Tuesday, September 30, 2008

three months

Dear Noah,
You are now 3 months and 5 days old. You are truly a golden child-- surrounded by love and affection-- you are cherubic and glowing. You smile and coo and crinkle your nose. You have a perfect dimple, creamy skin, yummy rolls, and big bright eyes. You are sweet and easy-going and a terrific sleeper (thank you!). This past month you discovered your hands. First, they simply started to slow down. Rather than watching them randomly flying by your face, one day there seemed to be some deliberateness to their movement. One day when you were nursing, your hand rested on my arm-- fingers splayed open and relaxed instead of balled up in a fist like a brand-newborn-- and it struck me so tenderly. Then I watched as you clasped your hands together in front of your face and really noticed them for the first time. And then of course you began chewing on them. Ahh, simple pleasures. :) You’ve moved on to actually sucking on your fingers and thumbs and knuckles, then purposely touching your feet. And today for the first time you grabbed your feet while I changed your diaper (though if I were timely, that should technically be in next month’s letter). You’re simply amazing. And we love watching all these milestones.

It’s been an action packed month, with two plane trips, back to school, and the end of my maternity leave. The first trip was to Michigan to see Great Gramma Lea in the hospital. She was very sick, but so happy to meet you. She said you were a beautiful baby. While we were there, we also saw Great Grampa Walt, Papa Bill and Gramma Lois, and you got to meet a lot of cousins and get your feet dipped in Gun Lake (I said that made you officially a “Hooker baby”). The day after we got home Levi started 2nd grade and Mariah started preschool at Trillium, and you and I went back to my office so that I could start treating patients again. It has been awesome having you there with me while I work! You hang out with Amber while I’m in the treatment room, and in between patients I can cuddle and nurse you. What a treat. I’m so grateful that you just roll with whatever comes along. We also had a trip to Ohio for the ACA Pediatrics Council annual symposium. I wore you the whole time and you were just perfect. At three months old you’ve already been in five states! This last weekend we all went out to the coast for my birthday-- your second trip to the beach. You were a little bit crabby and very drooly that day-- is it possible that you might be getting a tooth?

You continue to amaze us with your strength. Now you sit up really strong in our laps and we don’t even need to hold you around the ribs with both hands while we watch your head bobble around like a few weeks ago-- now you hold your head high and still and sit up with almost no support. And I can carry you easily with one arm around your ribcage and you facing out into the world. You are strong and solid. Yesterday at the office you weighed 17.2 pounds! (with a diaper and sleeper on) Your eyes are still blue and people think they may stay that way-- and have I told you about the little heart in your right eye? It’s your special little mark.

Oh Bubbi, these words just can’t do justice to what’s in my heart for you. Thank you for coming into our lives. We love you more than you’ll ever know.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

15 years ago today...

... I boarded the SS Universe and began my 100 day journey around the world. I didn't know a soul-- it was the first time in my life I went somewhere completely on my own. I was 20 years old, a senior in college, leaving behind my parents, my on-again-off-again boyfriend of 4 years, and the best girlfriends I could hope for. I was only slightly terrified. It was the adventure of a lifetime and I still think about it just about everyday. Just the other night I was in the grocery store, chasing the big kids towards the toy section (we weren't buying anything that day, just "planning for the future"), the was baby asleep in my wrap, and I was feeling a wee bit crabby... and the song "Oh what a night" came on. Life is very different now, but that song will always take me back to long nights of dancing on the ship with fabulous new friends that I'm still in touch with...

So, in honor of this anniversary, and to break away from my documentation of life as a mama of three, I bring you documentation of my free-spirited gypsy days, starting with my journal entry from day one of my Semester at Sea:


I wish to go to latitudes where my life must become quite different to make existence possible, where understanding necessitates a radical renewal of one’s means of comprehension, latitudes where I will be forced to forget that which up to now I knew and was... I want to let the climate of the tropics, the Indian mode of consciousness, the Chinese code of life and many other factors, which I cannot envisage in advance, work their spell upon me one after the other, and then watch what will become of me.
~ Count Keyserling

We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.
~ TS Eliot

I can’t believe it-- I’ve been saying that for days now. How can it really be here already? And how can I be a senior? I’m not sure the reality of the situation has sunk in yet. I keep talking about the trip, the destinations, the facts, but it feels like I’m talking about someone else, like it’s not really happening to me. Yet here I am: halfway moved into a room not even half the size of mine at home, sharing it with someone I didn’t know until today. T (my roommate) is great-- we’ve spent most of the day together. She says she’s kinda messy and kinda lazy, kinda shy, but also fun-- and she really likes to eat. We should get along great. I really want to start meeting people, I can’t wait until the ship feels like home. I haven’t gotten seasick yet, but can really feel the motion and it’s pretty noisy. The ship rattles and creaks, and we can hear everyone around us. I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to it, and how long it will take me to fall asleep tonight. How long will it be before people start dropping by the room, or I really get to know anybody? Who will be my best friends when it’s over?

I cried hugging Pop goodbye, still not realizing how big an adventure I’m undertaking. It’s all so unreal. The trip up was great-- we talked a lot, barely listened to any music, and read The Firm outloud to each other, just like when I was little (only then it was Black Beauty or The Secret Garden). He talks to me like an adult, always has, respects my opinion, and wants to hear it. He loves me very, very much. We waved and took pictures of each other waving and blew kisses and now ha has to drive home alone. I hope he finishes The Firm soon, I hope Ma is happy with the movies. I hope I love this trip. I hope everyone turns out to be as cool as they seem. I could tell from the beginning that wasn’t just snobby rich kids, but quality, laid-back people-- most a lot like me-- excited and nervous and curious as to what the next three and a half months will hold. I feel a million miles from home-- by morning we’ll be long past the last glimpse of land. Then come fourteen days of open sea...

The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson