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Julia's Second Year Stories

Check here for updates you may have missed, and a chronology of our progress!

Sunday April 17, 2005:
It was a gorgeous day today, wasn't it?  Warm sun, gentle breeze, temperatures in the 70's.  Perfect.
It was exactly like this exactly one year ago.  How can I be so sure?  Exactly one year ago we brought our beautiful baby daughter home from the hospital.  And I remember what a glorious spring day it was that day.
I can't believe it has been a year already. 
A year of firsts:  first elevator ride, first car ride, first night at home.  First smile, first doctor appointment, first Mother's and Father's Day.  First swim in the pool, first foods, first day at daycare.  First time rolling over, first time sitting up, first time pulling up, first time crawling, first time standing alone.  First bath, first teeth, first sippy-cup, first piggy-tails!!
A year of lasts:  last contraction, last push, last day at the hospital.  Last size 1 diaper, last size 0-3 months clothes, last bath at the sink, last bath in the infant tub.  Last time at breast, last bottle, last can of formula.  Last day of maternity leave, last day working full time, last day of daycare. 
A very full year indeed.  We have learned so much!  Yes, we learned the basics:  how she likes to be held, what toys she prefers, what foods she hates.  But we learned more important things too, things we'd forgotten as we became adults.  We learned to find joy in simple things:  the clapping of hands, a splash in the tub, the soft fur of a cat.  We learned to slow down and take time to snuggle every morning and greet the day gently, to read books again and again and discover something new every time, to say our prayers every night.  We learned to be silly, to play silly games, and to sing silly songs.  And to remember how good all of that feels.
Happy Birthday, Julia Chanelle.  You amaze us and bring smiles to our faces countless times every single day.  Thank you.  And may the coming year be filled with much more learning and growth -- for all three of us!

Friday May 13, 2005:

Wow, it's halfway through May already!  It's warming up around here and it's been sunny a lot more, and as you can see, we've been enjoying it fully!

We've been really busy since our last update.  We took our cruise (click here to see the site and pictures: )and we had a beautiful Mother's Day last Sunday, going to Church, out for chinese food at Aloha and then to visit Julia's Mammy (and Papa too!). 

Julia has grown four more teeth since the last update (all four of her one year molars! YIKES!), and is doing better every day adding real foods to her diet.  She's pretty squeamish about touching foods that are wet/cold/slimy/sticky so that has limited us somewhat.  But just yesterday she ate a real banana right out of the peel!  She had a steak dinner last Saturday night, a few bites of chinese food on Sunday, ground beef on Tuesday, and some chicken last night.  She is definitely wanting to try stuff that's coming off of OUR plates; hey if that's what works we're up for it!

She still isn't walking on her own, but will now walk holding on to just one of our hands.  She's really doing it almost entirely independently, and I think as soon as she gains more confidence in herself she'll be off and (literally) running!  She is starting to use signs with us (we've been doing Baby Signs for about a month now) and it's so exciting!  She definitely does "all done", she has done "eat" several times, "milk" several times, and her newest one this week is "airplane" which she learned very quickly while we were outside watching the airplanes go by and playing in the yard.  It's so cool to get to see inside of her mind a little bit more with the signs.  I'm glad we gave it a try -- I was really so skeptical!

We had our visit with the ear, nose, and throat specialist earlier this month too.  Dr. Bartels definitely recommends ear tubes to treat Julia's recurrent ear infections.  She's basically had an ear infection since December (with short breaks here and there, but at least one every month!) and Dr. Bartels said that he is concerned it could start to affect her speech development since her hearing is impacted by the constant fluid behind the ear drum.  We are awaiting a date for the procedure, but it should be soon, maybe even before the end of the month.  We'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 20, 2005:
Julia is now 14 months old!
Boy has it been a BUSY month!  Julia has had a lot going on this month.  She began to really walk on Tuesday June 7th after taking a few tentative steps here and there beginning on May 31st.  She is toddling around everywhere, and tries to run at times too.  She is signing more and more, and has most recently learned the sign for "Thank you!" and "Cat".  She is no longer eating baby food, eating whatever we're eating at each and every meal.  She has little interest in feeding herself with a spoon, but has expanded the list of things she will feed to herself by fingers.
She stayed for the weekend with her Mammy and Papa Bill up at Lake Winnepesaukee from June 10-12 and spent three days with her Mimi and Papa John while I was away at a nurses convention in Salt Lake City.  Daddy did a tremendous job of taking care of her, too, and they got by just fine without me. 
On June 16th she had ear tube surgery to insert tubes into her ears.  We were nervous about the surgery, but after her Audiology appointment on June 1st showed she had diminished hearing in both ears (left worse than right), we knew we had to go ahead with it.  She did beautifully, and by the afternoon of the surgery she was back to her bright and smiling self as if the events of the morning had never occurred.
We've spent a lot of time at the park, trying to take advantage of nice days when they happen.  She LOVES to swing on the swing, but since it makes her drowsy she doesn't stay on too long before she asks to get down.  She has a blast climbing up the ladder for the slide, and enjoys sliding down too.  We had an afternoon at Hampton Beach (see pictures above) and while she wasn't too sure of the sand OR the waves, she still had fun watching the people and trying to run around.
We enjoyed a nice Father's Day yesterday.  We went out for brunch with the Vattes family and spent part of the afternoon with the Focht's and Papa Bill.  Julia got her Daddy a piece of software so that he can turn her home movies into DVDs, so we can keep them in the fire box and protect them forever!
It's so hard to believe it... but she's getting further and further away from babyhood, and closer to being a little girl every single day.  It both makes me proud, and breaks my heart <3!! 

Here are two of my very first pictures:

Julia and Mimi
Dec 2005

Proud parents Shane and Jennifer-Ann Vattes were blessed with the arrival of a beautiful daughter, Julia Chanelle Vattes, on Thursday April 15, 2004 at 2:36 a.m.  WELCOME MISS JULIA!!! YOU ARE LOVED!!!!