I can’t believe it. Today Walker is 13 weeks old and tomorrow he’ll be a full 3 months. He’s 15 pounds and I’ve got him wearing clothes for 6 month old babies. Folks are genuinely surprised to learn that he’s so young for his size. He’s not growing at the same rate he was early on and thank goodness for that or he’d be a mammoth!

Walker has also reached another first. His first COLD. He’s no worse for wear and, in fact, Larry and I got the cold more severely than he. We had much snot and sneezing and coughing while Walker skated by with a little runny nose and some big boogers. He didn’t seem to even notice the phlegm that lasted a few days while the bug sidelined us for significantly longer. Getting sick was bound to happen and we appreciate him easing us into it. Friends have warned us that kids can be sick off and on for the first two years (one friend quoted a stat that the average kid gets 50 colds in the first two years — a cold every two weeks AAAAAGGGGHHHH!) so we’ve stocked up on Airborne and vitamins. We see this as a strength exercise — like tummy time — but he’s strengthening his immune system.

The last two weeks I’ve been obsessing about finding a good Day Care situation <sob>. I woke up last Saturday feeling rather weepy. I realized it was just one short month before returning to work. I was going to miss my little man. Thankfully a good friend was having a “viewing” party for all my former Bank of America colleagues so I was distracted and the day was a lot of fun. It’s not easy to find good Day Care and many options are zillions of dollars and have long waiting lists. We decided that we’d prefer a Family Care situation — a place with 8-14 kids of varying ages staying in someone’s home. It was a tough start. I called a number of places and there weren’t openings for infants, the contact numbers were wrong, or there were some concerning complaints listed with the licensing agency.

But the universe has spoken through a number of “coincidences” and we have decided on a great place run by a Russian woman named Sofia. When I was stressed about about finding a place, a volunteer at the Children’s Council gave me all the “official” references but she told me to wait and made THE CALL. Apparently there’s a Russian network and I passed some test and was allowed entrance. Sofia is a wonderful, warm woman who was immediately drawn to Walker and told me how excited she would be to have him as part of her family. She invited Larry, me and my grandmother to visit when her teacher was there. The kids seem to LOVE the place and teacher Helen comes in every day for two hours to sing and teach them ABC, 123, and all sorts of other wonderful things. Larry and I were impressed how the kids of all ages responded to the lessons and know that Walker will get so much out of it given how alert and interested he is in his surroundings. Sofia makes all the food for the kids and promised me she would be making Walker his own yummy food when he starts eating solids (and she would send some home with him because she knows I’ll be too busy to make it). She and her staff couldn’t keep their hands off our little Radish and we feel he will be very happy, stimulated and educated in both English AND Russian.

Right now the munchkin is fast asleep on the bed with one hand above his head, the other holding an ear. His little feet are sticking out from under the blanket and he’s surrounded his toys. How innocent and simple life is for him. His days are filled with learning to grab on to his toys and staring at the world around him. Larry and I are soaking up everything we can because we know each day he’ll be bigger and doing new things. Some of the old things we may never see again. That’s life.

And I’m a bit reflective during this time of year. My grandfather who was my hero and mentor has been gone 17 years yesterday. Today would have been my mommy’s 63rd birthday and Larry’s dad passed three years ago at the beginning of October. If I’d have it to do over again I’d like to think I’d be more patient, more present, more thoughtful, and I’d give more hugs and kisses. Since I can’t go back, Walker is my second chance and I will apply what I’ve learned while raising him. In him will be a little of Poppo, Dina, and Larry Sr. That’s a good combination.

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