Feathered Aspen

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Lily, 5 and a half

I’ve sat down a couple of times to write a little update on Lily.  In the past, I’ve been pretty honest about each new milestone, our setbacks, and emerging facets of personality.  It’s hard to put my finger on, but for some reason, writing these down for Lily has suddenly started to feel too personal and a little bit like a breach of confidence and trust.  When I ask myself why I’m still comfortable writing about Lu and Luna or why I used to be more comfortable writing about Lily, I think some of it has to do with age and some of it has to do with a certain commonality of experience in our first few years of life.  But there’s more, and I’m going with my gut here.  I’m sad to let go of this reliable method of archiving my thoughts, but I’m hopeful that I can find a more personal way to record some of these progressions for Lily to look at in the future.  I’m also thinking that a quick interview like the one that follows might be a way to protect Lily’s privacy but also share a little bit of her light with our family and friends flung far and wide that I don’t often get a chance to connect with individually.

1 If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

To fly, cuz I could just see the whole world if I flied.

2 What are two things about you that you’re really proud of?

(This one was hard.) That I’m a big sister, and oh! I have another one!  How brave I am.  In Costa Rica, I ziplined.

3 What’s something really funny you’ve seen?

I saw something today.  On the way to school, I saw a kid and a mommy and they were flipping onto a bench.  (For the record, I did not see this ;))

4 What’s something you wish for?

I wish for the tooth fairy to come right now.

5 What is a good memory you have?

I think you know this remember.  When I was born. Do you remember that?  No.  Oh I know!  When Freyja was born and I got to hold her and we read stories together.

6 What’s something you’d like to get better at?

Swim.  You knew I would say that, mom.

7 What’s something really amazing you’ve learned recently?

That’s hard!  Well, I actually learned this a long time ago and I never told you.  It’s a song and it says, “Cinderella dressed in yellow how many roses can you grow?  123456789 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25.”

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Luna, nearly 8 months

Luna is creeping up on 8 months, and I’ve hardly had a chance to jot down the milestones as they arrive.  And though I wish I could freeze each moment in time and remember them with clarity as the years go by, I know too that part of being present for these moments when our lives are full and fast moving means that there isn’t always time for documentation.

Oh my.  I know I said this with each of the girls, but with Luna, I really feel like the months are flying by.  These days, she’s pulling herself up on everything, and when she’s standing and looking so old, I’m just sort of flabbergasted.  I mean.  Didn’t I just give birth to her?

And I could just eat her up.  I suspect that all babies are this delicious and wonderful, and it’s only after having one or two that I’ve really been able to relax and fully enjoy this time.  But you guys!  Luna is so smiley, so lovey!  Somehow, she already has 8 teeth coming through, and her two bottoms are just too cute when she smiles wide, which is pretty often.  It’s rare that she’s fussy or upset, and most of the time, she’s content to watch her sisters, play, and now bear crawl and pull herself up (usually to scope out what her sisters are doing).  When I pick her up, she curls her little body into mine, sticks her face into my neck and coos.  My heart is mush.  Complete mush.  Sometimes when I’m wearing her in the baby carrier, she’ll lean back and we’ll just stare into each other’s eyes, and my insides do this little summersault and time stands still.

It’s a baby romance.  I’m stocking up on cheeky kisses and nursing grins, because I guess these last ones will have to last me a lifetime (she weeps).

But really, I’m just filled up with gratitude.  Luna, you are a blessing.  You make all of us smile, you make all of us swoon.  Your trail name is Awesome Sauce, partially because that’s the name of your primary fuel, but mostly because you’re that ingredient for all of us.  Life is better with you.

So, for posterity, let’s account for some milestones:

Your teeth began popping through at four months, you began sitting at five months, and you began crawling at seven and a half months.  These days, you’re pulling yourself up, and it’s pretty clear that you’ve got your sights on cruising.  You began your first taste of solids at 6 months, and now you LOVE food.  I give you little nibbles of everything:  cheese, bread, eggs, nuts, fruit, veggies, hummus, you name it, you love it.  Though I’m not actually sure how much you’re eating and how much Oscar is cleaning up beneath your high chair.  All I can say is that it’s gone.

Between dropping off and picking up your big sister at kindergarten and running after Lu, you nap on the go most of the time these days.  I do try to get you down in bed when I can, but it’s a constant battle to find the down time.  You sleep well through the night, and you’re not much of a comfort nurser, which I suppose has its perks, but I’m trying to hang onto this baby phase, so come on!  I wouldn’t mind if you wanted to slow down and snuggle for a little bit!

I could go on, but I think I might go snuggle you instead.  You just smell so good, and your soft little snores are just the best.  I love you, little Luna.

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Lu, Age 3

Miss Lupine, age 3

For your third birthday, we took you, your sisters, and Ellison to Lakeside Amusement Park.  It was Lily’s idea, and it was a good one!  We bought a long strip of tickets, and you rode almost every ride, beaming the entire time.  We were quite impressed with your fearlessness, but when we got to the Ferris Wheel you finally found your limit.  And I can’t blame you!  My heart was doing little flips from the height and the speed.  Your older sister was in heaven.

That night, we headed back to the Ps and ate charcuterie, which I have decided is perhaps the most perfect meal for a three year old (and possibly one of the most expensive!).  You gobbled up olives and cheese and crackers and fruit with a good deal of enthusiasm.  Before bed, you opened up your gift from us which you had begun requesting months ago:  a ring just like Lily’s.  Sadly, it was far too big (a size one!), but I’m hanging on to it until your little fingers get bigger.

The next day was Saturday, and we threw everything together for a pizza party over at Bob and Sandy’s.  Though it was a smaller crowd, we had a wonderful evening, and for dessert, you chose blueberry pie.  The candle was improvised, but you and Lily both got to blow it out.

Dear Lu,

You are a light.  We are so lucky to have you in this family.  You’re funny, sweet, and generous.  You play well with others, and you are thoughtful.  You adore your sisters, and you’re sweet to your mama and daddy too.  These days, you’re always asking to “go do something” or “go see someone.”  You love socializing and playing, you love being on the go.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve jotted down just a few of the funny things you’ve said.

  1. In Minnesota, I ordered an iced coffee at Caribou. Lily was upset when I didn’t order anything for anyone else, but Lu said to Lily, “well! She adult!” Her indignance on my part was hilarious.
  2. We were driving somewhere (I’ve forgotten where) and Lu asked (very seriously) from the backseat, “mama, will it be a mad house today?”
  3. On a walk, I had accumulated the leash, the helmet, a bag, and the strider bike. Lu reached to grab the leash from me, and I sort of just thoughtlessly shook my head no.  She frowned and said, “you’re carrying too many things!  Let me help!”
  4. This past weekend, I was making breakfast, and Lu saw me working in the kitchen. She dragged in a chair and said, “I’m ready to help you, mama.  I’m a really good helper.”
  5. The other night, Lu cried out from a nightmare, and Joshua and I went to help her settle back onto her pillow. As she flopped onto the bed, she said (half asleep) “I’m so fast!”

Other common sayings from Lu:

  1. “Well! She likes it!”  (Whenever I admonish her to be more gentle or stop doing something to Luna.)
  2. “Where’s Lily?” (Whenever she is out of sight.  This little girl loves her big sister.)
  3. “When are we going to see Bierstadt and Ellison?” (She loves her little friends.)
  4. “What are we going to do today?” (During any lull, even if it’s just before bedtime.)
  5. “I’m not sad.” (When she sees her big sister having some big emotions.)
  6. “Snuggle me! No!  Squeeze me harder!”  (At night.)

Lu, those are the tiniest snapshot.  I have this feeling probably every day when I see you do something silly or thoughtful or say something hilarious that I want to write it down and capture the moment.  I want to be able to come back and look at you, indignant, trying to make your sisters laugh, looking to help without having been asked, just being this sweet, wonderful, confident little three year old.

Not a day goes by when I don’t look into your little face or hold your little body and just want to breathe you in.  You are so good.  I’m in awe of you, and not only do I love you, but I like you.  So much.

I want to start doing little interviews to write down here, but for now, I’ll just write a list of things you love:

  1. Biking on your strider bike. You’ve gotten so good at it in such a short time!  In April, you were just so hesitant starting out, and now you’re speedy!  Joshua takes you to the park, and you climb to the top of the hills and then bomb them going down.  For some reason, I can totally see you as a mountain biking babe J
  2. Playing with your big sister. When the two of you are playing well, it’s gold.  Often, it’s babies, but sometimes it’s doctor or just drawing or swinging on the swings and trying to make her laugh.
  3. Seeing your grandparents. All of them.  No matter which one I tell you were about to see, you get so excited.
  4. You love going to the Children’s Museum and the Zoo.
  5. Playgrounds!
  6. Apples, crackers, cheese, olives, pickles, bananas, lara bars, bread, and most of all, OATMEAL (your most loved and oft requested meal).
  7. You’ve decided your “song” is anything by Jack Johnson. “Play my song, mama!”
  8. You still love to hold my hand (I hope you always do!).

I’m sure I’m missing plenty, but this is my snapshot of you at age three.

I love you, my little Lu!