What a day, what a week. We woke up yesterday and the girls, who were off from school, started screaming, "MOMMY Look out the window" Hello, there was snow. And ALOT of it. Of course, as usual, by the end of the day there was no trace of it (things tend to melt and evaporate here). But I am not sure who was more excited...the dog (Daisy) or the girls. LOL She is just a LUNATIC when it gets cold...and then when it snows, I can't get her inside. If I do she whines and cries and wants out. I live vicariously through her. :)
So today, I needed to make my older daughter a birthday card for her 14th birthday, which is tomorrow (Sunday). I always want to make the perfect card for these occasions, and the harder I try, the harder it is to come up with something that outdoes itself from last year. Well my card doesn't EXACTLY look like a birthday card, but it does have meaning. If you don't want to read the rest of the long history...just scroll to the bottom.
The story: I had a very difficult labor with Julia after the doctor tried an "extremely safe" experimental drug which produced horrible reactions and prolonged labor to over 18 hours. There was fear she wouldn't make it. By the time she was born she was very aloof, probably from all the drugs they pumped into me and the long labor. I had a very hard time nursing her. I had no milk and she was tongue tied (which I didn't really understand at the time). Ignorant me...I didn't know what to do and I kept listening to my doctor who told me to feed formula (more on that later!). At the time, my then husband was not willing to pay for a lactation consultant. As a nutritionist, that was unacceptable to feed formula. So I tried and tried and tried nursing but she started losing so much weight she became failure to thrive. I was devastated. And felt that part of her aloofness was partially due to not being able to bond. Then 2 years and another baby later, we underwent a cross country move and her dad left and she took that very hard and withdrew even more. Another cross country move to Arkansas and she was even more distant and aloof. I was so worried. She used to sit in the corner and stare at the wall, just playing by herself. Her social skills were very poor at first. But then we met Miss Kathy and we settled and she started VERY VERY slowly to open up (which I credit to Art Saturday partially and Kathy's wonderful energy). And I mean slowly being 8+ years. Even once she started giving Kathy hugs by the time we moved, she still would keep her distance...and when I tried to snuggle or cuddle with her, she just felt like she had this wall all around her. Not anything like her cuddly bear sister. This past year is the first year I've seen Julia truly come out of her shell. She has entered high school, she is dressing up and putting on makeup. She has a best friend and is part of a group of girls who she have been friends with her for 2 years now. This is the first time she has maintained such a long friendship--before all the kids she'd befriend would move or leave the school. She even recently wrote a paper for Language Arts about her loneliness all throughout her young life (truly heartbreaking) and now is the best time of her life because of all the friends she has. They're all really smart kids, honor roll kids, so they all speak the same language. Even her best friend who left the school this year still keeps in touch and they see each other regularly, and communicate every day. She is happy. For the first time, really amping up over the last year since our most recent move to Colorado, she has been more and more cuddly, and I attribute this partly to our walks and talks and together taking care of Daisy, the rescue we adopted last year. Those 2 are inseparable. And Julia wants to be a veterinarian now.
Anyway, Julia has finally been acting like a normal girl. While most girls at 14 don't want much to do with their mothers because it's uncool, Julia loves to cuddle now and tell me all sorts of things. She is giving me hugs of her own accord and she is doing it often and with sincerity. She is like night and day. We even have this lovey dovey ritual we developed before she goes to bed. Yes...it's more like she should have done this a long time ago, but I say better later than never. The important thing is that she is no longer a robot. So the nighttime that you see in the image and the hugging of mom and child just reminds me of us. (even though she's a bit taller than the child in the card...haha). I see her as little...just like those car commercials (if you've ever seen them).
Anyway, here's to Julia. Tomorrow I will need to post my other daughter's card to her sister. It is spectacular! Thanks so much for stopping by. Margaret
(PS, by the way, for anyone who knows anyone who has a hard time nursing like I did, I had discovered fenugreek when my other daughter was born (and I also had a hard time producing milk for her). I was able to nurse for 10 months before she just was "done". Now that I also have herbal knowledge, I have discovered a fabulous product called Motherlove. It contains fenugreek but for those who have a hard time, or even adoptive parents who want to stimulate milk production, the tincture form of Mother Milk Plus is outstanding (has both fenugreek and goat's rue). My sister could otherwise not nurse her baby without it.
Whiff of Joy (Gnomes)
Patterned paper: Park Bench
Sparkly Paper: POW American Crafts Glitter paper
Dies and punches: MFT, Stampin Up
Other: Liquid Pearls, pearls and Stickles