Friday, June 27, 2008

greetings... with love

My best friend Kelly sent me this touching message tonight, in honor of John's birthday, which was earlier this month.

You can see why we're friends.

Don't send a lame Birthday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

eLLe - 14 months

Dear Luciya,


Look at the big, beautiful fourteen-month-old!

I'm kind of holding my breath as I write this, because you napped today without a pacifier and I was so inspired by that that I just put you down for bed without one, too. And you're quie-- wait. Okay, there you go. You're wailing. Darn it! Okay, I'm debating. I'm - shoot. Be right back.

So, maybe the sudden cold-turkey thing isn't the way to go with this. (Is there another way to go cold-turkey besides sudden?) I just went in to your room to see you standing up, clinging to the side of your crib in red-faced desperation, crocodile tears streaming. Let's start this a little more slowly. One day at a time. Forgoing naptime pacis first. Hush.

What a wonderful time to be 14 months old! The weather has been stupid-gorgeous. Like 90+ degrees gorgeous. We've been swimming in the pool and sliding in the park (on the shady side, of course -- no stuck-burned-bottoms here).

You are embracing your toddlerhood - vibrant, vivacious, and very, very vocal (you can say mama, dada, dog, and bye-bye). You're the squawky screamer at Stroller Strides, and the adorable, precocious charmer who's not afraid of strangers. You love to dance and move. You're on the verge of running. You point at everything and hiss. Yes, you hiss. "Sss." I think you're saying "wasssat?" You point at the ceiling, the sky. You point both hands at once, in opposite directions, and look in a third direction. Your first top tooth is starting to make its painful, jaggedy appearance. You tumble. You toddle. You snack. You climb.

Just this morning, you climbed up onto the couch! Granted, it was the low futon, but sure as you're born you heaved and hefted, and the next thing I knew you were sitting there next to me, pleased as punch.

Oh boy. Here we go.

Your Auma Kelly was here last week and we basked in the glory of Summer. We took you boating and put you in a life jacket.

Yeah, you loved it? Um, no. No you didn't.

You're napping once a day, sometimes for 3 hours, sometimes for an hour and a half. Today was a short-nap day, and I ended up putting you to bed about 20 minutes early because you were facing a serious meltdown. You're sleeping a solid 12 hours at night, which is a dream (no pun intended.) You wake up happy and babbling, and your sweet, genuine smile is such a nice way for me to be greeted each day.

You have a new friend coming over every Thursday for four hours in the afternoon so mommy can get some work done and run errands. Her name is Renee and she speaks the language of babies very well. I've left you alone with her twice, and next Thursday I may even have her stay later that 6:00 so I can go to a Mom's Night Out. Fun! You seem to really enjoy her. The two of you have been going to the park and playing outside and reading your ever-expanding collection of books.

You still love books. You don't necessarily want to hear the actual story on the pages. You want to see a picture here and there, hear some funny words, and flip the pages yourself. Then you wriggle off the reader's lap and on to the next acitivity. You are nonstop.

Non. Stop.

You're a veritable locomotive of a child. I think that's why you haaaaaaate being in the stroller - God forbid anyone try to hinder you from exploring the world! The world that is all yours. The rest of us just live in it. I think I'm going to have to start disciplining soon, because as far as you're concerned, nothing is off limits. If you want to play with someone else's toy, too bad if they happen to already be playing with it. It's yours. If you want to eat that bug in the dirt, well, that's why he's there - to be eaten by you. You are brash to the point of ruthlessness, daring to the point of insolence... and lovely to the point of tear-jerking.

And you are still awed into quiet wonder by nature. I recently found this video of you from nearly a year ago, and I was stunned by the quiet bliss in your little body.

nature babe - 3 months old from shemmy on Vimeo.

You are still amazed with the green earth and calmed by her gentle breezes.

And energized by water.

gurgle from shemmy on Vimeo.

What a difference a year has made in you, my sweet. My butternut. My monkey face. My blessing. My joy.

I love you, Luciya!


Monday, June 16, 2008

class of 2008 -- go birds!

This past weekend the 8th graders at Haleakala Waldorf School on Maui had their graduation. When we moved from Maui last year, I had planned on returning for this day, because these children all hold a special place in my life; I began teaching them when they were in third grade. It was such a gift to watch these incredible young people grow over the span of five years, and I wish them all the best. They are in my heart forever.

Though we didn't get to make it back to Maui, someone else had a graduation ceremony from the Little Gym! Luciya has been in the "Birds" class with other 10-to-19-month-olds since January (before that, she was a "Bug."). The Winter/Spring session ended last week with a celebration of the kiddos' achievements, complete with a presentation of a medal on a ribbon.

Luciya LOVES the Little Gym. We started going when she was four months old, mostly for me to find a way to socialize and meet other moms, and find little friends for Luciya. It wasn't about getting her to have improved balance or to be an early walker, but I do think that the Little Gym has helped with these things, along with making her totally fearless. Child will jump on, push over, or climb up anything, and this makes me happy. (I seem to recall that I was a bit of a scaredy-cat babe.)

In class Luciya gets to somersault, climb, bounce, play with balls, and swing. She has even made a few little friends, even though they're all still at the stage where they pass each other like ships in the night and only seem to play together accidentally. 

Luciya really loves to somersault. 

There's a little chant we sing - "Hands high to the sky, hands down on the ground, smell your belly and roll!!" Say the first few words of this at home (or anywhere, really), and Luciya assumes the position.

At the graduation, parents and grandparents came equipped with cameras and video recorders, and of course we were no exception. 

Well. Good thing we captured every moment.

Our little monkey is such a funny free spirit. Every class starts with a circle on the big red mat, and while most babes sit obediently in their parents' laps, my child is off exploring the gym - bars, balance beams, mats, and bouncies.

And when we're instructed to walk or run in a circle with our babies, Luciya prefers to stand in the middle of everyone and twirl.

Congratulations, big girl!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

life view

"If you want to be a good hitchhiker, you've got to think outside of the thumb. Don't just stand there when you could be dancing."

Creed (The Office)