Happy Six, Peanut

She hates it when I call her ‘Peanut’ now. Tough patoots, I say. It’s your nickname and I’m not giving it up. Oh, and you’re a peanut, so it’s fitting. I’m not a nut, she replies. No, not in that sense…

She’s becoming a truly, truly lovely young lady. She’s sweet, caring, responsible, thoughtful and smart. I’m quite proud of her, and of the choices and decisions she’s making, and learning to make, as she navigates this big world we live in. I think she’s going to make it.

She asked for a “star” party this year. And, well, this mama delivers. Star party it is. Stars everywhere…the cake, the decor, the dress. I’m “that mom” and I think I’m OK with it. I haven’t decided yet.

Whatever the case, Happy Birthday, kiddo. You are my favorite six year old.

And look! Mommy (and Asher) made it into a photo, and wore stars. Just for sissy.

{joy of love} day four

What She Wears

She wears headbands, and lots of them. Several a day. They’re all over the house, my car, her backpack…it’s kind of funny if not totally annoying. She also wears crazy stuff together, like her cherry dress with her heart leggings because, “the leggings have red hearts and the dress has a red top and red cherries so they match”. Um, sure. And her great-great-grandmother’s apron. Who knew it’d still be around, and that she’d love the yellow one so much. I love having these little bits of family heritage around here. It makes it cozy.

Today was also daddy’s birthday…he’s 30-something officially. Per Ryan’s directive, we made him a breakfast for dinner feast, complete with pancakes with whipped cream and blueberries “just like in the Curious George book”. He loved it.

We finished off with a lemon pound cake that Ryan frosted and decorated herself. Her independence the last few days is amazing. All of a sudden, her mindset has switched from “I can’t do it alone” to “of course I can, and I will, watch!”. Maybe it has something to do with registering for Kindergarten, or turning 5, or who knows what. Yes, I said registering for Kindy…I slipped that in there, huh? I suppose I should have taken photos, and for certain I was composing them in my mind, wishing I’d grabbed my camera, but I didn’t. It’s OK…she was overwhelmed enough as it were, without my big camera in her face.

But yep, she’s all set to head off to Kindy in the fall, and take the bus there, and take the bus home and ohmygosh, didn’t I just give birth to her yesterday? For those wondering, yes, I held it together. Mostly. I choked back a few tears looking down the hallway at all the even bigger classrooms (one this at a time, mama). I choked back a few tears looking at the writing the kindergarten children were working on. I choked back tears at the much more sophisticated artwork the big kids were doing. But the important this is that I didn’t break out in tears. I held it together. For now. Talk to me on the first day of school as I stealthily follow the bus to school to watch her walk into her classroom.

Happy FIVE!!

Five years ago today, I won the jackpot. I didn’t know it then, but giving birth to Ryan Elizabeth would change my life immeasurably. I guessed it, and assumed it would, but I really had no idea the depths and ways it would alter my entire existence. I’ve made lifelong friends, built amazing relationships and grown as a human being.

She is an amazing little girl: sweet, funny (hilarious, really), quirky, loud, and completely perfect as a member of our family.

Happy Birthday Peanut. We cannot believe you’re FIVE already!

Babies don’t read baby books

Right? That’s why they  have no idea they’re “supposed” to sleep through the night at 8 weeks, why they don’t understand that they’re “supposed” to eat every three hours and enjoy solids on a particular schedule.

Well, I’m pretty sure Finleigh’s got a copy of Dr. Sears The Baby Book hidden behind her puppy and is reading it in her crib when I’m not looking.

This kid does everyone on (or ahead) of schedule. She wanted to start solids a little early, sure, but everything else has been text book.

She turned six months old on September 22nd. She also started cutting her two bottom teeth that day. Then, she began babbling “mamamamamama” over and over again in addition to babbling all sorts of great sounds and blowing raspberries. And then this morning, when I put her on the floor to play, she immediately popped up on all fours and started rocking.

Crazy little six month old. Seriously, when did that happen? I’m pretty sure I still have a newborn, and am a little confused (but entirely delighted) with this little person who’s moved into our house.

And explaining the half birthday to big sister was hilarious. “Is Finleigh one, mama?” “No, Ryan, she’s half. You know, like you’re four and a half?” “OH…I get it. Are we going to have cake?”

Twenties

It seems that for many, their twenties are a time of tumult: ups, downs, ins and outs, and we were no exception. Our twenties saw us moving out of our homes, moving up to Seattle, changing jobs, starting school, getting married, having a baby, buying cars, selling cars, car accidents, and buying a home. So much change, so fast. So much growth, so fast. Well, it seemed fast, anyway. To change that much, to grow from what I’d now consider a child into someone who looks and occasionally acts very much like an adult.

In our twenties, we were so free. Free to do whatever we wanted, with very little holding us back. Hop on a plane last minute to go to Sundance film fest? Sure. Fly down to California for a wedding? No problem. Buy a house? Why the heck not! Get trashed on a random Wednesday night? Bring it on! I don’t think we even realized it then, this freedom that we had.

Would I change it though? Nope. Yeah, I miss the ease of hopping on a plane to go visit a friend on only carrying on luggage. But I wouldn’t trade that for my two girls. Of course I miss getting trashed on random weeknights, but do I miss the hectic retail work schedule that allowed for “weekends” in the middle of the week? Nope.

Makes me wonder what the 30s will bring. It’s already brought one baby, a car sale, caring for an ailing parent, and a possible job change. In a year. Is it really possible that the 30s might bring even MORE change than the 20s? And will I look back on this in 10 years and think what a baby I was?

Not really sure where I was headed with this. I guess I’m curious, how crazy were your twenties? And if you’re into your thirties, how is that looking?

And, she’s four…

Wow. Do we really have a four year old? I know we have a new one on the way, but I still can’t believe that my first baby is 4 (or that my dog is almost 7). She’s an amazing, funny, passionate, imaginative, surly little thing, and for all her challenges, I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I’ve been grading some papers lately, and the high school seniors were asked to write about what love is. Their definitions, though they certainly evoked memories, focused solely on the only thing they can even fathom: romantic love.

What they don’t know, the big secret, is that as amazing as it is to find another person to love, and be loved by, your soul mate, or whatever you call it, is that the love a parent has for a child is even more amazing. And the love one develops for the partner who helps you create that child is so much stronger than it could have been without. A parent will truly step in front of a train for their child. Give up nearly everything for that child…make changes she never thought she’d make, and become a person she never knew she could. I have grown so much as a person in the last four years…I barely recognize myself (this is a good thing). Much as I’m always changing and evolving, I feel like I really know myself, who I am, and what I want to be when I grow up someday.

An amazing role model for an amazing girl (and her equally amazing little sibling to come).

And so, Peanut, mama loves you…more than you’ll know until you have babies someday. Happy Birthday little one.

What’s up next?

Well, RE’s birthday, that’s what.

And what’s on the list for the little monkey?

A new mei tai (her old one is awfully small)
A wee wonderfuls doll
A black apple inspired doll
A table fort
Some doll clothes

And as for the rest of my list?

A blanket for Abby
Napkins for the S family
Hemming sleeves on an old shrunken sweater for RE
Gabe’s bday present, just a little late

Oh, and RE’s birthday party, which will be rather low key this year. At least, the Seattle one will be. The Cali party will no doubt be nutty.