Sunday, December 11, 2005


Dear L.,

Chicky, you are amazing -- every moment a new word. Tonight, you understood our conversation about your dinner. "Noodlenoodlenoodle!" You love the rice noodles we cook for you.

Last night I was out, studying and drinking too much coffee on 82nd Ave. You were home, playing hide-and-seek with dad. Over and over and over you moved from room to room, until you were wheezy. (We hope you don't have asthma.) But you were delighted.

You walked, with dad's hands, naked and skinny to where I'm sitting with my computer. You were grinning and I wondered if we should feed you more -- but you eat (and eat and eat) so I won't fret for now. In your life, how much will I worry or try not to worry about you? I received a blessing in my first trimester from a wonderful Buddhist teacher-author. She took my hands and told me that I was free of worry, I could land indeed you came into our life so easily. But now I wonder what edges of worry I will skate along with you?

This week, you will be 19 months old. And maybe, just maybe, I will finally write the story of your entry into the world. I've decided that these letters to you, they're just as much to me, so we'll see where this takes us.

Thanks you for all of your kisses.

I love you dearly and truly,

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


My sweet girl,

This week you are full of new words. It seems like, every minute or so, a new one pops out. Of course...I don't think every person would understand, but we do. Just tonight, at dinner, you said "applesauce". This morning, you said "sock". You've finally started saying "dog" too.
My two new & favorite words are "bapa" and "Dalai Lama" (which comes out like "dalalala"). Bapa is the word for grandpa and you are so enamored with him! It makes me melt when I hear you say it because I love him so and had a close relationship with my grandfather, whom I called Papa. You have your own word for him -- out of the blue, it just appeared. He is fun when he's here most every week: there's singing, and playing with zippers and folding laundry. You like to watch him do chores around our house (I know you will grow up to be as helpful!) and you have that look in your eye, that sparkle, that he has. Pure love.
"Dalalala" all started when Dad checked out a Dalai Lama book-on-tape out from the library. You like to hold the case when we are driving and every time you looked at it, we would say the name. Soon, you started saying Dalalala and we realized you really were saying the name. Now we've printed up a picture from the internet and purchased a little Dalai Lama book from Powell's. Holding it makes you happy and you always smile when you see the picture. This is so magical; that you could somehow see the peace and love this man represents -- it is amazing! You also like to ring the meditation bell we have, the sound ringing through our little house as the cat runs to the basement.
And you have started kissing. You make the cutest kissing sound, too. You kiss my shoulder when I'm holding you, and my cheek too. Sometimes they are a little wet, but you've got the pucker and smack down perfectly. Sometimes, if you are in the right moment and I say, "Can I have a kiss?" you'll lean right in, kiss me and smile. After dad and I were gone for a Holiday Party, the next morning you gave me many kisses and laid your sleepy head on my shoulder.
Your personality also grows by the day and we can tell you are trying, in earnest, to communicate with us. There are words you string together like sentences and I can't wait to fully understand your conversations. I hope we will always share many things.
When I am out without you, I sometimes wish I could wear a picture of you like a badge, to show -- on the outside -- that you are always with me. I'm not sure this makes sense, truly, but it is how I feel. If there was a little window in my head, you would see a little picture of Lucy playing and smiling and talking. Or maybe I could wear a big sign that says "I'm a Mother" just so people understood why I smile on the bus or even when the cold wind is blowing through my wool cap. Of course, not everyone knows you, Lucy, and so would not understand how you bring me so much joy.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

18 months: Words

Dear Lu,
I feel like I start so many entries this way: I can't believe how much you change each week!

Your new words in the past couple of weeks--
Carl (This word means "dog". "Carl" is from the book "Good Dog Carl".)
Our cat and Our cat Myra
...And you understand so much more!

You also distinguish between "All gone" and "All done" which is very helpful at meal time. You are wonderful at asking for "more", whether it's more nourishment or more play.

This week, you've really started asking for me, talking about me in a plaintive "Mama". You've said the word before, many times, but it sounds more honest -- more true -- now. I don't know how to explain it, but each time I hear you say it I feel myself expand with love.
"This is It," I think to myself.

Tonight at bedtime, you made your dad do "this little piggy" 8 times. You said, pointing to your toes, "dad, that!". Wonderful -- you'd giggle and double over as he got to the last toe. At the end of the 8th run-through you said "night" indicating your readiness for bed.

You are really gearing up to walk now. We are not nervous about your hesitancy because it's obvious you want to. And you will. I think you are waiting until you Know How. You are avoiding accidents. It was the same way with other developments. Your cautiousness is appreciated, actually.

We are trying to figure out your food sensitivities; you develop a mysterious ecema. Soy? Corn? Bananas? We know you are allergic to dairy and eggs. But what else?

You played the piano at grandma and grandpa's for the first time, this weekend. You sat on my lap and would not let me play along. It was your musical concoction of black notes. You didn't prefer to pound the keys and mostly used a firm, but gentle, touch.

I love the way you kiss things -- your bath toys, the table, your stuffed animals. So sweet! You were banging on the table with a block and we said "gentle, please". And you leaned in to kiss it. I hope you are always this aware of feelings. I think you will carry this conscientiousness with you.

Lastly, I want to say -- you are our outside girl. You love to go for rides in the car and walks in the stroller. As it is getting colder, I bundle you up and you happily point to all of the new things you see. I even taught you how to put your hands in your pockets. When you are able to walk, we expect many adventures! I know you will enjoy hiking in the spring, summer and fall to come.

You are tall and thin, and your hair grows more blonde (and longer) by the week. I think you are 32 inches tall and about 22 lbs. We love everything about our "Lucy package". Whenever people ask us if we'll have more children, we say, "why gamble? We have such a great girl already!" And it's true, but we'll see...

For now, it's all about you.


Monday, November 07, 2005

In sickness and in health

Dear Lucy,
Next week you will be 18 months old.
You are already experimenting with imaginary play; this is something many children discover at 2 years of age, so we are excited about this development.
For the past couple of weeks, you have been sick with bronchitis (luckily, the scaring shortness of breath phase passed quickly) and a cold. Your nose is still runny, but you are much better. When you are sick, especially the first couple of nights, I sleep with the monitor on and wake with each raspy cough. We are so lucky to have a great N.D. who is always available.
In the last week or so, it seems you have become so nurturing. You are hugging everything, even your plastic toy phone receiver. Last week I heard you press play on your cd player. Your bedtime lullaby cd began playing and you hugged your bunny close, rocking it and saying "awww, awww". My heart melts.
You also hug your friend Hazel. You love to hang out together (even though a lot of the play is still parallel), sharing toys and smiling at each other. The other day, though, you crawled over to her and put your head on her shoulder. Again, melting.
Hazel's mom Rachel, and my friend, said that "it's like opening a present every day" and I agree. You are a great gift -- you show me new words, new "developmental tasks" each day. Your daddy and I often look at each other and say "it's so amazing, Lucy is so smart" and it is -- you are.
Well, you are handing me a book -- asking me to read it... again. There are dark clouds outside and I think it will rain soon. Sometimes I wonder what you need me to do, and then you show me. It's so simple, most of the time, and I love you.

Monday, October 24, 2005


You love to eat Puffins. Puffins for breakfast and snack. Luckily, they are wheat free. With all of the corn you ingest, though, I fear you'll develop a new allergy.
Two days ago I asked your dad if we were lazy chefs. I mean, you eat the same thing almost every day. Tofu pups, polenta, beans, assorted fruits and vegetables and Puffins. But you don't mind, so we just keep slicing it up. I guess I won't feel guilty about this just yet and I'll keep adding new stuff in. You are also fond of chicken and rice and, if you weren't allergic to them, you would eat bananas all day long.
We both have colds today. I really wish you knew how to blow your nose. You are not so fond of me wiping off your face and you rub your snot all over my shirt. It's all part of what I signed up for, I suppose.
You really laughed when I tried on different "funny teeth", you know, those play "dentures" that make you look like you have crooked, missing or vampire teeth. You thought it was especially hilarious when I tried to kiss you.
As I type this, you are crawling under the table where I sit, dragging your snack cup along; laughing as the tablecloth brushes your head. You hold up a clean washcloth and have a dialog: dabadigga? agagaa! guh, guh...kewew, huh? ha, ha! I love to listen to you babble -- sometimes I even understand the intention in your conversation and I feel a small success in parenting. Now you are whispering to your cloth and we are listening to NPR. The sun is shining through the blinds and we are happy here together.
I hope we both feel better soon...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

At least you've got a good arm.

You are 17 months old now. Sometimes I look at you...and I wonder where these months have gone. It's sounds like such a trite thing to say, and I say it So Often, but really --
I was spinning you around tonight, looking at all of your teeth as you threw your head back &
Laughing with you at dinner; you understand subtle looks and find them hilarious &
Feeling the spot on my lip, now healing, but which you made bloody when you chucked a board book at my face while I was doing yoga &
Asking you, "Are you ready for bed?" and watching you crawl to the bathroom door, stand up and say "uh, huh!" &
Listening to you talk on your phone, asking for more pinto beans, pointing out the banana in your big book of words &
Did you say 'book' tonight?! &
Realizing that you are 31.5 inches tall and in the 60th percentile &
Feeling a lump in my throat and hearing my own head "I am so lucky".
There are only a few moments I have felt are so perfect, except with you, the "Lucy moment" just keeps stretching on. I mean it's not like I'm never upset, tired of singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb all the damn time, bored or anxious that I'm doing everything right, but, for the most part I just can't believe how great you are, how incredibly fortunate we are.
Grandma and grandpa called tonight to see are you are doing, even though they just saw you yesterday. In the call, they told me that the 18 year old son of family friends (and my high school teachers) has Hodgekins disease. It is a form of cancer. He is in his first year of college (Lewis and Clark) and on a basketball scholarship. Hopefully he will be okay, hopefully they can "get rid" of the disease.
So it makes me think -- when I'm listening to you breathe over the monitor, when I'm worried that you are stuffing too many Puffins in your mouth and may choke, when I imagine about you walking, alone, to a friends house someday and all of these things make me edgy -- now I'm realizing it could be years of worrying. I could think we are in the clear. "Phew," I'll think. "She made it through high school" and then...a disease that could take you away from me, from us.
I'm trying, in general, not to worry so much. I know it will make me a better mother (person) not to delve too far into the dark scenarios that run through my head. Someday (maybe) you'll read this (does it really exist?). And what will you think? What will I?
What I want you to know is -- even if you make me bleed, I will read you stories and take you to the park and laugh at your jokes. You are one amazing baby, and I know you'll grow into an awesome chick.
Love, Mom

Monday, October 10, 2005


Dear Lucy,
There are dozens of reasons why I have not written to you, but one of them is that you keep us so busy! You will be 17 months old in less than a week -- I can't believe it.
You are such a beautiful girl. In the last month, your verbal skills have exploded. This morning, when I asked you if you were ready for breakfast, you crawled to the highchair and pulled up. You say "all done" when you are finished and make a sign when you want water. All day you say: cat, dad, that?. I love every moment.
You want us to read books to you and sing "Mary had a little lamb" 20,008 times, which we do (mostly) happily.
Right now you have a rash on your face. I'm not sure what it is, but you seem to have some food allergies I can't figure out. Perhaps it was the eggy bread you had yesterday at breakfast?
In the last week, you have become more cuddly. I love it when you put your head on my shoulder and say "awww" like you do when you hug one of your stuffed toys. We are still working on being "gentle" though, as you socked dad in the face with a Duplo block the other night.
On Friday afternoon, you had your very first "mini" bang trim. I did not save the hair because it was only a little. Perhaps I should have...
Your movement has really improved. You crawl, cruise and pull up everywhere. You are so skinny and so tall! You can reach the third shelf on the bookcase, although you rarely pull things down.
Right now you are taking a nap. You cried a little, but I think you were ready to sleep. Last night you fell asleep while you were eating dinner! It was funny, and sad, to see you trying to put food in your mouth with your eyes closed and your head bobbing. We think you love to be with us so much, you just don't want to stop.
You are still breastfeeding off and on. I love the moments we have together, so I will not try to cut you off just yet. I only wish you wouldn't wake so much some nights.
More soon...

Friday, September 16, 2005

16 Months old & The World

Dear Lucy,
Yesterday marked your 16th month. I realized that, even though I started this journal to write you letters about the world you live in (or something like that), I haven't really done that. Perhaps what's been stopping me is the fact that I want to keep you innocent and somehow, documenting current events diminishes this perfection. But today I decided I should write down a few things for you.
Right now our country is in the process of confirming a new Supreme Court Justice. And he would be the Chief Justice, if confirmed. His name is Jonn Roberts. Dad and I were talking last night -- if he confirmed, he could be in that position until we are retired, because it is a lifetime position. So what John Roberts says, and what opinions he has, is of great interest to us. We want to know what he "stands" for because it is a very powerful position, one that could and will change the course of history.
Also, a few weeks ago, there was a tragedy in the Southern part of the U.S. There was a hurricane and flooding. Many people of died and many more are injured and displaced. Many people may not recover from the devastation. I cannot believe that this is happening here -- it is so sad, I don't have the words. I have tried not to look at images, because my mind creates it's own horrifying pictures. In our own way, we are thinking and hoping that there will be a shift in this country, a shift to protect everyone -- of every race, creed and income status.
And that is all I can say about what is happening, because you are sitting right beside me, eating your lunch. I love you so much. I love the way you ask for bananas. The way you ask me to read to you, the way you take off your glasses before a nap. You look at pictures of family and ask me to name them. You want me to repeat 'nose', 'mouth', 'ear', 'eye' multiple times a day. Even when you are crying -- throwing a fit -- asking for dad -- I'm yours.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Dear Lucy,
Your development amazes me. You are transferring more and more, becoming braver by the day. When you fall over, you rarely cry; you will hold your hand to the spot that hit the floor and look confused for a moment. I know that you will be walking soon, and this is both exciting and frightening.
Only a moment ago, you were born. This is how it feels to be your mother -- 'it', 'this', is so fleeting -- I have a lump in my throat, often, when I'm away from you. Your personality is blossoming. You understand little jokes that we share with you and laugh at us. You know what you like to eat, and when you want to eat it. You like the books "Peek a Who?" and "Brown Bear" this week. You've made me read them 20 times in a row but I do it gladly. I love the end of the book, when you spy yourself in the mirror and you put your nose up to it to examine the 'other' baby.
Four molars have joined your first 8 teeth and there are four more teeth coming. Sweet jesus, you should be eating steak by now! I try to brush your no-so-little teeth at night, but you would rather chew on the toothbrush, sucking off all of the paste, and I let you, because you scream otherwise. And it is piercing, the screaming.
You are your father's girl. Sometimes I am jealous of this. You'll nurse and then, as soon as you are finished, sit up in my lap and look around -- "dad?" you say. The other night he was gone and you made me sit on the porch, watching cars go by. When you would see a white car, your little finger would point out -- "dad?, dad?". But this is beautiful in it's own right.
We love you dearly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Teeth -- 15 months old.

Dear Lucy,
Wow. Yesterday dad was fishing, so I was alone with you for the first time since June. It was a lot of fun; I can't believe how much you've changed. I've noticed, of course, but it's different when I'm taking care of you solo. We'll be back to our solo schedule in a couple of weeks.
So you were screaming and crying and bucking in my arms. You were so sad and I couldn't figure it out. You've been teething -- a big molar has finally fully erupted -- so I gave you some teething tablets. I had noticed the beginnings of two more top molars...but I looked and saw that ALL FOUR of your eye teeth were coming in. Jesus. No wonder you were so sad! I gave you Tylenol and you took a nice nap. Poor girl! I can't believe you get all of your teeth at once. It's kind of nice knowing you'll get it over with fast, but still. You are an over acheiver, I think. You have 6 teeth coming at the same time, maybe more.
I love to watch you read your books and empty your toy boxes and laugh at the radio. You love to turn in off and on and find the NPR station. It cracks you up and that alone makes me laugh with joy. You love to throw your balls and make baskets, so funny. You sing and we think we've heard you say "thank you" and "banana".
Speaking of food, Lucy, you love to eat. It's great! Tofu pups. Avocado. Green beans. Bananas. Rice puffs. Japanese rice cakes. Pinto beans. Polenta. You like it all, especially the Gerber toddler food (but we are trying to decrease your dependence on that stuff). You also love corn and apples and mangos and plums. Of course a bunch of the food ends up in your plastic bib, on the floor and into the crevices of the high chair, but most if it ends up in your belly. Soon, you will use your little fork and spoon, we aren't too worried because you seem to have good coordination.
You were 15 months old on the 15th. You aren't walking yet, but you move around cautiously. We enjoy this slow start because we've been able to Lucy-proof bit by bit. You like to play with other children and recognize your little friends. You have a new doll, which I'll write about next time. We love you so much.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Play Date

Dear Lucy,
Today was so much fun, like so many of our days. The summer is winding down and while I am looking forward to Autumn already, I know you are in for a surprise when Dad goes back to work. I think you will miss him and that makes me sad. Whenever he leaves, you point at the door, saying his name. When you see pictures of him you point and say "dad". It's just so sweet.
Anyway, today we had lunch with our dear friend Matthew. We met at a sushi restaurant on Hawthorne and you were asleep in your stroller for a good while. Finally you woke up and had sticky rice, corn and some other finger foods. Those are your favorites and you are just so fond of rice! You aren't really letting us feed you with a spoon -- you would barely allow me to place the rice on your eating mat! You are so sure of what you want, pulling and pushing our hands to you and away. It's so funny watching you learn how to communicate with us.
After lunch, we went to a play date with Sophia and Elizabeth. You sat in the little pool for a long time, experimenting with the toys -- putting them in and out of the pool -- for almost an hour. Then you ate your very favorite rice crackers and had a nice time nursing. The weather was just perfect and I love to feel your soft skin while you are eating. You smile at me as I shake my hair around your face.
You slept in the car on the way home; we stopped at the store. You hummed through dinner and played on the floor cushion, which you love. You didn't cry too much at bedtime and only tossed a bit when I covered you with your blue blanket.
I can't believe how quickly time is passing.
There is a part of me that wants to write down every moment, every little thing you do, yet I know it is impossible. So here's one thing for today. Your hair -- it is curly in the back. It is actually much longer than it looks dry because of the way it pops up. You like to touch your hair, and mine and dad's. Your hair is still blonde, but it's kind of a dark blonde and I wonder how it will change in color and texture.
As always, I love you dearly. I know this will not change.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A visit

Dear Lucy,

Today Grandma and Grandpa P. came to visit! You were so happy to see them and they took care of you while dad and I ran errands. I love to watch you interact with them -- and they love you so much. I wonder what you will call them? Even when I came home and was holding you, you were reaching to Grandma and saying "mama".
You've been saying dada, or dad, a lot lately. I'm a little jealous -- you only seem to remember my name when you want to eat. But last night, around midnight, I nursed you before I went to bed and it was so sweet. You didn't really call out to me, but I heard you crying and you curled so nicely in my arms while nursing. I can't resist these quiet moments and I know this stage will go by so quickly. As I watched you curl up with your blanket and polar bear in the crib, my heart was swelling with the knowledge that you are growing up right before my eyes.
I can't believe you are 14 months old! You are so verbal -- and active! Grandma was impressed. She did a wonderfully grandma thing and fed you your very favorite Gerber apple chunks while I changed your diaper. You were so pleased with yourself and I could see that glint of knowing it was a treat.
Anyway, Lucy, you rock. I want to tell you that every day. Also -- you are just so beautiful. Your eyes -- so serious sometimes! I love to hear you talking to yourself while you read our cast-off computer manuals. Gaga guba guba ga? Cat? Dada dat duh. It only makes sense to you at this point, but it all sounds very important. I can't wait to find out what it means!

I love you very much,

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sunday night

Dear Lucy,

It's Sunday night in early July. I can't believe you will be 14 months old next week. You are tucked into bed, smelling sweet and clean --lavender and chamomile. I played with your feet while you nursed and you smiled around my breast. I love the way you play with my shirt and move your hands round, watching their shadows on the wall. Sleep well, my amazing girl. Everyday -- something new with you. Something even more amazing.