This week was much like the week you were born. The weather was mild and rainy. I was thankful for that because I did not want to drive in the snow in labor! Your birth day feels like only yesterday, and in a sense, 4 years ago isn't that long at all. I remember going the whole day in early labor and not even realizing it because who knew you could labor in your thighs? I surely didn't. Looking back, I would have laughed had my water actually broken in Bass Pro and not at home. Your Daddy and I spent the day eating lunch with Grandpa, picking out dishes from Grandma to Grandpa in Bass Pro and relaxing at home. You see, were figured we would be going to the hospital the next morning and not the evening of the 21st. But our new little life began the moment I sat up from the couch and felt a pop-and then a gush :)
Everything happened quickly and calmly even if I felt anything but calm. I sat on a pillow the entire car ride (we had just gotten a new car a few weeks before!) and your Daddy stopped for a candy bar. OK, not really, but he isn't one to miss a chance at comic relief and looking back, I'm grateful for that pause. Once we got to the hospital, it was like a real life Christmas story; there wasn't any room available! I stood there soaked and was so grateful when a nurse came up the elevator and found a mostly clean room for us. While I changed, the bed was cleaned. From there on out, it was a wait. Your Grandpa and Grandma and Rachel met us up there and later, Grandma Chris. We didn't get much sleep, after all, who could sleep when we were so excited? Around 5:30 I started pushing and at 6:23 am, December 22nd 2007 you were born. I only got to hold you for a second because you came out so stunned and needed extra attention. But you're a fighter and perked right back up and it wasn't long before we all got to meet you.
Honestly, at that point, I was scared out of my mind. I was a Momma for the first time and little babies don't come with manuals. Every moment we were living was new and I just hoped for the best. I think we faired pretty well. We learned from each other and you taught me a whole new meaning of love.
Your first birthday was quite a celebration. You were one and going to be a big brother to boot! You got a ton of toys and a "yummy" egg free, nut free cake. I don't blame you for only eating the icing. You were such a character and entertained us all that day. You quickly learned that raising your hands to the side and going "uhoh" was sure to get laughs and played the part up.
The year you turned two was so much fun. The weather was mild and you had little buddies come join in on the fun. We celebrated in a Sponge Bob theme. I still don't see why Sponge Bob appealed to you, but you liked seeing the decorations. Grandma Nancy was able to share in your special day and we had a better cake this time! Cooked eggs were ok (raw eggs we would learn later still didn't agree with you) and you got to eat chocolate cake. This year was the year your Daddy and I were sure that you would love opening presents, but you still didn't want anything to do with them. Your lack of nap probably had something to do with that. Daddy and I got you your first 4 wheeler and you had so much fun riding that around.
We celebrated in a Imagination Movers themed birthday when you turned three. To say you were obsessed with the Mover's is putting it mildly. Your birthday this year was a low key event of just family and in addition to turning three, you were also going to be a big brother again! This was also the year of the major sibling fight between you and Jake. Who knew a Little People farmhouse could get you kids riled up? You had recently transitioned to a big boy bed and you got new Toy Story bedding to top it off. I think I was more excited to make up your bed than you!
This year's birthday is a hard one and I wish I had more to share with you. In honor of you, we're eating Mac and Cheese and Oreo cheesecake. For lunch everyday you would ask for Mac and Cheese; it was your top favorite meal. Your favorite cookie was a Oreo. Or, rather, your favorite part of the cookie was the icing. Remember when Daddy went for an Oreo and all the icing had been licked out and the cookie placed back in the package? This year you'll get a special police car and a balloon to decorate your spot. I know you'll see tears today, bud, but remember that with those tears we have happy memories too. You hold a very, very special place in our hearts and we're thankful to be able to spend a day with those that love you. I imagine you're having one of the most fun birthdays of all today and getting to celebrate with even more people that love you in Heaven.
Happy 4th birthday, Daniel. We love you so much.