My sweet little 5 year old
Wow. Just WOW! It's been a crazy 5 years and you don't even know it. It's been a whirlwind for me, and you are just oblivious and happy and ready to be able to say "Today is my birthday!" I want to remember that is exactly what you are excited about at 4 years 364 days old. The anticipation has been building and now you are ready to say it, scream it to the world (or our household), "It's my birthday and I am 5!"
I'll start at the beginning. This is your father and I the day before you were born.
And no, I do not love this photo. I am huge, out of breath, uncomfortable and scared. I went to the doctor for an ultrasound and she said to get our stuff ready and be back at the hospital at 3 am. We went home and laid in bed and tried to get some sleep. It didn't happen.
Then we got to the hospital and it was all about to begin.
Again, I'll say it again, I was huge.
And scared. Can you tell?
It's a GIRL!!! We didn't know and everyone kept asking me what I thought and what did I want and I was scared to say. I didn't want you to one day find out that I "wanted" a boy and got you. I never said what I wanted or what I thought you were wiggling around and kicking inside me, but I wanted a girl so bad. I wanted YOU so bad!! I did not know what a little girl would bring, how much money you would cost me, how much drama you would scream about, or how many princess dolls you would own, but something inside me wanted it. Regardless of all that.
We couldn't believe it. OMG, what just happened? What was I holding? A baby? Could it be? And a girl? My little Marielle Elizabeth Gary?
Leaving the hospital was the scariest thing. Now what? I could hardly get your tiny body in the straps of the carseat, little did I know that would be one of the easiest things I did.
Our first time walking through the door with you. I was so excited to be home, still unsure of what to do with you when we got there. We had a nice lunch prepared by your aunt Dawn and cousin Jaret, then I was clueless!
There was plenty of kangaroo time, breastfeeding, swinging, rocking, breast pumping, and lots of tears.
That maternity leave was not the best of times for me. Sure I had a healthy newborn baby girl, a house full of contraptions I had never used before, and a very supportive and helpful family, but it was still a time that I spent worrying, doubting myself, and beating myself up if I couldn't comfort you. It was a long 12 weeks, and we got through it together.
Then I started taking thousands of pictures of you. Literally. Thousands. I couldn't help myself. I propped you up, laid you on blankets, held you, I had a camera out for every single thing you did.
It was so much fun. You were so much fun!!
Then, I got pregnant.
And gave you a sweet little sister.
You have always been so much fun, just adorable to watch and learn, a true blessing to your entire family.
Your favorite book. We had to read this every night for months and months. I can recite all the words and you can too!!
And your curls. I miss those curls so much!!
Your first movie date with Mama! We went to see Winnie the Pooh and you thought it was the greatest thing that ever happened. I was so proud of you and it was so much fun on our date.
Again, the curls!!
And again, the curls...
...that I cut off. It was getting scraggaly and hard to brush. I was so scared to cut the curls off, but brushing your hair was becoming increasingly hard. And those curls have never come back :(
And you welcomed and love (sometimes too much) your beautiful cousin Griffin. You want to mother him, play with him, hold him, and laugh with him all the time. I can already see your babysitting days to come. You love babies and are so interested in them. I love hearing how you talk to Griffin when you don't think I am listening. It's filled with funny little things that I say or your Nanny Ally says. You are ALWAYS listening to us!!
Oh Marielle. What a joy it is to be your mom. You have taught me more that I ever would have thought. You have given me so much life, so much will, and some fierce protectiveness that I am not scared to use. I will do anything and everything to protect you, my first baby, from harm or hurt. School days are about to start and I'm sure they'll be rough times ahead in your future. School is hard, kids can be mean. Don't let that stop you from being you.