celebrating 12 years of Brooklyn
On September 26, 1997, our lives were changed forever. At around 11:23am (Minnesota time), Brooklyn Joelle was born. She has taught me a lot over these last 12 years. She was our first baby, so she forged the way for the rest. I remember when I was pregnant, wondering what labor would be like, a little scared, a lot excited. When you're expecting a baby, you hear a lot of birth stories, both good and bad, from anyone you're willing to listen to. I thought so much about labor and delivery that I thought, if I could just get through that, I'd have this sweet baby to bring home and life would be good.
Well labor and deliver happened to be a piece of cake for me. Really, really wonderful experience all four times. What I should have put more thought time into was being a mom of a newborn. I got this sweet little 6lb, 11oz baby home and didn't know what to do with her. It was such a hard time for me. I was so disappointed in myself because all my life I'd dreamed of being a mom. I played with dolls from the time I was itty bitty until a few years after I probably should have, and then I started babysitting. I always loved being around babies and couldn't wait to have my own.
We had moved from California to Minnesota (for the first time) when I was about six months pregnant. Both of my sisters back in CA were also pregnant at the time. Joe was in school and I was trying to do a home based business while caring for this new baby. The business never went anywhere because I just couldn't make it all work. I was a fumbling mess with Brooklyn, especially the first week. Everything I thought would come naturally took so much work. I loved her with all my heart, but I was an emotional wreck. I wanted my sisters and I had a really hard time nursing. Brooklyn and I both cried every time I tried to feed her. Finally, after about a week, Joe and I decided to switch to formula. Another really hard thing to do. I felt like such a failure and like I wasn't a good mom.
Over time, we've figured things out. Each new stage we come to, we pray a lot and do our best. She's turning into a remarkable young lady. She's someone I admire. I still learn a lot from her, not just by learning how to nurture her, but by watching her. She has a great zeal for life, is very imaginative and inventive, and has such great courage. She's a natural leader (a true first born) and has an iron-strong will (which of course has its pluses and minuses). In a few weeks, she and I will get away for a weekend together. I can hardly wait for some quality girl time with her.
This is her birthday sign, made by her daddy (he calls her B-Town). He's so amazing at things like this.. I'd love to have half the natural talent he does. (If you click on the picture you can see full size.)
Her gift... she's been asking for one for a long, long time. Until recently, she was always with me, so I told her she didn't need one. Now this girl has a schedule that makes my head spin. So many times the last couple of months I've wished I could call her to tell her the babies are sleeping and tell her where to meet me when I'm picking her up, or to let her know I'm stuck in traffic (one of these weeks I'll learn to give myself at least 10 extra minutes on Friday afternoons). So it was time. She was sososo excited. She spent a lot of the day texting, mostly her cousin Josh. So fun that they can do this now. I found myself quoting Annie Camden from 7th Heaven (loved that show).... "it's a privilege, not a right." We had the whole responsibility and rules talk. Good thing she has unlimited texting... I wonder how many times yesterday I heard her ringtone!
We had a wonderful impromptu play day with friends. We had plans to do something different, but that fell through this week and we ended up at
in Berkeley. SO much fun. In fact, that deserves its own post... SUCH a great place. I can't believe I hadn't been there before. I was so inspired. More on that soon.
Tomorrow I'll be posting my 100th post! Come back for a celebration giveaway!