Monday, April 28, 2008

big girl room

We did it! For the first time in a year, Luciya isn't sleeping right next to us.

Last night was her fourth night in her upstairs "big girl room."

The first two nights she slept fitfully and woke up twice each night around 2:30/3:00 a.m. Understandable. She didn't know what was going on, and it was probably hard to sleep without the constant rhythm of daddy's snoring ten feet away. The third night I made a couple changes. First, I left a nightlight on. Second, I dropped about four pacifiers in the crib so she could find one if she needed. (I've resigned my pacifier struggle. She uses them to fall asleep, and that's it. That's fine with me.) She slept 12 1/2 hours straight that night.

We are now huge fans of the big girl room. We can waltz right into our own bedroom at any time, turn on the lights, and flush the toilet if we want to. Luciya loves her new room, with all her toys and books within easy reach. Our favorite thing to do lately is read books, and I'll sit in the rocker and tell her to "get Mama a book," and she'll waddle over to the bookshelf, select one, and bring it to me so that I can pull her up onto my lap and read.

She has exactly two books that are her favorites, that she wants read over and over and over. The first is Rainbow Rob, which is a great story about a penguin who wants to be other colors besides black and white. There are lots of fuzzies and other textures to play with, and she knows which one is coming next. The second is Little Feet Like..., and it has squares of different materials, like soft blankets and cuddly towels, that Luciya likes to rub her bare little toes all over. Yes, I've read each of these books 43 times in the last three days. But it's just so darn cute to watch her wobble back and forth between me and the bookshelf, grunting as she hefts these heavy board books. (Even though my head is racing right now with Rob is black and Rob is white. No color at all, just dark and light....)

The new room still allows for other well-loved activities, too, like tearing all the clothes out of the drawers. Which, as we all know, is the most fun EVER.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the ragamuffin dance

Grab your bottle and drop your pants
It's time to do the Ragamuffin Dance!

Pull your hair and let it fly loose
Then bend over and shake your caboose!

Pinch your belly and give yourself a squeeze
Then reach down and touch your knees!

By the time you're done you should be huffin' and puffin'
That's how you know you're a ragamuffin!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

eLLe - one year old

Dear Butter Pie,

You turned ONE YEAR OLD on Saturday.

I'm sorry I didn't write you a post sooner. Maybe it's because I've been so busy with your grandparents in town and planning your birthday party. Maybe it's because since your daddy went back to work I feel I don't have as much time to spend in front of the computer. Or maybe it's because I'm in complete, total, and utter shock that YOU ARE A YEAR OLD. Seriously, my eye just twitched.

Though I can't even remember the last chapter in the book I read before bed last night, I can remember in bright, explicit detail the events and hours of a year ago.

I remember walking out on the new and awkward doctor who insisted we go in for immediate artificial induction. Calling my angels at Haleakala Waldorf School, who meditated and sang deep earth songs and sent me in to labor that same hour. Deciding on home birth, calling the midwife, and laying a tarp under the sheets of the guest bed. Moaning through the night as contractions ripped through me and the doula held me as she slept next to your tutu. Waking in the morning, 14 hours after labor had started, to find I was only 3 cm dilated. And walking, crying, and screaming for 14 hours more until we went on the world's longest, bumpiest car ride to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where we were ushered in, I relaxed, and you emerged, blue-fingered and crying, 6 hours later.

I remember that first night alone in the hospital, you mewling for milk, me so exhausted, trying to figure it out, everything surreal. I remember the nurses shaking me awake after I fell into the deepest sleep of my existence the next morning, because the doctors had checked you and you needed to be fed again.

I remember the drive home in the morning, how your daddy drove so slowly and it seemed that everyone else in the world should be driving slowly, too. That things were different. Colors were brighter. Shapes were sharper.

I remember swaddling you over clothes that we thought would never fit - they looked tiny enough to clothe a doll. Stroking your silk-soft, hairy back and shoulders. Watching you sleep as you softly moaned with each breath, communing with your angels.

I remember it all. And it was all a year ago. One whole year.

And here you are, my dear - rambunctious, lively, lovely, intelligent, enchanting, long-haired (pigtails every day!), serene, wiser than I can imagine. You still wave to something in the corner that I cannot see. You still make silly noises in your sleep. I still check on you at least three times each night before bed.

You are a delightful - gulp! - toddler. You toddle. You wobble. You explore and tug. You're incessant when you say "mamamamamamamamamama," but it sounds so sweet as the first word you sigh in the morning.

You're a year old! Holy cow!

You've taken such giant leaps in the last few days since your birthday, both literally (figuring out how to climb down the step into the dining room!) and figuratively (drinking cow's milk!). The weekend before last your Aunties Trisha, Cass, and Kelly and I got together for our annual reunion (7 years strong! Way to go, mammas!) and I chose those three days to be the Weaning Weekend. (Actually, you chose it, as you'd been showing less and less interest in the breast and we'd gone 2 or three days without breastfeeding on a couple occasions). So we are now officially nursing-free. And it is much easier than I thought it would be! I thought for sure I' d be so sad, longing for your warm little body and smooth suckle, the bonding it produced. But I'm actually handling it just fine, I'm not sore at all, and the fact that you had begun biting down with your two mini chompers helped the transition as well. So. Bottles it is. And that's okay.

You also got a forward-facing car seat for your birthday and now sit in the middle of the back seat, looking out! At first you didn't quite know what to think. You look like such a big girl in that car seat! The only thing I don't like about it is that when you fall asleep, your heavy little head lolls onto your chest and it doesn't look too comfortable!

You're eating like a pro. It's fun; when we go to restaurants we can actually order you something off the menu! The other night you had some plain pasta shells and before that, bits of a crustless grilled cheese sandwich! You love to feed yourself and refuse any food offered you from a jar or on a spoon. I think you may have fed yourself some of Mila's dog food tonight. Well.

You have been a pretty good little sleeper. At night, anyway. For the past few weeks you've been flirting with the idea of taking only one nap during the day, and only in the morning, but I've had to put my foot down. Girl, you need your afternoon nap. Mama needs your afternoon nap.

We had a first birthday party for you on Saturday. It was supposed to rain, but we all got together and did a little sun dance, and sure enough, we were outside for much of the party! you scored lots of loot - toys, clothes, and books. You had about 10 of your new little friends over to enjoy cupcakes, which you immediately smashed right into your face. I put so much energy into planning the party and watching over the course of events that I neglected to take many photos, and we didn't get ANY video of me presenting you with the little burning "1" candle. Also, though all of your grandparents were there - even great-grandma Leona! - we didn't get a single family shot. Oh, well. The day is, I'm sure, ingrained in all our hearts and minds.

Since you were born, you've slept either right next to our bed or in the adjacent alcove room, where we can hear your every sigh and where, since you're such a light sleeper, we have to tiptoe around if we need to enter the bedroom or use the bathroom. So we've decided that as of this week, either tomorrow or the next day, we're moving you upstairs to your "big girl room." I am thankful I've had a couple weeks to get used to this idea. We'll see how it goes! And I promise I'll still be looking in on you at least three times before I go to bed.

I love you, Luciya! Thank you so much for choosing me.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

due date - one year later

A year ago now you were due to arrive

Thought you'd be in me until you were five

You took your sweet time and arrived 12 days late

My whole world's been different since that date

My baby, my sweetness, my angel, my truth

I celebrate the first year of your youth...

You waited inside and my body turned round

Then you came from the heavens to this earthly ground

In the first hours the world seemed brand new

After the first week I still just stared at you

And you grew............

One month old and sleeping with grace

Two months old - Maui sun on your face

Three months old with pretty pierced ears

Four months old, smiling brings happy tears

At five months you're sitting and growing

Six months in mid-October, glowing

Seven months old and beginning to crawl

Eight months - naked time feels best of all

At nine months your tenth airplane ride

Ten months - your mouth has two teeth inside!

Eleven months old and walking around

Almost a year and my awe is profound

I love you, Luciya!


Sunday, April 6, 2008


A girlfriend and I were in a coffee shop the other day. It was our first time out since Luciya began walking; hence, she was everywhere. At one point I caught up to her near the table of the parents of another one-year-old. "She is so cute!" the mom said to me. Then the dad said, "She looks like a Disney cartoon character."

Ummm... thanks?

"Yeah!" said a third woman, "She looks like Boo!" And everyone at the table adamantly agreed. "Definitely! Boo!"

Boo, apparently, is from a Pixar movie called Monsters Inc. I've heard of it, but never seen it. This is Boo:

Here is Luciya on Easter. Does anyone else see the resemblance? 

Or do I need to go back to that coffee shop and kick some ass?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

47 down

It fits!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

stinky caca poopy


Yesterday morning after John flushed the toilet upstairs I heard a "bloop bloop" bubbling sound coming from the toilet downstairs. We investigated to find that the water level was high. We flushed it and everything seemed okay. Later in the afternoon the downstairs tub was filled with gunky residue that looked like it had backwashed up the drain and then seeped (the liquid, anyway) back down.

Fast forward to 7:00 p.m. Luciya is asleep and as I'm sneaking into the room to check on her I notice Stenchy McStenchfart seeping from the bathroom. It was too, too gross. Foul sh*t water and soggy brown toilet paper had poured from beneath the closed lid of the toilet and was sitting about 4 inches deep in the bathtub. In the laundry room, a drain in the floor had overflowed to make a nice round puddle.

The plumber made it here at about 9:30 pm and was here until 11:00. We scoured the front lawn, with the help of two neighbors and one flashlight, for signs of a valve to the septic tank. (Never found one). The plumber returned at 9:00 this morning (and yes, I peed in the back yard last night - twice and went to Stroller Strides this morning stinky and un-showered). They removed both toilets, replaced one (ca-ching), and ran a camera snake through the hole left by the other one (ca-ching, ca-ching), where they discovered the roots of the giant tree in the front yard had broken through decades-old pipes to block the flow of "solids."

They managed to clear the pipes for what may be a week, may be a month. We'll be able to use the toilet and showers until they have to come again (ca-ching times infinity), tear up the front lawn, hopefully find the pipe (nine feet down? Possibly.), and replace it. We'll be responsible for the landscaping repair (ca - whatever). (So those of you coming to our September wedding will know why the grass will most likely be a different color. At best.)

I was thinking last night about how we used to say in Hawaii that Mother Maui is the type of place that will either welcome and accept you with open arms if you're supposed to be there (good job, good friends, good housing, etc.), or chew you up and spit you out if you're not (no job, wrong friends, and your house gets broken into. And your wallet is stolen). We were, obviously, in the lucky first camp. And it makes me wonder: does Idaho possess any of those same mystical qualities? Are we being told somehow that maybe this isn't a good fit? I mean, seriously? John loses his job and we're suddenly slapped in the kisser with emergency dog surgery, truck repair, and poop flooding? Did we not give enough to charity last year?

Or should we just suck it up and laugh about this 50 years from now when we're sitting on this re-cemented front porch directly over the septic tank and say, "This was all so worth it."?