Monday, October 24, 2011

Red-headed Blessings

We celebrated yesterday.  Florida baby #5 took the spotlight and had 24 hours of being the one with unlimited power to call trump.  It's so sweet to have a reason to stop the quest for fairness and unabashedly favor one above all others.  All of them deserve the chance to be the one and only for a bit.  I'm glad birthdays make it happen.



Elena's 8th birthday landed on a Sunday so it began with the "get ready for church" routine.  I woke her up a little more slowly with a few extra kisses and giggles.  Laney and I lingered in front of her closet debating over Sunday morning birthday attire.  She's got a little Fancy Nancy in her that peeks out between her tomboy efforts every now and then.  Fancy Nancy took over yesterday because of the hairstyle

One of Laney's besties had a birthday party on Saturday....at the hair salon.  We raced to the hair salon after a morning of soccer games.  Elena shed the muddy cleats and forgot the jammed finger she suffered during her big save in the goal as she walked into a cloud of glitter and hairspray.  The pretties worked their magic and left her feeling all soft and giggly. 

When Elena woke up the next day, on her birthday, the hairstyle was 12 hours old and needed a trip to hair ER.....eg:  Momma's bathroom.  Lucky for me, I had thought ahead before bed the night before and done a little reconnaissance on the how-to's of her chosen hairstyl.  I knew it would be up to me to rebuild it for the birthday girl.  So Sunday morning, after carefully choosing an outfit, we set up in my room with supplies of hairspray, curling iron, bobby pins and sparkly butterfly clips carefully chosen in her favorite school colors.

Fixing up that head full of red hair brought me right back to the wee hours of the morning she was born, when I first saw her little red head.  Her birth was so fun, one of the best dates Scott & I ever had.

Contractions kinda snuck up on me and finally convinced me that they were real and regular by dinnertime.  We took our time, called Aunt Kathy to come hang out with the kids and treated them to a drive thru dinner in a bag from Wendy's.  I remember settling my 4 kids around the dining room table, doleing out ketchup packets and making sure the amount of fries in each container was even....just doing the Mom thing.  It was getting close to bedtime for my babies when Kathy got serious about shooing us out the door.  She said, "Go on!!  You get to go have a baby!!  Go meet this little person!!"  That's when the giddiness started, when I realized that a momentous world-altering event was breaking through our everyday evening routines!

We did linger long enough for Scott to start his wager ledger with the kids.  Florida baby #5 was the first baby to keep it's sex a secret through all the pre-natal ultrasounds.  Only Elena and her Heavenly Father knew what color knit cap would be used in a few hours.  Daddy couldn't resist the urge to make it a game.  Everyone recorded their predictions for gender, weight and time of birth.  We knew we were leaving for the hospital with plenty of time....expected the labor to take a few hours to really gear up and were actually looking forward to those golden moments of anticipation, just the two of us, in the delivery room.

We arrived at the hospital in a momentous cloud of anticipation...and the hospital staff joined us.  Every nurse and tech seemed to do their work in a celebratory mood. We settled in, Scott took wagers on the baby's stats from everyone who entered the room, and soon I started breathing deeper and focusing more.  The epidural did it's thing like a champ and turned the room back into a party.  While we waited for one last hour, we giggled, dreamed and talked to our new baby via video camera.  I love thinking about those sweet moments, all alone the two of us, anticipating one of the best things we've ever done...

Before long, it was time.  That moment is one like no other.  The whole world seems to stop and focus in on a small spot in time and space while the fabric of the world rips open as God delivers an un-deserved, hand-knit, beautiful gift into my arms.  This sparkly diamond moment is why TLC can run birthing stories all day long and women around the world can't stop the tears or tear themselves away from the TV.  Even on TV with people you don't know, it's magical.

Those few golden moments went by in slow motion, the good kind that lets you really soak it in.  And then, my sweet Doctor smiled and announced, "It's a girl!" with all the pomp and circumstance such an announcement deserved.




She was so beautiful....just the right amount of Florida chub, sweet little serious eyes and a halo of red hair.  We held her.  We touched her.  Daddy gave her her first bath and crooned to her in his sing-song Daddy voice.  We fell in love quickly and permanently with Elena Rose Florida.


A few hours later, when the room was quiet and dark, we called the grandparents who were waiting, wide-awake by the phone.  "The baby's here!" we told them that, but nothing else.  Her arrival was worthy of waking up 4 brothers and sisters who had no other reason to be up at 2 am and dressing them for a field trip.

They filed into the room one by one with awe on their faces.  The grandmas squealed when they saw the pink cap and squealed again when the red halo was revealed.  The sisters cutely and cautiously wanted to inspect fingers and toes, in awe of tiny and real. 


The brothers'disappointment at being outnumbered by girls melted with a warm baby sister filling up their arms.




The Florida family was never the same.  We are so glad and that's why we celebrated yesterday. 

Scott & I took Elena on a special date yesterday afternoon to visit one of her best friends in the world.  She hasn't seen him in about a year.  His name used to be Muscle, but now it's Seamus.  He's an Airedale puppy who was adopted by a sweet, sweet lady who not only loves him but also loves the little girl who took care of  him during his first 8 weeks of life.  He was Laney's special charge out of our first litter of puppies.  He wore the blue ribbon, she named him Muscle and she loved him fiercely. 


The day he went home with his new Momma, Laney cried, but they were happy tears.  She said that the happiness of watching him find a good home was bigger than the sadness of loosing him.  He's stayed large in her heart though, and in typical Laney style, he's been showered with prayers and special letters and artwork through the mail.  We figured a birthday was a perfect reason for a reunion.



Our birthday luncheon was a delicious celebration of the uniqueness Laney brings to our lives.  We enjoyed all of her favorite foods....chicken nuggets, waffle fries, fresh pineapple, Fritos' corn chips, a smorgasbord of pop choices and popsicles and mini sugar donuts for dessert.  As we dunked our nuggets, we showered Elena with one word descriptions of who she is.....artsy, fun, crazy (in a good way), creative, athletic, generous, unique....  That pretty much sums it up.  Our world without Elena would be a little flat and would lack a lot of things that give it color.

Happy Birthday sweet Elena Rose!  I'm so glad you were born and that you are mine!

3 comments:

  1. So well-expressed, Lori. The world would NOT be the same without our Laney. It is such a joy and privilege to be her aunt...thank you for the gift of HER! I'm loving loving her and witnessing her "becoming." She is a one of a kind gift in my life. Happy birthday, Laney Rose!

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  2. Thanks Aunt Sassy - we love you too!

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  3. Love reading her story!!! So very sweet...I feel as though I've always known her now!;) what a blessing it is to remember and celebrate each year...that's why I treasure birthdays so much...basically says, "hey! We are so thrilled you were born!!! Let's party!;)"

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