Sabtu, 23 Maret 2013

3rd Birthday!

My dear, darling birthday girl,
Now you are three. We've spent the past week telling stories about your birth and watching the video over and over. This video starts with Aunt Shishie reenacting one of my contractions as she and I sit on the couch, and then skips to you in the hospital room, all wrinkled and noisy, being weighed and swaddled, quieting down only when you are placed back in my arms, where--if you listen very closely--you can hear me say, "I can't believe how much you look like your Dad."

You were delighted by this video, so excited that the baby was you, and you snuggled close against me as we watched ourselves snuggling for one of the very first times. You were particularly interested in the nurse who swaddled you. "Who is that?" you asked. "That's Barbara," I said. And now at bedtime you ask me to tell you the story about Barbara.

You are having a big party today, your first ever birthday party. Most of your friends from preschool are coming, and a lot of friends from other classes and the neighborhood. Teacher Lenka from music class will be performing, and I will be giving all the kids temporary tattoos. Because it's a music themed party, I want you all to feel like rockstars. Nonnie made cookies in the shape of musical notes and we are lugging our big Bose soundsystem to the rec center, where we will play all of your favorite CDs while you and your friends dance. Also there will be cupcakes. What could be better?

Scarlett, you are literally the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me, and I know Dad agrees. We love your feistiness, your sweetness, your humor, your independence, your smile...we just love YOU!

Happy birthday!!


Senin, 11 Maret 2013

New Things

Dear Scarlett,
So much has happened this year that it's hard to keep it all straight, let alone find the time to stop and write about it. Or perhaps that's just me making more excuses.

Nonnie and Pops and Layla the dog lived in San Francisco for two months. We got to see them every day, and you were definitely in a joyous place. Pops came with me most days to pick you up from school, sometimes carrying you out on his shoulders when you were reluctant to leave (every day.) Nonnie took excellent care of Baby Jack and we met them in the afternoons at the playground for swing time. We all felt lucky to have them here for such a long period of time, and we celebrated with lazy Sundays at the Park Chalet, family taco dinners, and numerous happy hours in the kitchen. I could--and probably should--write an entire blog on their time here. I promise that there will be at least one post of photos coming soon.

You took it all in stride when they packed up and drove out of town, and Shishie says this is because you are very secure. You always have a lot of people coming in and out of your life, since we have so many visitors. And I'm happy to see how flexible you can be, sometimes waking up and asking me who is in the guest room today and can you please go wake them up right now?

And right now, our guest room is taken for an extended period of time, because your Uncle Mike has moved in with us to take over where Nonnie and Pops left off. Mike drives us to school, to swim and to the playground. He takes you into the backyard where you pick leaves (not allowed) and chase the neighbor's cat, and he plays catch with you whenever you ask, which is all the time. "UNCLE MIKE!" I hear you screaming frequently. "WHERE ARE YOU?" This is if he has walked away from you for two seconds to do something like drink water or blow his nose.

You also have a lovely new babysitter, Katie, who comes over on Mondays. Today she took you to the zoo and to the beach, and when you came back you couldn't wait to tell me how much you wanted to go into the ocean in your zebra coat, pants, shirt and shoes, but alas..."SHE said no." Instead, "she" helped you find a shell and a flower to bring home to me. It sounds like it was a wonderful day.

I hesitate to put this in writing, but I feel like you're turning a corner in your behavior. You are no longer the constantly frustrated toddler who falls to the floor when stymied. You now have so much language at your disposal, and it is simply amazing and hilarious to talk with you and to hear your interpretation of events. But lest I whitewash this too much, we still have our moments where you sweep everything off of the kitchen table and then bite me.


Kamis, 28 Februari 2013

Sushi dinner

Dear Scarlett,
Tonight we went out for a sushi dinner to celebrate Uncle Rob's birthday. When you saw the edamame approaching the table, you were thrilled. "Pop-out edamame!" you sang. When your sticky rice showed up, you attacked it with chopsticks. But when your tempura veggies arrived, you balked. "They're FRIES!" we all told you. But you did not agree. Dessert, which you got to have even though your dinner left much to be desired, was ice cream and cookies. There was a lot of sugar in that little bowl, and I think that might be why you made the following speech sometime after polishing off the whole thing.

"GUYS! Let's come back here again sometime, and let's tell Uncle Mike that he needs to come, too! Do you know why? Do you know why we need to come back here sometime? BECAUSE I LOVE YOU GUYS."

Uncle Rob pronounced you wasted. Then we ordered cheesecake and flourless chocolate cake and you got to try both. Aren't birthdays the best?



Senin, 11 Februari 2013

A Monday night update

Dear Scarlett,
Last week, Dad and I took a quick trip to Naples, Florida to see a "renegade neurologist" who has some new and exciting ideas about ALS. I am now taking some additional medication and am on a crazy sounding version of a ketogenic diet. I have an appointment with a dietician tomorrow, after which I will explain more about that last part. The idea is that you are burning fat to use as energy, and we have now reached the end of my ketogenic knowledge. But it was a good appointment and we got to see Grandma and Grandpa for a day.

You stayed in San Francisco with Nonnie and Pops, and I confess that I missed you intensely. I used to travel a bit for work, but it's been a long time since I've spent multiple nights this far away from you. We talked every day, and the thing that struck me most was how you sounded like such a big girl on the phone. You told us stories, made demands, and burst into giggles at your own jokes. You make a lot of jokes lately, and most of them are of the "Daddy pooped on his face!" variety. Lest there be any confusion, Daddy has never pooped on his face.

Almost immediately after our plane landed in San Francisco, my phone rang. It was Aunt Liz telling me that you had swallowed a marble. She said that you were sort of pretending to eat it and holding it really close to your mouth, and when she tried to get it from you, it shot straight down your throat. You both stared at each other for a moment in surprise and horror. "Did that go down?" she asked. You nodded.

Liz called 911 and learned that this is actually quite common and that we were to watch for the marble on the other end. Today we found it. This involved wooden skewers and a lot of soap afterwards. Let's more on that.

We've been house hunting again, which is sort of fun and sort of horrible. The good news is that we've seen some things that we've liked, so I'm sure it's just a matter of time before we make the move. I'll be sad to leave this house, the only one you've ever lived in. But it's really time to get away from the stairs. They're becoming more and more challenging for me. Other than that, I'm feeling ok, and I'm optimistic about all of the things we learned and will learn from the folks in Florida.

I wish that I wrote down more of the things that you say. Dad comes home and I realize I've already forgotten half of the funny things that happened. For some reason, you were fascinated by the fact that I had a t-shirt on today. I guess I don't wear them that much. You told me I couldn't wear a t-shirt if I wasn't at a baseball game. These rules of yours are interesting. This afternoon you asked me if I was feeling "very tormented."

"Tormented," I said, just to clarify, as I have never heard you use that word, and don't think it's in high rotation at our house. "Where did you learn that word?"

"It's in Bad, Bad, Bad Kitty!" you cackled. This is a book you read months ago, and for the record I think there's only one Bad.

Every night before bed, you ask for stories, in addition to books and songs. Bedtime takes a little longer, but is still a fairly easy routine. Your favorite stories are about Baby Scout and her adventures, like flying to Hawaii and trying ice cream for the first time. Mommy bedtime songs are "5 Balloons", "Sing Roo" and "When You're Tired and Cranky." Daddy bedtime songs are "Raindrops", "Fix You," and "We are Going to Be Friends."

As always, there's more to say, but I'll end here. I'm pretty sure my dietician is going to tell me that wine is not on the menu, so I have a bottle to finish. Ignorance is bliss.

I love you,