Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Terrifying Blessings

As the air begins to change and hold the crisp scents of autumn mixed with musky pine and wafts of smoke, I find myself growing hungry for tradition. I am naturally a sentimental person, but my memories of the season are especially laced with emotion. Without prompting, I remember the delicious anticipation of Thanksgiving - the buzzing kitchen and clinking silverware. I remember spending the Friday afterwards transforming our house into a Christmas wonderland. Dozens of boxes hauled up from the basement were opened to reveal angels, wise men, holly, and Santas, each holding years of memories in their figures. Thinking about the countless memories I have of Thanksgivings and Christmases past makes me wonder what memories Isaiah will form. Last year he was only 11 months old at Christmastime, but I hoped that the excitement and beauty of the season would leave an abstract impression on him that would carry through the years. This year, I am even more eager to solidify family traditions so that next year he might vaguely recognize them. I found family devotionals to do during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I hope it will be fun for Isaiah to learn about baby Jesus being born as we talk about his little sibling being born soon too. I also hope that looking at pictures from last year will help him anticipate the traditions we will repeat again this year.

This week I have been marveling at how well I know my little boy. This came as a revelation to me because he has begun really stringing his words into more phrases and sentences, and Michael and I are the only ones who can correctly interpret them. (Well, at least we are right as often as we are wrong.)

Some of the things that only Michael and I know are that when a word starts with the letter 's' and is followed by another consonant, Isaiah will put the 's' and the end of the word. So "sticker" becomes "tickers" and "snuggle" becomes "nuggles" (not to be confused with "muggles" who are non-magical people from the world of Harry Potter.) We also know that Isaiah doesn't like to have a blanket covering his knees on down while he is sleeping or falling asleep. We have to be certain to dress him in fuzzy footed jammies because even when he is in a deep sleep, if we pull a blanket over his legs he will reach down a pull it back off or kick in a frustrated manner until we remove it. One of the most important things only we know about Isaiah is that when he is tired but fighting the urge to sleep, there is a spot on the inside of his ear, right near the entrance to his ear canal that we can gently rub with our fingers and it puts him to sleep like magic. It's so cute to see his blue eyes roll closed and to hear his breath become deep and even within seconds of touching that magic ear spot. It makes me feel like a really good mom to know my little boy so intimately.

Finally, I have to talk about our catastrophic event that happened this past Friday. Isaiah and I were in a pretty major car crash. Our car was completely smashed in the front and totaled, but everyone in both vehicles is alright. Isaiah bit his tongue and was very scared when it happened, and I was just as frightened to hear him crying so loudly. He recovered within minutes, though, and didn't have any lasting pain. I was also just fine, and I was thankful the airbag didn't deploy because it would have hit my stomach. Just to be safe, Michael and I went to the hospital that evening to check on the baby and make sure everything was alright. We had two ultrasounds done, and saw that our baby was happy and healthy. We also learned that we are going to have a little girl! Seeing our daughter kick and hiccup inside me was an amazing miracle at the end of a pretty harrowing day. We came home to Isaiah and told him he was having a sister, which he happily repeated, but didn't really understand. The brief scare of either of our children being seriously injured followed by the relief that they were both alright reminded Michael and I of how precious our family is and how blessed we are.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


This past Wednesday was our first Halloween in our new home and neighborhood. Isaiah dressed up as a lion and stayed in costume - and in character - all day. He really liked the attention he received from everyone for being all dressed up, and he happily demonstrated his roar to anyone who asked. In the evening, we went trick-or-treating to the houses up and down our street. (The houses that had their lights on, that is.) We found out that our street is sort of lame on Halloween night; at least half of the homes had no lights on, so we just skipped them. Isaiah didn't need a pillowcase full of candy anyway, and he had fun. Luckily he's too young to know he got royally ripped off. Next year we will either go up to Buffalo again or to an organized event like the Mall of America's trick-or-treating night. The neighbors we met were very nice, and Isaiah also had the bonus of meeting several neighborhood dogs. He got to eat a package of M&M's after we finished the rounds, and then he helped pass out candy to other kids.

The M&M's were obviously his favorite part of the whole night, and he still tries to sneakily get more whenever he can. Luckily he's not really that sneaky. When we were eating dinner tonight, Michael was feeding him a spoonful of corn. Isaiah paused before he accepted it and casually suggested that Michael substitute "um-nums." Sorry buddy, better luck next time. M&M's have also found their way into the stories we read throughout the day. I was curious to see what would happen if I let Isaiah read a book to me instead of the other way around a few days ago. He opened the first page and identified the animal.
"Cow...MOOOOO!" Then the next page,
"Baa baa sheep!" Then the next page
"Um-Nums!" Nice try, but it was a dancing pig.

His imagination is astounding to me. I love learning what he is thinking about, and I'm realizing that his world is way more fun than mine. His toy trains don't just run around and say "choo-choo;" they get tired and take naps. His stuffed animals are acquiring names and all the coasters in our house have magically become cookies (or pancakes, depending on what Isaiah says they are.) Yesterday before Isaiah's nap, we were reading The Very Busy Spider. On the first page is a horse, and when I asked Isaiah to tell me what the horse said, he obediently answered "neigh neigh." When I turned the page, though, and asked Isaiah what the cow said, he paused thoughtfully. Finally he answered,
"Grass, yum yum!" and then pretended to chew some cud.

Wow! Where did that even come from? It was so cool to know that this little boy who had this whole amazing world inside his head was my own. It's so much fun to be Isaiah's mom. He still astounds and enthralls me just as much as he did when he was brand new.