Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quintessential Japanese/American summer

Dear Maya,

We've had a full, fun week celebrating a holiday in each of your cultures.

First was Independence Day. The night before, we went to a party at the flower nursery where daddy works as a landscaper. You had such a great time with the rubber duckies and bubbles they had prepared for you. You were even able to blow bubbles yourself if we held the wand in front of you. We were impressed!

On the 4th, we had some errands to run earlier in the day. You were dressed in a cute blue and white outfit with red star sandals and when we went to the (crowded!) supermarket, so many people commented how adorable you are. That night we had a barbecue out in the back yard and you played with the hose.

A few days later was the Japanese festival Tanabata. Like last year, we wrote our wishes on slips of paper that we hung from willow branches in a jar. Unlike last year, Auntie Rhi and Uncle Matt also joined us in writing wishes. Even more unlike last year, you took pen to paper, too! (Click here for more on Tanabata.)

On Sunday, daddy had an unexpected free day so we enjoyed some real family quality time. In the morning we played with daddy's conveyor belt sushi toy and the wooden sushi we got him for Father's Day. It was a good opportunity for you to practice your hand-eye coordination and to learn to use chopsticks!

Later we took you to the stream at the park next door. We had the place all to ourselves and the combination of the clear mountain water and the late afternoon sun were beautiful and relaxing. We even had a monarch butterfly flit around us again and again, adding to the magical quality of our time at the stream.

When you were done splashing around and throwing pebbles (and larger stones) into the water, we dried and changed you and daddy gave you a ride back through the park on his shoulders. We had to stop and let you smell some flowers as you love to do, including these huge Queen Anne's lace--daddy's favorite.

Monday was your 18-month check-up with the pediatrician. You were slightly shy and slightly curious as always, but when you got your shots, everything changed. Up until now, you would always cry for about 5 or 10 seconds, then forget what you were upset about and usually smile at the nurse before she left.

This time you screamed your little head off! And when mommy tried to lay you back on the examination table to change your diaper you screamed some more! You didn't calm down, in fact, until the receptionist gave you a lollipop. You'd never had candy before, but mommy wasn't about to take it away from you!

On a happier note, the doctor gave you a very good bill of health. The only big change is that you have gone from being in the 60th percentiles for height and weight to the 80th percentiles. Wow! The only concern mommy had was how few words you speak for your age, but the doctor reassured me that you're doing fine.

One more big change this week is that you are weaned! Mommy was going to gradually stop the last morning feedings, but one day you slept in quite late and then just went straight for your breakfast without nursing first. Mommy is a little sad but also so proud of you. I'm also happy you've been sleeping later...

I'm not sure if this is related or not, but all of the sudden you've started to 'mommy' your toys--offering your milk to your stuffed panda and 'trimming' your Cabbage Patch's toenails after I cut yours. And you've been so loving towards everyone, even sitting quietly on Aunt Bobbie's lap today for about 10 whole minutes! 

Well, this has been a long and full post. So much happens over the course of a week with you, my dear. And it looks like the rest of the summer will hold a lot more fun, too. We can't wait to enjoy it with you.  Love you!