Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday

My little Haven,

Yesterday you turned one year old. The day went by without much fanfare. We took a trip to visit my homeopath where you played with a wonderful abacus-type toy (which you loved) and we dined at Boston Market for lunch where you enjoyed watching all the other people in the restaurant more than eating yogurt and we played played played at home and we opened a birthday card from Great-Aunt Maxine and loved on the birthday card until it shred in two and turned on the window fan and turned it off again and on and then off and then on and then we shrieked into the window fan which was terribly delighting so we did it some more and took puppy Zoe for a nice walk in the warm sunshine and ate sweet potatoes with cinnamon for dinner and enjoyed a splish-splashy bath and put on your cute panda pajamas and read a book about puppies and a book about farm animals and then you went to sleep so easy so peaceful.

A year ago, I could not even imagine this day. I could not even conceive that you'd be crawling with ferocious speed and then turning backwards to see whether or not we're chasing you, squealing with glee if we are hot on your heels. Or that you'd be babbling little snippets of mamamama and didididi or waving hello or bye-bye (granted, it's a floppy wave). Yesterday you spent part of your day pulling tupperware lids out of the tupperware drawer and then distributing the lids all over the apartment - so clever, so industrious. A year ago, I could not have fathomed that the little bitty peanut of a baby that was born to us would begin to grow up and develop into such delight. I remain astounded.

While your birthday itself went by with little fanfare, it did not go unnoticed. I spent the entire day, hour by hour, recalling where and what your dad and I were doing leading up to your birth. Mostly it was a lot of sitting in a hospital bed, watching some Olympics, taking a catnap here and there, eating crackers and juice (supplied by our dear friend BJ), and figuring out how to get to the bathroom with all of the various cords attached (not to mention wrangling the big billowy open-in-the-back (and strategically-in-the-front) maternity hospital gown). Oh, and saying the contractions were really not too bad. Until they were.

So many things about that day still seem so vivid to me - I can remember what I wore to the hospital, the smell of your room as I tried to figure out what to pack in the diaper bag for the first time, where BJ sat in the hospital room, the look in your dad's eyes when I told him I didn't think I could make it - and then your arrival, in what felt to me like such a moment of peace and safety.

Haven Elizabeth. Your arrival into our lives has felt both ordinary and extraordinary - ordinary in that we can't imagine our days without you toddling along, singing to the window fan, kissing the dog, or pounding blocks with such enthusiasm on the coffee table, and extraordinary in that you came from me and from your dad and arrived here like a miracle, with your own little set of features and your own little personality and emotions and already your own little experiences, that we were given you and your life to enjoy and delight in. That just seems amazing to me - and normal all at the same time.

What will tomorrow bring, Miss Haven? Some stair-climbing perhaps? More adventures in finger foods? A nice long afternoon nap? Hugs and sloppy open-mouthed kisses for Mom and for Dad? This has been an incredible year and I look forward to tomorrow. And the day after that and the years to come.

From May 2009


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Home again home again jiggety jig

We - Aaron, Haven, Zoe and I - spent the last week traveling by car from dear old Minnesota back to Los Angeles with a short layover in Denver. In a station wagon. With a car-top carrier. And did I mention the very large dog who really likes her space for sleeping? And the almost-one-year-old who really really really prefers crawling and standing and exploring to sitting still for more than 15 seconds? And me, the woman notorious for sleeping in the car? Truth be told, the road trip went pretty well considering all of the aforementioned factors. Give Aaron significant amounts of coffee and he can do nearly anything, including drive for incredibly long periods of time. We eventually figured out an arrangement in the car that seemed to work for just about everyone and we made plenty of pit-stops to give Haven the illusion that she really wasn't spending that much time in her carseat and the two day layover in Denver was a delighful break from day after day of driving.

And now we are home and I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am about that. It's so nice to be in our own space once again, doing our normal routines, sleeping in our own beds. The entire way home I wasn't so sure I wanted to go back to Los Angeles - I was envious of just about every other place we visited for many many reasons - but oh, it's nice to be home. At least for now.