Sunday, May 10, 2009

K is 4!

Here are a few things you may or may not know about our sweet little one. She was born in Little Rock, AR on Thursday, May 5, 2005. She blessed us at 5:12pm weighing in at 8 lbs 2 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. Yes, you read the date right, that is 5/5/05 This was not planned by the way. Her due date was Apr 26, 2005 and she had no intentions of coming early for us. The craziest thing about her birth date is if she did not come on May 5th then the next day would be May 6th and Wade and I both share a birth date on the 6th. Wade is a December baby and I am a February baby but we share the 6th day of different months as our birthday. Odd, I think.

I had a wonderful pregnancy. I have never in my life felt more like a woman or beautiful! I Loved Every Minute of carrying her. I did get the flu on two separate occasions and I was sick that entire week and then in my eighth month of pregnancy I somehow caught a 24 hour stomach virus. That was horrible! I had not been that sick in YEARS and the only place I could have picked it up I suppose, was working in pharmaceuticals going in and out of doctors offices. I am still perplexed by that virus because the minute I found out I was prego I went to Target and bought out the stores on hand sanitizer and used it EVERY time I left an office. Being sick did not encourage K to meet her parents early. I promise you that she was hanging on for dear life in utero. I pushed for almost 2 hours and her toes were certainly long enough to hang on! I should have known then that she would be hard headed and stubborn just like her mommy and daddy. She comes by this trait honestly! I fell madly in love the moment I saw her...She came to us and my life changed. I have a beautiful sign hanging in her room that is so true and dear to me..."A moment in my arms, a lifetime in my heart." She is the blessing that I never knew I wanted. As a baby, she was perfect. She was a very calm, happy and predictable baby. She was easily pleased as long as she was fed, clean, and had some movement from time to time. When she was 3 weeks old we had to put the house in LR on the market and throughout the stress and crazy busy days she was a wonderfully patient baby. The only melt downs I can recall would be one night when she was 4 weeks old and Wade was on a week long work trip and then the day we were closing the house up and leaving AR. Ohhh, those were moments! At 8 weeks old we moved in with my parents in Dallas for 2 and a half months as we waited for our house to be finished here in SA and she journeyed through life with me and the 2 dogs without Wade. Again, she was a peaceful child. Our final move was into our new home, she was more resilient than I thought a baby would be with everything that happened and the stress I felt from that move. She was wonderful and I felt so very blessed to have such a sweet pleasant baby. We had a few bumps here and there but nothing major. Over her first 2 years if she found trouble I would say "K, No-No!" and she may test me another time or two but then she would back off. If she really got into trouble I would clap my hands just once and the poor baby would jump in fear and not go back to whatever occupied her attention. I never thought of putting her in time out or spanking her nonetheless during her first 2 years. There really was no reason to be so extreme with her since she responded so well to the current form of correction. Her personality then and even now are tactile, sensitive, very sensory sensitive (sounds especially), very observant, shy until she is comfortable, extremely laid back, happy, easily entertained, very affectionate, persistent, and always hungry. You should see her 6 month pictures...she was our little roly-poly.

Her second year of life was truly different from the typical child's. Wade was deployed to Afghanistan by the time she was 27 months old and he returned 5 months later to find a little girl and NOT the baby that he left. Her temperament was still unbelievable which helped me a lot while he was away. She was so easy for me to discipline, no terrible 2s here. But I must admit she was mentally exhausting for me...I cannot tell you how much of a sponge and info seeker she was, I talked NON stop while he was gone. We watched movies just so I could get a break. When Wade left she was speaking 3 to 5 word sentences which were cute and simple but by the time he came home, she was using multiple word sentences. Wade was shocked when he got into the car and she talked his ear off even at 1 am. And, she hasn't stopped talking since! I think that second year of her little life shaped the little girl we have now. She is definitely more concerned about her family and friends leaving and she tries so hard to understand where they are going and when she will see them next. She is also much more concerned about any kind of room, new people, and new events. I am very careful and cautious with her when we do these "new" things for or with her. If I take things slowly and explain things in great detail we will not have any problems and she will transition smoothly but upset the balance and it is all OFF.

By the time she turned 3 years old, we discovered her love of animals! Does this mean she will one day be a vet? She says she wants to be a doctor! She has played more with her Doctor set than she has ever asked to play with her dress up costumes. Her favorite stuffed animal is her cow... Which she started to carry the day after Wade left for Afghanistan and she has held his hand or snuggled with him every day since. That was Aug 29, 2007. She LOVES cows, horses, and elephants. I can not stress this enough. We go nuts looking for cows and horses as we travel from place to place visiting family. It has become a favorite past time and we talk about all the different colors and sizes of each group of animals. We even have a huge assortment of horses and cows. The kid cannot get enough of them. Her favorite color is still blue but pink is somehow creeping its way into our life. She also has a love of reading books. We've read to her since before she was born and reading has always been a part of her bedtime and naptime routine. As of late she will read the books to herself for several minutes after we finish a few. For me, this 3rd year has been more challenging than any of the other years we have shared with her. Her personality has blossomed. She is very imaginative (so much so it scares Wade & I at times), intelligent, energetic and bubbly, and persistent or stubborn which at times gets her into trouble. These are wonderful traits to have but we are working on learning how to channel them appropriately.

She had a very busy year in 08 full of experiences because Wade and I longed to have more family time together. We took her to the SA Zoo too many times to count as well as Sea World and then we decided to start tagging along on Wade's work trips and extend the time where ever to make the trip a vacation trip too. K had her 1st opportunity to visit a beach in Panama City,Fl in Jul 08 and then in Oct we went to Disney World with her. She loved the beach. She was reluctant at first to get in the water. I think she knew how deep it was but we convinced her that it would not be too deep if she stayed close to us and she could stand in the water. She was also concerned by some of the waves, the seaweed that had invaded the beach the week we were there and the fish. By day 3 she was our little fish in the water and a total sand baby. We loved it! She called the ocean the "deep blue sea" and once she gave in to trying out the waves and water, she had the "best time ever." She asks us on a regular basis if we can go back to the beach again. We have decided for our family the beach is the BEST way to relax and bond as a family once again. I will cherish the memories and photos and I hope we can make this a family event every year.
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We also enjoyed Disney in Oct together. What an amazing trip! I started a post back in Oct that I am going to place here... We stayed at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Spa which is not a part of the Disney World resort but is only a mile from the main entrance and has shuttles to all the parks several times a day. Wade had to attend some conferences on Monday through Wednesday mornings which is why we stayed there. Although it was an AMAZING resort overall, I would not recommend it...WAY over priced for the quality of rooms, food etc. It is a gorgeous resort/spa with plenty of activities for all ages but it flat out costs too much. I thought on our way here that we would journey out to Disney on our own those 3 mornings that Wade worked but after being in the park for 2 days, I realized it was so much easier to navigate all the shuttles, etc. with help and not alone. I also discovered how tired you can get from being in the park for 1 day so the mornings in our resort or room were very relaxing and needed.

This was my third trip to Disney and Wades second but for obvious reasons, it was K's 1st time. We told her sometime in August that we would be making the trip. We thought telling her early would help her prepare for what she would see. As the days got closer to our trip her excitement built, as we expected, and it was wonderful knowing that we would get to experience Disney through her eyes. The last time I visited Disney World was with Wade four years ago for our 5 year anniversary (around this same time of year) and I was four months pregnant with K. We talked about the day we would be able to bring our kids to Disney, I was so excited then that I recall slightly crying with excitement (must have been the hormones), but we had NO idea we would be bringing our child so early in her life. I have wondered what she will remember but I can honestly say...she is loving every minute of our experience here except for the firework shows and the 3D animation. If you have been to Disney the fireworks here are like NO Others I have ever seen in my life and I think I have been blessed to see many different kinds of spectacular firework shows across the country. The show here is hands down MY FAVORITE! They spare no expense and the music, monologue, and setting make it all the more beautiful to me. Yes, I catch the dream bug here and I love it! I am amazed at what Walt created and the Disney Co. has continued to build upon.

K was a trooper the whole trip. I anticipated that we may have to leave the park during the day to let her nap from all the fun and excitement but she does not want to leave and pulls us to each new adventure. I know her little brain was growing...I could see it and she was asking so many questions plus, the following days she was acting out things she saw the previous day or having dreams about them. There was one night that Wade and I did get to have a nice quiet almost romantic dinner together. We headed back to our hotel a little early one of the nights to have dinner at the resort and by the time we got to the table K was out cold in her stroller. We let her sleep at the side of the table while we enjoyed our time alone. I still smile thinking about the whole ordeal. One minute K was begging for more bread and butter the next minute she was completely asleep and she would not wake up.

I found myself struck with awe on at least four occasions throughout that trip. The first time was when K deboarded the monorail and stepped foot on the path to the main Magic Kingdom gates on Day 1, I said to her "K, Welcome to Disney's Magic Kingdom and the tears came." What a blessing it is to have this child and bring her to Disney and share these moments with her. I fall into this dream world so easily and to share it with her was wonderful.

We decided that Sunday evening would be our night to get dressed up in costume and trick or treat so K could experience the Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween party in Magic Kingdom. It was a fun halloween experience but certainly not a typical halloween night. I would highly reccommend this event to all! Disney closes the park to all guests at 6pm and they let the halloween ticket holders come in at 7pm. We did stay in the park all day b/c we did buy the party tickets too...It was worth the extra money as far as we are concerned. The lines to all the rides were much smaller - 5 to 10 minute waits compared to 30 minutes or an hour minus the fastpass. Disney also has a special halloween parade and fireworks show. We did not get to see the fireworks display becasue we stayed inside riding several rides for 25 minutes to avoid the NOISE for K. You should see the pics I got of her while we transationed from one building to another during the show = total fear. PLUS the benefit of all the characters out in costumes during the halloween event make it a fun Disney evening. Our little one got to dance with Daffy, Tigger, Chip & Dale and several other characters. K loved it! The staff makes sure that each child or family is given more time with the characters because the number of visitors in the park is minimal and it is much cooler. I overheard that on halloween night the park has 30-40,000 guests total. They max out at thoses numbers to make it more enticing for guests. I can not explain how beautiful the park was that late at night enchanting! They open the gates at 6pm for halloween ticket holders and you can stay in the park until 2am. We were there until 12:15 am before we gave up and made the trip back to our hotel. It was a late night for us all but sooo worth the experience and money. Dreams do come true!

Reflecting back, I am not sure why I wanted to wait so long to have a child except for the fact that I had determined I needed to start a career that I had truly wanted for many years. Or it could have been because I felt I needed to save some money in the event I wanted to stay home with the kids as well as I was somewhat fearful of how our children would have to adjust to moving and leaving comfortable places and friends because we were in the military. For the record, Wade was ready about 2 years before me to have a baby.

I love you baby girl. You have changed my life and it is all for the better. I love being your mommy! My favorite moments are snuggling with you early in the morning while watching a movie or on those occasions when daddy has to travel and we get to sleep together in mommy and daddy's bed. Awe, those are the sweet moments.

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