Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Took the little one in for his 12-month check up on Monday. We have a skinny string bean on our hands! Although he's in the 95th percentile for head size at 19 inches (let's hear it for the big-headed members of our extended family!) and in the 75th percentile for height (30 and 3/4 inches), he's only in the 25th percentile for weight (20 lbs., 4 oz). Our pedi said don't worry about it a bit, and that he's thriving and doing fine -- in fact, he happily babbled away during the entire checkup and introduced another new word, "bottle" (ba-ba), at the appointment, which made his mama proud. Still, I can't help feeling unsettled about it. Friends in the public health field have told me that there's a lot of consternation with the weight charts -- that they are too homogenous and don't take into account kids who are more diverse in terms of musculoskeletal development or ethnicity. Apparently there is a drive to get rid of them. I'm all for it. In my opinion, all they do is serve as yet another way to drive parents nuts!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We had a fabulous 1st birthday weekend! Friday we had family over for Jello cake and presents, Saturday morning we held a coffee-and-bagels bash at the local playground, and Sunday we went to our first Nationals game in the new stadium... so much fun. My mom and brother were also here for the last several days. We took my mom to the airport today so now the last of our company is gone. These are some of the greatest hits from the weekend festivities.
Friday, April 25, 2008
To Our Little Boy:
Happy 1st birthday! I loved you even before you were born, but now that you are here my heart has grown even fuller with feeling for you. I watch you all the time, studying, admiring... when you are playing with your toys, fingers exploring everything so carefully and cautiously; when I walk into a room and you break into a smile that makes my heart burst; when someone's reading you a book and you study the pictures and listen to the words so intently, your little brow furrowed in concentration; when you are snuggled in your crib, fast asleep, the profile of your face so similar to those ultrasound pictures your dad and I stared at before you were born. It is easy to get emotional when I think about how quickly you will grow up, but for now I won't focus on that. For now I will live in the moment and enjoy each precious hour, minute, and second with you. Your family has been so lucky to have been able to spend this sublime time with you.
May you live a long, happy, and blessed life!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
With my brother C. in town for the big birthday festivities this weekend, we were able to get a jump start on one of the presents - a swing for the backyard! DH (dear husband) and I were somewhat overwhelmed with the assembly instructions, but fortunately C. is very handy and was able to whip something up in no time flat. It looks great, and we get the biggest smiles when we put the little guy in for a ride. Thanks so much, bro!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This is a very happy time for me and my family as we prepare for the big 1-year birthday celebration. It's also a time to reflect on all of our blessings, namely our health, and to keep in our thoughts and prayers those who are dealing with life's unexpected challenges.
My friend Christie's niece, Emily Mandell, is 16 months old. While Emily and her parents were on vacation in Georgia last month, she began having seizures and was taken to the hospital in Savannah. They found a tumor in her brain the size of a baseball and immediately operated to remove it. They were able to remove about 50% of the tumor which was the good news. The bad news was that the tumor was found to be related to an aggressive form of cancer, Atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT).
Emily and her family have since moved up to Boston where they have located a doctor who has had some success treating ATRTs. But they are not through the woods yet.
You can read more about Emily's story at http://www.carepages.com/ServeCarePage?cpm=Emily12806&ipc=cpinviteemail
In addition to prayers and good wishes, Emily and her family are in need of financial support to pay for the cost of an apartment they can rent while Emily is undergoing chemo, as well as special cleaning treatments to keep the living space sterile for her. The Mandell family has set up a trust fund for Emily through Bank of America. This means that you can walk into any Bank of America location and make an anonymous donation into the account for Emily Mandell. If you have any questions, let me know.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Well, the big 1st birthday is coming up - it's only 3 days away. They say this one is more a celebration for the parents than the baby since it marks a graduation of sorts: advancing from a state of sleepless, anxiety-racked paranoia in those first early weeks and months into something a little less so - a slightly more relaxed frame of mind. I think that's true in our case. Now that our little one is sleeping through the night (it only took him 10 months to do so!), napping regularly (at about 9:30 am and 2:30 pm, halleluiah!) and pretty easygoing about life in general, it seems we finally have a chance to take a breath and slowly incorporate some of our pre-baby activities back into our lives. Unfortunately for me, exercise has NOT been on that list - but I hope for that to change soon with the addition of a .... jogging stroller! I'll post updates here in an effort to keep myself accountable. If I could only lose about 10 pounds (at least), I know I'll feel a whole lot better about myself. If anyone has any motivational suggestions, I'm all ears...
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Well, our first outing to the Zoo turned out to be delightful... to a point. Just about to the point at which it was time to go home, when suddenly my car decided to DIE as I was driving it onto Rock Creek Parkway in the middle of D.C. I would've really panicked, in all likelihood probably freezing in my dying-engine tracks as the rush hour traffic crunched around me. Fortunately, Mumma (the little one's maternal grandma) was in the car with us and served as the voice of reason. "Pull off the road as best you can. Get off the road and into the bike path." And you know what? That's exactly what I did. We coasted off the road, baja-ing from the left lane all the way to the right, with other drivers swearing and swerving around us, my mom offering calm guidelines, the little guy babbling away, thankfully oblivious, and myself a bundle of tense nerves... slowly coming to a rolling stop on the bike path as the mid-afternoon sun blazed down upon us. I won't torture you with details of the 2 hour long wait, but it involved my husband hitching a ride with his colleague to rescue me, my mom, and the baby (who was, saints be praised, the most patient little guy throughout the whole ordeal, not crying once) and a tow truck NOT coming to pick up my car until almost midnight that evening! Good thing we decided not to wait around.
It was a nightmare, to be sure, but somehow through it all I felt lucky, and, as I rocked the little one to sleep that night, exhausted and sunburnt after an enjoyable day at the Zoo and a not-so-enjoyable ordeal on the parkway, I realized how extremely lucky we were. Just to be able to chalk it up to an annoying but somewhat humorous event, rather than a heinous disaster with an unspeakable outcome. Maybe my son knew this all along, his patience a testament to his gratitude.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The first word has paved the way to the first absolutely-positively-read-it-to-me-over-and-over-again FAVORITE book: Go, Dog, Go! I have to admit it's a great book, with some reassuring life lessons ("Now it is night. Night is not the time for play.") It's also just perfect for the little guy, who points to it after every diaper change or before every nap with an urgent plea: "ca!" It's especially fitting, since his very first toy was a small, stuffed blue Go Dog, complete with red car, from Uncle Jim ... who brought it to us the day we all came home from the hospital on 4.27.07 - almost exactly one year ago!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Our little performer is quite a babbler. He's said all the basic sounds... "dada," "mama," "baba," etc. But I've never counted them as "real" words because he has never said them in connection with their actual, physical representations ... until today!
The first official word, for the books, folks, is "car." Hilariously, it comes out like "caca".
It was a pair of socks that inspired him - this new pair has a little yellow car on them and so I pointed them out. He immediately said "caca" in his growly monster voice and I thought, that's pretty funny, but really figured it was a fluke. However, I kept saying it, and he kept repeating it, in that same growly voice, and then I took him into the next room, where his little toy car was, and pointed to that and said "caca". He repeated me. Finally, he said it on his own, looking at the toy car. He did it a couple more times later, as we were preparing for naptime. But I really knew it had sunk in when we took him in our real car this afternoon and he saw his little matchbox car on his seat. I heard a little, under the breath mutter: "ca!"
Hooray! Funny how that little milestone makes me feel on top of the world. I've been smiling all afternoon. Just shows you how your perspective totally changes when you become a parent. You appreciate everything so much more.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I bought the little peanut his first pair of "big boy" shoes today. Since he just started to walk, I wanted him to have something that will give his tootsies lots of support when we play outside. Here he is trying out his new sneaks at the shoe store.
Now the day has given way to nighttime and he's fast asleep. It's the time of day every parent relishes, when you finally get to slow down, take a breath, and survey the landscape. But I've found it's also the time of day I'm most prone to little bittersweet pangs. They sneak up on me when I find an airplane lying at the bottom of the stairs, a small sock lying askew, bath toys floating in now-cold water. Any little object, it seems, can become a melancholy memento of this fleeting period in time. Once it was my electric toothbrush. As I started to use it late one night, I had to pause as I thought back to how much its "whirrrrrrrrr" noise made him smile earlier that day.
Well, tonight it was the new shoes. How tiny they looked next to the front door!
So, where to begin? Well, it's hard to summarize one's child in a couple of sentences, especially since we're still learning who he really is. So for now, I'll stick with the basics. He was born April 25th, 2007... 8 lbs., 11.5 oz, 21.5 inches long. Now, nearing his first birthday, he is a happy, engaging little boy. He started to crawl on New Year's Eve, when he was 8 months old. He just started walking a few weeks ago, right after he turned 11 months. He tests out his ability to take steps often, but he knows a surefire thing, and resorts to crawling when he really needs to get movin'. For now at least. He's quite a babbler, spouting a variety of noises - from a "dodel" ("DOH-dlll, DOH-dll, DOH-dll") which comes out when he's contentedly engrossed in something ... to a sound he reserves for animals, which sounds like the canned baby "aaaEEEyah" that you hear on all the commercials. His sounds much cuter in real life, though. (And so far, only cats, dogs, fish, and the occasional bird warrant this response). As of late he's adopted a monster growl which is really interesting. It would be neat if I could figure out how to post sound clips on this blog for your entertainment. I'll look into it.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Well, I've done it. I've jumped on the blogging bandwagon. I realize that by doing so the bar for churning out scintillating content in a semi-regular fashion is now raised, and I may not be able to hit the mark all the time (because really now, we can't always be interesting and hilarious). But let's face it ... I love my kid. And caring for him, obsessing about him, admiring him, playing with him, imagining what he will grow up to become ... it's all I do anymore. So why not document it? If nothing else, it'll be amusing for the family.
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