Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Baby Girl

My sincerest apologies to all you "babies" out there ... the last kids of the bunch ... the littlest sibling that will forever be 12 years old.  We mommies can't help it!

Happy Birthday, Sweet Baby Liddy!

My little Lydia turns two tomorrow.  How did the time fly by so fast?!?!?  Right before my very eyes, my baby is big .... -ish.  :)  She's still my baby and she's still little, but she is quickly leaving all her baby-ness behind her.  Just this past Sunday, I realized as I dropped her off at the church nursery that this was her last Sunday with the babies.  This coming Sunday she will be with the bigger kids.  Eek.  No baby in the nursery.  Ever again.  I got a little choked up.  

It started me thinking about all the other "lasts" that we have experienced and the "lasts" that are still to come here in our home.  There was a speaker at MOPS a few years ago that talked about how we as moms celebrate every little first of our kids:  first bath, first solid food, first tooth, first step, first birthday.  However, we oftentimes fail to celebrate the lasts.  Probably because by that point our lives are shooting by at such an insane rate of speed that we miss them!  So today, I want to pause and celebrate a few "lasts" ... but, first I'll go get my tissues. :)

Somewhere along this road of growing up, my big kids stopped holding my hand to cross the street.  That is a "last" that I certainly miss:  their little fingers wrapped around mine; slow, little steps across the road, tightening my grip when they try to weasel away!  Every now and then Aaron will sidle up next to me and kinda leeeeaan in as we cross the street and periodically Norah will link her arm around me ... but it's not quite the same.  Even Ashley claims she can, "just walk close."  Sigh ... I guess that means poor Lydia will have to hold my hand until she's in her twenties ... maybe longer!

When our kids are potty training, we have always made it a habit to take our kids to the potty "just one more time" before we go to bed.  This has saved us from countless, middle of the night, bedding changes!  Sometime this summer, Ashley started getting herself up in the middle of the night to go potty ... rendering our potty breaks obsolete.  Suddenly we have three kids that take care of their own business.  Alone.  Successfully.  While I don't necessarily miss these rendezvous in the bathroom, there was something precious about holding my sleeping kids, listening to them mumble in their sleep and then snuggling them back into their covers with one last smooch.  While Lydia is still several months away from this potty-practice, I'm already projecting that this just might tug at my heart-strings.  She may need "potty-help" for awhile ... at least until she's old enough to tell me to mind my own business! :)

On November 1st, Lydia graduated out of the high-chair.  Mainly because of her persistent eagerness to sit like the big kids on the bench and because I was tired of cleaning it up and keeping her in it.  Imagine my surprise, however, when she screamed and cried upon seeing her booster seat on the floor ... and her frantic attempts to get it back onto the bench!  The only solution was to stick it out in the garage and go on with the meal.  Thankfully, she was quickly over the issue and happily sitting in her place ... but I think that deep down she perceived that this was some sort of milestone, too.  That, or she was being a turkey ... probably more likely the later.  Now we have all six of us around our table, on knees or bums.  The next to go will probably be the plastic dishes.  Already Aaron periodically asks if he can have a "real" plate or cup.  (That reminds me of a story a mom shared at MOPS about her kids excitement over getting to use a "human" plate ... just like the grownups! Ha! Ha!)  It's inevitable that my kids won't want to eat off of the Star Wars plate or drink from princess cups forever, but Lydia might have to use those cute monkey dishes for awhile ... not at college necessarily, but for awhile.

Just last summer when we were traveling across the state for a family reunion, the kids' music of choice was Veggie Tales.  We drove along singing, "At the Carwash" and "Jonah was a Prophet".  Then just the other day, we all loaded up in the van, turned the ignition and Junior Asparagus started singing "Bushel and a Peck" to which Aaron said, "Can we turn this off?"  What?  Since when did you stop liking Bob and Larry?  Now the kids ask if we can bring the iPod along when we run errands so they can listen to "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas or our theme song "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz.  Suddenly my big kids are too cool to listen to kid's music.  But I like Veggie Tales.  Pout.  Lip out. Arms crossed.  Fortunately, when the big kids are at school, the little girls still like to sing along with Mr. Lunt and Pa Grape.  Whew!  I wonder how Lydia will feel about dancing at her wedding to "I am a Promise" by Junior Asparagus? ...

Along the same lines, we have several DVD's that have probably played their last shows, and we didn't even know it at the time.  The cover jackets to Rescue Heroes and Mega Truck Adventures are pretty dusty!  I remember that Aaron and Norah lived and breathed those shows.  Daily.  Repeatedly.  While at the time, I was amazed that they could watch them over and over again and not be bored stiff; now I miss those simple stories and cheesy dialogues.  Now those have been replaced with Fineas & Ferb (admittedly a funny show) and Ben 10 (significantly less funny).  Fortunately, they have also fallen in love with Looney Tunes and seeing as I still like to watch that, we can be assured that this love affair will last awhile.  Still ... my very favorite Veggie Tale, "Lyle, the Kindly Viking" hasn't been played in ages.  Hmmmm ... looks like Lydia, Ashley and I need a snow day.  (You really need to go to this link and listen to the songs ... guaranteed to make your day a little more smiley.  "A turtle wearing pink pajamas!" Ha!)

I remember the first time we were able to turn Aaron's car seat around to face the front.  Ta-dah!  Now he could see where he was going instead of where he had been.  It was so fun to see his little smiles in the rearview mirror ... or why he was screaming like a banshee:  blanket just out of reach.  This summer we reached yet another milestone: Aaron graduated out of his car seat.  Now he just sits like a "regular person"!  It was terribly weird the first time I looked in the rearview mirror to see him sitting there:  no booster seat, just my boy.  It is great that we don't have to trade out seats for him anymore, but we are still deeply entrenched in the car seat era.  When someone offers to take our kids somewhere, first I cringe with the thought of transferring three seats out of the van ... and then I just hand them the keys.  "Here.  Take our van.  It's just so much easier!"  Someday we will graduate out of car seats all together and that will be amazing.  Our van will finally officially seat 7 ... instead of 6 and a tiny-hiney to squeeze between seats.  But that will also mean my babies are too big ... I wonder how big I can make Lydia's car seat.  Big enough to seat a 15 year old comfortably?

I truly enjoyed nursing my babies (once I figured it out!) and it was super tough to wean each of them.  While I knew I wouldn't miss the "available whenever you need me" aspect of breast-feeding, I knew that I would miss the cuddles.  When else in the lives of my children will I have regular breaks to sit and snuggle and kiss fingers and stroke hair (sniff, sniff) and whisper blessings?  Now they barely stop moving at bedtime for a book, a song and a prayer.  The other night, Norah actually did a backward roll to get to her pillow ... try to snuggle that!  After I weaned them, my babies moved on to sippy cups.  And now Lydia is trying her hand at big-kid cups.  She's just going to fast!  While I won't miss cleaning the valves and lids and making sure nothing goes down the garbage disposal ... I will miss the dryness of the sippy cups.  Since Lydia started preferring a big-kid cup, it's been a lot wetter around here.  And I have a regular load of rags on the washer.  I guess she has to learn like the rest of them, because she probably wouldn't take too kindly to having a sippy cup in her lunch bag in the 2nd grade.  Although ... maybe one of those with the nifty straw ...

I can't remember the last time I had to send Aaron, Norah or Ashley to the corner for a time out ... but, for Lydia, it was just about an hour ago.  My big kids have begun to figure out how our house works:  Listen and obey = Life is better.  It doesn't mean they don't end up with consequences, but they have big kid consequences ... and ones that help Mommy more.  Lydia, on the other hand, is still in the beginning stages of toddler training and so we are keeping it simple.  Disobey once = Verbal Correction, Disobey twice = Time Out.  She spends a lot of time in "Time Out".  A lot.  All I have to say is, "Go sit down." and she high-tails it to the nearest corner ... wailing and stomping all the way there!  And then the crying continues, accompanied by her heels thumping agains the floor angrily.  So lovely.  I do enjoy our "Do you know what you did wrong?" sessions, however; the times I get to cuddle her and send her off to do it right this time.  Her rendition of "Yes, Mama" ("Ma, ma, ma") is so sweet; her smooches are sweet and it's sweet to see her march off ready to try her task again.  The right way.  In spite of these sweet memories ... I am dreaming of the last time I have to send Lydia to the corner ... and I hope it will be before she graduates from high school!

Each "last" is inevitable.  Each "last" is a milestone of development and learning.  Each "last" is sign of independence and maturity.  But it doesn't make those "lasts" any easier on my mommy-heart.  I just want to be able to keep those snapshots in my mind and hold on to my kids just as they are today.  Remembering their baby-ness for tomorrow ... when they are crossing in front of the podium for their diploma, walking down the aisle with their true love and welcoming their own baby home.

Please pass the tissues!  sniff, sniff


  1. aaack! now...that...made me cry...

  2. Stop... please. It's just not nice to make us weep! :*(

  3. I'm glad to know that I have such soft-hearted ladies in my life :)


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