Dear little Beckett --
My Boo Bear, my Little Boo, you are six months and change, and you are so, so dear and darling. You make so many wonderful sounds -- I hope so much that I will be able to remember the pitch, the tone, of your tiny voice. Of course, for a tiny voice, you sure can fill up the space with sound! You're latest thing is that you've learned how to roar -- you go, "AAAAAAAAHHHAAAHHHHHHHH!!!", as loud as you can, and it makes you so happy to be so loud. You love holding things that crinkle when you touch them, like the bag the baby wipes come in, and mylar balloons. You love to eat -- we started giving you real food about three weeks ago, and you love apples, butternut squash, pears, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, peas, blue berries, peaches, and apricots. When you are teething, which is often these days, even though those silly teeth won't come out, you like to chew on frozen peas that we put in a little mesh feeder, so you won't choke. You love to be on your tummy and push up -- you look so happy and proud when you're on your tummy, arms extended, head perky and eyes alert. Someone who met you recently said that you smile with your whole body -- and yes, you really do. You wiggle and smile, and just ooze happy. You aren't crawling yet, but you've figured out how to roll from place to place, and you do a little scooching, too. Crawling isn't long off. Neither is sitting up. You are so close to being able to do that on your own -- it's amazing to see you get so self sufficient. You crack up at your brother -- you just think he's so funny. It was no surprise to me that your first real laugh was at something Hank was doing. You know your surroundings and your home -- just a few days ago we came home from a week in New York, and when we got back to our car at the airport, you knew your carseat, and you were so happy to be in your own carseat that you started cooing, giggling, and merrily kicking your sweet little feet.
It seems like you are growing up without us even noticing -- it is all going to fast. You are still a tender little baby, but the tender little baby days are zooming by so, so quickly. Every now and then when I'm snuggling you, I snuggle you a little bit tighter and whisper, "stay small for a long, long time, please stay small". Your smallness is delicious, but so is being a witness to all the discoveries you are making about yourself and this world, so keep doing all that, too, and I'll try to slow down and drink it all in a little bit more.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Dear little Beckett --
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Dear Hank --
Beautiful boy! You have just turned four, and I hope you had a really happy birthday. We surprised you by having a bouncy house delivered to our backyard for the day, getting you the big boy bike you were hoping for, and making a big cake that looked like a volcano -- the cake was lemon, your favorite these days, and I put some dinosaurs around it (because you are crazy about dinosaurs right now), and made a river out of blue frosting (because that was another part of your request). I put the whole cake together the night before your party, after you went to sleep, and when you saw it in the morning, the look on your face was priceless.
I've been feeling bad because I haven't been making much time to record memories for you to read in the future, so here are a few recent things that have been so nice for me to experience with you.
1 -- there's a playground in a neighborhood near us called Greenridge Park. We discovered it a few months ago. We have to drive up a huge, steep hill to get there, and at the top is this great playground with a view of the entire bay area. We realized that if we went late enough in the day, you could play and blow off some steam, and then we could watch the sun set. The first time we did this, you were totally blown away. You had no idea that the sun sinks below the horizon, because you had never seen it actually happen. It made for a really magical moment, and now about once a week, you will ask if we can go to Greenridge Park and watch the sun set. We did this again yesterday, and as soon as you noticed that the sun was about the slip away, you came to sit with me and Beckett on a bench and we all watched in silence while snuggling on the bench. It was lovely. This morning you asked if we could go and do it again today.
2 -- about two months ago (so when Beckett was just about five months old) you finally noticed that he was someone you could interact with, someone who could be fun for you, instead of just someone who was taking Daddy's and my attention away. Since then I've really enjoyed watching you do things like share toys with him, and make him laugh. In doing so, you've been able to share some of Beckett's first experiences, and by the look on your face when this happens, it looks like you re-experience these things for the first time again, too. You did this with a glowing light stick -- it was really dark and you were playing with this wonderful glowing thing, noticed that Beckett was interested, and shared it with him, and watched him play -- it was lovely. And just this week, you made Beckett laugh out loud for the very first time, and it cracked you up, too. You were running around the family room in your underpants, throwing your pants up in the air over and over again, and it just cracked Beckett up -- he laughed and laughed, laughed like he has never laughed before, and you laughed and laughed, too.
3 -- you say the craziest things these days -- I've been trying to jot my favorites down, but I know I'm not capturing them all. Here are three of your finest quotes, just from yesterday:
"my sleeves are inside out! Help me make them inside in!"
"that dog has a funny butt. It's butt is ROUND!!"
"mommy!!! The moooon is out! It's a banana!"
And pretty much everything that comes out of your mouth is preceded by a "Moooommmmmyyyyy!!!!!"
I'll wrap this birthday letter up, because it is starting to get a little long, but know that your daddy and I just love you so much. We love reading stories with you. We love how curious you are about how things work, watching you focus on taking things apart and put them back together. You love to have dance parties in the evenings. You bring a lot of joy to our lives, and we can't imagine what the last four years would have been like without you in them. Thank you for being our wonderful little guy.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
With Hank getting older, and more and more creative, we've been trying to find new ways to be inventive at home with play. In our efforts, several cardboard boxes have met their demise, but some, like this one, got new life as things like sail boats. We've been having a ton of fun :)
OK, well, to be technical, Hank's first trip to fairyland was as an infant, but this was his first trip as a full fledged boy, and it was just delightful. Fairyland was pretty much exactly as I remembered it. The rides, displays, play equipment, all of it. Hank loved it, and I loved getting to share it with him, and with Henry, too (who of course had never been). I loved having Beckett there, too, but really look forward to taking him at an age when he'll be able to enjoy it as much as Hank enjoyed it this past trip. It was really a joy. I can't wait to go again.
oh this made him so happy! Towards the end of the Summer, Hank had just been being so good and wonderful, that I took him to the toy store and told him he could pick one toy out, and he was drawn to this like a magnet. They had a torrid affair, lasting about a month and a half. Definitely worth the 17 bucks.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Hank is loving preschool, and is discovering the joy of listening to audiobooks. Today we went to the library, and Hank got his own library card. He got a kick out of signing his name on the back, and checking out his books and CDs. We checked out an audio version of Winnie the Pooh. I really get a kick out of how Hank pronounces Christopher Robin -- he calls him Krista Behrobbin. Definitely now correcting that anytime soon.
Hank is gradually showing more interest in Beckett. He is still convinced Beckett's name is actually 'Buckett'. Today he wanted to hold Beckett for the first time. It was very sweet.
--- Posting while on the go.
Dear Beckett --
Yesterday you turned three months old! I can hardly believe you have been with us for a quarter of a year already. I barely remember what it was like before you came along; that's how deeply you belong with us.
The fourth trimester zoomed by this time. All of a sudden I look down and you are no longer the floppy, squishy baby we met back in May. Don't get me wrong, you are still plenty squishy and floppy, but you are getting stronger and sturdier by the day. And goodness -- so cute!! Your smiles are infectious. When you are happy you wiggle, clasp your teensy little hands together, and push out your chest. Sometimes when you fart, you surprise yourself and your eyes get huge. Your soft red hair is still soft and red, and I still love to snuzzle your hair with my chin. You hold my fingers tightly when nursing, and you are just learning to shake a toy or rattle. You love your blankies, and like to ball them up in your fists and bury your face in them. You prefer to be held upright as opposed to cradled in our arms, and you love to nap on my chest in a baby carrier. You coo, oo, aah, and squeal. Sometimes you cry so hard that you get blotchy. One of your favorite places in the world is your stroller. I still think of you as my little Buddha Baby and call you Boo for short. I also think of you as my lucky penny. You are still working on learning how to roll over, and you hate tummy time. When we are outside, you are amazed by the trees. Trees are quite amazing. You are amazing.
--- Posting while on the go.
Monday, August 8, 2011
We wound up going to Cafe de la Presse, a French brasserie just outside the gate to Chinatown. After dinner, the kids still had some steam, so we burned it off by wandering Chinatown, taking in the sights and sounds, and exploring. Hank loved it. He absolutely loved it. And it wasn't until we were doing it that I remembered it as something my family would do when I was a child. Sharing this adventure, and being on the other side of the experience, as a parent, was moving and exciting for me.
--- Posting while on the go.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
I cannot believe that eleven weeks have passed since we met Beckett. The last eleven weeks have been filled with highs, lows, scary moments, and lots of joy to balance it all out. I regret that I haven't made the time to write more regularly in these last weeks, because it has truly passed in a blur. The fourth trimester has nearly passed, and I don't know where it went.
Over all, we have been lucky -- Beckett had a rough start his first few weeks, but the closer we come to three months, the mellower he's become, and we seem to have a lovely, pleasant, smiley baby on our hands, and I just feel so blessed.
The only moment I remember vividly in the first few days that we were home from the hospital, was the moment Beckett stopped breathing in my arms. He was eight days old at the time, and I had just fed him and changed his diaper. I picked him up off the bed where we were sitting, and all of a sudden his tiny body went stiff and twisted, his eyes bugged out of his head, and he turned purple. He wasn't breathing, and stayed that way for several seconds. Inside I was panicking, outside I was panicking. I was crying, "BREATHE!! BECKETT, BREATHE!!!" Henry was upstairs and came running, and whacked Beckett on the back, getting him to breathe again. Mere seconds passed by before it all happened again. I got on the phone with 911 and paramedics arrived very quickly. By then, Beckett was back to himself, but the paramedics said that it sounded like he had had a seizure, and strongly recommended that we take him to the ER. So off to the ER we went.
At the ER they took him in right away, and immediately wanted to rule out seizure disorders. They gave our tiny baby a spinal tap, drew blood from him, ran an IV line, and catheterized him to take a urine sample. The pediatrician kept talking about seizures and admitted him so that he Beckett could be given IV antibiotics and be in the hospital for some other tests, such as a brain scan.
We spent six days in the hospital on the pediatric ward. The first 36 hours were terrifying for us. By the end of those 36 hours, they had ruled out seizure disorders and meningitis, but they had diagnosed Beckett with a urinary tract infection. Subsequent tests, including an ultrasound and a scan involving dye being injected into his bladder, fortunately ruled out any structural problems with his kidneys and bladder. Six weeks of antibiotics later, he was finally given a clean bill of health.
Beckett's illness and hospitalization combined with his high birthweight also caused him to lose a significant chunk of weight in his first two weeks, and it took eight weeks to get him back to his birth weight. It wasn't until then that I finally felt like I could begin to relax and enjoy and get to know Beckett. And he is wonderful.
He smiles and everything lights up. He can almost laugh. He has a fuzzy blue blankie that he loves and likes to hold. He adores Hank. When he farts, he smiles happy smiles.
Hank is growing into his role as big brother beautifully. He still calls Beckett "Buckett", and sings a little sing-song to him all the time that goes, "Hiiii, little Buckett! A wop-a-doop-a-luppet!" He's been warming up to the baby slowly, but he now likes to kiss Beckett on the head, and pet him. When we are driving in the car, he often calls to me from the back seat to tell me what Beckett is doing. When Beckett is crying, he will tell him, "You ok, little Buckett!"
Hank is growing up so much in his own right. Recently he has been really enjoying his scooter. We got him a bike helmet so he can scoot around the block, and darn it he is so cute! He is learning to spell words that interest him. He even blew our minds a few weeks ago when he pointed out a sign to us and said, "That says "NO!"", and he was right! He's really amazing!
But of course in the midst of all this maturity, I am also remembering the fact that he is still so young, too. I was so worried that the baby's birth would beat the last of the baby out of Hank, but it hasn't. I think sometimes we forget that he is still only three years old and being three comes with its own set of challenges. Most recently we've realized that Beckett's hospitalization really scared Hank terribly, and as a result he's become clingy and resistant to trying anything new. He wants to be home, preferably with us, all the time. But on the bright side he finally seems to be potty trained! Huzzah!!
I've had a few moments of wistful thinking about the fact that I'm never going to be pregnant again, never going to give birth again or have a baby again. Sometimes I look at Beckett and say, "we will never have anyone this small in the family again!" But my childbearing really is over, and by and large I am happy about that. I guess it is just the fact that we spent so much time in the conception and pregnancy mindset, that it has been strange to reset, and refocus, and start to let other things into my brainspace again. It is a good place to be. I like it.