Christian Holden

Defensive Yoda posture

Yoda Posture - Offense

Dear Baby,

If anything, living you with you is MORE fun than before!

You are such a communicator – and a real crack-up. You delight in singing the lyrics of your dad’s favorite songs, like “Vitamin C” by Can (Krautrock is not so Waldorf, but we pick our battles, right?) and recently you’re very taken by the old Police classic, “Do do do, da da da.” The poems and songs I sing with you at night at and playgroup too, you like to say with me and often you like to say the last word of every line with special gusto and emphasis.

You like to walk the line between naughty and good. The other day in the car: You asked if I had a penis. When I replied, “No”
you laughed and said, “No, you have a BUTT!”
and then laughing harder, “Daddy has a BUTT too!”
and finally, laughing so hard your eyes were closed you managed to chortle, “Daddy has a CROTCH too!” It was like some elaborate 2-year old’s joke that you’d constructed for your own amusement.

And although you certainly have your rough moments, on the whole, I’m delighted by how much you care for your friends. You are generally pretty accommodating about sharing your toys – you like to pass things out and make sure everybody is included. When you talk to younger babies, you make good eye contact and offer them something to hold. You love best though, running with a gang of kids – boys, preferably – through a course on the playground: up the ladder, around the top, down the slide, and always laughing and running, running, and laughing.

You insist that Baby gets buckled in with you.

You’ve become attached to a baby doll that your friend Anna gave you (plastic head! and not the one I made! sigh.) and I witnessed a touching scene between you and her. You were carrying her around, and then you paused to comfort her. “Baby,” you said, “It’s okay, I’m here. I love you.”

Moments like this make me forgive the kicking, punching, and light-saber swinging that you’ve grown so fond of.

You’re going to be Yoda for Halloween.

I love you Baby.




When I don’t post for a while, there is a backlog in my brain – but first things first: Christian is doing much better.

A week after we’d been home from Korea, Christian had a fever on and off again for five days running. Day three he began coughing and the mucus started drip drip dripping. I was on board for letting the virus run its course, because I know from Dr. Sears’ website (our favorite), that this was a pretty typical scenario for a bad cold virus which is not treatable with antibiotics.

the fifth night, his fever spiked to 103 and Christian was delirious and unhappy all night long. Nobody got any sleep (again) and I reached the end of my health patience rope. I scheduled a sick appointment with Dr. Bob (the son of the original Dr. William Sears) the next day, even though Christian’s fever had already gone back down.

Dr. Bob could not hear any pneumonia in Christian’s lungs (there is a characteristic sizzling sound, he says), and thought that an x-ray wasn’t warranted, but that considering the duration of Christian’s fever (five days) and Christian’s slight shortness of breath, that there was probably a touch of pneumonia (bacterial infection) in his lungs.

So, Christian is now midway through his first ever course of antibiotics (amoxicillan).

I am satisfied with our choice to treat with antibiotics, but a part of me still suspects that Christian would be recovering at the same rate even if we had not done gone with the antibiotics.
He’s doing fine, but not eating much. He’s nursing a ton, and feeling fragile. Today, a full week after the fever first hit, he actually wanted to go downstairs and play.

Chad’s sick now. He’s been horizontal for three days now. Yikes.

This one’s a doozy. Be careful it doesn’t get you!

Christian in Korea, before he got sick.

Dad's plans for raising a bass player seem to be going well. Obsession with stringed instruments - check.

I saw my friend Sierra yesterday who’s been staying in a hotel for the last couple days (after a terrific vacation) because their house is getting sprayed.
I said, “Looks like you had a great vacation!”
She replied, “Except, since we’re in still in a hotel, so this still feels like part of the vacation, and this part is not so good.”
My sentiments exactly.
Christian and I are home from Korea.
But the morning we left my little niece Leela was admitted to the hospital for a touch of pneumonia and bronchitis, not to mention some blocked air sacs in each of her tiny 3-month old lungs. The hospital visit was sudden and last minute, and since it resulted in the baby being hospitalized, in the end I never even got to say good-bye to Sue or Leela.

The baby’s better now and will be likely be released this weekend.
Unfortunately, her on-again-off-again fever and coughing our last week in Korea colored our visit with a more than a little bit of worry.
And now, we’re home, but it feels irrelevant to post about the art I saw, when I’ve been worried about Leela. That and the fact that Christian’s been ill too.

Several nights before we left Seoul, Christian ran a fever of about 100 degrees. He was mostly better during the day and the morning we left, the fever was gone, although he was still on the fragile side. But then as we waited for the bus to take us to the airport he started to develop a rash on his face. During the flight they spread all over his body, but had already subsided when we landed.

I hoped that was the worst of it.

Now the rash is gone, but Christian’s woken with a hacking cough. The poor dude is sleeping now, but it doesn’t look like much a 40th birthday celebration for his dad tomorrow – just a weak smile and a feverish hug.

Like I said, this vacation has had a ragged ending. Doesn’t feel over yet either.

P.S. Pic above was from yesterday – Chad’s bro just passed us one of his electric guitars, and we’re getting Chad an acoustic for his birthday.

I wish I were going to say, “Joshua Trees and burrowing owls”
I’m going to have to go with SWAMP COOLERS AND HULA HOES.
Two things I never think about until I’m here
and hula hoe-ing the whole damn back yard. Morning and night. For a variation, I break it up with pruning rose bushes and rosemary. Many stingy spots on my legs tonight.
I can’t complain though,
my in-laws are treating me very very well;
Christian loves all the shovels he’s found on his grandparents property (are all grandchildren and grandparents so well-matched, I wonder? He thinks he’s in heaven-his ganma and gampy like to play in the dirt.);
we hop in and out of the pool all day;
the outdoor shower is heaven;
my JT friends are awesome;
and we see the burrowing owls (3 babies!) at least twice a day.
Hope to be home by Thursday, because that’s when my SISTER AND HER FAMILY ARRIVE FROM BANGKOK.

Hello Baby,

The last couple of months have been rather momentous for you. In fact I don’t think you noticed your birthday (May 23) being eclipsed by the birth of your cousin Leela (May 21) at all. In fact, after the requisite chocolate birthday cake and candle blowing (your dad was present cybernetically through skype and a laptop on the dining table), you danced around the bedroom singing, Happy Birthday to ME, Happy Birthday to ME! Next year, I promise, the birthday crown and birthday banner will be finished.

Two is a big time. Your language has taken extraordinary leaps and bounds. When we first arrived in Thailand two months ago, your uncle Joss was taken by the way you liked to point and say, “Ova der” for “over there,” but now – well you like to give LOTS MORE DETAIL. And you’ve even discovered pronouns, “No, Mama, YOU do it” and “I like it, Mama. I like it a lot!”

You also started saying, “I DON’T like it” and for that, I cold turkey stopped reading Go, Dog, Go, a book I’ve always enjoyed, because it seemed to really trigger that “don’t like” concept for you. But the biggest development is that you aren’t just repeating phrases anymore, but making things up as you go along in conversation. Unfortunately, you get shy around others and get quiet, but luckily for me as your Mama, I hear you making sense of your world all day long and singing songs and rhymes from start to finish. You are incredibly adorable.

The farmer says that there will be cherries at Guldseth Farms for another two weeks. Bumper crop this year.

Another big development: NO MORE DIAPERS!!!

On the way to Thailand, I had you in diapers, but we had only one miss the entire way there (24+ hours door-to-door), so when we got there I put you in a pair of training pants (Hannah Andersson makes a nice organic cotton one in extra-small). I didn’t put another diaper on you for the rest of the trip. We had accidents (only one missed poop – and that was the first morning after eating the poop-inducing dragon fruit), but all in all, I’m impressed with how capable you are with communicating your elimination needs to me.

You were also a champion traveler. And a good playmate for your cousin Noi naa. You were thrilled by every adventure down the street, which make you fun to be around.

Helping Ganma and Gampy pick cherries.

The adventuring hasn’t slowed down since we’ve been home: we’ve already been cherry picking, to the beach a half-dozen times, to the seals in La Jolla, and more. This is going to be a fun summer.

Besides the outings, you’re having fun just being at home: your Grampy built you a wooden play kitchen where you’ve been making me soup and tea every day; and we came home from Thailand laden with wooden Plan Toys: a parking garage, construction vehicles, a fire house with fire engines. You’re entering imaginative play with gusto, and that’s a special delight for me.

I love you, Baby. Let’s play!


Christian had a great second birthday, unfinished birthday crown and unfinished birthday banner notwithstanding.
Here’s a vid to tide you over until I can write a proper birthday letter.
Been busy holding the newborn Leela!


Dear Baby,

Forgive my endless hugging and smooching, but you are almost two years old. It is sending me into a near-panic to have you grow up so fast.

I also have moments of wondering if you are going to make it to your second birthday. We got rid of the glass dining table (supported only by a center stand) after we caught you standing on the edge of it – twice. We locked the living room window to open only two inches after we discovered that you could stand belly to second-story window on the two-inch ledge. This is where a writer’s imagination does her disservice. I won’t even go into the horrific images that pass through my terrified mind. You’re a climber, a daredevil, and you shout “skateboarder!” at every punk kid we see.

You’ve taken to putting one foot into a shoe box lid, and pushing yourself down the hallway with your other foot, yelling, “Look Mama! Ti-ti skateboarding!” Last week, I found you precariously balanced, both arms outstretched, on an overturned xerox box on the bed. As the box shifted back and forth on top of the comforter and pillows, you shouted, “Mama! Ti-ti surfing!” and then with a “Ti-ti jumping!” you threw your body off the box and onto the bed with peals of laughter. Action verbs are going to be your thing.

You’re irresistibly cute and snuggly still, thank goodness. When you say, very clearly, “I NEED MAMA,” my heart just about breaks every time.

I love you, Dear.

Let’s go have some more fun.


P.S. In this video, the warm water that Christy is talking about is some other water park – the water Christian is flinging himself into here in the Children’s Garden is pretty dang cold.

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