Saturday, September 27, 2008

quickly, before i pass out

I'm about to walk down the aisle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

8 days to go. just breathe.....

Ton Ton: "You need to learn to roll with the punches."

Emily: "You need to learn not to punch!!"

eLLe - 17 months

Dear Luciya,

Here are some comments I've heard recently from other parents at the park, parents at Little Gym, and even your nanny, who recently quit because it was too stressful!

"She is feisty!"

"She is stubborn!"

"You're going to have your hands full!"

"You do have your hands full!"

"She is fearless!"

My response, for the most part, is "I know... good thing she's so sweet!" 

Because you are sweet, my little muffin top. You're darling, and precious, and oh so curious. And believe me, I'd rather have a feisty, fearless, fabulously flamboyant toddler over a lump of doughbaby any day of the week!

(Okay, sometimes it's a little scary how confident and coordinated you are. Yesterday your Dada turned around to find you had climbed up the rungs of the barstool and were standing on top of it! And you nearly gave your Tutu a coronary the day before that, when she turned around to find you at the top of an easy chair, with your hands planted on a railing about 30 feet above the wood floors below. We literally can't take our eyes of you for a second!)

This afternoon you and I walked around in back yard for a while, under a sky that was threatening rain with heavy, gray clouds (Yes, thunderstorms are predicted for this weekend, but we all know that they're clearing the way for a GORGEOUS, PERFECT weekend next week!!!) We sat down in the grass and shared a sun-warm peach off the tree. We passed it back and forth, taking turns getting syrupy-sticky (you won; we had to put you in the bath afterwards) and feeding each other bites. It was such a sweet little moment, just the two of us - me and my full-fledged toddler of a 17-month-old baby girl. 

After that we had a few errands to run (I'm so sorry about all these errands, little one, but as soon as this big party comes to pass, I have a feeling we'll have a little more down time). After our last stop at the discount wedding & party supply store, where you received a bright purple balloon, I realized it was your dinner time so we went next door to the smoothie bar and I delighted in watching you drink your fruits through a straw. This is a new accomplishment of yours - drinking through a straw - and it's pretty cool. We shared a grilled tuna wrap and an endearing moment, since you went straight to the chair at the little table after I'd ordered, and we sat facing each other, me tearing off pieces of spinach tortilla and you with your chin barely above the table rim. You're getting to be such a big girl! And even though part of me was recently missing the baby of a year ago, I had to admit that sharing this day with you was pretty cool.

I realized tonight that I don't have any recent pictures of you (these are from last month_ -- our camera broke over Labor Day weekend and it's still in the shop. It's been a bummer not having it, because of course you've been up to some world-class Cuteness Shenanigans and I've missed the opportunity to get any of it on film. Er, memory card. Whatever. You're still doing the turn-up-palms-and-shrug  thing when we're looking for something and you don't know (or pretend to not know) where it is. You've started initiating hide-and-seek and peekaboo, and the other day the three of us were driving in the car and you starting shrieking "Dada! Dada!" and when we both turned around you had your blanket over your head and were waiting for us to say, "Where's Luciya?"

Dada is one of just a few words in your vocabulary. You have about five others that we hear when you're not shrieking and squawking for what you want, which are (in order of popularity):

- "Uh oh!" (When you drop something - intentionally or not)

- "Na-na!" (Which generally means "snack," though it also stands for "banana" and "night-night," and when it means "snack" you usually smack your lips for emphasis)

- "Buh-ba" ("Bye bye"; you say it all the time - to your bottle before bed and to the barristas at the drive-thru coffee place - always accompanied by a wave; not to be confused with "baba," which is "bottle" or "bubbles") 

- "Bhuuf" ("Poop." Hooray!)

- "Hiya!" (Accompanied with a kicking motion; I taught you that)

- "Hiiiiiiieee" (This is my favorite, and you looove to great people. And dogs. And your reflection in the mirror)

You're great at repeating things, like "bath" and "mama" and "hat" and "dog," but you generally don't use these words unless prompted. The next couple months are supposed to be huge for language acquisition, so we'll see. I do have to admit that while you are able to make yourself pretty clear as to your needs and wants (which are generally one in the same), I'm looking forward to the day when you can actually USE YOUR WORDS. Ah, my ears smile just thinking about it. 

You've gotten pretty good at running, oftentimes bent at the waist with your arms stuck out behind you, ala Superwoman. You're still a good eater, though you're starting to show signs of pickiness, especially when it comes to vegetables. You're still sleeping at least 13 hours at night with a 2-3 hour nap each day, which is so incredible. You've calmed down A LOT at Stroller Strides and are no longer the sobby freakmobile clawing desperately at the stroller straps (thank God that phase is over!). You love to read books and are a dance machine, boogying your little butt whenever so much as a hint of a rhythm comes your way. And your joy is absolutely contagious, and I know your energy has a lot to do with why I haven't lost my mind in the last few weeks.

Another thing parent strangers have been saying to me lately is, "This is such a fun age."

I couldn't agree more.

I love you, Luciya!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

bittersweet surrender

We posted this ad a couple days ago on craigslist:

We are looking for a new home for our sweet and adorable 6 month old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix. She is a bright, beautiful girl named Harley. We're just coming to terms with the fact that we don't have the time, energy, or patience to give her the training she needs to be the very best dog she can. 

She has had 3 training sessions and is responding very well -- she can come, sit, and stay with one-on-one practice. She is awesome with other dogs and great around kids (mine is 16 months old). 

She just has way too much energy right now and since we're planning a wedding, going on a honeymoon for 9 days (and would have to board her) and starting a new business, we just don't think we're giving her the right environment. Plus, our older, mellow dog is wondering where all her attention went! 

We bought her from a breeder for $200 and she has received most of her shots and some training. We are asking a small rehoming fee of $50, which includes food, a collar, papers, and toys. 

SO, if you're interested or know anyone who might be, I'd really like to find Harley a nice, loving home. Please contact me here and I can send pictures, more info, etc. Serious inquiries only please -- it is very important to me that she gets the love she deserves!!! 

Last night, her new owner came over, fell in love, and took her away.

It is truly a bittersweet feeling: on the one hand, I find myself thinking that I could have done more, done better, put up with her, learned to love her. But then I think about the pissing all over the house, the incesant barking, the pee trips in the middle of the night, the way she maniacally jumped up on us all the time and chewed up the flowers out of the flower beds and dug holes in the lawn. 

And I think we made the right decision. 

I hope so. 

So long, sweet Harley. May you get the attention and love you deserve, and may you grow to be a loyal and well-behaved dog. Maybe we'll meet again some day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

my OTHER other project

Our wedding is in 13 days. Gah. But things are really coming together. It is going to be at our home and most everything is getting done in-house. I've finished the flowers, the favors, and the necklaces for the bridesmaids and am in the process of stringing more outside lights. I'm tallying the final guest count (probably around 80, which I think is just perfect) and I've got to take my dress and the groomsmens' shirts in to the cleaner. We're finalizing the rentals and weeding the flower beds. I need to get to work on the programs. It's going to be a really fun party, and if thee weather behaves anything like it has been for the past couple days, we're stoked. It's gorgeous. (BTW, if you're reading this you've probably received your wedding invitation. If you think I may have forgotten to send you one, please let me know! You can also leave your RSVP here, too.) 

In other impending news, John and I will officially take over Arrow Rock Property Management as of November 1st, when it will become ArrowRock Property Services, Inc. (We're official and legit and everything!)

In my spare time have been dawdling and teaching myself to make websites with iWeb. I did my mom's a few months back and have been working recently on the new site for ArrowRock.

Please click here to see it or you can visit at your leisure. I'd love any feedback. As you can see, it is still a major work in progress, and I'm making changes all the time. I'm still not sure about the wording on the first page and the design, so any suggestions are gladly welcomed!

Hope everyone is doing well.

dead ringer

Friday, September 12, 2008

eLLe - sweet 16 months, part II

Oh, Bubba

Your seventeenth month was not very welcoming.

I know... Grrrr. For starters, or maybe for starters and middles and everything in between, you're teething. I mean, teething. I had no idea teething could really be so bad. You've had your two little friends, Pokey and Buddy, in your bottom gums since month 11. And then suddenly four top teeth are descending from your upper gums and two more are protruding on the bottom. And you're a mess. And suddenly your mouth has eight teeth instead of two. And then you had a runny nose that lasted for about 2 weeks. But, because of this runny nose, you've learned to use a tissue to blow your nose, and it's actually quite hilarious.

I'm sorry I am so late in writing this post. I've been kind of preoccupied. With the wedding. Which is two weeks from tomorrow. As you know, sine you've been living in Tissue Paper Wonderland for the last six months, I'm doing almost everything myself for this wedding, which is going to be in our backyard. The invites, save-the-dates, flowers, favors, gifts, programs... anyhoodle, I've been busy. And I've been putting of the blog. But I'm back.

I have to admit that as excited as I am about the wedding and the following honeymoon to Mexico (hooray!), I find that I can't think about it too long or I get really sad. About leaving you for nine days. You're going to be awesome and amazing for your Grams, who is coming up from San Diego to stay with you, but I feel the pain of missing you for so long is going to make things really difficult. So I guess I should think about it more, and think about how much fun you're going to have with Grams and with Tutu, and how they're going to shove you into my arms at the end of nine days, and then go take a long nap.

Because you're a fireball. You're a nonstop motor boat steam engine firecracker bucking bronc. Your days are filled with exploration, games, screeching, and learning, and you fall asleep readily each evening at 6:45 and don't wake up for 13 hours or more.

You still nap every day for a couple hours, too, which is what you're doing right now. You still take your binky to sleep, and you are officially attached to your green "blanky."

Over Labor Day weekend we went with our friends the Highlands and their son, Jenner (your future husband) to their family's acreage in Eastern Oregon. We went last year, too, when the two of you were only a few months old and we plopped you in a playpen during the day and used the generator in the evenings to listen for you on our baby monitors. This year was quite different, with the two of you walking around in the dirt, but we had so much fun.

You are still not using many words, which isn't to say you're not communicating. Oh yes, you get your point across very well. Besides the squawking, you've learned gestures, my favorite of which is when you turn your palms face-up and shrug when I ask "Where is it?" And while there are some thing about you I can't understand, like why you grab a fistful of food and then run your hands through your hair, or why you like to poop in a fresh diaper that I've just finished fastening, I can certainly understand your wants and needs, and which game you'd like to play next.

And the night before last you initiated a game which still brings happy tears to my eyes when I think about it. You were in the tub, splashing around as is your favorite thing to do,
when you hefted the soaking washcloth over to where a rubber ball was floating. You placed the washcloth over the ball and picked up both items in one arm. Then you looked at me and turned your other palm up, and I realized we were playing Where's The Ball? and so I asked you that very question and you let the ball drop from the cloth and squealed with delight. We were playing peek-a-boo! And you kept doing this again and again, always hefting the big washcloth because it kept getting more sodden, and sometimes you couldn't quite cover the ball, or the ball was just on top, but each time you'd turn to me without a sound and make that gesture, and I'd say, "Where's the ball?"

That very same day you made another remarkable achievement: you told me you pooped! I've been working on bringing attention to the fact that you're pooping each time it's obvious that you are, and the other day you stood there are grunted for a bit then turned to me and said "bhuuf," which, naturally, is "poop," and then you led me into your bedroom and waited next to the changing table for me to hoist you up and change you. Time to get a potty seat!

My Luciya, I hope you know that even though I have been busy as a squirrel in an autumn oak tree the last few weeks, it is you who brings me sanity and joy and strength and calm. And you don't even know it.

I love you, Luciya!!


Friday, September 5, 2008

dooce 2008

Heather Armstrong's blog,, is a lot of what inspired me to start blogging. She is fresh and irreverent and hilarious and talented and uncensored. She writes a newsletter to her daughter every month, which are what inspired me to write my letters to Luciya.

Her post a couple days ago really struck home to me, and a lot of what she managed to put into words, especially in the last paragraph,  totally reflects my own sentiments.

You can read it here:

Let me know whatcha think! (She has already received more that 2100 comments and, apparently, death threats.)

Vote Obama.