Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Facts about Clifton - nine days shy of 16 months

Clif is a talker. I haven’t counted up the words he uses, but I have no doubt it’s well over 40 by this point. * We are currently going through a phase of constant demands for ‘cookie’, ‘puppy’, and ‘bah-uhl’ [cookies (or cookie monster, used interchangeably and just as often), pacis, and bottles. Luckily these demands are often accompanied by frenetic lispy ‘peas!’ (please). * Clif is constantly falling. Just like Ryann, this is due to his non-stop rocketing around at top speed rather than a lack of coordination. Of course, an onlooker would probably never know this. * Every morning starts with Clif being brought into bed, wild snuggles, and requests for Cookie (the monster variety). He knows we can play the Muppets and Sesame Street on our phones. He also knows where we stash our laptops, how to pull them out, and how to open them up. Nothing is safe in his never-ending quest for more Muppets Family Christmas. * Our favorite new game is Cuddle Cuddle. As soon as I say ‘cuddle cuddle’ I’m treated to his little head snuggled into my shoulder. Sometimes he’s the one to declare a ‘cud cud cud!’. * Jared has passed on his love to dance. Clif notices the moment any background music goes silent, declaring a loud ‘uh oh!’, and will greet its return with shimmying hips and waving arms. A delicious dinner is also greeted in the same manner. And guests. And Skype. And most of all the Rolling Stones (this was discovered on accident, when a random track sent Clif shimmying in his carseat and bawling when it was changed. same reaction every time since). * Clif loves his cousin Mei to bits. He often wakes up with his first question being ‘Mei-mei?’ as he peers around for her. * One mention of going outside sends Clif running for the doors asking ‘side? side?’. He would spend his life outdoors if given the chance. * At sixteen months, he is easily wearing size 2T. He also seems to be hitting another growth spurt, as evidenced by his suddenly shorter pants and his ravenous appetite. * On the topic of appetite, for his afternoon snack yesterday he had two and a half peanut butter sandwiches. For dinner he pounded half a Totinos pizza, half a clementine, several (adult) handfuls of grapes, some pineapple juice, and his bedtime bottle. * He is crazy for balls. We play in the ball aisle at Target every time we go. He points out the balls on Christmas trees. He will play ball with Jared for a ridiculously long time (their version of ball involves Clif waiting for a ball to bounce down the stairs, into his face, and then running it to Jared for him to throw again. we are blessed with very noise insensitive neighbors). * While Clif seemed to be clear on the baby being in Mommy’s belly for a while, it has now morphed into the baby being anyone’s skin. This week the baby has been identified as Dadd’s back, Clif’s belly, and Mommy’s shoulder. But when asked if he wanted to kiss the baby, Clif will usually drop what he’s doing and run full speed into my belly with arms open wide. I’ll take it.

Photo courtesy of Chris Johnson

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Results Are In . . .

Today was our big mid-pregnancy ultrasound and we were on pins and needles to find out just who has  been rubbing elbows with my innards. However, as much as I've been looking forward to meeting this little one, a large part of me has been pretty nervous about today. Clif's pregnancy was surprisingly worry-free, even though it came on the heels of the trauma surrounding Ryann. I'm not sure why, perhaps due to the simple fact that this little one was not planned for, but I've been fighting recurring bad feelings about this little one. Every time I go in for a checkup, I strain to hear the heartbeat, half thinking it won't be there. I regularly have bad dreams that usually feature Clif in some horrible way. Today I was bracing myself for the ultrasound tech to uncover a heart defect, misshapen spine, or other abnormality. But instead she found a perfectly calm, perfectly formed little man in there.

Walden Elder Hiscock will be joining the family early to mid-May.

Unlike both Ryann and Clifton, who were literally ricocheting around their new digs from our very first peeks around 8 weeks, little Walden has been a calm passenger. At 8 weeks he waved a leg. By this point, the sibs were already treating me as a punching bag and had been for weeks. Walden graces me with a few kicks a day. In Ryann's big ultrasound we chased her around for nearly an hour in order to catch measurements between contortions. Clifton buried his head and followed the probe with his rump the entire visit. We were in and out within 20 minutes with Walden. He wiggled around placidly and only showed a bit of displeasure at having his feet tickled.

Which brings us to his name. Walden literally means 'wooded valley' and is of course made most famous by Thoreau's On Walden Pond. It brings to mind peace and strength, traits we hope little Wally will possess in spades.

The middle name of Elder follows the pattern of Clifton's name, Clifton Sumner. Sumner was a surname on Jared's side of the family a few generations back, as well as being his father's middle name. My father was the only son born in his family and he himself had two girls. Both my sister and I planned on retaining Elder in some form in our married names, however my sis married a Canadian and due to the complications of the paperwork thrown at them, decided to simply take the traditional married name (we love you David!). As a result, I am the last Elder on our branch of the tree. Passing on our surname as a middle name sends it on for at least one more generation.

So there you have it. A calm, healthy little boy. In the last few years our lives have been upended in so many ways, one of which was going from being parents to a girl to now planning for a home full of boys. Some day we hope to again welcome a little girl into our home, but right now we're absolutely delighted to be anticipating Walden's soon arrival.