Hello friends and family!
It has been far too long since I wrote last. The Sullivan Family has been very, very busy this fall - in the best way!
I feel a tinge of disbelief as I type that Daisy will be seven months old tomorrow. They say that time flies when you’re having fun and now I truly understand why parents always seem to be talking about the speed at which things pass… I feel like just yesterday, the nurses at the Jefferson NICU were handing me this tiny, five pound, wrinkled, red little body for our first skin-to-skin session and now somehow today, she and I sat up on the couch facing each other laughing. She seems to grow and change from minute to minute - but I am loving each one of those minutes more than the last.
Daisy can officially sit up on her own - not perfectly straight but she’s getting there. She has made tremendous progress in a short time with physical therapy and we’re devoting lots of extra time to “working out” each day and she is getting so strong! She seems to edge toward crawling a bit more every day. She is currently in a phase I like to call “floor swimming” where she lays on her belly and flails her arms and legs for long stretches of time, seemingly with the expectation that if she flails hard enough, she will be propelled forward. Hey, physics wasn’t my strong suit so I totally get it.
Socially, Daisy is right where she should be - she is an incredibly happy, interactive and alert baby. She always wants to be in the middle of the action - to see faces, hear sounds and be involved. She loves to ride in the bjorn facing me so she can see my face. She will smile through any activity for any length of time as long as she’s in my lap or sitting directly next to me. I can’t imagine a cuter sidekick!
Daisy has recently discovered her voice and is in the “testing” stage where she spends most of the day experimenting with the reach and volume of her voice. This has presented a bit of a challenge for me, particularly during the eight hours of the day where I work alongside her, on the phone about 40% of the time with my colleagues. Needless to say, I am finally, begrudgingly, looking into a part-time childcare arrangement.
We have had the opportunity to do some exploring as a family this fall and Daisy has been an excellent traveler.
In late October, we visited Saratoga Springs, where I went to college, and spent the weekend with one of my best friends, Jess, her husband, Mike, and their new son Jack, who is just three days older than Daisy. We also got to spend time with Jess’ parents who are some of my favorite people on the planet. It was the absolute BEST weekend in every way. We laughed from the second we pulled into their driveway until the moment we waved goodbye.
Jess is a teacher who specializes in the Montessori philosophy (I was Montessori educated as a child and am a BIG fan!) and I have learned so, so much about teaching from Jess over the years. Now that we are both moms, I am so inspired by her parenting style and approach to teaching Jack. Each room in their house has a little station with different objects Jack can learn from. They don’t have a giant box overflowing with Made-In-China toys from Babies’R’Us and Target. Instead, he was playing with gourds from a farmers market, little bowls and leftover shipping materials and is learning shapes and weights and how household objects interact with each other. Jess is such a wonderful, devoted, creative and hands-on mother - everything in their home is simple and purposeful. Like me, Jess has always wanted to be a mom, so watching her in her maternal glory made me so, so, so happy. I feel so lucky that we get to share this journey together. I came away from Saratoga with a lot of new ideas and a renewed sense of purpose as we continue working hard with Daisy every day to overcome her challenges.
Just after returning home, it was off on the road again - I flew to Boston to see my Dad presented with the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association 2016 Vision Award for his hugely impactful work in the affordable housing industry. My brother Freddy and I were both able to be there in person to celebrate our Dad which was so, so, so special. He has worked hard all his life to carve out this special niche business that helps those who need it and his hard work has paved the way for a bright future. It was pretty cool to take my “mom” hat off for a moment and just be a daughter, in awe of her Dad.
After less than 24 hours in Boston, I needed to be in Charleston, South Carolina for work so Nick and Daisy (and the two dogs) drove down to meet me, stopping to see family in Baltimore and friends in Durham along the way. We spent three days exploring sunny, friendly, delicious Charleston and have decided it’s the perfect place to retire. We fell in love with the slower pace of life, the history, the architecture and the food scene. We took our time coming back, stopping in Raleigh overnight to visit some of my college friends and grabbing lunch in Richmond, where I’d never been. It was an amazing mini-vacation for us all.
This winter has more travel in store - to New York City, Western Mass, Boston, Puerto Rico and a few other surprise destinations that will be revealed as part of Christmas gifts… I can’t wait to continue our adventures with Daisy! And see as many of all of you as possible around the holidays.
This Thanksgiving, we are double and triple counting our blessings - namely Daisy and the wonderful friends and family who have supported us and prayed for us along the way this year. We truly believe we are the luckiest parents in the world.
Peace and love to all <3