A Seat At The Table

Julianna, at 5.5 months, you are devouring quite a variety of foods. For breakfast you have your choice (which is whatever mom gives you) of peaches, applesauce or bananas. And for Dinner, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and green beans have all been introduced. By far, sweet potatoes are your favorite and you show us this by waiting with your mouth open while we are scooping the next bite out of the bowl.

Up until about a week ago, we were feeding you while holding you on our laps. It was quite a challenge to wipe the excess off your face with the spoon or to even get everything in your mouth before you turned your head, all while holding down your arms so you wouldn't stick your hands or your bib in your mouth. We finally decided on a high chair, and I think we are all quite happy with it. It has a lot of size adjustments so it will grow with you, and it even has some removable padding that keeps you from sliding around since you are such a tiny squirt. It's also great to have a place to put you while I prepare your food. We mix rice cereal into your solids and you watch us intently while we do it. There is no allowance for us to get distracted. That rice cereal box is the promise that food is coming, and if we are not looking at you or mixing food, we hear about it.

So far we are able to keep you fairly clean by wiping your face with the spoon after each bite. But I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before we have to spray you down after every meal. You already are showing a lot of interest in the bowls we serve you from. Luckily, right now, the high chair tray is wider than your arm is long.


The Office.

We have worked out a pretty good morning routine if you ask me. Daddy wakes up at 6am to get ready for work, and you are always awake in your crib ready to start the day (usually crying). So Daddy is the one who goes in to get you first thing, and, according to him, he is greeted with a HUGE smile. He changes your diaper, talks to you and then puts you to work in your office.

You LOVE your exersaucer. I think it's mainly because you get to stand up-right (your favorite position - after all, who would want to waste time lying down or sitting when you can stand and see the world?!). And the exersaucer provides so many options. You can turn in a full circle and select whatever the mood calls for. I thought there would be certain toys that would never get touched, but you make your rounds... each and every toy has been fully explored. There are favorites though, like this see-sawing lion. With your hands at 10 and 2, it looks like you are driving a car. We watch from across the room in the kitchen, and you look up to flash us the biggest smile we've seen in our lives. And as long as we talk to you and sing your name, you will smile over and over again, and the see-sawing lions are all but forgotten until we turn our attention away. I hope you are not so easily distracted when you turn 16 and we have to turn over the keys!

Back at your desk, you are willing to put in 15, maybe 20, minutes of hard work before you decide it is time for a break. There is one important office supply which will sometimes prolong your attention span; it relaxes you, allows you to concentrate and keeps you from complaining. Heck, I bet a lot of companies would benefit from investing in a few pacifiers!

By 7am, you are ready for breakfast, so Dad carries you down the hall to our bedroom where the two of you stand in the doorway while I get up and get dressed. You don't take your eyes off me from that moment on. If I want to do anything before we get down to the business of feeding you, Daddy has to put all energies into distracting you. I never realized when I signed up for this job that you would be such a micro-manager. But, I have to admit, it's the best job I've ever had, so I suppose the benefits are pretty good.

After refreshments you move on to solids, downing a carton of baby food mixed with rice cereal. Your face is cleaned, you get your medicine and then we visit Daddy while he finishes getting ready for work. It's all very tiring, and by the time Daddy is walking out the door, you are being swaddled for your morning nap. You nuzzle into my neck with one arm reaching up over my shoulder while I pat you to sleep. And as I lay you in your crib I notice that your favorite office supply is still working it's magic.


Car Window

Lately, we have experienced major progress in car rides. Just a few short weeks ago you would cry every time we put you in your car seat, and often it would escalate to all out screaming, making it hard to concentrate on driving anywhere. But since we diagnosed and addressed your acid reflux, we now look back at you in the rear view mirror and see a silent baby looking out the window as the world passes her by. A sense of peace and freedom suddenly comes over us. Where do we want to go? Anywhere! The sky is the limit!

The other day, Daddy said when he sees you looking out the window with complete wonderment, it makes him happy. There are little things in our lives that remind us of our childhood, whether it be the smell of freshly cut grass on a warm summer day, the sight of birthday candles flickering on a cake, or the sound of dress shoes walking down the hall as they are about to head to work. They remind us of our childhood innocence. And seeing you looking out the window reminds us of a time when we weren't so much thinking of where we were trying to go or what time we needed to be there. Instead the passing trees and lakes and tall grass allowed us to drift into our imaginations, where we partook in adventures only possible in day-dreams conjured up from the seat of the car. And all the while, we had the security of knowing that our parents were the drivers, responsible for getting us where we needed to be.

Reflecting on these feelings gives us the uncanny realization that now we are the parents and someone is looking to us to provide that sense of comfort and stability. It's a big responsibility, but luckily the punches come in stages, and right now we just have to take care of your basic needs. And part of doing that, is enjoying all the cuteness you bestow on us. We fall in love with you more every day. It's so easy. Especially when we arrive home, open the passenger door, and find this:

The day's adventures wearing you completely out. And off to dreamland you go. We lift you carefully from the car and carry you to the kitchen table. And then we stand and admire those chubby cheeks and perfect little lips. And we want to give them a thousand kisses and preserve them in a hundred photographs.


Valentine's Day

It must have been a little embarrassing to Julianna that she was accompanied by her mother on her first date. Her friend, Jack, invited her out for brunch a few days before Valentine's day and when she arrived at the table her first ever Valentine's Day card was waiting for her! Jack was born exactly one week after Jules, but it's been a bit of a joke comparing the two side by side... "Jack the Giant" and "Jules the Shrimp" make for quite a pair. Jack's mom wrote about their date on her blog, and rather than recounting it myself, I thought I'd just post her version....

Jack had his first Valentines date last Friday when he met Jules for lunch at George's. Jules ordered the Eggs Domata and a latte while Jack jumped straight to the Feta Burger with a beer since technically it was after noon. The conversation between the two was mostly about diet and exercise (i.e. solid foods and exersaucers). They also laughed about keeping their moms on their toes with their unpredictable napping. Jules also showed Jack her trick to get her mom to take her out of her car seat and hold her at the table. Jack tried, but to no avail...better luck next time.
As a passive observer I'd say there was a love connection made.

Side Note: I'm going to TRY to start being a better blogger, basically as a way to document some of what's going on in Julianna's life so that later I can easily add these stories to her baby book without having to try to recall everything from memory! I'm also doing this as a way for her grandparents to have a little weekly dose of their grand baby. Since I'm so far behind, there will be a small flurry of posts to try to catch up a bit, and then after that, fingers crossed, things will be slightly more regular. So ladies, feel free to unsubscribe if this becomes less than pertinent to you, because as I said, this will be more of a personal way to keep up with our daily happenings. But if you'd like a little daily, weekly or monthly Jules (which ever it happens to be), I hope you enjoy! :)

Good Luck Charm

Daddy and his little Saint all geared up to watch the Super Bowl. She must have been a good luck charm!