The other day, we were going through our "normal" morning routine.

These days, mornings are about more than just the wife and I showering, dressing and heading out the door. This third little person that came into our lives about 4 1/2 months ago has added quite a wrinkle. So, we're adjusting to a new "normal."

So, I'm feeding CeCe her bottle. Honestly, I'm half paying attention to the feeding and half paying attention to ESPN's morning show, "Mike and Mike." Apparently, I'd absent-mindedly strayed from what should have been my primary duty. I know this because CeCe grabbed the bottle with her tiny hands and jammed it back into her mouth.

At first startled, my thoughts quickly shifted to, "Wait — did that just happen? I didn't know she could do that."

She'd been flirting with the idea of taking control of her own bottle for a while now. We've been able to have her "hold" it on occasion, more or less propping it up on her perched hands. On this occasion, though, she snatched it from me and guided it to her own mouth.

It was a quick and not-so-gentle reminder as to how quickly this little creature is changing. A couple weeks before, we had our first roll-over. Then there was the bottle incident. A day or two later, I observed her grab her pacifier and plug her own mouth with it.

Even before CeCe was born, my wife and I had talked about the importance of slowing down and trying to fully appreciate all these milestones. We both work, so we feared there might be things that we would miss, and it seems likely that, in the future, there will be "firsts" that we don't witness.

The hustle and bustle of life is unrelenting. As much as we make a conscious effort to appreciate and acknowledge all the little baby steps along the way, we're probably just as guilty as anyone of getting caught up in the grind.

Still, I think we're doing well. We try very hard to document everything. Our phones are bursting at the seams with pictures and videos. At least for the first year, we're having her pictures professionally done monthly and we've started another little tradition where we take her photo next to a giant teddy bear once a month, on or around her "birthday."

I'm a routine-driven person, so, I've done my best to work the needs of the baby into my own routine. The problem with routines is that they become, well, routine. You tend to go through the motions a bit, and that's where things can slip through the cracks.

So, in the interest of self-improvement, I'm making an effort to step outside of my routine as much as I can and try to keep things fresh. When it comes to this little, sweet girl, I don't want to miss anything.

Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at aparkhouse@thenewsdispatch.com or 1-219-214-4170.

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