Pictures of Ella

For anyone aghast at extensive baby chatter on a blog, all I can say is, “you’ve been warned”:

One summer in college, I taught my aunt’s home-based English classes in Tokyo for a few weeks while she and her family were in the States. There were only a couple classes a day, so I had plenty of chances to explore the city. More to the point, I had time: lots and lots of time. I filled two five-subject notebooks in the space of six weeks, with musings about Japanese culture, snippets of story, descriptive exercises, and the like. I’d take the subway somewhere and just sit and write. A couple years later, looking back over those notebooks and reviewing that whole experience, I realized its central irony: the reason I had _written_ so much was that I hadn’t actually _done_ a whole lot.

I love writing, so I’m not saying that that’s a bad thing, but my life situation since starting the blog, and up until a few days ago, has been similar. I’ve been able to write because I’ve had plenty of time. Now, though, Ella has changed everything, and I find myself with a new irony: I have more new things to write, more things to say, more new insights into life, more stories to tell (er, OK, all about Ella, but still) than I’ve had in months, even years, and yet there’s been so much to _do_ that I haven’t had the time or the energy to write about it. Or the inclination, even: it’s taken me a long time to write even this much, because glancing over my shoulder to watch Ella sleep is an infinitely superior experience.

In the meantime, though, here’s some pictures.

“01”: — Suanna and Ella, 45 minutes or so after she was born.
“02”: — The next day. Ella is sleeping soundly: something that she likes to do during the day, but not so much at night. You can see my attempt at a good baby-burrito blanket fold starting to unravel.
“03”: — Ella and I, about half an hour after she was born. Moments before she decided to open her eyes.
“04”: — Suanna and Ella.
“05”: — Ella sleeping . . . um, yeah, I guess not all of these really need captions, do they? “06”: and “07”: are more of the same. With “08”: you can see her eyes.
“09”: and “10”: More of Suanna and Ella. Note the finger-sucking. When Ella is awake, she likes — nay, _demands_ — to be sucking something. For some reason my left pinky is preferable to my right pinky. We had planned, as per hospital advice, to avoid giving her a pacifier for the first few weeks. We lasted about 48 hours.
“11”: — Ella and I. Though you’d think the stage direction was “Stare reflectively into the distance,” I was probably just contemplating how long it had been since I’d had a shower.
“12”: — Obligatory foot shot.
“13”: — Suanna and Ella, back at home.
“14”: — Obligatory car seat shot, fresh from the hospital.
“15”: — All hail the Humpty Dumpty vibrating chair! We’d not have made it through our first night back home without it.
“16”: and “19”: — Ella with Suanna’s father and mother, respectively.

UPDATE: Down in the comments, Mike Jacobs points out a curious coincidence between pictures 12&13. See if you can guess it and then check his comment for the answer.