Dear 2009,


Dear 2009,

Jenni does a wonderful job painting a pretty picture of our lives on this blog. The truth sometimes doesn't smell so sweet. In fact, the past 8 months have been down right shitty. One mysterious daughter-stealing regression/illness, one failed (and very expensive) business venture, and one father with a very blocked artery -- these things by themselves are fairly shitty, but when combined tend to, even more, conjure up thoughts of a steaming pile of used-up food.

Forget about the recession, wars, gas prices, global warming... I don't really give a crap. I just won't open my 403b statements, ever vote for a Bush, or drive my car to work in warm weather! Instead, someone please tell me what's wrong with my daughter, promise me my next kid will be okay, and tell me my dad will live to meet his great-grandchildren!

I can honestly say that I have never anticipated a New Year so much in my life. The symbolic flushing of 2008 into the sewers of recent history should provide some momentary satisfaction as we wipe clean the slate that was 08.

Is that Baby New Year punishing the porcelain one last time in '08? Hope she lit a match...

In anticipation of good things to come,

PS. I really took that "Please don't shit here" photo. And no, I didn't stencil it myself; it was already there, behind the hardware store near Kroger here in Grandview.

PPS. I didn't have the opportunity to use all of my toilet euphemisms here, so expect future blog entries to contain references to growing a tail, launching the corn canoe, that one's shaped like Michigan, etc.


Single Digits

No, not the weather... despite the fact that it is December, the high in Columbus today was 67 degrees.
The weeks. If this baby arrives as predicted, even if he/she is a few days "late," like Celia was, we have fewer than ten weeks before we get to meet this little one!

It's hard to believe how easy it is to fall in love with someone you don't even know...
Someday, maybe he'll be a high school science teacher, or she'll be a famous pianist.
Someday, maybe she'll travel the world and send postcards from Bolivia, or he'll phone from Rome where he's honing his culinary skills.
Someday, maybe she'll be a confident corporate executive or he'll be a strong swimmer.
Someday, he'll have his own hopes, or she'll have her own dreams, never knowing how much we hoped and dreamed to have him/her in our life!




We recently took Celia to the Columbus Zoo, in order to enjoy the brilliance of the holiday light display. She was fascinated, but is still partial to the aquarium. And because we're partial to what she's partial to, and because it was way warmer inside the aquarium building, we spent far more time watching the fish than looking at the lights. There, our hearts thrilled to the wild magic of her elation and to the radiant sound of her enjoyment.
We'll take her back next year to let her get her twinkle on...



Well, it's not really home. I mean, I didn't grow up in that house. But family lives there now, which makes it home. And even though it's not the same couch I grew up resting on, it's still the kind of couch that takes me captive, physically and mentally, reminding me how cozy it is to be back in my childhood.
We celebrated Christmas with Dad and Sandy this weekend. And their couch took Celia captive, too. She napped there, and in Aunt Stephanie's arms, and in the car on the way home. And then last night she wanted nothing to do with bedtime. She was the epitome of a spoiled grandchild, given back to her parents to "deal with." And although it was late (we're talking midnight) she was in a super mood, and we enjoyed her energy. It crossed our minds that perhaps someone slipped Celia one of Stephanie's frosted Easter-like cookies?
If our camera time-stamped photos, this one would read somewhere in the vicinity of 11:30pm.

Andy and I are always grateful for a happy baby, no matter the hour, and we're very lucky to have so many homes to return to.


Rub A Dub

I understand the words "bath time" may evoke about as much excitement in you as say "nasal decongestant," but humor me here. At our house, bath time is often the highlight of Celia's day. Which, in turn, is a highlight of our day, too.
Andy and I have entirely different methods of bathing...I use a washcloth, he uses a loofah. I choose a couple bath toys, he throws them all in the tub. I use a little soap and am careful around her face, he uses lots of soap and piles suds on her head. Andy's bathing method often requires an extra towel to mop up water that splashes out of the tub, but his ways also seem to elicit more smiles, so I sure don't complain.



For the Love

I love you, I love you, I love you. The words tumble effortlessly from our mouths, again and again.
I hesitate hardly a second before hauling her into my arms. I lean in closer so as to breathe the scent of her hair. I notice the tiny rolls in her neck and feel the bony points of her shoulder blades, terrain I've mapped before.
There are certain details I wish I could freeze in amber: the red ringlets at the nape of her neck, her iridescent pink fingernails, and those eyebrows, raised as if they've had help from a forklift!

And Andy is no less guilty. Celia. He balances her name lightly on his tongue, as if it's made of feathers, and when he whispers in her ear, the words - so comforting, so full of love - sound like they're covered in blankets. Entire conversations take place in silence between the two of them, because the heart has it's own language. And he will wish to remember everything she says, even though she doesn't say a word.

I love you. Three little words. One huge truth.



Sleep in Heavenly Peace

So there haven't been many silent nights around here lately, but Celia has been resting a lot. She crawls over to be held, and snuggles her legs in tight around my belly, burrowing in like I might have developed a marsupial pouch when she wasn't looking. And I stop folding laundry, or whatever is I'm doing in an effort to be productive, and enjoy the rest myself (all the while trying to ignore the 30 0r so pounds of extra weight on top of extra weight). And Andy captures this on film. You know, not so much so that we can remember what sleeplessness does to the fabric of marital cooperation, but more to document for the next baby how much he/she is loved by his/her big sister.

Because Celia has been nocturnally slumber-challenged, she's particularly lethargic during the day. This morning she had breakfast shortly after 9am, we played a bit, and then she needed a break. Here she is, in a self-determined location, about 10:30am:

Although she seemed perfectly content, I moved her to the couch...
Getting up multiple times through the night hampers my creativity and hurts my sensibilities. But instead of laying here festering with self pity, since Celia is sweet-dreaming (in her crib this time) I may try, too.



'Tis the Season

It's snowing. The tree is up, twinkling with white lights. The house is quiet, holiday music playing softly. Stockings are hung. Several doors have been opened on the advent calendar. There's a tricky balance this time of year, between the magical and the overwhelming. Right now our scale is tipping toward the magical. Hope yours is, too.



How many

times can we blog about Celia's affinity for H2O, about how much she seems to relish swimming? Swimming in her grandparents' pool, swimming in her grandparents' big red tub, almost swimming in the backyard pond...
We took Celia to a local community rec center's open swim last weekend, and she wore herself out. We didn't get the camera out till we were all dry, so this photo is more about post-swimming than swimming, but she sure enjoyed the fountains and slides, almost as much as she delighted in cuddling with Daddy to dry off.

And not completely unrelated, but admittedly somewhat random, for some reason I was thinking of some additional "how many"s recently. Like how many nails I am responsible for keeping trimmed around here - currently it's 60 (because I do a good job with Colby's nails and it makes Andy kind of nervous - funny, considering he spends lots of time cutting and sewing people...) Anyway, that's a lot of nails to keep trimmed.
And soon it will be 80. Oh. my. goodness.