Look Who’s… Wait… How Old?!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled “Yay!  Daddy made it home safely!” to bring you this breaking news: Beatrix turned six today!  That doesn’t seem right, right?  IMG_1130 

Our lovely girl regularly gets mistaken for younger than she is.  Indeed, last year she received two birthday cards wishing her a happy 4th birthday!  But as soon as she speaks and her clever, feisty sense of humor comes out, you know this girl with the sweet babyface has graduated to big-kid-hood.  Bea has a ready smile, a song in her heart and a bounce in her step.  She is a pro at accents and other crazy voice tricks.  She wants to be an entomologist when she grows up (which I guess means I’d better learn how to spell it!)  And this girl loves Jesus so very much.  Oh, how she melts my heart.

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Beatrix Joanna, I just love the little person you have blossomed into.  Keep loving the Lord and His Word all your days, sweet girl!  You delight this mama’s heart.

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Wordless Wednesday: Brown-Eyed Girls

Beatrix has an affection for Coraline that far surpasses that of any of any of her sisters.  They all love her, of course, but Bea scarcely leaves her side while she’s awake (and indeed, would love to stay by her while she sleeps as well!)  It could be that she just loves babies (she does!), or that Coraline is her “little buddy” (she is), but personally I think it’s the brown eyes.

Okay, they’re not brown yet, but Coraline’s eyes are decidedly dark at three months, and definitely not blue.  Bea’s own eyes didn’t fully settle on their color until well into her second year, so we’re pretty sure Miss Cora’s will take the same scenic route to brown.  That makes two for my team, just saying.

Happy 4th and Happy 2nd!

The weekend’s festivities for us were not only a celebration of America’s Independence (it’s not a particularly meaningful holiday anyway for a girl who has willingly reinstated her dependence on the Brits), but also of little Miss Beatrix’s independence from my body two years ago.  (Although her birthday isn’t until Tuesday, it is, I think, worth reminding you that I was *already in labor* with her on the 4th of July, three days before her arrival!)

I’m always up for having a birthday party taken off my plate, so when my mom offered to combine Bea’s party with a 4th of July BBQ and her house, I didn’t have to think too hard about it.

The result was a fabulous day filled with laughter and loved ones, and a very tired little birthday girl at the end of it all.

First Day Birth Day Chronicles 3: Beatrix, Part 2

**Scroll down to read Part 1 first**

img_8430She wasn’t given to me right away, and though I had been warned that that would be the case with most American hospital births, it was still a little sad for us.  Also one seemed to realize that we didn’t know what we were having, so I spent a solid thirty seconds or so repeating, “What is it?  What did I have?” to everyone in the room before Trevor finally got a glimpse and said, “A girl.  I think.  Is that right?  Is it a girl?”  Yes, another girl –  just perfect and exactly what our family needed.  (Incidentally, my *next* question was, “Is she bald?” and Trevor’s startling reply was, “No, and her hair is dark!”)

We did get to hold her once she was assessed and eye-gooped and cleaned and dressed and bundled and whatever else they did to her.  It was love at first sight.  I think some of my first words on meeting her must have been, “She’s so pretty!”  Indeed, she was the first of our newborns not to come out squashed or swollen in some way, and I was struck by how perfect her little nose was.  She was darker in every way than either of our other girls, but otherwise looked and felt very like Pippa (their birth sizes were just about identical, as well as the shapes of their faces.)  She was absolutely lovely.

The nurses asked us almost immediately after she was born what her name was, and I told them we needed a minute. Unlike with our other girls, we had brought a list of possible names to the hospital this time, and didn’t feel at all settled on one going into the birth. I said to Trevor, “I know what I think her name is, but what do you think?” He must have thought that I was going to fight hard for the name I had wanted earlier on in the pregnancy, but I knew as soon as I saw her that she was Beatrix through and through, and Trevor confirmed it. We never even took our list of names out of the bag. (Her middle name, Joanna, was more settled before she arrived than her first, as it was chosen to honor Trevor’s grandma, Joan.)

The next half hour or so was a little fraught, unfortunately. I needed stitches again, and the doctor was in a terrible mood (possibly annoyed at the nurses for not getting him sooner, though we know they had paged him earlier. We suspect it was more to do with missing the baseball game he admitted he’d been watching in the other room before we’d interrupted him). As he was stitching me and I winced, I had tried to lighten the mood by saying, “I guess this should be the easy part, huh?” And he said, flatly, “No.” After that I dropped the small talk and let him get on with his stitching – you don’t want to annoy a person in that sort of situation.
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Bea and I spent two nights at the hospital, during which the girls and plenty of other family came to visit.   The “big girls” loved her instantly, and it was as though there was never a time before we had her in our family.

img_8447 img_1219And that is how we came to have Beatrix Joanna in our family.  She arrived, for those of you who like to collect details like these, weighing 7 lbs 15 oz and 19 1/2 inches long.  She was born on her Uncle Nathan’s birthday 7/7, but with the added distinction of being born in ’07 at 7:22 PM (though the clock was wrong by a good 10 or 15 minutes, so we’ll never know an accurate birth time).

Stay tuned for details of our next little one’s arrival.  Not long to go now! (And, I daresay you might have to endure a little more birth talk before then, but I’ll leave you hanging on that one for now.)

Oh, and please share your birth story, too.  Not one person has taken me up on it yet.  Don’t be shy!

A Year and a Half of Bea

I’m two days late, but I couldn’t let Beatrix’s one-and-a-halfth birthday pass without a little bit of much-deserved fanfare.img_9609

More than with either of her sisters by this age, it still feels like we just got this girl.  Doesn’t it?  It’s so hard to believe that it’s been eighteen months.  It’s even harder to believe that she is the first of our girls not to be a big sister yet by this age, but maybe that’s part of why she still seems very much like our little baby.

Yet, if we look at our baby objectively, we know she has lost so much of her baby-ness and blossomed into such a delight of a little girl.  She loves to hand me spoons from the dishwasher as I unload it or put a piece of scrap paper in the trash can for me, and I can only hope to nurture this helpful spirit as she grows. img_1702

She is full of words and expressions now.  Her favorites (and clearest) are still the very appropriately used “Uh-oh” when something falls and “Whoa!” when she loses her balance, and they still make us smile every time.  But she now also has ‘real’ words like “na-na” for banana, hi, bye-bye, and she can say both Pippa and Ro-Ro quite clearly (though she definitely favors the latter – so much fun to say!)  We never know what she’ll come out with next, and she keeps us laughing all the time.

Though she was late to find her feet, she now toddles around the place like a pro, easily changing direction and bending to pick things up.  She  very much wants to be doing whatever her sisters are doing, and lately has been delighted just to sit on the sofa with them while they play, since she can finally be trusted to climb down sensibly and *not* head first.

Though we won’t officially know her growth stats until next week’s check-up, I’m fairly certain she’s stayed on track with her shortish, average weight, giant noggin status.  (Big brain, clearly.)   She currently has the role of  “finisher” at the dinner table, meaning that whatever is left of the big girls’ meals gets passed her way after she’s finished her own, since she is almost always searching the table for “More, more!”.  Each of the girls has gone through a similar period of increased appetite at this age, but it is still funny to watch.

I count myself incredibly blessed to be this sweet girl’s mother.  Each time I get her up in the morning or after a nap, I am captivated by her precious face and expressions.  She is a joy to us, and we can’t imagine our family without her.  I look forward to watching her face the challenge of big-sisterhood in the months to come, and to continuing to watch this little person grow into the little girl, young lady and ultimately woman that God has made her to be.

Happy half birthday, sweet Bea.

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In Lieu of the Wordless

I had planned on posting one or two of these photos yesterday, but the computer was working through some personal issues (new anti-virus software, I think?) all day, so it never happened.  Anyway, since my creative juices are apparently running a little low this week, I’ll just give you a few of the many faces of our youngest to ponder today.

I believe if you’re a day late with Wordless Wednesday, you’re supposed to call it “Thousand Words Thursday” – clever, isn’t it?

Big News for Little Feet

We interrupt our regularly scheduled lack of blogging to bring you this breaking news: Little Miss Trix took her first steps this weekend!

On Friday, September 19, 2008, aged 14 months and 12 days, Beatrix took one lone step between the coffee table and me in the presence of our dear friend Megan (though sadly, not Trevor).  She has repeated the experiment several times over the weekend (including plenty of shows for Daddy) with increasing success and delight, and now loves to stand unaided for as long as she can and smile her biggest smile.  Her record still stands at just two steps, but we’re quite sure that record will be blown out of the water in the days and weeks to come.  She wants to do nothing more during her waking hours than to perfect this fabulous new skill she’s discovered.

For the record, this makes her our “middle walker”.  Pippa took her first steps at 13 months and 8 days, while Romilly kept us waiting until the ripe old age of (one day shy of) 16 months!  No motor skills prodigies here, but that just makes these big milestones all the more celebration-worthy when they come.

Ch is a Useful Sound

Pippa still struggles to make a few consonant and double consonant sounds.  It’s normal for her age, and usually, we can understand each other just fine.  This morning, not so much.

Pippa came out of the playroom where all three girls were playing, I *thought* out of harm’s way, while I cleaned up a broken mug in the living room.  She was quite worked up, and this is how it went:

Her: Mommy, come tick!  Bee-tix is eating sock!

Me: (Not really that concerned, bigger fish to fry, what with the broken mug and all) She’s eating… a sock?

Her: No, Mommy.  SSS-ock!

Me: Uh… truck?

Her: No.  SSSS-OCK!

Me: (Running through every consonant she does that sometimes sounds like an S, but totally blanking) Okay, honey, I’ll be there in just a second once I throw away this glass.

*      *      *

Just a second later, I found this girl, happy as can be, eating…

Ohhh… CHALK!

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

At about this time last year, I was sitting in a hospital bed completely in awe of the tiny new little girl I had just met.  Beatrix arrived fast and furious, just like her littler big sister, but after days of teasing us with contractions.

I had learned my lesson when Romilly was born that no two babies are the same, and that it’s a different sort of falling in love each time, but Bea managed to throw me for a loop again.  I remember spending what felt like an eternity repeating, “What is it?  What did we have?”  over and over again before Trevor finally told me she was another beautiful little girl.  (I guess doctors aren’t used to people not already knowing these days, or else mine was still too frustrated with having not been informed in time that I was about to give birth to be bothered with details.)  My next question was, “is she bald?”  I don’t know why it was at the top of my list, but it did get a noteworthy answer. “No, not really” Trevor told me, “and her hair is dark!”  It was unprecendented.  Her coloring was completely different from her sisters’, and although her hair has lightened up some, she is still the darkest of our girls in every regard: hair, skintone, and eyes.

Then I got to hold her.  She was so beautiful.  She had none of the usual squashedness or swollenness that most newborns have.  She was perfectly formed and the prettiest little thing I had ever laid eyes on.  She had the  sweetest little nose and mouth I had ever seen on a baby.  The hormone-induced mommy love gush was instant.

Now, I’ve blinked and a whole year has gone by.  My sweet tiny girl can now say Mama and Dada and uh-oh.  She has eight teeth and can eat everything we do.  She can pull up and cruise on furniture.  She still crawls like a caterpillar, and I’m not in any hurry for her to stop.

She has a sweet cheeky personality that can totally steal the show from her big sisters, and she lights up the room every time she smiles.  We are so richly blessed to have her in our family.

Happy birthday, sweet Bea!