Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Change Is Good

March 2011—Lily and her Texas cousins.
There is a moment in the musical, "Fiddler on the Roof" where the main character, Tevye, starts singing about his eldest daughter, Tzeitel, growing up so quickly. The song is titled, "Sunrise, Sunset."  In the song it describes the change that Tevye is experiencing with his daughters' soon to be betrothal.  He goes on to sing about him wondering how he grew to be so old and how Tzeitel suddenly grew into a beautiful woman. All without him realizing it until that moment, "...Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers. Blossoming even as we gaze."

Probably just a cheesy show tune to most, but to me, I've always loved this song.

Today, I turned up the volume of this song in my Life Soundtrack.  All I was doing was looking at photos on my iPhone of Lily from this past Summer and then on up until this past week. I found myself humming this tune (I like a good show tune) and thinking, "Where is my baby?"

I suddenly got all nostalgic and longed for the days gone by the wayside.  What happened to that little toddler that I was playing with 6 months ago?  How has she grown up so quickly?  WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

I know that all of you mothers have had this same experience. For me, it was today, and it was clearly evident that my baby, who was a toddler, is clearly turning into a little girl.  It's going way too fast.  How do I stop it?  Wait! I don't want to stop it, I see so much progression in Lily when looking at these photos. I don't want to stop THAT!  Granted, Lily is no where close to getting married and I don't think I've grown all that old, but what I do see is CHANGE, and that is a good thing when it comes to my little Lily.

November 2011—Relaxing after her bath.
Such a sweet little face.
Physical and Mental Changes:
By change, I mean both physically and mentally. Physically, Lily's hair has grown at least an inch since the beginning of the Summer, maybe even two.  I know for a fact that she has grown 2.5 inches and gained 3 pounds.  Mentally, I am reminded from some of the photos that things that were challenges to Lily at the beginning of the Summer are no longer challenges for her today.  For instance, eating on her own.  Lily can pick up little pieces of food off her tray now and bring her hand to her mouth.  That is a big coordination effort for her brain.  She wasn't doing that 6 months ago.  I remember thinking at the time that I would have loved to have just handed Lily a treat while driving and she was in her car seat.  The reality was that once/if she got a hold of the food, she could never navigate it to her mouth.  If she was hungry, then I'd have to stop what I was doing and take about an hour to feed her. (She eats slowly.  She still eats SLOWLY.) So in the span of a summer, Lily has started being more independent by feeding herself.  It is still a slow process, but now, the girl has got the feeding thing down. Giving me so much more freedom.  (Be forewarned! I'm going to probably say "freedom" a lot in this post.)

Now on to sippy cups. Lily doesn't really drink from a sippy cup yet but my mom did get her to sip from a cup with a big straw in it about 8 months ago (see photo below).  My mom is a pro. (Remember, she is the one that got Lily to put the binky back in her mouth.)  My "baby-whispering" mother put a milkshake in Lily's cup with the straw and said, "She'll sip this once she knows what it is.  I've never seen a child turn down a milkshake."  So she dabbed Lily's tongue with the creamy goodness, put the lid back on the cup and sure enough Lily started sucking.  Again, giving me freedom to prop the cup and actually get something done around the house. Although Lily still won't hold her sippy cup on her own, she will move her head around to get the straw back in her mouth. Like bobbing for apples, but without the water. So that's a start. We'll get there.
Morning, Sunshine! I miss peaches for breakfast!
Just last month, Lily started drinking from all straws, not just the big rubbery one at the end of her cup in the picture.  She will sip from ANY straw.  Do you know what that means?  That is a big one for me because in the past, if I didn't have her "special" cup when we were out and about, we were doomed.  We'd have to stop what we were doing and go home, so she could get a drink and feed herself.  Now, I can order from anywhere and the little cutie just sips away.

It's the mess that is my challenge now.  My OCD doesn't do well with sticky milkshake all over a little girl, but that is a whole other post for later, and I just need to get over it.

I know I am making a big thing out of straw, but drinking from any straw is a triumph because it frees me up to move onto other responsibilities.  Feeding Lily would sometimes take me up to two hours, depending on her mood.  Now the process is simplified, and although she still eats slowly, she can do it on her own. Now, I just have to prop the bottle in her high chair and cut up the food into finger foods, and then I walk away.  FREEDOM!  Especially, freedom from worry!  I always worried whether she was getting enough nourishment because the process was slow and arduous and she wanted out of her chair after 10 minutes.  Now, I can really tell if she's eaten it because she gobbles it up on her own.

April 2011—Lily's cousin, Bailey, is trying to
get her to stand on her own.  She still won't do that
for me, but she'll do it for Bailey.
We call this her "Tiny Tim" pose.
Lily is also starting to express herself more.  She grunts louder when she's hungry.  Before I had to guess.  She also grunts another way when she wants to tell me she's tired. (We do use sign language with her.  She has yet to respond to it, but we keep trying!)

The best thing about all this change is that she cuddles!  My little girl finally cuddles! She will nuzzle her head and face gently between my face and my shoulder and let me rock her.  I could never do that before.  In the past, she would just push me away from her.  Granted, she still has to be pretty tuckered, but she will cuddle and love on me.  I'm tearing up just thinking about this accomplishment.  Unfortunately, Lily still doesn't hug.  Oh how I'd love for her to come over and hug on me, but I'll take a cuddle for now.  So see, she IS progressing—even though I thought that yesterday she wasn't.  It may be teeny, tiny, baby changes, but changes nonetheless.  I'll take it!

Here are some photos from my iPhone of my ever-changing little piece of joy:
March 2011—Lily's first haircut.
April 2011—Getting ready for the wedding of William and Kate.  Wedding attire and all.
June 2011—Swim lessons. When dad is around, 
Lily only has eyes for him.
No, really.  I don't exist during these moments.
July 2011—Swimming lessons this past summer.  She loved splashing in the water and, of course, playing with her "One and Only" during the lesson.
September 2011—Liberty Park. Salt Lake City, UT
Lily and I walked all over and around the park that day while waiting for Martin to finish a tennis match.  We fed the ducks, played in the fountain, swung on the swings, went down the slide, went on the Ferris Wheel and I, of course, people watched. 

It was a perfect day. 

After Martin was done with his match, he and I ran around the park, twice (I stopped, maybe 20 times).

I already miss that day. 

I shouldn't have taken it for granted. 

About to take a ride on the Ferris Wheel.
What's a park without a Ferris Wheel?
... or seeing the medieval jousters?  Can someone please explain the lure of this to me?
I guess I should just settle for, "To each his own."
October 2011—Fall has arrived.  
Lily gets a new flannel shirt from Grandma.
So cute.

The leaves have begun falling from the trees. 
(Photo taking during my morning walk this morning.)

A new season is being welcomed at our front door. 
It's about time to give thanks.  Give thanks for changes. 
Because change is a good thing!
I am IN for doing this kind of procedure!  Lily's upkeep has really changed.  She drools so little now, that I don't have to always keep a bib on her. Whew. She was starting to look silly and I was looking like an overprotective mom.  Before the botox, it was standard for me to leave the house with 3 bibs and a burp cloth.  Now, I just bring a burp cloth with me.  Lily still drools on occasion but nothing compared to the magnitude before the procedure.  One thing to remember, it took a good week for the botox to take effect, and now she drools a lot less! 

Lily will qualify again for the the procedure in early January and I am going to ask for the full dosage this time.  I won't be doing her legs and thighs this time because I just don't see it benefiting her.  However, I will do her salivary glands. Schwinnng!  We are so happy about this little change. 
For your viewing pleasure, just a little video of Lily swinging at the park this past summer.  You will hear the joy in her voice. 
She is so, so sweet.
I don't know where the deep, husky sound of my voice is 
coming from, but Lily's joy outweighs my voice. Hopefully.

Lily holds onto the sides of the swing now like most children do when they swing.  It just takes redundancy for her and then she gets it.  Change is soooo good!