Friday, December 19, 2008

eLLE - 20 months

Dear Luciya,

Oh, hi!

I think you got scared of the dark tonight, for the first time. Your "baby," who has been sleeping in a little wooden cradle in your room and who you've begun placing on my lap, with her blankie, so that I can read her a story, was in Eryn's room, where you had left her earlier today. I was so impressed that you understood me when I said, "You left the baby in Sister's room, on the chair. Can you go get her?" You walked down the dark hallway, opened the door to her bedroom, which was also dark, and came running out of the room with Baby. I sat in the living room clapping, so proud of you for understanding what I said, when you burst into tears and came running toward me. I think walking into the pitch dark room was disorienting, and you got scared! Poor baby. We turned on all the lights ("yites") and I think you felt better after that.

"Yites" is a new word in your rapidly expanding vocabulary. Each day it seems you've learned another word, and you use it in just the right context. You've also begun to put together two-word "sentences," which include "baby book" (as in, Mommy sit in the chair and read a book to Baby, please), and "mo pees" (more please). "Please" kills me. I have been working with you on using "please," and getting you to understand that if you use it you'll get what you want, but now you'll stand at my feet and look up at me, pleading and lightly clapping your hands and say "pees?" You want me to pick you up, and since you know that please will work, I have to. You little trickster. My back is killing me lately!

Here are some words you know enough to use just about every day: hi, dada, mama, bye-bye, no, please, more, up, book, baby, dog, Mimi ("Mila"), purse, banana, fruit, apple, milk, snack, nuknuk, help, Tutu, shoes, hand, bubbles, ball, socks, shirt, pants, eye, eat. You also have funny words for things: "nini" means "gloves" (naturally), "bulilup" is "zipper" and if you say "a-a-a-a" you want to hand me something.

Oh, the "bulilup." You are obsessed with zippers. You must zip and unzip and zip and unzip, whether you're the one wearing the zipper or not. And even though the fleece footy jammies we put you in every night have a little snap-top over the zipper, eight mornings out of ten we find you in your crib with your jammies completely undone. Your Tutu and I got to enjoy round two of "Take-Off-My-Poopy-Diaper-And-Smear-Its-Contents-On-Every-Conceivable-Surface," and on two other occasions you've been bare-butted with just a wet diaper laying there. So, we've begun using packing tape on your diaper at night, since we can think of no other solution at this time (anything? Anyone?). I certainly hope this obsession passes soon.

"Hi" has got to be your most-used word of all. You and I get to the mall early to set up for Stroller Strides classes and you greet every passing mall walker (who knew there were so many mall walkers?) with a "hi!" You say it over and over, not skipping anyone. I have to admit, I think it's charming and adorable. I'd say most of the walkers do, too, though the Crotcheties certainly exist. You continue to be a better and better stroller-sitter, and you know the routine of cool-down at the end of the hour, and that as soon as we clap you're FREE! You start clapping before we do.

This month you saw your first video, a Baby Einstein from Aunty Danielle, which you watched in your Dada's truck on the drive back down from the mountains. While I certainly have mixed feeling about this (read: mostly negative feelings), you've shown that Dada's truck is the only place you have any interest in watching a screen, and Dada said you were excellent on the ride down, and intrigued by the singing puppets and animal footage, so if a half hour video in Dada's truck every once in a while is going to happen, I resign myself. We made it 20 months without screen time. Not too bad.

We leave in a few days to celebrate the holidays with your Grams and Grandpa Peter and Grandpa Dave and cousins and sister and Aunty and Uncle in Southern  California. We have a lot of flying ahead of us, a lot of flying out of cold and snowy weather (it's been coooold!), so I am praying that everything goes smoothly! We're so excited to spend some time with your dada's family, and then we're headed to Napa Valley for a few days to see Tutu and Uncle Adam and Aunty Danielle. What fun! And, I might say, what a nice way to ring in 2009, which is going to be the BEST. YEAR. EVERRRRRRRRR.

I love you, Luciya!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the making of a future chocoholic

Making brownies for Dada! Luciya had her first taste of the nectar of the gods. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

your comment here

Leave a comment about the poll, if you'd like. Goodness knows we could use any sage advice right now!

another first

What's up, red suit? Yeah, you like my dress? It was my mom's.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

itchy and scratchy

A couple nights ago something bit me on my butt while I was sleeping. A spider maybe? Anyway, I have a big ol' scratchy bite there now. This is relevant, I promise. Because isn't there a saying about a seven year itch?

Last night John and I celebrated 7 years of being together. 

Even though we finally heard back from the Lentzes yesterday (the people we bought the business from), and the news was not good, we took advantage of a night off and whooped it up downtown. Things will get better, because they simply have to. 

And if we can make it this long, and through this much, and still find ourselves so blessed and happy together, well, then, we win anyway. So there. 

It's funny to think that, after seven years, I'm still not as old as John was when we started dating! I was 23 and he was 31. I look at 23 year olds now and I think, little babies! What a cradle robber this guy is! But he must of done something right. He's done a lot of things right. I love you, Ton-Ton. Thanks for making me stronger. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

don't let the sun go down on me

Monday, December 1, 2008

eLLe - 19 months

Dear Luciya,

It's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times. 

I borrowed the essence of that sentence from a famous author, Dickens, I think. Maybe you will have to read him for school some day... that is, if by that point all reading materials aren't being transmitted electronically into a computerized wristband or something. (And if that is indeed the case, my dear, then you can rest assured that we'll be getting our hands on every book we can find and squiring ourselves away at Tutu's cabin - where we just enjoyed a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday - and there we'll hike along the river shores and read books all day long.)

Yesterday morning when I went in to your room to get you up, I was immediately struck by two things: first, that you appeared to be naked from the waist up - from what I could see above the crib railing - and second, the whole room stunk to high heavens. Sure enough, upon closer inspection I saw that you'd unzipped your jammies, pulled them off, removed your poopy diaper, and proceeded to smear its contents all over your bed, your hair, your blankie, the curtains, the crib.... I had to fetch your dada from where he was raking leaves outside so that he could come help me out by (laughing, and) plopping your crusty, stinky little body in the bath. (I took a picture of the funny fiasco, but wouldn't dare post it on the blog. Some nutball stranger might, you know, go off on a tangent.)

Earlier this month we went to see Dr. Angie for your 18 month checkup. You charmed the pants off her when, in response to a question about how we spend our days I mentioned the word "dance" and you stopped what you were doing to shake your little booty for a while. Dance and dance, la la la, it's what we love to do! You are 26 pounds and - suddenly - 33 inches long. I had suspected you were going through a growth spurt, but indeed, you shot from the 50th percentile for height to the 80th, in under 6 months. Maybe you won't be inheriting your dada's stubby legs after all! Or, maybe this is the last growth spurt we'll see for another 5 years. Who knows. 

After the doctor's appointment, we went to the mall so that I could map out some indoor routes for Stroller Strides, and there we shared a large soft pretzel. I was dipping my pieces into some mustard, and you immediately caught on. And since then, Deary, you will not eat a morsel of food unless you have something in which to dip it. I have had to get creative in this area, and in the last week or so you have dipped your eggs in syrup, your apples in hummus, and your peanut butter and jelly sandwich in ranch dressing. I realized a few days ago, however, that the best dip I could offer you is pureed baby food (duh!), and you're pleased as punch to dip your carrot slices into... blended carrots. That's how you roll.

Another mealtime tradition we taught you once and which you've grown to love, is toasting. "Cheers"ing. You hold your sippy cup up to my drink, or your dada's or your tutu's and say "deesh," which means "cheers." And hen you drink up. If you drink to fast or find yourself having a choking fit for whatever reason, you dada has taught you to hold both hands in the air. So now you'll sometimes "fake cough" and hold up your arms.

You are so observant and sharp, we've really got to watch what we say lately. Your dada and I have taken to spelling words in front of you, because if you hear anything that sounds like "snack," or "nuknuk," or any of the myriad words you understand (and are beginning to say!) so completely, you won't let the subject drop. 

You took your first bad tumble on some pavement a couple weeks ago, which resulted in a goose egg on your forehead, scraped knuckles on your right hand and a nasty little scratch on the palm of your left. I know that scratch on your palm has been bothering you, because you'll whimper and hold it out to me for a kiss. You first owie! After that fall you cried and cried, and you opened your mouth so wide that I noticed a huge molar digging its way up into your bottom gums. Talk about owie! You've got another sprouting on the other side. But you've still be cheery and cheeky, and sleeping just fine. I had to actually go in and wake you up this morning at 9:30 - after 15 hours of sleep! I was worried, but of course you were chipper and ready to face the day, and of course right now you're refusing to go down for a nap. Makes sense, I guess. 

Your looks are changing so much. Your hair keeps growing and growing, and I finally gave in the other day an cut some bangs for you, since your hair is constantly in your face and you refuse to leave clips or ties in for too long. You also haven't worn earrings for over a month now, because you started ripping them out. We even bought some screw-back earrings that took a lot of struggle to put in, and you managed to rip those out, too! So, you're unadorned. For now. 

In looking at the pictures of you that I am posting this month, I'm noticing that you're all bundled up. It's coooooold! That's one of your new favorite words, and you say it just like that. I'll open the freezer door and you'll stand in front of it and say "cooooooold!" I think you like that it makes us laugh. You're pretty keen on that, and quite the little charmer. At a recent class at the Little Gym, the instructor asked you to give her a high five during circle time. You ignored her, but you proceeded to go around the entire circle and shake hands with or give high fives to every single mother seated there (there were about 15). It stopped the class so that they could all ooh and ahh over your charms. My little budding politician.

I can't help but feel that the "worst of times" business is making itself felt to you. This country as a whole has been experiencing some pretty terrifying and uncertain times, and your daddy and I are struggling with our own difficulties. However, we were all witness this month to an historic Presidential election that I know you will grow to recognize as an incredible truth, and hopefully a sign of better things to come. I am just so thankful for you,  and your health and happiness. You are truly the best thing that has happened to me and I know that if the world could just look through your big, happy eyes for a while it would be such a better place. We have so much to be grateful for, little girl.

I love you, Luciya!