Thursday, December 31, 2009

the luster of midday

Okay, so I realize there is a lot of posting to catch up on, but I just put my snuggly little girl to bed ("seet deems I love you nigh-night"), the house is quiet (John's working), and outside the fresh snow is reflecting the New Year's Eve full moon. I hope everyone has experienced moonlight on snowfall - there is a crisp fullness to the dark air that is like inhaling a little slice of peace pie. I'm inspired to copy a poem I wrote from our first winter here, two years ago, and then cozy up by the fire and breathe for a bit.

Happy, happy New Year. May the hope that this evening brings inspire you and guide you to a year full of all the sweet goodness you deserve. Bless.

Ten pm and the atmosphere's brighter than dawn
From my window I see the whole length of the lawn

The clouds reflect Christmas lights, giving a glow
To the soft-fallen, still, crisp, and lightly packed snow

It quilts frozen ground in a powdery blanket
If I could I'd embrace the cold earth, and I'd thank it

For showing me grace and my breath on the air
Which carries whispers of appreciative prayer

As a child I'd look through the pane past my reflection
To the stillness and wonder of snow's clean perfection

And here we are now in our home safe and warm
As the earth holds its winter breath after a storm

And the peace that has settled gives my heart quiet thrill
Now the snow has stopped falling and the white land is still

Sunday, December 13, 2009

bump watch - 34 weeks

More attempts at self-portraiture. John and I are headed to the cabin for a little r&r this weekend; hopefully we can find time to take some proper belly shots. Documentation, I say!

There's a baby in there!!!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

seeing is believing

Dada: "What does Santa say?"

Luciya: "Oh - oh - ooooooooohhh!"

Dada: "Where does Santa live?"

Luciya: "At Mall."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

school daze

Well. Somebody went to her first day of preschool yesterday.

We've been researching and debating for a few months now, since both businesses have been keeping us so busy (a great thing), and August-December will be here before we know it, and Luciya could stand to benefit from some social interaction and structure.

A couple months ago we visited two preschools near our home, first a small Montessori-based one and then a popular daycare center. John later said it was like dining at Gary Denko in San Francisco and then going to Denny's. At the Montessori, we were shocked to see Luciya sit with the other children and use a "manipulative" in which she transferred grains of rice from one bowl to another with a pair of tweezers. Say what?! Yeah, she totally did. Quietly. Then, when we visited the daycare, it was dark and dank and smelly and the children were running buck wild. The 3-year-old group teacher was just coming in from a smoke break (!) and didn't even offer us a tour of the classroom. That, along with the fact that we know the owners of the Montessori, kind of sealed the deal for us, and we've been budgeting and sitting on the idea for two months now.

And then, we decided to just try it out. Here she is before heading to school for her FIRST DAY:

Someone has her own cubby!

We hung out for a little while (I wanted to stay all day), and she immediately got swept up in the activities that were going on, and I immediately started blubbering like an idiot. John led me out. She waved goodbye to us from the window:

John took me to get a latte, and then he had to go work a double at the restaurant. I came home, had explosive diarrhea, and then sat on the couch staring out the window, sipping my latte, for a good 15 minutes.

I finally sprang into action and scrubbed the kitchen sink, cleaned the fish bowl, did a few loads of laundry, finished up some paperwork, and forced myself not to watch the clock. A meeting I had scheduled for that morning canceled at the last minute, so I was able to pick her up from school at 11:40 on the button.
And here she is. She greeted me with "Take a picture of me!"

She received a glowing review - it will take some time to get her used to the routine, and she is the youngest in the school, but the lead teacher seems confident it's a good fit.
She did it! I did it. WE did it. And that evening we were serenaded by the most stunning full moon.

We'll be trying this four mornings a week, for 2 1/2 hours each day. Exciting stuff.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

eLLe: 31 months

Dear Luciya,

What' s up angel?

You little talkie-talkerson, smirky floozy, helper girl with a heart of gold and a smile for days?

What a fantastic monkey you've been lately. After a spell of not napping for a few weeks, you're right back at it (yay!). Your ability to carry on conversations means less tantrums and "no, no, noooo"s (hoorah!). There has been peace in the house, and your little sponge of a person really carries that into life (ahhhh).

You're silly and funny and tickly and smart. You're still brazen and demanding and independent and wily, but the deliberate tomfoolery has subsided a lot.

It's been really chilly outside, so we've been finding indoor activities to occupy our time. Which means, for the most part: cooking. We've used many of the leftover pumpkins from Halloween and have thus far made pumpkin seeds, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and gingersnap pumpkin dessert. I got a crock pot on sale and it's been one of the best things to happen to our little family of three.

You are getting excited about August-December's (your name for the new baby) arrival, and we spend time talking about how you're going to be such a good big sister. ("I hold baby like dis, his toes on my elbow." "Baby will cry and cry and I hold baby." "He's so little!" "Baby's in my piko!" ) Occasionally, out of the blue, you'll announce "I a big sissah!"

Your memory is phenomenal, and impresses your daddy and me on a daily basis. A couple of weeks ago, you had to accompany me to the midwife's office for an hour-long glucose test. You were so good, for having to be there for an hour, and a few days later we were driving down the connector, in a totally different direction from where we'd gone to the doctor's office near the hospital. We were passing the hospital when you said, "Dat's where mama's doctor is!" Seriously? You've been there once, days ealier, from the opposite direction on the other side of the building! (Thankfully, the glucose test was fine, and I won't have to return for the 3-hour test, like I did when I was pregnant with you.)

Your daddy calls this the "Grandma Ruby" face.

Our days have been filled with snuggles and creativity and exploration and stuffed animals and long talks and little walks and Stroller Strides and baby prep and helping and high fives and knuckles and piko kisses and Elmo (gulp!) and dress up and bear hugs and enjoying every step of this fun little life. It just keeps getting better.

I love you, Luciya!



teddy bear knee

So, I'm putting this picture up on my bathroom mirror for my daily smile. It was taken yesterday at a "teddy bear tea" in downtown Boise at the Saturday market. I somehow missed the part on the invite that said to dress up; as you can see, Luciya's buddies are dressed to the nines and she looks like a boy in a mushroom turtleneck. But, when it came time to pose for the group shot with the life-sized bear, my daughter seriously and lovingly reached from the front row to the back to place her hand gently on Teddy's knee. I don't know why this slays me so. But it does. I am reduced to fits of giggles.

Click on image for full effect.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

30 weeks: name game

I can't believe there are only 10 weeks left until our due date!

Junior's (or Teddy, or August-December)'s crib is ready with cute new bedding, I've washed and folded some little outfits and blankies, and I'm dreaming more and more about holding a new little bundle. So far, the dreams I remember have featured girl babies. But something in the back of my head keeps saying "boy." Only 10 weeks until we know!

We're not settled on any names yet, and figure we'll just have to meet the baby and decide what to call him/her.

I've been putting together a list of sorts, and I'm not discounting any names if there isn't any real hesitation (got this idea from my friend Ashley). So, all kinds of names have ended up on the list. Here's a sampling. Suggestions and input are welcome!!


BOYS: (Boy names are much harder than girl names!)

Who's it gonna be?!?!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

halloween 2009

We took our sweet ballerina trick-or-treating for the first time! The day before, she refused to put on a costume, so we didn't know if it was going to happen. But then she donned her little outfit (top from cousins Syona and Devon and birthday present skirt!) and felt so pretty and proud. She caught on to the idea of ringing the bell and getting treats pretty quickly!! We visited about 6 houses and had a lovely Halloween night!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

bump watch - 27 weeks

Photos courtesy of Photography by Luciya.

I can't believe we're already in the 3rd trimester!

Last weekend I went to the Stroller Strides national conference in San Diego. It was warm and beautiful and inspirational. I got certified to introduce a new program called Fit4Baby, which is geared toward prenatal clients. And I learned that just because a woman is pregnant doesn't mean she should necessarily "take it easy." So, I got my butt whooped while running, doing jumping jacks and crunches, and learning a slew of new exercises alongside dozens of other franchisees and instructors from all over the country.

I feel amazing. The baby is incredibly active and happy, too, and is quite the tiny mover and shaker. My body feels great and my sciatica is barely noticeable. It feels so good to know that I can be strong and fuel my baby and my body so healthily.

I feel so good, though, that I keep forgetting that I actually have quite the rotund size now, and I find myself doing silly things like getting wedged into spaces that are just too tight or shutting Luciya's car door without stepping far enough away, and totally scraping the Buddha bump. In the middle of the night I still think it might be possible to sleep on my belly for just a little while, but no, no, I can't deny it any more. And I'm having to get creative with my clothing (since the "Idaho mom" uniform of sweats and tees can only hold out so long). On Maui, I floated around in flowy dresses the entire time, but now that it's getting COLD I'm realizing I probably won't be able to subsist on that one pair of stretchy leggings for too much longer. It's a journey.

Less that 3 months to go until Baby's due date!

Monday, October 19, 2009

eLLe - 30 month

Dear Luciya,

You're 2 and a half! Hello!

Today, as we were driving along, a song came on that said the word "hello." You said "hello!" and then asked to have your window rolled down. I rolled down your window and you shouted, "Hello, world!" As if that wasn't enough, you added, "I love you, world!" And then you continued to shout that numerous times. "I love you, world! I love you, world!" I was busting up and I said, "Yeah, you love the world?" And you smiled, all cheeky and proud and said, "Yeah! The world love me!"

Oh, stop it, child. But you know it's true. The world does love you.

Even if you are a strong-willed, independent, spicy, spirited, feisty, stubborn, active, ornery, bright and boastful little girl. Whew! You are the little toro in the proverbial china shop. Sometimes you nap, sometimes you don't. You've started hitting, which is the uncoolest thing ever. Where on earth does that come from? You run away when I call for you, you look me in the eye as you dump a fistful of veggies off your high chair tray, and you throw things.

You're insistent on dressing yourself these days. I thought I would have until you were at least three to pick out your outfits! But no, you need to pick out what you wear more often than not, and you're perefectly able to pull on, zip up, button, and snap. And as long as you can wear your shirt backwards, you're happy.

We're slowly getting ready for the baby's arrival, and since you're now completely able to sleep in your big girl bed (when you're not playing contentedly for 2 hours during "nap time"), we've removed the tent and set up the crib with new baby bedding. You point out that the crib is for the new baby, your "baby brudder-sissah," and you point to your tummy and the baby that's going to come out your "piko." But lately when I commend you on being a big girl (like today, when you went to your potty all by yourself, shut the door, wiped your bottom, and washed your hands with soap - hurray!), you say "I not a big girl, I a little baby." Tutu says that when your Uncle Adam was born, I was suddenly insistent on drinking out of a bottle again, so we'll see how it goes for you. You LOVE babies, though, and are always wanting to say hi to, point out, or cuddle any babies you see.

As determined and incessant and adept you are at being a pill-bottom and a shot-caller, you are just as passionate about loving, and kissing, and befriending, and remembering. Your sweet stinky breath when you wake up from naps and nightime is so delicious when it accompanies those sleepy snuggles. You love to play happily with me, your buddies at Stroller Strides, and increasingly by yourself with your toys and books. You give hugs and kisses all around and are very comfortable with strangers; you're confident that the world does indeed love you.

I think about you all the time, and am continually and increasingly grateful that you chose me to be your mama.

I love you, Luciya! Deeply and forever.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

just what the shrink ordered

So, I've been learning a lot about antenatal depression, and that it affects as many as 1 in 10 pregnant women. And since I've been eating well, exercising a lot, sleeping fine, and have a good social network, I realized that there was something more going on when I was so, so sad, and anxious, and angry, and panicked to the point of near hyperventalation. So, I took some matters into my own hands, and contacted a local therapist who wpecializes in pre and post natal depression, and an acupuncturist.

First off, just talking and being heard is amazing, and secondly, why didn't anyone ever tell me about acupuncture? I leave feeling like I'm floating, even though lately I'm having to heft my body from side to side to roll over at night.

But. Therapy. John and I went to the first appointment together, and expressed our dedication to our marriage and each other. So we decided to get away for our first anniversary, and took up one of my Stroller Strides mamas to use her condo in Sun Valley for the weekend.

It was perfect. Autumn had already visited, but the aspen trees were still golden and twinkling, and the long, four-hour route we took through the mountains was dusted in snow.

We stopped by Red Fish Lake, which was closing that weekend for the season. The lodge looked just as I remembered it from childhood, and the water of the lake was remarkably clear.

We took in the sights of the breathtaking Sawtooth Mountains.

We went for a long walk along the Big Wood River and enjoyed delicious food, chocolate and wine. We shopped at Ketchum's cute little town center and visited a wonderful book shop and spen t way too much on chocolates. John let me rest one afternoon, and he went out and bought a coming-home outfit for the new baby.

Our last day there we woke up to snow, so we stayed in, cuddled, and watched a movie on the couch. How awesome is that? I don't think we've done anything like that since before Luciya was born.

Thanks to the mama who let us use her beautiful cabin, thanks to Tutu for watching Luciya, thanks to the therapist for making me feel less crazy, thanks to John for your patience, and blessings to those mamas-to-be out there who may not know how important it is to take care of yourself first. It will make it so much easier to take care of everyone else in the future. Depression is nothing to be ashamed about, and there are lots of resources out there and people who care.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

a first

Holy cow,
A year always trips me out
Please tell me that time will slow down soon
Perhaps we'll have more chances to sit and celebrate
You and me.

Although this year has been
No picnic for its challenges
Nice things seem to come our way, and
I foresee
Very many more years together -
Eighty or so -
Rife with opportunities to work on
Strengthening all we have
And growing more beautiful as a family
Right here
You and me.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

look ma, no diapers!!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

eLLe - summer 2009

Dear Luciya,

Happy first day of Fall!

As we all know, I'm nutty crazy about Autumn. It makes me want to fling my fat-bellied self out into the crisp mornings and sing about the corn being as high as an elephant's eye. Which is an improvement over recent morning attitudes. So, let us take a moment to give homage to Autumn and its promise of lovely days ahead.

This summer was fun and hot and busy and full. The last two weeks of July, you took swimming lessons with your friend Eliza, and to this day, two months later, it's much of what you want to talk about. "I go kick kick kick. I blow bubbles, Moooooooo. I splash splash splash. Go swimming lessons? Go see Eliza? Need put on suit." You absolutely loved swimming lessons, and you learned a ton. By the end you could hold your head under water for five whole seconds as you kicked and pedaled to me, and Miss Amber, the instructor, said that if she didn't know better she'd have thought you'd been in the water since you were six months old. You get that from you dada, kid. Let's run with it.

Your hair is long and lovely, and I'm dedicated to getting your bangs grown out. I've come super close to just chopping them again, but I've held strong and I think it's going to be worth it in the end. Your hair is down to your shoulder blades, with beautiful ringlets at the very end. It does get in your face, and you do take out your ponies and clips, but for now, it's here to stay.

I can't believe what a big girl you are. We are having so much fun! (Okay, for the most part. You are also quite the "spirited child," and can be unbelievable ornery and argumentative and spicy and berserk. But your loviness and willingness to hug, and cute toothed smile almost always make up for it). It has just been such a joy to move from baby to little girl, and to be able to have small conversations with you, and have little mother-daughter dates, and to leave you comfortably to your own toys and games for minutes at a time.

Swimming lessons, a Stroller Strides water class, and hot, hot weather turned you into quite the water baby this summer. You love all things wet and wild. Emphasis on wild, since you are... you.

This summer has also seen you turn into Jabbertalky McGee. Talk and talk and talk. It's so stinkin' cute and adorable and heart-wrenching. You have the sweetest little voice ever. For the most part, everything you say is fairly easily discernible... at least to me. We went out to check the mail yesterday, and our neighbor was checking her mail, too. You wanted to talk to her, so I had to translate the following fascinating information: "I just wake up. I wear animal jammies! I had a little poop." Good stuff.

Like I said, for the most part you're pretty easy to understand. But then there are the few words that I simply cannot decipher, and there are the words that are simply hilariously pronounced. Smoothie = "fa-movie." And Popsicle? Well:

[Video embedding isn't working right now; see it here.]

Your big sister Eryn was here for a couple weeks in August, and you still talk about riding on the paddle boats with her. Eryn is doing great in COLLEGE HOLY COW, and working very hard at McDonald's. Keep it up, Eryn! You're amazing!

This summer has been the summer of HUGE, GIGANTIC accomplishments. We started potty training the weekend you turned 27 months old, so that means it's been just over two months since you've worn diapers outside the bed. We've had a couple accidents, one in the stroller and 3 or four while camping over labor day, but over all it's been a natural, normal progression. Then, less than a month later, we tossed the binky. We'd been using it only in the crib for naps and bedtime, and on August 14th I looked at it, torn and shredded as it was, and asked you, "Can we throw this in the garbage?" And you nodded, and helped me toss it. And that was the end of that. No more nuks nuks. Done. Gone. Not another word about it. Pretty amazing, really, since I couldn't imagine you falling asleep without on for more than two years.

Now, we're working on the Big Girl Bed. Great Grammy had a double bed in her old house that she no longer needs since she's living a couple blocks away at Spring Creek, so we took it, got some bed rails and bright new bedding, and went for it. This week, you've slept in it at night four times. Two of those nights have gone surprisingly well, and two of those nights I've had to let my heart fall out my eyes a couple times to let you cry it out. I always end up going back in, and lying with you because I don't want this transition to be a traumatic one. But it's a transition that had to happen, because a couple weeks ago you figured out how to fling yourself out of your crib, and then fling yourself over the gate to your room, and then fling yourself all over the house. You are a tenacious one, Luciya. You are one tenacious little monkey.

And naps have therefore proven impossible in the big girl bed, because it's daylight and you have free range of your whole, entire room! So, in utter napless frustration after 4 days without a nap, I huffed to the Baby Depot and bought a tent for the crib, which is now in the baby's room, and that's where you're sleeping as we speak. In your tented crib. In the baby's room.

Baby steps. And overall, I consider you to be a summer wonder child, since you have officially accomplished all three big girl steps I wanted to see you accomplish before Baby's arrival: potty trained, binky-less, and in a big girl bed. Unbelievable. You make a mama proud.

And here you are just chatting away with me. I love when you start singing your ABCs: "A-B-C-D-E-F-D-enda, enda, A-B-C-D-E-F-D..."

[See video here]

You rock my world, kid. Here's to many, many more delightful summers.

I love you, Luciya!