Archive for the ‘Celebrations & Holidays’ Category

5 Reasons Your Midwife Wants You to Hire a Doula

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

partner supporting laboring woman in birth pool

Not only does evidence tell us a doula can have measurable benefits for both mothers and their babies, but their intangible benefits are also felt every day by those who hire them for their expert support.

Doulas are fast becoming standard-of-care, as they should. Women have always surrounded women in their childbearing year, from girlhood on up. We know that new mothers in America are too isolated. Society leaves us alone to manage a never-ending list of “shoulds” between hectic schedules, separation of families, and age segregation. 

People often ask me if home birthing families really need a doula. My answer is nuanced. I don’t believe every family “needs” a doula. Some families have support and help. Their own extended family, their religious community, or a close-knit community of friends may provide the needed community. Those families may not “need” a doula.

However, I do believe that every family would benefit from a doula. This is because a good doula will always add to the experience what is needed, and guard the space from that which is not. Even in a home birth setting. 

Additionally, if a family lacks anything in the way of support, then a doula is absolutely a necessity! She is worth every penny you pay her, and more. A doula’s positive influence cannot be overstated. I am overjoyed when I hear that a mother has chosen to add a doula to her support network.

Here are 5 good reasons to hire a doula if you are planning a midwife-attended home birth:

 

1: You are a first-time parent or a VBAC client.

A first-time mom’s labor is likely to take longer than a woman has labored before. If you have had a cesarean, there may be some additional emotional blockages related to your prior experience that you need to overcome in labor. There is nothing wrong with either of those things. We don’t worry a bit about longish labors. As long as you and your baby are laboring well together, we are content to wait.

However, we often will not come to stay until active labor is well-established. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is because we need to be as well-rested as possible in order to maintain you and your baby’s health and safety during the labor and birth process. Our choice will often be to sleep while we can. This allows us to maintain our ability to make critical decisions that require a clear head. 

The other reason we don’t want to arrive too early in labor is that your uterus may not want us there! Your body knows when your care provider is watching, and it may get very shy–slowing or even stopping the process until the nosy midwife is out of sight and mind. I have seen it several times, both in my years as a doula and as a midwife. 

This is where doulas save the day! They are much more able to come in early labor and stay. They will help you relax, rest, eat, drink, stay distracted and let your labor unfold in its own good time. Doulas are experts in peer support, and as such, their presence rarely interferes with the natural labor process, and we often see much more efficient early labors in mothers who have doulas. 

 

2: Doulas are kind of a birth fairy.

They come into the birth space, read the room, and are able to fit themselves in wherever they are needed. Perhaps your partner feels bit overwhelmed trying to get the pool set up while supporting you, so your doula takes over pool duty so your partner can focus on you. One of the kids wakes up, so your doula is able to stay with you while your partner comforts a child and puts them back to sleep (or vice versa). You and your partner are rocking your labor just fine, and your doula snaps a few intimate photos. Sometimes, she walks the dog, feeds a child, updates the family phone chain, and updates the midwife. Whatever the need is, your doula will have a magical ability to fill it intuitively. 

 

3: Doulas can read your labor like a book.

Sometimes parents have a hard time deciding when to call the midwife to come in labor. Especially if they are first-time parents, have had a previous hospital birth (or cesarean), or were induced in a previous labor. No matter how much we discuss those “when to call” moments prenatally, some parents will doubt their ability to assess what warrants a phone call or will be so absorbed in labor, they no longer think about it. You can assign your doula the task of updating the midwife as needed, so you don’t have to break your concentration to do it. Plus, doulas know the clinical lingo and can communicate in concrete terms that your midwife will easily understand and acknowledge.

 

4: Comfort. Comfort. Comfort.

As a midwife, I do care about your comfort in labor, because I understand its correlation with health, well-being, and safety on multiple levels. However, I think more about how long it’s been since I listened to heart tones, rather than whether or not you need your hips squeezed. Not to mention charting. (Oh! the paperwork! *dramatic faint*) Midwives offer as much comfort as we can in the context of our primary responsibilities, but doulas are all about comfort. All the comfort. All the time. Comfort for the sake of comfort, in a very uncomfortable process! Comfort is a doula’s primary responsibility. You really can’t beat that.

 

5: Community Support.

As another midwife so aptly pointed out, your choices in midwives may be much more limited than your choices in doulas. Whether you are a woman of color, from a faith community, LGBT, or some other minority group, finding a doula who aligns more closely with your values and needs can help round out your care and make your experience much better than it otherwise would have been.

Pretty much any experienced midwife is going to have the skill set and competence you need in order to stay low-risk, healthy, empowered, and safe. Your community doula can help you create a beautiful, meaningful experience around your childbearing year through comfort, education, and learning to speak your needs effectively to your midwife (who will be learning right alongside you). The more trust that can be built among the members of your chosen support network, the better off you and your baby will be, and community doulas are key to this for many families.

Birth local. Hire a midwife. Then, hire a doula

You won’t regret it.

 

Did you hire a doula for your home birth? Why or why not? What was your experience?

 

Breath & Wings: A Mother’s Day Post

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Breath & Wings

Her new wings are still unfurling, tender and delicate. A flutter here, another in a moment. Quiet! There she goes. Uncertain, her feet have left the ground anyway.

“Now is as good a time as any!” Her wings straighten and thrust her into open air.

Not yet soaring, she hops and jumps and keeps testing the strength of these wings. A little higher now, she catches a breath of wind! Just the tiniest movement of air that keeps her suspended in glorious flight for a time. He gently sets her back down, whispering assurances of his soon return to lift her to newfound heights.

“But, I want to fly now.” Forlorn, the wings droop for a time.

If flight is so hard, perhaps it’s better in the soft, sturdy turf. Her eyes lift, and catch the glint of light on other wings. Inspired, her wings twitch in anticipation. Yes, there is strength there, but not of her own stuff. It has come through gentle, slow healing and unfurling. A painful process, and one she has born with grace unfamiliar to her until this day. Grace she did not know she possessed, through the power of the Breath of Life.

The breath returns. Joyously, he lifts her up, carries her. Helps her use her wings in earnest!

Flight is exhausting and exhilarating! Joyful and hard, it takes more work than walking the turf had asked of her.

But flight is freedom, and she knows it full well. Still, she cannot fly forever just now. Not yet.

“Soon,” the wind promises her.

Her wings tire, and he gently gives her rest. “Lie still awhile. Take nourishment. Lasting strength will come.”

There is nectar here, and nesting places for tired wings. Another flight awaits, and sunrise always brings the breeze.

Keep going, Mom. You really can do it. I have never stopped believing in you. I have never stopped thanking God for you. You gave me life, by the grace of God. Without you, I would not be who I am. My wings have unfurled because of you. You are loved. You matter. And you are my favoritest Mommy ever!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Love, Sunshine!!!

She’s a Whole Hand!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

This is the first birthday in the family to fall on a Sunday in a long while. This matters greatly, you see, because of the way birthdays work here. Since Levi’s day off is Sunday, we tend to save their party, cake, and presents for Sunday afternoons. On the morning of the actual birthday, pancakes and perhaps one small gift are served up. Little Red got to have pancakes and cake in the same day! Lucky girl!

I seem to have a knack for getting a decent “blowing out the candles” shot. Not this time. Dangit. So, I jokingly asked Audrey to pretend really quick, and she obliged. Posed or not, she’s a cutie.

Her obsession with Hello Kitty continues. Especially very tiny Hello Kitty things. These are more pieces to a little town-themed play set.

AJ found a new favorite for her – a Hello Kitty that is purple! Purple being Audrey’s favorite color, this was quite the find, indeed! Bonus: she gets to color the dress!

Of course, there was also a pretty little outfit from Miss Sabrina – who always seems to pick something the girls would pick for themselves! It came with shiny purple shoes, but those are saved for “church time,” because they’re so fancy!

I can never seem to get over each birthday that comes along. Each one takes me farther and farther away from the baby stage. Further up and further into uncharted territory. Yes, I’ve had a five-year-old before, but not THIS five-year-old. I may be the best expert on my kiddos, but I’m certainly learning that they’re experts on me, too.

This journey we’re all on together is an interesting one, to say the least. There are challenges and delights around every corner, and signs at regular intervals that say in big, bold letters: “This too, shall pass!” I welcome these signs.

It’s the other signs, also placed at regular intervals that I tend to ignore. The ones that say “We’re growing up, Mom!” Yeah. I just ignore those most of the time. On birthdays, though, they cannot be ignored.

“I’m a whole hand today, Mom!” she told me excitedly, along with a very apt demonstration. I cried.

Happy birthday, my little Apple-cheeked Monkey Sunshine! You never fail to delight and exasperate me. Part of me wants to keep you pocket-size always. Part of me longs to know you as an upright woman of God. Part of me wants both at the same time. I love you so much, Little Red, and I always will.

20 Questions for New Year’s Eve

Friday, December 31st, 2010


I found these written by Tsh (of Simple Mom fame), over at (in)Courage today, and decided that it would be a good thing for me to sit down and reflect for a little while on this past calendar year. I haven’t read these ahead of time, I just copied and pasted them here, and will be answering them with whatever comes to mind immediately. I’ll be praying on both the questions and the answers as the New Year opens tomorrow.

1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?

I would have to say the single best thing that happened this year was the birth of my niece, Tischel. (a.k.a. “Sassafrass”) Her bright, bubbly little half-dimple has lit up our life with new colors ever since the second of June. I couldn’t be more grateful to be so intimately involved in her new, precious life.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

The single most challenging thing that has happened this year is not really an event. It is more of an ongoing struggle. Handling all the difficult circumstances currently surrounding our family – from Dad’s cancer diagnosis to my in-laws house hunt, and so much more in between – I am swamped. Utterly. I am dealing with more than I can possibly handle on my own. Thank God for…well…GOD.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?

Hands-down, getting the news from Sabrina and Stewy that they have orders for Colorado Springs! With all my best friends scattered all over the world, it’s so wonderful to finally be able to look forward to one of them moving here!

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

My emotions. They get in the way of what’s real and true more often than not, but praise God I am getting freer by the day! Not emotion-free, but free to accept and feel emotions without letting them dictate my choices. I’m not Miss Perfect, by any means, but I can honestly say I’ve grown.

5. Pick three words to describe 2010.

Change. Tragedy. Victory.

6. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe your 2010 (don’t ask them; guess based on how you think your spouse sees you).

Chaotic. Crying. Confusing.

7. Pick three words your spouse would use to describe their 2010 (again, without asking).

Change. Challenging. Choices. (Totally did NOT intend all that alliteration.)

8. What were the best books you read this year?

Contact, by Carl Sagan.
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.
The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis. (I chose only books I read for the first time ever.)

9. With whom were your most valuable relationships?

Levi, by far. No one else comes close! He is a solid place in my life.

My children – in no other year have I realized quite this much how very vital it is to build a good relationship with my kids. I think it’s because they’re older now, and their needs go so far beyond the very physical nature of a baby’s needs. A good relationship with them goes hand-in-hand with teaching and training them. My teaching and training will only be minimally effective if my relationship with my kids is not based on love, respect, and trust – founded on Truth. I’m working harder than ever to earn their respect and trust instead of demanding it arbitrarily.

My parents count easily among the my most valuable relationships. This relationship grows more valuable with everyday that goes by.

I have a very small circle of best friends – only one of whom lives in this state. I could not have grown the way I did this past year without their encouragement. Tiffany, Kim, Sabrina, Erica, Sara V, Sara R, Julia, and Cari. I love you.

10. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year?

My biggest personal change? I have been freed, by God, from my overwhelming, guilt-inducing, burdening sense of responsibility for everyone around me and their choices. The sense of utter helplessness in the face of those perceived responsibilities was crippling. Then, I finally listened to God, went to some dear friends for prayer counseling, and in that one night, the chains were broken. I no longer lay awake with worry about the poor decisions others might or might not be making. I no longer feel like a camel with so much straw on its back, that one more will break me. I’m free indeed.

11. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?

I’ve learned that it is completely acceptable to allow myself to thoroughly feel and accept my emotions as normal and healthy things that we all deal with, while not letting them rule my decision-making. I have grown in that I am able to wait until my emotions settle a little before I make important choices, and that when I do that, I make better ones.

12. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?

I’ve learned to let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. He’s perfectly capable of convicting, teaching, guiding, leading, and causing growth in the hearts of His own without my help, thankyouverymuch.

I’ve learned to recognize better what pride, bitterness, and resentment look like, and to cut them off at the pass by taking every thought captive to Jesus.

I’ve learned the meaning of surrender. I can’t explain the “step-by-step” process, because there is none. Even the ability to surrender does not lie within me – it’s a work of the Holy Spirit. And it does, indeed, work. Surrender is a wonderfully freeing place to be. I don’t plan on leaving this town ever.

13. In what way(s) did you grow physically?

I have decided, on my own, that it’s time to lose some weight and become healthy – for myself, not for my looks. I have hit roadblocks with exercise, but I’m incredibly motivated and looking for ways to go around those. I have lost a total of six pounds through the holiday season through diet alone, and I am happy to say I only gained one pound during Thanksgiving week. Now that I know, beyond doubt, that I can do it by myself, for myself, I look forward to gaining momentum, and achieving my goal of losing a total of 30 pounds by my 30th birthday in June. I only have 24 to go!

(This is also the first time I’ve made this public. Not even my Mom knew I had started this. I guess it was just time to say it.)

14. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?

I’ve learned that I have the reputation of being an encourager, and I have tapped into that, and worked to be better at the role I really believe God has given me. This quote sums it up, I think:

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.” ~Anne Shirley

And it is in this area in my relationships where I think I have grown the most this year.

15. What was the most enjoyable part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

AT HOME: The most enjoyable part has been homeschooling. Yes, it’s hard to stay consistent, and make sure everything’s covered, but I really really enjoy playing teacher. The actual time we’re sitting together is just special. I enjoy it so much – even when it’s hard. Don’t ask me why. I think it’s because I’m a weirdo.

AT WORK: My most enjoyable moments in my work as a doula come when I find out that a mother barely remembers my being in the room. In the moments following birth, when she says to all in hearing distance “I DID IT!!!” When I see the birth of a father as awe, respect, and love flood a man’s eyes. As a childbirth educator, I love the “Aha!” moments. The moments I can see gears turning, light bulbs going on, and a new assertiveness in the eyes of women empowering themselves with knowledge and confidence.

16. What was the most challenging part of your work (both professionally and at home)?

AT HOME: What isn’t challenging? Even the enjoyable parts of being a SAHM are challenging beyond belief! One misstep, and you feel as though you just might ruin your child for life. One day getting behind in housework is enough to induce crippling guilt for not keeping up with Martha Stewart standards. It’s tough. It’s 24/7. If you want to do a good job at it, anyway.

AT WORK: For me, the most challenging part is teaching clients and students about hospital protocols, interventions, and self-advocacy. I have never had to deal with those as a mother, and sometimes I used to worry that this fact would interfere with my ability to achieve the goal of giving objective, current, evidence-based information. While I no longer worry about it, I still prepare that information carefully, and I make it a point to disclose my own background and possible biases to my students and clients, so they know exactly where I’m coming from.

It’s also challenging to present evidence-based, but controversial, opinions I have on child-rearing, breastfeeding, and other issues that tend to get volatile. Handling criticism regarding these things is always a challenge for me, as I tend to take it personally, when I shouldn’t.

17. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year?

Ha! That’s easy. Facebook. Followed closely by leisure reading.

18. What was the best way you used your time this past year?

I have realized that, aside from the obvious things, writing regularly has helped me tremendously. It does so much for me to be able to throw my words out into cyberspace, and maybe bless or encourage someone I might not have otherwise. Not to mention it helps me see myself more accurately. That is always a good, and humbling, thing.

19. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

The biggest thing I learned? That God does give us things we cannot handle on our own. If He didn’t, we wouldn’t need Him, would we? I’ve learned that God will allow impossible situations, just so we can see Him blow impossibility out of the water by His love and power.

20. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2010 for you.

How about a haiku instead?

Two-thousand-ten was
an incredible journey
of challenge and growth.

The only edits I attempted were grammatical in nature. This all came directly from the first thoughts I had after reading each question. I have a lot of food for thought as the New Year begins, and it was kind of nice to see that I’m not quite the same Tiffany I was in January of 2010. Knowing that I can, indeed, change, encourages me.

Happy New Year to you! May 2011 hold joy, peace, new challenge, and new growth for you and yours!

Did you answer these questions? Link to your post in a comment, and I’ll come read it!

What are you looking back on with thankfulness in 2010? What do you most look forward to in 2011?

Love and Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

This post is brought to you by HTML Superwoman. A.K.A. Erica, without whom there would be no pictures in this post. I kid you not. Go tell her “Thank you!”

As many of you know, we had a birthday today. And once again, I had a hard time with it. I really really did.

Our very own Cuteness turned four. That’s right, you heard me. Four. My little fuzz-headed baby is gone. I don’t think I noticed when she left, but she’s just not here anymore. She’s so lady-like and helpful and conversational and silly and sweethearted. I just hope she grows up knowing how dearly she is loved – not only by Levi & I, but by God.

Ok. I have to stop now, or I’m going to cry. And I can’t type & cry at the same time. Kind of impedes vision, and snot doesn’t do wonders for a keyboard either.

When asked what she wanted for her birthday, Cuteness consistently replied “Presents.”

“What kind of presents?” I asked.

“The kind I like. Lots of them.” came the reply.

I love a child who is easy to please. If it’s pink, purple, sparkly, or adorned with fairies or princesses – we’re good to go.

See? I did it!

See? I did it!

Cuteness had also informed me she wanted a cake with strawberries on top. Real strawberries. And I was feeling adventurous. So, I tried my hand at this wonderful Strawberry Dream Cake recipe. I succeeded. Mostly. The recipe calls for three thin layers of cake. One layer did not survive the Removal From Pan Phase. No idea why. Still, I had two layers left, and since cake tastes great no matter how funky it looks, I didn’t worry after that.

It turned out B-E-A-utiful! If I do say so myself, and it was far easier than I thought it would be. Which is good, because I foolishly had no back-up plan.

The night before, I procured a cheap-o pink tablecloth, some princess plates, and balloons. (Balloons also being a particular wish of said little girl.)

I put it all together during naptime. And had a lot of fun. I let Turbo help me set out the plates, and he did a magnificent job, I must say. And he kept counting everything. So we homeschooled today! LOL

Needless to say, I was getting exciteder and exciteder (as you can tell from my poor grammar), and just couldn’t wait to see those big blue eyes light up! And I was well-rewarded. I wish you could have seen her! She was so delighted – in a way only a child can be. Completely satisfied with everything she saw, and so grateful! She uttered “Thank you” at least a dozen times or more…touches a mother’s heart to the core. That spontaneous gratitude.

She received her name in letters from her Granny & Grandad, an adorable Disney princess outfit from the Stewy’s, and Sleeping Beauty (complete with play make-up) from Mommy & Daddy. The gift she was most excited about? The $0.88 bracelets. I kid you not. She immediately had Daddy open them, so she could don all of them.

I put in her new Sleeping Beauty movie, and got dinner ready. She loved it, of course. All the older ones did. Turbo really loved the part where the prince slays the dragon – that’s my boy for you!

And that signaled the end of our festivities. Simple. Sweet. Dripping with love and strawberry cream cheese frosting. Here are a few pics for you.

no images were found

I’m So Excited!!!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

But I have to hide it…so I’ll just tell the entire internet. Since Cuteness can’t read and all.

She’ll be four tomorrow. And she wants a “strawberry cake”. So. I’m going to make her this. And we’re going to buy her this.

I’m positively giddy with anticipation! I’ll post pictures tomorrow night, I promise!

To Granny…

Monday, October 13th, 2008

My Space Or Yours?.net

With All Our Love,
Levi, Tiff, Turbo, Cuteness, Monkey, and Bubbers!

Happy Birthday, Levi!

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Wednesday was Levi’s 27th birthday, and we celebrated in a style perfectly suited to him. He’s not a sentimental guy. He doesn’t care about cards, cake or the “Happy Birthday” song. So, I made him his favorite cocoa press cookies and a no-bake cheesecake. And got him a t-shirt.

He’s an easy man to please.

I don’t know if you can see it in this picture, but my graham cracker crust didn’t, well, crust. We could have scooped it with a spoon! Oh well…still tastes just as good.

What I forgot to include in the first picture is Levi’s gift from Stewie, Levi’s best friend. They got Levi the Mt. Dew jammie pants, which he greatly appreciated. Especially since we haven’t been able to afford his Dew lately, and he has been contenting himself with el cheap-o orange soda and root beer. The sacrifices he makes are astounding, I know!

The t-shirt is one we saw on Shirt.Woot a long time ago, and I assumed it was sold out. If you’re not familiar with Woot, they sell one item everyday for a great price until they run out. Their shirt page is awesome, and there are new designs everyday. This one was Levi’s all-time favorite so far, though there are tons on Woot that he loves.

For me to find it in the archives with any quantity left at all is awesome! It’s a shirt with items from the video game “Legend of Zelda”. In Levi’s words “Awesome sauce!” For once, I hit on a gift that was exactly what he wanted, and I was able to keep it a surprise. Mostly. The one day he happened to check the mail, the shirt was in the box…so, he knew it was a shirt from Woot, he just didn’t know which one. Dangit! I told him he’s never allowed to check the mail again. Ever.

After gifts, and after dinner, we sang “Happy Birthday” at the kids’ insistance, and cut the cheesecake. The kids, sadly, did not get any. You may think it cruel, but not after you hear why.

Earlier in the day, I had baked his cocoa press cookies, and put them on wire racks to cool. I told the kids they couldn’t have any until after dinner, when we would do daddy’s birthday party.

Take a wild guess at what happened.

Mommy turned her back long enough for Turbo to lead the sneaky charge in swiping about 1/4 of the cookies and shoving their faces full of them. Nice. So, as a consequence, they didn’t get any dessert at all after dinner. Of course, I don’t really blame them…those cookies are crazy good! They are the most chocolatey, yummy, delightful cookies I’ve ever had – and they’re not really all that sweet. Just amazing.

So. That’s all, folks.

I know this post falls rather flat, but I’m feeling very “blah” today. I don’t know why I didn’t bother to write this when I was my bubbly self, but I didn’t. And I don’t feel like re-writing it right now. So here you go.

I hope your day goes better than my writing style today!

Turbo Turned 5 Today…

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

…and I didn’t even cry. That is so weird. I always cry on their birthdays. I just do. Because birthdays are hard. No one ever tells you that when you’re about to be a mom. They never tell you that watching your child grow and change will be the most wonderful and bitter experience of your life.

But, enough about me. Today was all about Turbo. We keep things simple around here, and it seems to taste a little sweeter to me.

We took it easy today, since I’d been up waaay too late making his cake and wasting time reading blogs. When will I ever learn?

Turbo has a couple of little buddies we go to church with, whom he has been asking to play with on a daily basis for about a month now, I think. So, I decided to invite them over to share our cake and ice cream. I decided this only the day before. I just thought I needed to. Having those boys over was just as much a present for him as any we could have bought him. Indeed, I think most children are that way – they truly do value a good playmate over a toy. Until the playmate has said toy in their hands, anyway. Ha!

So, after naptime, the boys came over, and ran around outside like little boys are wont to do, squirting each other with cheap-o squirt guns I bought, while I visited with their mom.

We grilled some hot dogs and corn on the cob, heated up some beans, and had ourselves a grand ol’ time before it was time to cut the cake. The chocolate cake that really didn’t take me long to make, but which lit up Turbo’s eyes when I showed it to him in the morning. He was in awe.

We enjoyed our cake & ice cream, then our guests had to leave. After that, we opened presents, and Daddy took him to the garage to show him his new bike – which we were given friends whose son had outgrown it. His eyes just lit up, and in a whisper, he said “You got me a new bicycle?!” As scuffed and used as it is, he was amazed, and couldn’t wait to try it out. So, outside we went, so Daddy could adjust the seat and see how Turbo would do. (We’re waiting on training wheels from yet another good friend whose son no longer needs them. We are sure blessed silly with such generous hearts for friends!)

He’s very nervous about the whole thing, but I know he’ll be doing great in no time at all.

He also received a set of letters spelling his name from his Granny – a la Spider-Man. They are way cool, and Turbo thinks they are awesome! Gramma & Papa sent him $20 and a really cool “fire car” birthday card. We’ll probably use the money to start teaching him about money, and begin giving him allowance, or we’ll just get him some clothes that he needs. Of course, we’re going to give him some to spend however he wants to as well. His great-grandma, Nanny Judy, sent him a card with a quarter, and he promptly put that quarter in his pocket to keep “forever”. Thank you to all of you who called him to wish him a happy birthday, and for your gifts – he was made so happy today!

He really is a special kid, and I wish it wasn’t so hard to watch him grow up.

I apologize for the weirdness of the slideshow…I had to choose between this and having some of the pictures turned on their sides. I hope you enjoy it anyway.