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Happy Birthday, My Darling

Right now, I’m fighting the urge to sneak into Ellie’s room, climb over the crib rail, and sleep next to my little baby girl. I know it sounds crazy, but there’s something about this new stage she’s in – it’s my sweet spot. I love it. Sure, the fits and tantrums try my patience; the endless bounding energy exhausts me; and the clinginess can drain me. Yet, there’s nothing like seeing the twinkle that comes into her eye when she’s bounding around discovering something new or or trying out some newly discovered vocabulary (in both English or Spanish)!

Of course, I’m ignoring the absolute terror that was swim class today. Holy Moly! Good Lord! I can’t say I’ve ever experienced anything quite like today. In Teacher Kelley’s words, it was absolute mutiny. Ellie, who rarely goes against anything Kelley says was just plain ol’ rebelling – and it seemed to set off the entire class. Once all four of the students were in full-tantrum mode, it was a sight to behold. Each of the four are extremely strong-willed, and there was just no breaking through. They were all sent to different parts of the room to calm down, and even after that, the class never quite got back to usually is! One of the girls just went home, and the rest of us just tried to do what we could.

Ellie prefers the pool to operate on THESE rules, not "it's time to do this" - CRACK DOWN is on its way!

To be honest, most of Ellie’s behavior comes down to the fact that the last few weeks, there hasn’t been much structure at the Papen household. It’s one of those things that I’ve been totally aware of, but haven’t taken the time to get things back on track. After today, it has become abundantly clear that there needs to be a hard reset to the happenings around these here parts. I think Ellie felt the difference in me the moment she got out of the pool. There were a few fights and lots of resistance, but by this evening, she was back to the old happy-go-lucky, polite and respectful Ellie of a few weeks ago.

The birthday girl with her birthday goggles

I remember as a child requesting “Mommy-time” – usually after having acted out in some ridiculously over-the-top kind of way. As the youngest of four, I craved that time…Mom was spread thin between all of us and had even more pressure from the religious group we belonged to. It was always go-go-go…BUT, for me, mommy time didn’t need to be something centered around me, it just needed to be alone time with her: grocery shopping worked just fine. I remember driving with her to pick up my sister from the church ranch – but getting to sit in the front seat. Those simple, silly times of just Mommy and I stick out as moments where I felt centered, loved, and safe.

On another note, the last few days have been demanding, exhausting, but incredibly rewarding. Ellie’s actual birthday was Friday, and I so wish that I had had the energy to write that night. It was one of the more eventful days at DPF in a long time. And as you all know – that’s saying something. In summary: Jeffrey rented a trencher to lay the fiber-optics we need to get internet to the shop. As they trenched, they hit the water line to the shop. We couldn’t find where to turn the water off to the shop, so we had to turn the entire well pump off. Without the pump, the house had no water. With no water, the kitchen was completely shut down. The swimming pool saved the toilet situation. Yes, to flush, we first had to make a trip to the pool with a bucket. Nice. Jake decided that since he couldn’t sleep because of the noise, he’d start working on putting in the french doors to his bedroom (Jeffrey’s future office). Gah-Gah Lene came over (thank goodness), followed by Bampa Ed. Most of the day Lorena and I just kept looking at each other going, “Oh my god, how the heck are we going to finish everything today?!?!” (of course, we DIDN’T, and I stayed up way too late). The air-conditioner guy came to give an estimate on what he thought was wrong, and somewhere in the middle of all that we had a little tiny celebration for Ellie Graye. Sigh. I’m just glad that day is over! 🙂

The Trencher

Part of the trench

Fixing the leak

Jake starting the installation for the French Doors

Showing Geekah her new babydoll

Ellie's new tractor from Victor and Lorena

Uncle Jake showing EG how to drive

Somehow – I’m not sure how – the preparations for Sunday’s Birthday Celebration happened. Despite having lost all day Friday, we pulled it off. The food turned out great, the drinks were yummy, and the decor not so bad. Unfortunately, the insanity of the days leading up to the party meant that we didn’t get much footage of the whole thing – oh well. As it turned out, I didn’t need to be as stressed as I was because only about 40% of the people who RSVP’d ended up showing up, so I was actually able to enjoy myself! Even so, I didn’t get to talk to as many people as much as I wished I had, but there’s always another time, right?

Watching her ladybug


2 Comments to “Happy Birthday, My Darling”

  1. What a delight to bless this little princess. Glad it all turned out to be just that…delightful, and very wonderfully decorated. Great job mommy!!
    Oh what we do for our first child, and first grandchild!!
    Endless outpourings.
    Hope you do crawl in with her some night. what a memory that will be of mommy time.

  2. What a lovely day Sunday was. Everything was beautiful and delicious as always, and who would have know the day was preceded by a week of such insanity! 🙂

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