Twice Around the Sun

Dear Baby Ike,

Wednesday of last week was your second birthday.  If I am to believe the subject lines of emails, this means you are now a preschooler!  But let’s be real – Mama will keep calling you Baby Ike, at least on occasion, as long as she can get away with it.  At the same time, you are certainly becoming a true big kid in some ways, so I will compromise and try to come to grips with the fact that you are at least solidly in the toddler range – technically you most likely will not start any kind of preschool program until next year, so I can for now at least semantically justify the procrastination of using that next categorical designation of tiny human.

Most of the time now you refer to yourself as Ikey, a nickname which grew on me more quickly and more fiercely than I anticipated.  When Grandma first started calling you that I honestly wasn’t sure how much I liked the sound of it, but coming out of your own mouth it seems 100% fitting.  All the other things coming out of your mouth, which are way too numerous to even attempt to quantify at this point, are nothing short of astonishing.  For barely two, you are quite verbal. You want to know the name of everything (WAT’S DAT!) and spend a lot of time identifying things and people you’re quite sure of (DAT’S MOMMY. DAT’S A TEEVEE!).  You repeat lots of new and old phrases every day, earning your moniker of Little Parrot (IKEY’S A WITTWE PAWWOT), and your sentence constructions and emphasis and expression never fail to impress me (WAT’S GAMPA DOIN’ OVER DERE?).  We’ve only had a handful of incidents (so far, anyway) in which you repeat somewhat unsavory things you overhear Mama or Daddy or one of their friends saying – the best of which had to be the time at Aunt Jeni’s house when the XBOX remote’s batteries died, meaning we couldn’t set you up with yet another episode of Daniel Tiger or Super Why.  You immediately declared this injustice to be BULLSHIT!  Nice use of context, I guess?  I don’t think anyone even tried not to laugh.

Your love of reading and books continues; you can pretty much recite the entirety of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and the expression you use for each turn of events kills me dead every time.  As much as I try not to let you insist and win on reading AWWWWWW DESE BOOKS before every bedtime, I’ll always let you sneak that one in before lights out. I need to enlist someone to help me get it on video soon, before your pronunciation goes up another notch toward proper – it’s already making me nostalgic for the time when the remotes were MEAT-MOTES and you didn’t have the S sound down pat yet.  Even Gamma and Gampa now sound more like Gramma and Grampa, though the Rs are still a bit W-ish.  I have, however, developed my own private conspiracy to keep you saying rhino-nocerous.  I have to think and say it very slowly to get it correct myself anymore.

You’re solid on the ABCs, colors, and basic shapes, and most of the numbers up to but not quite including 30!  I’m not sure you get the numbers concept nearly as much as you do letters (N. E. T. F. L. I. X. – DAT SPEWWS NETFWIX!), and you usually try to skip over 14 through 16 or 17 to get straight to 18, with a similar pattern through the 20s, but I’m still pretty astonished that you seem to have absorbed so much, so fast.  Sesame Street FTW?  Speaking of the Street, we had your birthday party on Saturday, and the word of the day was FUN.  In no particular order:

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Like last year, you were more interested in the fruit on/in your cake(s) than making a big messy cake-face, but at least this year we did not have to resort to putting Chee.rios in the frosting just to entice you to take a bite.  I’m pretty sure you had a great time.  A few of your friends were able to come, and you all had big fun playing in the pools and running around in the yard and in and out of the house.  You stayed up waaaay past your normal bedtime, and showed off some of your new imaginative play skills (pretending to be a dog and barking, which sounds remarkably like Dexter, at the window and the front door – when asked what you’re barking at, you reply DA MAIWMAN). You definitely have an independent streak, which I love to see (IKEY CAN DO IT AWW BY HIMSEWF!), even when it means slowing the progress of some tasks or activities to match the viscosity of molasses.  You’re also starting to show more of your imagination in playing with toys, feeding blocks to the caterpillars (because they’re VEWWY HUNGEE, you know) and prompting me to feign sadness (MOMMY SAD!) so you can give me kisses to cheer me up (you bet I’m a sucker for that game!).  I started asking you to “Guess what!” a while back, and answered for you with “I love you,” which you’ll now say back most of the time. That is, when it’s not an Everything is No (NO EVERYTHING NO!) time of day.  If it’s time for everything to be NO! then you say NO WUV YOU instead, but most of the time I can turn that into Mommy Sad and still get a kiss (tricky Mama!). Sometimes it morphs into I WOOF YOU, which I guess is Dog for the obvious?  You haven’t really explained, you just laugh (DATS FUNNY!), but it seems like a fairly educated guess, and perhaps your first pun.  We practiced a couple of those last night, and while I’m somewhat doubtful that you really grasp the concept of jokes with words yet, you definitely do enjoy it when DAT SOUNDS FUNNY!  Or, now, DAT’S PUNNY!

You also got your first haircut last week.  I was rather loathe to dispense with your natural, spiral-curl rat-tail, but even without it some curls remain.



After, without much humidity

After, without much humidity


It’s already been a great start to summer with you, Ikey – I’m so looking forward to the rest of it, and to everything that will follow.

Love you much,



Staying in the Frame

Per jjiraffe’s request, here are some photos of me looking like me.  Not all are current, but I think they are in the spirit of what we’re going for with the project.

Very chinny, very postpartum puffy, but soooo happy!

Picking up our rally ticket!

Sadly, the above is pretty accurate for how I usually look (this was taken Saturday).  Way, way overdue for a haircut, no makeup, jeans and a hoodie (if I’m out of the house – otherwise, subtract jeans and the bra and add yoga pants/sweats).  Big smile that makes my eyes totally disappear.

Here’s right after Ike was born – I LOVE this one:

Brand new, still in the birthing center, only hours old!



Just Checking In

I shudder to think what our next utility bill is going to look like, yet I’m supremely grateful to enjoy the luxury of air conditioning and electricity in general.  Today the high temperature is projected to be 105F (41C) with a heat index (what it feels like with the humidity) of 110F (43C) .  That’s ridiculous.  Too hot to even think about taking a blanket outside to sit under the shade tree in the backyard, let alone consider a walk down the street to the park.  I’m sure we’ll get to enjoy doing these things soon, but I am feeling impatient to cram all the memory-making I’ve imagined doing (plus all the other less fun stuff that that should have been done while I was still pregnant, like actually finishing the nursery and cleaning and organizing the rest of the house) into the remaining weeks I have off work.  

Ike is still doing great.  I’m definitely in that haze where getting not just a shower but also a meal feels like a monumental achievement, since we have no schedule yet and I’m not feeling confident enough that he’s completely past the jaundice (the whites of his eyes still look just a tiny bit yellow to me, though the pediatrician said that would be the last visible sign to clear) to not feed him on demand.  Yet he really is overall a fairly easy baby, I think.  His grandparents left yesterday, and while their visit was actually relatively lovely, I’m feeling grateful to sink back into our little cocoon, with the option to breastfeed while sitting on a couch in the living room rather than have to get up and go to the nursery or to our bedroom for privacy.  As much as I feel like I should accomplish a bunch of stuff this afternoon, I think I’m going to settle for a bath and a nap instead, right after I eat something – perhaps something healthy, even!  My discharge instructions from the hospital started with PAMPER YOURSELF, just like that, in all caps, and I don’t feel like I’ve really had the chance to comply, so hopefully I can indulge a bit over the next several weeks and truly savor as many moments as possible.  Here are a few that I tried to capture as I was savoring:  

Keep calm and…something.

Eek.  Suddenly I’m pregnant with a baby that’s due THIS MONTH.  Granted, at the very end of this month, and odds would favor a birth actually happening next month, but I may just go ahead and freak the fuck out anyhow.  
Ultrasound was good yesterday, but they didn’t give us a weight estimate, which confuses me.  I could have sworn when they set up the BPP schedule they said they’d check growth every other week, but then yesterday they said that it’s usually only every four weeks.  So I may not get another number (not that I think they’re terribly accurate numbers anyway) until the week after next.  Boo.  I want numbers. Because…well, hell if I know.  Because an educated guess is better than no guess at all?  Anyway, after the NST this morning (also good, he had a few little dance parties with good timing) when the midwife measured me she said she’d guess around five pounds at least, maybe six, so I guess that’s good enough for now.  
Since the doctor’s office remains a much less cluttered backdrop than any room in my house, I paused for another crappy cell phone pic: