Wednesday, January 30, 2013

14 Months

I've been having an impossibly bad week: at work, and health-wise (let's just say it involved me puking all over the train parking lot, oy).  Then I remembered I had this on my work computer from last week, and it made me smile:

I realized I haven't taken any recent photos!  I'll have to remedy that, but this is from Christmas.

I find myself writing these letters to you when I’m away: right now I’m trying to feel my toes again in Michigan.  It is below zero with the wind chill and I just walked eight blocks in flimsy flats to an event I’m attending for work.  I flew in late last night from Colorado, where the sun made the mountains orange and it was a windows-down sort of 68 degree day.  This morning I ate oatmeal in my hotel room, thinking of my flight home tonight and seeing you tomorrow morning.  Your dad tells me you’ve been grumpy, and I’d like to think it’s because you miss me but I’m pretty sure it’s just that nasty stomach virus you’re getting over. 
On Monday you turned 14 months old, and high in the clouds I thought about how lucky I am to return home to you and your father.  It’s important you know that these work trips are fraught with many emotions: overall, I really do dislike them.  I hate flying (sitting in a small commuter plane while crews work on de-icing the thing is harrowing to me) and I really hate being away from you (not that I don’t enjoy a break: in my travels I’ve recently discovered the joys of room service…and not having to pick up the tab!).  But, I’m very fortunate to provide for our family in this way and something about late night drives or even sitting in an airport fuels me: I am working as a means to an end – our family (and let’s be honest – my penchant for weekly Target runs!).  I hope you find something you love to do: I haven’t yet – and continue to have many heartaches in the corporate world - but I find solace that motherhood feeds me in a way no job will. 
So here we are.  First, let me say I am not pleased that you have turned into a very picky eater.  My number one pet peeve is a picky eater, and lordy, if I don’t have one from my own flesh and bone!  These are the things you like: bananas (like is an understatement), eggs, yogurt, refried beans, pancakes, bread (and any bread product, really), and cheese.  Sometimes you eat other fruit (pieces of mango or peach, pineapple or applesauce), but the only vegetable you seem to digest are avocados.  You push these foods around on your plate and eventually throw them to the floor for Penny.  Then you start whining and flailing your arms for a banana.  Every. Night.  We have capped your banana consumption to one banana a day and you are NOT pleased.
You still aren’t walking (your father and I were both late walkers at 15-months-old) but we know you can do it.  You seem to say, “Why walk when I can scoot?”  So you scoot and crawl everywhere (you are finally crawling), and cruise everywhere else.  Sometimes you’ll stand up unassisted and then realize what you’ve done and sit back down.  You’ve take a few steps but you just really seem disinterested.
You haven’t talked much but love saying “uh oh!” when you drop anything.  Or when we drop anything.  Or really, whenever something goes awry.  You still think Daddy is the silliest goofball ever, but I’m happy to report I can also get you giddy and squealing.  You adore peek-a-boo and often play it in the bath, with me or Dad hiding behind the shower curtain.
This winter you have had a series of health hiccups: two ear infections, a sinus infection and a stomach virus.  You and your daycare classmates are riddled with germs, and it’s like an infectious hopscotch from one miserable toddler to the next.  But – amidst the sickness – you’ve become more affectionate.  You have never been a cuddler but starting with that first ear infection you nuzzled  close and still do when you’re under the weather or feeling tired: you don’t know how good that feels to your father and I.
One thing that doesn’t feel good?  Girl, you are waking up during the night!  It started during Christmas vacation and hasn’t let up.  We never truly needed to implement “crying it out” because you were always our sleep champion, but now we find ourselves biding the minutes until you settle back down.  It started with two stubborn top teeth that finally appeared a few weeks ago – those wretched teeth!  And then you were sick.  And then?  Then I think you just got used to being soothed late into the night.  The last week has been a bit better, and I think you’re finally getting the hand of self-soothing (I sincerely hope I didn’t just jinx myself by typing that!).
And, like I said before, here we are.  I’m finishing this post in the air again on my way home.  The plane is running 30 minutes late (had to taxi 10 minutes to a de-iced runway and wait in line to get de-iced for another 20 – shiver!) but I should touch down in another half hour.  If these tiring work trips are good for anything, they’re good at making me realize how good I have it.  Your father sometimes irritates me in ways I didn’t know I could be irritated (how can the man pull out of the drive way and reach the top of the street forgetting where we’re going?!) but you and I are lucky baby girl: he is a good man and a terrific dad.  I hope you find someone you love deeply too someday.  For now, you have us: two impossibly imperfect newbies who love you to pieces.  Happy 14 months, my little Joanna Rose.

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