Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. And a mother to a daughter, in particular. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE my son. I even love the fact that he is all boy. However, being a girly-girl myself growing up with a sister and being raised by a single mom, it is definitely a stretch for me to parent a child that has a Y chromosome. He usually wants to do some high energy activity involving bad guys vs. good guys, or monsters, or any combination of cars/trains/trucks when I'm at the pace of sitting down to color. He will have none of it though, and that's okay because he's his own person and has blessed and challenged me in a million different ways...
But this post is about his sister. Mostly because I don't want to miss this glorious, innocent stage of her childhood before she becomes a drama queen that has more time for boy-bands and keeping up with the latest fashion trends than she does her mama. When I found out we were having a girl in the spring of 2011, I wept tears of joy. I had convinced myself that I was carrying another boy and made peace with that, so when the ultrasound technician told us she couldn't find any obvious, um, boy parts I was in a little bit of shock. The tech also told us this daughter of ours was going to give us a run for our money because of the way she was moving around so much.
And give us a run for our money she did. After the initial two week stint of sleeping and eating like a dream, Rory kind of realized she was now living outside of the womb and put up one heck of a fight. She wouldn't nap anywhere but in her swing, or sleep at night for more than two hours at a time. The crying was almost unbearable. At her two week appointment, she had already developed thrush and was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia that eventually went away on its own. She started a weird pattern of throwing up her bottles that usually lasted about 24 hours each time. Every 4 to 6 weeks on average, she began another cycle which had us switching from milk-based to soy formula and then back again. At two months she got her first cold that lasted for 8 weeks, resulting in conjunctivitis, a double ear infection and an upper respiratory infection. And oh my, was she clingy. I couldn't even pull the shower curtain closed to take a shower without her having a meltdown. She also pooped no less than 8 to 10 times a day, necessitating in a full outfit change. Every. Single. Time.
I was seriously beginning to wonder if I had fallen victim to the saying "be careful what you wish for". I loved my daughter, but to be perfectly blunt, if she had been our first I'm not sure there would have been a second.
And then she started sleeping through the night. Only after three nights of letting her cry it out, of course. Her mysterious bouts of vomiting became less frequent. She began reaching all those important milestones that made her transform from a helpless baby to a little person with a personality.
Today at 19 months, she is a tenacious toddler with the desire to explore everything and a smile that could melt your heart. Somewhere in between baby and child, she still has that "brand new" smell that I want to bottle up and store forever. She still has those soft, baby fat arms and legs that you just want to squeeze. And don't get me started on those cheeks!
I love that her hair is long enough now to pull back in tiny, colorful elastic rubber bands that come in a package of 500 because of how easily they break. I love the swishing sound that she makes as she runs because her bottom is still diapered. The impish grin she gives me as she's about to do something she knows she isn't supposed to. The way she copies everything her older brother does.
I find myself wanting to savor her each night before putting her down to sleep. Because I know she is our last child. Because she's my daughter, planned and prayed for. Loved unconditionally, just as my Heavenly Father loves me. There is no doubt she is one of the greatest gifts I have received from Him, and I hope that she knows how valuable she is to us and to Jesus.
"You're a little piece of Heaven, you're a golden ray of light, and I wish I could protect you from the worries of this life. But if there's one thing I can tell you, it's no matter what you do, hold to Jesus- He's holding onto you." Hold Onto Jesus by Erin O'Donnell