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Friday, May 22, 2009


enjoy this time. they grow up so fast! 

it's such a cliché, but if it wasn't so true, people wouldn't say it all the time!

i think it was just two weeks ago that i birthed this child. 

what a surprise that was! not that i wasn't aware that i was having a baby. that was rather evident in my increased waistline and the pudgy nature of my ankles. what was surprising was the fact that we had a girl, since we spent the prior twenty weeks anticipating the addition of our second son to the family. (hint: don't trust an ob/gyn's ultrasound skills)

we were glad that we elected not to tell anyone what we were having. we kept his/her identity a secret, and it's a good thing we did! the hubster even had to return the "it's a boy!" sign he had purchased for our mailbox. 

the hubster was busy taking pictures and videotaping the big event while my doula and i were busy hee-hee-heeing and doing all the work. the doctor was joking about how long the baby's hair was as "he" was in the process of crowning. "he" popped out, and the doctor exclaimed, "it's a girl!" i looked down in absolute shock, and the hub continued to shoot away. the doctor invited the hubster to cut the cord (something we missed out on the first time since our baby was born in distress and there were about 25 people in the delivery room, but that's another story). when he looked down to do his duty, he looked at the doctor and said, ohmygracious, it's a GIRL!! and the doctor looked confused. "i said it was a girl, didn't i? hubster explains, "i thought you were kidding! you know, how the baby's hair was long, etc. i thought you were just joking around!" of course the doctor had long forgotten he had predicted a boy with the ultrasound since we were in the habit of calling our baby "the baby" and not referring to it as a he or a she. 

so my husband is literally on a cloud. he went out into the hallway to high five anyone who was nearby. "we had a GIRL!! we had a GIRL!! we never have to do this again!! we have one of each!!" after a few laps around the floor as the lullaby played on the intercom system, signifying a new birth (ours!!), he remembered he had a wife and a new baby somewhere and he came back, still grinning ear to ear.

just remembering that moment brings tears to my eyes.

she was the quietest newborn i had ever encountered, as our first was a robust crier from the moment he hit the outside world. she. was. so. preciously. captivated. 

i was still speechless, still incredulous that we had been blessed with a girl.

and so completely confused about what we were going to name her.

i'd love to say that we settled on a nice family name. a classic that was passed down for generations. or something clever. but with us wanting to leave the hospital less than 24 hours after her birth, we had to name her before leaving. so in a fit of pressure, we named her the 11th most popular name for 1991. (in 2007 it ranked 373) we almost gave her my mom's name, elizabeth, as a middle name, but settled on the name we were going to name our son, because we still liked it, but still kind of thought of it as a guy's name.

but after about 7 months of hearing her name everywhere, we decided we couldn't do that to her, so we began calling her by her middle name (much to the confusion of grandparents and her brother who had just learned how to say her name after calling her "baby" for six months), which is mclean, like the city in virginia. rhymes with mcplane, not with mcspleen. the non-phoneticness of it really bothered her grandmother, but it was the guy version, and we kept it. i sorta wish we would have girled it up a bit, just so she wouldn't have to constantly spell it or correct the pronunciations. oh well.

after having the world's busiest baby (and also colicy-est), having her was like having a posable barbie. she was so easy and content it was almost like i'd forget she was there. (not really, but it wasn't uncommon for her to just fall asleep under her little playgym in the living room.)

she was always eager to do anything her older brother did. fear rarely held her back. she oftentimes would try things before her more cautious brother would. she was the first to dive into a lake, catch crawfish, or eat something new. she treasured her older brother, just 18 months older, and acted more like his twin than baby sister.

like boy wonder, she played soccer. she cried when she broke her arm during the soccer season. not because it hurt, but because she thought she wouldn't get a trophy. in fact, the day she broke her arm (not realizing that it was broken) she broke boards with her head in tae kwon do. she never let much stop her.

soccer, tae kwon do, cheerleading, swimming, and diving. she was always involved in athletics even though she was plagued with knee troubles. she rarely complained, always perservered through the pain, and always competed at a high level. we were so proud when she captained the middle school cheerleading team and then when she picked up diving as a novice her freshman year and found herself on the collegiate feeder team the next year.

she performed at a high level in the classroom, too. her academic accomplishments opened doors for her to be able to have many options when it came time to make plans for college.

just last week she began kindergarten. yesterday she was a freshman in high school!

how did i blink my eyes and she graduates with honors from high school??

blink my eyes again and she'll be off to alabama. off to the land of crimson tides. off to tackle the honors nursing program. 

i have no doubt that she'll be fearless in her pursuit of her goals. just like when she was a little girl. she's going to run out on that board and dive in. head first. 

and we'll be right there, cheering her on.

bama girl and her bama roommate

but for this UT graduate and for my very orange-blooded soul, it's going to take some teeth-gnashing and some real letting go for me to say "roll tide!" and mean it. 


  1. Thanks for the walk down memory lane! My daughter's middle name is after my brother who died 6 years ago. I gave her his name and didn't girl it up one bit and I wouldn't have it any other way!!

  2. Beautiful post! So true! to hug my'll be too soon and they will be off to college... where is the pause button???

  3. What an awesome tribute to your daughter! Great photos too, very pretty! :)

  4. Beautiful, beautiful daughter! The memories are so wonderful... it's amazing how it feels like days ago, isn't it? I am curious; is "bama" some sort of sports reference?

    Soooo - how are you doing with it all? Just for the record, when my girl turned 18 and graduated, I pretty much mourned for hhmmm... 6 months? Dang. I remember that like it were yesterday too! Hoping and praying for better for you!


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