Mama goes to bed earlier than I do most nights, but I am almost always there to put her to bed and wish her goodnight. One of the most special things about that time for these past few months has been that I get to spend a little bit of time talking to you too.
It’s amazing how big you’re getting! When you’re awake and active — which seems like you always are! — I can see and feel you move easily now.
Can you hear me from in there? Talking to you, playing with you, and kissing you goodnight through Mama’s belly? I hope so. Sometimes it seems like you’re responding directly to my voice, and it makes Mama and I smile. Soon we’ll be able to do all sorts of things together.
This week you’ve grown to weigh about as much as a large head of Napa cabbage, a kind of Chinese cabbage that is used in soups, stir fry, Asian coleslaw, as a wrapper and even in a super-spicy Korean fermented dish called kimche. In China, Napa cabbage is used as a sign of prosperity. Isn’t that interesting?
Even recognizing that wherever there is an Olive Garden there is probably a better, more authentic Italian restaurant (perhaps several) within a short distance, Olive Garden seems like one of those places everyone loves… even if they’re afraid to admit it.
Yes, the food isn’t The Best, but it’s still usually very good, and the “authenticity” of the food is not something anyone is arguing is their big selling point.
There is something comforting about the consistency.
If you love and always order the Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo, for instance, you can rest easy knowing it will be pretty much the same whether you order it in Pennsylvania or in Oregon, y’know?
Dining at Olive Garden is like getting a degree in popular culture, rather than literature. But everyone needs a bit of popular culture once in awhile, right?
~ Someone Smart
Beyond that, I think a huge part of the love so many people have for The O.G. (that’s what the kids are calling it these days, I like to tell myself) comes down to three simple words.
This past week was Thanksgiving in Canada, and even though I don’t live there anymore we took the opportunity to celebrate with friends for a special turkey dinner and bonfire together.
There were so many little boys there! It really got Mama and me thinking about how crazy life is going to get when we have TWO boys running around instead of just one. You and Tucker are going to have so much fun together!
We’re extra thankful this week because you are joining our family. We’re thankful that you’re doing so well, growing fast and developing perfectly. Soon you and Mama will be into the Third Trimester, and then you’ll be here with us before we know it. We’re very excited.
This week you weigh about as much as a head of cauliflower, a very healthy vegetable that is full of fiber and Vitamin C. It’s usually white, but you can also find orange cauliflower and even purple cauliflower! It can be eaten in a lot of different ways: steamed, roasted, boiled, raw or even as a pickle. Mama likes cauliflower with cheese sauce, and sometimes Dada likes to puree it to make it seem like mashed potatoes. Yummy!
Tucker and I recently started playing this little thing I call the “Sleep Game”.
Basically it amounts to one of us saying “sleeeeeeeepy” and feigning sleep. Then the other joins in the feigned sleep, usually with us both laying our heads down on each other. Then one of us will yell “Wake up!” (or the toddler version, which sounds more like “BA BAP!”) and we’ll both pop our heads up as if startled awake. He loves it, and will often giggle that infectious giggle of his, until tears are running down both of our cheeks.
At first it was just an excuse to have him cuddle up “asleep” on my shoulder when he was in a particular “I want to be held” kind of mood. I was the only one who called for wake up, but now he not only calls the commands too but we even play it in the car (not while I’m driving, I promise) as well as when goofing around the house together.
What can I say? I love to make him giggle. It’s the best.
Anyhow, the other day we were playing in his room together on the big bed that we set up in there for Grandma and Grandpa’s visit last week, and Tuck started up the game…
I think we may have found your name!
It’s still a secret, though of course YOU know what it is, because we’ve started using it sometimes. And we both know Mama has veto power and that we’re giving ourselves the freedom to change our minds at any time…
…but I feel like this might really be the one.
You want to know why I think that?
I know you can’t see it, but I think that because when I call you by name, it makes Mama smile. 🙂 We’ve tried out some other names we liked, but none of them have made her light up in that way.
This week you’ve grown to the length of a hothouse English cucumber (about 14 inches). It’s amazing to think you’re already so big! Cucumbers are long green vegetables that can be eaten raw, or made into pickles. Mama LOVES pickles! Sometimes Tucker and I go to the farmer’s market to buy her really good pickles they have there. Sometimes the nice lady at the stand even gives Tucker his own pickle on a stick!
I love my son so much.
He’s simply an amazing little boy, who I fall for again, every single day, no matter how much he exhausts me or frustrates me.
He turned two a couple of weeks ago, and I am constantly being reminded that he is no longer a little baby any more.
It’s great seeing him learn new things as he explores his world and gets better and better at communicating. I love watching him grow and push his limits and delight in figuring out how to do something he couldn’t before.
But sometimes I miss the Good Ol’ Days. Back when was still our little baby…
It’s been a crazy week in the Routly home, with Grandma and Grandpa visiting. We’ve been busy going out to enjoy time together (when it wasn’t raining cats and dogs), and it’s been great to have them here. Dada even got to catch up on some sleep! 🙂
Mama took some days off so that we could all spend more time together. You know how hard she works, so I bet you could tell how much she needed it.
Grandma and Grandpa left today, but you’ll get to meet them in person soon. They’ll be coming back when you are born!
My, you’re getting big. This week you’ve grown to weigh about as much as a rutabaga, a funny sounding vegetable that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. They’re not something we eat very often any more — Mama can’t even remember if she’s ever tried some — but Dada remembers having them a lot when he was little, mashed up with special dinners. Maybe you can try them when you start eating real food!
Last Monday, my wife and I decided that we were going to shut off the television for the week.
You can read my ruminations that brought us to the decision here, but I thought it appropriate to give a little update on how things went.
First of all, I really wish I could say that this was some sort of particularly eye-opening experience for our family…
…but I’m not sure that would be an honest appraisal.
Not that we are ignoring lessons learned or the value of doing this, but just that, for the most part, it simply wasn’t a big deal for any of us.