aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Dear Tai,

I am so far behind on my letters to you.  I hope that you know that I love you, more than these letters can tell you.  After all, it's better to be spending time together than just writing about it, right?  

We have been having some fabulous days together lately.  You are talking up a storm.  After a period of some weeks where the big question was 'what's that', even when you knew exactly 'what that' was, you're into the 'why's.  Sometimes we get into an endless string of 'why' wherein I try to answer until I run out of answers, try asking what you think, then you just ask me again.  Daddy reminds you that it's always good to ask questions, because that's how one learns.  And you are learning things faster than I would ever believe.  Daddy keeps pointing out that you are a sieve (meaning, of course, sponge - but Daddy gets confused), and this is true.  I have to keep my language cleaned up!

You were visiting Etienne and Angela a week ago, and Angela says you and Etienne had a whole conversation together, just the two of you.  You were playing with playdough, and talking about what you were doing.  I think this may be the first time that you had a whole conversation with another kid your age without any input from a parent.

You process everything.  You've been pretending to fall down and cry, then get a kiss and hug from me, and when I suggested that you don't need to be hurt for a kiss and a hug from me, you repeated what I said slowly, as you thought about it.  Today you came running in to me in the kitchen and asked for a hug and kiss.  I was more than happy to give you one.  The other week you were at Ba's house (We finally realized this came from how you say 'grandma' which is 'bahma'.  So yes, 'ba'.) and you both were talking about Daddy and his job.  You'd just visited his office in Cupertino.  Ba asked if you knew where he worked, and you said 'Apple'.  Then you said, "I eat apples".  Ba said yes, but this is a different Apple.  At this Apple, they make iPods and iPhones and iPads.  You considered, then said 'Some apples make ipods and some apples make iphones..." 

You are learning about feelings.  When you knock over and throw around all of my freshly folded laundry and I scowl and get angry you ask whether I'm happy.  You apologize and then ask again whether I'm happy.  When we are drawing on the chalk board, and I draw a sad face, you erase the mouth and ask me to 'make him happy'.  When you are falling asleep in your bed, you say that you're going to hold Hey Bun Bun in case you get lonely.  (Then follow up by pointing out that coming to my bed will keep you from being lonely too.  That I keep you company in bed and Daddy keeps me company.  Yes, that we do.)

You've been having a harder time staying in your big boy bed lately.  You sleep alone until around 2am, then come to bed with Daddy and me.  I don't mind so much because you just curl up and fall asleep.  You like to share my pillow, wanting me close to you.  You also like to sleep on the outside of the bed, rather than the middle, which means you've fallen out of bed a couple of times.  However, this doesn't keep you from sleeping there again later.

In the last week, you've been wearing underwear all day, every day.  You've had 7 days of dryness in a row!  I am so proud of you.  Last Friday we were at the bookstore and you asked to go potty, right in the middle of looking at books.  The next day you chose underwear instead of a diaper and we haven't looked back.  

Your favorite books in the past few weeks are: Green Eggs and Ham, where you always close your eyes and turn your head when the narrator is about to try the green eggs and ham, just before he says he likes it; Moo Who?, about a cow named Hilda Mae Heifer who gets hit in the noggin with a cow pie and loses her moo, which you already know some of the words; Tadpoles, about a little girl who gets a baby brother and would rather have a frog - and learns about frogs growing up as her baby brother grows up too - you love to see the frogs; Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boyton - which you love me to sing, but not to kiss you at the kiss parts; and Wrapped in my Love - about a puppy named Snoozer, who hears strange noises in the night and is afraid until his parents reassure him, and you already know most of this book by heart.

I want to say here that there have been some tough patches lately, and I've been a little more short-tempered, a little less patient, and a little less available for you than I have been.  I'm sorry about that.  I want you to know that is not your fault.  I'm going to do better.  It never means I don't love you.

I do love you, with my whole entire being.  You are my favorite big boy.

Love always,
Your Mommy

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Tai's social smile

Dear Tai,

At this moment, I hear you calling me from upstairs where you should still be sleeping.  I'm pretending that somehow writing this letter makes up for sending your Daddy up to you so I can finish my post Sing-It-Yourself Messiah eggnog.  This is the difference between life as an infant and life as a toddler.  I wouldn't have done that even 10 months ago.  I would have been up the stairs in a flash.  Now your Daddy and I trade stink-eyes until one of us gets up.  Not that we don't love you - we are just greedy for every moment of solitude.  You have a toddler's energy and we are getting old.  Also, Mommy likes to use the bathroom all by her lonesome.  Weird, I know!

I can't believe you are almost two.  And at the same time, I certainly can believe it.  You are talking up a storm - though sometimes I don't understand you no matter how many times you repeat it.  You can form three and four word sentences - especially imperative sentences.  You are still the director of your world, at least as much as the pain-in-the-butt adults will allow you to be.  You want to do everything yourself (woe betide the person who doesn't let you buckle your seatbelt or jump off the curb in the parking lot!) and you love to help - especially getting mail and doing the laundry.  Folding and unfolding - one and the same thing for Tai!

We just got back from a trip to San Diego and the desert.  You got to visit your Pawpaw, Des, and your Daddy's grandpa, Pop in San Diego.  You impressed them with your ability to entertain yourself for at least twenty minutes just going out the dog door and letting yourself back in the back door.  You visited with your Uncle Q and your Granddad in the desert.  You're starting to have a preference for hanging out with other guys... when you had a choice of playing with Grandma or Granddad, you picked Granddad.  (Which prompted your Daddy and I to wonder how we ended up with such a man's man.)  You spent a lot of time improving your kicking abilities, and started to learn how to hold a golf club.  You take after your Mommy - you're quite the water baby!  Even though it wasn't above 50 degrees on our last day down south, you still wanted to swim.

It's almost Christmas and we've started decorating the house.  You love your model train that runs around our tree, and you know what snow men look like (even if it's fortunately far to warm to make a real one).  You sat on Santa's lap for the first time and we managed to get a good photo before you decided that sitting on strange guys laps is not for you.  I can't wait to share the magic of this season with you.  It's one of my favorites, and it's going to be even better now that I can make it magic for someone else, too.

I can't even count how many words you say.  You still say 'oleoleo' for cereal.  You say 'Da-dad' for Granddad, 'bahbin' for mountain, 'Howmeen' for Halloween, 'disniss' for Christmas, 'ay-oh' for radio, 'Peber' for Peter, 'nineese' for Chinese (as in food).  You still call Grandma 'Bah'.  You still love to order the dogs around.  Cocoa is 'Doh-doh'.

Even if I listed everything you can do (climb up the climbing-web on the playground), everything you love (balls, trucks, drawing, playing piano), everything you can say ('Dad-dad, sit down floor please), it still wouldn't encompass why I love you.  I love the way you say 'please' and 'thank you' for everything.  I love the way you say 'You, Tai' and crack up after I sing the 'I love you a bushel and a peck' song.  I love your laugh. I love the scrunchy face you make now when I tell you to smile for a picture.  I love how much you love experiencing the world.  

Tonight I was at the Mission Dolores Basilica with Bah, singing the Messiah and at intermission we went to see Mary's shrine.  Standing there in front of her I offered my thanks again - that I was lucky enough to be blessed with you.  

Love you times a million,
Your Mommy

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Tai practices his 'grin on command'  Dear Tai,

Going back and reading a couple of your letters, I discovered that you were sick just two months ago.  Poor kidlet, you're sick again.  Everyone tells me that this will give you a good immune system, but it's just so sad to see you feeling not yourself.  I miss your smile!  You woke up late last night with a fever and you spent the day on the couch with Daddy.  You slept a lot, barely ate, barely played.  We're hoping you don't have the Hamthrax.  It's possible you are having a reaction from the vaccines you had over the week.

We went to meet a new doctor this week - Dr. Breder.  Even though we love Dr. Treece, I was looking for a practice that didn't feel quite so rushed.  So we were behind on your Well Baby visits and on your vaccines.  You're growing like a Magic Beanstalk!  You are 35 3/4 inches tall - almost three whole feet.  You weigh 34 pounds and 12 oz.  Your head is 20 1/4 inches.  You're in the 97th percentile for weight and head size and the 95th for height.  You're going to take after your Daddy and be tall.  I think you liked the new doctor, though she wasn't as funny as Dr. Treece.

You're almost two years old.  You're getting to be such a real person, an individual.  Your Grandma says she really likes the video of you dancing at the Bernal Fiesta on the Hill this year, because the way you move, the way you hold your hands shows some of who you are becoming.  It's not me, or Tom - it's you.  I am enjoying getting to see more of that.  You are a social animal - you party late into the night, you love to hang out with other kids.  When we were at the aquarium last week Matteus (one of the other kids from the Mom's Group) was running and tripped and fell.  You were chasing him, and when he fell, you copied him.  Erika and I cracked up, and from that time on you set out to impress us by your falling skills.  You looked like a little Break Dancer.  Later, you held Matteus's hand as you walked through the museum.  You love to play with all of the kids in the Mom's Group, but Dottie is still your favorite.  When you see her on the street you call out to her "Dottie!"  and then you copy each other, and flirt and laugh.

I'm looking to find a good preschool for you, because you need more stimulation and socialization than I can give you with visits to the playground and our every-couple-of-weeks Mom's Group.  We've gone to two, so far.  One tour, one open house.  Both times you were quite content to explore the classrooms and play with their toys.  You watched the other kids, and joined them.  While you did include me in your play a few times, I think you're going to enjoy the experience.  I'm looking forward to watching you make new friends, learn new things, and join more of the world on your own.

You're talking more and more.  When I asked Grandma to tell her what Peter did when he visited our house, you said, "Peter play cars."  You love your matchbox cars, and 'play cars, Mama.  Play cars, Daddy' is a frequent refrain around the house.  You are learning to count and can get most of the way to 10 by yourself.  When I sing, you often join in on some of the words.  Your favorites are "Twinkle, twinkle" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep".  You also love when I sing, "I love you, a bushel and a peck", especially when I add your name to the end of the song.  That cracks you up.  Just lately you've taken to gasping in surprise when you see something interesting, like the moon or an airplane.  You like Grandma's birdies almost more than her dogs, and you love to feed Lucky and Pickle seeds.

Even on the tough days, I'm loving this adventure we're on together.  You are my boy and I am lucky to be your Mommy.


aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Dear Tai,

I can't believe you are almost two years old.  This time is flying faster than I ever could have imagined.  You're so tall, just two inches short of three feet tall.  You dance and run down hills and jump and go up and down stairs.  You kick and throw balls.  You talk and sing.  You are a person already, and I can still remember when it took all of your concentration to reach out and grab a spoon from the table in front of you. Now you're using a spoon to eat lentil soup and spaghetti squash casserole (though you still have trouble getting all of the food in your mouth and not on your shirt.) You charm everyone with your smile and your flirting.

I can't even keep up with all of the words you know.  You call Grandma 'Bah', which you came up with all by yourself.  You call her dog Lasa 'las' and Little Dog is 'LD'.  Luna is 'loons'.  Cocoa is 'doh-doh'.  It cracks you up endlessly to say 'No, loons!'  'Quiet, dogs!' and 'No paw, doh-doh!' You call Dottie and Peter and Liam by name (I love the way you say 'eee-um' for Liam).

You have recently decided that showering is one of the most fun things ever.  Neither daddy nor I can shower alone in the morning anymore.  You have to come with us and you're willing to stay in the shower through both of our showers and even longer.  You'd probably stay in there all morning if we let you.

Your favorite song is "Boom boom Pow" by the Blackeyed Peas and you ask for it almost every day.  When we first started listening to it, you asked for it almost every hour.  I'm pretty sure I've heard it a hundred times now.  You've got a pretty eclectic taste in music - when we were walking down Bennington last week we heard someone listening to classical music at top volume and you danced to that too.  When we saw Breakfast with Enzo (sort of rag-time, bluegrass kids music) you danced and clapped and bopped to the beat.

Everything small is 'baby'.  A little pumpkin is a baby pumpkin.  A little stick is a baby stick.  Bigger ones are either Mommy or Daddy.

Your favorite things to do include: going to the playground, going to the dog park with Grandma and her dogs, playing with your bubble blower, drawing with markers, drawing outside with chalk, and building robots with Daddy.

Halloween is coming and you're looking forward to it.  You love to say 'pupkin' and you know that ghosts say 'boo'.  You are a little nervous about some things - like skeletons (which I think you get from Mommy, though I'm trying not to act nervous around you).  You like witches and bats.  I can't wait to dress you up and take you trick-or-treating.  The holidays are going to be especially fun this year - you'll be able to participate and remember and understand.

I can't wait to see it through your eyes.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Dear Tai,

I wish I were better when you are sick.  I take good care of you, I hold you and cuddle you.  I give you medicine if you need it, juice and water and what food you want.  I nurse you if it doesn't make you gag and you want it.  But I can't make you feel better and I wish with all of my heart that I could.  It hurts to see you feeling so poorly.  Your smile and exuberance are totally gone.  You just want to lay on the couch with me or Daddy and watch TV.  When you're healthy you don't want to sit still for even a whole episode of Sesame Street. 

Your Mimi and Popa and your Uncle Andrew visited you this past weekend.  Even though Andrew was sick, you had such a good time with him.  Unlike your Daddy and me, he loves sports and you both spent some good time watching 'ut-baw' (or foot-ball).  He couldn't even go to the bathroom without you saying 'An-doo, An-doo.'  Your Mimi loved to draw with you, and your Popa had the best time going down the slide with you.  You impressed them with your words and your running and your love of eating (especially olives).  None of them could believe how much you've grown up, just since June.  They had to search out a real 'ba-ket-baw' (basketball) for you, and you love it.  

I can't believe how much you've grown myself.  You are saying two and three word 'sentences'.  You talk about 'boo eyes' and 'boo shoes' and you can ask for juice by name.  You ask to use the drinking fountain by making slurp, slurp sounds.  You know several colors pretty well, and you can almost say 'orange'.  You love riding in the truck with Daddy, and when you both took a trip to Ikea you didn't stop saying 'tuck' until you hit Oakland.  You like to echo the last couple of words of what we're saying, and it's inspired me to start cleaning up my language.  

You have been growing impatient with Story time, but you still love to sing along and dance.  You are starting to play with other kids, like Talya and Dottie.  You have a great time running and laughing with Dottie.  Balls are still your favorite - throwing, kicking, trying to catch.  If anyone, anywhere has a ball, you want to participate.  You want to read stories every night and during potty time.  Your favorite books are about Wibbly Pig and Winnie the Pooh, though you still love your dog books.  And 'Runaway Bunny' has been a very popular potty pick as well. 

Sometimes I wish I could be a better mom - when I'm overly anxious, or short-tempered, or irritable.  I know no one is perfect, but I've been more off than usual lately and I wish that you didn't have to be a part of that.  I'm going to try to get things back to a more stable place, but I hope you'll forgive me for the mistakes I make.

I do love you.  Always.  Don't forget that.

~ Your Mommy
aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
  Dear Tai,

I can't believe you are almost a year and a half old.  As I was saying to your Grandma earlier today - sometimes it feels like you've been a toddler for a long time. I can barely remember when you were an infant!  Even when you're challenging, you are also so much fun and so amazing.  You are growing up so quickly.

Lately you've been loving to sing - songs of your own (though I usually don't understand your words), and also songs that you learn from me and your Grandma.  You enjoy the Eensy Weensy Spider.  You can do most of the signs that go with the words and your favorite part is "washed the spider out".  It almost always makes you grin.  Today, for the first time, you asked me for "If you're happy and you know it" out of the blue.  You clapped and then did the 'hooray!" part and when I guessed what you wanted, you were so pleased.  

We're working together on the communication front.  You're learning more and more words, and I'm pretty good at guessing what you mean other times.  You say 'on' and 'off', 'up' and 'down', 'knee', 'eat', 'juice', 'puffs', 'moo'.  You still point, usually emphatically.  You know what you want and how you want it.  You know what a lot of animals say - dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs (you do the snorting sound), sheep, ducks, lizards (sticking out tongue), bunnies (wrinkle nose), fish (open mouth), owls (hoo hoo).  You enjoy sounds - you mimic sirens and the ring that Grandma's livingroom clock makes.

You had your first kiss just the other day.  On Friday we went down to Red HIll books to check out a story hour and happened to meet up with Mara and her daughter Dottie, from our Mom's Group.  After the story hour, Mara and I got coffee while you and Dottie raced around Progressive Grounds.  At one point Mara said, "Dottie, do you want to give Tai a kiss?"  She didn't seem to, but you headed right over and stood in front of her.  When it was clear she wasn't going to make the first move, you leaned forward and then Dottie did kiss you.  It was adorable - if only I had my camera out!  You played with her for quite a while.  I'm hoping that you two become good friends.

You are really moving now.  You run, you walk forwards and backwards, you can get a bit of air when you jump, you can really dance.

We traveled back East and to Michigan to visit family again this month.  We celebrated your Daddy's cousin's, Madison, coming of age.  You stayed up late and danced and played with my bangles and were the life of the party.  You had a fabulous time playing basketball with your uncles, Kenny, Andrew and Patrick.  You played with your Grandpa Harmon's cane and explored his garden.  You played piano with your cousin David and the guitar with Grandpa Harmon.  You even enjoyed the Smithsonian museums we went through.  You are becoming quite an adept traveller.

Daddy went to China over the past week - and for the first time you really seemed to notice he was gone.  Or at least you were better able to communicate it.  You often said, "Dada?"  And when we were going to bed at night, you'd look over at his spot and ask about him again.  When he got home on Sunday, we all lay down in bed together and you had the biggest grin in the world.  You kept saying, "Mama Dada, mama dada" and every so often while you were nursing, you'd glance over at him and smile.  

It is so good to be a family.  I am blessed.

Love always and forever,

aubreym: tai, smiling (tai)
Or, technically, 16 months and a week.  Ooops, I'm behind again.  If you're reading these, Tai, I'm sure you aren't surprised because I'm late much more often than I'm on time.  And if I am on time, I usually slide into my seat at the last minute, out of breath, with my hair all crazy.  I suppose it's possible that I might change in time, but I haven't yet.

Dear Tai,

We had your one year checkup today (I am so very behind, and Dr. Treece's office has been slammed!) and I got to see just how much you've grown.  While you aren't off the charts, you are certainly topping them.  Your head circumference is 50cm (19.7 in) and at the 97th percentile.  You weigh 31.25 pounds, which is also at the 97th percentile.  And you are 33.25 inches tall, a none-too-shabby 89th percentile.  Even though I know you have grown (you are no longer swallowed up by your crib, and when you stretch out across my lap to nurse for naps or night you barely fit), I can barely believe you are almost three feet tall already.  It looks like you'll take after your Daddy in height, which is good if you have basketball aspirations.
long letter is long )

You are my sweetest boy and these words don't do justice to that.  Every day you amaze me.

I love you with all of my heart and that will never change.

Your Momma

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Playing with Einstein
Originally uploaded by Katlet
Dear Tai,

I'm sorry I missed your letter last month. I was far too busy playing with you to actually write something down. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We have had a busy month. We went down to the desert again to soak up more sun and spend even more time in the pool. This time the pool heater didn't break, so we got to swim every day, which made you happy. You take after your Pisces Momma and love to swim. You would have spent the whole day in the pool, if you could have.

The same day we got back, Melly came to meet you - all the way from the frozen north! She brought you some cool gifts, and kept your Momma busy. She also babysat you while I got a haircut and went out for dinner with Daddy. She taught you important things, like not to put food in your nose, but in your 'gobber'. She played peek-a-boo like no one else. She baked cookies and encouraged your Momma to explore places like Alcatraz and Muir Woods. You didn't want her to go - and neither did I.

We didn't have time to feel lonely though, because Mimi and Popa arrived even before Melly departed. After two weeks of non-stop attention, you were a bit disappointed to have only me around once everyone went home. Fortunately PawPaw and Grandpa Des came up from San Diego last weekend.

You keep growing at unbelievable speed. You can walk backwards, turn in a circle, slide down the slide all by yourself. You're pretty close to running and have nearly mastered going up and down hills. You don't like crawling on stairs much - you really want to walk like the big kids. You can drink through a straw and have mastered the sippy cup.  You love to dance - bouncing up and down and shaking your arms.  You really want to jump, though you can't quite get your feet off the ground.

You both nod yes and shake your head no, though sometimes you get them backwards. You know the sign for 'more', 'potty' and 'all done'. (Though sometimes you sign 'more' when you're really done.) You're learning the sign for 'eat', though 'drink' is still eluding you. You're learning words, as well - Daddy and I just need to learn to understand you!

You say 'moe' for 'more'. You say 'ba' for bye (and wave as well). You can say 'du' for duck. You sometimes say 'da da' for Daddy and 'ma' for me. Sometimes you're willing to copy what someone else says - Popa taught you to say 'earthquake', though you didn't repeat it every time he asked. Tonight, when I was rocking you to sleep, I showed you the moon out your bedroom window and you pointed to it and said, 'Mn.'

You are still a champion eater. Tomatoes are a new favorite - you like them best when we're visiting Grandma in the desert. Mimi bought you some here, and before she even gave them to you, you saw them on the counter and signed 'nurse', 'more' and pointed at them. Meaning "I want tomatoes" of course. You like pasta and beans and lentils and sandwiches. Crackers and cereal and milk and yogurt and cheese. Watermelon. Strawberries are another favorite. You don't like green beans unless they're hidden in soup. You like spinach if it's in an omelet. You like potatoes and pizza. Mostly, you like whatever someone else is eating. When we went out to eat with Grandpa Des, you preferred to pick off his plate - he was kind enough to not mind.

At Grandma's urging, I started putting you on the potty when you're starting to poop, and you have learned to poop on the toilet like a big boy. We go when you wake up in the morning, when you wake up from your nap and whenever else you sign 'potty'. (You've learned to sign 'potty' when I'm trying to rock you to sleep so you can get up again.)

Dogs are still one of your favorite animals. You are playing with Einstein in this picture - you played tug of war with him and his Frisbee for quite some time.

I love watching you learn more every day. You amaze me.

Love always,
Your Momma
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)
Dear Tai,

I'm sorry that I'm almost a week late with this letter, but I'm holding on to the 'better late than never' attitude, and I hope you will too.  Every day you get a little bit taller, a little bit older, a little bit more of who you will be.  I love watching you every day.  (Even when I'm Grumpy Momma, and even when you're Fussy Tai.)

Today you said your first (relatively) clear, repeated word.  We were walking down the street this evening, heading for Holly Park and you were pointing at everything (as you always do) and I was offering names of what you pointed to (as I always do).  We found trees, cars, leaves, plants, dog poo, trucks, birds and flowers.  And when we were almost at the end of our street you pointed at the ground under one tree.  

"Dirt," I said.  "That's dirt."

"Drt," you said back.  

"Yes, dirt."

"Drt."  We went around like this a couple of times.  Then, on our way back up the street after the park, you pointed to that same patch of ground and said, "Drt."  You remembered what we'd said, and you repeated it.  You even showed off your new skill to Daddy, when he got home, though you didn't say it quite so loudly.  Were you being a bit shy, since I was so proud?  Or were you getting tired of saying 'dirt' over and over?  The world may never know.

We're getting into a bit of a routine the last couple of days, where you take a very short morning nap (or skip it altogether) and then do a very long afternoon nap. I have to admit, I love this.  We've been going to the park in the morning, and doing something else in the late afternoon.  We've been exploring together, on foot.  You are so good at walking already - sometimes you can even approach a run.  Hills are still a bit of a challenge, both going up and down, but if you're holding my hand it usually works out.

You love to check everything out.  When we're walking you pick everything up - sticks, leaves, mulch, dirt, flowers - and then you offer it to me.  You want to know what it is.  I try to discourage you from touching some things - cigarette butts, orange peels, dog poo.  But as long as stuff is safe and not too disgusting I let you experience it.  You dig in the sand and feel it trickle through your fingers.  You pour your juice and water onto your highchair tray and play with the puddles. 

When we go to the park, you want to try whatever other kids are doing.  You don't always need my help.  You climb up the play structure, and you can almost slide down the slide by yourself.  You can ride the teeter-totter, you can push the merry-go-round.   You kick your ball and chase it around and look out the fence.  You do your own thing.

You like to meet other people, especially men.  You show them your ball, the sticks you pick up, your book.  Most of the time you aren't shy - not even with big, bearded, Harley riding guys eating lunch at the taqueria.  You flirt with them and they flirt back.  No one can resist your charm.  When we went down to the desert, you wanted to spend most of your time with Granddad, even if he was trying to cook dinner.  You loved it when he stood you in the sink.  And you thought Uncle Quin was just the best thing since sliced bread.  You also enjoy meeting other kids, and also playing with whatever they're playing with.  You love dogs - all dogs, no matter how big or small.  You aren't put off by slobbery dog kisses, and will kiss back.

It seems to me you're going to be a sports-loving kid.  Not only do you enjoy watching football with Grandma (especially doing 'touchdown'), but you are entranced by basketball, both on TV and people doing pick up games in the park.  If I hadn't stopped you, you would have wandered onto the court and joined in.  You also like to kick your playground ball like it's a soccer ball and have better control than I do.   Your Daddy and I are going to have to cultivate an appreciation of sports just for you.

Of course, you still love reading.  Your favorite books at the moment are: Who's hiding in the garden;  Brown bear, brown bear; the Dog book; the Quiet Cricket; How big is a pig; and Goodnight Moon.   Sometimes you prefer to read the book yourself, sitting on the floor and turning pages.

When we were down in Palm Desert, we went to the Living Desert and you saw all sorts of animals.  Your favorite, though, were the butterflies and the hummingbirds.  You loved seeing the butterflies so close up, and checking out all of the plants and flowers.  I think you're going to be as much of a nature lover as I am.

I can't wait to go on more adventures with you.  Watching you discover the world around you is helping me to appreciate it more than I ever have.

Love always,
Your Momma

At One Year

Feb. 7th, 2009 10:47 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Swinging Tai)

I'm 1 today
Originally uploaded by Katlet
Dear Tai,

Happy Birthday, little dude! As of 12:17pm today, you are one whole year old. I cannot believe it! Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that you joined the family, other times it feels like I've known you forever. I still remember how thrilled I was to see you the first time, and that hasn't faded.

I've been going back through pictures and videos from the last year and watching you change and grow. I am amazed to see who you are becoming. You've learned so much already - you can reach for what you want (and grab it and put it into your mouth and spit it out if you don't like it). You can push up and roll over and sit up. You can crawl and stand and in the past couple of weeks you've learned to walk! You're getting more and more comfortable moving on two legs.

You understand way more than I give you credit for, and you're always taking things in.

You love to eat - you still breastfeed, though it's so hard for you to sit still long enough to do so unless you're going to sleep. You also enjoy burritos, pasta, soup, cheerios, pickles, tofu, yogurt. Never a fan of jarred baby-food (unless it's fruit related, and sometimes carrots or sweet potatoes) you far prefer some of whatever we're having.

You always want to be a part of things. When your Grandma and I are laughing about something in the front of the car, we've started hearing your laughter along with ours, even if you're sometimes faking it.

Even though you sometimes feel a little shy in the beginning, once you warm up you are still quite the social guy. You love to be in the middle of things, either participating or just watching. You watch the bigger kids around you, storing up information on what you'll be doing later. And you don't let anyone run over the top of you.

You love to crawl up and down stairs.

When you want something other than what we're offering, you have a tendency to make your displeasure clear. You've had a few full-out tantrums of the screaming, arching your back and sliding to the floor and then crying because you're on the floor variety. But unless you're completely exhausted, you tend to cheer up pretty quickly.

You love to give kisses, especially to the dogs (which Cocoa will not allow, Luna will return, Lasa will permit, Little Dog will offer, and Violetta will both offer and return, including ear nibbles). And when you wake up in the morning, you like to play a game where you kiss Dad, then you kiss me, then Dad, then me for quite some rounds.

You like to raspberry my belly and bite my toes and fingers. You love it when I tickle you - especially your feet, belly and the back of your neck. You love to play catch either with a football or a round ball. You love to throw your hands in the air while Grandma calls 'touchdown'! You love watching Sesame Street with Dad in the morning. You love to talk on the phone - real phone only, please. You like to empty drawers and bags.

You don't say words really, yet - though that could be because you're so good at just pointing and having me read your mind. You still sign for nursing, but the same sign seems to mean, "I want" in general.

You think it's funny when you watch someone go downstairs, when you hear us laugh, and when Dad pretends you kick him while swinging.

There is nothing better in my life than having you curled up on my lap as you fall asleep. I love holding you and cuddling you and rocking with you. Sometimes I still sing the songs I sang to you when you were just a few weeks old (It's time for Tai to go to sleep...).

Just having you in my life has changed me, helped me to grow in ways I never expected. I am so lucky you are here. I am blessed, and that's not something I say very often.

One year ago - my heart grew three sizes that day.

Love always and forever,
Your Momma
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)
Friends and family,

On February 7, at 12:17pm, at St. Luke's Hospital in San Francisco, Tai Isidor Harmon-Duffy was extracted into this world.  This, however, was not the plan. 

From the beginning , Aubrey had an idea about how she wanted the birth to go.  Like most of us, she does not like cold hospital rooms and medical procedures.  Instead, she wanted to have the baby in a sanctuary, a place with candles and light scents and soft music, surrounded by close friends and family.  After much research and debate, we decided to have a home birth.  As Woody Allen said: If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

At 4am on Super Tuesday, February 5, Aubrey nudged me.  I grudgingly opened my eyes. Then she informed me -- her contractions had started.  Bing!  I was awake.  Lisa, Aub's close friend and doula, came over a few hours later.  I called my parents and told them to expect a grandson soon.

The contractions came and came and came, but the baby did not.  This lasted one day.  Then two days.  By the third morning, Aubrey was exhausted.  We hadn't slept and none of the homeopathic  remedies were helping.  Aubrey decided she needed an epidural and something to move the labor along.  This turned out to be a very good idea because it was only after getting to the hospital did we find out that the baby's heart rate started to dip.  After patiently waiting days to arrive, he was in distress and an emergency C-section was in order.  Despite St. Luke's being a run-down hospital in an under-served area, the staff was jovial and made the experience feel as warm and joyous as they could under the circumstances.  Dr. Norrell was always reassuring – once I arrived at the hospital, I never doubted that Tai would be fine.  And the anesthesiologist took pictures during the surgery.  Everyone was unbelievable.  I felt so taken care of.

When the baby arrived, he was not breathing.  He needed his nose and throat suctioned and was intubated.  After finally breathing on his own, he was put into an incubator and sent to the ICU.  As Aub was still in the OR, I followed my baby boy.  We got on the elevator, but it had recently been serviced and the nurses didn't have a key. We spent 15 long minutes waiting in the elevator while they scrambled to fix the problem.  Luckily, there was no emergency at that point.  And it gave me a chance to start bonding with my beautiful son.  And he was beautiful, if green.  Fortunately he was only in the ICU for a short time, then (at Tom's urging) they brought him to me in the recovery room and gave me a chance to bond with him as well.  I was happier than I've ever been.

The labor and birth were the hardest, and paradoxically, most amazing experiences of my life.  Even though it didn't go exactly as I'd planned, the outcome is perfect.  Ten months later, I still can't believe I have a son.  For the first time in my life words fail to express what I feel about him.

We spent a good portion of time in the hospital trying to discover the perfect name for our son.  We agreed on Tai Isidor. His first name, Tai, is an homage to his great-grandmother Thelma "Ty" Curchin who died while he was in utero.  We used the Chinese spelling to commemorate his birth on the Chinese New Year.  It means "great, extreme" (太) or "safe, peaceful" (泰) in Chinese.  His second name comes from his great-great-grandfather, Isidor Kucera, who was born in 1902 and lived to see the 21st century.  We have great hopes Tai will be able to see the 22nd.

Grandma Karen and Grandpa McGee visited us in the hospital.  Grandpas Brogan and Des, were the first to visit from out of town.  Following that, it was Mimi and Popa (Judy and Richard).  Both Brogan and Judy have been back several times this year.  Uncle Patrick came down from Oregon for the 4th of July.  Uncle Quinton met Tai when he was five weeks old, on Tai's first trip down to Southern California.  Tai has charmed everyone he met.  We call him the trainer baby, as he even melts the hearts of those who are unsure about babies.

In September, we took Tai on his great East Coast tour.  We visited Mimi and Popa in Washington DC.  Then we drove north to New Jersey where we attended my cousin's Bat Mitzvah.  Tai loved the party weekend: he danced the nights away.

We visited Tai's two great-grandfathers, Ahah and Pop (Ken Curchin and O'Neill Duffy) in Fair Haven/Rumson, NJ.  From there, we flew to Lansing, Michigan to visit Aubrey's Aunt Chris, Uncle Greg and Cousin Dave.  We drove up to Flushing, MI to visit Aubrey's father.  Tai especially enjoyed Grandpa Harmon's long beard.  Apparently his chin was sore for days.

Since his birth, Tai has blossomed into a curious, happy, stubborn, happy, handsome, did I say happy, boy.  He's crawling and cruising the furniture and hates being confined to a seat for any length of time.  He loves to eat and has tried Mexican, Ethiopian, and American cuisines.  He's not so much a fan of sleeping, but he's improving on naps.  He loves playing with Daddy and Momma.  He points at whatever he wants, then we try to figure out exactly what he means.  He empties our drawers and cabinets.  Fortunately he's only eaten one Christmas ornament (he's fine).  He wakes up with a grin between 6 and 7 every morning and he wakes me up by poking me in the eye and gesturing for his toys.  We're swiftly approaching his first birthday and I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.

Ba ba ba.  Ma ma.  Ga.  i.  ah.

Happy holidays all.  We hope you have a fabulous New Year.


 Tom, Aubrey and Tai

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

Waiting for Santa
Originally uploaded by Katlet
Dear Tai,

You are a man on the move lately. You hate sitting still for very long, unless you are sick. Or tired, though that rarely happens. And often when it does we miss the little early signs and then you are in the cracked-out mood known as the Wild Sleepies, where you bounce and laugh and get an evil glint in your eye. It is adorable, until you melt down.

As you are a baby who hates to sit, when we all went down to San Diego to visit your Grandpas Brogan and Des and your great-grandpa O'Neill, we decided to skip the insanely long drive and fly. Never did I think that I'd choose flying over driving. Until the last time we drove to SoCal and you spent the last two hours of the trip freaking out. Fun times! So we flew, and you flirted with the flight attendants and the people waiting in the airport. You were probably better behaved than many adults on the flight. You were certainly more adorable.

You loved cruising around a different house. You practiced crawling up stairs with Grandpa Des while Momma, Daddy and Grandpa Brogan went to the movies. You also discovered that their giant ottomans had wheels on the bottom so you could walk and push them all over the living room. You were excited to discover that they have three dogs (though Seamus didn't like you or Momma very much and had a big bark). You thought Quigley was the most fun because you could pull out handfuls of his hair before he got tired of you and walked away.

It goes without saying that you charmed your Grandfathers and Great-Grandfather even more than you already had. You're just that cool.

You're enjoying eating - you want some of whatever we have. You've had Mexican (beans and rice), Ethiopian (chickpeas and lentils), American (cheese, pizza bits, pasta bits, various cooked veggies, a bit of croissant, a taste of ice cream), banana, cheerios... You enjoy
everything and prefer to cram your mouth until you gag, though we don't like to let you. You still want to try beer and coffee, but Momma has to draw the line somewhere.

You've discovered pointing and how it can make things happen, though Momma and Daddy don't always give you what you want. You love to explore our drawers and cabinets. You've stood by yourself for a couple of seconds. You love to go to the park and swing.

You love to laugh and that is currently my favorite sound. You are my sweetest boy and I love you more than I can express. I love holding you close, nursing and rocking you to sleep. I love napping beside you and watching you wake up with a grin. I love that when I say 'kisses' or 'smooches' you'll open your mouth and give me a slobbery kiss right on the mouth. I love watching you learn and explore.

I love you my boober, my dude, my monkey boy.

Love always and always,
Your Momma

At 9 months

Nov. 7th, 2008 10:03 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)
Dear Tai,

I can't believe you are nine months old already.  You've now been out in the world for as long as you were living inside of me.  That is so amazing to me.  Even so, on the 5th of every month I remember when I went into labor.  As the days pass, I remember how I was feeling, what I was thinking.  And then on the 7th I remember going to the hospital and finally getting to meet you.  Your birth might not have been how I imagined, but it was wonderful anyway.

You've got two more teeth peeking through - you've got your Christmas two front teeth early, though you won't be chewing anything with them yet.  You have expanded your solid experiences some - you've been drinking a little bit of apple juice, and more water.  You prefer drinking from glasses (especially ones Dad or I are using) but you also dig sippy cups.  You've been eating Cheerios and loving them.  You're pretty good at picking them up in a pincher grip and sticking them into your mouth.  Sometimes you miss, and sometimes you share them with the dogs, but many get into your belly.  You enjoy fruit/grain mixes - especially oatmeal, peach, banana and ones with mango (just like Momma).  If I catch you while you're hungry, before you get too tired, you'll eat a whole jar with your mouth open like a baby bird.  Otherwise food is painted everywhere, your hair, the tray, the chair, your clothes and the dogs get to eat from your fingers.

You are still crawling like a champ.  You're fast and purposeful when you move.  And you're pulling yourself up on everything, sometimes standing with just one hand holding on to whatever is in front of you - the coffee table, the couch, the bed, my pants.  Then you cruise your way along the furniture.  

You love to watch the dogs.  When they wrestle, you laugh.  When Cocoa comes  to check you out, you grin.  When I give them breakfast or dinner you head into the kitchen to watch.  You'd also be happy to share - one morning I caught you taking a piece of Luna's kibble, just before you put it into your mouth.  I didn't want you to choke, otherwise I probably would have let you eat it for later blackmail material.

You're also working really hard on talking and communicating.  We can have long conversations about 'ba ba ba, ma ma ma.  i.  ba.'  We play long mimicking games, and sometimes you do things just to get my reaction (like fake coughing).  You still like playing 'this little piggy' and start laughing even before we get to the 'wee wee wee ' part.  You also like holding out whatever toy you might have to show me.  You've also started waving hello and goodbye.

Unfortunately you also had your first really bad cold, complete with fever and croup coughing.  It was so hard to see you looking quiet and still and unhappy.  Fortunately, you were all better in time for Halloween and the parties.

I'm loving you more and more every day.  I am so happy you are here.

Love always,
Your Momma

At 8 Months

Oct. 7th, 2008 02:55 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)

Dear Tai,

This month you have grown so mobile.  A couple of weeks ago you learned to crawl.  At first you did a bit of an army crawl, then moved on to the more traditional crawl.  You were a bit awkward with it for a day or two but now you are super-speed baby.  We started by baby-proofing the living room since that was where you stayed, but in the last few days you've started widening your area of exploration.  You've checked out the front hallway and the guest room and today you headed into the kitchen.  At Grandma's house you crawl everywhere - into the kitchen, the hallway, the bathroom, the bedroom.  You prefer the dog toys to baby toys, but you do like to pick the Little People animals out of a box.  When you wake up in the morning you roll over onto your belly and crawl to the head of the bed to play with the shade.  (And wake up Daddy and me by pulling our hair.)  The other night you surprised me in the middle of the night by rolling over onto your belly, crawling a tiny bit and then sitting up - all while your eyes were still closed.

You've also learned to sit up from a crawling position, which makes it easier for you to go from on the move to exploring what you find.  And put whatever it is in your mouth.  You are big on putting things into your mouth.  Your toys, dog toys, my Birks, my iPhone, books, carpet pieces, what have you.  Even solid food, just lately.  Orange foods are your clear favorite.  Carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash.  On Friday night you ate a whole big jar of winter squash, and then a little more.  You also learned how to get on Cocoa's good side - while you eat you put your fingers in the food, then hang your hand over the side of the highchair and let Cocoa lick your hands.

You've continued to meet and impress lots of people.  You met your Grandpa Randy and your Great-Great-Aunt Ella.  You had a fabulous time introducing Grandpa to Indian food for the first time.  You sat on his lap and pulled his beard - leaving him with a sore chin for the next couple of days after you left!  You wanted to pull his chest hair too, but he didn't let you do that - wisely enough.  You also met your Great-Great Aunt Mary and flirted shamelessly with her.  You loved riding in her golf cart, and were happy to bring home two battery-powered toys guaranteed to drive Momma crazy.

You've been enjoying the Moms and Babies group that we attend every week or so.  You learn a lot from watching the other babies.  You learned to stick out your tongue from Dottie and just this weekend you learned to pull yourself up to standing from Paxton and Dottie.  You're all still learning how to negotiate sharing toys.  Mostly you all just want what the other babies have.  Fortunately none of you mind trading.  And you let your Moms chat, munch and drink a little bit of wine.  

You met a new Mom and her daughter right by Grandma's house and impressed them with your Perfect Baby routine.  What they don't see is when you're overtired and resisting sleep, or when you're taken out of the bath, or when you're getting your diaper changed.  You want to be moving all the time and sleep and diaper changes just slow you down.  And you take after your Momma with your love of the water.  Soon we'll have to teach you to swim.

After a couple of weeks of relative quiet, you've been working on talking again.  You like to say 'bababa' and sometimes just vowel sounds.  Every now and again you'll add in a 'k' sound or a 't' sound.  You'll have a whole conversation with me while you're nursing, and sometimes when we're out and about.  You still like to sing yourself to sleep in the car and the stroller.  Fortunately, though you don't like getting buckled in, you don't mind riding in your carseat, which we call your bin.

You are still my very sweetest boy.  I love you with all my heart.

Your Momma

At 6 months

Aug. 7th, 2008 10:54 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)
Dear Tai,

Happy half-birthday, baby boy!  I can't believe you are half a year old already.  You've changed so much... you are no longer a newborn.  You don't have the squinchy old-man face or the skinny little legs and arms.  You're a little round boy and you're even growing hair.  (I must admit that I miss your tonsure.)  You're a baby, and if you had your way you'd be a toddler.  You have a mind of your own and you're learning to express it in no uncertain terms. 

I love your intensity, your passion.  (When you want something, you go after it.  You focus intently when you want to figure out how something works.)  Even when they make things a little difficult for me.  You still love to be out and about and on the move.  You're not so much a fan of the sleeping.  You prefer the short naps, and you aren't big on going to sleep in the evening.  You've perfected the grand finale wherein you start singing an 'I'm tired' song that is rather monotone, then you begin flinging your arms and legs all over and shaking your head 'no' very intently.  Then comes the screaming.  You don't scream like an infant anymore, either.  You sound just like a toddler throwing a tantrum.  You are pissed off and you want all of us to know about it.  I feel badly for you, though - you get so tired, but fight going to sleep until you just can't help it anymore.  You don't want to miss out on anything.

You have a great sense of humor, and sometimes laugh at something that only you understand.  You giggle when I nibble on your fingers while you're nursing.  You giggle when I play with your belly button and tickle your back.  You are fascinated when I blow bubbles with my gum.  Tonight you cracked me up when I was trying to get you to sleep (for a couple of hours) and you spit out your pacifier and started blowing raspberries.  Telling me what you thought about the sleep idea!

Since I couldn't wait until today, we started giving you a little bit of rice cereal last Friday.  You took to it like a champ - opening your mouth for each spoonful like a little baby bird.  You think it's most fun to help by pushing the food into your mouth with your fingers.  So you end up getting almost as much on your hands as in your mouth.  Today we celebrated your half-birthday by trying baby carrots.  You thought that was even better than rice and ate the whole serving pretty quickly.  Dad got some on your nose and chin, but got most of it off in your bath.

You can sit up now, and you love to.  You sit on the floor and play with your toys.  You sit on Dad's lap, or my lap, or the couch.  You sit in high chairs when we go to restaurants and here in your own living room.  You even sit facing forward when we head out in your stroller.  You aren't crawling yet, though you do scoot around, mostly backwards. You laugh and laugh when I hold you up and let you balance on your feet for a few seconds.  And when I play 'baby weight-lifting' and raise you high over my head.

You've been spending more time with Grandma Karen.  She's giving your dad and me time to hang out on our own, as well as get some work done on the house.  Dad's taken the past two weeks off to build you a bathroom with a tub upstairs so there's a place for you to take a bath.  You're well on your way to outgrowing the kitchen sink!  When you get together with her your favorite thing to do (besides play with her puppies) is to read.  You like books about animals best, especially when she makes their noises. 

Your Dad had another trip to China so it was just the two of us for nearly a week.  Even though your Momma had a tough time for a day or two, we got into the swing of things and ended up with a pretty good routine.  Then Dad came home early, which made everyone happy.  I think you missed him, even though we got to video-chat several times.  You thought it was pretty cool that you could hear Daddy through the comptuer.

I'm still working on songs for you.  My most recent goes like this: 'Time for Tai to go to sleep.'  Short, sweet.  Not very effective so far.  It seems to be the limits of my creativity.  I'm not even very good at remembering traditional lullabies.  Fortunately you don't seem to mind - yet.

It's going so fast and there's a part of me that wishes I could slow time, even while I revel in your changes.

Love always,
Your Momma

At 5 months

Jul. 7th, 2008 07:39 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)


Dear Tai,

Five months ago right now I was in the hospital, possibly sleeping, possibly attempting to nurse you, certainly falling in love with you. It’s only gotten better since then.

It’s been a big month. (Has there been any month I haven’t said that?) You learned to roll over from your back to your belly and now we barely lay you down on your back before you roll over to check out the world. Fortunately you still sleep on your back, but I’m sure that won’t last long. Once you’re on your belly, you look around, play with your toys and look in the mirror and all the time your legs are going going going. You are so frustrated that you can’t crawl yet! You can, however, turn yourself around.

You want to be sitting up all the time. Though you can't quite sit up by yourself yet, you can if you're propped up. When Dad holds you in the evening, you elbow him in the stomach if he's just letting you lean back. You need to be sitting straight up. You want to be ready for whatever comes along.

You discovered your feet, with which you are now endlessly fascinated. You like to play with them when you wake up in the morning and after your (45 minute) naps. You sometimes manage to stick your toes in your mouth. And you love to kick. When you are laying in your bassinet, you kick and kick to see the puppy mobile dance.

You've also discovered Luna and Cocoa. You love to watch them, no matter what they're doing. You try to reach out and grab them, even though I only let you grab Luna. I'm trying to teach you how to pet them gently. You are fascinated by the beasts and when you're crying, they can distract you by wrestling, barking, or just walking by.

You love to grab *everything* - and usually stick it in your mouth. You grab Dad’s and my hair and glasses, our food, Dad’s beer bottle, my soda can, my food, my books, my magazines, whatever you can find. You’ve also decided that exploring my mouth is so interesting. You check out my teeth and my tongue and it cracks you up.

You love to giggle. When I buzz in your neck, when I nibble your feet or fingers, when I razz your belly. When Daddy makes funny faces. When we play the ‘who’s the cutest baby’ game. Sometimes when I bounce you and sing ‘Yankee Doodle’. When I play ‘this little piggy’ with your toes.

You love to flirt. No matter where we go, you share your grin with everyone. You were popular at Pride, at Gestalt (your first Mission dive bar), at John’s birthday party, at the 4th of July. You’re an amazing trainer baby - a friend of ours didn’t want to hold you because babies always cried when he held them… not you! You flirted and grinned and cooed. He offered to babysit you. You’re converting everyone! Especially your Aunt Melissa and Uncle Pat, who you met over the 4th of July weekend.

You aren’t a fan of sleeping, except at night. You’re becoming quite good at slipping out of your swaddler. And you don’t want to miss out on anything good. You’ve also gotten your first cold (blame Dad for that one), but you seem to be weathering it well.

You’ve met some new friends at a Mommy and Baby group here in San Francisco, and gone to Wine and Whiners once and will probably go again.

You still love your Sophie toy best, but you also enjoy your elephants, your teething blanket, your seal and your puppies. You’re discovering the fun of keys, both plastic and real.

I have a little song I sing you - "You are my Tai. You are my boy. You are my guy. You are my joy." I'm not a very good lyricist, but you don't seem to mind. You are still and always my sweetest boy, my wonderful child, my Tai. I can’t wait to see what this next month brings.

Love always,
Your Momma

aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)
First Swing

Dear Tai,

Ah my baby boy, my dude-head, my boober. It's been another amazing month.  You are becoming more and more like a real person every day.  I can't even believe it! 

We had our first Mother's Day - and it was fabulous, even if you were on the very edge of teething.  (Drooling everywhere!)  We went out to brunch with Dad and Grandma T and ate far too much.  You had a good time playing with a spoon and going from Dad's lap to Grandma's lap only pausing long enough to eat with me.  Your favorite thing to do at a restaurant is to sit on someone's lap (because you have to be in the middle of things) and play with a spoon - eat it, poke yourself in the eye with it, whatever.

Every time I walk past St. Luke's hospital (and I do that pretty regularly on my way to Natural Resources) I always remember the day you were born.  It was one of the best days of my life.  I am so glad you're here, and so lucky that you're my son.

Love always,
Your Momma

At 3 months

May. 7th, 2008 11:20 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)
Dear Tai,

Happy 3-month birthday, baby boy!  I say this in every letter (and even more often than that in day-to-day life), but I just can't believe how much you change in just a few short weeks.  Every time I turn around you are doing something new.  I have never been so fascinated by another person.  Watching you grow and become your own person is my favorite pastime, as I'm sure it will be for the next several decades, I'm sure.  I love getting to know you.

At 9 weeks

Apr. 13th, 2008 09:39 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)
Dear Tai,

So I'm a bit earlier than before - but still a week late.  I suppose it's a lot like much of my life lately.  I start out getting ready to go somewhere with the best intentions... I begin preparing to leave with what I figure is plenty of time... then somehow, before I realize it, I'm running late.  Getting both of us ready to go *always* seems to take longer than expected.  I don't know if it's the last minute diaper changes, the diaper bag packing, or what - maybe I've just begun moving very slowly?  Ah well.  After all, this is how Tomcala Time (tm) started.  When your Great-Aunt Chris had her first baby, she started running late to all family gatherings... her husband, Greg, would tease her and call it Tomcala Time - because everything happened slowly.  It's only gotten worse.  

At 6 weeks

Mar. 20th, 2008 10:54 pm
aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Tai)

Dear Tai ~

I’d meant to write you monthly letters, at least for the first year of your life. Here I am, two weeks late (halfway between months) actually sitting down and writing. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’m late in doing something I had planned for you. Hopefully I’ll be able to hold to my good intentions as you grow up, even if it’s not in a timely fashion, and even if it doesn’t turn out the way I’d hoped. After all, I know I’m not going to be a perfect mother. I’d just like to be good enough.

The past six weeks has been quite a journey for both of us.


aubreym: Ocean beach at sunset (Default)

July 2011

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