Monday, April 28, 2008

1st Quarterly Love note to Lucia -
(3 Months Old)

We moved to Shamrock Dr. when I was one month pregnant with you. Your Grandma Olson started bringing barrel loads of Kent's musty old memorabilia to our home. I stared and stared at those pictures and studied each report card and award as if I was looking into what kind of person you might become. Daddy hung all his old swim warm up suits in your closet in case someday you might need them to swim in. After all, they already say Olson on the back.

I labored long into the night of January 28th, 2008 and on into January 29th. Daddy got us to the hospital just in time for you to be born. Your Aunt Sara was on-call all night to help Mommy labor. Your Aunt Genevieve and her were at the hospital within moments of your birth to welcome you. You burst into the world promptly on your due date with vigor and purpose and that was to feed and grow strong and healthy. That you did, baby. You amazed us all with your neck and back that was holding you up within your first couple of weeks. You spoiled Mommy and Daddy with how agreeable you were to breastfeeding and sleeping without a fuss the whole first month! Your smile can easily and I can't remember a time when you didn't recognize your mommy and daddy's voice and turn to look for us.

We became three and settled into family life full of all the love and warmth possible during that brutal month of February and late January with all it's ice storms and snow-ins. We simply didn't leave the house and cuddled up together.

Your Grandma Obert managed to make it here despite the whether and she got to know you and cooked for us for a nice amount of time. When she left we all felt it had gone too fast. She loved singing, "Strut Miss Lucy" to you "all day long." Grandpa Obert poked you in the chest with his big thick Obert finger when he say you and you actually smiled at him when he did that after only being alive for one week. Your Grandpa Olson was excited to meet his "Miss Obedelilah," as he had decided on this name for you already. He wasn't comfortable holding you until you were about two months old but you were each very curious of each other. Grandma Olson thought how delicate you were and how precious life is when she looked at you.

Your Uncle JR visited you EVERY possible opportunity those first few weeks. We were all so curious to know, "Who is she? What is she like?". He held you and you made us laugh with your "googly eyes" faces. JR mused that he makes us go googly for him. You certainly knew how to make some very unladylike faces and sounds. You snort, fart and burp with the best and worst of them. You snort the most when you are angry or hungry. You also head-banged the first month when you wanted to eat which seemed like always. Daddy was proud of your headbanging as he is an avid metal music fan. The rest of the Iowa City Family came every change they could get to see you and could NOT wait for their chance to hold you and get to know you.

I really came to love our cuddle naps. I worried Daddy when we started falling asleep together during feeding times. Now he's used to it. I love our mornings when you have just finished a morning meal and Daddy turns over and the three of us just curl into each other smiling and adoring with kisses for everyone.

Its true you are your daddy's little girl. When you are busting out with a screamfest Daddy just looks at you and says, "What's the matter Mini-me?". He identifies with your plight. Sometime around 6 weeks it became apparent that things were getting more complicated. The stress of your new digestive system was catching up to all of us especially while Mommy got more comfortable eating unhealthily. However, it was manageable and we even went and visited your Uncle Chris' family in Seattle. We did great. We were there five days and you and your cousin Madeleine were very curious of each other. You both worked hard to keep up with us grown ups as we carted you off to parks, zoos, restaurants, shops, and had parties. One of those mornings you and I just hid away in our room to catch up on rest and feeding.

The ride home was much more difficult as we were without your Grandma Obert who has been helping us the entire trip. You did great but something happened to Mommy when we got home. I came down with a very bad fever and my knee gave out. You cried very hard as if you knew things weren't right. Our feeding situation was altered which changed your habits of feeding and we embarked on a rocky patch. Its getting better and I became very stealth about switching out your pacifier for me when you least suspected it and that seems to work. Daddy suggested I just pump and that we go to bottle but I'm not ready to give up that special bonding time with you. It's too important to me and I hope for you as well right now and I'm suspicious of the instant gratification of the bottle. So while we were getting more and more sleep during the nighttime before our big trip and my return to work it seems we have backpedaled a bit in that department. Nonetheless, I was willing to tough it out until things turned around. And turn around they did. I read in a book that you were engaging in a "nursing strike". It ended gradually and today you nurse with the same enthusiasm as the day you were born.

I went back to work a few weeks ago and I was worried that I would miss you too much but it seems to be a positive for both of us. We get a break from one another, you get to know Daddy on a more one on one basis and our next door neighbor, Cindy, comes and watches you for a couple of hours everyday. She's such a great and willing sitter and was even available to sit with you one evening as well! You love her and you coo and smile at her voice. Between you and me, Lucia, your Daddy has thrived since your birth. I say this without a smidge of jealousy, "You have taught him the meaning of Love," without a doubt. He cares for you like no other person and I think through that love he has learned to bring his love of life and himself to a new and greater level. I love watching you two- those eyes, the shape of your head, the shape of your mouths- mirror images. I'm glad for it and prayed you would look like your daddy. He looks at you proudly and says, "You love your Daddy? Yeah... Daddy takes care of you."

It was Daddy who recognized first how much you love to stand up. During those "colic weeks" we tried everything to help soothe you during difficult times. I started "bicycling" your legs. I found that sometimes its what you need to toot out those annoying gas bubbles. Grandma Obert thinks that its all of that bicycling that made your legs so strong for now all you ever want to do is stand. Today you bicycle your own legs and toot with comfort and ease. No one can sit you down because you pop right up into the standing position. You have to stand and look around at everything. There will be no loafing or dilly-dallying on your clock. You even like to be waddled across the floor while you practice stepping and jumping off the floor. Mommy went ahead and bought you a jumper. For a time, we put you in it and you are swimming in it and your toes barely touch the ground. We put towels in to steady you and you enjoy just hanging out for small amounts of time in the standing position. Today you really bop around in there and like it most of all. Daddy says standing is your, "Off button."

All this while, you have been suffering from conjunctivitis in the tear duct (not the eye itself). The doctor's thought it was just your clogged tear duct and that it would resolve itself but after almost three months of it I finally had to put my foot down about a more aggressive therapy or approach then wiping your eyes and hoping for the best. So everyday we massage the sides of your little nose and wipe your eye with a warm damp washcloth and I administer eye drops twice a day. I'm anxious for a morning when I'm not sad to find your eye half or entirely glued shut. You smile and endure our fussing over your eye but I'm sorry for picking on you all the same.

You love your hands and intensely shove them in your mouth and suck away at them. Sometimes I don't catch you in time and you gag yourself. That makes Mommy laugh. You like sucking your hands so much that you try to shove your hands in even when I'm nursing you. That frustrates you and me both. Its just like you to try to complicate matters!

You amaze me day after day. You started singing "Each of us is a flower" with me by matching my pitch when I sing "Suuuuunnnn shining over me!", "Mooooooon cool me with your night" I often break out laughing when you do this and you stop and give me your flirty eyes and raise your eyebrows at me when I do this. That just makes me laugh harder.

Cabbage Patch dolls were my favorite toy when I was a little girl. I would wrap them up tight in blankets and put them to sleep. Little did I know I could put this into such good use as a mother. Every night at 8 pm you fuss only to be wrapped up and put in bed. Within moments you are snoozing away. I also didn't know that my own little girl would also have a cute round outie bellybutton just like a living Cabbage Patch doll. However, Lucia, I promise to be a lot nicer of a Mommy to you than I was to my dolls. I'm afraid that Eldon and the bunch may have had some harsher punishment as part of Katy Obert's 8 year old Cabbage Patch Family.

I love walking outside with you in your stroller. When we go for our walks you either sleep, talk with me and smile at me or look on silently. My favorite is when you reach out and hold onto the sides of the stroller like you are on your throne. When you do that I march and declare (when no one is around), "All hail Queen Lucia! She is Queen of all her domain! Make way for Queen Lucia!" You think that is hilarious.

This letter is to you Lucia but it is published for all the world to see and is etched into the lining of cyberspace. Perhaps, someday when you least expect it you will be able to pull it up along with what I hope to be a quarterly report of each year of your life for many years to come. Mommy is infamous for starting projects and leaving them to the wind but I know that if there is one thing in my life that will rejuvenate and regenerate with each moment we share it is my love and interest in every moment of your life. I'm fascinated by each flicker of expression that comes over your face and don't want to miss a moment of it. You have captured and melted my heart and the heart of many since that fateful blizzard day in January. Thank you for forcing your way into this world. You are the best and happiest thing in my world.

I love you forever,



Chet & Gini said...

Very nice. I hope you have printed that and saved it.

Anonymous said...

Lucia is so beautiful and loved. What a lucky little girl. Your letter to Lucia is lovely and an awesome idea. I too, write letters to my girls. I have a journal for each of them. Sometimes I write often and sometimes I look back and it has been a year since my last entry. Try to keep it up....even though it is hard to will forget all of the little day to day will be a treasure for your family.
I did want to write about the clogged tear duct. Logan had that when she was born. The doctor's told me that it would go away on it's own and if it had not by the time she was a year old they might have to take care of it. One day when Logan was about 7 or 8 months old we woke up and her eye looked worse than ever. I called the doctor and insisted they see her and do something about it. They made her an appointment for the next day. I continued to wipe her eye with a warm cloth...milking the duct. All kinds of stuff came out of her tear duct. By the next day you couldn't even tell anything had ever been wrong with her. I took her to her appointment anyway and he couldn't believe anything had been wrong with it to begin with. Hard to imagine after it looking so awful the day before. That was the end of it....all of that horrible stuff was her duct finally getting unclogged and she didn't have any problems after that. So keep will probably clear up on it's own, but before that happens she will probably still need drops and rubbing it with a warm cloth does seem to help.
I hope to see you guys soon ;-) Kim Olson

Aprille said...

So sweet and wonderful. She's going to treasure this. It's cool to see her going through so many of the same stages Miles is. I hope they can be neighborhood friends when they get big enough to, you know, have friends. :)

Sarah L. said...

i am sitting at work crying about how big and juicy your love is for that munchkin....and crying because i have only ever seen her in pictures...she is as beautiful as your words to her and i can't wait to meet her in person. soon...

Anonymous said...

Cute...why does the part about weird body noises appear in the same paragraph as my reference? Is there any coincidence? I guess I made her go more than her eyes go googles!