It was the very best kind of birthday weekend, with love coming at me from all directions and from all across the country. But the very best gift came from Tate, who decided to sleep through the night for the first time on my birthday. Can you believe it? I woke up at 5:30 with a start, because sun was streaming in the window and I had been sleeping straight for 7 whole hours! I am wildly impressed by Tate. And the great thing is that it wasn't just a one-off; he slept through the night again last night! Lucky us. It was also a birthday weekend of sorts for Tate, who celebrated being two months old with his second orange-chair picture. This one went much better and I am working on editing the pics now. Will post the newest addition in a few days. In other news around the house, Tate received this adorable bowl from good friends Evan and Danica (and their two gorgeous daughters, Mara and Bryn) this weekend. Evan and Danica are our "aspiration parents"- the friends who had kids and are raising them in a way we admire (Zach tells the story all the time of when he was camping with Evan and Danica and Mara started teething. Evan and Danica gave her a rock to chew on. He holds this as the pinnacle of succesful parenting- not being overly concerned about germs and having a general sense of "kids are tough". We have tried to have this same attitude with Tate, with great success so far, I think, in which we try not to take things too seriously and constantly remind ourselves that "kids are tough"). The bowl was handmade by Luhrs/Bjornson Artworks and I think they did a fantastic job.
You are able to get the pottery personalized, so Evan and Danica chose trees, water and mountains to represent Oregon (along with his name, of course). I can already imagine Tate's chubby little hand holding a spoon and trying to scoop oatmeal out of it. In other recent happenings here in the Holmboe household, Tate started smiling about 3 weeks ago. This was a great moment for me. Throughout my pregnancy, I purposefully avoided reading pregnancy books or websites (did I really need to know when the baby was the size of an avocado pit?). I felt that this helped me maintain a sense of calm and prevent me from worrying about things that never actually happened. So I decided to continue this once Tate was actually born, and have avoided reading too much about baby developmental milestones. I didn't want to be monitoring Tate's development week-by-week and either stressing out over a perceived missed milestone or becoming that parent- you know, the one who strikes up conversations with random strangers in order to brag that their son started walking 3 months early and so on and so forth (on a related note- have you ever encountered these kind of pet owners at the dog park? We have and I think it is so funny. Like that little terrier is really advanced because it learned how to sit when he was just a few weeks old).
But I digress. The main point of this tangent is simply that I lean on our pediatrician to inform me if Tate is missing any important developmental steps and instruct me if we need to work with him on anything. And thus, I had absolutely no idea when in their lives babies start to smile at you. I knew I didn't know, and purposefully avoided finding out, because I kept imagining what a gift it was going to be when one day, suddenly out of nowhere, he looked up at me and smiled. At me.
And it was just as great as I imagined. I am not ashamed to admit I cried a little. Because he knew who I was, and I made him happy. And I was so caught off guard by it. But since that day about 3 weeks ago, he now smiles at us like crazy- when Zach walks in from work, or when I walk in from the other bedroom, or when I talk animatedly on the phone. And it is such fun. So now the next unknown milestone is the laugh. You can tell when he is trying- he opens his mouth really wide as he smiles, and he coos and crows and generally sounds like a mewing kitten, but he hasn't actually laughed yet. So that will be another great moment. And I am thinking that all of being a parent is going to be like this. For the rest of my life, I get to be suddenly and immensely surprised and filled with wonder at this child. It's like a treasure hunt, and I never know when or how I am going to stumble across the next great gem. Such fun.