Tonight as I went to lay Carly down for bed, we sat in the rocking chair together, her in her ridiculously long 24 month footy pajamas (is it just me, or does it look like a six year old could fit in them when you fold them?), and me in a pair of jeans, and we sang songs from JJ Heller's I Dream of You album, which is also the album I listened to every night after my first miscarriage, rocking three year old Wyatt to sleep.
Tears streamed down my cheeks tonight as I remembered the deep hopelessness I felt during the cold, dark nights in Alaska after my baby had been scraped out of my abdomen. I didn't believe that another baby was possible. After three healthy boys, I didn't think I deserved another baby.
Somewhere deep inside, there was a spark of hope.
A tiny ember that kept burning through that winter.
By spring I had agreed to give God another chance at hope. And oh my holy goodness can you imagine my life now if I hadn't? Can you imagine our lives without Carly? Without that sweet, joy-filled rainbow baby? Our whole existence would be so dim.
Just last week Wyatt said to me, "Carly is so much fun." And tonight Logan's bedtime prayer-gratitude was for taking a bath with her. He washed her hair and played with her water pipes and made her laugh.
She was worth every tear and every heartache. And let me tell you, two miscarriages, suffered in rural Alaska, away from family where medical care is two airplanes away, there was plenty of tears & heartache. And yet.
She was worth it.
Now on to all the ways she delights us at 2 years, 1 month:
I cut her hair recently, just a little trim, and she looks so fresh. I love it.
But, now I am terrified she will cut her own hair!
She wants broccoli and noodles. And she loves rice.
She puts ketchup on everything. It grosses the boys out.
She yells "I need-" about everything:
"I need ketchup!"
"I need Molly McButter!"
"I need milk!"
She likes to get down IMMEDIATELY upon finishing. She's a demanding creature!
When she is naughty, like pouring her food out or making a mess, as I'm cleaning it up, she tells me, "That a no-no."
For breakfast she likes toast and peanut butter and sausage. Sometimes cereal. And god forbid you give her what she did not want that day.
She prefers mommy over daddy. And we go in and get her three taggies, her blanket and her little stuffed animal Chase and sit in the rocking chair in the dark.
She requests songs specifically, and sometimes sings with me.
After a few songs, I lay her in her crib.
We usually sing one more song (Sunshine, typically) in her crib.
When we say I love you and I ask how much, she'll choose a number. Usually twenty four. Ha!
She says when she wakes up she's going to say, "Mommy, come get me!"
Then she will go over what we will do in the morning. "Get up and play, and eat breakfast with brothers."
When she wakes up from naps she says, "Mommy, come get me!"
When she can't find something she will ask, "Book are?" or "Chase are?" instead of "Where is Chase?" or "Where is my book?" I told Josh the other day that I will be sad when she asks where things are the right way.
She always wants to do what brothers are doing so if Logan says, "I'm going to play Legos" or if Wyatt says he's going to go outside, she will run after them saying, "My play Legos, too!" or "My go outside, too!"
When she falls down, even if she's crying, through her tears she will get up and say, "My okay!"
I just adore the way she talks.
She gets the cat treats out out of the pantry and then calls the cats and shakes the cat treats to try and get them to come to her. She makes little noises with her mouth like she hears me make to try and get them to come to her.
Her favorite books are the Llama Llama books, the David books, Paw Patrol, UmiZoomi books and The Quiet Book currently.
She plays mostly with Paw Patrol and her Miffy playhouse. She also really likes the sand and magnetix.
I Can Do Hard Things:
Carly's favorite lovey is a dog named Chase, from the TV show Paw Patrol. It's a stuffed animal which she commandeered from Wyatt when he got home from the hospital back in December. My mom bought it for him at the gift shop while he was suffering from severe asthma in the PICU.
As soon as we got home, and Carly laid eyes on the thing, she fell in love, and Wyatt let her have it. (He's such a selfless big brother. He constantly blows me away.)
I will admit to you here that I was so sad when she fell in love with that stupid dog. Before this, she had started to love the cutest little (noncommercial) bunny rabbit. But I have come to realize that for Carly Chase represents "I can do hard things".
She went from having her mama around 24/7 her entire life, nursing 4x/day to not seeing me for four entire days. She had no idea where I was, where her brother was, or why her dad was home and taking care of her instead of me.
Her sudden, intense attachment to Chase is equivalent to the sudden absence of her mama for that week in December when Carly, contrary to what all of us imagined would happen, adjusted beautifully to Josh laying her down for naps and bedtime, had no problem not nursing to sleep. Where Carly showed us just how resilient children can be, and she played and laughed and was her merry little self, despite the sudden change in caretakers.
The only souvenir of that hard time in our lives (other than the medicine Wyatt now takes at bedtime) is the little brown dog Carly takes to bed at night. Her "I can do hard things" bubba that reminds her she's gotten through tough things before, and no matter what life throws at her, it's not gonna keep her down!