Natalie and Abi had theirs today. The nurse asked me who would go first, and Natalie volunteered. She climbed onto the exam table and pulled her sleeve up, as the nurse asked her where she wanted the shot.
She remained calm, but as the nurse wiped her arm with the alcohol wipe, she asked to hold giraffey and my hand.
I held onto her hand and her grip was tight. The nurse said "a little pinch" and as it happened Natalie, who had been smiling a nice smile, kept a sort of smile, but her eyes filled with tears and her bottom jaw jutted out. As soon as the nurse said "all done" she practically leaped from the exam table into my arms and cried. I'd told her it was OK to cry about a shot, because they hurt.
She was so brave, and I was really impressed with how well she handled it.
Abi on the other hand.... She cried the second her bum hit the exam table and didn't stop until she was safely in my sling.
9 years ago you came into the world. What amazing nine years its been. You are stubborn. So very stubborn. Of course I knew this from when I was pregnant with you, when you refused to stop being breech, until we had you physically turned head down.
Gwen, I love you so very much. I'm incredibly grateful that you are my girl.
Natalie says she no longer needs "nuh-nees" and is a big girl. Yet every morning she asks for them. I remind her gently that she's a big girl at almost 3.5 it's time.
Sunday morning she told me she was a big girl who no longer needed to nurse. All day Monday we talked about it. A part of me feels sad that she says this, but also it makes me happy that she's decided to be a big girl all on her own.
Abi is clearly still a baby who needs to nurse. She's also sick right now and really needs the extra milk and cuddles.
Back to Natalie, I told her that when she is all done with nursing we will have a tea party with her friends to celebrate. She wants a blue and yellow tea party. I think it's adorable. And I want to get her something special to commemorate the occasion. In not sure what, probably a necklace (but not a milk one).
My babies are growing up far too quickly.
I feel like each of the girls is at a very difficult age.
13, the edge of something huge, but not yet there, the cusp of womanhood, but still in so many ways a little girl.
9 (in a few weeks), another edge, just about to leave the dream world , falling with a thud to earth.
3.5, in the middle of the hardest year before 9. So terrible, that the parenting books and blogs lie and tell you that 2 is the worst, they totally skip telling you that 3 is worse than the "terrible twos".
15 months. She wants to be big like her sisters. I want her to be a baby still. She's testing her independence and I just want to pull her close.
It's hard to parent each of these ages and stages. To keep it as fair as possible. To give consequences to actions (good and bad) without making the other girls feel that we're being unjust.
Sometimes I just send everyone to their room. Sometimes it's because they need a time out. More often it's because I need a time out.
Yet, I love them all, so very much, and I wouldn't change them at all.
Some days they are all wonderful people. Some days I want to pause our life and freeze these little people, slow them down before they are off and away.
At the end she collapsed into my bed, face puffy from crying so hard. Abi was snuggled on my left, Natalie sleep sobbing on my right as I fell into sleep.
It was the end of another very long day.
This deployment has been really rough on us. It's a short one, and sometimes that makes it harder. Not enough time to get into a routine. And not short enough for us to not be in a routine.
Natalie is missing her daddy terribly. She looks for him out of the window, thinking that every car she hears will be him.
The older two have been through this, they know he'll be home soon. But it's difficult for Natalie to understand.
I need a moment to myself, but it doesn't happen. By the end of each day I feel so tightly wound that I snap at the kids. The nightly storms we've been having mirror how I feel inside.
Less than 2 weeks to go. Right before he left, I told him this one would be hard, because living here, I've come to rely on him so much more. I enjoy his company, I like how our life runs. This is exactly how it should be.
You are 14 months old.
You can walk, but its more like a weird high-stepping waddle. I love watching you walk. But I loved watching you scoot just as much. I do like being able to stand you up while I go to the bathroom and you just stand there for a moment. Makes life easier.
You love to climb. On. Everything. You aren't very sturdy which makes this, as a young Rhayn would have said, "damerous". Watching you climb and explore the world is really neat.
You have 6 teeth and love food. Though there are many things you can't eat with only 6 teeth. You try to eat everything.
Today you have a bad rash. I'm not sure if its eczema or heat rash. We were at the girls' school, hanging out while we had a meeting for the "parent, teacher, volunteer group" (not a PTA but like that). The principal came over and we were talking to her. I was holding you and you were trying to pull your shirt off. I lifted your shirt and saw that the little eczema-like rash you'd had for weeks was covering your back and you were trying to pull your skin off. I took your shirt off and as you pinched your back, you were covered in goosebumps. It got worse because we couldn't come home immediately. But its looking better now that you are cooling off.
You've finally started having an opinion about things, like being up in a carrier, which you love most of the time. You have a special doll that you love, one that I made. And that makes me really happy.
It is so much fun watching you grow and develop.
Thank you so much, for adding your love to our family.
I will likely always feel sad that I don't have a little boy. My boy, my son. It sounds weird to think of having one at the same time.
My girls are all so very different. And none (so far) is very girly. I'm grateful for that. Though I have to remind myself that Rhayn used to love everything princess, sparkly and pink.
I wonder what Abby will be like in a year or two. She loves baby dolls right now, she will crawl over and grab her baby and then wants me to hold it while I hold her. Its really cute, especially since they are both bald headed. She still seems such a baby to me, perhaps because she has no hair and can't/won't walk? Her pudgy little legs are adorable. And I hate that the baby newsletters I am getting in my email weekly call her a toddler now. No. Nope, not a toddler. A baby, my baby, my sweet little cuddle monkey.
Natalie likes dresses and princesses. Mostly Elsa. She likes to look pretty, and is adorable even with her super short pixie cut. Her eyes are so big that this haircut just highlights them. Really its the perfect hairstyle for her.
Gwen is squeamish, she doesn't like bugs, or anything like that (and Natalie is picking that up from her). Recently she's started wanting to be a hairdresser when she grows up and likes to brush my hair (though she still dislikes taking care of her own).
Rhayn likes to wear make-up and wants to look just. so. when she goes out. She's 13, and that freaks me out all of the time. But she's also a really great kid, most of the time.
These girls are amazing people. I only hope that I am raising them the best way possible.
We've been sick so much this last year that I'm starting to wonder if I should quarantine the house.
Rhayn has one of her bffs over for the week. It's all fine and dandy. Except that I have to drive them around, make food, keep the house clean, etc. All while being sick.
Hopefully I can keep this to myself. Or maybe they all have had our already. Since it's mostly stuffiness.
I thought it might be allergies. But I'm pretty sure it's not.
And I'm not even sure why I'm writing about it here. Or why I'm on here any way.
This week you turned 1.
Its been a rough week for me, because I can't believe you are so big.
The day before your birthday you had your first dentist appointment. Natalie had one as well. She was just fine until they attempted to take an x-ray of her teeth. She then started crying and was terrified. She barely let the dentist look in her mouth. You also didn't like him looking in your mouth. He pointed out that you do, in fact, have an upper lip tie. He also said there is no reason to "fix" it, which I'm glad for because I don't think it needs to be fixed either. Its not tight, nursing isn't uncomfortable. You have only 4 teeth at this time.
Speaking of nursing, you are still happily doing there. So is Natalie. Though I distract her and am trying to gently wean her, she still asks almost every morning and night. but not every day. I am fine with you nursing longer, at least another year. We'll see what happens though.
No, you still are not walking. You can crawl, you cruise along furniture, you scoot on your bottom. You don't free-stand yet. It is interesting, I thought it would be ok, but I keep expecting to be able to just stand you there, and you immediately sit down. This doesn't work well when we're out in our yard, so I end up wearing you much of the time.
At this moment you are taking things out of my nightstand drawer. Cute, but kind of a pain. You love to take things out of cupboards as well. I always forget about this stage.
Abby, you are a sweet snuggle baby, like Gwen was. You like to be held. You also love to follow your sisters around and don't like when they shut doors in your face. Your eyes light up when you see Natalie, she is your best buddy and I hope that stays the same.
You don't talk. You can sign "milk" and "all done" but that is it. You might say "Hi" but I'm not sure. You are doing things in your own time. And I love that about you.
On Thursday we were at a pool party and Natalie was in the hot tub. She tried to jump from one side to the other but can't swim so she was under the water and screaming. It was so scary.
That night I had a really hard time falling asleep. In fact I let Natalie sleep in bed with me and I kept checking on her. She wire a few times crying which didn't help my sleep. But I needed her close to me.
Once when Rhaynnon was little, just over 2 i think, she feel into a lake. Backwards off of the dock. I could see her going under, like slow motion, sinking. I'm sure it was only seconds, it felt like forever. She was fine, but it's created a fear.
When I was a kid we spent the summer at the pool. Skin brown, except where our suits covered us. Hair bleached blonde from exposure. Exhausted at night from hours spent being active.
But I'm afraid.
And I need to get the girls into swim lessons.