Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ode to Wilmington

A few weeks ago we traveled to Delaware for some quality family time.  My wish for my first mother's day was to share it along with my mother.  It felt like such a sacred time and as we soaked in some much needed mother-daughter-grandaughter moments together. I just felt like I was part of something great as I recognized my role in continuing the traditions of my family.  Yes, I get sentimental when I return to the place where I grew up.  When I moved to Massachusetts I was always looking for something familiar.  I still get excited when Charles and I go out to dinner and I know someone.  I was spoiled to spend so much of my time in the area that I grew up.  I love walking into our favorite Italian restaurant where the waitress (as crazy as she is) knows what the entire family is going to order.  Quirks and all, she knows the Cirillo's and she has for generations and generations.  I struggled with that so much when we first moved here.  In many ways I have seen Massachusetts as a new beginning and I have loved learning and recreating who I am as a wife and now a mother.  Having a child has helped me feel more at home.  We pulled up to this house, our house, on the day we brought her home from the hospital and walked down the uneven brick path to the door where we were greeted by Scout.  She let out her first giggle here, she crawled here, she welcomed the new babies in the neighborhood who she will grow up with and ride the bus with.  God has given me such peace in this place.  He knows our deepest longings to be known and to have intimacy with Him and also with those around us.  Though that "settledness" has just begun, I can enjoy is and be grateful for the blessings He has given us here.  In our home. 
So going to Delaware makes me so appreciative of that place of being truly known.  Ahh, how nice it is to not have to explain or introduce yourself all of the time.  Although family in itself is its own challenge, I have such a healthier perspective because I'm not "in" it from day to day. 
So my mom and I decided that we weren't going to have an itinerary.  That lasted for about the first 10 minutes of our arrival.  Here's how it panned out:
Thursday: dinner with some of mom's family and then we met with Kirstan's bridesmaids to OFFICIALLY kick off the planning process for her shower and wedding.  My sister has some amazing friends that she has known her whole life (and of course, since I am the youngest, I always thought they were the greatest).  They paved the way for me.  Kirstan has this special quality that is somewhat selective about the people that she lets into her life.  She loves everyone (well, not everyone...), but there are a handful of people in her life that can say that they know her and know how great and loving she is.  I got the chance to be with them all in one room, which was so nice!  Kirstan was quite jealous that she wasn't there.  She'll have to wait until August...
On Friday my mom, Julia and I took a walk with some of my favoritest people in the world, Susan Goodenough and Kate Morgner and then went to Brew Ha Ha.  If I had to pick the perfect day it would include all of these things wrapped together and this was just the morning.  We then took Babci (Julia's great great grandmother) to the Wilmington Flower Market.  I could write pages and pages of the significance of this place.  Charles lived right next to Rockford Park and this is where he and I cultivated our relationship - we took walks here, brought Scout as a puppy, watched Charles play softball, took our engagement photos...
Oh how I love it. 
Julia telling Zoey that it's ok, it's cool to hang at the flower market!  Don't fight it Zoe :)
Dreaming of when she's going to get her horse.
Biting Babci. Poor Babci. She still bought her a funnel cake in the end.
Saturday was a complete shift from the entire "sentimental" weekend as we celebrated Kristen's birthday on a wine tasting brigade.  I use the word brigade because our limo of 12 girls was a force to be reckoned with as we toured 3 vineyards! 
Isn't it great to go crazy with the girls you grew up with?  Sometimes when I'm with them I transport myself back to the time when we ate Doritos and stayed up late watching "Adventures in Babysitting".  Yes, we have graduated from Juicy Juice to wine, but some things never change. 
This is the KJ that I know...especially this past month!

And then we celebrated Mother's Day. 
My first official Mother's Day (this time last year I was celebrating my baby shower on this day).  How many times this year have I said "This time last year"?  I am in such a constant state of reflecting because life has changed so much.  Life before Julia seems like forever ago!
Much of our day was spent driving home, but my favorite part of the day was my gift from Charles.  He spent a lot of time creating a quiz that I had to complete to win a prize.  The quiz consisted of 20 questions surrounding the events of the past year - everything from Julia's stats at birth (we always have conflicting stats...he rounds up, I tell it just as it is) to her first word.  It was pretty neat to sit down as a family and talk about each of her firsts.  He did good - sometimes I don't give him enough credit for his ability to pull through at these important times :)
Needless to say, I won the top prize - a new lens for our camera. 
Poppop and Julia making some good music. 
Family, old friends, new friends, familiar spaces, and a few cupcakes - my what a good weekend. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What a week.

We are sick again. Well, Julia is sick.  But when Julia experiences something, we all experience it. 
That bodes well for the exciting things: the excitement of recognizing that she can move on her own, the realization that grass and bugs are not supposed to be part of her daily food group, you know, the good stuff.  It's tough to walk through the scary moments of sickness.  This child is so full of life that to see her lethargic is something foreign, like someone stole the real Julia. 
So here is the real update: she started with congestion last week...evolved into some scary high all culminated when her fever broke and she developed this beautiful rash throughout her body.  3 pedi visits and 1 trip to the ER for good measure brought us to the simple conclusion of Sixth Disease - like a mild form of measles that will just play out on its own.  So, that is it.  She is a text book case. For those of you who've had a child that has come into contact with Julia I wanted to let you know so that you are aware of the symptoms (but we've read that babies are most contagious before any of the symptoms appear).  Sorry moms, only the babies can get it.
Because I work in the heathcare field I have a new perspective for sickness and the fragility of life.  She has been sick to some extent since the end of February and there is a nervousness inside of me that constantly is trying to evaluate whether things are "normal".  Part of me (the part that HATES to take medicine and would rather give birth than go to the dentist) wants to be really laid just trust that I have helped her build her immunities and she is a strong and robust child.  The other part (the part that just arrived 11 months ago when I laid eyes on her) wants constant reassurance that she is going to be okay.  So, there is a huge realm of "normal" in her first year of life.  Every child is different....we all know that.  She's mobile, she goes to day care, she has to get sick to build her immunities...the list goes on and on regarding the reasons kids get sick so much.   I guess I say all of that because deep down I know it, but in the quiet moments of 3am when her temperature spikes and there is nobody around or you're entertaining options in your mind as you await test results, none of that matters.  As a mom, I would have done ANYTHING to make her well. 
It gives me an appreciation for my job - in the ICU I see the helplessness of families.  I have never encountered loss like others have, but as a parent, I have entered into a different bracket of understanding.  Life is so precious and families are so stinking resilient.  Illness is truly a time of reflecting - a book I read recently brought this to light as it talks about the ways in which crisis brings you to a place of stillness.  Even without knowing it, when things erupt we respond from a place of quiet strength.  That's an interesting perspective that I find true in my work and in my life.  Some of the hardest moments of parenthood (the sickensses, the not-knowing, the challenges of being a couple and raising a child) have been truly enlightning and have challenged my thinking in so many ways. 
So, all of say that she is okay.  Rash and all (it should be clearing in the next few days).  On a little ironic side note after writing all of this, we are going to get some further testing done to make sure that she doesn't have any immunodeficiencies given her track record over the past few months.  We will be doing that in the next few weeks.  We think it'll all pan out just fine, but we appreciate your continued prayers throught that process.  

And here is a current picture of our little *red* child:

As you can see on her face, these are some of our happier moments of the week.