Archive for December, 2008

Happy Birthday, Elena: 4 Months

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 16 December 2008, 0:02

Dear Elena,

Sylvan shovels the sidewalkSNOW DAY! And it was a real one, with temperatures that only rose into the mid-30s and snow that’s still on the ground this evening. Okay, so it’s only four inches, but it’s beautiful. You and I were supposed to go to work, Elena, but I didn’t want to chance it with a bus running far off-schedule, and I certainly wasn’t going to drive. So we pulled Sylvan into our snow day, at least for the morning, and went to the park, where the snow was too light and fluffy to sled on; we just sank.

After dropping off Sylvan to play with his friends at school (he was certainly too involved with the touch table to notice his girls had gone), we walked to the bakery and then to the Masonic Cemetery. The high school student behind us at the bakery said to his friend, “Isn’t it neat how when it snows you want to see what every place looks like? I woke up and thought, ‘I wonder what the cemetery will look like in the snow.’” We passed no fewer than three sets of cross-country ski tracks and dozens of folks, ranging in age from one to fifty, sledding (many bodies had iced down some tracks by then), skiing, and walking on our way to the cemetery.

Elena sucks on her new quilt

One of my favorite things about Eugene snow days is that nearly everyone takes a snow day.

Today I saw Spencer Butte from my office window; despite its size, smaller than some closets I’ve seen, I dig my office. You were asleep in the bassinet near the woodstove, and I was working on Christmas gifts in my office. And I could see the snowy mountain and some goldfinches in the treetops outside.

Elena in her green-striped pajamas

You started squealing on Saturday, the day after Daddy brought you to your 4-month appointment and checked “no” on the questionnaire that asked whether you squeal. Each morning, when you wake up, you don’t seem to remember that you can make such high-pitched noises, but, as the day progresses and you find your voice, the squealing begins. Your voice charmed your grandfather yesterday. You were quiet until I showed you the phone, then you just chatted away.

I love you,


Happy Birthday, Sylvan: 39 Months

Posted by julie on Friday, 12 December 2008, 0:58

Dear Sylvan,

Tonight, you told me that “Instead of blood, bones, and boogers, you should be filled with beads” (like Giraffe Spot Giraffe Giraffe, your baby, who’s filled with something like beads or beans).

You like to count, add, and subtract, and I think it’s neat how intuitive number-crunching seems to be for three-year-olds. What, Mom? Of course two more than three is five.

Now for some photos. Let’s face it, it’s December, and I have way too many holiday things I make myself do, so you don’t really need a long letter, right?

I can’t believe you fit in there

This wasn’t super-comfy, but like any red-blooded child or cat, you dig boxes!

Where is everyone?

So, I’m ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Are you guys gonna sit down sometime soon?

I look gentle, don’t I?

Elena clearly loves you, since you’re obviously the only one in the house who’s any fun. She smiles at you when you encapsulate her in her activity mat (Don’t encourage him, Elena.) and follows your every move when you bound around the house singing the alphabet song without your clothes on.

I love you,