Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Birthday, Raegan!

One year ago tonight,
We grew by two feet.
A head full of hair,
And a face so sweet.

Raegan turned one today, a milestone that at one point seemed so far off in the distance.  The seemingly endless nights of fitful sleep still creep in from time to time, however they've become peppered with a bit more personality.  Smiles and giggles and wiggles make the 3:00 wake up call a little more adorable, compared to the countless hours of screaming the household endured when she was just a few weeks or months old.  Walking in to see her smiling in her crib each day (whatever time of day or night that may be) fills my heart with a humbled moment of gratitude. 

Raegan turned one today, a milestone that was reached so quickly, it almost seems impossible to think all three of our 'babies' aren't technically 'babies' any longer.  I'm sitting here thinking of all those little milestones that some (better-than-me) mommies document, document, document in baby books, and I'm wishing I'd have been a lot better about that--for all three of my kids--but especially for poor Raegan. 

I've found myself connecting my lackidasical approach to keeping up with recording every waking moment of her development to the cliche excuse of 'third baby', however when I think of the personality that's developing in my 'third baby', I recognize that she won't accept this excuse.

We've associated Raegan to a giraffe from before she was even born, because Brynn decided that she wanted mommy to have a giraffe baby.  Needless to say, the giraffe has permeated our lives in more ways than I'm sure my good sport of a husband cares to acknowledge.  Of course, because of this likening of  my baby girl to a unique and peculiar creature, I've done quite a bit of reading up about the behavior of these animals.  One of the things I found that I can parallel between giraffes and Raegan is their social adaptability.  Giraffes are social creatures and their herds have a fluidity to them that gives them opportunity to be linked with more than one herd at once, and they do not develop a particularly strong sense of loyalty to an individual herd.  Raegan is very capable of bouncing between socializing with her brother and/or sister, almost immediately followed by bouts where she is pleased by no one other than yours truly.  Her 'herd' depends on her moment, her need.

However, I also read that these animals are spaced far apart from each other within the herds and are largely independent, transient animals.  Independent?  Well, yes and no.  She's independent when it works for her agenda, but when it comes to mommy, daddy, or keeping herself entertained while I attempt to cook dinner?  Forget about it.  She reverts back to 'floppy baby mode' where she opts to thrash about on the floor until her needs are met (most often, her desire is a permanent velcro strip attached to both her as well as me).  Ironically enough, in the real world of giraffes, babies are forced to grow up and become independent quickly so they can defend themselves.  So, the parallels aren't all there.

Raegan turned one today, a milestone that I'm so proud to have been a part of.  Happy birthday, sweet baby girl, little giraffe, and blessing whose lack of sleeping pattern comes with a hidden message of patience and flexibility...two things I've been praying for in my own life. 

Thank you for answering so many of our prayers, Raegan!  Mommy and Daddy love you!

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