Thursday, September 30, 2010

I recognize that smile

Jimmy - that smile, he always had that smile

And you have that same smile 
Dear JJ,

As your mom and I watch you start to smile and interact I recognize something -- I recognize your smile. It is a smile I have seen all of my life - but have been missing the last four years. It is the smile of my brother, Jimmy, for whom you are named.

Your uncle Jimmy always wore that smile- in every photo it is there-- that photo was one of the last ones I have from him.  He was a happy man -- and it appears you are a happy baby.

Funny what adults will do to see a baby smile. We make faces - we make funny sounds- we do anything to see that beautiful smile of yours. Even at 2 am-- I woke up to hear you crying, your mom was already there changing you- and you weren't happy.  So I put my fingers for you to grab and started talking to you-- next thing I knew -- there was that smile. 

I miss your uncle every day - but I am so glad to see that you have that smile.

Your smile makes my day son.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our mornings

Dear JJ,

We have our morning ritual- you and I.  While you are getting more sleep than before-- about five hours at a time --  your mom is still up late with you, allowing me to sleep - I get the morning shift!

I get up early- and so do you-- in fact, by 6 am you are up and smiling (like this picture of you). So I get to give you a few ounces of formula, and then you, Dr. Lucky, and I get to play for a bit (after I change your diaper, of course).

Depending on what I have to do depends on when I wake up your mom - but we usually get a good hour together.

I love our mornings together- we both get to smile.

My favorite way to start the day.  Now if I can just keep from putting the Similac in my morning coffee.



Monday, September 20, 2010

My Traveling boy

Dear JJ,

It has been another week of travel for you.

You have been to Oregon to meet your grandparents, and now you have been to the mid-west where you attended the 44th Infantry World War 2 reunion. Your grandfather is a veteran of World War 2 - and spent his time on the Pacific theater.

What I learned this week was a couple of things-- men and women in their 80's kept telling us how precious babies are -- and something your mom and I discover every day. I also learned that everytime we call my dad grandpa he smiles --. I also discovered why hotels have ice buckets-- to keep formula cool!

You are a great little traveler - and your mom and I enjoy being with you everywhere. Your next adventure will probably be to Alaska - after all- might as well return to where your roots are- there are a lot of people who want to meet you.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Safe Travels Gigi

Dear JJ,

Last night we had to send Gigi -- your grandmother, back to China to rejoin her husband and son.

She has known you since the day you were born, was the third person to hold you.

For the last seven plus weeks she has been in your life every day-- holding you, feeding you, changing diapers, comforting you. Your mom calls her "the baby whisperer," because she can calm you down and get you to relax like no other.

You will find out that when you have someone staying in your home-- most of the time more than a few days is too much. Your grandmother was the exception- having her stay here was as easy as it could be. She was no trouble at all, and boy are we going to miss her.

She went with us to Oregon, your first trip on an airplane to meet your other grandparents. She was so helpful

Guess what, son - -you will miss her too. She was one of the steady voices you have heard over your short years -Son- she is a remarkable lady- and we look forward to doing a lot of traveling with her.

So, safe travels Gigi - come back soon, we will all miss you- me, your daughter, and your grandson-- JJ

So here are a few photos- from the time you were born, until her last sweet hug to her only grandson.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Meet my mom and dad

Dear JJ,

This last weekend you were introduced to my parents - your grandparents. Seven weeks old and they finally got to meet you.

Here is the photo from when I put you in my mom's arms. Funny thing- both my parents in their 80's - they both hold a baby with expert skill.

When you were fussing a bit my mom, who has a hard time seeing things - was able to calm you down and hold you like an expert. It was over 50 years ago that they held me !

It was a great weekend- you also got to meet your uncle, Ron - who got to have a photo holding you while you held the cap he wore 60 years ago (we even have a photo of him with the cap on). We met my aunt, Randi - and my cousin Elise.

And, you got to meet Bev - who was married to my brother Jimmy - for whom you are named.

Son, this was the best weekend since you were born! You travel like a pro- (sleep mostly and get free drinks on the plane) - .

Ok, Son- I am so happy you are in all of our lives-- you bring endless smiles.



Friday, September 3, 2010

Fear of flying

Dear JJ,

Today is your first plane ride. You get to meet your uncle Ron, your Grandma and Grandpa Simpson. Waking up today was easy- being excited for you to meet this part of the family is like a kid on Christmas morning - on the otherhand, the first jet ride and travel has your mother and I nervous.

We don't have a fear of flying- each of us logging over 50,000 miles last year - but we have a fear of flying with you.We have both seen hundreds of parents bring their kids through security - but now we wish we had paid attention to them, and asked them questions. Most of the time we were rushing through and never noticed how easily they zipped through without effort

This meant a trip to babies-r-us - where we looked to the travel section to get any help we could. Your stroller, with car seat - was one we purchased because it travels easily. And in those days before you were born we imagined going with you around the world. Today we are terrified of a two and a half hour trip. So off to the stroller section - where some very helpful lady said, "Oh, I wouldn't use that nice stroller, here get this inexpensive stroller- we all know what airlines do to things." So, we purchased an inexpensive stroller.

Then there is formula- you only have a bottle or two a day- so clearly we needed more bottles (going to the third world of Portland). And of course, had to pick up a bottle sterilizer. Found the sterilizer for a type of bottle you have- -and look it goes in the microwave. Wait- does that hotel have microwaves -- I think it does. Quick call to the hotel -- yes, microwave ovens in every room. Cool- lets get this one. Now this Tommy Tippy sterilizer is meant for Tommy Tippy bottles- which we have two, but this holds six - and we need the special "low flow" nipple. So your dad bought six new baby bottles with the low-flow nipple along with a couple extra low-flow nipples.

While at Babies-R-Us your mom and I said- "lets look over the formula" - after all, some of your crying might be because the formula doesn't agree- and there are only 1000 other formulas made of soy, milk, goat milk, yak, and with "pre-biotics" - all of which say they are easier and better on your tummy than the standard stuff that most people use. So, lets pick up a few of those.

Talking to my friends on Twitter and getting lots of advice - checking the TSA website for advice, and the airline for advice - -and even tweeting Alaska airlines asking them to be kind.

Thankfully, Gigi will be with us- so she will help you (did I tell you how much we are going to miss her when she returns to China?).

Got home- packing every bit of clothing we might need, as well as diapers, and wait-- should we bring powder and mix formula or pre-made formula. Well, they do allow up to 3.2 ounces of formula through security. Quick trip to Walgreens -- pre made formula - in 2 ounce bottles. While I am here - more wipes, more bags for diapers, and of course, some rice cereal (never mind you haven't had it yet, but one can never be too careful).

This morning woke up and reason prevailed. I said to your mom, "You know, I don't think we need the Tommy Tippy microwave sterilizer."
"I don't think we have room for it." Your mom said
"Kinda silly, I mean, pretty sure that Portland's water supply is safe." I said.

Your mom was right again - all we need is something to clean the bottles with.

So yes- your parents-- seasoned travelers - brought to our knees by our nine pound son and wanting to make this trip comfortable for you.

Did I mention that I bought ear plugs for the two rows around us and will be buying drinks for them? No?

Ok, son- while you sleep this morning, your mom and I are worrying over every detail -- just remembered - we need hand sanitizers.

Have a good trip son,