David’s Quirks and Milestones

On many occasions , David and I have teased our good friend Daniel about his obsession with the Weather Channel. Daniel can tell you the weather predictions of any city, at any time. On theses occasions when we poke fun at him, we realize just how seriously he takes his job as “the personal weather man for our family”. Although David has made fun of him for years about his little obsession, David has his own little quirk. It just occurred to me today that David, like Daniel, has an obsession of his own . . .The TV Guide website. Yes, that’s right. It’s always nice to have a loved one who doubles as your TV Guide, especially when you don’t watch that much TV. Daniel to The Weather Channel is David to the TV Guide website.

My husband has had two major accomplishments this week that are worth noting. First, he caught a fish. Probably the first fish in his life. I’m not sure. Well, I mean I am sure he told me whether it was his first catch or not, but I wasn’t paying attention. I know, SHOCKER!!! I have never really been known for my amazing listening skills. People like me for my other qualities, like how much I talk. Anyhoo, this isn’t about me. So David caught two fish right off the pier at Fort Bay (on Saba, in the Caribbean where we currently live). He was so excited! He came home with his catch and a big grin. As I saw him, my mind flashed to a period of time in the world’s history where men literally hunted for their families. I suddenly felt so self sufficient. He is now hooked on fishing (pun intended) and can’t wait to get out again. I know this particular entry isn’t about me (for once), but I would like to mention a major accomplishment for me. I not only ate the fish (which I tell everyone I am allergic to seafood), I cooked it as well. I know, that is a SHOCKER!!!

David’s second notable accomplishment is about his hair, which he let me cut. The wild beast, known as his hair, has now been tamed. David is secretly obsessed with his hair. He is very particular about which hair products touch his beautiful locks. He is even more particular about who cuts it. Since there are NO stylists on Saba, David has allowed his hair to get a little out of control. He has cut it himself a few times. This past month, I accused him of looking like Lyle Lovett and Brendan Fraser. Neither one of those actors seemed like a compliment to him. News Flash: They weren’t supposed to be! I guess the thought of looking like one of those actors bugged David enough that he let me pull out the scissors and hack away at his hair. David was very bossy informative about how to cut his hair. I was secretly thinking that he had been to Cosmotology school with all the pointers he had to offer! Needless to say, he had the BEST haircut of his life from me. I do admit that it looks hot. I’m not afraid to pat my own back!

Random Thoughts for the Day

Random Thoughts for the Day

My friend Rebecca has a Nikkon D80 camera. David has been salivating over it since he saw it on Saturday. He has been trying to convince himself that it is a need, not a want. Suddenly our camera is so lame.

My friend Beth, who is 2 pounds, is pregnant with her third kid. She is finally having a girl! I am so excited for her. She now weighs 2.2 pounds . . .

Hannah got stuck in her high chair seat the other day. It reminded me of the movie, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. I always hated the part of the movie where the Grinch gets stuck in the fireplace. That is exactly how Hannah looked in her high chair.

When I pop my knuckles, David shudders like someone just punched him in the gut or worse . . .

After the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, David and I walked back to our car with quite the load of stuff in our hands. David was pushing Hannah in the stroller and carrying miscellaneous bags. I was carrying one bag. He took the bag I was carrying and added it to all the bags he was carrying in his free hand as he pushed Hannah. I asked him, “What is my job then? If you push Hannah and carry everything . . .” He said, “Just stand there and look pretty. You do a great job at looking pretty.” This is an example of when my handsome husband speaks woman fluently.

Dear Hannah, Newsletter #3

Dear Hannah,

You are now eight and a half months old. Your dad and I are amazed everyday at how quickly you are growing and developing. The time has just flown by for both of us. At this rate you will be 18 and out of the house in no time! That thought makes me really sad . . . 18 years just doesn’t seem like enough time to teach you everything you need to know.

You hit two major milestones this month. First, you got your first tooth! It is still growing. It looks more like an eighth of a tooth right now, but you and I are SO PROUD of it! I decided you should “try it out”, so I gave you a little taste of tapioca pudding. This was exciting to me for two reasons: First, I was anxious to put your new tooth to use. Second, I love tapioca pudding and your dad hates it. I’m pretty sure the skin on your Dad’s face would melt right off if he saw you eating it. It was nice to share a treat that I love with you. You also tried to feed yourself some Graduates (Gerbers answer to Cheerios). If only your entire fist fit into your mouth, then you would actually taste them!

Second, you learned to crawl! As I was slaving away at the sink (like I always am) doing the dishes last Saturday night, I turned around and to my amazement you moved one knee in front of the other! I then had to step outside and scream to your Dad (who was talking to a neighbor) in my bloody murder voice, “David, Hannah’s crawling!” Your dad came running inside to see your much awaited trick. You are so dang cute! Since Saturday, you have discovered every nook and cranny in the house. On Monday, I turned away for a minute and you literally disappeared. Knowing that you couldn’t be far, I saw one tiny little foot sticking out from under the bed. As I lifted up the bed covers that touched the floor, I saw a happy smiling face among all the dirt under the bed. I am more neurotic than ever about vacuuming the floor; you find dirt where dirt doesn’t exist. Maybe I should chuck the vacuum and let you crawl around, giving the floor a good “once over” every morning. You do a much better job!

We let you ride on Paris. You loved it, Paris hated it. We filmed it so you can see how we tormented Kyaha and Paris when you get older. Paris was such a good sport. You squealed and laughed as you sat on top of the crazy stinker dog. You had to pull her ears, of course, it is your trademark move. That was your way of telling her you were on her, not another one of the siblings you don’t have yet.

You have developed some favorites. You love your Winnie the Pooh Bear so much, he has become your lovey. You especially LOVE that he has tags. You stroke Pooh’s tags until you fall asleep. Really, I think you would love any toy in your bed that has tags. You love to flip pages in books. Any and every book you can get your tiny little death grip fingers on. You flip the pages of children’s books to your Dad’s Medical School books. Your favorite book is “Peek a Boo!” I think you like it because I let you turn every page, every page says the same thing, and every page has a flip out. That means that every page gets double flipped! But who’s counting, you certainly can’t yet.

You and I go swimming everyday. You seriously love it! You have the cutest farmers tan; it kind of looks like mine, only mine isn’t cute. You still have fat rolls (which everyone gushes over) which look like rubber bands are tied all over your arms and legs. This is where your farmers tan is especially cute. You are white as can be in the fat crevices. Too cute!

There are some things that are unfortunately a part of your life. You have inherited my twin brother Brian’s terrible cowlicks. Notice how I said cowlicks, as in plural. Yikes! You have also inherited my crazy aversion to sticky textures. I hope you don’t end up washing your hands 100 times a day like me, although you probably will since you will do as I do not as I say. You don’t like sticky things like suckers on your hands. I completely understand . . . it’s nasty feeling!

On a happier note, you really love what ever I’m making because you start to hyperventilate when you can see you are about to nurse. You would almost think I made chocolate milk, not just the regular old boring stuff.

Tooth? Check!

Hannah takes her job as the “family alarm clock” very seriously. We can ALWAYS count on her to wake us up before the annoying rooster at the farm by our house has a chance to crow. Hannah has her internal alarm clock set sometime between dark thirty and dark forty five. Unfortunately, there is no snooze button on her. Last Friday morning, as Hannah woke up, I thought, “I am WAY too tired. Maybe if I pretend I don’t hear her, she will go back to sleep.” This of course did not happen. At this time, David could feel the thought I was blazing on the back of his head with my laser stare, “It’s your turn!” Of course, my endlessly happy and positive husband got up and brought “the alarm clock” to me. Hannah = Alarm Clock to Mom, and Mom = Food to Hannah.

As she snuggled up to me, she grabbed my finger (like she always does) and shoved it in her mouth. As I was feeling her gums (in the dark remember) I literally screamed, “David!!!! Turn on the light!!! I think Hannah has a tooth!!!” David jumped out of bed and flipped on the light. I’m not sure if he was just as excited about her possible tooth, or scared to death that I might freak out at him if he didn’t turn on the light as fast as he could. I would like to believe he was just as excited as I was.
Anyway . . . sure enough, she has a teeny tiny tooth breaking through the surface of her gums! It is so tiny, that when people ask to see her much hyped about tooth, I tell them it is almost invisible to the naked eye. You really have to feel it to know it is there. Honestly, I don’t want people sticking their “where have those fingers been” in my kids mouth. I don’t know, maybe I am a germ freak. Instead, I ask Hannah to show off her microscopic tooth and she smiles sticking out her tongue. This action is always met with smiles and laughter from onlookers, so she thinks she is doing something right and continues to stick out her tongue.

Needless to say, I announced to all her baby friends that Hannah has a tooth. They didn’t say much . . . I do know when to expect the next tooth though. The night she was busy making her tooth, she was in hibernation sleep; she went to bed at 4:00 pm and got up at 6:00 am. Let’s do that math . . . 14 hours of sleep! The next time she sleeps for 14 hours . . . I know what to expect!

Dear Hannah, Newsletter #2

Dear Hannah,

You are now eight months old. We wondered when the day would come, and it finally has. . . you are officially out of your clothing that should fit a 3-6 month old baby. In fact, you have had quite the growth spurt. Since Grandma and Grandpa P came to visit over a month ago, you have grown an inch and a half, and gained three pounds! You are now 28 inches long and weigh 20 pounds. We are so happy you decided to grow! I was beginning to think I would have to call you “my little peanut” forever. You now have a new nickname. I like to refer to you as my “little bird”. You open your mouth so cute when you are anxious to nurse. You look just like a little bird opening its mouth waiting for its mother to spit regurgitated food. Yummy.

You are in the stage where you are deciding whether or not you want to learn how to crawl. You rock back and forth on you hands and knees, talking. I’m sure in your secret Hannah language, you are either giving yourself a pep talk, or discussing the pros and cons of becoming more mobile. Usually, you can’t decide if you should put one knee in front of the other. So in the mean time, you sit and think about it. Then you get back on your hands and knees and stick your butt up in the air. This makes you so happy; you can’t help but grin as you show off your butt. You eventually push yourself backwards around the whole room. You are now the official mop. I would classify myself as a pretty clean person and am quite particular about keeping our house clean. I think I do a good job at keeping a clean house, but you seem to find dust, dirt, bugs, and dog hair anywhere and everywhere!

You love your new found freedom of pushing yourself backwards all over the house. You try to get to the floor any way you can. When we hold you, you push, squirm and bend in half, willing to fall to the floor, just to get down so you can “mop the floor” for us. Your dad and I have to be pretty entertaining for you to stay in our arms. You love it when we help you walk. You smile and laugh like you are really something cute. Which, of course, you are!

Often times, you wake up and use a loud authoritative voice. I like to call this, “your voice of authority”. You wake up, and very loudly and confidently talk about whatever. If I try to talk to you, you just talk louder until you are finished. You let us know you are finished talking by smiling. I’m sure whatever you have to say is VERY important. I just wish I spoke “Hannah”. You have also decided it is your job to be the loudest person in the family. The dogs are not allowed to bark louder than you can squeal and talk (well, sometimes it sounds like you are yelling. . . but anyway) and the vacuum certainly is NOT allowed to be louder than you! Most children are afraid of the big, bad, loud vacuum, but not you! When the vacuum is turned on, you turn up your own voice volume. You speak in your authoritative voice to tell the vacuum who is boss. Don’t worry, you are LOUDER than the vacuum. I didn’t think that was possible.

“Teeth check!” is what you wish you could say. Instead of talking, you grab my finger, stick it in your mouth to feel your gums, and then I proclaim, “Sorry Honey, no teeth yet!” This activity repeats itself a few times during the day. I promise though, when we do a “teeth check” and you actually have teeth, I’m sure you will use them on my finger and I will be the first to know. Then I will call everyone we know. Don’t you worry!

You are intrigued with my long hair. Mostly because I always have it back in a pony tail. One day you will understand why moms with small babies wear their hair back. On the few occasions (and I mean very few) my hair is down and not in a pony tail, you look at me like you just won the baby toy jackpot. All ten of your fingers make their way to my long dark curly hair. Surprisingly, you are very gentle with my hair. You like the way it bounces and the way it feels between your fingers. I can’t say the same. . .

You are not as gentle on our faces, or with dad’s glasses. You are quite aggressive actually. Something I find particularly funny is you DO NOT like your dad’s chest hair. In fact, you have made it your personal mission to pull out all twenty of his hairs individually with your tweezerman fingers. I’m glad I’m not your dad!

Disneyland exists on Saba. Where could it be hiding on this five square mile island? The grocery store. Yes, the grocery store has a ride that can rival any ride at Disneyland. That is ridding in the shopping cart. Wow! It is so exciting to you! You can see everyone, you get to sit up like a big girl, you get to look at the whole store, and best of all, everyone oohs and aahs over you. You smile at all your fans, as you stroll down the aisles of the grocery store. You love to watch me put things in the cart. You make it your special job to turn around as best you can to inspect everything that is put in the cart. This is so fun for you; I actually plan to take you to the store because you have so much fun!

You rode in a stroller for the first time last week. You loved it so much, you literally squealed at everyone that asked you how you were doing. I’m so glad you are easy to please. You are just a doll, and everyone around you is taken in by your charm. We’re so glad you are in our family!

Yes, He Said These

David, my handsome husband, is quite proud of the fact that he can speak “woman” fluently. I do admit he is almost fluent. Every so often he will speak “man” intermittently with me. I thought I would share some of his comments that probably could have been worded a little differently.

“You are lactating, and nursing women have a higher metabolic rate. Therefore, your body is producing more heat right now than when you are not nursing. Also, you are carrying more weight which insulates your body making you hot.”

-David trying to explain why I am so hot all the time

“I think you are a better mother than you are a wife”

-David sincerely complimenting me on being a mother

“I think I will take down your ‘Musings’ page on the website. You haven’t posted anything in a while”

David trying to motivate me to write more often

Dear Hannah, Newsletter #1

Dear Hannah,

You are 7 1/2 months old as I write this letter. You are growing up so fast! I wish I could stop time and let you be a newborn baby a little longer. Your dad and I have enjoyed you every minute since you joined our family. Everyday you get cuter and smarter. This letter is the first of many that will document your development, experiences and our feelings.

HannahYour hair has gone from almost black to light brown, and now it’s turning blond. If you didn’t look so much like your daddy, people might think you came from the milk man! This past Sunday, your dad gelled up your hair and you both had the same hairdo! You LOVE everyone. You have no concept of “stranger danger”. You will happily go to anyone without question. Your dad and I don’t get to hold you very much at church because everyone else wants to hold you. You have a unique talent for making everyone feel like they are your favorite. You love to study people’s faces and you have a very fast and strong grip when it comes to grabbing necklaces and glasses.

You are learning how to communicate with us. We secretly think you speak English. We’re almost positive you are waiting until a later date to debut your speaking skills. In lieu of talking, you have chosen to grunt, laugh, squeal and cough to get our attention. I have to admit, the fake cough is pretty clever. You will have a full conversation with us by grunting. You grunt, then we grunt copying you, then you grunt, then we grunt. This goes on far longer than it should, but in the end we both feel understood. We love the fake laugh. We’re not really sure how or why you learned it, but none the less it is dang cute. You are clever enough to think we actually believe your fake laugh is real, and we are clever enough to let you believe that.

In the past few days you have discovered that your tongue helps you concentrate. The harder you focus on something, the longer your tongue gets. It is adorable. In fact, we think you are the cutest baby that was ever born. We love to take your picture and you love to be photographed! To date, we have over 1,300 photos of you! You smile and squeal for the camera, you are the perfect baby to photograph.

About a month ago you decided you no longer wanted to be wrapped up like a burrito when going to sleep. Instead of telling us in English (which we know you can speak), you decided a more dramatic approach would work best to get your point across. One night, while putting you to bed, you screamed and screamed for no apparent reason. After we spent what seemed like hours troubleshooting the problem, we unwrapped you. You smiled and cooed and went right to sleep immediately. You are enjoying your new found freedom, sprawling your body all over the bed. When you are put down for a nap you must try out every sleeping position before choosing one. We know you have had a good nap when you wake up backwards and on your belly facing the wall.

We have started teaching you American Sign Language. You seem to understand what we are saying, you are just not signing back yet. Again, we are pretty sure you know how to sign, you are just waiting for the right time to debut your bilingual skills. You have started to mimic us. You don’t wave or clap yet, but you have tricks way more exciting than that. You will scrunch up your nose and breath through it really fast while smiling. It is a lot cuter in person than the way it sounds on paper. You and your dad have a nose scrunching contest everyday. Don’t worry, you always win!

HannahYou are constantly happy. You will smile and laugh even when rubbing your eyes and yawning. You must have read the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” while you were in heaven because you sure know how to wrap everyone around your little finger! You have recently learned the concept, “you can win more bees with honey than with vinegar”. We will put you down to sleep, and then we will leave the room assuming you will nod off any minute. Sometimes after we leave, you will decide that sleeping really isn’t what you want to do. Instead of crying like most babies would, you squeal, laugh, and talk to yourself. If you think we haven’t noticed you, you turn up the volume adding a few fake laughs and more squeals. Inevitably, this charming personality of yours entices both your mom and your dad enough to run into the room to see your happy smiling face. You of course win again. You are already a little flirt. We are going to keep an extra watchful eye on you! When you decide you are ready to go to sleep, you moan yourself to sleep. It is very cute. It puts me to sleep, but not your dad!

You love to inspect everything, especially anything that has a tag. You LOVE tags. You are very particular about what actually goes into your mouth. Items will only enter your mouth after careful inspection and much consideration. You definitely discriminate as well, not everything is mouth worthy. Some things just do not make the cut! You study everything and everyone around you. You always find the smallest things. Leave it to you to find a piece of thread, lint or dog hair. We know you are smart. You are very interested in other little kids and babies. We have to watch you because you love to grab other babies’ faces, arms, and ears!

Nursing is one of your favorite pastimes. You love to nurse and when you are hungry you will pull at anyone’s shirt hoping for a meal. You are obsessed with knowing the whereabouts of your dad. You have to know where he is all the time. When you are nursing, you will stop and look around for him. When you see him, you will smile and grunt to get his attention. If he doesn’t respond, you will grunt louder until he smiles at you and says, “hi Hannah!” This of course makes your day and you flash him your million dollar smile. You can then resume nursing for a few more minutes until you start to wonder where you dad is and then the whole process starts over again. We call you our “little social eater”. You like to hum in between sucks when you are nursing as well. This is makes it an interesting experience for both of us. You also like to kick or twist your feet around. Maybe nursing is more fun when you are active.

HannahSpeaking of your dad, I like to refer to him as “dessert”. Because that is exactly what he is to you! You get to hang out with me all day, and when daddy comes home you squeal with excitement. He, of course, roughs you up, teases and tickles you, and then passes you off to me. I’m pretty boring compared to him. You think everything he does and says is funny. You LOVE it when he rubs his scruffy beard across your hands and feet. You are very strong and you love to stand up in your dad’s hands. Doing this will put a smile on your face and sometimes you will do the “scrunch your nose” trick at the same time. You wave your arms around and squeal in delight, you are just TOO CUTE! You and daddy dance and sing together. Nothing makes you happier.

You have no teeth yet. All your baby friends have two or more teeth than you. Don’t worry, that doesn’t seem to bother you. You just keep flashing your million dollar gum smile to everyone. You are definitely a talker. Maybe you don’t have any teeth to show your friends, but you sure do have a lot to say to them! When you are talking you will go on, and on, and on (sometimes about nothing we think). However, if anyone interrupts you, you will talk louder and louder until you are finished.

I took you swimming for the first time a couple days ago. You loved it! I thought you would since you love splashing around in the bath. The water was a little cold, but that didn’t seem to bother you. You smiled, squealed and laughed as you shivered in the cold water. I dunked you under the water and you came up with a look of, “what was that for?” You splashed and had a great time.

Grandma and Grandpa P visited us on Saba a couple of weeks ago. You didn’t cry once during their visit. They are now convinced you never cry. I told them you certainly can cry, we just prefer to anticipate your needs instead of you screaming your needs to us. You are so happy and content all the time. We prefer you this way. You are perfect in every way and we can’t explain in words how happy we are to have you in our family.