Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nail and Snails and Puppy-dog Tails

We have been spending our week in South Dakota celebrating Christmas with my family, and it has been an incredibly tumultuous trip. We flew out a few days before Christmas, and since it was Isaiah’s first flight, I packed one heck of a carry-on bag. It was filled with food and juice and books and toys and treats and diapers and every other type of baby paraphernalia I could fit in. He slept the entire flight. Whatever, though, I would much rather be over prepared than under prepared.

When we landed, my family got a chance to coo over Isaiah, which was much overdue since we hadn’t seen them in much too long. Then it was a simple drive home, which wasn’t of course simple at all because my college degree wasn’t good enough to figure out the car seat. Finally, though, we got to the house and Isaiah met Sparky the dog. It was love at first sight. Isaiah squealed in delight and stayed up way past his bedtime just playing with the puppy. Sparky was a little afraid of Isaiah at first, but it soon became mutual adoration. Later, I realized that Isaiah and Sparky were destined to become best friends because of all the things they have in common. They are both very cute and sweet, they both love Elmo (Sparky has his own Elmo puppet he sleeps with,) they both move around on four legs, they both love cheese, and they both give very slobbery kisses.

In fact, Sparky and Isaiah became so attached that Sparky designated himself as Isaiah’s bodyguard. Once when I was tickling Isaiah, Sparky became quite concerned that I was hurting him, so he came over and gave me the evil eye. Once I had stopped and Isaiah crawled away, Sparky brought over his own Elmo toy and dropped it at Isaiah’s feet. Now that’s love.

Isaiah had a wonderful Christmas day. He loved opening presents and playing with wrapping paper and being surrounded by fun new toys and people who love him. He got so good at opening gifts, he even tried to open Michael’s. His favorite present was a singing, dancing penguin named Gloria. Every time she sings in her cutesy high-pitched voice, Isaiah breaks out this goofy grin that makes him look like a teenager in love. I wouldn’t be surprised if Isaiah’s first word was “Gloria”

After a while in South Dakota, Isaiah’s sleeping schedule began to suffer, and that combined with a bad cold and the arrival of tooth number seven resulted in some crying boughts. One in particular really bothered me because there was nothing I could do to comfort him, and he cried for almost a half-hour. Finally, Michael got him to fall asleep by cradling him while he walked up and down the stairs. The bouncy movements combined with Michael’s deep, calming voice were exactly what Isaiah needed. It made me so grateful to have such a wonderful husband.

Before we left, Isaiah got his first bad bump on the head. He had a close encounter of the foos-ball-table kind, and he left a big bruise right on his eyebrow. I spent the night trying to put ice on it as I nursed him to sleep, and although the swelling went down quite a bit, it was still a noticeable reminder of what happened, as well as a foreshadowing, I think of all the bumps to come once he starts walking.

I was very sad to leave, since I miss my family so much, but I realized that by the end of the vacation, Isaiah needed his home and routine back. I packed another gigantic carry on bag with even more baby goodies than the one before, and Isaiah slept from take-off to landing.

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