Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Girl

Sweet Caroline,

Ways in which you are ridiculous:
1. You're 19 months old and still wake up at night. I know it's just for a few minutes, but jeez.
2. That blood curling shriek you'll let out for no particular reason. I'll bolt up, fully expecting to see you minus one limb, only to find that your sippy cup was a full three inches out of your immediate reach.
3. For that matter, when you casually hand your cup to me over your shoulder, not even making eye contact, so that I can fetch you a refill.
4. Your tendency to fixate on ridiculous things. We've had to warn everyone who comes around you to never say the word "bubbles" because of your addiction. It's not good enough that I've blown bubbles until I'm blue in the face - you want more!
5. Your complete disregard for things like temperature and darkness. It doesn't matter if it's 8:30 at night and 43 degrees out... you want to go outside. With no pants on.
6. Your complete disregard for safety and gravity. It's amazing that you're still alive and in one piece, because you're such a rambunctious and carefree little girl.
7. The way you'll grin, say "uh-oh" and then drop something off of your chair/off your car seat/at Mommy's face.
8. Your complete addction to Elmo. We've discussed this before. I have yet to see one episode of the new season of House, but I totally know what Elmo's thinking about today. It's noses.

Ways in which you are wonderful:
1. The reason you wake up at night is because Daddy is still at work when you go to sleep. You wait until around 11:30 to wake up, make sure he made it home, get a kiss and go back to bed.
2. Sometimes that blood curling screech is pure happiness, and I love how much joy you have in you.
3. You know that all you have to do is flash that beautiful smile at me, and I'm more than happy to be your designated juice-getter.
4. Bubbles do make you really, really happy. I love watching you fixate on things that you're trying to figure out... unless it's something like how to flush the toilet.
5. Nope... no defense for the cold nighttime adventures. It's cold, it's dark,and you really should wear pants.
6. I love that you're completely fearless. Your new game is to climb halfway up my body and then flip yourself upside down and backwards over and over again.
7. Your sense of humor is wonderful. I love your laugh, and I love that you'll laugh just because you see us laughing. I love that you still love the silly things we do like blowing raspberries on your tummy. Please don't outgrow that any time soon.
8. I'd rather watch Elmo with you than House by myself. Really, I love it. I love your Elmo wiggling butt dance you do to the intro song. I love when you scream "Hi D!!!" and wave at the goldfish.
9. I love that when I come home from work, you run up to me and give me a great big hug. It makes my 12 hour days completely worth it to come home to your smiling face.
10. I love those rare quiet times when you slow down long enough to lay your head on my lap while I brush your hair. I love when you shove your teddy bear in my face so I can give him a kiss.
11. I love when I can hear your laughter before I even open the door.
12. You are one of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest toddlers I know. I'm so grateful that you don't hit, or bite, or destroy things just to watch them die. One time you accidentally broke a crayon by coloring too roughly with it, and you cried until Mommy found tape and patched it back together.
13. You are incredibly thoughtful for your age. You put your toys away without being asked, you make sure all your food is on your plate when you're done eating, and then ask for a paper towel to wipe down your highchair tray. If I'm cleaning the counters, you're so pleased if I'll give you a damp cloth so you can "clean" the floors. You're Mommy's great helper and I'm so proud of you.
14. You are very, very happy. That's why your bad moods are so tough on Mommy and Daddy - because they're few and far between. We appreciate what a good girl you are, and we love you very, very much!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

March 26, 2010

Sweet Caroline,
You were born on Friday, March 26, 2011 at 11:35 p.m. You were born via C-section, which is not exactly what Mommy had meant when I said I wanted to ease you gently into this world, having wrapped myself in the comfort of all the amazing drugs modern medicine has to offer. Unfortunately, you decided to flip into the breech position at the very last minute, which the doctor didn't discover until after my water had broken. This left him unable to try and turn you, and a C-section was the only way to deliver you safely. You came into this world showing your butt, and you've been that way ever since!
Daddy's girl has arrived

Your Daddy was the first to hold you, and you've been his best friend ever since. Your father is the kind of dad who has woken up every single time that you've woken in the middle of the night. He's rocked you, sang to you, and done his very best to move the world in such a way that will make you happy and able to fall back asleep. Please remember how much he loves you when you try to start dating in a few years. It will make the process much less painful.
I look half overjoyed/half scared shitless

We loved you instantly, of course. I didn't want to let you go when they let me hold you post-op. I cried when they took you to the nursery to get cleaned up while they took me to our room. After waiting nine long months to meet you, I couldn't stand the thought of us being separated. I even refused to have you sleep in the nursery at night. I was so swollen and bandaged that I couldn't get up on my own, but it gave me immense comfort to gingerly reach out and stroke your tiny body if I woke up in the night.
This is the first of what will be many nights of you sleeping on Daddy's chest. It's your favorite place on Earth to sleep.

When I was finally able to get up out of bed and move around, we paraded you up and down the hall in your little hospital bassinet, bursting with pride. We caught the eyes of everyone we saw, hoping they'd notice you and recognize us for what we'd waited for so long to be: parents.
Our tiny little angel

We were your parents. Amazingly, we were entrusted with raising you, loving you, keeping you safe, and teaching you to be better than what we were before you. To this day, Daddy and I will look at each other sometimes, shake our heads and ask, "can you believe she's really ours?"
Sometimes we can't. How could we have been blessed with such an amazing child? You're sweet, and kind, and helpful, and the funniest little girl I've ever seen. We're so lucky to have you.

Our first family photo