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Friday, August 27, 2010
::Sagan's Monthly Newsletter, August 2010::

Dear Sagan,

You’ve been amazing this month. Seriously. Every day holds a new discovery.

You went to New Braunfels with the Smith Clan; we go every year. As your dad says, “I’ve been quite a few times, but it’s exciting that this is Sagan’s first, and he’ll go every summer.” We stayed at The Other Place, like we usually do, and because we had a baby, your dad and I got a bedroom! Instead of bunks in the main room! Thanks for being born, Sagan!

Like the swimming pool, you were ambivalent about the river. On the upside, Uncle Josh helped you “walk” in the water, you tolerated the dorky hat we made you wear, and it bodes well for futures in the Comal. On the other hand, Pitter splashed you. That made you about as happy as the time Gran dunked you in the tepid hot tub. Duh, you’ve already been baptized, grandparents!

You’ve gained the ability to roll over, but you chose to buck convention and only do it from your back to your belly. So really, you just learned how to make yourself really malcontent, really quickly.

However, your “mini push-up” skills have vastly improved, so you can enjoy yourself after rolling over for, oh, ten whole minutes now! This is extra-awesome for us when you’ve rolled over in the night and wake up in the morning on your stomach. (You rolled over from your belly to your back once; we’re logging it as accidental, since you really just fell back into a roll when you lifted your head really high. It was funny, though! Thanks!)

You’ve started teething, too! You cut your first tooth right after your 3-month birthday, and every other day or so, you’re inordinately fussy. This means that our new “Sagan mess” is your viscous, gloppy saliva! (This beats curdly-milk spit-up and warmly leaking pee, though.) The wet spot after you’ve taken a nap is marvelous; we’ve had to move your sheet saver from under your groin area to under your face! Relief is hard to come by. How awesome of you to teethe before you acquire the motor skills to put something in your moth ON YOUR OWN. You like sucking on a cold, wet rag-clad mom-knuckle the best.

We gave you a little rice cereal one night, just to see what would happen. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect your response. You screamed like we’d poured acid in your mouth! Um, we’ll try that again later.

My favorite development this month is of your laugh. It’s a hearty, full sound – one which... Well, it doesn’t melt my heart, it strengthens it. Pitter was, proudly, first to make you giggle; she was helping you put your toes in your mouth, and you found this hilarious. You’ve yet to laugh at one of my puns; even when I told you, “Look, Sagan! That Whole Foods billboard says, ‘We come in peas!’ Can you believe they made such a quadruple entendre?!?” you stayed stone-faced. But Oscar makes you laugh!

Our bedtime routine is the one real routine we have. You’re not on a nap schedule, or a feeding schedule, or an outing schedule, but every night around 9:00, your dad and I give you a bath – which, wow, you love:

– and dress you for bed. You get your last nursing, then I put you in your crib. I decided about a month ago that “Stand By Me” should be your lullabye; I even bought it on iTunes so I can croon along with Ben E. King to that great triangle-infused rhythm line. One afternoon, you had a particularly teethy time at Pitter and Gran’s house, and you were fussy on the way home. Hmm. No, “fussy” isn’t right. You were fremescent. So I hooked up my phone to the car speakers, selected “Stand By Me,” and soon your tears waned, and mine started to come. Behold the power of the lullabye. It was beautiful. (I also was crying for Gordie Lachance and Chris Chambers.)

Okay. Wherever you are right now, go thank your dad. He quit his job and had a new one in two weeks, and it seems to have been a really wise move. I would have gone back to work two weeks ago, and, thanks to him, I didn’t have to. I got to stay home. Watch you learn. Soothe you when you cry. Hold you while you sleep. Feed you when you’re hungry. Amuse you further when you giggle. All of those things get to be with me instead of someone else. Your dad made it possible for me to stay home with you and watch you grow up. Not all moms have the chance to do this (I call it a luxury, some would call it an insanity sentence). We are remarkably fortunate to be able to.

His new job lets him work from home 3 days a week, and by the time I write your next letter, he’ll have home office built outside so you and I can use the living room without having to flee if you start whining! As I say to you frequently, “Yaaaaay!”

I got to see a photo of your dad as a baby, and whoa, your paternity is not doubtful. I see a bit of my appearance in you, but you really look like your dad. That, I think, is one of the glories of parenthood. You children are so amazing because in a way -- at least halfway – we get to know our partners as kids. And that makes us love you even more.

It’s been a third of a year, and Sagan, you are everything I expected and more. I now have everything I’ve ever wanted, but I really needed you. I’ll continue to be with you, whenever you need me.

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
Oh, I won’t be afraid
No, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me...

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry
I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me.


Dislikes: Being splashed or dunked, the sound of Oscar's tags jangling, teething pain
Likes: Oscar licking you, pulling off your socks, scratching your crotch, tapping on iOS devices
People You’ve Now Peed On: No one new! Yay!
Things You Can Do: Reach out and grab things, bear weight on your legs for an extended period, turn in Mom or Dad's direction when you hear their voice, hold your head level when pulled up
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