Friday, March 2, 2012

Erica Joy Stratton

Erica Joy Stratton, 3/2/1985

Erica, at age 3 months; we went to JC Penney's in Charlottesville, VA mall for this one....she giggled and laughed!   this is a favorite pic of mine

Erica, at 18 months; went to a Photo Studio in Hampton VA in the mall.  It was super dark in the photo taking area, and she cried and cried.  That is why her eyes are "glistening". Obviously they got her to laugh and smile thru her tears though. 

Erica, today, 2012, complete w/her tattoo arm band.   She is beautiful and truly is a
"joy" to me still!

Notes from Erica's baby book from her birth:
Arrival time:  4:33 a.m.
Date:  Sat., March 2, 1985
Place:  Martha Jefferson Hospital, Charlottesville, VA
Doctor: Dr. Mitzi M. Child
Pediatrician:  Dr. Ray Ford

Parents' First Impressions and Reactions:

"No earthly joys could bring more pleasure than a little child to love and treasure."

I wrote in her baby book the following:
Mom immediately broke into tears of joy when they said "It's your....Erica!"  Daddy watched the doctor lift her out. (c-sec after unprogressed labor and preeclampia) Mom was upset because of all Erica had been through, and because she was cut on the forehead in the cesarean. Daddy went with her to the nursery and fell in love with her immediately.  He came into recovery and told me how Erica was ready to nurse....she was sucking his fingers and hers.  We both kept saying how beautiful she was!   She came to mom and dad in recovery; and nursed ten minutes.  She's a doll!!! 

Comments of friends and relatives:

"Precious"--Aunt Cynthia
"Strong---she is lifting her head. I'd forgotten how tiny they were."---Granny Nash
"Prettiest baby in the nursery.  Looks just like David."--Grandma Stratton
"She is beautiful! so tiny!"--gang at Shenanigan's where I worked
"Precious!  must take after her mom."--Southern States gang where David worked
"Isn't she the cutest thing?"--Susan Ellen, age 13
"She's so dainty and feminine."--Aunt Doris
"Too little for me to hold."--Papa Nash
"I want to take your baby home.   (to Erica):  wanna play with me? --I'm go kiss her hands."--cousin, Michael "Jason" Nash, age 2 1/2 (he was so excited to have a playmate when they met when she was a few weeks old and was upset when she cried and wanted to help her)

I laugh and tell Erica that she was our "experiment", as we really didn't know what we were doing. I was very very serious about parenting and studied every book I could get my hands on.  I watched Dr. Terry B. Brazelton on tv and respected his teaching and style.  I made homemade baby food for Erica.  I fed her cottage cheese or yogurt when she was old enough and they were daily favorites!    I even had a schedule for her toys and play so that she wouldn't become bored.  I read to her every single day, from the day we took her home.  She would listen raptly to me as I read Mother Goose nursery rhymes and other delightful things to her.   She still loves to read.   
I love you, Erica Joy, and I am so glad that God loaned you to us.  I thank God for the opportunity to parent you. I know that I made countless mistakes and I pray you can forgive me for all my errors.   I love you and I always will....unconditionally, no matter what!   You are a lovely young woman and I am so proud of the woman you have become!   XO

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