Friday, May 26, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 54 WEEKS OLD)

I was having a conversation recently with someone about what it’s like to be a parent of a one year old and they asked me to describe what a typical day is like in my life. I stared back with a blank expression.
“Typical?”, I asked.
They tried again: “Yes, you know, what is a normal day like?”
I slowly replied: “Hmmmmm….typ-i-cal….NOR-mal….uhhhhhhhhhh….”. I rolled the words around in my head, trying to search for some meaning, but none would come. It’s not that the fog of sleeplessness had rendered me completely unable to understand the English language. It’s just that we said “sayonara!” to normal a long time ago. There is no “typical” in our world anymore. I might wake up every hour during the night OR I might get to sleep in until 9:00 a.m. I might be able to run all of my errands, clean the house and have time to cook dinner OR I might have a cranky baby who won’t let me go to the bathroom by myself. Some days we’re sick and some days we’re well…basically the only expectation of normalcy is that no two days will be the same. It can be frustrating because it’s difficult to make definitive plans, but it’s also part of what I love about being a parent…we just never know what’s going to come our way. So we’ll sacrifice normalcy for awhile and embrace the chaos in exchange for all of the wonderful unexpected moments.

More birthday pics:
Week54a Week54b Week54c

Taylor climbed down ALL of the stairs in our house, from the very top floor all the way to the garage!
Week54d Week54e

The artist at work:
Week54f Week54g Week54h Week54i

T.J. in her new backpack carrier:
Week54j

Friday, May 19, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 53 WEEKS OLD)

What a week it’s been…last Wednesday, Taylor and I packed up and drove down to Fresno to visit with her grandma C.R. We spent a couple of days there and had a little celebration with her great-aunt and -uncle. Taylor was totally content rummaging through Grandma’s kitchen cabinets while C.R. baked her a birthday cake. Later, T.J. had her first taste of the good stuff…cake AND ice cream (DELICIOUS!) She was showered with presents, but the balloons and the bubbles got the biggest grins.
Week53b Week53c Week53a Week53d Week53f Week53g Week53h

We took it easy on Saturday, but when Sunday afternoon rolled around we went to my parent’s house where there was another gathering. More family, more food and a mini-cupcake for the birthday girl. Taylor beamed when we sang “Happy Birthday” to her and she took a small bite of the cupcake. She was a bit out of sorts and by the time we got home, she had a temperature of 100 degrees. We didn’t know it at the time, but she had her first ear infection, so I was up with her all night. In the morning, we were quite a sight…Zach found both of us passed out on her floor. He took her to the doctor and got her some antibiotics and she’s in much better shape now.

Week53i Week53j Week53k Week53l

Taylor has really been moving forward with a few developmental milestones. She’s learned how to get down off of the bed safely. Sometimes she forgets and when we see her charging forward to the edge of the bed, we’ll tell her to “Go down safely”. She’ll turn her back to the edge of the bed, stick her leg out, and lower herself down feet first. We’re amazed that she actually listens. Her walking skills are also improving every day. If she keeps up the momentum with her walking, then she’ll be RUNNING in no time!

The most exciting development (for me) is that she’s learned to shake her head when she wants to say “NO”. This is the first communication tool that she’s developed that isn’t some sort of hybrid baby-language that only Zach or I would understand. When she shakes her head, she is adamant and clear and anyone would know what she means. I’m sure there will be days when I will wish that she had never learned the concept of “NO”, but right now it’s really wonderful to be moving to the next level of communication.

Friday, May 12, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 52 WEEKS OLD)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TAYLOR!!!
DSCF0428

That’s right – Taylor is ONE YEAR OLD today. This year has just breezed right by. Sometimes it’s impossible to imagine that it’s been 52 weeks since Taylor was born. People always say to me, “Enjoy this time, because they grow so fast”, which sounds like such a cliche, but it’s true. There’s another cliche I hear all the time, which is that it’s all worth it and I have to say that’s true as well. We feel truly blessed to have Taylor in our lives.

Wrestling with Mom & Dad:
DSCF0419 DSCF0422 DSCF0443 DSCF0462

Searching for Narnia:
DSCF0461

Friday, May 5, 2006 (TAYLOR IS 51 WEEKS OLD)

Well, it didn’t take long for Zach to get Taylor some media exposure…take a look at the Instructables website, where our very own Taylor Radding has a cameo. Sure, she plays second banana to a laser cutter, but as they say, “There’s no such thing as bad press”!

I’ve noticed that T.J.’s developmental milestones seem to peak all at once and then she plateaus for awhile, then another peak, etc. This past two weeks, we seem to have been in a peak stage. She’s taken her first steps, she learned how to go downstairs and last night she stood up for the very first time without any assistance or props. She did it so naturally, it was as if she’s been doing it all along.

If you see grey hairs on my head where there weren’t any before, here’s why: I was in the laundry room, moving clothes from the washer to the dryer and Taylor was hanging out with me, entertaining herself by opening and closing one of the cabinet doors over and over and over. Then she opened the door to the laundry room and crawled into the hallway. Usually Taylor sticks pretty close by, so I thought I had a few seconds to finish what I was doing, but when I finished up and went into the hallway she was nowhere to be found. I called for her, but I didn’t hear the familiar little giggle that she gives when she’s “hiding” from me. I ran down the hallway and found her at the top of the stairwell, contemplating how to get down. We’ve taught her how to get down the stairs (with very tentative steps), but she has attempted it headfirst before, so I almost had a heart attack when I saw her there all alone. I think that keeping up with this baby might be causing me to age prematurely!

Week51a Week51b Week51c Week51d Week51e Week51f Week51g Week51i Week51j