Thursday, February 12, 2015

mia turns 4!

happy fourth birthday to you, Mia!

oh, you sweet little one. i just put you to bed on the last night as a three year old.  i feel like i've been telling people you were almost four for about 6 months. you just never really seemed only 3. isn't that weird? maybe because you and henley are such a unit that since she definitely didn't seem three, it would only make sense that you were older as well.

i have your selection in the oven, devil's food cake with chocolate icing. i believe your words were "ummm. chocolate. and more chocolate on top." you also just GOBBLED a bowl of spaghettio's. you are SUCH a noodle eater- always asking to eat "noodles with a little sauce and a little meat and a little cheese". you also love yogurt, as in every single morning. strawberries. cherries. muffin bars. pineapple. doritos. almost any nuts- pecan, almonds, peanuts. sausage. and anything and everything dipped in ranch.

speaking of nuts- one of your favorite things to do lately is crack pecans on the back porch using the nut cracker. you will expertly shell each pecan and give me half each time. for christmas, you even got a sack of pecans!

and that also proves your generosity. you'll give away your candy, gum, share your stuffed animals. you love to share and willingly to it. such kindness.

you love playing outdoors, especially making "salads" and "potions". you mix up berries, birdseed, dirt, grass, leaves and water in bowls and buckets everywhere. you dig with shovels and stack rocks. you gather flowers and seeds and leaves everywhere we go! my car is full of all your gatherings! you also love gathering treasures while we shop, getting the tiniest sequins and sparkles, tags and pins.

 you love having the dogs chase you and petting the cats. moshi sleeps on your bed every night and you'll carefully crawl in and sleep up by the pillows just so you don't disturb her and make her jump off. no worries, she always comes back to snuggle with you.

you love your stuffed animals and for your celebration tomorrow, you want to go to build a bear and make a special stuffed animal. you have pre-selected a tan bear named sandy. (i sure hope he's available tomorrow!!) you also love, love, love little things- toys and figures and animals. you set up little scenarios everywhere. your big gift is a huge collection of littlest pet shop animals and homes. i'm so excited for you to open that one!

you have the funniest, cute way of speaking. "dwady" is how you talk about little brother. who you like but aren't obsessed with, unlike henley. you like grady sitting with you, as long as he's happy and still. you do go in and attempt to soothe him if he's crying. but mostly you like his toys and animals!

you are a beautiful little girl. you don't like to have your hair brushed and cry every time. you wake up with wild, wild bed head and don't mind having that crazy mop all day long. even if it's all in your face. your hair curls up in the back and it is one of my favorite things ever. you have long eyelashes and bright hazel eyes. you run with a skippy shuffle that is hilarious.

you still prefer your tricycle. you still would rather get pushed on the swings. you can buckle up and finally learned how to open and close the back car doors by yourself. you holler "mom, i go poop!" a million times until i come to wipe your hiney. i hope when i'm 99, i still can hear "mom, i go poop" in my brain.

you can fall asleep in 3 minutes and sleep in every position in your bed. you are daddy's buddy because you are so easy- give you a phone with a show and you'll go anywhere and be fine. you are so LOW DRAMA. you love to wrestle and rough house, often poking daddy and running off. we chase you and you scream and laugh the greatest belly laugh. you are sturdy and tough, tall and lovely.

mia, i could go on and on about how i love you. you are all sweetness, stubbornness and smiles. you are happy and  good and kind. i love watching you become who you are going to be. thank you for being my number 2, my new big sister and ringtail tooter. i sure do love you.

happy birthday!


on the day you were born, Grady James

on the day you were born, Grady James Immel

i'm writing as fast as i can tonight, feeling like i need to get in mia's birthday (which is tomorrow) and hen's birthday (which was 2 months ago) and your birth story. i want to remember all these details and my terrible memory PLUS our busy life makes me know if it's not written, it will be gone, long gone.

your actual due date was october 19, which is fun because it's your mamie's birthday! the pregnancy was pretty uneventful. i had to watch my sugars- diabetic with mia and also with you. i never got very big with you, even 2 weeks before i looked like some people do at 6 months. but man, i felt like i was going to POP! my belly was sooooo tight and i felt like there was zero room to spare. you got the hiccups often and would kick regularly in the evenings. made me think you'll be a night owl like daddy. i ate pretty healthy. i couldn't get enough hummus and jerky and almonds and all things protein. it was also the best peach season in years and we ate more peaches than ever. i loved spinach smoothies before pregnancy but couldn't stomach them during.

as the day got closer, our doctor said i wasn't dilated and we should probably set a date to induce. i felt so funny planning this- it seems so unnatural to set it based on our schedules and what day of the week would be most convenient. i really wanted to know exactly when it would happen to make sure the girls would be ready and mamie and molly would have their sub plans completed and grades in. i didn't want to have contractions and wanted to have my toenails looking great. aren't those all silly reasons! you decided you'd be the final say in all this!

we decided that thursday, october 16 would be the big day. wednesday the 15th was our first choice but dr. olvera wasn't available. well, tuesday the 14th, i had a visit and was thinking perhaps i would get admitted- had been having a few contractions and made daddy go with me, just in case. the bag was in the car and i was ready. unfortunately, dr. olvera said, nope! you aren't ready at all. see you thursday. whew-i thought! i called everyone and said, THURSDAY!

even though i was having some big contractions, i went to tutor mallory at the library. we finished up and i wanted (needed!!!) a pedicure so i went over and got one. as i watched modern family, i got contraction after contraction. i felt badly because my nail tech kept asking me something (are you having a baby? are you in pain? who knows) but i couldn't understand her and also didn't want any  "extras" so i kept saying "no, thanks".... she kept a close eye on me! i left and met everyone at home. i took a shower around 10 because man! my back was hurting and i was having some serious big contractions. i kept thinking of dr. olvera's medical assessment though- no, this baby isn't happening for a few days. well, after that shower, i tried to get some sleep but wasn't able to sleep- one after another. maybe i ought to be tracking these and see how frequently they are happening, i thought. i downloaded an app and was surprised to find they were about 5 minutes apart- and i was even missing some of them! when i realized that, i got a little freaked out and woke up your daddy. "i think i need to go to the hospital, even if they won't check us in. i'll just wait in the car." we called pop (dad? can you come over? i think we need to head to the hospital and he said "BABY TIME!!!" and hung up on me) and he was at our house SO FAST and we woke up henley and mia and loaded them up. they were a little sleepy but also excited for this bit of adventure!

around 12:15, we drove on down. after a painful drive to stone oak, we arrived at the hospital (after trying 3 different entrances which were all locked, made it to the labor and delivery unit. when i told them this was baby #3, they moved us along QUICK! I was checked and already at a 7! they rushed around- couldn't get my epidural until i had a iv, and my veins kept rolling. finally around 2 am, the anesthesiologist came and gave me some medicine that had the side effect of making my face itch like CRAZY! daddy thought i was going to scratch it off! finally, everything was working just right. they came and checked me out and said, hey- are you ready to push this baby out? and whoop! grady james, you popped right out into this world at 4:04am. the best part? it was october 15th, which would have been your nana's 70th birthday! i feel like even though she never got to meet you, you have this totally special bond of sharing a birthday with her! i'm sure she was watching all of the excitement of seeing little ole you arrive into this world, your daddy grabbing you right up and checking you out. you weighed 8 lbs 3 ounces and were 20 1/2 inches long. you had more hair than your daddy! :)

one funny thing that night was that daddy and i weren't completely agreed on your name! i knew i wanted grady but we had also tossed around the name august and just weren't fully decided. we thought probably john grady or grady james? well, during my labor, when the nurses asked, i told them you would be grady. and as soon as you were born, daddy said "grady james". that worked because if we had named you john grady immel, you and your uncle john would both techincally be "john immel" and that might have caused some confusion in life!

we had your big sisters come to the hospital (on their way to the zoo with mamie and molly) and they were pretty darn proud! after some checkups, we headed out of the hospital on thursday afternoon. we picked up chick-fil-a (a nugget platter) and headed home. we had a front porch full of adorable decorations from my mops friends- wipes and tractors and socks! streamers everywhere and pictures of you. the girls spent the night at mamie's house so we could settle in and your little life with us began!

i am crazy for you, little one. you have these giant dimples and bold eyebrows and twinkly eyes. you smile at everyone and are generally, the happiest baby we've had. you love your sisters and watch them all the time. they love to have you sit with them while watching tv and you often fall asleep in their laps. we take you everywhere- no time to sit around doing nothing- and you are the best. christmas shopping, eating out, playdates, storytime; you started this life as a part of a busy gang and can hang pretty well. we all have adjusted well to being 5 instead of the 4 we've been for so long. you are our favorite boy and we love you!