Thursday, August 13, 2009

Haley -

My girl turned 11 yesterday. It was actually quite funny how I used to place so much importance on my birthday, and how I seem to forget everyone else's. In my defense - I don't forget completely. I remember before, but when the day actually comes, I forget.

Growing up my mom and dad would and still make me feel so special on my birthday. I get a beautiful card - usually with sparkles and bows, and the most inspirational words. Telling me what a great mom I am, how proud they are to my parents - the kind of things that you want to hear from a parent and they mean it. Amazing...I'm so blessed. (I really should keep the cards. they would be a great pick-me up on a sad day. But I'm trying to cut down on clutter. As you can tell that by writing, not only is my mind cluttered, but so is my house.) There was always a special dinner. I got to choose. A family birthday with grandparents and aunts and uncles. When I moved they would come to visit. Well, with a new granddaughter...who could stay away?! the visits were every 3 months. She was the first - so tiny and little. Did you know that she slept in my doll cradle for up until she was 3 weeks. Why? well it was small and she was small and it fit right beside my bed just perfect. So I didn't have to get out of bed for feedings.

I remember almost everything about that first year. I think because everything was so new.
New baby,
new husband,
new city,
new apartment,
new car,
learning to drive new car (it was a standard),
new church,
new worship team,
first time being a worship leader (that was HUGE for me).

It was really hard the first 6 months getting used to being alone. I was used to constantly having family around me. My mom or sister were always popping in unannounced. It was great.
But, one night in our apartment building, I heard a couple fighting down the hall, and I heard the girl cry," I'm here all the time and there's nobody! You have no idea what I'm going through!" I did. Boy, did I ever. I should have introduced myself...that would have been awkward knocking on a stranger's door saying that you heard that they were lonely, and that you're lonely too. I didn't know what she looked like. What if I knocked on the wrong door? there were a lot of doors to knock on. wouldn't have been a first, that's for sure. hee hee. (Another story for another time)

But Haley was the best part of that year. She was so entertaining. I didn't at all feel weird having conversations with her - even if she didn't understand them. She was always willing to laugh at my jokes. I had so many cute baby clothes that she was like a little dolly - I'd dress her up even if we weren't going anywhere special. We watched teletubbies together, I'd watch her roll all over the floor of our one bedroom apartment. Boy, I watched the best sunsets from that apartment. Second floor, westward facing- we were just above all the houses. Perfect view.

I was very to-the-book about everything. Her pediatrician was very patient with me. (Especially with me having Biology 201 fresh in my head!!) She got her vaccinations on time. Brian came with me to hold her because I hated hearing her cry. She was never late for her checkups. And I kept track of her poops...her pees...when was the last time that I changed her bed, she lived on gripe water.

It's crazy now to think that she's going into grade 6, getting her own circle of friends. Knows pretty much what all the swear words are (except for the exotic ones because not even I know them!!) and to an extent what they mean. She's not interested in boys, but if she is, she's not telling me. She LOOOOVES Hannah Montana. She would like to one day be a fashion designer. She has two best friends - Jennifer and Alysha. And she will tell you while counting passionately on her fingers,

"we went to kindergarten together and we were friends for grade1grade2grade3grade4grade5 annnnnd were going into grade 6 and next year we're going to go to Junior High together. And we're best friends and tell each other EVERYTHING!"

She has a good heart, and loves Jesus. Loves to help out in church in the nursery or any place that needs help. She's really good with her nephews. They love her so much. She is crazy good at spelling - doesn't need to study and gets 100% 9 out of 10 times.

But I forgot that special day, I remembered around 3:30 pm...she even forgot it. Nobody phoned till after supper to wish her a happy birthday. It was weird...and so unlike my former self who would have had it planned to a tea what we would be doing, what we would be eating. And would have made sure that when she woke up that she KNEW it was her birthday. I guess that's what having 3 kids, plus a hubby does to you.

But we did go to Chuck E. Cheese today for "family birthday". And next week we're going to have her party - with her first sleepover with Jennifer and Alysha. So all is not lost, and she knows I still love her. xoxo

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reflections on Parenthood so far.

Today I babysat for Rachelle today. She took Erika to the eye doctor - haley tagged along, and I watched the twins, Kayleigh and Gillian. So I had 6 kids in my custody. It really wasn't that bad. When I told brian this morning, he said, "do you think you can handle it?" I told him how hard could it be? I'm already out numbered with my three, what's the difference of putting another 3 in the mix. I do miss the baby phase. I don't mind the diapers...and if they're cranky just put them to bed. They can't talk back, or have attitudes (well, nothing compared to a 'tweenager) Sadly, they all have to grow up. I hope I don't mess this up. I'm always constantly in the back of my mind wondering if I'm doing the right thing, if I'm doing enough. I noticed that when Brian and I play baseball, he is so focused. His mind is on the game. Mine is too, until I hear one of the girls cheer, or make a sound. Are they hurt? Where are they? What are they doing? Who are they talking to? Weird. I wish I could shut it off sometimes - this worry. it's overwhelming sometimes. That's why I'm not looking forward to school starting again. Three teachers who read too much telling me their "diagnosis" for my daughters, and how I should raise them. Makes me seriously want to homeschool them sometimes. But we all know how long that would last! Not very long.
So in conclusion,I am enjoying each stage of parenthood. Each has it's challenges, and I know it's going to be for life. My mom always tried to get us(me in particular) out of the house so fast maybe thinking that her duties would end or get any easier. Nope. They don't, they just shift a little and evolve into something new and different.