I Still Can’t Believe That You’re Mine: Happy Birthday Celia

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I Still Can’t Believe You’re Mine

Today, Celia “sweetie baby” Gallagher is two.

And I am still in awe that only two years ago, she was given to me.

Carrying a child and not knowing the gender is the best thing in the world. I never wanted it any other way so I enjoyed the surprise to its fullest. Twice.

But few events changed my life more than the day my husband said, “It’s a boy! I mean, it’s a girl!” (Her umbilical cord was between her legs).

I have said this all before. And it’s still true. But, the wonder that I have when I look at my daughter still sometimes throws me for a loop.

She will be someone’s best friend someday, someone’s shoulder to cry on, someone’s voice of reason, someone’s reminder to laugh at their self. Someone’s wife. Someone’s mother.

She will be a voice I look forward to hearing in the telephone, a young woman I will look forward to chatting with over lunch and shopping.

She will be me and not me in all the ways (I hope) I would want her to be. She will be stronger than I ever could be, brighter in spirit and intelligence than I ever thought of being and rock solid in her determination and will.

She will be beautiful and it will only be complemented by her beautiful blue eyes. Her beauty will come out in the crinkle of her smile, the love in her voice, her sharp wit, her warm nature, her contagious laugh.

And when I see this all in her– I can already predict that even then, I still won’t believe she is mine. I will still be full of awe, wonder and pure humility in seeing my daughter grow before me.

Happy Birthday, baby girl. Thank you for making me a better Mommy.

Gallagher Kids 002: Getting dressed and Jay-Z

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Episode #2 is even better than #1, especially when Parker chimes in with his favorite Jay-Z song. Although, the “Peace out homies” got cut off at the end.

Enjoy!

Reasons I Will Not Sell My Daughter to the Gypsies (Today)

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Reasons I Will Not Sell My Daughter to the Gypsies (Today)

1. I would miss her sweet little voice saying “No, no, noooooo!” when I ask her to give me a kiss while we are cuddling in bed in the morning.

2. She’s not potty trained. That would be a bummer for gypsies to steal diapers from other Moms. That ain’t right.

3. She probably didn’t mean to bite me on our bike ride today.

4. I don’t want Parker to be an only child. Read: I’m not having any more kids- no way, no how.

5. She looks cute when she’s sleeping. She makes you forget that you had to basically body check her into her car seat on three occasions that day.

6. She will probably remember her Dad and miss him when she is living the gypsy life.

7. In keeping her, 50% of my children will actually eat dinner each night. Without her, 0% of them will. Numbers don’t lie.

8. She will probably grow out of the nose picking phase.

9. My Mom said I had it coming. Time to pay the piper.

10. Who will I paint my toenails with?

Oh, okay. I’ll keep her. But, in case you are wondering, I am not the only one who considered this avenue in parenting. I don’t have to post on anonymous message boards though– I’ll come right out and say it!

If you have any gypsy/ children stories, please share. Especially if you actually sold your kids and then wanted them back, I’m sure it happens all the time.

10 Blog Posts You Wish I Wrote

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Lately life has been crazy– work, kids, home, all of it. Blogging has somehow made it to the back burner which only makes me feel itchy and incomplete. My blog usually centers me and gives me a great sense of purpose and drive. It’s always really meditative and stress relieving. So, now that I think of it, maybe my reasons for not blogging are exactly why I should be blogging. Note to self. Blog. No excuses.

Today I bring you the 10 blog posts I should have written over the past two weeks. Some of them I still might write, beware. If there’s one you really are dying to hear, comment and let me know!

1. Living with Nakedness: Sure Signs Your Child is a Future Nudist. In this brave post, I will chronicle Celia’s latest taking off her diaper phase. It’s really adorable. Well, except for the poopy ones.

2. The Best Day of My Life: The Day I Figured out My Husband Dances Like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction Yes, it’s true. I’m not bragging, it’s just a great little caveat of my marriage that I only recently discovered. I will rent out said dancing husband for weddings and parties. A fee will apply.

3. Becoming a Chocolate Bunny: My Self Tanner Story In case you are wondering, you can scrub off the streaks if you don’t mind a little redness after:)

4. My One Year old Can Put on Her Shoes but My Three Year Old Can’t: Stories of Shaming Parker. This one is self-explanatory.

5. Water Sprinklers: Entertainment for Hours and You Just Get to Sit There It’s been a long week. That’s all I got.

6. Finding Doris. My story of finding out my husband’s hairdresser “Doris” was not the 60 year old woman I thought she was. She is younger, much younger. And pretty. No one dies a Dateline-esque death in this post, I promise.

7. Praise Jesus, She Finally Watches TV and Other Happy Milestones in Celia’s Toddlerhood.

8. How Many Times a Week is Too Many to Have Dino Nuggets for Dinner? The answer is somewhere between 4 and 7. But certainly not less then 4.

9. Pedicures Are the Only Me Time You Can Get. So it’s time to work them into the monthly budget. Start with 2 per month and go up as needed from there:)

10. “Stop Bothering Me!” When You Deal With Teenagers at Work and Toddlers at Home. Dear Lord.

I promise I won’t ever take so long of a break again. Missed you guys!

That’s my girl: How parenting changed when I had a daughter

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When Parker was born, I was so happy to have a boy because I thought that whatever child I had next, he was the big brother. When Celia came (my husband first announced her as a boy because her umbilical cord was hanging between her legs!), I couldn’t wrap my head around having a girl. Every woman looks forward to raising a girl–because well, we’re girls and we want to relive all of our girl stuff with them. But, when I couldn’t stop referring to her as “little buddy” as an infant, I knew Miss Celia was going to teach me a big lesson: raising me will not be the same as raising Parker, Mom. So buck up.

Celia’s eyes are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Everyone remarks about her baby blues (which are my Dad’s eyes by the way). She’s so happy and so sweet. She waves to people in Target and bats her eyelashes at all the older boys at day care. 16 months old. Pure toddler trouble.

This week, she started to pull my hair and pinch me. And is not responding too well to correction (she laughs at me, great) I don’t remember Parker ever doing it and she has never done it to my husband- proof that the teenage years will be semi-tortuous and frustrating. And proof that: I am raising a girl.

I talk a lot about how frustrating my Parker can be. I’ve written many a post about him and his adorably infuriating antics. His sister, I believe will be a whole different ball game of infuriating. Like girl-infuriating. Like hormonal infuriating. Like me when I was a kid.

My Mom likes to recall the time she sought a psychologist’s help with her out of control three year old. The psychologist told her to sit on me. When I wouldn’t stay in time out, when I wouldn’t listen. Sit. On me. If the fact that my Mom had to sit on me gives any indication of what little Celia is going to be like, well, I’m in trouble. Big trouble. Already I can see her little spirit developing. And I see a lot of little Bridgette in that spirit.

Already she is asserting her independence, her willingness or unwillingness to follow directions and already has that Daddy-only sweet face that melts his heart. As a girl myself, it is occurring to me–slowly–how scary it can and will be to raise a girl. I mean, raising a girl with texting and the Internet and Facebook? Oh my goodness.

But more it’s the pressure that comes to mommies– former little girls, all of them–about raising girls. We are girls who doubted ourselves, our bodies, our personalities, our reputations. We are survivors of girlhood. And none of us intended on going back. But now we have to.

There are things I never want my daughter to have– a chubby phase, boys make fun of her, heartbreak, a mean friend, be the subject of gossip, and I can’t do anything right now to prevent that. A lot of it is by chance, by circumstance and by way of when-you-have-tough-crap-you-learn rationale.

I also want her to be things I was not: good at sports (not a cheerleader), musical, artistic. I want her to be me without the bad stuff and then add in about 5x all the good stuff. Is that too much to expect?

Well, I have recently been clued in to some Moms of teenage girls about the “street angel- house devil” philosophy of teenager-hood. This was after witnessing firsthand a girl speak sweetly to me and then less than five minutes later speak to her mother so rudely and inappropriately that I almost stepped in myself to go all pissed-off- teacher on her ass.

For twelve years I have been teaching teenagers English. So I’m well versed in teenage-ese, right? Wrong. When it’s my own daughter, I will be as effective in figuring her out as I am in doing a quadratic equation. And even though that’s roughly 13 years away, I’m scared already.

When I look at Parker, I just see a boy. A boy I will feed and love and hug and be proud of. He will be a man soneday but I will always see my baby boy. The little redhead that toddled around saying “To invictadee and Bee-YON!!!”

But when I look at Celia, I see all the insecurities I don’t want her to ever, ever, ever have. I see all the tribulations I wrote about in my diary from age seven on. Why is that? Was my girlhood so bad? Were my mistakes so huge? No and no. But every struggle I had as a little girl, teenager and twenty-something somehow hovers above her sweet, beautiful head.

And I can’t help but think of the old saying my own Dad repeated to me, “A son is a son until he takes his wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.” And so, Celia, we’re in this for the long haul kid. So buck up.

Today, I am making a commitment– to put up with the metaphorical hair pulling that comes along with raising a little girl-person– as long as she forgives me for all I have done wrong someday– and does this long before I forgave my own mother.

And, somewhere along the way, I hope I can see– as I was so positively sure my Mom never did– what it’s like to be my daughter and how that may not exactly be a walk in the park. I mean, I guess I won’t be as fascinating to her as a Tween as I am right now. And I think I’ll learn to be okay with that (someday).

And, together, mommies and daughters everywhere can embrace the love and the love/hate- the pinches and the pulls– the power struggles and the surrenders, the Absolutely Everything that is the making of a little woman– my Celia–strong, beautiful and sweet.

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