Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TEN Months

I've come to love Kelle Hampton's blog. She has a child with Down's Syndrome and I was reading a post about her having an emotional day in terms of being a parent. Really what she was describing likely is greater at times with parenting a special needs child. Yet, what she described.... we all feel it.

I knew I'd love my daughter. I knew I'd love her in a whole new way and I was excited and scared to know what it felt like. It is a different kind of love and one I'd never experienced before. It makes my heart want to explode with happiness, yet it also can bring such overwhelming fear and responsibility. Here's Kelle's take:

Everyone feels it at different places along the journey. I love them so deeply, so fiercely, so wholly that the thought of them not being okay is more painful than that of my own well-being. There is fear in parenthood... That fear never really disappears, and I'm well aware it exists. My job is to find an appropriate place for it, not to bury it completely but to manage it, to never let it outshine our zest for life and adventure. Sometimes, it's good to go there. To think about the what-ifs and sympathize with the families that do experience this reality. And it's uncomfortable. But I am becoming familiar with the beautiful process of ups and downs, ebb and flow, victory and defeat. They depend upon each other. We wouldn't know defeat if we didn't have victory to measure it against, and we wouldn't understand that breath-taking happiness is so wonderful if we couldn't compare it with lesser days of disappointment.

I am so touched and encouraged by Kelle's words today. She seems to be creeping into my mind these days. I really appreciate her balanced advice.

Here's looking back over the last month.

We went on another road trip. I had back-to-back conferences in Walla Walla. It was extra-special because YOU got to be with me!

Aunt Sue came the first trip and Daddy and Marcie the second! Life in a hotel room with you was sure different than our last hotel stay! You explored every inch of that room.

Can you believe their cribs? Jessica from my office said, "What - are they from the 1800s?"

You really enjoyed yourself.

The old crib didn't seem to bother you at all.

Aunt Sue loved getting to play with you. I think she enjoys your toys as much as you do!

We took you to the park and at first you did this.

And a little more of this.

Soon, you woke up to play!

You do love to swing! This was definitely the warmest weather you've been in since you were born (it was in the 90s).

Right about here is when it all started going downhill. You started getting cranky... you were hot... and getting so upset didn't help things. We got in the car, cranked the A/C and you just wouldn't calm down. Rather than take you back to the hotel (you were literally screaming) we pulled over to a shaded grassy area and just held you, gave you water and a bottle and eventually you calmed down. Poor bud! We quickly changed our minds about eating out that night. We were relieved you were finally feeling better and didn't want to chance it.

Instead - we came back to the hotel room and celebrated Aunt Sue's birthday camped out on the hotel room floor! I felt sad she had to celebrate away from her husband so I wanted to make it special, but she swears she loved it! We just want you happy, baby girl!

Next thing you know - it was the Fourth of July. I have loved going to the local parade on the Fourth for years. It meant so much for you to join us this year. I rubbed my belly last year waiting for this day.

You were SO GOOD. I don't know why I was so surprised. You loved every minute of it.

Anna always saves us seats. She was super excited to get to share the parade with YOU!

You had to check everything out.

Anna really enjoyed you. She calls you "E" and says she can't wait to take you to a rodeo! She even bought you cowboy boots! She's a good friend and you're lucky to have her in your life!

Cousin Marshelle had her 40th and we celebrated Hawaiian style!

Not sure why you are yawning here because I got you home on time and you still stayed up super late that night!

Your cousin Mariah just adores you! Pretty girls!

You really love to touch things and lately it has often turned into hitting - the dog, cat, PEOPLE! You were hitting Uncle Harry!

I missed it on camera, but you can see by their smiles - you just did it again! Oh boy - we're going to have to work on this! Gentle, gentle!

Speaking of getting into trouble. You've played a little rough with Wilson as I recently captured here.

It is so hard to capture a decent picture of you lately as you are always on the move. I do love this one - you are quiet and sweet - and I love those sweet cheeks. I will sure miss them when they are gone one day.

You are so close to walking. We're waiting for you to stand on your own - that is the next step.

The cat is on the bed - in case you were wondering.

You pull yourself up on everything. Fortunately, this table is sturdy, but some them are not!

Daddy calls this being the "doggie". You walk around with a toy or something you've found in your mouth and crawl to your next destination. In this case, it is a picture of your cousin, Tanner!

We got to break out the summery pajamas! Thanks, Grandma Deanie! You are doing so well with sleep lately. You've been sleeping an average of 11 hours with no wakeups!! Such a good girl! You are ready for us in the morning. You are usually jumping up and down with excitement when we come in!

Monthly photos were so hard this go around. I definitely need a helper next month. You do NOT want to sit still. But, how can I resist this cute face?

Or this one? You have your two teeth on bottom. Four new teeth on top and a new one popping up down below next to your two front teeth. Teething causes some intermittent fussiness, but so far it still hasn't caused us too much trouble.

Sometimes snacks are more fun on the floor.

This is the cabinet Daddy baby-proofed just tonight. It has all our baking ingredients and yesterday you got out the baking soda. Yeah, you're fast.

I've still never mastered getting on top of your fingernails that grow faster than I can keep up with. Our new plan of action? You watch your minute or so Muppet Show slideshow on Youtube while I madly clip them. You are so engrossed that you don't even care.

You are done with purees. You love everything about solid food and I think lemons are really the only thing you will not eat. Your latest fave is blueberries and you recently shared tofu phad thai with me and LOVED it! That's my girl!

You are pretty much weaned off the bottle. We still have them on-hand if you need it, but otherwise you are drinking all your formula in a sippy cup and in just two short months we'll be switching to whole milk. You love drinking your water from a sippy with a straw. I'm so happy this transition has gone so easily.

Here, you're fussing because I couldn't hold you. I was trying to take pictures of our friend's newborn baby (photos to be shared soon). Yes, our session was cut short as you weren't having it!

Here's my absolute favorite picture of the entire month. I want to smooch you every time I see it.

Sweetie, thanks for another month brightening our lives for the better. I love every inch and everything about you (even when you grind your teeth)! I hope we come close to being the parents you deserve. I love you more each second that passes. You keep my heart full. Happy ten months, sweet pea!



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