We both started back at work February 1st with the new semester, so this has been a time of adjustment - learning how to manage the demands on our time while enjoying the wonder of Dana. We have been very lucky, and managed to organize things so we both get to spend time with Dana every day, and keep on top of things at work.
Gloria is the reason we are sane. We were incredibly lucky in that she was the first person referred to us by an employment agency. We interviewed her the day we heard about her, gave her an offer a few hours later, and she accepted immediately! She started work Feb 8 and is here taking care of Dana 10am-5pm Monday-Friday. Gloria is friendly, experienced and trustworthy. Allison stays home in the morning with Dana and hands off childcare duties at 10am, just in time for Dana's nap. I come home at 5pm to take care of Dana, just when she wakes up from her second nap, and then take care of her in the evening (Allison teaches in the evening some days, and comes home a bit later.)
And the most important thing is that Dana loves her. Dana couldn't be happier when I come home every day.
Dana continues to be happy, friendly, and outgoing. She is playing with her friend Fred the contractor here. Only 3 months late, Fred finally did finish redoing our bathroom - not exactly how we wanted to start our time with Dana at home, but at least that is done.
Dana is growing in every way imaginable. Aside from the 3 inches and 3 pounds she has gained since we've had her, she is continuously developing new skills and interests. Aside from pressing buttons (which she truly does love), reading books is her next favorite thing to do. If we're not around to read to her, she'll pick up her books and read to herself (la la la, ba ba da ba la la gaaaaaaaaa). She continues to enjoy numerous gifts which we all greatly appreciate. Here, she is wearing a little bracelet from Aunt Selma.
We've had a bit of warm weather, and we all have been beginning to enjoy the sunroom. Dana's favorite spot is swinging in the hanging chair. And, if we tickle her tummy every time she swings toward us, she shrieks with delight!
Dana has been blessed with sleep. Except for when she has been sick (twice so far), she sleeps all night from 8pm to 7am. And, she takes two naps resulting in a life that easily has more sleep than wakefulness. So imagine my surprise when Allison wakes me up last night at 4:30am and I don't hear Dana. What I do hear is thumps, bumps, and wumps. Allison is frightfully insisting that I see what all that noise is at the foot of our bed! As Dana fades from mind, I remember our other children - the three cats. Tria, it seems, has decided to prove his prowess by bringing in a mouse for soccer practice. While Shana and Pete (the other two cats) sit on our bed and a dresser, respectively, staring at the action, Tria pounces the mouse. A right hook, a toss with the left paw, a backwards double pounce, and good chomp with the teeth. The poor mouse doesn't have a chance as Tria, probably 200 times bigger, puts his full cat powers into the pounce. No longer asleep, and with Allison prodding me, I wait until the mouse manages to get caught up in a pair of underwear in my closet. I push Tria away and dump the mouse in the toilet (and throw the underwear away). We thank Tria for the demonstration of his excellent cat skills and go back to bed being thankful that Dana doesn't do that.
Dana turned one year old on Feb 8, and we had a wonderful party to celebrate. Dana's grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, and many of her friends were there. Dana was usual flirtatious self, jumping around from the arms of one guest to another. Here, she's enjoying her new rocking chair (from aunt Karen and uncle John).
And she spent lots of time playing with cousins Allison and Lauren.
And she got to spend more time with her closest-in-age cousin, Chloe (with aunt Lauren and uncle Tom). They really enjoyed playing with each other.
And as if her party wasn't enough, Dana continued her social adventures. She had her first playdate with Clio, a one year old that lives in our neighborhood. Dana is just a few days older than Clio, and it is wonderful to see them side by side - they are at very similar developmentals, and they really enjoy playing with each other.
And the funniest thing is that Clio's mom's name is also Dana!
And finally, the miracle we've been simultaneously awaiting and dreading - Dana has started to walk. On February 19th, she took her first steps - and now, a month later, she is on her feet half the time. Still a bit wobbly, Dana runs across the room, falls down, and keeps crawling to wherever she is going, unfazed by her falls.
And she is so proud of herself - but of course, not half as proud as we are.
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All text and photos Copyright (c) 2000 Ben Bederson