Monday, June 20, 2011

She Made It

Kindergarten was wonderful for Ainsley. My little girl grew up a lot this year and her teacher deserves loads of credit for keying in on Ainsley's personality and learning style at the very beginning of the year. Katie thankfully targeted her developmental strengths and weaknesses and did an excellent job bringing A as much out of her shell as possible. On top of that, she really went to bat for my daughter a couple times and I am grateful for those acts as much as anything else. We really, really loved Katie and the triplets are going to be devastated they won't have her as their kindergarten teacher. She was sort of a celebrity in our house.

The fabulous Katie B. AKA the Best First-Year-Teacher in the world.

Thank you for friends! Ainsley was blessed to have a small and close group of girls in her class. Two of them specifically sought her out from day 1 and I am so thankful for sweet Olivia and Hannah. It is impressive to me that these young girls helped make my very shy oldest feel cared for in an environment where her personality lends itself to be overlooked.

The girls. I thought they were mostly quiet and shy and then I had them over for a valentine's party before school one day. Holy Moly was it loud. Eardrums bleeding loud.

Her bestie, Olivia. We love, love, love Olivia and could not be more thankful for how darling she was to Ainsley.

Many thanks go out to Mr. Derek, the famous bus driver who cared for his kindergartners so much his autograph was coveted for their yearbooks. His and Miss B's were the ones A had to point out to me before we even got in the car on her last day. I hope the district keeps him on this route because he is the best.

Notice the wardrobe change? Only my child would wipe out on a soggy field the last day of school and get completely soaked. I'm just happy I was there because she would have been devastated to have to sit in wet clothes the rest of the day.

Thank you to the school and the district. Family is important in our district (as I'm sure it is in all districts) and we delighted in it. From the Halloween parade through the neighborhood, to the family nights with all the cheesy games, to the all-school-family picnic at the end of the year, we loved it all.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Annie has been baptized about 7 times now, but that number may not be completely accurate. Her real one was Mother's Day (which I secretly loved even though I am not a fan of the holiday) and it went as well as it could with 5 kids, ages 6 and under, standing in front of a congregation.

John and I tried to explain to the kidlets what baptism meant beforehand and I tried to explain to them what behavior would be appropriate during the ceremony. And for once I think they either listened or God quieted their hearts for 10 minutes because they did better than I expected. There weren't any loud questions or announcements, no crying or whining, no grabbing on to John or to me and begging to get out of there, no discernible bodily noises, etc.

Apparently they spent some of the time actually observing what was going on, including the details. How do I know this? Because they baptized Annie a few times in the weeks after, especially Lizzy. It always happened during bath time and it took me a few times to understand what in the world were they doing getting a handful of water and holding it on her head for a few seconds. To be honest, I didn't figure it out. Lizzy finally said "I baptize you" and it became obvious.

And so I can add "stop baptizing your sister" to the growing list of things I never thought would come out of my mouth.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heartache Beyond Measure

There are critical developmental milestones during pregnancy. Since multiples obviously arrive early and sometimes too early, those of us blessed with these particular pregnancies breathe enormous sighs of relief when each milestone is reached and then passed. Week 24 (threshold of viability) is the first. After that, the next goal is Week 28 (higher survival rate with less, but still possible, life long complications) , then 30, then 32 where there is an excellent chance for survival. After that, every 24 hours is bonus. John and I are acutely aware of how fortunate and blessed we were to make it to 34+ weeks with Johnny, Lizzy, and Gracie.

What is heartbreaking is that some stories don't end like ours. I've been following a triplet family for awhile and they just unexpectedly went into early labor at 22 weeks when Baby A's water broke. The mother delivered their three sweet boys a couple days ago and held them all too briefly because they were born 14 days too soon to even have a chance at life. Their story in its entirety is not mine to tell. It is too sad and personal. But their words in the telling are beautiful and filled with dignity and worth a read if you have the time.

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I pray for expectant triplet families as soon as I hear about them. This family brought me to my knees in a way I hadn't experienced in awhile and made me hold Annie longer before I placed her in her crib, even though she had been asleep for 20 minutes. It made me stand in the doorway of the triplets' room and watch them and pray over them as they slept as only small children can, arms and legs every-which-way. And it made me indulge Ainsley and read to her and snuggle with her longer than I have in months.

Read about the family and pray for them, if you will. I can not imagine their grief.