…And Baby Pictures… Sort Of

I realize that lake post included very little of Mica, and of course this is inexcusable. Pictures of adults are desirable only if they’re very pertinent indeed; those of kids are good; but baby pictures are those little gems of cuteness that make any grandparent’s heart glad. So I went back to my folder of pictures from our vacation and came up with these:



Yep, that’s it. One picture of the side of her head while Nathan held her, and one with a somewhat distorted perspective of her staring vacantly at the lake.

I’ve been informed by a friend who was the second child that some children notice the discrepancy of baby picture counts later in life, and I just want to go on the record now to say that we do not love our third baby any less than our first one. We just tend to love her without a camera getting involved.

The Lake Again


We were fortunate enough to be invited to Tom and Marybeth’s place on Coeur d’Alene again this year. In fact, thanks to showing up with a little baby, we were basically coddled the entire week, with nothing expected of us but to relax. Every night there was wonderful food to eat that I did not prepare, and one morning Marybeth fed us huckleberry pancakes. This was awesome.


We were there later in the year and jumping into the water was a noticeably chilly experience; it took some coaxing to get the kids into the water at all, even in my arms. Well, if we’re being honest here, it actually took a five dollar bribe to get them to jump that first time. They were hopeful that a further five dollars would be forthcoming for each jump, but did some more jumps even when that hope proved unfounded. Overall swimming was a much rarer and shorter experience this year, even for me.


Since it was colder and even cloudy some days, we took a couple excursions — one to a fantastic park up in town, and another to Wallace, Idaho, which as everyone knows is the center of the universe. Yep, we’ve now been there. That wasn’t our primary goal, though; we mainly went to do the Sierra Silver Mine Tour. The kids’ knowledge of mining comes primarily from a show called Ghost Mine, so naturally the first thing they wanted to know was whether anyone had ever died in the mine. (Answer: No.) But it was a great tour, with lots of cool equipment they demoed for us, and even the boys seemed to get over the disappointing lack of spirit activity.


Nathan caught his first fish on this trip — at least, I know he talked to Tom about the fishing, and he may have had his hand on the pole at one point, and someone certainly pulled a fish out of the water. Ok, it might be a stretch to say that he caught it, but there was definitely a fish on the dock, and Nathan was the one who picked it up and tossed it back in the water, which I was kind of surprised and impressed that he’d do. Last time someone offered to let my kids toss a fish back into the water, I ended up doing it.


Also there were boat rides, one of which was to buy ice cream. There was then ice cream on a boat. This might have been the high point of the trip for the boys.



Thus far Mica’s life has, I think, been pretty good. There’s been between one and three adults around since she was born, all happy to hold her and snuggle her and basically attend to her every need. She has her moods, like any baby, but most of her cries are single, peremptory calls, which Dave and I like to interpret as her yelling “Service!”


If she were capable of more advanced cognitive modeling, I suspect she’d say that the accommodations here are adequate, the food pretty good, but the service somewhat lacking. She’s occasionally set down despite her explicit objections; the smaller servants are erratic and inefficient; and even the larger servants, although clearly trying, make obvious mistakes — one of them, for example, consistently fails to lactate.


At this stage she’s more of a human critter than a full-blown person. She seems to have two primary states: “Everything’s All Right” and “Something’s Wrong,” with perhaps a very, very narrow band of “Yellow Alert” in between the two. None of this keeps her parents from indulging in long periods of baby-gazing, or from melting into adoration every time one of those enigmatic proto-smiles flickers across her face.

Just Some Pictures

Dave is a better photographer than I am, partly because he’d taken the time to actually understand things like the camera’s optics, and partly because he takes the time to set up his shots — is the lighting good? The framing? Does he have the right lens?

I merely reap the benefits of his efforts.



Baby Faces

It’s been close to five years since the last time we had a newborn in the house, so I suppose it isn’t surprising that I’ve forgotten a few things. I’d forgotten how unutterably sweet and soft is that tiny head when it’s nestled into my neck, for example. Or how a baby can startle in her sleep, her arms and legs jerking into the air, to slowly relax back down as though by hydraulics. And I’d forgotten how expressive is that little face, entirely unguarded, each expression — often apparently unrelated to what’s happening around her — taking over her face completely before being subsumed into the next.




First Days


Mica seems overall to be a fairly calm baby. She didn’t even cry when she was first born — just lay on my chest in the birth pool, coughed a few times, and squinted around at things with her dark eyes. Eventually she thought to utter a cry or two, but where Nathan had been clearly tired and unhappy, and Ryan simply mad, Mica seemed caught between bewilderment and mild annoyance.

It wasn’t until a couple hours after her birth that something disconcerting happened to her bottom and caused her to utter the first major complaint of her life. Being diapered was clearly not on her agenda — the previous arrangement of naked snuggling had worked just fine for her — and her little face afterwards, as she let herself be soothed, was somehow incredulous. “Good lord,” she seemed to say, “what the heck was that indignity? Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.”

She’s been disappointed, and so far is not reconciled to the prospect.

Though it was late when she was born, the boys had not been able to sleep for all the excitement, and when their grandma heard the first little baby cry she brought them in to meet their sister. This was perfect for me; in those quiet moments after the birth I wanted very much to share her with the rest of our family. They stayed up for a while, looking at the baby while I showered, coming to see me after I was done, and (in Nathan’s case) taking a few pictures, including of the placenta, which clearly was a fascinating subject matter for him.

Nathan likes his sister a great deal, and is happy to stroke her little hands and arms and head and spend time smiling down at her, although not nearly so much time as any of the adults in the household. The fact that her tiny hand will close around his finger is something that makes him smile every time. Ryan is less enamored; he was as excited as Nathan initially, and is still interested in touching her sometimes, but he told me yesterday that he was done with having a baby around. Apparently she made noises that disturbed him while he was trying to play a video game. This is from the boy who can carry on hours of loud running commentary while engaged in his own activities. I’ve helpfully informed him that, regardless of his feelings, there’s no going back to our baby-less state.

…And Done Waiting






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