Babies & Birthdays

I knew that it was a girl the moment I took a home pregnancy test. Every fiber in my being told me so, and when I finally got the phone call with the results of our amniocentesis I was not at all surprised when our genetic counselor told me it was a girl. I daydreamed for months about the strong, sassy and independent girl she would be.  And now exactly five years later she’s everything I thought she would be and more.  She is kind and thoughtful and full of heart. But she is strong-willed; she speaks her mind and doesn’t care much about what other people think.

I think many people; when they have a daughter, worry. Worry because girls are weaker, are not as able to take care of themselves and are more prone to heartbreak. Me? I laugh at the thought. In fact my worry is more for the people in this world who stand in her way, or hurt the people she loves, or try to force to do something she doesn’t want to do.

It’s really hard to express how much she means to me and how totally shocked I am at how fast these last five years have gone by.

When she was first-born, I was terribly concerned with how she was breastfeeding. Mainly because my son would feed for close to 45 minutes on each breast and during the first couple of weeks I had a hard time getting him to latch on correctly and to really get the hang of breastfeeding. It was a lot of work.

But my daughter, she latched on instantly. And her feeding ran about 10-15 minutes, TOTAL. I just knew she must be starving and couldn’t figure out why she was feeding for these short spans of time.

When I took her in for her first exam she had gained over a pound. I asked the lactation consultant how that was possible when she was hardly eating. She laughed. “It’s not that she’s not eating, it’s that she’s eating very efficiently.”

It’s been that way ever since. Every time I think I’m failing, she shows me I’m not.

I can’t believe she’s five today. My baby. Quite possibly my last child. Five. She’s not a baby anymore. There are no diapers, or changing tables, or bottles. No high chairs or cribs. I only have kids now, no babies in this house anymore.

Oh, who am I kidding? She’ll always be my baby. Whether she’s five or fifty.

Pictures

Most of you on Facebook may have noticed the retro thing going on with people’s profile pictures. Well considering how many dozens photo albums and picture boxes I have stocked full of millions of pictures, I thought it would be fun to pull out some old pictures, scan them and then tag all my old school friends. But instead I ended up spending an entire evening pouring through every single photo album and photo box I own.

I have pictures that of course begin with me as a baby, my childhood, teen years and into the years my husband and I were dating, our wedding and of course there were tons of both pregnancies and the kids all the way through now. My mind is kind of racing full of all the memories. It’s so weird to look back and see how much I’ve grown and changed. And even weirder to see how much the kids have grown and changed. I swear it was just yesterday that they were born. Then again I would’ve sworn that it was only yesterday that I got married or graduated high school…

There were so many pictures that just took me back. Friends and family that have long since passed away, friends that are still in my life today. So many people and so many memories.

Nothing puts your life into a sharper focus then looking back over your life in pictures. It reminds you of where you come from and who you are. It also reminded me of just how fast my babies are growing and that I should take time to slow down and smell the roses with them more often.

My dad took this picture when I was in elementary school. He told me to picture the woman I’d be when I was 30 and to say hi to that woman. And now here I am, 32, looking at that same picture, saying hi back to that girl I once was.

I never did scan any pictures and upload them to Facebook. Maybe tomorrow…

Catching Butterflies and Lessons in Love


Yesterday my little girl went butterfly catching. She went with a neighbor, her son and of course my son. They went around the corner to the park where there has been a ton of butterflies due to migrating habits lately.

When they returned my daughter was so proud that she had caught one. There was this precious little butterfly in a little butterfly habitat with a few leaves and some flowers. She proudly showed it to everyone she could and we placed it on top of the bookshelf to keep it out of Blossom the cat’s grasp.

I asked her if we were going to let it go, and she looked at me with her big blue eyes and said “NO Mommy! She’s my butterfly.” I figured we’d deal with it in a few days and let it go. This morning the first thing she did was take down the butterfly habitat and laid down on the floor next to it. She quietly whispered to the butterfly, “Hey girl, how was your night?” Needless to say, my daughter was attached.

Later in the day as I tried to round up my daughter for lunch, she refused to answer me. Which is not too out of the ordinary for my little Diva, so I went in search of her. I found her sitting quietly behind the couch downstairs beside our sliding glass door looking out into the backyard. Before I could tell her to come upstairs for lunch I saw the very crushed look she had on her face. AND the empty butterfly habitat beside her.

I asked her what happened and where her butterfly was. With big tears streaming down she pointed outside where I saw the leaves and flowers on the back patio. “I let her go home, and now I miss her!” She said as she ran to me and burst into a hyper cry.

While part of me broke inside seeing her so sad, a bigger part of me swelled with love and pride. My daughter had just learned a life lesson that I could never explain or teach her. When you love something, set it free.

I ached for her, but told her how happy the butterfly was and how happy the butterfly’s family was going to be to see her back home. Then we ate lunch, where she got a couple cookies for being so sweet to her butterfly.

4 years old and already she understands something about love that some adults never understand.

I love being a mom.