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Big Birthday Girl

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Yesterday was a very important day. Bailey turned five. It is amazing to think that it has already been five years since the first time I saw her beautiful little face, all puckered up and tiny. She was only 6 pounds and 9 ounces and 18.5 inches long. She was born about an hour before the Mountaineers played in the Sweet 16 to go on to the Elite 8. We actually reached our recovery room minutes before the game came on. We laughed that she was going to be awesome because she was already planning her arrival around our basketball schedule. Well, she hasn't changed much... she is always planning. She just isn't planning around us.

There are so many things that went through my mind on that day five years ago. Mainly, it was, "Please bring the epidural faster," but there was also this fear of the unknown. I was terrified that I wouldn't love her enough or that I wouldn't be able to raise a little girl the "right" way. I was really terrified that she would come out a boy and we'd have to return a lot of pink things. :) I had heard horror stories from friends that told me about their relationships with their husbands making a terrible turn for the worst... their husbands never understanding how they felt about the child and never forming that incredible bond. That was probably the scariest thing about it all for me. I wanted this little girl to grow up in a home filled with love and knowing how much her parents loved each other. I wanted to make sure that Bailey wouldn't somehow replace Brad in my life, but be an extension of our love, making us a little more complete. It was all so scary... so surreal. And, then, she entered the world and everything that I had worried about went out the window. Brad was as in love with this little girl as I was. And, it was immediate. Neither of us could find the words to express how we felt... it was overwhelming.

Not much has changed... parenting is overwhelming, especially when it comes to Bailey. She was the baby that moved constantly, even in her sleep her little legs and arms moved, just like a puppy does when he's dreaming about chasing rabbits. When awake, she'd sit in her bouncy chair and I wouldn't bother turning it on most of the time because she kicked so much that the chair would be bouncing away without the need for the small vibrating motor. As she grew, we could see that her energy wasn't only physical, but social, too. We couldn't go to a store without stopping 100 times to say hello to people. Everyone wanted to touch her and squeeze her little hands as she reached out to wave at them. She was demanding from the beginning... commanding anyone in sight to give her attention, carry her wherever she wanted to go, and show her everything she wanted to see. She talked at 9 months, walked at 15. Most kids would probably be opposite, but Bailey was too eager to communicate with everyone to wait any longer to speak and thought it was just plain silly to try and walk when she could just demand someone carry her where she wanted to go. She hasn't changed.

We walk into swimming classes these days, and Bailey talks to everyone she sees. Most of the adults and all of the kids know her name. She's not necessarily popular (although I have to admit that I think most people find her incredibly charming)... she just makes a point to meet everyone so that they know her. She is so sweet when she meets someone. She always compliments adults and children on their hair, their clothes, their nails, whatever she can find that she might like. It is like she was born to be in fundraising, which terrifies me. lol. She is still as demanding as she was when she was a baby. She wants us to plan everything for every day and when we don't have something planned and she makes a choice for us, she expects us to deliver immediately. For instance, she is right now sitting beside me on the couch, asking for popcorn. If I don't get up and get it soon, she will be on top of me, in my face, saying, "Mom... I SAID I wanted popcorn." An optional eye roll or hands on her hips will follow. :)

As if you can't tell, I am awfully proud of her. She is truly a good little girl. She has a wonderful personality, a sweet disposition (most of the time), and really works hard to do the "right" thing. She wants to follow the rules and to be the best at most things. She has issues with paying attention sometimes, but she is only five years old. We can be hard on her sometimes, because we often forget that she is only 5. She is intelligent... sometimes too intelligent for us. She reminds me to lock the door, get the groceries out of the car, buckle my seatbelt, etc. Sometimes she drives me crazy with these "helpful" reminders. Her ability to understand things that we don't think she is even aware of makes us treat her like she's 10 instead of 5. She doesn't mind being treated older though. She loves to tell me about how she knows so much and can do so many things on her own. She is incredibly independent. And she is still planning... her whole life, in fact. I hear about how I am going to come to her house when she marries Austin and I can babysit their kids. She even goes so far as to tell me that she's going to have a cat and she'll put it up in the garage when I come over since I don't particularly like cats. lol. Yes, we have our hands full. But they are full with a little girl who is fun, creative, and a little mature for her age. She's going to be a fun teenager... until she hates me. lol.

So, life goes on. She will start kindergarten in the fall. We have her enrolled at the private Christian school she attends preschool at. We're a little nervous about it all, especially because we hate to pay all that money when we could send her to public school. However, she is incredibly happy there and we just aren't sure that we want to start her out in the school in our district. So, $$$$$ get spent on something that we could get for free. It's a tough call, but I guess you can't put a price tag on happiness and security. My security mostly... Bailey makes friends everywhere. I just love knowing that she's some place where she's already comfy and secure. It's a little sad for me to see her growing up so fast. I remember Colt starting his first day of school and it seems like it was just yesterday. I know it's going to fly by, but I am looking forward to all the fun that comes with it. Nothing is ever easy with Bailey... so it's going to be a great ride!


  1. cheryl said...:

    Sweet post about the big girl! You're a great Mom and she's always going to love you, even though she may not like you a time or too in the teens! :)

    And too funny about the "Mom, I SAID ..." I guess you know her mirror twin Connor does that to me ALL the time. Hilarious.

  1. andreaooten said...:

    Aww... I just saw this. Thank you for the sweet compliment. She is definitely going to hate me at times. lol. We are just too much alike for that not to happen. :)

    They are such mirrors of each other. Sometimes I feel like I'm copying your posts when I write about Bailey because I feel like I've just read it about Connor! lol