Posts by category: Dear Baby

To my Son on his 5th Birthday

To my Son on his 5th Birthday

Dear Tucker,

Five years ago, today, I witnesses you enter the world.

And I cried.

Oh, how I cried. Sobbed, really.

Not because I was sad, or scared, or confused, but because you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life and I had no other way of expressing it. You were the special project that Mama and I had worked on together, finally here, and I knew my life would never be the same.

I was right.

That day I gave you your first bath, holding your tiny, wiggly body so, so carefully. That moment was so special to me, because I wanted to show you right from the start of your life that your Dada was someone who you could always trust to hold you safely — that even when you were sad, or scared, or confused, Dada would always be there to hold you. I washed away the gunk from your hair and your body — babies are born pretty slimy! — and marveled at how you could have my nose and Mama’s chin, and yet look so much like a combination of my dear Nana and a crusty sailor. You were full of delightful surprises from the start.

Two weeks ago, today, you started preschool. And this time I held your hand as we walked into your classroom for the first time. After you waved out the Goodbye Window to your little brother and me as we walked away, do you know what happened? We got in the car, and Dada cried again. Just a little.

Again, it was not because I was sad, or scared, or confused. I cried because I was so proud of you and the way you bravely took on this new adventure. I cried because I have been such a lucky Dada to get to spend so much time with you. And yeah, I cried because I am going to miss you.

But mostly I cried because that’s what parents do, it turns out.

I love the little man that you are growing up to be, Tucker.

I love the way you laugh and smile, your joy bubbling forth with such force that you positively dance as you talk about the things that excite you.

I love how you love to learn new things, and how your questions upon question reveal what a thoughtful and reflective kid you are. Oh Lord may that love of learning never cease.

I love the way you dote on your little brother, and the way you strive to be a good example for him. Oh Lord may that never end either.

I love the way you leap into my arms, and let me hold you, like it’s the safest place in the world, where all your cares and worries and fears can be washed away for a time.

I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.

Happy birthday!

Dada

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 40

Dear Baby: Week 40

Dear Boo,

Today is your “due date,” the day when you are officially 40 Weeks along and are expected to arrive at any time now.

That doesn’t mean you will be born today, of course. Many babies come in the days before or after their due date — Tucker actually came one day early — so don’t you worry about it. I’m sure you’ll know when you’re ready, and we will all be waiting patiently.

Mama and Dada are so, so excited to meet you, Boo. You already hold a special place in our family, that is all your own. We are so happy that we get to be your parents, and are thrilled to be able to spend many, many years together getting to know you better and better every day.

We promise to be the best Mama and Dada for you that we possibly can. We love you more than you will really understand until the day you too become a Dada. Our love for you will never fail, andwill  never fade. It will only get stronger and stronger, every day.

You’re now the size of a small pumpkin. For Mama’s sake, I hope we get to meet you soon. 😉

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 39

Dear Baby: Week 39

Dear Boo,

Today is a very big day for us, because today’s the day that Grandma arrives for a long visit.

Did you know that she’s coming especially because of you? It’s true! She’s so excited to meet you that she came early, just in case you did too. She’ll be helping out so that when you’re born Mama and Dada can spend as much time as possible with you while she watches Tucker. Grandma is Mama’s very own mama, and we’re very lucky to have her come.

This week you’ve grown so much you now weigh about as much as a small watermelon. Yes, another melon, I know. But watermelons are so great, I’m sure you won’t mind being compared to one once you’ve had one. Watermelons are one of those fruits that you especially have during the summer on picnics and at outdoor barbecues. Your big brother LOVES watermelon, even though he does end up all messy and sticky by the time he’s done. You will too.

Only a few more days now until you arrive, we hope!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 38

Dear Baby: Week 38

Dear Boo,

Happy New Year, baby!

You may have noticed a big change to your routine today, because even though the Christmas holidays are now over, Mama didn’t get up and go to work today. That’s because we’re so close to the day you arrive that Mama’s doctors told her it’s time to stop working and just rest until you are ready to make your appearance.

Tucker and Dada love having you two here with us at home all day. We’re trying our best to help take good care of you both.

This week you’ve grown to the length of a leek, which is a long vegetable with a mild onion-like taste. Some people say it’s like an onion crossed with a cucumber, and it is used a lot in soups and salads. Your Grandma really likes leeks! 🙂

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 37

Dear Baby: Week 37

Dear Boo,

Merry Christmas, baby! We had so much fun together as a little family celebrating Jesus’ birth together.

You couldn’t see them, but one of Tucker’s favorite parts was getting to go look at all of the beautiful Christmas lights. “More lights! More lights!” he said. Could you hear him? Next year I’m sure you will be dazzled too.

This week Mama and Dada went to visit the very special area of the hospital that is just for babies being born. It’s full of friendly doctors and nurses who are there just to take care of you and Mama when you finally come into the world. We even get our own little room, just for our family.

We also got to see you on an ultrasound this week, and WOW you are getting to be a big boy. In fact, at 37 weeks, the doctor says you already weigh almost as much as Tucker did the day he was born!

This week you measure about as long as a big stalk of swiss chard, which is a leafy vegetable that is really colorful and good for you too. Dada tried it for the first time this year, and it was yummy!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 36

Dear Baby: Week 36

Dear Boo,

We’re into the final month until you arrive, and you’re doing so great. You’re so big and active that Dada can see you rocking and rolling and kicking up a storm inside Mama.

Christmas comes this week, and we’re thrilled to have you almost with us for this special time of year. Because Christmas is all about Jesus coming as a little baby, we can’t help but see Baby Jesus and think about our own little baby that is coming soon. We love you so much.

This week you’ve grown to the weigh about as much as a crenshaw melon. I know, I know, another melon. It sounds like Dada is a little obsessed with melons or something, but honestly, you’re so big now that there are not many fruits or vegetables that get that size! Crenshaw melons are harder to find, but are big and yellow and the sweetest of all melons. Let’s get some someday, okay?

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 34

Dear Baby: Week 34

Dear Boo,

Now that we’re home from Thanksgiving in Atlanta, we’re starting to officially prepare for one of my favorite times of year — Christmas!

Christmas is for us primarily a celebration of when Jesus was born, but it’s also just a fun time to enjoy family and friends and winter holiday traditions. This week Tucker and I are putting up our Christmas tree, and then Tucker and Mama will decorate it together. It will be a few years before you really know what’s going on, but I have no doubt that Christmas will be a very special and exciting time for you and Tucker for many years to come.

This week you weigh about as much as your average cantaloupe, which are a type of melon that is usually eaten by itself or in a fruit salad, but some ingenious people even have it wrapped in prosciutto. It has a lot of Vitamin C and some antioxidants that make it really good for you. One of the things that’s really unique about cantaloupe is that its skin is covered in a neat net-like covering. You’ll be unique too, but hopefully without a net.

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 33

Dear Baby: Week 33

Dear Boo,

We’re finally back home and enjoying a little bit of quiet compared to last week.  You’ve were so good at letting Mama be comfortable for the drives to and from Georgia, but now she says you’ve found a new position you seem to like a lot and it’s making her sore.  Try to mix it up a little more, buddy.

It’s so nice (for me!) that you are now so big that I can almost always feel you moving around when I place my hand on Mama’s belly. She says that you can tell when it’s me, because sometimes you are still but start moving just at the sound of my voice or the feel of my hand. I hope that’s true! I can’t wait to get to hold you.

You’re now growing so fast that you weigh about as much as a big pineapple!  I LOVE good, fresh pineapple, and I suppose Mama does too, though she doesn’t like it when it’s cooked for some reason. I think she’s crazy on this point, but to each their own, right?

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 32

Dear Baby: Week 32

Dear Boo,

You’re so used to your routine every day with Mama, that this week must be feeling different, because we’re off on an adventure! We’ve driven aaaaaaall the way down from Allentown to Georgia, to spend Thanksgiving with your Uncle Dave, Auntie Maia, and a gaggle of cousins.

It must be strangely loud to you.  Including your brother Tucker, there are SEVEN little boys running around, and they make a lot of noise.  They are all very excited to meet you though.

Your Mama and I are so thankful for you, Boo.  We’re thankful that you’re healthy and growing, but mostly we’re thankful that you are joining our family and that we get to meet you so soon.

This week you weigh about as much as a large jícama (pronounced HICK-ah-mah), which is the tuberous root of a Mexican vine.  Jícama are something I only recently got to try, and I was surprised how delicious they are — the texture is like raw potato, but they are sweet and yummy and have a lot of good fibre.  Just don’t eat the vine they come from, because those are poisonous. Yikes!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 31

Dear Baby: Week 31

Dear Boo,

It’s been so cute this week watching Tucker try to interact with you, even though you’re still inside Mama.  He likes to talk to you a little, gently pat and kiss Mama’s belly. But those kisses are meant for you! He’s just practicing being a good big brother.

This week you have grown to weigh about as much as four large naval oranges! Naval oranges get their name because there is a bump at one end that looks like a belly button, but did you know that that bump is actually the orange’s underdeveloped twin? Neato! We go through oranges pretty fast around here, because they are super yummy and good for you. Tucker loves sharing an orange with Mama or Dada, and I bet you will too.

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 30

Dear Baby: Week 30

Dear Boo,

I cannot believe we are already at Week 30! That’s about 3/4 of the way! Over the past months you’ve quickly grown from a small cluster of cells into a little tiny person with arms and legs and eyes and ears, and you’re almost ready to meet the world.

What a little miracle you are. 🙂

You now weigh about as much as a large head of cabbage! I told you about Chinese (Napa) cabbage before, but head cabbage is more common. It is similarly used in a lot of different ways though: raw in things like coleslaw, pickled in a funny sounding food called sauerkraut, and even stuffed with meat and vegetables in cabbage rolls.  Yum!  Cabbage is also very good for you, packed full of vitamins, but also has special properties that make it be used sometimes as medicine as well!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 29

Dear Baby: Week 29

Dear Boo,

Every October 31st is a fun holiday called Halloween, when both kids and grown-ups dress up in costumes and go out into their community collecting candy from neighbors. It’s called “tick-or-treating”.  The costumes can be silly, or funny, or scary, or clever, or even just of something you love.  This week was Tucker’s third Halloween, but the first one where he really got to join in the fun because he was too little before. He dressed up like his favorite stuffed toy — Pooh Bear!  You and Tucker will have a lot of fun together on Halloween, believe me.

You must be going through a big growth spurt, because this week Mama has had more people tell her they can see you inside her than ever before! Keep it up though, you’re doing great.

You now weigh about as much as a butternut squash, which is a delicious vegetable (well, technically it’s a fruit) that can be used in a lot of different ways, and is a great way to get a lot of vitamins and fiber.  Most often it is roasted in the oven, and can be eaten as-is, mashed up, or pureed to use in soup. You can even toast and eat the seeds! Yum!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 28

Dear Baby: Week 28

Dear Boo,

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?

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 27

Dear Baby: Week 27

Dear Boo,

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!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 26

Dear Baby: Week 26

Dear Boo,

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!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 25

Dear Baby: Week 25

Dear Boo,

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!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 24

Dear Baby: Week 24

Dear Boo,

This is an exciting week in our house!

Grandma and Grandpa (Mama’s mama and dada) arrived from all the way across the country for a visit with us. You’ve probably heard them talking, haven’t you? I can tell Grandma is hoping she’ll get to see or feel you kick, so make sure you don’t hold back. They’re very, very excited about getting to meet you.

Your big brother Tucker also turned two years old this week! What a milestone. We went to the park with some of his friends, and Dada even made a cake in the shape of one of Tucker’s favorite friends: Elmo the monster! It was a lot of fun, and someday you’ll get to have birthday parties like that too. Don’t grow up too fast though, okay?

This week you’ve grown to about the length of an ear of corn. Dada thinks corn on the cob is one of his favorite vegetables to eat, even if it can be messy and get stuck in your teeth. Farmers around where we live grow lots of corn, so you’ll get to see big fields of it after you are born. In Autumn, many places even grow cornfields especially so they can make them into a big maze. Mama and Dada love to go to corn mazes together, and we’d love to take you and Tucker too.

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 22

Dear Baby: Week 22

Dear Boo,

It’s September now, and though summer seemed to speed by too quickly, fall is on the horizon and it’s nice to be able to go out with your Mama and Tucker without having to deal with the heat and humidity.

On the weekend we went to an apple festival nearby. It was a lot of fun, and we ran into many friends there. We picked apples in the orchards, and had apple cider, and just enjoyed being together as a family. I know you were there with us too, but I look forward to the days when you and Tucker are both old enough to fill up your own baskets together. Dada made apple crisp for Mama, but now I have so many apples I guess I’ll be making applesauce and apple pie and apple butter and who knows what else! 🙂

This week you’ve grown to the length of a spaghetti squash, a really delicious variety of winter squash that we just love. It’s quite unique, in that when it’s cooked the flesh of the squash falls into thin strands like spaghetti — hence the name! In addition to being yummy, it’s also good for you, so I hope you like it too!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 21

Dear Baby: Week 21

Dear Boo,

What a busy week this has been for our family as summertime starts winding down! Could you tell? We had a playdate with friends, a picnic by the lake, and even went to the zoo. Good thing we managed to squeeze in a family nap-time too!

It’s been great to see so many friends lately and talk to them about how excited we all are to meet you. Many of our friends here in Pennsylvania also have boys like you and Tucker, so we look forward to when you’ll be able to play with a big gaggle of other little boys together.

You are growing and moving like crazy. So much, that I finally got to feel you moving inside Mama for the first time! It was very special to get to feel my little boy like that.

This week you’ve grown to the length of a large carrot! Carrots are a very healthy vegetable that also happen to be delicious — bunny rabbits love them. In fact I bet that when the time comes for you to eat solid food, carrots will be one of your favorites. They sure were for your big brother!

Love,

Dad

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by in / Dear Baby
Dear Baby: Week 20

Dear Baby: Week 20

Dear Boo,

Here we are at the half-way point of your time inside Mama! Wow.

Today, Mama and Dada went in to the doctor’s office to do something very special. It’s called an “ultrasonograph,” and it’s a procedure that allows us to look inside Mama to see you and measure how well you are growing. This isn’t the first one you’ve had, but what made this one extra special is that you have grown so big that we can now tell if you are a boy or a girl.

And Boo, you made it very obvious that you are a… boy!

That means you are going to be Mama and Dada’s “son”, and Tucker’s “little brother”. You two are going to be so cute together, and we hope you grow up as the best of friends as well as brothers. He’ll have a lot he can help teach you, and I know you’ll share lots of fun experiences together.

What a day!

This week you’ve grown to the length of a banana! Bananas are actually Tucker’s very favorite food, and I bet you’re going to love them too. They’re full of good vitamins and minerals, so they don’t just taste good but they’re good for you too.

I can’t wait to meet you, son!

Love,

Dad

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