Monday, May 26, 2008

FIRST WORD, new job, and other updates

Updates (meant to be written at 1 year, actually written 2 weeks later):

#1: FIRST WORD! So, I am very tardy on posting this most newly attained milestone. As I wrote awhile ago it has been clear that Joseph understands some words, but I have found it very difficult to tell when he is actually saying words himself. He makes so many sounds—constant babbling when he is in a good mood—that it is hard to sort out what is actually a bit of beginning English. However, 2 weeks ago when I picked Joseph up from daycare, Sarah (the totally amazing daycare provider) offhandly said, “oh and he said ‘hi’ a lot today.” When I was skeptical she told me, “well he waved and said hi to all the other kids, so he was definitely saying hi.” After we got home I realized she was right. Actually for a long time we have thought maybe he was saying kitty (“tee”) but never had proof. He also now says “Daddy” ALL the time as well as “uhoh” and he loves to point at things.
* Unfortunately our beloved kitty has gone missing. He has been gone for two weeks and we don’t expect a return. Very sad.
* Joseph is really starting to understand what things are used for and likes mimicking actions he sees. He “brushes his teeth” and hair. His new, very entertaining trick: If I hand him my cell phone he carefully opens it, puts it to his ear, and says hi! So cute, though probably also a sad comment on my telephone usage . . .
* His hair is out of control! It is so long that it is almost in his eyes when wet and not all curled up. I now have to comb it out after his bath and have caught myself thinking “if only I could use some barrettes.” So it is clear that the time has come for the first haircut. Just trying to fit it into the schedule . . .
* At his one year appointment he weighed 27 lbs 2 ozs and was 30 inches tall which means he is ON THE CHARTS for the first time since he was born! He also demonstrated for them both his charming happy self and his temper tantrum self.
* As reflected above we are finding out more and more about his personality. He is very opinionated. Persistent. He knows what he wants and what he doesn’t want. You should see him shake his head no. He can be the happiest most charming guy ever or he can FREAK OUT. He likes action and is happiest when a lot is going on. He is still a horrible sleeper and is crabby when it finally catches up to him.
* He is a climber. This is actually much scarier and dangerous then walking. Every day he figures out some new climbing scheme. He pretty much always has numerous black and blues. Half the time when falls though he doesn’t even care and just gets right back up.
* He is a very accomplished walker. He can bend over, squat down, navigate rough terrain outdoors, chase chickens, pretty nearly run, step over things, go anywhere he likes, carry things, drag things . . .
* In the fall I will be tackling my next big adventure: I will be teaching 5th and 6th grade part time (every morning) in Leicester, VT (nearby small town). I will be responsible for morning meeting, language arts, and math. I am so excited and also completely petrified. I think it is a great opportunity, but it pretty much feels like jumping off a cliff. I compare it to having a baby: you are never ready, it will be extremely hard, and I even plan to freeze some meals in perpetration. However it will hopefully also turn out to be totally worth it despite all the HARD work.

*Joseph gives real hugs now--both spontaniously and on demand. It seems like he is getting more cuddly as he gets older. Brad and I really enjoy this!
*My best friend Jenn is getting soooo close to having her baby. She is 32 1/2 weeks along. I am so happy for her, she is such a great friend, and I can't wait for her little guy or gal to be on the outside. Plus it will be nice when she can really understand what I mean by sleepless nights. Mostly, I just want to see the baby!! Place bets on what she is having on her blog if you like. I have predicted: a girl, 8 lbs, 15 ozs, 20.5 inches, on July 15 and I will win! All my love Jenn, Travis, and BABY!
* Today I planted my first garden (lettuce, spinach, basil, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, acorn squash, summer squash, and pumpkins). We will see how this experiment goes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

First Birthday Pictures

Joseph's big family birthday party:




Joseph's smaller birthday party with babygroup friends (and Father and Selma):






Joseph absolutely LOVED his big birthday party. We had about 25 family members over and even though the weather was a bit cold and grey, I think everyone had a good time. Joseph, newly walking, loved all the attention and all the food! He just wandered from one person to another, happy as could be. We had people at the house from about 1 in the afternoon until 8 at night and Joseph only fussed once (at bedtime). He would NEVER go that long without crying if it were just the 3 of us. It was also really nice to see the different sides of the family come together and the cousins making good use of the woods. And all the generous gifts were lots of fun and very appreciated as well. On Tuesday May 6th, Joseph's actual birthday I had a couple of our mom and baby friends over for another little party. Joseph wasn't quite as into this get together--I guess because he wasn't the only cute little baby this time. He totally refused the cake as you can see. But it was a good time anyways and playing in the sandbox (a gift from grandma and grandpa) was a big hit! It was really hard to take pictures during all this, with the weather and being a "hostess" and the crazyness of that time. Still we had a great time and there are lots of fun memories to satisfy my nostalgia (first birthdays are obviously more for moms than anyone else). Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Journal entry about Joseph turning 1 (long)

5/5/08:

Joseph turns 1 tomorrow. I have been excited about this day and dreading it for months. At first I didn’t think it would ever come. When I was pregnant I just couldn’t seem to really believe I was going to have the honor of having a real live baby. I was sure something would go wrong. Then, when he was born, I still was sure something would happen. When I started the “Babies First Year” books the whole later part seemed unrelated to me. So too did the word toddler. Throughout the year I have seen myself progress through the books; now I have read the afterward and started the toddler books. Honestly, it wasn’t until he reached 6 months (when the likelihood of SIDS lessens) that it really seemed to me that he would be around for awhile. So, in all of this I really never imagined myself as a mother of anything but a tiny helpless baby. Certainly not a wild and crazy and dirty toddler. But he is here. He has been around living his own life for a year now!! When I think about the fact he is a year old—as I do very often—I feel dizzy. I can’t quite get my breath. I feel shocked. Moved. Holy crap. I still feel like that girl who was soo surprised to find out she was pregnant. Things are moving so fast and I know that this is how life is, but damn. To explain a bit—I have always been nostalgic. Change is hard for me. Not because I don’t like the new whatever, but I am sad to see the old arrangement disappear. At the end of every single semester in college I mourned the change. And that is nothing compared to the pace at which Joseph is changing. Have you ever been in a car wash and the huge brushes come down and start whirring away on the car and you slam your foot on the break even though you know your car is in park? You are sure the car is moving and your body feels scared. You can’t catch your breath for a moment. That is how I feel when I think about Joseph being 1. A bit overdramatic I know, but true. I am excited about all the changes to come; about Joseph’s life ahead of him and my life as a mother and just as me. But I am still shocked to be here now with a one year old child. And I am downright sad the infant is gone forever: the blotchy brand new skin; the tightly curled fingers; the scrunched up and bent bowlegs; the flailing limbs; the tiny mouth helplessly forming a perfect O, silently opening and closing in hunger (all the time) and the sweet drugged sleep when fed. It is hard to remember that newborn Joseph. I have to search my mind for those memories, they are so seemingly distant. When I hold someone else’s infant it is a foreign experience. He is up and running now, with his own ideas and plans. He has quite a personality (wild, fun, opinionated). This crazy pace of growth and change will continue and I will spend my life feeling this same happy shock. What an experience!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Joseph!!

Joseph is one year old today. I cannot believe it. Happy Birthday! And happy "birth day" of another kind to me. It is certainly a bittersweet milestone.

I have lots of pictures and some other thoughts to share, so keep checking. Right now though I am too tired from all the festivities.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

From baby to toddler!


Joseph has now made the transition and is WALKING!!! This was a much clearer milestone then many. For almost three months he pulled himself up and cruised around and for about a week he would take a few steps here and there, seemingly by accident. This Tuesday (4/29/07) though he just took off. In the morning Father had visited and he and Brad worked hard to get Joseph to take some steps, which he did. Then after lunch Joseph and I were playing in his room and he took a couple steps. And then he did it again. And again. I called Brad to come watch and told him that Joseph seemed to be taking a lot of steps. And right then Joseph seemed to suddenly realize that this walking thing had potential. He just took off. He was soo excited he basically ran around with his hands in the air. He would go from one side of the room to the other and then crash into something or fall down and then take off again undaunted. It was so much fun that Brad got to be there and amazing to see how excited and happy Joseph was. Now, two days later, he can carry toys in each hand, he can turn corners, and he doesn't usually crash and fall. He still looks a little drunk and bowlegged with his hands in the air and he hasn't mastered walking on the uneven ground outside, but he sure can chase kitty around!

These pictures are all from that first walking session. How fun!