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!



The Smith Family said...

Luciya is adorable! Love that close up in the carseat pic. So Sorry you've had to deal with crazy blog stuff. That's no fun! December's lookin' up for you, I just know it!

lisalu said...

Brought a tear to my eye! You are such a great writer, and your family is SOOO beautiful!! I love looking in on you, we need to catch up mama. Luciya is SUCH a beauty-cutie-patootey!l