Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Tough Little Princess

January 2009 at Mimi's house watching her brother sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. I remember because it was the first time she showed interest in learning the motions. She was 14 months old.

Last Halloween in her cheap costume that I found the week of Halloween once I realized the one I'd bought her wasn't gonna fit. From day one she's been bigger than she was "supposed" to be. She started out at 8 lbs. 11 oz. and she was born three weeks early.

Obviously this picture was taken before she became known as "monkey" for the other various reasons but looking back I must have had a hunch that would be her next nickname. She was happy as she could be during the trick or treating festivities because she got to ride in the wagon, stay outside, and eat skittles all in one evening. For Charlie things don't get much better than that.
Bean spent many a day in the bumbo chair. As long as she could see me she'd stay in there happily for longer than I care to admit now...in this picture she was 5 months old. She has been content to just sit and watch her brother since she arrived and a content baby was a whole new experience for us. I kept thinking that she would outgrow the happy stage. Now that I have known her for 17 months I feel confident saying that if she has been fed and had somewhat of a good nights' sleep, she is happy. It does break her heart when I leave the room sometimes but she instantly "turns her frown upside down" when she sees me again.
One of the very first smiles...one of the few pictures where I think she looks a lot like her brother. She was about 2 months old, soon before she started sleeping through the night. I did work with her, stretching her between feedings but by 12 weeks she was happy to oblige my request for a sleeping baby. When I first told everyone I was pregnant again, when Ty was 6 months old, many many prayers started going up for a quick-to-sleep, content, low-maintenance baby and she quickly became and stayed all three.
Could eat this one up. She looks so much like her Daddy and her cousin Caroline.
We took this picture for her birth announcement and she was just 7 days old. She slept four hours between every feeding for the first two weeks, with only a few hiccups. I did nothing to make that happen!! She also slept with her hands open like this, which people kept telling me meant she was not an intense little baby but a content, peaceful one. Obviously this was during those first few weeks before she started sucking her thumb to go to sleep. She was born at the very end of November so her little Christmas dress was just perfect.
6 months old and residing in the bumbo...no hope of sitting on her own and now that I look back I wonder why I wanted her to? She made it much easier to settle into a 2 kid routine because I didn't have to worry about her getting into things for quite some time.

When I found out I was pregnant with Charlie I was scared to death. Ty had just started sleeping for me--he didn't sleep day or night until 5 1/2 months--and I was still so insecure about what I was doing for him. There were many prayers asking for clarification as far as just what God was thinking...and now that we've got her I know exactly. She is a crazy little combination of her Daddy's looks and my tendencies. She has no regard for cleanliness with the exception of a dirty diaper. She doesn't like hanging around in those. Other than that, a mess always follows her. She finds her brother and begs him to play with her. I remember doing the same thing and just like my brother Ty couldn't care less as long as she doesn't mess up his things. She inevitably does. It's part of her charm! She is our reminder that God knows what we need and what we can handle.

I had a hard pregnancy with her--was extremely nauseous and tired and my diabetes was worse with her than with the other two. When things got a little tense at the end of the pregnancy and my Dr. suggested taking her early, we had to do an amnio to make sure her lungs were ready. It showed that her lungs were fine. We walked into the hospital early in the morning the next day and went through the motions of getting ready.

Ready for another baby? No I wasn't. But then they took her out and there was a moment (felt like a lot longer,) before she cried that instantly I wanted her more than anything. I asked why she wasn't crying and my Dr. kept saying, "Give her a minute...give her a minute..." and then she screamed. Pretty darn loud I must say. As cool as he plays it 99 % of the time I looked at Sean and I could tell he was relieved. And beaming.

A daughter.

And just like the day I had her brother, I became a different person. They warn you that it will be an instant connection and that it will change you. They warn you that there might be trouble learning how to interpret their cries and how to deal with their fussiness. They warn you that it will be the hardest job you've ever had. All are true. I made a deal with God regarding Charlie, (yes I know you're not supposed to do that,) and it was basically that if He would help me through the first few weeks and months with two little kids I'd try my hardest to be the mom He wanted me to be. The part about me needing His help was the crucial part of the deal. And as always, He did. Now it took my entire family helping me too, let's be honest. The village really kicked in once Charlie came along. What a gift she is. A tougher than nails little princess.


Michelle said...

She looks and sounds like an angel!

Emmy said...

Oh, little Charlie. She has had a lot of different looks, but we never saw the curly hair coming! I think she looks better than ever.

Carley said...

I loved this sweet post! She is just the cutest and I love seeing her little personality coming out as she has started exploring and growing.

Anonymous said...

I love this one too, Mary! It gives me hope! ;-)

Mama Em said...

I LOVE reading about how people see their children. It's so cool to see what you think and what they're doing...anyway, nice tribute to both kids...glad you got them both in. :)

Jenny, Jon and Lucas said...

What a sweet girl. I love those big, beautiful eyes and curly hair. You can tell just from her pictures that she has such personality!

Michelle said...

Woo Hoo...Glad to have a good report on Joy! Sounds like a VERY big girl!

Matt, Joy and Ryder said...

She is so precious!!!