happy birthday, my little heart melter!

Dear Rowan Skye,

Today you are one. I can't believe that you can reach the third shelf of the bookcase, that you take baby steps all by yourself when you're not thinking about it. I can't believe you've been with us for a whole year. I can't believe you've been with us only one year. How can you be so new and so forever at the same time? You'll surely hear me talk about the exquisite uselessness of time in the years to come. I hope I can sometimes express it with a semblance of wonder.

You love opening and closing your books while sitting on my lap. I keep reading even after you've clapped the pages shut on my fingers. You love emptying items from anything and tossing them behind you. And you love opening your drawers and cupboard in the kitchen and clacking the measuring cups together.

Your diaper tantrums are a huge part of our lives. Sometimes it's hard not to laugh, because it's such a stereotypical tantrum--head moving side to side, arms and legs flailing alternately. It makes me appreciate the easy changes, when your body's lithe and I can snap the diaper on evenly. I'm always surprised when my singing actually calms you. And so often it does.

Mommy doesn't remember the lyrics to almost anything. You are my sunshine has tons of verses, where the color of the sky varies. In mommy's version, you never go away. 

You have always loved the ceiling and lights and looking up. This hasn't changed much since you were born. Now, too, you love disco balls. When you want to get closer to something, you say woooo ooowa oooowa and wave your hands. Balloons make you go a little crazy.

You love the swish swish wind in the trees and eating Mantego cheese. You love going for walks in the baby carrier and for strolls in the jogging stroller. You love sneaking up on yourself in the mirror, walking around the house by pushing the giant exercise ball. You love to nurse, to be tickled, to look at the world upside down. 

When you wake up, you pat my face and giggle before I can manage to pry my eyes open. You pull yourself up on the bars of the headboard, shake the blinds, and talk to the sunshine. When Daddy comes to get you, because somehow he's almost always already awake, you give the hugest smile and point at him with your wrist.

I love the way you use your tongue to bluther bluther bluther talk. The big open mouth kisses you give me on your way to explore something else. I love the quick succession of crawl steps when you decide to chase something you want. I like how you crawl up my legs, just as I'm starting to chop something for dinner. How when I pick you up, you make me take you to say swat your disco ball or hello the mantel mirror. I love you, big boy.

Thank you for choosing me be your mom. 

nice surprises.

This is the photo we used on Rowan's birthday party invitation. I had big intentions of printing invitations, but time was running out, so I just sent an Evite. Also, because I couldn't find a recent picture of him that I was happy with on account of its clarity.

But the more I look at this photograph, the more I love it. You can see all six of his teeth. And he has that smile he has right before he starts to do his happy dance.

You are all invited to his birthday. He turns a whopping one year old on January 27.

Right now the little bugger is sick and asleep and cozy on my lap. 

What are you up to?

this insular life.

You know what they say you should do when you don't know what to write about? Just give thanks. I guess that's about all I do on this here blog anyway.

So here it is. I'm thanking my lucky stars for...

my baby :: who is currently caressing a huge box full of speakers. He's palming the box and sliding up and down it while chanting oooweeoi oooweeoi oooweeoi, like it's giving him superpowers.

this magic little boy :: who has taken his first steps. He's been pushing the big exercise ball around the house. Sometime's it gets away from him, and as it rolls back toward him, he pounces on it--effectively taking two-three steps in the process.

my husband :: who is taking care of said heart-melter, even though it's my day off of work. Even though it's so I could blog.

my first new pair of jeans :: in I-don't-remember-how-many years. 

you :: who have stopped by to visit, especially because I haven't been the best visitor of late. 

What are you thankful for right now?

happy new year, hello to you.

The day after Christmas we visited my dad, stepmom, and brother in northern Wisconsin. (It's the first time my dad met S or his grandson.) They live on the outskirts of a tiny one-horse town with one stoplight, one Piggly Wiggly, and an ice cream store called Phat Ice Cream with a fat sign featuring a blissed-out pig diving into a triple cone.

This is where life is simple and the ice fishing is good. Play dates (and maybe adult dates) happen at McDonald's, everyone seems to know (or know of) everyone else, and even the women wear their hunting camo jackets to run errands. Unfortunately we missed the outhouse races out on the frozen lake. Folks ice fish from outhouses, cute ones with sliver-moon windows. Later in the winter they'll race the beauties across the lake.

There wasn't much snow, but we stuffed Rowan into his snow suit anyway and wrapped him into the carrier for walks in the frigid cold. When the wind bit my cheeks, I'd bury my face into sleeping Rowan's hot hood like the lucky mama I am.

We had a turkey dinner, and I made turkey soup with the leftovers. My dad cooked us lots of hearty breakfasts, and we ate lots of red meat, including venison nachos. Rowan learned how to crawl up stairs. We played copious amounts of late-night double Pinochle, in between Rowan's wake ups.

In the middle of the 10-day visit, S and I took a weekend road trip to Chicago to see two of his cousins, the first people from S's  family to meet Rowan. My husband may or may not have broken his nose (again) while playing hide-and-seek with Rowan to ease his screaming during a car diaper change in a Chicago garage.

We had a great time with the family and I couldn't ask for a better trip overall. On the flight back, we had all three seats to ourselves and Rowan behaved super. I nursed him to his heart's content. He slept, he played, cooed, sang, ate, flirted, and won the hearts of the stewardesses and in-flight neighbors.

So, I've been rather disconnected. It may be a tad bit late, but...

May you have a peaceful, joy filled New Year.


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