Monday, November 17, 2008

Harry Joseph, Sixteen Months Old

Dear Harry,

This month has been a long one. Between Daddy's audition and gig schedule, you and Mommy have logged many hours alone, both at home and at work. This week, we get to return to normal, which is a huge relief.

You have done some exciting things this month. You have 3 new teeth and are working on a 4th. You started making some new sounds, including some that you haven't made in ages (read: "Mama"). You've had a big growth spurt which makes me think I should have bought more 24 month winter clothes than 18 month clothes. You have spent several hours with your new babysitter (while with me at work) and actually let me and Daddy have lunch out ALONE for the first time in nearly a year. Pretty cool.

You continue to LOVE music like crazy. We finally moved your cello downstairs so you could access it at any time. You like to play it throughout the day and it's funny how you pretend to rosin your bow and turn on your metronome before you start. Also, you like to take it into the kitchen, using the oven door as a mirror, just like in Daddy's practice room.

Speaking of the kitchen, that is your favorite room right now. We got you a new booster seat because I was sick of cleaning your highchair 3-4 times a day. You want to climb in it all by yourself, but you still need help. One thing you can do is climb on the kitchen table. We don't like that. Also, you love to pretend to cook. You have made up your own baby signs for "cooking" and "hot". If I give you a little pot with a few dry noodles and unopened spices, you are in hog heaven. I foresee a play kitchen in your near future.

You have exhibited a bit of a preview of what they call "the terrible twos" already. We have seen full-blown toddler tantrums from you lately. Arching your back and resisting the car seat and stroller. Screaming, crying and throwing things when you don't get your way. It's pretty impressive. I shudder to think how much more we are in for, but I've ordered the book "Raising Your Spirited Child" so we can be prepared.

The other exciting news is that you are going to be a big brother. We are very excited and terrified about becoming parents of two children. We think you will like having a sibling to play with, since you love other kids (that you aren't even related to!) and we didn't want you to be an only child. Considering some of the family dynamics on your Daddy's side of the family, we thought it best that you have a close ally and not be the only grandchild.

You and your brother or sister will be 22 months apart, which is close, but not too close. You will probably not remember this brief time of being an only child and you probably will not understand about the new baby for a long while. But I hope you know that it does not mean that Daddy and I will love you any less. When you add a new member to your family, your heart grows to make room for MORE love, instead of further dividing the love you already have. There is always room for more love. We never knew our hearts could hold so much love until you came. So, when your brother or sister comes, we will be ready this time. And we can't wait to see your heart open up to make room for more love.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bottomless Pete

It's 8 PM on the East Coast. Since Harry woke up at 4 PM, he has eaten the following:

4 oz YoBaby Yogurt, Apple flavor
Roasted chicken, potatoes and green beans
1 Fig Newton
1.5 Raspberry popsicle
.25 cups baby oatmeal with whole milk
1.25 slices of enriched white toast with butter

I don't know what else we can give him tonight, but I think we had better start saving for when he is a teenager.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Vote for Change

(Please note that I'm a life-long, bleeding-heart, liberal Democrat. I respect anyone who disagrees, but this is a personal essay.)

Two years ago on election day, the 2006 mid-term election, I woke up early. I was anxious about voting, even though Massachusetts is always reliably Democrat. I really wanted to see a change in the house and senate and have a Democratic majority so we could send a message to the White House. I was also anxious because it was the day I was supposed to take a pregnancy test. We had been trying for several months with no luck, so I was not optimistic. I certainly didn't feel pregnant.

I got up at 6:00 and decided to test first thing. When the second (positive) line came up, I was floored. Luckily, the test was part of a three pack. I took another. Also positive. I tiptoed back into the bedroom and climbed back into bed. Hubby was listening to NPR. I said to him, "The Democrats are going to take the house and the senate today. Do you know why?" He groggily asked why. I said, "Because I am pregnant." That certainly woke him up.

We went and voted and eagerly watched the returns that night giddy with both our secret, and the election results. The Democrats, indeed, took back the house and senate that day. Our Harry has gone with us to every election since then and election day, always a special day in our house, has taken on a new significance to us because of our memories of 2006.

Yesterday, election day 2008, was probably the most significant, historic election of our lives. So, we thought it was a fitting day to announce that we are expecting our second child. I'm about 13 weeks (3 months) pregnant with our second child, who is due on Mother's Day, 2009. We have always wanted two children, and this one will be just about two years younger than our Harry. We couldn't be more pleased. This will most likely be our last child, so we are trying to enjoy this special time.

With the election results clear this morning, I'm very hopeful about the world that this child will be born into. I hope both our children will grow to understand what these results mean for so many people. I hope they grow up into a world that no longer sees its leaders as black or white, male or female, but as qualified or unqualified. I hope they see that, with the results of this election, anything is possible if you believe in it and fight for it. They will learn about this election in school as they get older, and I will be proud to tell them that they were both there that day, bringing their own little changes to the world.