Sunday, January 1, 2012

Heart Letter, Month 25

Dear Lucy,

You are 25 months old today.  This time last month you were sailing through yet another surgery...this time for ear tubes. This was the first surgery that we could be there for you and I think that alone helped you come through it unscathed. You went to sleep with Daddy there before they wheeled you into surgery and you awakened in your room to Daddy standing by your bed.
Although the ear tubes don't seem to have solved your balance issues (you still fall down quite a bit), your hearing and speaking have dramatically improved. Your first new word after surgery was iPad and you ask for your favorite song on it by saying iPad, pointing to it and dancing around with a huge, endearing smile on your face. 
Your first truly correct-sounding word was UP which you uttered last week. Prior to this your UP sounded like UH. We kept working on the P sound and finally, without any warning that it was coming, you said it one morning as Daddy was putting you into your highchair for breakfast. 

You are mimicking everything from gestures to words. You try to repeat words and phrases like Thank you and parts of songs that we sing. Your current favorite song is Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and you will dance around trying to match your movements to the song.  Annie, your speech therapist, is thrilled with your progress and said that we could decrease your therapy sessions to 2x/month in February.
The other major milestone you accomplished was to not only suck out of a straw but to suck out of a sippy cup straw with a valve on it. Truly an amazing feat for a child born with a cleft and it has made both of our lives much more manageable.
You are enjoying reading a bit more now, albeit in short chunks. You now know several books quite well and will anticipate what is on the next page. For example, in Goodnight Baby you will start to mimic brushing your hair as we turn the page to the baby brushing her hair and you will blow a kiss at the sleeping baby as we turn to the last page.

I have discovered that you and I are very much alike temperamentally. We are both quick to anger, impatient, and easily frustrated. But we also share a huge capacity for love, are very affectionate and, if I may say, quite smart.
You love to laugh. In fact, this is the first month that you have laughed deeply and from the gut. Oh yes, you have giggled since we first met you but this month has brought the kind of laughs that make others laugh just listening to your glee.
We had a lot of firsts for you this month. We went to the Garfield Park Conservatory on a chilly morning. You enjoyed looking at all the plants and running around in the warm rooms.
We also went to the Chicago zoo for New Year's Eve yesterday. You were entranced by the lions and the meerkats most of all.
By far the biggest thing to happen this month was Christmas. You loved looking at the Christmas tree, and especially Santa, every morning when you woke up. Christmas Eve was a special day as you and Kate received squeaky shoes from China. There is a tradition amongst adoptive parents that their children get these shoes and we were no exception. The joy on your face negated the fact that we had four separate squeaks sounding simultaneously as you and Kate raced around the house.
Christmas Day was amazing. You handled the cornucopia of presents quite well, probably because we parsed them out in clumps throughout the day.
Your Nana came for a long visit this month as well. You seemed to remember her from the first day and bonded quite easily with her. She, too, noticed the dramatic changes you have made and how much happier you are.
I am having many dreams lately...the same kind I used to have the first few months after Kate was born. In them you and Kate are always somewhere where I cannot get to you and I awaken feeling bereft and frantic. I know this means that I am bonding with you as a mama and her child should but boy, it rips my heart out every morning when I awaken from them.
I love you my darling daughter and I am so happy you came into our lives. You made 2011 a very special year for our family. I know 2012 will only be better...Happy New Year!


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