. I often think of the four of us: you, your dad, Buddy and me as this small, but perfect, little family. But in reality our circle is so much bigger and all those people sitting in the backyard on that perfect October afternoon were a reflection of how much you have brought to us, your father and me. We love you so much and cannot wait to see what the next months and years bring.

11! 11!

17 Sep

The house is very quiet except for the hum of the dehydrator, which runs day and night now drying out all the peppers your dad grew this summer. It is quiet because you started day care a few weeks ago and seem to be loving it. I was quite weepy the first day I dropped you off, which surprised me considering how excited I was to have some time to myself. But I dropped you off fearing the worst, hovering on the edge of the room waiting to see you start to cry and it never happened. I should have known better. So I told you I loved you and headed back out to the car where Buddy was waiting. He accompanies us to and from day care and you start laughing every time I carry you out to the car and you see him sitting patiently in the front seat waiting for us to go home. But I sat in the car that day and cried. And then I went home and my ears rang in the silence.
But you seem to, by all accounts, love day care. When we walk in all of the teachers say, “Hi Lukey!” in their soft lilting Spanish accents and you smile at everyone. When I pick you up in the afternoon – and discover yet again that you have failed to nap or taken another 45 minute nap in the span of seven hours – you come crawling across the floor towards me as fast as you possibly can laughing and gasping to tell me all about your day. I can hardly wait for the day when you can actually tell me about it. I suppose by then you will not be nearly as excited and your answers will be more like, “Nothing,” “I don’t know,” and “Maybe.”
It is the first day of fall here so I am a few days late on getting this post up. The air turned cool on Monday and the leaves are turning in the mountains. I remember how fall came while I was in the hospital having you last year and now here we are staring down the last month until your birthday. In the meantime, we have many other birthdays to attend since it seems that all of your friends in play group and Little Gym were born within a week of one another, with a few outliers in August and then of course you, bringing up the rear as the baby of the group.
In the spirit of fall, we have taught you how to throw your hands up in the air when we yell, “Touchdown!” It is one of the first things we have attempted to teach you that you have actually done. So much of your learning comes from you going at it alone. You have figured out how to roll over, crawl, stand up, side step along the side of the couch, pull all of your books out of their boxes, throw your food on the floor and pull it out of your mouth, climb the stairs, push your walker, pull the night light out of the wall, slip your arm through a sleeve (the cutest thing in the world), pull wipe after wipe out of the dispenser, and hold your bottle all by yourself. But this is something we taught you and it clearly delights you to see us laugh so we are hoping you will thrown your arms in the air when we go to the Utah football game this Saturday and not cry when an entire stadium roars.
You and I headed to California again at the end of August when your dad left for his long-awaited and much-anticipated trip to Alaska to fish. Someday he will tell you all about the beautiful river he fished and all the fish he caught and someday we will all go fishing by the ocean in Alaska. But this trip he took with friends so we headed to California to see Avery and Birch, Emelie and Isaiah and Nan and Charlie. We went to the California State Fair and had corn dogs and saw lots of livestock and maybe in a few years we’ll go back and you can go on some rides. You had a wonderful time playing with your cousins, each day you all played a little more together although a lot of your time was spent looking in awe at these big kids running around while you played in the Fisher Price mecca that is Nan and Charlie’s family room.
You are starting to put things together now, which is so incredible to watch. You can stack blocks on top of one another, something that a month ago you still hadn’t really mastered. When the blocks fall down, as they invariably do, you say, “ee-ah,” which I think is a pre-cursor to “Uh-Oh.” You really like the sound of it because you often crawl around saying “ee-ah, ee-ah, ee-ah,” over and over. You can also now sometimes line up the holes on the blocks with the pegs on your wooden train. When you cannot, you get really frustrated and try to push the blocks onto the pegs without regard for where the holes are. Your frustration also manifests itself whenever I take something away from you that you want. You sit and bow your head and push your hands into the floor so that your back bows out and you yell or cry and throw a little fit because suddenly you cannot do what you really wanted to do. It is exasperating and humorous all at once.
You babble and talk a lot of the time, but you are particularly chatty in the mornings after you have had your bottle. You lie in my arms and stare out the window and whisper your talking sounds and I respond and you consider the changing leaves out the window and talk a little more and this goes on until you are ready to wiggle off my lap and start another day.

10 has two numbers in it so you must be grown up

19 Aug

Ten! I was on the phone with your aunt Emelie the other day telling her how I write these posts to you every month and trying to think of what you accomplished this month. Accomplished sounds too corporate; as if we had some target for you to hit like the economy slowly coming back to life. This month seemed like a month of fine tuning and getting ready for even bigger things.
We got you a walker, which is counter balanced with my old law school books. Some days you love pushing it around and you look adorable slightly hunched over it like a little tiny peddler selling your wares. Other days you are much more interested in playing with all the post-it notes still sticking out of the sides of the books.
You are getting really good at feeding yourself. You pick up blueberries and cheese and crackers and stuff them in your mouth. You carefully dissect a piece of banana and then also smash it into your mouth often smearing the remains across your cheeks and hair. We still often lock in a battle of wills over who is going to hold the spoon for the yogurt or guacamole. I think it is a draw most days with most of the food going in your mouth but a great deal of it ended up all over your face. You are not a fan of being cleaned up at the end of a meal but you scurry into the bathroom as soon as you hear the water running for a bath just to watch the water coming out of the faucet. You stand there giggling and laughing and grinning but as soon as I put you in the tub, you are standing up all over again to explore the sides of the tub. It is rather frustrating and so baths are usually a quick affair. I cannot relate to the baby books that say baths are relaxing for babies.
I don’t know where you are going to start talking but you say dadadadadada all the time and just in the last week you have added mamamamamama to your repertoire. Last night your dad put you to bed, something I know thrilled you to no end, and after he wrestled you into your pajamas, you crawled into the kitchen saying mamamamamam. It was endlessly cute. If prompted enough times, you will say Dah for dog but I don’t think this qualifies as a word. You will also kiss us on the cheek, sometimes, when asked, “Can I have a kiss?” You oblige with a big open mouthed slobber that is more of a lick than a kiss.
The summer is starting to draw to a close, which is bittersweet because we’ve had such a fun summer. We’ve gone to the pool where you spend most of the time climbing out. We go to playgroup every week in a little park near our house. All the babies crawl around and all the mothers sit and chat, occasionally rescuing one of you from a scuffle over a toy. A few weeks ago we all went to Alabama and Georgia to see your grandfather and to attend a huge family reunion. You spent two days in Birmingham crawling all over your grandfather’s kitchen being licked by his adoring dog Gypsy. I think this was a welcome change for you since Buddy usually gives you the cold shoulder. Then we packed up the car and headed for Amicalola State Park in Georgia where we met lots and lots of Reymanns almost all of whom had been getting photo updates of you on a near weekly basis, which was a surprise to me. They were all delighted to meet you and you were for the most part in a good mood for most of the weekend. We then packed up again and headed to Atlanta to stay the night with our friend Andre whose house was full of his daughter Sophie’s toys. You were in absolute heaven and for nearly three hours you played to your heart’s content with relatively little oversight from us.
You are very into your books these days. You love looking at a little photo album of pictures of you and your dad and sometimes you’ll point at Dad when I ask you to. You also love to pick out one book and as soon as I am finished you pick it up and hand it back to me. This morning as we read Freight Train for the 80th time this week, you climbed into my lap and leaned back against me, your hand resting on my arm as I read. It is so rare that you sit still for more that five and 1/2 seconds that I deliberately slowed down my reading because I wanted the moment to last and last and I held you close. I spend a lot of times wishing for you to grow up so you can walk and talk and do so many other fun things but this was a moment when I was perfectly content for you to be just as you are.

Nine Oh Nine!

22 Jul

Luke you have now spent more time out in the world than you did inside my belly, which seems amazing to me because it seems like you have been with us for so much longer than nine months.
You are crawling everywhere and fast. I turn my back and you are down the hall giggling and laughing at your cleverness at getting away from me. You are also all about pulling yourself up on everything – drawers, chairs, your crib, the couch, the wall (I think you might be Spiderman), up a closed door, the laundry basket, tables, out of the pool, anything that can get your to the standing position. You are starting to take very tiny hesitant steps to the side but when I hold your arms and ask you if you want to try to walk you immediately sit down and crawl away. It seems that you are going to walk on your own terms. I am fine with this as I am in no hurry to see you walking.
You have started to wave; at least we think you might be waving as you are waving just one hand and it doesn’t look like you are flapping your arms the way you usually do when you are excited. You also pound your high chair tray and yell when you want more food. On the rare occasions that you are really hungry you sit with your mouth open waiting for me to spoon more food in. It is adorable although sometimes I fear I may be sitting at your table in college spooning food into your mouth because teaching you how to use a spoon is an exercise in extreme frustration.
You are getting so much more independent. When we go to Little Gym now you don’t stay next to me the entire time, but instead head straight to the center of the circle to empty out the box of rattles and bells. Or you go around visiting with the other parents. At playgroup you cruise around climbing over the other babies as they crawl over you. Sometimes you circle back around and check in with me but most of the time you are just happy to check out all the cool toys that you don’t have at home.
We went to Sun Valley last week and fulfilled a long cherished wish of your dad’s to take you fly fishing. Fly fishing with a baby, it turns out, is much more difficult than fly fishing with two adults mainly because we have to plan so meticulously around your naps and meals. But last Saturday we were able to pull it off and we felt like rock stars. As soon as you awoke from your morning nap, we wisked you into the car, went to lunch where you were remarkably laid back in your high chair and then we hustled to the Big Wood River and packed you into the Ergo. Your dad and I took turns casting while you sat on the bank and ate your first handfuls of sand. You were a great sport watching your dad fish and were so excited when he caught a baby fish and brought it over for you to see. As we were headed back we stopped at one more spot and I actually managed to catch a lovely brown trout and your dad waded in to help me land it leaving you safely on the shore. I turned around and looked back to see you happily sitting on the bank eating a rock. There we were, the Reymanns, fishing. Fishing as a family.

Eight

5 Jun

Eight is great. Or so the phrase goes. I’ll go ahead and say that month eight was way better than your seventh. I cannot believe how much happened in the span of 30 days.

You grew a new top tooth, or are in the process of doing so. It’s about 1/4 of the way out. You can now pick up your cheerios with your thumb and forefinger most of the time. You are eating all sorts of new and wonderful things. And you are crawling. Yes, crawling. It happened last week. I put you down on the floor and suddenly out of the corner of my eye you were a few feet from where you had started. I couldn’t believe it so I tried it again and there you were crawling. You don’t consistently crawl in the strict sense of the word. Sometimes you hop forward pushing yourself forward with your legs like a little rabbit and you still cruise around on your stomach. You are not very open about crawling with anyone outside of the house. I took you to Little Gym this week ready to show off your new skills and you just sat and watched all the other kids crawling. You’ll show them when you are ready.
There is so much more. You are talking. You look at your dad and say “Dada,” which is really sweet and awesome. You also say Dada for a lot of other things too. The only time you say Mama is when you are wailing in your crib in the middle of the night. You started making a “b” sound so I think you are working on Buddy’s name.
This month we took not one, but two, trips to California. The first was a sweet gift from your dad who was worried about me because I wasn’t making any friends and feeling lonely. You are a great companion but pretty limited in conversation skills so Dad sent me off to California to see my sister, your aunt. It was a tough trip for me because I had the worst migraine of my life but you had a great time playing with your cousins. You were especially enamoured of Avery who lavished you with attention much to the great disappointment of Birch who would like nothing better than some attention from his older brother. But somehow you knew I needed to rest and you started taking longer naps, which I was very very grateful for.
Then two weeks later we were back on the plane, this time headed for Sacramento and a night with your grandparents without us. I gave your poor Nan lists of things to do with you, how to feed you and cloth you and put you to bed. I worried that you would cry the entire time we were gone harkening back to when my parents left me years and years ago and I stood at the door and cried all day long. My poor grandmother. You seemed to behave a lot better and were all smiles when we came home the next day from Napa having celebrated our second wedding anniversary a little early at the French Laundry. It’s a good thing you have no idea what you missed out on or else you might never forgive us.
You are on the go from the moment you wake up twisting and turning to see Buddy who prances and paces waiting for us to feed him breakfast. You are constantly moving across floors going after all the things you aren’t supposed to touch like wires and dirty shoes. You writhe around swiveling your tiny baby hips every time I have to change you. Trying to get you to sit still is an almost impossible task. But today you were not in the mood to take a nap and I went in and got you out of your crib to give you some more of your bottle and when you were finished you were still awake but sleepy and I held you close and you didn’t wiggle away and I just sat there rocking and feeling the full weight of your little body in my arms, your breaths moving in and out, your head resting against my shoulder and I smelled your sweet baby hair and felt overwhelming love for you, my darling son.

The Seventh Month

3 May

Seven months! This was really a mixed bag.
I am writing part of this as you watch Italian for Babies. We watch it every single day and you are so funny because you laugh in the same parts every day – when the video shows the a boy waving flags and the voice over says “Bambino!” and when the video shows a little baby having a shirt put on, which is funny to me since you cry every time I put a shirt on you. No matter. You seem to really like the show (thank God for On Demand) and it gives me exactly 13 minutes to unload and load the dishwasher, get a cup of coffee and eat a quick breakfast because amazingly you stay put and watch the whole thing every time. The rest of the day you are on the go constantly, or rather you are wishing you could be on the go. You scootch around on your belly and are now getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth trying to put two and two together and figure out this whole crawling thing. I think it’s a few weeks away but we’ve really got to start baby proofing this house. We are so not prepared.
This was a big month for you as you now have two teeth, the growing of which has clearly not been any fun for you and not much fun for us either. But your bottom two teeth have broken through and they are very very sharp. You like to scrape your teeth along the edge of a really old remote we discovered for you thereby nullifying all of the work we do to make sure your toys are chemical free. Your favorite toys these days are a tupperware cup, the lids to your food jars and those remotes. I try to remember this when I am tempted to buy you some adorable handcrafted new toy on Etsy.
A few weeks ago we started going to The Little Gym to the Little Bugs gym class for babies ages 4 months to 10 months. I wasn’t sure how you would like it but you love it. You love jumping and flipping backwards, you sit back and just watch all of the other babies sometimes tentatively reaching out to say hello to one of them. 
You are developing a personality slowly but surely and sometimes I am not sure I love all of it. You definitely have a will of your own and so many meals become a battle of who was going to put the spoon in your mouth, me or you trying to guide the spoon in. When I won’t let you hold the spoon for fear of you jabbing it into the back of your throat you then show off your stunning vocal chords and scream. Loudly. A lot.
But meals are funny too. Sometimes you just lay your head down and start sucking on the tray of your high chair, which always makes me laugh because you always lower your head very slowly as if you are weary of the whole meal ordeal. One day after a particularly trying battle of wills you laid your head down and I just started to laugh because it was the only thing I could do. You picked your head up and looked at me and something seemed to click into that little baby brain and you seemed to get that you were making me laugh and you laughed hesitantly and put your head down again. I laughed harder. You looked up and smiled, this time a little wider and put your head down again and I just cracked up. You looked up again and this time joined in and soon we were laughing together, which was sweet and wonderful. I feel like I spend so much time trying to entertain you, coax a smile when you are sad, making you laugh when you are tired and this time you were making me laugh. It was wonderful and a small moment to hold onto in a tough month for us. 
You do so many other things that drive me crazy like pinching me when you are excited, something I feel terrible about faulting you for but it hurts. And you are terrible at just drinking your bottle that it makes me want to tear out my hair when you push the bottle away for the 20th time during a feeding. And you still have an ear piercing, mind numbing, blood pressure spike inducing scream that makes me want to shove hot needles in my eyes. 
I have to be honest being a parent is so much harder than I ever imagined and you are, on balance, a pretty good kid.  I read so many mommy blogs that paint this rosy picture of motherhood and I wonder if they ever have a bad day. Are they really that much more patient than I am? And then I think about you reading this someday and I hope you never think that your dad and I ever went through a day without loving you. You challenge us in so many ways and have forced us to change our lives in every way possible and this has been hard for us but even on the hardest days, on the days when I don’t think I can take it another minute, I can look at your sweet face, into your huge blue eyes, watch you joyfully flip over on your stomach and break into laughter when you see Buddy and fall in love all over again. And again. And again.

Six Months! 26 Weeks! Half Way Through the First Year!

23 Apr

Instead of attacking the enormous pile of your laundry that needs to be folded (I cannot wait to task you with this chore) I am instead sitting down to write this month’s entry before a few more weeks slip by and suddenly you are seven months and then suddenly you are ten years old. 
This month it seemed like you grew by leaps and bounds. A visit for your six month checkup told us that you are now 26 and 3/4 inches tall and 17 pounds 9 ounces (You feel more like one hundred pounds when I am carrying you around) and your head is still huge. It seemed like you stretched because your belly, while still quite large, doesn’t seem quite as rotund as it used to be.
You now must be on your stomach at all times. Every time I put you on the floor to play you flip over like a little fish and then ooch around on your belly like a minute hand on a clock. Then you get really frustrated because you cannot get where you want to go and let out an ear-splitting scream. So then I flip you to your back and the cycle starts again. You also now immediate roll onto your side when I put you in your crib, which is the cutest thing ever. You seem to becoming so much more of a boy now. Perhaps this is terrible of me to push you into these gender roles so early in your little life but when I put you in your activity center you grab one of your other toys and just start pounding the living daylights out of it. You also really like throwing things on the floor I think just to hear the crash.
Buddy is still your best friend and when we go downstairs to feed him you are both so excited you don’t know what to do with yourselves. Buddy hurles himself into the air while you wriggle around in my arms letting out little gasps of excitement, kicking your legs in glee and burrowing your face in my shoulder. You repeat this same routine when your dad comes home from work, like you cannot contain how totally thrilled you are to see him. The other day you had a fever from your shots (at which we both cried, again) and I knew you really weren’t feeling well because not even Buddy could cheer you into a smile.
Your other big new trick is getting to eat new foods every few days. Admittedly this is a bigger deal for me than for you but your dad and I love food so much that I am anxious for you to love everything. So far you have refused nothing except peaches, which surprised me because your dad and I love peaches more than any other fruit. But we’ll try them again some other day. 
And at last the weather is warm enough that we can start going to the park. I was so nervous the first time I put you into a swing last week because I was afraid you wouldn’t like it but I need not have worried because you absolutely loved it. You laughed and laughed and then just fell into this blissed out state as you swang away. A few days later your dad and I took you back to the park with a picnic lunch and after showing your dad just how awesome the swings were we spread out a blanket on a grassy hill with a view of the mountains, put you down beside us and we had our first picnic. Just the three of us being a family.

Five Months Old

18 Mar

Everyone said that you would be off to college before I knew it and while you are not exactly packing your bags (you still don’t want to roll over from your back to your belly) I cannot believe how fast this last month flew. Suddenly time seems to be moving more quickly. Perhaps it is because spring is coming and there is more light and the birds are singing now when I get up in the morning to nurse you. Perhaps it is because you are doing new things all the time and that makes the days go by faster. You are now eating rice cereal and sweet potatoes. The first few times we tried this most of the food ended up on your face and your bib but you seem to be getting the hang of this eating thing and now you bite down on the spoon with vigor. Your father and I are planning the garden, starting seeds and counting the days until we can eat our first tomato. I cannot wait to start making you new foods in the coming months.
We finally decided to bring the Ferber hammer down a few weeks ago because I was tired of nursing you four to five to six times before you would finally fall asleep for good. So we bit the bullet a few Saturdays ago and I nursed you, feeling rather weepy because I knew you were not going to be happy when you realized you weren’t going to be getting out of your crib again until the next morning, and then put you down awake. You instantly started crying but I steeled my heart, walked out of the room, set the timer for one minute and poured myself a glass of wine. One minute, three minutes, five minutes and ten minute timers went off and still you cried. Then about six minutes into the ten minute mark your father and I looked at each other and muted the television and all was quiet. You had actually gone to sleep on your own. It was like magic. We sat down to crab, garlic bread and more wine. You are the light of our lives but you sleeping through the night is so fabulous and we feel so lucky to have such a good little sleeper.
This past month you finally found your feet and now the moment I put you on the floor you throw your legs up in the air and reach for your feet. At night you love hanging out in your diaper and sucking on your toes as I read to you. You are working on sitting up too. Most of the time you fall over after a few seconds of balancing but sometimes you manage to balance forward on your hands and make little grunting sounds as you work to stay put. Somehow tiny bits of your personality are starting to come out. You seem pretty easy going but also so intense sometimes. You will hook your finger behind your pacifier, pull it out and examine it for minutes at a time with a furrowed brow as if the pacifier contained the answers to a complicated math formula. You study new peoples’ faces with similar concentration. You also now recognize Buddy and I think you might love him more than anyone else in the family. You just light up when he walks by and when he actually deigns to lick your hand you giggle and wiggle around in happiness. Buddy is still working on loving you but the other morning he came into your room and lay down on the floor next to you and you both just looked at each other and it was perfect harmony for a little while.

Luke – Four Months Old

29 Jan

Well once again I am a bit late on getting your monthly update written but this was a tough month for you and me and your dad. You continue to get cuter by the day and you laugh and laugh. Your dad is the best at getting you to laugh. He can just look at you and you’ll start cracking up. Last week we discovered that if your dad said “Howdy Partner” you would laugh as if this was the funniest thing in the world; and so over and over and over your dad said, “Howdy Partner” and you cracked up. It was the sweetest thing ever. I tried it later and you barely cracked a smile so it’s something you and your dad share, which is I suppose the first of many many things you’ll share. And this is something I am so happy about. Your dad is such a great dad and I know he cannot wait for the day he can hand you your first fly rod and start showing you how to fish; how to pick a fantasy football team, how to chop an onion and so many other things he does so well.
You are working on trying to sit up and for a few weeks you were really starting to try out your voice – yelling just to hear yourself yell, shrieking happily and babbling. You have clammed up recently but I hope the babbling comes back because it was so funny to hear.

These are all memories I am glad I am writing down because I have already forgotten so many details of your first few weeks and there are so many sweet things to remember. But this was a tough month too and I want to remember those too. You still struggle with milk proteins and we had to go get your blood drawn, which was sad for both of us. But while we waited in waiting room, a song suddenly started and I could not figure out where it was coming from until I looked into a far corner and there was a hospital volunteer singing with the loveliest voice I’d ever heard. I suppose she was there to have a calming influence on the scared kids and parents waiting for blood draws and it worked. I sat and held you close and we both listened to that gorgeous voice singing some unknown song. It was one of those rare moments in life when you feel like you lucked into something totally unexpected and beautiful. I was once sitting in an airport terminal and a bluegrass band got out their instruments and put on an impromptu show for the other people at the gate and you felt just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
And then two weeks ago I walked out the door to open the gate and slipped on the ice and dropped you. I won’t go into detail but it was truly the worst moment of my life seeing you fall and hit your head. An overnight trip to the hospital followed and you were put into a neck and body brace and poked full of IV’s and wires and were an absolute champ about all of it. I just sat and held you and cried and cried. Somehow over four months you have come to fill our lives so completely that the very thought, the most fleeting thought of not having you filled me with a sorrow I’d never felt in my life. It was a pain like no other and I hope never to experience it again. I was reminded over and over that night of a line from Annie Lamott’s “Operating Instructions.” something like “If I could have just one crummy tiny wish in this world it would be for my son to outlive me.” I realize this is pretty sad and scary stuff to put into this otherwise light-hearted blog, but it was my first really hard lesson in parenthood and it is lesson I want to remember on those trying days when you are cranky or you don’t want to go to bed or you are screaming your head off in the car. Those are such ridiculously small inconveniences and an easy price to pay for all the other thousands of other happinesses you bring into our lives.