July 30, 2010

A Piece of Me!

Everyone always comments on how much Rachel looks like her dad. Sometimes I feel like people stare at me and then her and wonder if she's adopted. We look so much NOT alike. Well, a couple days ago Stephen pointed out one thing that is a definite "me" trait - the weird swoosh to the left thing my hair does on the back of my neck. It's a Cooklis family trait. So far I know of me and my cousin, Troy, having it and now we think Rachel does too. Check out the photos!

We met up with her friend Jonas and his mom for a day at the pool. We took some pictures while we were waiting. Isn't she just beautiful?
Rachel also showed off her "big girl push-ups" at the pool. She does them on command. I can say "big girl push-ups!" and she does it. It's so cool! She decided to ham for the camera...and then I guess she was tired of her push-up position because the last photo says it all.

July 26, 2010

Two Knees Closer to Crawling

Well, this past Thursday Rachel decided to start doing big girl push-ups. Yesterday, she decided to co-ordinate pushing up with her arms and deliberately bringing her knees up under her. Before she would quickly bring all appendages in and push off backwards. She is now taking her time and staying in the hands/knees position for a few seconds before pushing. She has even pushed forward a couple of times, most of the time she goes backward. It's just so exciting! She also loves to give us "kisses." She'll grab our faces and bring her open mouth to our cheeks or nose and "kiss" us. It's the funniest thing ever! I know we taught her this because we've done it to her since she came home from the hospital.

The only bad news I have is that Rachel has an ear infection. This is her second one. I know some babies have had more but I was really hoping to make her first year with only one infection. Oh well, she'll see the ENT again in September and he'll let us know how he thinks she is doing after we get her hearing tested again. She may need to get tubes, which would be a real bummer.

Anyway, no pictures today. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be quicker on the draw and get some of her in her new hands and knees position. :)

July 22, 2010

She's Been Practicing...

Apparently, Rachel has been practicing while we haven't been looking or while she's been in her crib (and we thought she was sleeping!). She just decided today that she can push up ALL THE WAY. I mean, any further and she'd be on her knees. We are so proud of her!

July 19, 2010

10 Months Old! (almost 8 adjusted)

Today, 10 months ago, Rachel was born. Only two months until her FIRST birthday. Unbelievable. Today was also the last day Lisa from Early Intervention came to work with Rachel. Lisa has been a wonderful EI therapist. She has only said good things about our Rachel to us and if Rachel needed to work on something, she told us with a smile on her face. She never made us feel like Rachel wasn't the most amazing thing on this earth and since day one, Lisa has only been encouraging in helping Rachel progress with her skills. I know Rachel will miss Lisa as much as we will. Thank you so much for all you have done!

July 14, 2010

Some Days You Are Brave

I have always planned (well, since I knew she had Down syndrome) to speak out for Rachel. I have no shame in her having Down syndrome. I don't care if everyone knows she has it. I don't hide it. But, I've never said to a room of people, out loud, that my daughter has Down syndrome. Today at a Baby and Me yoga class we all sat around and had to introduce ourselves and our babies. As other people talked, I debated in my mind whether to even say anything. If I don't say it, will it seem like I'm ashamed of her? If I do say it, will that be all they see in her from now on? Person by person it got closer to my turn and I knew I had to decide. I decided to say, "Hi, I'm Maggie and this is Rachel. She was born 10 weeks early and we found out four days before that she has Down syndrome."  Wow, that felt good. I think that if people know she has Ds and they see who she is and what she can do maybe if they give birth to a child with Ds they will think of her and go, "Oh, this isn't going to be bad at all. I remember that girl from Yoga. She was cute and acted like any other baby." I want to save them at least some of the pain that I felt at hearing those words at the hospital. I didn't know anything about Ds. I never saw any babies with it before so I reacted the way I thought I should at hearing my daughter wasn't "perfect", I cried my eyes out and yelled at God. I think if I had been around another baby with Ds before she was born, I probably wouldn't have reacted as badly as I did. I'm only glad that I moved on from that grief stage quickly because it would have interfered with me being able to see the beautiful, goofy and strong willed girl I gave birth to.

July 10, 2010

Babbles, Teeth and Sitting

Over the 4th of July weekend two things happened. Rachel decided to actually start babbling consonants...babababa, dadadad, gagaga. Funny stuff! We have yet to really get a good string of them on video, but when we do it will be posted! It is so crazy to hear her say "words" and not just some sounds. Stephen already things she is calling his name: Dada.

Rachel also started teething. Hardcore. Before she liked to mouth her hands and she drooled a little but now, watch out, she will gnaw your fingers off if you get them near her mouth. She doesn't suck on her pacifier anymore either. She bites at it. I keep checking her mouth for any signs a tooth is poking through but I don't see anything right now. Ugh. Something better pop through soon because I don't want it to last months and months.

This Friday Rachel made a great effort at sitting. She hates to sit so the fact that she actually stayed in the seated position for more than 2 seconds was a major improvement. I am so excited! I can't wait until she can sit on her own...it will make bath time sooo much easier!

She got to use her pink bathrobe for the first time, Friday, after her bath. Isn't she just so cute? And because she is starting to be able to sit, I was able to get a picture of her doing it. Even if it's not the best "sit" it's still a new view of our girl!

July 4, 2010

I Tried to Just Post a Few Pictures...

But I couldn't decide on which ones. Really, I really tried to delete some but I just couldn't...and so, here is Rachel's First Fourth of July slideshow!

July 3, 2010

A Funny Thing Happens Once You Become a Parent

I was driving home from the Ds Mom's Night last Sunday and it was just me in the car. No Stephen. No Rachel. Just me. It's very rare when that happens now. I'm a pretty independent person. I relish my alone time. I need it in order to survive. Put me in a room with a bunch of people and I'll do quite well for a while but then The Wall hits me and I need to retreat. Ahhhh, do you hear that? It's quiet. The TV isn't on. Rachel is asleep. Stephen is out in the garage. Again, it's just me. Ahhhhhhh. On my drive home the other night, I was able to turn up my music, open the windows and sun roof and just drive. Drive, drive, drive! I felt like myself again. My old self.

That person never stayed in one place too long and was able to get up and do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted. I miss that person a lot sometimes. That "me" was a fun girl. Being a mom is tiring. I love it, but every once in a while The Wall hits me and I just feel that need to escape, to just leave for a bit and relax by myself, with my own thoughts, without worrying and always thinking one step ahead...."Ok, Rachel ate at 1 so that means she'll eat again at 4 and she needs a nap at 3 so I should leave here at 1:30 in order to get back in time for her nap. I also need to start the laundry and wash her bottles." BLAH! I don't know a lot of women who would come out and type this but I know a lot of women who know exactly what I am saying. Life just kind of comes along and crushes who you used to be in to a new mold...all the old pieces are still there but they have been turned in to something different. I know that I don't want my old life back, my life right now couldn't be better and it's all that I've ever asked for, but some nights when I'm driving alone in my car I get that feeling again, the feeling that I could take on the world. And maybe that's all I'm really missing...the naivety.