Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Julia bouncing with El Guapo


Julia with my Dad, Mike, who wants his granddaughter to call him "El Guapo" ("the handsome one").

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy One Month Birthday, Baby Julia!

Dear Julia,

Your Daddy and I have set up this blog so that we can share pictures, stories, and information about you with family and friends.  I am hoping to write you a letter each month.  This is your one month birthday letter! Happy one month birthday!

Let's start with your arrival. 

You were born on Friday, November 5.  Nana Judy arrived from New Mexico on Wednesday. I took Thursday off from work to spend time with her cleaning to get ready for your arrival.  Nana and I went for a walk around Town Lake, had a great lunch, and were playing cribbage with Daddy when I started having contractions around 9:00 on Thursday night.  Nana beat the pants off both of us, even though we were all trying to time the contractions while we played!  Around 11:00, we went to bed to try to get a good night sleep, since the contractions were regular but not very strong.  When I woke up Friday morning, the contractions had mostly stopped.  We went to see the doctor for our regular weekly checkup.

At the doctor's office the morning you were born

The doctor sent us out to lunch and for a walk with the hopes that contractions would start up again.  Boy, did they ever!  By the time we got to Pars (a middle eastern restaurant we love) around 11:15, the contractions were 3 minutes apart and really intense.  We had a little bit of lunch, then went home to wait until it was time to go to the hospital.  By 1:00, I felt like I was ready to push!  We called the doctor and went to the hospital.

The last belly picture- so big!

I had basically been in the transition phase since we left the doctor's office before lunch. My water didn't break on its own, even though I was having regular, frequent, and strong contractions.  The nurses and doctor let me labor through the afternoon and early evening because you were still pretty high.  Your Memaw and Papaw made it to Austin around 5:00 on Friday afternoon, and had a good time waiting for your debut with Nana Judy.

Eventually the doctor decided to break the water with the hopes that it would help speed up your arrival.  Once they broke the water, you made your debut after only 30 minutes of pushing!

Other than breaking my water,  I had a completely natural birth and I'm really proud about that.  I wanted so much to be fully present when I met you, and I wanted you to be fully aware as well.  I also didn't want to interfere with the amazing natural processes that bring babies into the world.  While labor was hard work, it was so beautiful- both the easiest and the most difficult thing I had ever done.  Every second was wonderful because it brought us to you.

Your arrival

You were born at 9:22 pm on Friday, November 5.  Your Daddy and I didn't know whether you were a boy or a girl, so it was extra special to meet you, sweet baby girl, when you made your appearance.  The doctor and nurses let your Daddy tell me your gender as they placed you on my tummy right after your birth. You nursed right away, and have been going strong since.  You were, and still are, perfect in every way. 

Everyone commented on your long fingers- several of the nurses exclaimed that you'll grow up to be a wonderful piano player.  You also had beautiful, long eyelashes and a full head of brown hair.  You have your Daddy's mouth.

Beautiful baby girl!
We named you Julia Anrep Jackson.  Anrep is Nana Judy's mother's maiden name, and it's Swedish.  Your initials are J.A., and so are mine and Nana Judy's!  November 5 is also your Memaw Irene's birthday- she was thrilled that you chose her special day to make your debut.

The two of us- tired, but happy.

You with your Daddy, taken on Saturday, November 6. 

Your First Month

We came home from the hospital on Sunday, November 7.

You came home wearing a sweater and hat I knit for you,
wrapped in a blanket knit by Nana Judy.

Johann and Zizou, our dogs, weren't sure what to make of you that first night.  Every time you moved or made any kind of noise, Johann barked.  By the time the sun came up on Monday morning, he had figured out that you were the new boss.  He makes sure we're paying enough attention to you any time you cry or otherwise let us know that you need something.  Scooter the cat has been curious about you, but won't get too close.  One morning he came in to check you out- he was happy to look at you while you were smiling, but he ran away when you scowled at him.

Scooter checking you out.

Memaw, Papaw, and Aunt Wendi all came to visit on November 13th.  Aunt Wendi brought you several cute outfits and we had quite the fashion show!  That night you went to the Salt Lick for BBQ for the first time.

At the Salt Lick

Nana Judy was here until November 15th.  You got to spend lots of good time with her while she was here.  We do video chats on Skype frequently now that she's back home in New Mexico.  I can tell that you recognize her when we have her on the computer- you stop what you're doing and stare at the screen intently.  We're all impressed!

We spent your first Thanksgiving with Memaw and Papaw, and you got to meet the rest of Daddy's immediate family.  They all loved you immediately. 

You are absolutely charming first thing in the morning- you are so happy to be awake, ready to face the day and get started exploring this new world of yours.  I have never been a morning person, but I am so excited to see you each morning that I can imagine that changing soon.  

November 16th

November 18th

November 22nd

The entire month of November flew by.  Every day you had new facial expressions, noises, and personality traits to share.  You've recently started smiling more often and with what appears to be more intention.  You have also recently started cooing, which is absolutely adorable.  You still have a full head of brown hair, and it sticks straight up on the top.  Your eyes are still deep blue, just like your Daddy's.  You are so cute now that you've got more meat on your bones, and I want to eat your baby toes all the time!

You Daddy loves you so very much.  He has the magic touch for calming you down.  You spend lots of quality time curled up on his chest napping.  Daddy discovered that when you're cranky, you usually calm down if we just take off your socks- you must have gotten Daddy and Nana Judy's hot feet!

We can't wait to see more of your personality as you continue to grow and change.  Every day is a new adventure of all of us, and it's the best ride of our lives.

I love you, sweet baby girl.