Five years ago today I was 10 days overdue. David and I were in the hospital, as the doctors didn’t feel comfortable letting me wait any longer to give birth. We were nervous, but ready as any first time parents could be to meet our first child. Only we knew our baby was a little girl and we couldn’t wait to share the news with our friends and family. After a bit of first time mama drama, we welcomed Hailey into the world on September 15 at 8:49 pm.
Somehow 5 years have passed since then. Five incredible years of loving, learning and laughing. 5 years that have added more to my life than I ever could have imagined. 5 years of being a mom, a humbling and beautiful experience. I really didn’t intend to get so mushy about celebrating Hailey’s fifth birthday, but 5 years old pretty much solidifies ‘kid’ status, which feels a little crazy after being so accustomed to identifying as a baby/toddler/preschooler mom. It’s a wonderful thing, watching your child grow, but I constantly go back and forth between wanting to keep her little forever and being excited to watch her grow into the incredible person she is. Instead of continuing to wax poetic about mushy mom stuff, I want to cut myself off there and share a snapshot of who Hailey is today, in my classic kid-update style, as we celebrated her turning five years old!
Hailey remains an adventurous eater and the amount of food she can put away some days is downright impressive. Her favorite foods are yogurt and roasted Brussels sprouts (not together!), though her eyes will light up in delight at the mention of birthday cake. She will eat whatever I put in front of her and am so grateful for that because it definitely helps encourage her little sister to do the same.
I’m also really proud of her table manners. Though we are continuing to work as a family towards the idea of staying seated during a meal (I blame myself for this one!), she uses her manners, will ask to be excused, and clears her own dishes.
Naps are officially a thing of the past. I guess they have been for a while, but she still has quiet time in her room each day between 1:00-2:00. Her bedtime is 7:00 pm and she’ll sleep until 7:15 am most days. She is getting better (worse?) at trying to stall at bedtime and she’ll sometimes come out of her room to tell us something hurts or that she has to go to the bathroom. Still, she is often fast asleep come 7:30 pm.
We are surprising her with bunk beds for her birthday and she’s going to be so excited!
Play is so much fun. Hailey has quite the imagination and loves to play everything from the classic ‘house’ (she’ll be mom and I’ll be Hailey) to going on adventure hunts and pretending to be pirates. Imaginative play is certainly at an all time high and she leads Kaitlyn all over the house in elaborate princess parties and monster chases.
If you asked her what she’d like to do on any given afternoon, her answer would most likely be either arts and crafts or play outside. She’s really taken to coloring, cutting and creating. This fall she is taking ballet and playing soccer. She seems equally enthusiastic about both and has also mentioned piano and gymnastics. She seems to like allthethings, so picking which ones to focus on can be a challenge. We’re just trying to let her sample a bit of everything at this age and stage. She is also into riding her bike (we just raised the training wheels a little higher) and we’ve started going on family bike rides, which is a lot of fun.
Now that Hailey is reading, we’ve began incorporating it into games. I’ll give her scavenger hunt lists with simple words (PEN, HAT, POT) and she reads the word then finds the items. It’s been a big hit. We still read books together everyday but now she asks to help read. This means I read most of the words, but will point to words along the way and have her read them. I usually stick with basic 3-4 letter words, but she did surprise me by reading the word backpack with relative ease. I’m excited for the new door of opportunity this skill is opening up for her!
The most fun thing about 5 years old is seeing her personality traits becoming more solid. To me it proves that certain things are just ingrained in children. For example, Hailey is truly tenderhearted. She is thoughtful, considerate, kind, and a rule follower. She likes to be told when she’s done a good job and has a tendency to be a people-pleaser (I wonder where she gets that from? *winky face*). She loves to be cozy, to snuggle up on the couch, and prefers it when the whole family is together. She is curious by nature and I love that she asks a lot of questions, particularly about nature and space, both things she really enjoys learning about. She can be quiet around new people, but once she warms up, she’s her silly, bubbly self.
She can sometimes be hard on herself, but it makes my role as encourager even more satisfying because there is nothing I love more than seeing the look of pride on her face when she’s accomplished a task she was unsure of to start.
More than anything, Hailey epitomizes what it means to love. She loves to help, to take care of others, and has a natural knack for empathy. David and I are so proud of her. Kaitlyn looks up to her and likes to mimic her every move. I feel beyond grateful to get to be her mom and I appreciate you letting me use this space to gush about how amazing she is. I know you others parents can understand.
Happy 5th birthday to our amazing Hailey!