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A princess turns 4

Ryley is my preemie and my firstborn. Ethan is my youngest and my angel child (except for the climbing….I could do without the climbing!). And then there’s Grace. My middle baby. My surprise baby. The pregnancy I feared and struggled with the most. The baby I was not supposed to be able to get pregnant with. I cried for a week when I found out I was pregnant with Grace. Ryley was 4 1/2 months old at the time. I was six weeks along. They would be less than 13 months apart. We hadn’t planned it that way, but there you go. I remember the doctor asking me what I wanted to “do” about this new pregnancy. I had essentially a newborn sitting in his infant carrier at my feet when this discussion occurred, a “newborn” who had already spent most of his life in the NICU, who just barely weighed 7 pounds when we found out a new baby was on the way. What could I do? My belief system would not allow me to end the pregnancy. So, we were having another baby. My family’s reaction was laughter. Not mean laughter, but laughter nonetheless. Michael’s mom laughed as well…..we had beaten her “record” of one year, one month, and one day between her two boys.

As soon as I resigned myself to being pregnant, I started hoping for a girl. We were going to find out with this one. I felt a strong need to. I needed to know she was a girl so that if the same thing happened again, if we ended up with another preemie in the NICU, a girl would do better than a wimpy white boy. Tada!! A girl!! WAHOO!!!!! A closet full of pretty pink clothes, pink blankets, pink socks, cute little girl shoes, and even a tiny pair of pink tights, along with a yellow Suzy’s Zoo room, and we were ready for her to appear. I made Michael get her room ready early just in case. We chose the name Grace because after all the fertility treatments to get pregnant the first time, and all that we went through with Ryley, it was only by the grace of God that we had any children. Her middle name is after my m-i-l who has been a Godsend in my life through so many things. After all the fear, all the tears, the counseling to control my emotions, Grace was born 8 days AFTER her due date. Ironic, isn’t it.

She came out with a pout on her face. We should have known then we were in for it.

Many people treat Ryley and Grace as one unit. We have been guilty of this ourselves sometimes. The little boy across the street from us even called them Ryley-Grace for a long time. Ryley was 9 mos old corrected when I had Grace. They are not twins. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be to have multiples. I do know that our first couple of years with both of them are a blur. Grace is very different from Ryley. She’s more courageous in many ways…..she climbed when Ryley wouldn’t; she learned to crawl up the stairs before Ryley did, and triple-backflip down the stairs when Ryley never did; they really started to talk at nearly the same time; she played in the toilet (disgusting I know, but there ya go!) when Ryley never did. She’s more cautious in other ways, not doing things until she knows she can do them well. She stood up at 8 mos old, but didn’t walk until 13 months, however, she never fell when she did start to walk. Grace has suffered the brunt of Ryley’s boyish behavior. I am afraid to admit that she’s had 5 black eyes, one broken arm, and three bloody noses in her young years. She is finally getting to the point where she doesn’t want to do all the boy stuff anymore, and is girling-up (I made up a new word!).

Grace is a princess. She’s my middle child, but my only girl. She has ruled her father and her grandfathers since day one. She can be the bane of my existence when she starts the whining and throws her fits. She has earned the well-used title of drama queen. She is also the most loving little girl I know, running back out of her preschool class to get one last hug and kiss everyday.

As of 3:19 this morning, Grace is four years old. Where does the time go? Four years ago, I was happily snuggling her in my arms, dreaming about all the girl stuff we would do together, thanking God for a full-term, healthy baby. Today, we are getting ready for Princess Birthday parties, going to ballet, painting our piggies, and preparing for our first sleepover.

Happy Birthday, Princess Grace. I love you with all my heart.

11 thoughts on “A princess turns 4

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Wow!! Jacob will be 4 soon also- it makes me kinda sad but also thankfull, if you know what I mean!! My sister and I are exactly 1 year apart!! Yep same birthday!! Not planned obviously and no planned delivery- kinda weird I know but kinda awesome too. Our babies had the same due date 1 year apart!! Anyway HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACE!!
                   Tabby

  2. *Happy Birthday Princess Grace!!! Make a wish to last all year!!**Donna, I loved the blog!! God has a way of sending us just what we need, when we least expect it. He knew exactly what he was doing by sending Grace into your life!! You truely are blessed to have each of your children, but Grace was who you needed to realize your dreams of Motherhood!! She’s is such a sweetheart, and really has no other choice than to be a princess, with you as her Mommy!!! She’s a girlie-girl no doubt!! I hope the party goes well!! She’s going to have a blast!! Give her big Birthday HUGS and KISSES from me!!
    Karri

  3. Thanks, Karri and Tabby. My pregnancy with Grace was healing, and what I needed. I’m sure that God is still sitting up there laughing at me! You guys are the best! I will pass on your wishes to Grace. She already got her new Cinderella dvd, plush mice and lithographs this morning. A princess movie for a princess! HUGS!
    Donna

  4. Happy Birthday, Princess Grace!! I am not sure why the name *Grace* goes so well with Princess, but it does. My niece is Princess Grace also, and she’s only 17mo old (14 1/2adjusted)!! I agree that Grace was definitely brought into your life at a time when you needed her most, to know what having a full term pregnancy & normal delivery feels like, and to get your girl!! I am glad she outgrew the boyish things & became the girly-girl that Mommy so needed & desires!! I am sure all of her birthday dreams will come true! Her party sounds amazingly fun & girly!! A true Princess can have it no other way!! Thanks for sharing Grace with us, she sounds amazing & strong, and a Godsend to you!! Hugs!
    Sharlene

  5. Oh Donna! Happy Birthday, sweet Grace! Here is to *girling-up* (love that coined word Donna)! Here is to siblings close enough in age to get/give black eyes, and still love each other in spite of it! Here is to momma who love their babies, even though they were not expected! Donna! What a day for you! Look at you! I was thrilled when you *just* celebrated Ryley’s birthday….and now… princess Grace! I’ll bet her party is perfect…and I can’t wait to see pictures! Hugs! Melissa

  6. Donna,
    Please tell Grace I said happy birthday. I’m sure you’ve *heard* me say this before, but I prayed with Leighton and Emerson that they would be girls. No wimpy white males! I can’t wait to see pictures from the party. Leighton’s 3rd b-day party was cinderella. She’s obsessed! I just picked her up the “slippers” that light up. She loves them! Oh, where does the time go? They grow up so fast. Hugs to you both,
    Denise

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Four is fun for little girls! My Grace couldn’t wait to turn four. It was the magical age where everything would be do-able…at least in HER eyes! What a perfect story for a perfect little girl! Have a blast at the sleepover, I can’t wait to hear all about it! Big Birthday Hugs for Grace and Mom!

  8. Big Happy Birthday Wishes for Princess Grace!!! Donna, You did great with the family you have and Grace is the icing on the cake!!! Loved the blog and Grace gives new meaning to multi-tasking!!!! Looks like Grace also came to give Ryley the little push he might have needed. She definitely brings excitement into Little Ryley’s day!!!! But then that’s what sisters do!!! They do grow up too too fast…..and I’m already feeling the big number 6 coming for Benjamin!!!! Where do the baby years go? But Princess Grace is quite a little lady and she has such a wonderful royal model in deed!!!! Hugs to you! And Birthday hugs & kisses to Grace!! Brenda

  9. Well… it seems between your house and my house we’ve been celebrating a LOT of birthdays lately. Aleks and Grace are are about 3 weeks apart… although, since Aleks was 7 days early and Grace was 8 days late… they are practically gestationally the SAME AGE!!!!! (What were you going the night of….???? LOL!!!!!!!!) Your blog was great. A beautiful tribute to Grace. And God bless her for all the boy stuff she’s put up with in her young life. Think of what an amazing woman she’ll be for tolerating all these boybaric antics, black eyes. Thank goodness she has a girly-girl momma!!!! hugs*HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Grace says thank you for all the birthday wishes!! We topped off her day by taking her to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner where she had…..chicken nuggets!!! Crazy girl! She’s definitely NOT adventurous when it comes to eating. The look on her face when they put the sombrero on her head and started singing was PRICELESS! Mommy of the year over here had forgotten the camera! It was a great night. Thanks from me for the wishes and responses. She is my mighty princess. Hugs!
    Donna PS….Darcy, I can honestly tell you that it was January 4th, and it was so fast, I didn’t even think it counted!

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