Jul 24 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Sad little NICU baby

Two years ago, after about seventeen hours of labor, three doulas, a heart rate crash and an attempt with forceps, my bed was rushed into the OR of Overland Park Regional hospital, and my daughter was born.  She was born after several minutes of a dangerously low heartbeat, covered in meconium, silent and with a scalpel injury on her arm.  She didn’t cry, and for six or seven minutes, there was nothing but tense silence as the NICU team labored to clear her throat and lungs.  Finally, I heard a whimper…and I burst into tears.  A nurse held her up for me to see and then she was put in a plastic box and rushed up to the NICU.  I wouldn’t see her for four or five more hours.

But when I saw her, I knew.  I knew that she was the most beautiful, the most precious little girl in the world and that I loved her beyond all reason.  And so even though we had a rough start, I felt like we made up for it by skipping the “getting-to-know-you” part of infancy and skipping straight to the “I-love-you” part.

Dear Teagan:

You are two.  You can now sing every song that your toys sing, AND do the motions for Itsy Bitsy Spider and sign-babble along to the ABCs.  You are finally talking now too!  You had a slower start with words than your brother–I think partly you saw little need to talk when he was talking so much–and you have a much stronger “baby” accent when you talk.  Which only serves to make you more adorable, of course.  Probably all part of your master plan to conquer the world with your cuteness.

Some favorite Teagan words and phrases:

Wah-dur (water)

No, no, no *inserts whatever someone just asked you here, such as “water”*  For example, Denise’s husband Chris was trying to take a picture of you last night and coaxing you to say cheese, and you said, “No!  No no cheese.”

I want *fill in blank*  For example, “I want eat!”  “I want hippo!”

Bubby (how you say Buddy, which is what we often call Noah.)

Hee-bup (Eyebrow)

Don-NA and a-COLE (your teachers, Mandonna and Nicole)

Cooooool!  (school)

Mooooooo!  (what every animal says, according to you)

kisssssssss; ug (kiss; hug)

But while you let your brother do the orating in our house, you are the master adventurer.  I knew when you started walking at nine months that we were in for trouble, and sure enough, there is not one thing you cannot climb.  You go down slides, swing on giant swings, love to be swung around–basically things that terrify most kids, you are all over.  When we go to the big school to drop off your brother or when you come up to see his Sunday School class, you fling yourself right into the thick of the mess, giggling and running as you get bumped and jostled by the big kids.  You are in constant motion, like a heated particle, and words, babbles, coos and squeals are constantly emitting from your mouth.  You are a night owl and will chirp and chatter to yourself for hours in the dark, but you want to sleep in until 8 or 9 in the morning.  You get fussy when you’re forced up earlier than that.

When you wake up, the first thing you do is run to your high chair and starting shaking it, like a prisoner shakes the bars of his cell.  You eat more than your brother and probably more than me, which is probably necessary given how busy you are.  You’ve come a long way from that deliciously seal-like creature you were as an infant, all fat and smiles.  You’ve leaned out, and with tan little arms and blonde curls, you look like you should have been born in SoCal.  But I still see traces of my Teagapottomus in your dimpled, apple cheeks and your squishy thighs.

Chunky baby!

So that’s it.  You are fearless, fun and friendly.  You ham it up for anybody who will watch, and most “sadness” takes the forms of dramatic fits where you fling yourself on the floor and wail.  Your father already wants to send you to a convent before you turn 16, because it’s clear to us all that you are going to beautiful and reckless and get your belly button pierced by some girl named Boots at a whatever-the-equivalent-of-Mindless-Self-Indulgence-is-then concert.  Don’t think we don’t know this.  We are just trying to hold on to these days when the extent of your rebellion is crossing your arms and snapping, “WHAT” at us, or biting us and then immediately kissing the spot you bit (Teagan the Sourpatch Kid: sour, then sweet.)  We’re hoping that no matter what curveballs your extroverted, energetic personality throws at us, that you will keep the same sweet nature that has you lovingly feeding baby dolls and hugging your brother every five minutes.

I love you,


Sep 27 2011

Happy third year, little guy

You started preschool two weeks ago, and when I came to pick you up last Tuesday, you looked at me and said, “I’m glad you are here.  I’ve been here forever.”

Typical kid statement, but for a not-yet-three-year-old, I think it’s downright astounding.  You sounded so articulate, so adolescent in your exaggeration, that sometimes it’s hard to remember your true age when you’re throwing fits about the color of macaroni or crying because a dust bunny touched you.

Just so we can see how far your language has come this year, here is a little glossary of Noah-isms, from about eighteen months to just a few months ago, when you morphed into a tiny Cicero.

mite— Belly button.  You asked constantly to see everyone’s “mite.”  Weirdo.
pepa and mema— Before you could say Grandpa and Grandma.  Now all your Grandpas are permanently Pepas.
candle— Cigarette, because lighters are used to light both.
Daddy/mommy home— Meaning be here with me right now, even if you’re already home.
Binky go– Instead of being short for “Where’d binky go?” this indicates that binky went somewhere and that you had something to do with it.
Mommy, carry you– Meaning, “carry me.”  You had your “mes” and “yous” mixed up for a while.
hurt you— Knives were called “hurt yous” because we always warned you that they would hurt you if you touched them.
Seahorse— Any glowing doll was called this because you had a seahorse that glowed and played music at bedtime.
Onkax— contacts
with my feet— barefoot
brown/white/orange coffee— hot chocolate/vanilla steamer/caramel steamer
I’m not a good boy, I’m just Noah–response to someone calling him a good boy
Ginky— what binky was called for a long time.
I love you, little Cicero.  Happy third!