Veronica Year One

28 Oct 2005

Paul R. Potts

Tomorrow, our little daughter will have her first birthday. One year of Veronica Ruth in the big wide world! Plus those early formative months in the womb, although she was not nearly as much fun then. Grace said something the other day about just how strange it was that a year ago, she wasn’t around. It is somewhat mind-blowing. She seems too real to have not been in existence before that. So where was she? It is just as mysterious when people leave the world. It doesn’t seem possible that they could be here and then not here so abruptly, but that is indeed the mystery we are confronted with. She will have to confront it too.

Lightening up a bit… Vera is doing great, although she is a constant challenge. She is fond of climbing, so she has a considerable number of bruises. We’ve tried to make the house fairly baby-proof, but she will climb anything. She has a lot of new skills. She is not speaking clearly, but she stuck a metal CD rack in my face and said “Daddy, eat it!” Grace asked her once if she would like some more food, and she said “That would be lovely.” I’m not claiming her pronounciation would be clear to anyone else, but we understood her. This was at ten and a half or eleven months. She doesn’t generally speak when you want her to, although she will typically answer questions with “yeah.” She chants “ma-ma-ma-ma” as a kind of mantra while playing.

The sign language has not gone as well: she has not learned very many signs yet, and does not use them regularly, so maybe like she skipped crawling, she will skip signing. We are also not very consistent about using the signs. She still loves her They Might Be Giants DVD, and will dance whenever she hears “Alphabet of Nations” or “Clap Your Hands.” Or even if we sing it to her and clap. She can clap along. She also manipulates objects in more sophisticated ways. She can’t assemble duplo blocks yet, but the other day she had a cardboard box that was open on both ends, and sat and repeatedly put blocks in one and and watched them slide out the other.

I am also coming to the close of the second week of my new job, as a senior software engineer with Lectronix. I am very pleased to be rid of my tedious commute! The new office is only a couple of miles from home, and I may even be able to bike. I even have windows and an office with a door! Heaven. The work is interesting as well, although I am just starting to learn about the embedded platforms and tools. In addition, we should have health coverage again! That can’t come soon enough. Medicaid is still bouncing all of Veronica’s bills, and some of this paperwork is now almost a year old. They kept sending letters threatening to cut off coverage, with no explanation as to what we had done wrong, and Grace was not able to get a call back. We may wind up just having to eat about a thousand dollars worth of well-baby visits and immuninizations for the past year. Grace has also had some problems with her teeth, and it appeared she might need surgery. On top of that there is her gall bladder, which probably needs to be removed.

In the week between the end of my MicroMax/Visteon job and the start of this one, we were able to take a couple of days off and go up north, to Grand Marais on Lake Superior. Isaac had never been. The trip was beautiful, but too short. And too much driving! With stops, the return trip took over twelve hours. Road construction and endless traffic backups didn’t help any. But the U.P. was beautiful. It turned out to be kind of an adventure: we met Governor Granholm in Grand Marais, who was visiting a community meeting to talk, in part, about the harbor breakwall, its state of disrepair and the need for funds to repair it. So we have pictures of Isaac shaking the governor’s hand.

I am continuing to occupy my mind with a little bit of reading, in what little free time I can find, and am trying to take a more active role in Isaac’s homeschooling. We are reviewing geometry and narrowing in on techniques he’s forgotten over the summer, and he is also doing fraction drills. Although I am always hesitant to give him easy drill work, he seems to enjoy it, and at his age he can use all the basic technique work he can get, as long as we also try to move him forward. Isaac is also continuing in the Ann Arbor Boy Choir (a choir boy and an altar boy) and joining a more advanced singing group. I must go… they are performing tonight! It is going to be a busy weekend!

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