Friday, May 4, 2012

Catching Up

Today I'm in the process of catching up on many things:  my laundry, my yard, this blog...if you should ever become a teacher, Jules, remember that it's all-consuming and takes over your life.  Kind-of like parenthood, I guess, except that at least we have daycare for you!  Maybe we need daycare for college students...

The last time I posted was November 20th, and the post didn't even make it up on here, so that's a lot to catch up on.  Let's see if I can try.  By November, you were sitting up, fully, and very proud of it.  In fact, still, every time you get up on your hands and knees, you revert petulantly into a sitting position.

This is one of our favorite pictures of you, with Daddy, at the Thanksgiving Day parade.  By this time, you didn't even really have to hold on, but his hair is irresistable!  I love that you're looking one way, dad is looking the other, and there's a "one way" sign in the background.  Sad to say, that was the highlight of that particular parade.  Thanksgiving itself was a bit different this year; we went to one of Grammy and Papa's neighbors' houses, so it was definitely more rowdy.  Nice, though.  Everyone loved you, of course.

Christmas was lovely: your very first!!  I did take lots of pictures but haven't put them up here, so here's just one:

It's my favorite, of you and Daddy putting the star up on top of the tree.  With the help of Miss Beth, your OT, you had started grasping for more things and were able to hold it, but with help.  Now you could fling it across the room (but that will come later!).

In January, we celebrated your first birthday!  Look at you sitting up so perfectly!  You always did have the best posture--in fact, you generally don't do anything until you can do it well, a fact about which I'm both proud and worried.  You know what?  Don't worry so much about being perfect.  The truth is, NO ONE IS.  We are all flawed, we all fail, but the true definition of courage is the ability to get up and try again.  And don't let anyone tell you differently.

So what did we do in February?  Let's see.  You were sick for most of it, unfortunately, but here's a sweet picture of that perfect sitting up I was talking about!! In March, you had your adenoids out and tubes put into your ears.  A routine surgery, but I was still nervous about the anesthesia.  You got through it like a champ, though, and rocked those hospital blues, as Grammy would say:
We spent March getting over the surgery, and then you had a sinus infection.  After that, you were still congested, so they finally prescribed you Flonase, twice a day.  This might seem extreme--the pharmacist was particularly judgmental about it--but it has helped so very much.  So in April, you were able to celebrate Easter in style:
Grammy came to spend Easter with us, so I'm actually in the picture.  Here's a picture of you and her:
And look at you eating your solid foods!!  I can't believe how much you've grown since October.  Last but definitely not least, you've been playing at crawling, but your real goal is to pull up and walk.  I have this great picture of you in our papasan, trying to crawl.  Look at it and compare it to the picture of you when you were two weeks old, lost in that big chair:
It's pretty amazing how you've grown, changed, and just blossomed.  Mama is so proud of you, Jules.  Now that I'm almost done grading (well, that's an overstatement, but it WILL happen), I can post more over the summer, when you go and meet your family in Hungary for the first time.  DS awareness in Hungary, here we come!!

Ten Things I learned...

**This is from earlier, in November, and it never got posted.

From my 11-month-old (today!!).

1. Never, ever give up. Things might take longer, they might be more difficult than you thought they would, but they will, with time and effort, happen. If one wants to suck one's toes, one eventually will.

2. If you're open to giving love, you'll get love back. I've never met a person who didn't love Julia.

3. Embrace the joy of life. Joy and wonder are two of the elements that characterize both childhood and the holiday season. How sad that, as we get older, we trudge through life and often lose both.

4. Be yourself. That is what makes you so radiant and compelling. Trying to be anyone else is futile.

5. It's not always loud people who win out. Julia is probably the most quiet child in daycare, and/but everyone just adores her.

6. Practice foregiveness and grace. We hold on to so many things as adults: things that keep us from relationships, from spiritual freedom, from living the life we were meant to live. If I bonk Jules on the head by mistake, she knows I didn't mean to and lets it go.

7. Family is important. Often, we forget how much our parents did for us until we ourselves have a little one. It makes me grateful for all of the gifts I've been given, and I hope my family (both immediate and by marriage) knows how much I treasure them.

8. It is okay to be "slow." It just means you're taking the time to do things right.

9. People are less judgemental than I thought. Every day, people surprise me, not just with their kindness, but also with their acceptance. Often, I learn that it is I who was being judgemental of them.

10. Take a leap. I was so scared when we decided to have a child, and even more scared when I found out that our child is "different." But that Nike slogan holds true: "just do it." I've learned that most of our fears, our anxieties, our feelings of inadequacy, go away when we take a leap, whether it be in career, in marriage or, in this case, in choosing to have a family. There is no wrong path, and we learn invaluable lessons from every path we choose.

That's all for today, but I'll be posting soon about Julia's very first Christmas and, then, about her first birthday! How time flies.