Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Things Worth Kissing

Dear Ellie,

The pictures up above are very blurry, but I think they represents your life at the moment.  It's hard to capture you smiling in a photo now not because you don't smile often, but because when you are smiling, you are also simultaneously racing around the house at break neck speed or spinning in circles or throwing a ball or doing some other activity which in no way requires the speed or force with which you engage in it.   It's as though you think that there is so much to do in life right now that it is necessary to do it all in fast forward.

You have an undeniable love of life, and a willingness to show your love for all things in the world.  When you are intrigued with some object or item, you don't just gaze at it with interest.  You kiss it.  Yes, the people in your life and your favorite toys gets kisses, but so too do the insects on the windows, little children in pictures, employees in the grocery store that you've come to know, cell phones, flowers, Mickey Mouse, computers, fruit that comes directly off of a tree, and so much more.  At one point, you even discovered a hot pile of cat vomit under the table and--- since it was new and fascinating--- you blew it a kiss. It's as though you feel you must reciprocate to every little thing that tickles your mind with curiosity.

This is the case with numbers, as well.  Whenever you see the numbers 1 through 14 in the store or on a screen or on the side of a box, your finger shoots out, you smile and giggle, then lean in to give it a kiss.  You have a favorite book for each person in the house, and your favorite book with me is "Numbers on the Farm."  It's a rather hefty book that you still have trouble lifting, but no matter where it is you ferret it out and then drag it across the room to where I'm sitting, then say "Daa Doo."

Which brings me to your nascent speech.  You are advancing quite well in most areas, but because of your history with eating issues (which is still present, but not as harsh as before), its taken a toll on your ability to speak as well.  You have a raspy little voice, as though you've gotten a head start on the bad habit of smoking.  The assumption is that your prolonged encounter with the endo-tracheal tube in the NICU permanently re-shaped the structure of your esophagus.

But while this impediment slows you down a bit, it certainly hasn't stopped you from trying to speak.  You have a number of words, but they are mostly just words you invented yourself.  Like the word I mentioned before: "Daa Doo."  It can mean a variety of things, all of which revolve around your desire for something which someone else must provide for you.  It can mean "I want you to read that to me" or "I want that food" or "take me to the cat" or "lift me up so I can spin the fan."  You also add emphasis depending on how much or how desperately you want something.  If you want to gently pet the cat, you'll say softly "Daa Doo."  If you are adamant that I read a book for you, you say: "Daaaaaa Doooooo."  If you are desperate for something, you'll say it in quick succession... like when I gave you some spicy food for the first time.  You seemed to like it, but then immediately pointed at your water bottle and said: "Da do, da do, da do, da do!"

Once you've gotten the thing that you want but wish to express your desire for more of it, you switch to "Copaaw."  You've learned a few other words, too.  "Up" for when you want to go up, "please" for when you want something that you shouldn't have, maa maa for your mother, naa naa for your grandmother, etc.  Daa daa used to be your word for me, but because you only have a limited vocabulary, you re-appropriated the word "daa daa" to something more important... in this case, the coffee maker.  But don't worry.  My feelings aren't hurt.  Given your early aptitude for numbers, your love of computers, and your fascination with coffee, I think its pretty obvious that you are shaping up to be a computer programmer.  

I can confidently say, though, that you will not be a basketball player... you are a tiny kid, even by preemie standards.  It's an easy thing to go unnoticed until I see you next to other toddlers your age.  That's turning out to be in stark contrast to your sister, though.  Your mother is still hanging in there at 35 weeks of pregnancy, and already your sister is inching past 6 pounds by the doctor's estimates.  There are still a few irregularities with your mother's pregnancy, but its now thought that the stitches sown through her cervix may have been unnecessary... which means the cause of your premature birth is perhaps as yet unknown.  Which means your sister could come today or tomorrow or on her due date.

I'm still wondering how you'll react to having a little sister, but my suspicion is that it'll work out just fine.  After all, your mother's mother's pregnant belly is another thing that you enthusiastically kiss.

You, trying to be classy

A picture of Minnie Mouse.  Not sure where you are...

You and Annie

You and Darth Vadar


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  2. I need a kiss from Ellie too. So nice to see her grow up beautifully and happily, she is such an inspiration . Lots of love to her and for the one in the belly.

    1. :-) Will send an Ellie kiss your way!

    2. Thanks ! Got it, made my day :)

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  4. So awesome to see how well Ellie is doing! Winona was/is tiny too. 24 lbs at 3 years old. She's always been at least a head shorter than Daniel, who is the same age. The girls are alive, thriving, bristling with action.
    Also happy to hear Sister is hanging in there and progressing nicely. Look forward to hearing that news, and Ellie's reactions to the baby. Hugs to all of you!