So, this has been the week of milestones. On February 8 we celebrated one year of having Juliana home from the hospital. On February 10 we celebrated the anniversary of her due date. I pointed out to my students in class: remember when we had Juliana’s birthday? Back in October? Feels like a long time ago, right? Well, this is when she SHOULD have been born. So, the difference between those two dates is how much longer she was supposed to stay in her warm, snug little womb-home. But, instead, she arrived too early, and many challenges entered her life as a result. (Which seems so unfair, because we ALL have challenges in life, but she had to start out with so many more than most.) But, over the last 15 1/2 months, Juliana has been conquering challenges. She is not just surviving, she is thriving.
Juliana’s days are spent playing with her gazillion toys, reading books, talking walks and playing with Baby Isaac Herr, destroying Mommy’s laptop keys, wishing for her own iPhone, chasing after (and sometimes catching) Sophie, crawling everywhere and getting ready to walk. She isn’t super interested in food at the moment, although she really wants to bite into an apple, and she loves flavored puff cereal. She is on the verge of saying her first words, and she has been working diligently to try to say “kitty-cat.” This will probably be her first word, as we seem to be hearing a cute little whispered “key-ca” coming from her. However, whenever Sophie runs by, Juliana is generally too excited to talk. She also says a lot of dadadadada, but we’re not yet sure if she is associating the word with Jason. She will point to the light or fan when we say the name, and her favorite thing is her mobile, specially made by Alban and Evan. She points at it as we rock in her chair or change her diaper.
At her most recent doctor visit she weighed 16 lb, 11 oz and was 28 inches long. To put this in perspective, most babies are expected to triple their birth weight by their first birthday. Juliana tripled her birth weight before she even left the hospital. She is now (at 15 1/2 months) 12 times her birth weight. She is still extremely small, but her physical therapists and neonatologists are happy with her development. She is following her developmental age really well, and she seems to be advanced in a few areas. For example, she loves to turn the pages in her books, which she has been doing for 3-4 months now and is an advanced skill.
She has been teething off and on for months, and she now has two bottom teeth and a side top tooth. There is no sign of where the next one will come in, but we are rooting for top front. Her teething also makes her rather grumpy at times. But in general, she is the sweetest, happiest baby.
We are working on sleeping through the night. She is currently waking up 2-4 times a night, but we’ve been trying some tips that might be working. Our main obstacle is that we do not want to let her cry, so the “cry it out” technique doesn’t work for us. The other techniques seem to take longer, but we are willing to wait. In the meantime, she goes to bed at 7:30 and (if we’re lucky) sleeps in until 7:30 with a few interludes.
As Jason posted on his Facebook page, this has been the best year of our lives. Every day we wake up to hear her precious little voice and clapping hands and we know that no matter what else goes on, we are blessed.
Thank you Daddy for the roses and ribbons for Eden and Zoe’s trees. It was a nice remembrance. And thank you to the Bauer family for the beautiful roses to commemorate Juliana’s milestone. Thank you all for keeping Juliana in your prayers.