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Top 10 Babies of 2006

Man, we’ve seen a lot of babies this year. A lot. Literally. Like, if there were a vacant lot down the street and we all dropped our babies off there it would be really, really full. And then we’d all go to jail for child endangerment. But what I’m trying to get across is that our friends have had many, many babies in 2006, and this has probably been made all the more poignant by my and Jessica’s deciding to have our own.

So here, presented in chronological order, are the babies of 2006:

Thomas AlexanderThomas. First out the door this year was Thomas Alexander, born in late January. Thomas was not just the first baby of 2006, but he was also the first baby born in to our circle of San Francisco friends. His exploits (as documented at www.nijibaby.com) were eagerly followed by many of us, and probably kicked a few of us (and we know who we are) in the butt and reminded us that if we were really interested in doing this baby thing our mid-thirties might be the time to get on with it already! Thomas has made the most of 2006 with appearances all over Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as two trips abroad to visit his grandparents in the UK. Jessica was privileged enough to meet Thomas in February, and we both caught up with him as a three-month-old during a trip to San Francisco last May.

Fiona MarieFiona. Next up came Fiona Marie, born in early March. Fiona was born to Ann Arbor friends Tim and Cindy. Tim and Cindy got married one year before Matt and I did, putting us on a very similar schedule to start a family already. The one notable difference is that Fiona is Tim’s third child. We’re delighted that Fiona has her mother’s red hair, which we got to see in person during our June visit to Boston. We hope to get back soon, as Fiona seems to be in a hurry to grow up. Seriously. Kiddo started walking at 9 1/2 months. Sorry Tim and Cindy!

Gabriela. Gabriela Malka is my first cousin Connie’s first grandchild, born this March to my first cousin once removed Cara. Cara is only six years younger than I am, and I have fond memories of babysitting her when she was 6 or 7 and I was 12 or 13. Cara was such a cute kid that I’d basically go over to her house, play with her, stay up past my normal bedtime until Connie came home, and then get paid for it. Delightful! With the birth of Gabriela our family has officially “flipped” generations, as Simon is seven months younger than the cousin one branch down from him on the family tree. We got to introduce the two this Thanksgiving when Cara and her husband Jesse came up from Miami to spend the holiday with her grandparents, my Uncle Sam and Aunt Marcia.

Josephine. Matt’s co-worker Colin’s baby girl. He hasn’t been spotted playing World of Warcraft since she was born.

Kalyna MarieKalyna. We were hoping Shawn and Yun’s baby would be the ugly breathtaking one, theorizing that someone had to have the ugly breathtaking baby and we didn’t want it to be us. But noooooooooo…. Kalyna Marie had to be the cutest baby ever, leaving us scared to death that our baby was going to be, um, less than handsome. She is also the best photographed baby of the bunch — Shawn and Yun really know how to use a camera.

Evan SamuelEvan. Evan Samuel is Ann Arbor friend Bob and Chapel Hill friend Beth’s second child. We introduced Beth and Bob to each other at our wedding, and their first child, Andrew, was born three and a half years ago on our anniversary. Trippy, eh? Simon was almost born on Beth’s birthday, making the circle complete, but overshot by 13 hours and 48 minutes. Bummer. Evan came on July 4, thus relegating his original chosen name, Samuel, to the second slot for obvious reasons. Beth and Bob are in Durham, not far from where Beth and I first met in 1988. We hope to get the entire gang together this spring.

Lola. My colleague Sheri Cain was the first in my work circle to tell my boss she was pregnant. Karen, being a big fan of babies and motherhood, was of course thrilled for her. Shortly thereafter, Elizabeth got to call Karen and tell her that she was not only pregnant, but that she was even expecting twins (see below). Karen, being a big fan of babies and motherhood was of course thrilled for her. Shortly thereafter, I got to call Karen and tell her that I too was pregnant. Yup, three out of four women on her team all had babies within three months of each other, and I had to tell last. Karen, being a big fan of babies and motherhood, had the good grace to sound thrilled for me. Thanks Karen! For her part, Lola Lily was born in August and is flourishing up in a town by Indianapolis. I plan to see her soon, as she’s only a couple of hours from me.

Margot and Tatum. Twins! My colleague and good friend Elizabeth declared last Christmas that her fondest wish for 2006 was to start a family. Well, be careful what you ask for! The September arrival of identical twin girls Margot Louise and Tatum Caroline gave her an instant family. Last I talked to Elizabeth, she sounded every bit as tired as you would expect, but also deliriously happy. We can’t wait to meet these two cuties this spring when we travel to San Francisco to meet all the new Bay Area babies.

Ananya. Yet another colleague and friend, Anindo, became a Dad this September when his daughter Ananya, Nina for short, was born on September 11. Anindo does not work for Karen, so she was able to sound delighted about this addition to the Pearson family without wondering who was left to get some work done. In the picture I’ve seen of them together, Anindo looks exhausted but very happy, and Ananya looks suitably adorable. As an added bonus, Ananya’s bithday gives us all something positive to associate with an otherwise sad day. Anindo is also based in Indianapolis, so I hope to meet his new daughter soon as well.

Ted Koppel?Keira. Friends Ian and Christine’s new niece. Check out that awesome head of hair. Ian calls her “Ted Kopple”. What’s been cool about Keira (for us) has been getting to watch Ian and Christine interact with such an adorable baby, especially since they’re expecting their own sometime in 2007. Congratulations to parents Andrew and Jennifer!

Simon!Simon. Best baby of 2006, hands down. Super-adorable, extremely sociable and already demonstating genius-level learning abilities at week eleven. Puts himself to sleep at night with nary a whimper and stays down for hours, ensuring that baby and parents are fresh and ready for new adventures each morning. Practically changes his own diapers. Oh, did I mention he’s ours…?

William Cash William. We didn’t even know that William Cash was in the works, but when an email from Matt’s college pal Jason casually mentioned “going on minutes of sleep a day” we recognized the desperation of the new parent. Sure enough, he and his wife Tera had just had their first baby, and were diving deep, deep into the thrill of new-parenthood.

Colin MichaelColin. Simon’s new best friend thrilled his Mom and Dad by arriving three weeks before his original due date of Christmas Eve. So instead of being in the hospital or sitting around 9+ months pregnant this Christmas, they got to wake up every two-and-a-half hours to change poopy diapers, nurse and try to rock a crying baby to sleep. I’m sure it was worth the trade off. Colin’s Mom, Lucy, is an old high school friend of Jessica’s that got back in touch with us just a few months before we moved back to Louisville. Jessica and Lucy told each other they were pregnant on the same day, pretty much guaranteeing that the two babies would be built-in playmates. Colin Michael’s adventures can be tracked at his BabyBlog.

Whew! Fourteen babies in all. Almost hard to believe.

Watch for a similar post this time next year. Friends Ian and Chistine are due in April. Jessica’s former colleague and friend Chanda is also due in April. Jessica’s colleague and author Eric and Lisa are due in February. Jessica’s colleague Jen is due today and might already have a son. And several other babies are in the works but not yet publicly declared.

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