It was the LAST thing I would have ever expected. Days before my 40th birthday, having battled infertility much of my childbearing years, the sheer exhaustion I was feeling was dismissed as an impending bug.
Seeing the two happy pink lines on the home pregnancy test? Yep, the LAST thing I would have guessed. It was Labor Day weekend, ironically, and I called my doctor in a panic. Having had so many miscarriages, I wanted to get right on a regiment IMMEDIATELY. He hesitated, but told me to come in on Labor Day and we would talk. I did. We did. And he agreed to try the protocol that I know helped bring me Eilis.
And after spending 7 months hoping for the best, and another month in the hospital on complete bed rest, at 36 weeks, my LAST baby was born.
I’ve heard that they save the best for last. I will never say that about my children – I love them all so much. But this was the best last I have ever experienced.
Happy Birthday, Granuaile!
Naming a child is a very personal thing. Regardless, you will find that this very personal choice is one of the few that you will make in life that is subject to so much comment and criticism. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to babies, but when it comes to babies’ names, everyone thinks they are way better at picking than you are.
None of our children has a typical name. Brighid, so named because it means strength, and my 2 pound 10 ounce preemie seemed to need all she could get, could have been Bridget – which everyone would recognize. But when you have a child so beautifully and uniquely yours, here to carry on your heritage and traditions, why not give her a name that reflects that?
Naming my children has given me an opportunity to show a love of my Irish heritage, and a love for some of the strongest women our family has seen. Eilis, whose name I actually fell in love with while watching a documentary on conjoined twins, is named after my grandmothers, women who raised families, worked hard, and were in their own right strong and beautiful. And Granuaile, whose middle name is Frances, bears the Gaelic name of Grace O’Malley, Ireland’s pirate queen, who changed the way women in Ireland were depicted. Strength, courage, and devotion to her family were the traits of the original Granuaile, and traits of Granuaile’s other namesake, my sister Frances (Bean).
I’ve had to explain often through the years why my kids have the names they do. I never mind. It’s an explanation I’m proud to give. Just be prepared for a wee history lesson.
Yesterday, my baby turned six. There’s something in turning six that makes me a bit weepy – it’s sort of like the 30 of childhood. When I think “five”, I think preschool/kindergarten, baby. When I think “six”, it sounds more like real school, growing up, and all the other things moms dread about their babies growing up. It’s a big number for me.
To celebrate, we let Granuaile choose her birthday party. For a while, it had been that she wanted a party exactly like the last birthday party she had been to – whether it was a gymnastics party, a pottery party, or a karate party, if she had recently been to it, that’s the type of party she wanted. Then she seemed to settle on Bounce U. Even after going to subsequent birthday parties, the party she went to at Bounce U remained her favorite, so we settled on that for her party.
The day we went to book the party, the place was a mad house. It was mobbed, kids running and screaming all over, parents wondering why on the list of beverages they offer they don’t add things like “tequila”, “vodka”, and “rum punch”. We asked about times available for Granuaile, and we were given a choice of four different times. Because she wanted “cosmic bounce” – meaning the lights are off and they have glowy, cosmicy things – we thought a night time party would work better – plus, it would wear the kids out so they’d go home to bed. Fabulous idea.
The party was a big success. Granuaile had a blast, we had only one minor injury – and he bounced back very quickly, and even some of the moms took a ride on the big slide!
Here’s the party recap in pictures:
I took a lot of pictures this holiday season. These and the blogs to follow highlight some of my favorites!
CHRISTMAS AT HOME – This actually was 12/18, the day before we left to spend the holidays in Florida – plus one bonus photo of lazy Granuaile being met at the car by her dad with a wagon so she didn’t have to walk up the driveway!
It’s all about the proper motivation. On a normal day in my house, my kids are still being yelled at to get dressed 10 minutes after we should have already left for school. No one leaps out of bed, gleefully puts on their school uniform, races down to the nutritious breakfast I spend hours creating (okay, so it’s toast or cereal, but still….). They have to be poked and prodded like cattle to the slaughter.
Not today. 3 minutes, dear readers. My little one had her uniform on 3 tiny minutes from the time I first poked my head into her bedroom.
How did I do it? The credit actually goes to Eilis. Because last night, while Granuaile was at her Daisy Scout meeting, Eilis took down the Playmobil sets that took over the Thomas the Tank Engine train table when Thomas became “for babies”. In place of the Playmobil, Eilis put out all of our Little People Christmas sets!
Behind Granuaile, you will see a black plastic trash bag. That bag now contains 92,741 pieces of Playmobil that Eilis wasn’t sure what to do with when she cleared them from the train table.
If you find the 3 minute motivation for putting that all back together after Christmas, let me know!
My own pint sized masters #festivalofthemasters
Think you got a tough job? Try going to full time kindergarten