Tuesday, March 25, 2014

5 Years Old

Tonight, Nora you went to bed for the first time as a 5 year old. 

Your first time at school for a birthday. We brought munkin donuts to share. Your wore a "It's My Birthday" sticker and they sung 'happy birthday'  and 'how old are you now' to you. The head of the lower school shook your hand this morning and said, "I'm so glad you were born, Nora! I'm happy you're here today!" I couldn't have said it better. Grateful for 5 years with you. 

But I am also counting my blessings tonight for your village, Nora. The people who love you and cherish your spirit. Who sent well wishes and called and sent cards or gifts. Who celebrated your birth, just as we did 5 years ago. Our village has strengthened and grown in the past 5 years. We have an entire school community now, filled with friends and teachers who are thankful for you too. And I know you will never be just mine again. The way you were mine in my belly. The way you were mine when I nursed you. The way you were mine when you needed me to take care of you 24/7. Now, you contribute opinions and ideas. You have friends made all on your own. You have relationships with adults that I don't foster. 

Mostly tonight, I thank my lucky stars for your father. I love him as my husband, the man I fell in love with so many years ago. But as your dad? Nora, you couldn't have a better one. His love for you is like nothing I have ever seen. His love for you is so deep and so strong. 
  • The Navy wanted him down on a aircraft carrier this week in Virginia. He told them under no circumstances will he miss your 5th birthday. 
  • Lucy was hit with a nasty stomach bug on Sunday night, besides cleaning her up (and the walls and floors) over and over again for 8 hours straight, with a little help from Nonna and Uncle Kevin, he still managed to throw you a party today. While I was not feeling well on the couch last night, he wrapped your gifts and decorated with streamers and balloons and flowers (that he bought). He even wrote you a card. He said: "To the older 15 year old, we love you and enjoy every minute of you growing up! Love, Mommy & Daddy" He signed my name, but I had nothing to do with it.
  • He made your birthday requested dinner: Spaghetti with sausage in the sauce and salad and bread. You are his daughter all right, I hate sausage but you and him love it! 
  • Gifts: he bought you almost all your gifts. Your favorite might have been the early birthday surprise of Frozen movie night last Friday. He made popcorn and we got lots of blankets and pillows and snuggled up together on the floor to watch the movie. 
  • Then this afternoon, I get this email from him that I couldn't stop smiling at: "I found IT!!!  I got a Frozen cake for Saturday.  It is down in Eldersburg Martins.  Everyone else that had the kit was sold out.  I will pick up Friday, and I ordered Frozen Plates and Napkins and found  Frozen balloons on Amazon.  I am going to get the helium tank of BJ’s and fill it.    So besides the food, is there anything else I need for Saturday?"

I put him in charge of your family & friends party on Saturday afternoon. He is an incredible father who loves you to pieces. He wanted your birthday to be special for you and he wanted so badly to not miss your 5th birthday, that he told the Navy no. And you know what? They said, ok, get here when you can. A love between a father and daughter so rich and so beautiful, even the military can't deny. 

I know I'm behind on my 5 posts. This is only the second in the month. I still have the Fairy Garden Tea Party on Saturday (all 11 girls from pre-k rsvpd they were coming... how does that happen?!? I was sure a few would decline!). Hopefully before Saturday, I will have a massive Disney post of day 4. But your father is going away tomorrow morning for the next three days. We can do it. We always have but we will miss him. 
Onward. And may my continued prayer of this week be heard: "Please, please, please God, don't let Nora get the stomach bug on her birthday." Now that your birthday is over, I am asking for a second miracle of staying healthy through Saturday (one, so you can enjoy your parties and two, Mommy doesn't do well with stomach sickness). 

Some of the decorations, this doesn't include the streamers or banner he hung up. 
Love Aunt Molly. 
5! Surrounded by gifts and love from family and friends. Here and afar.
Frozen movie night last Friday. 
Goodnight my sweet 5 year old. How filled I am with gratitude and love tonight. Thank you for giving me such gifts.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March Came in Like a Lion.

March is already half over and I am NOT going to let it slip away like February did. It is the Ides of March and since I took 3 years of Latin in high school, this day used to be a big deal. In fact when your father and I went to Rome, I had to reenact J.C.'s final walk and last actions on that day in the Ancient Roman forum in the exact locations and among the same buildings and ruins as when he lived.

But this isn't about the Ides of March...besides noting in another life it meant more to me. But rather about the lion this month has been. But the lamb is beginning to show herself and spring is coming slowly. We started March with a snow storm and ended the first week with pneumonia (Lu) and croup (Nora). Breathing treatments around the clock, 103.5 fevers, antibiotics, steroids, to hospitalize or not? It was a rough weekend. Daddy took the two of you to the doctor on a Thursday and by Tuesday, less than a week later everything returned to normal health wise (for the most part). But not before some scary nights with high fevers where we all slept together in case someone woke up and couldn't breath. The pediatrician commended Daddy on his determination to get Lucy seen in timely manner and to push his way in for an unscheduled morning appointment. She said, if he hadn't done that, if he had waited for the afternoon appointment, Lucy would probably have to have been hospitalized as her oxygen level was already so low and her breathing was labored.

Nora, you have been on spring break this past week and spent some time with Grandma and Ms. Patti. Thank goodness they were available as your father and I were still working. We have also been skiing twice this week. Well Daddy, Nora and I, after Lucy's first time (not) skiing, we decided to put her into "playcare." It has worked out for everyone! We have especially loved skiing in 50 degree weather and in the late afternoon sun (thank you Daylight Savings!). The snow is a bit slushy and the runs were a bit messy but Nora, you finally did it. You skied down the mountain by yourself. I have it on video! I am little over excited in the video but this is a major accomplishment, as earlier this season, you were afraid to fall and did not want to let go of Daddy's hand/pole/jacket... whatever you could grab. You ski with such ease. Such grace. You turn! We are so proud. The three of us has a great time, riding the lift, skiing, laughing, falling, goofing around. Time spent together, outside, learning something new, sharing a favorite activity. I treasured it. 

Then today, it was so warm and lovely and beautiful outside, we spent it playing in the yard, taking walks, clearing out the gardens to reveal the rich black soil under the debris and bright green sprouts popping up from the earth. It has been a long winter and now spring is coming. One of my favorite times of the year as your birthday arrives. So in honor of your birthday, I promise to write 5 entries in March. I have the first one down and Disney needs to be done still and we are having a party (fairy garden party) on the 29th with all your pre-k friends, so I think I can do it. 

Although the month started off sort of rough, we are looking forward to the end of winter, the beginning of spring and celebrating you, Nora, our soon-to-be FIVE year old! 

Lucy, you have such a wonderful sense of self and spirit. You spread joy so readily. 
Making cookies on a snow day.

Dr. Seuss Leadership Circle Pre-K class!
Nora you are back row 3rd from right. Your book was "Oh the Places You'll Go"
Dr. Office... a text pic Daddy sent me titled: "our two sick girls"
Bacterial pneumonia is miserable!
But then someone started feeling better enough to watch the ipad during nebulizer treatments. 
Daddy and I were able to escape for an afternoon to downtown Baltimore to see Book of Mormon.
Thanks Nonna for watching our sick kids!

Although you are pointed to the black diamond, we did "Dipsy Doodle" instead.
We'll save that run for when you're 5!!

What service! Getting pulled by Daddy.
YES! It's coming!!!