Sunday, December 13, 2009

One Small Step...

Well, Lily keeps hitting her milestones.  These were not her first steps, she just started walking the other day, a few steps here and there.  Five days ago was the one year anniversary of Lily's due date, so she's right on time.  Go Lily!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Lily!

I know I've been a bit lax lately with the updates, so I thought I'd use the occasion of Lily's 1st birthday to get you caught up and get back on track.  So here goes.

It's hard to believe a year has passed.  When Amanda and I think back to this time last year and the general state of shock we were in, we never could have imagined how things turned out.  Lily has grown past all our expectations and turns people to mush everywhere she goes.  She shows absolutely no signs of premature birth, and is catching up nicely on her growth chart.

At the end of June, we were a little concerned with some of her progress.  Coming up on nine months, Lily hadn't been sitting up yet and was very objectionable to tummy time.  Our community health nurse, Sue,  gave us a few exercises to work on but Lily wasn't all that interested. 
By July 5th, Lily was sitting up on her own.  And for a few weeks, that was all she wanted to do.  She would sit up in bed and tear apart a magazine, or eat, or just hang out with us.  Until she discovered walking.  Just about a month later, at the beginning of August, Lily officially became an explorer.  With the help of mom or dad, or anyone who wanted to hold her by the hands, Lily started cruising all over the place.  The problem was she was no longer interested in sitting, when we would put her on the floor to sit she would start crying until someone helped her up and took her for a walk. 

Until she started climbing.  At a doctors appointment on August 11th, her 10 month birthday, which is considered her 8th month developmentally, I was holding her in a standing position when she put one foot up on the footrest of a chair and then pushed herself up onto the step.  In my disbelief, I put her back down and she did it again.  As soon as we got home, I wanted to see if that was a fluke or if she was ready for stairs.  I put her in front of our stairs and she put one foot up and then the other.  I was holding her up but not helping her, she went up the stair all by herself.  And then the next, and the next, until she had climbed an entire flight of stairs.  I was in shock, but I really shouldn't have been, considering her track record of amazement.  She now goes up the stairs like she was born doing it, 

At this time Lily was dependent on one of us to get around, we would hold her hands and she would wander.  Then in early September she began to crawl.  Slowly at first, a few steps here and there.  She would crawl with one knee on the floor and use her other foot to push her along.  That went on until near the end of September when she started crawling on both knees at light speed.  When she started crawling up the two steps from the living room to the kitchen, we had to start putting up defenses and finally got our first gate.

On October 1st, we found Lily standing up in her crib for the first time.

And a few days later, here she is looking out the window.

So here we are on Lily's first birthday.  I made her pancakes this morning, something I've been looking forward to for a year now, and hope to do for years to come.  

The little girl who once weighed 2lbs, 6oz, is now just about larger than life, and if you could measure her by her smile alone, she would be larger than life.  Wherever we take her, there are two questions we get more than any others, "does she always smile that much?" and "is she always that happy?"

Happy Birthday Lily.  We love you.

Don't forget to breathe.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Football Larry

For the first time since I started this blog nearly a year ago, I have had to remind myself to breathe.  My father passed away last week, Friday, September 18th, two days after his 74th birthday.  The flood of emotions has been overwhelming, but I somehow find myself breathing in and breathing out.

I have sometimes described my dad as the biggest pain in the ass in my life, but he was also the best man I ever knew.  I am deeply saddened to know that my daughter will not get to know Grampa Larry and that he only had a glimpse into her life.  Since shortly after Lily was born, we have been planning on moving back to Michigan to be closer to family, and I know that made my father happy as he continued to battle his health issues.

I couldn't speak at my father's funeral because I don't think I could have kept it together, but there are some things I would like to share from my 43 years of memories and lessons learned.  I often hear people say "mad father taught me how to be a man," but more importantly, my father taught me how to be a person.  I learned from my father that when someone needs you, you're there.   When someone needs to talk you lend an ear, when someone needs to cry you lend a shoulder, when someone needs a dollar you lend two.  When someone goes through a door you hold it open, when someone is down you pick him up.  

One of my earliest memories was the day my dad brought home or first family dog.  Without telling anyone, he brought the dog home, came inside, and said "come outside, I want you to see something."  My mom, my sisters and I, five years old or so at the time, went outside, and there was our puppy.  That was the first time I learned of my dad's love of surprise.

To my father, there was nothing more important than family.  In my youth, when he often worked long hours and was extremely busy during tax season, his receptionist was told to put any call through to him that came from family, a simple act that instilled a strong sense of family in me.  The family vacations we took were probably some of the greatest joys he ever had.  He wanted his children to experience as much as we possibly could.

When I was in the fourth grade, dad started getting season football tickets to his beloved University of Michigan, which he continued to do until his death 32 years later.  When I graduated high school, I think we had missed about three games in those eight years.  Football Saturdays in Ann Arbor were the greatest Saturdays a son could spend with his father.  But it wasn't enough to take me to the games, he always had at least four tickets, and enjoyed sharing his extra seats with different people every game.  Years later, after I had moved out of town, he had his seats together with an old family friend who was now bringing his young son to the games.  It was this five year old who gave my dad the moniker "Football Larry," a nickname he wore as proud as the maize and blue beanie he used to wear to the games.

If the measure of a man is the impact he has on other peoples lives, my father was a great man.  Although he had his flaws, as we all do, anyone who knew him for who he truly was, knew the sharpness of his mind, the warmth of his heart, and the goodness and generosity of his soul.  My father left this world with nothing because he gave everything he had.  He taught me to give, he taught me to love, and he taught me to live.

I miss him already.

(Don't forget to breathe.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Can't Walk Yet, But...

I can't walk yet, so I'm not really sure how mom and dad expect me to go three and a half miles in a mere 39 days, but that seems to be the plan.  On May 3, 2009, Mom, Dad and I will be walking to raise money for March of Dimes.  That means I have to do a shameless plug here and ask you to donate.  It's pretty well documented how small I was when I was born, but in case you need a reminder...

October 15, 2008

The other day, I was weighed at 12lbs, 5oz.  It's hard to believe I was ever that small, but thanks to organizations like March of Dimes, I have thrived.

March 3, 2009

Thanks! and...

Don't Forget To Breathe

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Turn

O.K., I'm taking over this blog now.  My daddy has been "too busy" lately to keep you posted on my progress, so I thought I'd chime in myself.

First of all, I've been sleeping in my new crib the past few weeks and I think I like it.  I have a pretty mobile over my head that plays some music over and over.  I wish I could change the music from time to time,  but I like the spinning stuff.  It keeps me occupied until I fall asleep.  My mom says it was kind of weird at first when I wasn't in the bedroom with her and dad the first few nights, but every time I started crying, one of them was right there right away.  It's as if they're monitoring me or something.

On the subject of sleeping, I guess I take after my dad, because that is now one of my favorite things to do.  I never realized those first few months what I was missing.  Lately, I've been going to bed between 8-9pm, and I usually sleep until at least 5am, sometimes as late as 7:30.  Then I get up and have a nice breakfast, which I prefer rather than eating every few hours all night.  I feel much better rested this way, and coincidentally, so do my mommy and daddy.  To all you newborns out there, I recommend this sleep thing as soon as you can!

Here I am in my new crib.

How cute am I?

On Wednesday, March 4, I weighed in at 11 lbs, 11 oz.   They switched my formula to a new one with fewer calories because I was growing so well, I don't need the special preemie formula anymore, so I may not be gaining as much as I used to.  We'll see what happens when I adjust to the new stuff.

Also of note, mom and dad have been playing a lot of music for me.  So far my favorites are Nina Simone, The Beatles, Miles Davis, The Grateful Dead, and whatever else come up on the ipod shuffle.  

Don't Forget To Breathe

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Movie Night

We went to see Slumdog Millionaire the other night, which is a great movie, if you haven't seen it yet, you should.  I know I don't usually write about movies here, and this is no exception.  The point is, we went to a movie.  In the theater.  With popcorn.  My mom was in town, and insisted that we go out at least one night while she stayed home with Lily.  She said it would be good for us to get out, although I believe she had ulterior motives for getting rid of us, i.e. spending a few hours alone with her granddaughter and using that time to brainwash her about the joys of shopping.  It was a bit surreal leaving the house, but we felt we had sufficiently trained my mom in how to take care of a baby, that we could sneak away for a little bit.  Miraculously, when we got back home, everyone was ok, and we all went out for dinner.  My mom went back home yesterday, Lily has been de-programmed, and we got to see a great movie.  Thanks Mom!

Don't Forget To Breathe.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back To The Grind

Lily was 17 weeks old yesterday, and weighed in at 10lbs, 1oz a few days ago, now more than 4 times her birth weight of 2lbs, 6oz.  I can actually hug her now when I hold her without feeling like I'm going to do her harm.

Lily's new favorite thing to do is Smile!  Her second new favorite thing to do is Sleep!  
She's been sleeping much better the past week or two, sleeping as much as 6-7 hours at a time. She still hasn't slept through the night yet, but has come dangerously close.
She has been smiling quite a bit the past few days, and that has been great to see.

Tomorrow is Amanda's first day going back to work.  We've been extremely lucky to have both spent the amount of  time with Lily these past few weeks as we have.  I have travelled a little, and worked a few days here and there in town, but have been home for the most part.  Amanda has been fortunate to have the amount of time off from work that she's had, and we're sad to see that come to an end.

The good news is she'll only be working half days, and should be home by noon most days.  I'll stay home with Lily, travel on the weekends when I have to, and work in the afternoon/evenings in Seattle when I can.

These pictures were all taken this afternoon.  Enjoy.

Don't Forget To Breathe.