“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Ugly Truth

I have learned a lot about Down Syndrome during the last (almost) 10 months. Not just about the condition itself, but about how people view and treat these amazing beings whose only crime is that they were born with an extra chromosome.
It's sometimes extremely disheartening just exactly how many believe that children like mine should never be born and even more disheartening to realize the horrifying abuse that precious babies in other parts of the world are forced to endure because they are unwanted, unloved and viewed as a curse on the societies they happened to be born into.
My heart celebrates with each child who is saved from the cruel, barren existence they have faced and brought home to a family who will love them and give them the care that every child deserves. But at the same time, my heart breaks for those who remain left behind.

A friend posted this video this week and it made me ill. You see, I can't help but see the face of my most precious gift in each and every one of those faces. But for the blessing of being born where she was, one of those faces could be hers. It's a thought that I truly can not stand. It tears me apart.
It has to be said, however, that our country has not always been immune to these types of abuse, neglect and mistreatment. Not so long ago, in our very own "progressive" society, children born with Down Syndrome and other mental disabilities were locked away like a dirty little secret and often suffered the same fates as those in other countries still do today. Watching this clip about Willowbrook and others about various institutions which previously existed across the country are horrifyingly reminiscent of the videos of Serbian institutions as they are today. To me, it's just as heart breaking to know that had my daughter been born 40 years ago, even in our country, this might have been her fate.
I'd like to believe that faced with the same circumstances as these other parents were not so long ago, I would act differently. Watching the revolting images parade across my computer screen makes my heart scream that  my child would never languish in a place as horrible as these. That I would absolutely refuse to allow her to spend even one day in such a place. But the facts are that when faced with society's view of her and those who share her genetic makeup back then, I can't completely fault the parents of these children for not having the strength or the courage to stand up and fight for children that the population at large thought were hopeless causes.
All of which makes me even more thankful that some of them did have that courage, that strength. Some of them did stand up and say, "No. Not my child. I refuse to allow my child or the children of others to be condemned this way."
It took that one parent, that one doctor, that one nurse, or that one reporter who refused to back down, who refused to allow the shame of our inhumanity to be swept under the rug or be kept locked behind what amounted to prison doors. People who fought to expose the heinous truth to the world so that others would join them in demanding change. Those people made it possible for me, and other parents like me, to show the world the value and the beauty that can be found along with an extra chromosome.
Things in our world still aren't perfect for our kids. They face prejudice, ignorance and hatred still. Yet despite it all, they are allowed to thrive in the love and care of their families because of a few people's courage.

I wish so much that it was within my capabilities to save all the children with eyes like my daughter's. I wish I could take them all in my arms and show them what it is that they have been missing, love. Unfortunately, I can't. Others are doing far more than I could ever hope to, moving mountains to bring these babies home where they can finally have the God-given right of being a part of something greater than themselves, a family, and have opportunities that would never be possible in the countries of their birth. Families like this one and this one and this one and hundreds of others who first saw their child's face through a photograph and are raising the ransom to bring them home.
I don't have money to give. I don't have the resources to bring a child of my own home.
But I can pray. I can become one of many who, like those who have come before us, possess the courage and the strength to stand up and say NO MORE.
No longer can we allow God's precious children to wither away in a life without hope.........
Please do whatever you are able to stand with us. If you can give to any of these families who are working hard to ransom their child from the Hell they exist in, please do. If you are like me and unable to provide financial support, pray, pray, pray. But most importantly, please, I beg, do not be afraid to lift your voice and make a stand. I promise you will never be standing alone......

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Music Addict/ Songs For My Babies

Hello. My name is Heidi and I am addicted to...music. :)
It makes no difference to me what genre a song is considered as long as the lyrics speak to me. Quite frankly, I could probably never choose just one type of music and if I was only allowed one genre for the rest of my life, I'd probably lay down and die.
Music is a funny thing. Certain songs remind me of certain people, certain places, certain times in my life. It's a language I speak fluently.
Each of my children have a song that I can't hear without thinking of them (Caleb has a whole lot of them because he, like me, is a music junkie too!)

With my firstborn daughter it was this:

I can clearly remember the first time I heard this song. Sitting in my car, alone, when she was just a few months old, with tears streaming down my face. It spoke to the rawest parts of me and in essence, captured exactly the feeling I had, and still do, about watching my beautiful girl grow up in pictures.

When Caleb was born, it took me a little bit to find "that" song. The one that always reminds me of his baby face. And then I heard this:

Once again, I had found a song that spoke to the heart of me and what being a mother to a precious little boy meant to me. I still get a little teary eyed, reminiscing about that sweet angel face tucked in tight every night.....

After Liddy was born, I spent a considerable amount of time in the car, driving the hour and half back and forth to the hospital. I heard this song:

It always, always made me think of that gorgeous baby girl waiting for my return to her side and how absolutely amazing God had created her. Oh yeah, she's amazing just the way she is!

As I said earlier, my son is a music junkie just like his mother. And based on Liddy's reactions to all things musical, I'm pretty sure she'll be one too. I can't wait to see what songs bring me sweet memories in the future. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What It Takes To Be A Mother

To those of you that come here to read faithfully, please excuse my ranting. I'm really going to try to be as polite as possible but I sincerely need to say a few things to a specific person. I truly feel as if this isn't necessarily the place for it, but I honestly have no other way to say what I have to get off of my chest anywhere but here.

I wrote yesterday about love being the only option and teaching my daughter to in essence turn the other cheek and meet those who would hurt her head on with grace, love and a little sassiness. If the red in her eyebrows is any indication of what the future holds, I think she quite possibly is going to have a whole lot of her mother's redhead attitude.
I'm usually fairly good at controlling "the redhead" in me. In general, she (yes, she. It's my evil alter ego) only rears her head when someone does something to hurt someone I love. Most people who know me hardly believe that other version of me exists. The fiery temper rarely makes a full fledged appearance. But it simmers just below the surface, just waiting for the moment when I have finally had enough.
Today was the day.
However, I am going to try my very hardest to not let my anger and indignation get the best of me.

I have realized as I have made my way through this crazy thing called life that bringing a child into this world doesn't necessarily make someone a parent. It takes a whole lot more than loving kids when they're cute and cuddly. Sometimes those cute and cuddly babies turn into mouthy toddlers, bratty kids or rebellious teens. But being a parent doesn't end when the cuteness wears off.
It is a lifelong commitment.
It doesn't come with a paycheck. It rarely gets thanks. It involves endless sacrifice, patience, and a whole lot of work.
If you don't willingly put in the work, you miss out on a whole slew of the benefits. And sometimes, you lose your child altogether.
I will never in a million years understand how someone can turn their back on their child. A mother's love is not meant to have boundaries or restrictions or be conditional. In my experience, having had the blessing of becoming a mother three times now, it means having limitless love for the beings that were carried close within my womb, regardless of where they are, what they say, or how they act. It means being there crying with them when they are at their worst and cheering them on at their best. It means taking responsibility for bad decisions and saying "I'm sorry" when warranted. It means seeing past the mistakes they have made and honoring the person they have become because of them. Being proud of their accomplishments and the changes they have made in an effort to be a better person.
Unfortunately, some people just aren't cut out to be mothers.
Sometimes kids are better off without a mother at all than they were when they had one.

I hold no hatred in my heart towards you. Yet another lesson I have learned throughout my life is that hatred doesn't hurt the person being hated. It only hurts the one who hates.
I am not the one who has the power to forgive. But I just have to say that I will never forget........and if I have anything to say about it, you won't ever have the power to hurt my family again.
I hope that you have gotten what you wanted and I sincerely hope that it makes you happy. But somehow, I don't think that it will. I'm pretty sure that someday you're going to look back and wish that you had done things differently, that you had the people you willingly cut out of your life.
I know that you're missing out on a whole lot and I actually pity you that.
You will be in my prayers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Love is The Only Answer

Words sometimes hurt more than actions.
Sometimes words spoken carelessly can not be erased by a simple, "I'm sorry." 
Even when forgiveness is freely given, forgetting is usually a more daunting task. There are words that can be thrown about needlessly that, once spoken, can never be forgotten.

As Liddy's mama, I am not a stickler for political correctness about DS. Maybe I should be, but I'm just not. I have never subscribed to the theory that all words which could be taken in a derogatory manner should be banished from our language just because someone may take them in a way they were not intended to mean. 
After all, according to Webster's the traditional definition of gay means " happily excited , merry, keenly alive and exuberant , having or inducing high spirits, bright, lively, brilliant in color." The original meaning of the word itself was NOT derogatory. It was a compliment. However, we, as a society, have changed it into something that others feel is used to put them down or make them stand out. 
The same is true of that nasty r-word we mamas despair at hearing in reference to our children. The word itself was never meant to be a put down, or to make people like our kids feel bad about themselves. It was just a simple word with a meaning quite different from the one it infers in this day and age.
I don't have a problem with the word itself, if it isn't being thrown around as a weapon to intentionally hurt others.
Does this mean that I am ok with my daughter being called retarded? Absolutely not. She's not. She's bright and beautiful and deserves respect. She is an angel in my eyes, and in the eyes of everyone who loves her. 
However, I have to acknowledge that at some time in the future, as much as it hurts me, someone is probably going to use that word in reference to my child. Or even say it to my child.
This is something that, unfortunately, I have given a lot of thought to ever since the day I first heard the words Down Syndrome. 

We, as moms and dads, can advocate. We can work to educate. We can fight for our children to be given the exact same treatment as any other child. We can try to banish the word from the English language. All are noble causes and fights worth fighting.
But we also need to be realistic. No matter how many times we calmly and patiently, or sometimes even angrily, correct people we run across about the power of their words, we will never eliminate them completely. Sad, but true. And as much as we might want to, we will never be able to protect our children completely from those who will try to hurt them with their words.
So, in my house, the only option I can see is to raise my daughter to know that words only have the power to hurt you if you let them. 

" But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"~ Matthew 5:44

My bright and beautiful baby girl will be raised to know her own worth. She will never have a minute's doubt that she is loved immensely or that she is a vital part of our family. She will be taught that she is a gift, the greatest gift we could have ever asked for. She will know that she is smart, that she is beautiful, that she is precious beyond measure to us and to God. She will understand that she carries something extra, but that that little extra makes her absolutely amazing. 
And when she runs across that person who tries to belittle her, I hope that she remembers exactly how special she is. I hope she slaps on her sweetest smile, shakes her head, and says "It's ok. I know better. God loves you and so do I. You will be in my prayers" as she flounces away. 
Love, abounding, forgiving, unconditional love, is the only way to change the world. And it starts with one person.

Love CAN build a bridge. Love can succeed where a thousand words would fail. Love can bring the toughest person to their knees and it can lift the weakest to their feet. Love can destroy hatred, greed and ignorance. 

"And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."~1 Corinthians 13:13

Love is the ONLY answer.

Feverish Babies

Today's post is going to be a short one, heavy on the photos, because after two days of teething troubles, this mama is just plum worn out...and I still have a stack of homework to do.......BLECH!

We have been very fortunate. While we DID have to deal with open heart surgery and pacemaker placement, Liddy has been very healthy. She has only ran a fever one time so far in the last 9 and a 1/2 months and that was caused by a reaction to one of her vaccinations.
This teething thing is a b**ch. She's been working on those two bottom teeth for months now to no avail. I think (oh Lord I HOPE!) they're getting ready to break through and man, are they making her miserable. She ran a fever the entire day yesterday and at almost exactly the four hour Tylenol dosage mark, would scream and scream until the next dose kicked in.

Then I would see this........

for the next four hours. Not that I am complaining about seeing that heart stopping smile. I just wish it hadn't vanished quite so often. 
At 2 am, I had finally made the decision that teething or not, we were heading to the doctor today and lo and behold, the little minx woke up fever free and remained that way throughout most of the day.....well, at least until it was too late to get her into the doctor.
So now we have an appointment for tomorrow morning, just in case. And of course, she hasn't had a fever since I made the appointment. :P
Here's hoping it stays that way!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Angels Danced the Day That You Were Born

My great grandma, or Nana as she is affectionately known, would be celebrating her 95th birthday if she were still here with us. I don't know quite how to eloquently express how very much this very special lady meant to my family...and words can never say how much she is still missed 3 years after she left this world. But I feel as if I should give it a try. Sending these words straight to Heaven......

Dearest Cecile Ann,
When I was a child and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'm sure I answered with a long list of occupations that I thought were glamorous or fun. If you were to ask me now, my first answer would be I want to grow up to be just like my Nana.
You were, and still are, the single most influential person who has ever graced my life. And I truly believe that, despite your orneriness at times, you were one of God's most precious angels. We were so very very blessed to call you our own.
Your grace, your beauty, your innate kindness and unwavering faith carried us all through hard times, just as your laughter marked the good ones. When grey skies threatened, all it took was a hug from you to bring the sunshine back. We all grew strong and beautiful under your gentle love and care.
We miss you. More than words can ever say.
However, even though some days I would trade almost anything for one of those hugs or to pick up the phone and find you on the other end, I have realized throughout the last year and a half that you have never really left us.
When I found out I was pregnant with my sweet Lydia, I missed you. I knew that you would have been the first to ignore all the reasons why it wasn't good timing and the first to truly realize that a miracle had been given to us. But I also feel that had you been here, Lydia would not exist. Somehow, I just know that you interceded on my behalf and hand picked the beautiful creation that God gave to me.......
Because of that I wanted desperately to honor you by giving her your name. And I heard your voice as clearly as if you were sitting right beside me say, "Don't you dare name that baby Cecile." Never one to disobey a direct order from you, I settled instead on Lydia Ann. I'm pretty sure you smiled. 
Throughout my entire pregnancy, you were beside me. Encouraging me to lean on the One whom you leaned on so faithfully throughout your life. I felt you with me, I smelled your scent, I heard your voice (and your laughter on about a thousand occasions!). I know that you sat beside us in that waiting room on the day of Liddy's surgery, holding our hands and praying, even though I'm sure all along you already knew the outcome. Knowing that you are only a breath away is a comfort to me. It gives me strength......
Lydia has a saying on the wall above her crib..."Angels danced on the day you were born." I know without a doubt that you were one of them. And I sincerely feel that you are up there dancing your heart out in celebration of my precious daughter and the changes she has made to me which bring me closer and closer to being like my hero. You.
There have been many times that I have wished with all of my heart that you were here with us, that you had the chance to see Liddy and for the two of you to know each other. But somehow I think you already do. :)

She has so much of you running through her veins. Your generous loving nature, your heart melting smile, your infectious laugh. Not to mention your strength, your determination, and your orneriness. :) I simply couldn't have ever imagined that every single day I would see you over and over again in the face of my miracle.
Thank you for all the unconditional love you have given me. Thank you for always being there when I need you most. Thank you for being such a wonderful example of the type of woman I want to be. Thank you for your prayers, your tears, your laughter, and for thousands of wonderful memories. 
And above all, thank you for infusing this amazing little girl with so much of yourself. 

 You are always loved immensely and will never be forgotten......
All of my love,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure...

Since I seem to be running myself a little bit ragged with my home, school and blogging responsibilities just 23 days into this 31 for 21 blog challenge, I'm going to cheat again. And lucky you all get to benefit from that by me just shutting up and posting more pics of my pint-sized beauty. :)

So without further ado, here are the rest of the gorgeous pics taken by Sarah Kriner Photography (and tomorrow you're just back to being stuck with my less than perfect pics!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pretty as A Picture...

The disc containing the rest of Liddy's ITA photos arrived today! Of course, I couldn't restrain myself for one more minute...so lucky you, you finally get to see my favorites!!! :)

Outfit #1...who knew she'd look so gorgeous in Halloween orange? She loved playing in the leaves too!

Outfit #2....my first glimpse of her wearing the Halloween outfit I picked out. I think I definitely made a great choice!

One of my favorites.....

I told ya'll she's a tiny one. 

Outfit #3...such a tiny Bug in the bucket..... :)

Hop Hop Hopping

Blog Hop here!

Sorry that I don't have the pretty butterfly graphic. I'm apparently having technical issues this morning! lol

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Food for Thought

Something has been bothering me lately. 
I admit that I am just as bad as anyone else when it comes to whining about my babies growing up. I try not to, but if I'm honest with myself, I know that there are times (like last Saturday night) that watching my kids spread their wings in their first faltering flights away from home breaks my mama's heart. Days when I look at my growing son and still see that precious angelic face that stared up at me in wide eyed wonder not so long ago. Days when I look around myself and realize that one day the chaos that fills our home will fade away into silence. And it makes me sad. 
But thus is life. Kids grow up and move away from home. They have husbands and wives, and someday possibly children of their own. It doesn't do any good to cry about it...or to continually wish that they would slow down and wait until we're ready to let them go. Because, mamas, we'll never be ready. Ever. 

 And honestly, how many of us would choose the alternative? To have kids who never grow up? 
I think a few too many of us would have to admit that we never stop to really think about the reality of what we are so quick to wish for. And a few too many of us never thought twice about our dreams of a Peter Pan-like existence, unless faced with the unthinkable, losing one of our kids.
My great-grandma Lydia was nearing her 100th birthday when she left this world. She had given birth to a whole passel of children during her life. Of all of those kids, only 2 survived her. I can't imagine the pain that must come with burying one child, let alone almost all of them. The day of her funeral I looked at my sleeping baby boy and decided that if outliving my kids is what was required of me to live 100 years, I don't want to live on this Earth that long.
It never crossed my mind that maybe my kids wouldn't outlive me. Until Lydia's surgery and the aftermath that followed. I knew that I could make it through the surgery and the recovery, despite my doubts. What I could have never made it through was losing her. As I watched her struggle for each and every breath on that terrifying Saturday afternoon, I looked my worst fear in the face. I was watching her fade right before my eyes. I have never felt so helpless in all of my life. I have never known fear that deep, that paralyzing. I sincerely hope it's an experience I never have to go through again.
God was giving me a lesson about the fragility of life.

This thing we call life can be gone in an instant. Today. Tomorrow. Or 30 years from now. No one knows but God Himself.

So I may whine. I may even cry. But I will never wish for my kids to not grow up (even as I soak up the extra bit of baby lovin' I'm getting right now). While we're wishing our kids won't, someone somewhere is wishing that their child had had the chance TO grow up. While we're kissing our kids goodnight, someone in the world is kissing their baby goodbye for the last time. When our house is booming with laughter and uncontrolled chaos, another parent is sitting in the shell of a home listening to the echoing silence left by a child who left this world long before their parents were ready to let go.

Be thankful for that chance to watch them shed the safe cocoon of childhood for the graceful wings of a butterfly.........
Because somewhere there is a parent who would give anything just to be standing in your shoes.


Happy happy birthday to our very dear friend, KP! I know she stalks our blog so I wanted to just take a minute to wish her the very best day (despite the crappy weather!). And btw, when are you coming to visit again???

We love you so much.
Heidi and Liddy

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SuperKid and His Magical Sister

I spent a large chunk of my evening watching "The Polar Express" with my wee Bug. (In actuality, I watched while she drifted in and out of sleep.)
I must confess my love of children's movies. I have a long, long list of favorites. I loved sharing them with Caleb when he was small, although understandably he was not a fan of princess movies.
Just when I thought that it was time to tuck away the memories of watching those old familiar favorites with a little one cuddled in my lap, God gave me something better. Another baby to share them with.

I wasn't sure how well I would deal with the delays we were conditioned to expect in Liddy's development. Caleb was basically SuperKid from the very beginning. He was in full control of his neck and head by two weeks old, sitting by 4 months on his own, crawling by 6 months and walking everywhere by the time he was 9 months old. Not to mention that right around a year old, he started talking a blue streak. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, that precious baby boy was only a memory as he moved on to bigger and less magical things.
It seems in many ways impossible for me to reconcile the man-child he is now with that sweet baby they laid in my arms for the first time. It sure doesn't seem as long ago as it has been......
SuperKid, growing up entirely too fast, is all I have ever known.
Lydia is my last baby. The difficulties I have which led me to be told I couldn't have babies before her have returned with a vengance since she's been born. I was granted my one miracle. Her birth was so traumatic to my poor battered body that I expected to not be a part of that magical 50% of women who have pregnancies heal them completely. I already knew. I will have had a hysterectomy before I turn 40.
That's always been a major reason that I have fought so hard to keep her.
You don't return a miracle.
And to my way of thinking these days, especially not one that has an extra chromosome.
That extra chromosome and her heart defect have made her small. Tiny. She wore 0-3's forever and she still doesn't even weigh 15 lbs (which is a BIG switch from Caleb, who weighed 15 lbs already at 2 months!). But that's ok. She has stayed cuddlier for longer. Somehow, she still just fits perfectly. In my arms. On my hip. Snuggled on my chest.
She's behind other kids in other small ways too. She doesn't sit up on her own yet (although we're closer every day). She can't crawl. She's not able to grasp small things (which isn't necessarily a bad thing in our house!). And that's ok too. They'll happen (and we'll party). But by them not happening just yet, I am getting to hold on to my last baby for just a little bit longer.
How can that be bad?
I'm sure that she's still going to grow up faster than I'll want her to. From past experience, I know to appreciate this brief interlude. One of these days, the sweet smelling snuggly girl with the sleepy eyes won't want to curl up in my lap to watch a movie. One of these days, I won't be her hero anymore. I'll just be her mom. She'll be independent and fiesty and I imagine her still tiny, but as mighty as an oak, with a personality that makes her seem giant.
But for right now, she is still my tiny baby. And I'm more than ok with that.
After all, age is nothing but a number. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moving Along

Wee Bug is getting to be quite the professional roller. She is QUICK too!!!

She's saying "mama" now a little bit, "dada" constantly, and a few other little words (which aren't attached to anyone or anything yet) like "nana".

She has quite the strange sense of humor....which really just means that she fits right in around here!
She is very very close to sitting up on her own....if only those little toes didn't look oh so inviting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Coming of Winter

Fall is dwindling away. Last weekend's glorious paintings have given way to bare trees.

The leaves crunch underfoot, as the breeze carries the first breath of winter's chill. Flip-flops and short sleeves have given way to sweatshirts and blue jeans. Nature is preparing for its long sleep. 
We watch the squirrels out our window. The playfulness they displayed just a few weeks ago has been replaced by industrious focus as they store up the last of the season's bounty in preparation for the barrenness to come. 
I was terribly sad to see the last days of summer pass us by.. and I find I am just as regretful about the end of autumn. No matter how many years pass, we will never relive this particular year again. It's blowing away like the leaves on the ground, this year of so many firsts. First girls. First babies in many years. First Easter, first Halloween....(almost).

Very soon we'll be celebrating her first Christmas and first birthday. Our first year being a family of five, instead of one of four. Our family's first teenager. Starting first grade. Reveling in our baby girl's first smile, her first laugh, her first word. 

I'm going to miss all of these firsts.
But I also find that I am already looking forward to the first blush of spring and all of the firsts the coming year will bring. :)

I just hope that those don't include first boyfriends. Grandpas and daddies don't count. :)

On a completely unrelated note (or maybe not), I am mourning the coming demise of the once grand lady in my front yard. The sprawling maple that has been the backdrop for some of the best moments of my life. I have been looking out the picture window at this tree in every season for the better part of the 25 years that my mom has owned this house. It is as familiar to me as an old friend. 

 There it is..there in the back ground.

I will miss you, friend. There will be a hole in my front yard that no other tree will be able to fill. RIP............

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Growing Pains

Today has been an interesting day in our household. 
The boys, although still wrestling around with each other every time my back was turned, actually spent the majority of the day willingly hanging out with each other. Even their fighting was, for the most part, generally good natured. I finally decided after three long and fruitless years of trying to keep them from beating the tar out of each other that this particular battle is not one that I will ever win. They are usually both laughing and have now resorted to that old standby "Don't break anything. And try not to truly hurt each other."
From the rocky beginnings of that brotherhood, I think that it is evolved nicely. Caleb brought an extra controller for his PS3 and a game that Ayden loves this weekend just so that could play together. They are always together lately and it's so good to hear them laughing (although a little quieter at moments would be nice, but you take what you get. hahaha.)

I realized today that Lydia indeed knew how to roll. I've been wondering for a while if she knew how but I have never actually seen her do it. I usually turn my back to do something and then when I turn back around she's somewhere different on the floor. Hmmm. Curious. Well today I caught her! I have also noticed throughout the last few weeks that the tiny newborn phase is officially over. My sweet baby has turned into Little Miss Sassy Pants. Even though she's still so small, her face is changing too. She has so much personality. Don't get me wrong. Personality is never something Liddy has lacked in. It's just that now she definitely has things she finds are funny and things that she absolutely does not. She keeps me guessing. I'm positive she knows how to say "mama" but still laughs every time I say it. She's a diva and is happiest when she is being adored by droves of attentive fans....as long as they don't touch her. ;) She tightens every muscle and bucks against you holding her while literally growling at you when she's irritated. She has easily definable signs that it's time for sleep. She will eat pretty much anything, but refuses to eat anything that's green. Now that's not to say that she won't eat green beans or peas. It just can't be the color green or she won't eat it. It cracks me up!

Man. I love this girl.
My kids are growing up. 
My son went on his first date while at our house. He has had a girlfriend for "5 whole months", as he told me on the way home tonight, and his dad has allowed them to hang out several times since mid-summer. I reluctantly drove him 20 minutes away, giving him last minute admonishments and running through every worst case scenario I could think of in my head. I dropped him off, beaming ear to ear. 
I had no idea that was going to be so hard.
But I did it. Woo hoo! I climbed the mountain and while it wasn't necessarily a great night for him, it was an enormous step for this mama hen who is inclined to draw all her chicks in close around her. I may have felt like crying as I drove away but I held it together. It might seem too soon to me but I have a feeling that no matter what age it happened at was going to seem too young to me.  It was just time to let him stretch his wings a little.
Too soon he's going to be grown. I hope that I am ready.
I always knew that it was hard to grow up. But I never realized that it was just as hard to be a parent and watch it happen before your eyes. 
I better get used to it. It's going to be a continual process in this house, this thing called letting go. From one to the other, we're watching the evolution of three babies into three adults. 

It would seem that maybe it's a process that might get easier each time. But looking at Lydia's tiny face, I already know that the last one will be the hardest of all. 
Don't grow up too fast, my sweet Bug. :)