My dearest daughter

Rosie turns 4!    It was four years ago today, at 8:04AM that I heard your first cries.  I shed a few tears myself, not from joy or sadness, but from sheer relief that you were okay.  You are the best part of the miracle that took place in my life (our lives) four years ago.  I love you, my precious Trinity Rose.

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O’ Dark Hundred Hours

 My oldest daughter, Halie, turned 8 on December 7.  She graciously agreed to wait for a birthday celebration until December 17.   My daughter was well compensated for her patience.  Among the wonderful gifts was a gift I never imagined her desiring – ever : rollerblades.   Halie put them on before the party was over and was skating up and down the sidewalk in front of our house while we all watched.  She mastered them that same day! 

The next morning, it was back to school (Monday).  At 5AM, I saw a shadow in the hallway, outside my bedroom door – It was Halie: completely dressed for school, but also outfitted with helmet, gloves, pads and rollerblades.  My eight year old seemed to be trying to sneak in a skate around the living room before school without waking us up.  I jabbed my husband hard in one shoulder – repeatedly.  When I had his attention, I simply pointed down the hallway.   He called out to our daughter, “Halie? What are you doing?” She answered solemnly, “Well, my teacher said that if I get up extra early, I can have some time to do what I want to do before I have to get ready for school.  I like rollerblading, so that’s what I’m doing.” 

 WOW!  I had no words.  My husband just asked Halie to be careful around the TV and not to move the furniture.  Then he sent our daughter on her way.  My husband rolled over, saw the look on my face, and said, “You know what? Halie’s inspired me to use this morning to do whatever I want to do. I’m going back to sleep!

In the end, Halie was happy (not her usual grumpy morning self), and I asked her to thank her teacher for giving her such good advice.  Halie had a great day at school! When my daughter came home, she told me that the teacher passed a ‘Thank You’ right back to me.

I think Halie’s sisters might be getting some of their own rollerblades for Christmas!

(Sorry.  Having problems getting my photos loaded on WP.  Check out the pics of Halie skating over on myFlikr Photos page)

Have a Merry Christmas!

Anybody ready for Christmas?

Anyone?  Anyone? Bueller?  Although I unboxed my (fake) Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, getting it completely decorated has been a long process.  Today, we invited all of the family to be here to celebrate Halie’s eighth birthday.  So, while I had the camera out anyway, I figured I’d share a photo of our indoor Christmas decorations:

Christmas 2006 click to enlarge

Enjoy.  May your holiday season be blessed!

Happy Birthday Halie!

Halie December 1998 I remember the day you were born with such clarity: The doctors were concerned that you we’re too immature to be born so early, but my body was creating an environment for you that was less than favorable.  We all decided that you would be better off on the outside rather than on the inside

My body was not ready to give you up!  Almost as soon as the doctors and nurses spoke of trying to induce labor, your heart rate began to plummet.  When it did not return to normal, we were off to the operating room.  This is where my memory gets a little fuzzy.  Honestly, if your daddy hadn’t video-taped your delivery, I wouldn’t remember any of it. 

On the video of your birth, I hear your birth weight being announced: 5 pounds, 14 ounces, followed by the pediatrician yelling, “She’s a keeper!”  I have told you that my heart gained exactly 5 pounds and 14 ounces that cold December morning. You were presented to me just before you were taken to the nursery, and I began singing ‘Happy Birthday’ as tears rolled down my cheeks.  Before I was through, your daddy and all of the staff in the O.R. were singing to celebrate your birthday!

At 7:36 this morning, you officially turned eight years old.  You were born, I blinked, and here you are on your eighth birthday.

  Thank you for blessing me every day, Princess Halie, Your Cuteness.

Halie turns 8!

Christmas Shopping Continued

Our oldest daughter, Halie will be 8 on December 7, next week.  We have all of our Christmas shopping done for our three daughters (whew!), but we had still not purchased Halie’s birthday gift.  We are grateful and consider it a blessing that she was born on December 7 and not Jan 8, when she was supposed to arrive.  We do not group her birthday together with our Christmas celebration, as we have taught all of our daughters that Christmas is a time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.  The one time we actually get gifts on someone else’s birthday! That said:

Halie really, really, really wants a Bratz doll.  We’ve told her that we’d like to wait until she’s at least ten years old.  If we intended to buy her a Bratz doll  today, however, this was the store to purchase it at.  There were aisles upon aisles of Bratz dolls and theiraccoutrements.  As we exited the first aisle, I saw 24-inch, plush, poseable dolls.  My husband, walking behind me, with his eyes wide, said, “Those girls are dressed like mini hoochie-mamas! Where is the Bratz Pimp doll with his pimp hat and cane?”  I laughed until I couldn’t breathe… Then decided we’d better buy Halie the magic-makeup Barbie styling head. 

Mission accomplished.  Maybe not politically correct, but side-splitting nonetheless!

So, my readers (both of you): How’s your holiday shopping going? 

All Saints Day!

From this day forth, my family shall recognize this date as:

dscf0121.jpgBirthday Boy Aidan Patrick Christopher’s Birthday!

My incredible nephew is one year old today.  He’s already walking.  I have warned my sister that the progression from ‘walking’ to ‘running’  to ‘running-away-from-mommy-in-public-places-where-she-cannot-scream-at-me’ happens at light speed.  She has already earned the Medal of Motherhood in her first year of motherhood: my sister cared for her son, her husband and her sick self while they were all battling the gruesome stomach flu.  I won’t gross you out with the details.  Just suffice it to say that my sister has cleaned vomit out of her shoes that was not her own…

My daughters had a fun time Trick-or-Treating on their Grandma and Grandpa’s block for Halloween.  While I captured some good photos of Halie (Guinevere) and Rosie (Nurse), I did not get a good one of Catie (Princess Jasmine).

Happy Birthday Baby!

catiecake6th.jpgdadcatie6th.jpgCatie is six years old as of 8:26PM today.  This morning, she got a special privelege: cake for breakfast.  She paused only to pose with her Daddy, then with her birthday cake before gobbling down one tiny slice before school.

cakecatie6th.jpg

Traditionally on their respective birthdays, I relate the story of my labor with them.  Catie happens to be the only child that I actually ‘labored’ with, back in October 2000.  Since my first pregnancy ended in an emergency c-section before I even began to labor, my doctor (the very same OB, as a matter of fact) agreed to let me try to labor with my second daughter.  Apparently, moms who have had one c-section choose to schedule the next birth or subsequent births for another cesarean.  In my seventh month, we relocated more than 90 miles away.  In spite of that fact, I chose not to schedule another c-section, but allow my body to initiate labor naturally.  Catie was officially due the third week of September.  When the date passed with no indication of labor imminent, my doctor agreed to let me continue, as long as Catie was tolerating her extra ‘baking time’.  On October 2, I woke to a headache, so I checked my blood pressure – it was up a few points, so I called the doctor.  She asked my husband to drive me in (bags packed) so she could have a look at my daughter.  At the doctor’s office, I was hooked up to a contraction monitor, which soon made it obvious that I was already having regular contractions.  This was news to me! 

The doctor sent me and my husband over to the hospital, where the nurses *again* told me that my contractions were regular.  Please ladies, don’t hate me, but at eight minutes apart, I could hardly feel them.  The nurse added a Pitocin drip to accelerate contractions (it worked, thankyouverymuch), and 24 hours later, my contractions were 60 seconds apart – reading off the chart, but still barely any dilation.   At that point, I was exhausted and asked for an epidural.  Fast forward another six hours: contractions still 60 seconds apart, still no change, and Catie’s heartbeat starts to drop.  Since I had seen this before with my first daughter, I knew what had to be done: Another Cesarean. 

Turns out that my OB and the pediatrician’s sons played pee-wee football together, and they had a game that very evening.  Both doctors were paged, and came in excitedly talking about the game they had just watched their sons play in. 

Catherine Dian was born at 8:26PM, with an e- l-o-n-g-a-t-e-d skull (from being pressed into my pelvis for, like, 24 hours).  The entire operation room staff immediately erupted in song: “Happy Birthday to you…”

Within hours, my newborn daughter’s head was more normal (thanks to some strategic massage), and the next day, we made to 90+ mile drive back to our home.  The doctor wanted me to stay another day.  When she said that, I responded by saying, ” Are you kidding me? I’ve got wash to do!”

Guess you just can’t argue with that!

So, as my middle child, Catie gets overlooked a bit.  She doesn’t seem to mind.  When she needs my attention, she politely requests it.  Catie loves one-on-one time with mommy OR daddy, and expresses her gratitude whole-heartedly.

For my now Six-Year-Old Catie:

You are my favorite Catie in the WHOLE WORLD!

**UPDATE** 5:22PM

Catie’s paternal grandfather, ‘Grandpa’,  surprised her class at school this afternoon when he showed up to help her celebrate her birthday.  He not only brought a birthday cake (made up of individual cupcakes), but also juice, goodies bags and specially-decorated pencils for the entire class!  Entirely HIS idea, too.  Grandpa asked me to snap a few pictures, and I did.  I captured the surprise on my six year old’s face, and the excitement on her classmates’ faces as each surprise was presented by Grandpa.  My in-laws never cease to amaze me!  Thank you, Dad.