Monday, September 1, 2014

Heart Letter, Months 56-57

Dear Lucy,

You are 57 months old today.
It has been a busy two months...so much so that I missed writing you a heart letter for the first time ever! I know, another item to be discussed with your therapist when you are grown.
You'll probably need to add this face to the list because it has been in full force these last few months. You are working on perfecting the "you really pissed me off" face while I am working just as diligently on the "take a deep breath and remember she's only 4" face. It seems you may have just now reached the emotional level of the dreaded three year old and I can't decide if I'm happy that you and Kate don't go through these milestones together or if being walloped by waves of preschooler angst as you each move through the levels separately is better. Can I abstain?

Fortunately, we spent a good portion of these past two months in FL so you had plenty to distract you and, if that didn't work, I had extra people to foist your stink eye onto.
Before we get to FL though, let's wrap up July here in Chicago. Both you and Kate are into the cartoon Sheriff Callie, so I found our own little piece of Wild West here in IL. You are Kate loved riding the ponies the best.
You didn't let having only one arm hold you back from the hand-powered cart, pumping your way around and around the track more times than I can count.
We enjoyed having warm enough weather to get to some water parks with regularity. But the water was still COLD!
We finally got in another mommy/daughter date, this time for brunch. We really need to do these more often as you positively glow when you have a parent all to yourself and I really enjoy being able to have a single, uninterrupted conversation with you.

Your cast was finally removed at the end of July, releasing us for our annual FL vacation. Yay!
First up this year was a stay at Camp Aunt Kelly and Uncle Tony. You were excited to find so many different animals.

I have to say that your attention span, when it comes to animals, is longer than it is with almost anything else. You stuck with Karlie's horse for the entire visit, remembering which brush went in which direction, solely focused on your work. You are a lover of animals.

You are very curious about your surroundings and you especially like watching people and their activities. You could watch someone fish (and not catch anything) for much longer than seems reasonable.
I think this was our best year yet in FL. You are finally able to swim in both the pool and the ocean. You surprised me by swimming the entire length of the pool underwater in only 2 breaths. This was closely followed by you learning to ride the waves on your boogie board!

You have a definite and urgent need for physical movement every single day. One could never describe you as STILL. I suppose that is why you gravitate towards activities that propel you forward or require bodily movement in some way.

Fortunately, your cousin Lainey shares many of the same traits so you had a partner in crime for a while, giving you and Kate a much-needed break from each other's company.

Alas, we returned all to soon and were thrown back into our Chicago routine of Lucy, Kate and Mommy finding ways to keep ourselves entertained. You and Kate have your skirmishes but fortunately, you come back together, calling each other by your new pet name, Sister, as in "Here you go Sister", "Oh thanks Sister, I was looking for that!"
You are growing by leaps and bounds physically, helped along by all of our FL activities. We had a little fun with some of your baby clothes last month, holding them up/trying them on for comparison.

Can you believe you were so little?!
Your arm has gained back all of its strength and our followup visit with your orthopedic surgeon last week confirmed this. You have been released for gymnastics again!

We also had your annual physical with Dr. Ettner. It was clear to both of us that you are in excellent physical condition and he remarked, "FL does wonders for the girls. All that swimming has made their bodies very strong." Here were your stats for August (with your stats from last year in parenthesis):

Height: 43" (40 1/2")
Weight: 39 lbs (35 lbs)
Shoe size: 10 (8-9)
You are mostly wearing size 5 clothes at this point as size 4 finds the arms/legs too short and the chest too narrow although for your winter coat this year we went up to a size 6 to accommodate extra layers.

Oh Winter. I don't think any of us are ready for that. Well, maybe you are. You seem able to be up for whatever the day holds. Perhaps it is because anything is better than the small world of the orphanage where you lived the first nearly 2 years of your life. Or perhaps you are just a natural explorer, curious and full of adventure.
I do know that, for all of your daring-do, you are very attached to home, our home. Your face when we finally walked through the door and you saw everything just the way you left it, was priceless. You are slowly but surely learning permanence, something most people learn as infants.

This has been one of the hardest things to teach you as you seem not to care when something gets broken or lost. Toys are tossed aside or broken without so much as a backward glance. I struggle with how many toys we have accumulated. If I just get rid of some of them it will reinforce your view that nothing is permanent, don't get attached because it could disappear tomorrow. On the other hand, I want you to know that your things are special and should be treated with care.

For now, leaving home and returning with your family intact seems to be enough.

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