Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Dear Family and Friends,

I (Browyn) have decided to send a holiday greeting through Josephine's blog. Some might call it cheating, which is probably true, but it also saves paper, time and money. As you have all seen, most of 2008 was spent watching our beautiful daughter grow and learn throughout her first year of life. However, Jim and I do still have a small life of our own beyond Josephine (much to her disappointment).

After my 4 months of maternity leave I returned to work at Seattle Childrens on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance unit with a slight twist to my schedule. To prevent the need for childcare, yet continue to support the family while Jim is in school, I took a position where I only work 24 hours a week but it requires me to work every Saturday and Sunday. It may not sound like fun to many but it actually works out perfectly for our current life. Ironically enough, my first weekend back was Mother's Day weekend. Once I got over leaving Josephine for 2 days I came to enjoy it. I get to use my brain and take care of other people's sick children which is a lot easier than taking care of your own. I have found that my "nurse brain" completely leaves me when it comes to my own child. I am slowly learning to combine my "mother brain" and my "nurse brain", but it does not come naturally. Constantly questioning your ability to nurture your child seems to go hand in hand with being a mother, but this too seems to get better over time. Watching Josephine grow over this last year has been amazing. It seems impossible, but she just gets cuter and cuter, but I don't have to tell you guys that.

Along with updates to our baby blog Jim managed to complete 3 more quarters of Pharmacy school in 2008. He only has 2 more quarters of classes and 9 months of rotations before he is awarded his PharmD. It may still sound like a lot, but he is over halfway done, and we can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Jim has been an amazing father! His weekends are now spent changing diapers, washing bottles, playing with stuffed animals and reading books titled "Jesse Bear What Will You Wear" and "Mama Always Comes Home." He is always willing to put Josephine to bed so I can have a "Mom's Night Out" and does his best to reassure me when I am being irrational (not that it happens very often!). Josephine and I gave him one free weekend when we flew to Chicago to visit my Villanova roommates. I am not sure who enjoyed the free weekend more, Jim or Lorelei (our dog).

Speaking of Lorelei, our poor neglected dog. She is slowly recovering from losing her spot as #1 princess. The first 4 months of Josephine's life Lorelei ignored her, but over the last 7 months Lorelei has come to the realization that Josephine is not leaving so she better learn to deal with it. She is finally back to being her more social self and even giving Josephine a few kisses here and there. Funny how their relationship improved tremendously once Josephine started eating solid food.

We hope that you all had a very Merry Chirstmas and we wish you all the best for 2009!

Now I will let you enjoy the numerous pictures from the last several months.

Not to start on a sad note but we had to include this very sad picture of Josephine when she had the flu for the first time.

Unforutnately, she passed the flu on to the rest of the family. Poor daddy!

How can you not be happy when you wake up to this? Good morning!

One of our favorite pastimes is visiting the zoomazium at the zoo, which happens to be a quick 5 minute drive from our house. Here are a few pictures from a typical day at the zoomazium.

playing on the fake rocks and showing her hippo teeth

playing the bongo drums

popping out of the dinosaur egg and doing her best to actually look like a dinosaur

Josephine had her introduction to spaghetti. She loved it, but I don't think her highchair will ever be the same.

Josephine also had her introduction to snow.

And to Santa Claus. You guess which one she liked best. Let's just say that is not a smile on her face.

But the best was her first experience of Christmas. Luckily she had her older cousin Graham to show her the ropes. We were able to spend Christmas Eve with Devin, Bridget and Graham before they headed to warm Southern California (only a few days late).

Christmas morning. Daddy's favorite present of the day, cuddling with his daughter.

Stocking time! Fruit in the stocking won't cut it for long but I figured I could get away with it the first year.

Her first presents from Uncle Mark and Grandpa Tom.

An adorable handmade rocking chair from Grandfather and Grandzsa.

But who needs toys when you have bows and wrapping paper!

Josephine's first baby doll.

Two days before Christmas Lorelei got her teeth cleaned (not the Christmas gift she was hoping for) which caused her to have a partially shaved front leg (also not the Christmas gift she was hoping for). Apparently neither was the Nyla bone we gave her. OK, so maybe she is still the #1 princess in the house.

Josephine in her Christmas outfit (you have to love hand-me-downs). She has already given up the baby doll for a slinky, oh well!

Here are a couple other cute pictures of Josephine with a few of her favorite toys.