Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Girl--G

As the new school year approached last August I hoped and prayed that my niece (a school teacher) would ask me to watch her precious 13 month old baby. She had already arranged for a sitter for her first year. But due to a sudden death in the sitters family as well as a pregnancy...she was no longer able to babysit. Thank goodness the school year was over at that point. I jumped at the chance to put my offer out there to keep the baby. With my own children getting older (three in high school and one in college) I was truly enjoying the freedom I had waited so long for...or was I? Something was missing.

Well, my niece did call and she did ask...and of course I said YES. So now, I get to watch this little sweetie grow and develop everyday, and so much more than I even imagined....I got a little buddy.

Our First Day Together

Gianna had a rough start at birth. First of all...my niece had a long and difficult labor. She is a very thin, with a very tiny frame and Gianna was nearly 9lbs. In my opinion...the baby probably should have been taken by C-section. Minutes after Gianna was born she stopped breathing. The doctors soon realized that she was showing obvious signs of APNEA and she spent about a week in the NICU. The nurses nicknamed her "the screamer"...no explanation necessary. When she woke...everyone in the nursery scrambled to calm her and that did not change one bit after she went home.

Gianna was born in July..so my niece was able to spend a good amount of time at home with her before having to return to work. She went home on a APNEA monitor...and although I didn't know it at the time...it was truly an intense time for their little family. Gianna didn't sleep much at night and she cried quite a bit. Not to mention the APNEA machine going off. It was even harder once my niece went back to work. She teaches kindergarten....21- 5 year old's on two hours of sleep = incredibly exhausted!

When my niece was off from work in the evenings...she grabbed as much rest as she could get because there would not be much sleep during the night. Gianna is my brothers grand child and he loved to tease my niece by calling Gianna "bubble baby" because she was shielded from too many guests...this was largely due to Gianna's APNEA and the fear of her getting sick...and I believe it had a lot to do fatigue. Other than the sitter who was trained in CPR while she worked...no one really kept the baby. As the mother of a child with special needs...I understand that...I just preferred to just do it all myself rather than worry about him with someone else.

Things got better as time went on...the APNEA disappeared and we all were able to visit her more often. She amazed everyone...because even though she had been shielded...she was very outgoing. From the moment the child could sit up on her own she was curious about everything and usually taking it apart. She began standing at 6 months and by 8 months she was taking steps. At 9 months she was walking everywhere and into everything. She did not want to be held and as my niece says ..."she was quite intense". The doctor calls her the "Classic Strong Willed Child". I suppose she is...but I would rather call her a determined or independent child. I also find her exceptionally bright and as long as I keep her challenged and busy...she is quite delightful, funny and very sweet. She is also in the "parroting stage" so we are all watching the words we use in her presence.

So by the time her first birthday rolled around in July...and I had put in my offer to keep her once school started...my niece was seriously asking me if I was certain that I was up to the challenge. I knew in my heart that I would be good for Gianna...what I did not know at the time...is how good she would be for me.

While we try to teach children all about life,
Children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt


  1. What a cutie! Great pics. She is adorable and such a girly girl. I can only live vicariously through other peoples tutu and frill what with my 3 boys...

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    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner?

  2. All the pictures of gianna shared in this post are fantastic....she looks so cute and adorable.....
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