Dear Jackson,

March 7, 2011

The calm before the storm

Filed under: 1 year-old - 2 years-old — Tags: , — aJOHNymous @ 11:46 am

I have to admit it: the year got off to a pretty rocky start. My resolution to eat right and work out did not come to pass as per usual. I started. And then I stopped. Motivation was not exactly where it needed to be. I think it took the fact that I can barely fit into most of my pants to really set on the right path last week. I’ve been eating fairly clean, drinking beer only occasionally, and I’ve been working out (cardio and weights) almost every day. I know I’m just barely into my second week, but I already feel better. Each day gets a little easier. But now I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s back up a bit and talk about you, shall we?

You’re building a decent vocabulary. Besides the obvious mama, dada, and dumma (Dyson), you can identify large vehicles by yelling ‘biiiiii’ (for ‘big’) and pointing, as well as saying ‘pssss’ (please) when you want your blanket. You’re getting there, kid. Pretty soon we’ll have you talking back to us in broken English when you’re in a pissy mood. Though you can’t say the words yet, you can also identify all of your facial features, fingers, toes, and most recently, your ding dong (you say ‘dow’) by pointing at them when we ask you where they are.

Communication aside, you’ve also become quite a climber. You climb everything: the couch, the coffee table, chairs, and even the dog. Who are we to stop you? You’ve got new places to go and explore. It’s a big world and you’re just now figuring that out. You’ve also figured out door handles. And then we baby proofed them, much to your chagrin. So now you knock on doors you can’t open until they’re opened for you. It’s quite entertaining.

It seems like everyday you get just a little bit smarter or figure out something new. You figured out how TV remotes work, you figured out how cell phones work, and you even figured out how to unlock my iPod Touch (I wonder what this device will have evolved into by the time you’re reading this) by swiping your finger across the screen. You get to grow up in such a cool technological era. As a moderate tech geek, I’m actually a bit jealous.

So what else is new?

We got stranded in Florida about a month ago. That was interesting. We took you do Disneyworld where we enjoyed the warm weather of sunny Florida while Wisconsin was getting slammed by a ridiculous snowstorm of biblical proportions [Please excuse the hyperbole. This storm was affectionately nicknamed The Snowpocalypse by more than one person.] So the snow at home prevented us from flying in and we were forced to spend two extra days in Florida. The bad thing about that is having to burn two more vacation days than I had originally anticipated taking.

I think you definitely enjoy Disneyworld a lot more this time than when we went last year. You seemed to understand a lot more of what was going on and there was plenty of action for you to check out as we explored the parks. Trust me—you had a good time. Next year will likely be much more interesting as we will be hauling around a second child. I have to be honest—I’m pretty nervous about that.

Speaking of your soon-to-be-born sibling…

We got to see him/her for the first time yesterday at an ultrasound appointment. It was sort of strange looking up at the screen at seeing another wiggly little person inside your mom’s stomach. Just knowing that a second child is on the way is still tripping me out. Seeing him/her actually moving (albeit in blurry black and white on the ultrasound screen) just makes it more real. You’re going to be a big brother and we’re going to have two children. It’s nuts. I know I keep repeating myself but it just doesn’t seem real. I guess I’m still trying to get used to the idea.

I keep referring to the baby as him/her because we couldn’t decide whether or not we want to find out the sex now or be surprised later. On one hand, it would be nice to be able to plan colors for the new bedroom and purchase clothes (if your old baby blues need to be swapped out for pinks), but it would also just be nice to actually be surprised for once. This is one of the few genuine surprises left for us to experience. Before we got into the room, I was about 90% sure that I wanted to find out and your mom was the once on the fence. But when I saw the baby squirming around in the screen, I think we both switched places. I didn’t want to know and she really did. I’m not sure what happened in that room to make me flip-flop on the issue. Maybe I just want to be surprised for once? I think at this point your mom just really wants to know because the nurse said she knew what the sex was and that she had never been proven wrong at this stage before. Your mom hates secrets.

Now I can understand more where my parents were coming from when they decided to be surprised by me: they were just happy to finally have a healthy child after trying so hard to conceive me. At that point it didn’t matter whether I was a boy or girl. They were just happy that I existed and that was enough for them. I get it now. With you, the anticipation and the curiosity really just killed your mom and me. We just had to know who you were. But now, after having been through this all once before, I really just want to be surprised and take pleasure in the fact that he/she appears perfectly normal, healthy, and free from any sort of debilitating issues. Boy or girl—it doesn’t really matter to me at this point. I’m ready to be surprised.

Unfortunately, I may not get that chance. Since they have to monitor your mom much more closely because she had you under difficult circumstances, we’ll be going in for one or two more ultrasounds. This means we’ll have to decide again whether or not we want to be surprised. Your mom is pretty determined to find out, so I hope I can talk her out of it. Only time will tell.

So that brings us to today. We’re still a little behind on preparation, but we’ll be fine. Remember, we had just painted your bedroom the day before you were born. Let’s hope this next one comes a little bit more naturally and without issue.

Baby issues aside, life is pretty swell right now. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m working out again and feeling pretty good. I could be eating a little bit better, but I’m doing as best I can right now. My tattoo sleeve is about two sessions away from completion. I just sat for two hours last Saturday to get the small koi (representing you) and the lily (representing your mom) colored in. The only thing left to finish off is the scales and color on the large koi (me, of course) followed by a clean-up session to fill in any patchy spots and even out the colors. It’s been super expensive, but I’m glad I did it. Next year I’m hoping to have the arm totally sleeved when I figure out how to represent your sibling and Dyson on my empty shoulder. Hopefully by next year at around this time, it’ll be a fully completed sleeve that represents our whole family. I can’t wait.

Oh shit, I almost forgot—the Packers won the Super Bowl! I wish you were a little older so we could properly celebrate together, but I have faith that we’ll do it again. This is the second Super Bowl victory for us in my lifetime so I’m sure you’ll get at least one or two more to celebrate. It was a good season. It started out sketchy with tons of injuries, but we turned it up in the second half of the season and rallied throughout the playoffs from Wildcard Weekend all the way through the Steelers in the Super Bowl. Man, what a wild ride. It really makes me anxious to sit down and watch the games on Sunday afternoons with you. I really, truly can’t wait for those days.

So that’s really the first two months of 2011 in a nutshell. Now if I could just where my muse has been hiding (re: my numerous unfinished screenplays)…

PS – Here’s a small piece of fatherly advice: don’t ever drink Absinthe. I had a shot of this green firewater to celebrate the Packers’ Super Bowl victory and it was fucking terrible. It’s truly the devil’s elixir. Stay away from this repugnant shit. Ugh. I can almost still taste it in the back of my throat…


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