Friday, May 18, 2012

Valentina 2.0

My sweet baby girl is TWO!  Another fabulous year of blessings...

I was very emotional this morning as I relived every moment of your wonderful birth.
You were due on May 15th and I was certain that you would come early like Salvatore did.  On the 17th, the doctor told me to go in the next morning at 9 a.m. for induction.  That night, I wanted to sleep with Salvatore and hold him while I cried and feared the change that was suddenly going to happen.  I made lots of promises about how calm and patient I would be with him and how he was always going to be special to me because he was my first and only son.  And while he slept, I didn't.  Around 1 a.m., I felt the familiar signs of quick labor.  I woke David up, called my dad to come over and stay with Sal, and off we went to St. Jude.

I remember the drive there was so peaceful, as the streets were empty and dark.  I was so happy that labor started on its own and I prayed for another wonderful experience.  We parked, told them upstairs that I was scheduled for that same morning and they admitted me right away.  I was at 4 cm.  I labored on my own for three hours until I got to 8 cm, and then took the epidural.  While I rested, Daddy rested.  Everyone there took wonderful care of me,  and by 8 a.m., they thought maybe you were ready. Not yet.  We stopped the epidural.

When my favorite doctor, Dr. Buchanan, finally started his shift at 9 a.m., we were all ready.  He sat down casually at the foot of my bed, and we easily welcomed you at 9:18 a.m.  Everyone gasped at how much hair you had and when I first saw your face, you opened your eyes and looked right at me.  I gasped and then cried a river at how much I instantly loved you.  Daddy and I both cried.  And you were such a good baby. I loved nursing you for 13 months.  I loved how attached you got to your big brother.  I loved how easy it was to grow into 4 and how you act independent and affectionate at the same time.  

(She and Benedict spent the night together here and this is how I found them in the morning.)

Valentina, you are the daughter that I always dreamed of.  You fit right in.  You make yourself heard.  You speak your little mind.  You try hard to figure things out.  You adore your brother.  You dance like the music is in your SOUL.  You scream and cry and fuss but always apologize and want a hug.  You help feed Benedict and put your dirty clothes away.  You love to dress up and wear your many favorite shoes. You look as beautiful with wild, unkept hair as you do with perfectly styled hair.  You sing the alphabet with gusto.  You prefer Spanish to English.  You feel empathy when others are sad or crying.  You pick yourself up and go on.  
That's my girl.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

37 things you may or may not know about me

1.  I have four little tattoos.  A taurus, dolphin, sunshine, and my arabic name. Had one on my right arm that I removed and yes, removing hurt way worse than getting it.  
2.  I don't own lipstick.  
3.  Or hairspray.
4.  I love Elton John.
5.  And rap music.
6.  My first car was a green VW 75 super beetle.
7.  I got 100% on my driving test, in a stick shift.
8.  I have lived in 14 different houses.
9.  I put the cart before the horse, with no regrets.  
10.  I was a cheerleader in high school.
11.  I love to fly.
12.  My brother was my maid of honor in my wedding.  And looked so pretty in that dress. Ha ha!
13.  I named my dog after the Pope.
14.  I love to go deep sea fishing and I can hook and release all by myself.
15.  I knew all of my multiplication tables when I was 5, from Montessori.
16.  I skipped first grade.
17.  I am a spelling snob.
18.  I actually like the way I look.  I'm aware of my haves and have-nots. I have accepted everything and decided to toss the list with changes I wish I could make and only change my attitude.  It was the hardest/EASIEST decision ever.
19.  I also let go of mommy guilt.  I do what I do and don't what I can't or won't.  
20.  I originally went to college to be a nurse.
21.  I have visited about half of the United States.
22.  I was born in Ohio. And seven weeks early.
23.  I actually enjoy cleaning and cooking. 
24.  I love to swim.
25.  I love movies.
26.  I LOVE music. 
27.  I drove while vacationing in Mexico City and Acapulco.  Mexico City boasts 22 million people, with very few traffic laws. Seriously, scary.
28.  I used to do Meals on Wheels.
29.  I like to cut the grass.
30.  I have learned to kill a few spiders on my own, if it means saving my children, but I still prefer someone else to come in and be my hero.
31.  I LOVE my mother in law.
32.  I secretly wish I could be a motorcycle mechanic.
33.  My husband and kids make me prouder and happier than anything.  And I don't take it for granted anymore.
34.  My dream is to travel to NYC. And Italy.
35.  I love chocolate. And hate pie. And coconut. And anything with lemon. And when people put nuts in desserts.  
36.  I must have my toe nails painted at all times, but hate having my finger nails painted.
37.  I cry every time I hear anyone sing the National Anthem. 

*Getting older has been easier.  I always tell my younger friends who fear it, to not.  You basically look the same, but you are smarter, and more confident, with more money. What is not to love about that?  I am learning to let go of a lot of things that don't matter. Like insecurity. And laziness. I am leaving competition to the sports teams and moving on with a simpler attitude.  That doesn't mean that life isn't hard or that I can't relate. But seriously, most of my issues were just that-issues, so I am letting them go.  It's as easy as pie.  Oh, wait, I hate pie. It's as easy as chocolate.