Saturday, March 12, 2011

A lamb among lions

Dear Maya,

This post is 2 days late because we have had an unbelievably crazy week.  It all started Sunday night when mommy heard you whimper and woke to discover that our power had gone out.  Without electricity our heaters don't work, so we tucked in bed together to ride it out until morning.  Thanks to mommy's super warm down comforter and our combined body heat, you slept very well.  Mommy, on the other hand, had contorted herself into a pretzel to give you the space you needed while protecting your face from getting covered up, so didn't get much sleep at all.  You were an angel, though.

When we looked outside in the morning we realized why we had no power--everything was completely covered in a half inch or more of heavy ice!  Our windows looked like stained glass, the trees were bowed and broken, and everything was sparkly and beautiful, but dangerous.  We hooked up the analog phone that Grandma and Stan had given us for just such emergencies and called them only to find out that the whole area was a mess and most likely no one would have power for quite a while.  Since they have a wood stove to keep warm we headed to their house mid-morning.  You were an angel there.

We spent Monday night at Grandma and Stan's house.  You slept pretty much for six hours straight, while mommy did her pretzel twists again and only got about two hours total because it was cold where we were in Aunt Kelsie's room.  When the electric company started notifying everyone that the power would likely not come back on until Wednesday at the earliest, we decided to spend Tuesday night at your great-grandma and great-grandpa's house because they had electricity.  We packed up and went there, had dinner, then found out the power was back on at our house and came home. You were an angel throughout.

Wednesday was a busy day for us because we had your 2-month doctor visit to go to.  You gained 2 and a half pounds and now weigh 13 pounds 7 ounces (in the 97th percentile).  You have grown an inch or so in length and are now 24 inches (in the 90th percentile).  You smiled and cooed at the nurses, the doctor, and were especially vocal looking at your own reflection in the large mirror that runs along the examining table.  When you got three shots, you cried for about 5 seconds until mommy picked you up.  Then you looked at the nurse who had given them to you and flashed her a great big smile.  Yet again, you were such an angel.

After the doctor's office we headed to the accountant's office to get mommy and daddy's taxes done.  Not only were you well-behaved while we were there, you also were a great help since you were born on December 30th as opposed to, oh, say, January 1st.  Next we hit a grocery store where you looked around with interest.  Then it was to Target to look for a couple of specific things, but mommy ended up getting sucked into a section of super cute spring baby dresses and had a hard time not buying one of everything.  After an initial fussy period, you slept quietly in your sling.  Have I mentioned that you're an angel?

On Thursday mommy was expecting the worst because the nurse said that your shots could cause you to be  sore, feverish and irritable.  The day was rough, but for a completely different reason.  At about 11am mommy realized the stove wouldn't light and the heater wasn't working because we had run out of gas.  It took many, many phone calls to find out which company is our supplier, and when we did it was too late for same-day delivery.  We'd have had to spend another night without heat, so again we were headed to your great-grandparents' house.  And you?  You didn't fuss all day.  Of course you were an angel.

On the way to your great-grandparents' house we stopped at the high school.  You see, this weekend is the musical "Brigadoon" featuring Aunt Kelsie's hair/makeup stylings and Aunt Bobbie in the starring role of Fiona.  Daddy made a mural to decorate the entryway and we had to drop that off.  While we were there you got so much attention from students and mothers alike, and you had a big smile for each and every one of them.  We decided to hang around to see a little of the rehearsal, and while I fed you in the dark auditorium, you thoughtfully listened to the orchestra.  You're such a musical little angel.

You were well-behaved at your great-grandparents' house as I knew you would be.  They love you so very much and you reciprocate with lots of smiles and giggles.  Yet again you slept well while mommy did the pretzel twist thing.  We woke to the news of a terrible earthquake in Japan and, heavy-hearted, headed home.  We only knew that the gas delivery would be sometime between 9am and 4pm, so we expected we might have to find ways to keep you warm in the interim, but when we pulled in the driveway at 8:50 the truck was already there.  Not that I was worried, since you're a tough little angel.

After filling our tank the delivery man went down into the basement to check our hot water heater and told us we'd better come take a look.  As has been the case in many houses around here this week, ours was starting to flood.  The unique problem, though, was that the water was pouring in through our breaker box.  He pointed out the lucky coincidence that, while he was blocking our shared driveway to pump the gas, an electrician's van had come down from one of the houses above and was waiting to be let out.  Mommy ran outside to ask for their help.  You waited patiently inside, my little angel.

The electricians moved the wires out of the way of the flowing water and made sure there was no risk of shorts or electrocution.  They diagnosed the problem as a crack in the conduit bringing the wires from the landlady's house to our cottage.  That is a large span, and we're not sure if or how we'll ever find the crack.  Daddy started a one-man bucket brigade to keep the basement from really filling up while we thought about how to deal with this problem.  Eventually we used a big container and a pump borrowed from Stan to get the water out.  You were a little fussy, but overall still an angel.

Last night, for the first time, mommy left your side to go see the musical.  Daddy was on his own with you for about three and a half hours.  And what did you do?  You slept like an angel for all but the last ten minutes or so.  This week you've been shuffled around from place to place, slept in three beds that weren't your own, been held and cooed at by all kinds of people you didn't know, been away from your mommy for the first time, gotten vaccines in your little legs, and had to cope with the cold of unheated homes during a blackout.  And you were better than I've ever seen you.

You.  Are.  Truly.  An.  Angel.


And especially now as more and more news becomes available and we learn just how tragic the situation in Japan is, we realize how fortunate we are to be dealing with these relatively small problems.  Who cares if we've got puddles in our basement when at least we still have a roof over our heads?  Who cares if we weren't able to shower when at least we knew our water would come back on sooner than later?  And who cares if we were stressed out being cooped up in close quarters without heat or electricity when at least we are all still here to be cooped up together?

Mommy started out this post to be about you and how unbelievably calm you have been during this trying week.  Although you've never been a fussy baby by any stretch, you've really outdone yourself with your continuous smiles and cooing, and mommy has found herself saying to you over and over again, "You are amazing!"  But another important message has hit home for us, too.  We are lucky to have such an agreeable baby, but we are also just lucky to have each other.  We are lucky that no family members or friends in Japan have been lost.

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the earthquake. 皆様のご無事を心からお祈り申し上げます。

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