Happy Happy Day

Easter Sunday, George and I

Yesterday was my 42nd birthday.  I don’t mind telling people my age, most of the time.  When I was pregnant, perhaps I did a bit.  But I’m getting a bit more comfortable being an old momma.  It’s becoming fashionable.

It’s hard to feel like an old woman when you have an infant.  As long as I avoid the mirror which shows off my gray hair and wrinkles, I can pretend I’m just 38 – my birthday age when Mary was an infant – or even 28 – my birthday age when Fritz was an infant.

Raise your hand if you’ve had a baby in your 20’s and your 30’s and your 40’s.

9 people really isn’t that many

My birthday presents reflect how much things have changed in 14 years, and how much things have not changed.

I received, for probably the 30th year in a row, a handmade birthday card from my brother, Glenn, who has Down Syndrome.  He turned 43 sixteen days before my birthday.  We are almost Irish twins.  His cards are fairly identical from year to year.  Happy Happy Day…Happy Birthday Day…Happy Good Day…I love you, Michelle.  I love you, too, Glenn. 

My husband, what a cutie

I also received, from my husband, a covered casserole dish set.  One of the dishes replaces one broken by George when he opened the cabinet door and pulled it down on our unforgiving tile floor.  Fourteen years of parenting inquisitive babies and it still takes a minor disaster to get me to start baby-proofing the house.  My husband also promised me a new paper towel holder, broken by an older child replacing the roll.  I don’t know who or how, but I was very thankful.  It’s gotten dingy and I’ve seen many others I liked better…but I’m not one to replace a perfectly useful gadget “just because.”  So my birthdays and Christmases are occasions to replace the things my kids have destroyed.

My parents came into town and treated all of us to a baseball game, Tampa vs. Cleveland, where we did not root, root, root for the home team, which did win, and it was a shame.  It brought back memories of many times we did root for the home team in Cleveland, and they didn’t win then either.

The boys

But unlike even 5 years ago, I also received 4 additional homemade cards, a cardboard pyramid with hieroglyphics on each face spelling out a personal message (Katie), a hand-embroidered bookmark (Katie), and an entire 30-something page book entitled “I Love You Because You’re You” written and illustrated by Jenny.

The girls

In the afternoon, while the sleep-deprived kids (from the late baseball game) were vegging in front of the TV and the baby went down for a nap, I slipped out of the house for a pedicure, my birthday present to myself.  I came back an hour later, baby still sleeping, older kids oblivious to the fact that I ever left.  The girls, though, noticed my toes immediately.  Pedi-vision – like “spider-sense” for girls.  I did not normally get pedicures 5 or 10 years ago.  It’s this southern living and beach crawling that has changed me.

My favorite people in the whole world

Today, we’re back to school.  Some of us have only 8 weeks left.  Some of us have 10.  Today’s math lesson was: if there are 32 weeks in the curriculum, and you take 8 weeks off for summer, 1 week off for Thanksgiving, 2 weeks off for Christmas, and 2 weeks off for Easter, how many weeks do you waste by procrastinating and not doing your work in a timely fashion?  We do this exact same math problem every single year, right about this time, and they still have not learned their lesson well.

Thanks to everybody who sent birthday wishes.  Facebook is good for some things!  It really is nice when your email is full of happy happy day greetings.

17 thoughts on “Happy Happy Day

  1. I can't raise my hand for the 20's, 30's and 40's, but I can get honorable mention for 20's and 30's! Of course, you have almost double my output, so that explains the extra decade! Love the Easter pics – and especially the lovely sunshine. It was miserable and cold here. Glad you had a great birthday!

  2. I can almost qualify for all three decades, but Faith was born in February and I turned 40 in June! Just made it. 😉

    Your family looks so lovely in these pictures!

  3. I had my first at 28 and 30, one at 33 and at 35..my toddler was born when I was 41!

    Loved all the pretty dressed up kids with parents!

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Beautiful Pics!!

    I just turned 39, so I haven't had any in my 40's yet. I imagine it could be quite the experience. I was 26, 27, 30, 33 and 36. My last pregnancy was different because it seems once you turn 35 you enter into this high risk, older mother category (who knew)? So it meant more dr. visits, especially as I neared my due date. It was like all the doctors and nurses were waiting for something to go horribly wrong!

    That being said, I wouldn't mind being pregnant at this age. Now that I know what to expect from the medical community as an “older” multi-para mom. Also, I'm a different mom in my 30's than I was in my 20's, not better or worse, just different. I'm wondering what differences in your parenting do you notice in your 40's?

  5. Beautiful family! Happy Birthday! Happy Easter! I have also had babies in my 20s, 30s and 40s. My last was a home birth and even though I filled out paperwork, my midwife never once commented on my age.

  6. Proudly raising my hand! I had my first at 21 and my seventh when I was 41. I turned 42 just a couple months ago.

    The pictures are wonderful!

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Lorri, I have found my midwives to be less anxious with women of advanced maternal age as well. Just not a big deal. Never any extra considerations – except a one-time “are you SURE you don't want those tests done?” regarding the triple (quad?) screenings they do.

    Amy, honestly, I think little George gets tons more kisses and hugs from me than any of my kids. I'm slower to put him down when he's done nursing, more willing to let “stuff” not get done. I do have older kids to help with cooking and cleaning, so the world really doesn't rest on my shoulders as it did when they were all under 10. I'm definitely enjoying mothering a baby much more than I ever did.

  8. You all are so cute! I love how your family pictures turned out. Happy Birthday!

  9. Michelle,
    Where did you find such pretty dresses for the girls? I am having a very difficult time finding pretty girl clothes for Mass. Stores up here in the northern woods don't seem to carry anything but jeans and hoodies.

  10. Kat,
    And stores in the city sell “hooker-ware” in the 6-12 dept. I never go to stores. Lands end and Hannah Andersson sell great every day clothes and some dressy dresses. Gymboree sells cute dresses and skirts under size 12, also. . By buying online I get a greater selection of sale stuff, too.

  11. Katie and I made the blue dresses ourselves last year for Easter and my husband's change of command – happy they still fit, since I don't have the same free time I did last year! Mary's dress was bought at Dillards several years ago – Jenny wore it. It's a size 6, so it's much easier to find decent clothes for little girls. Sewing your own clothes is the way to go if you have the time – I know you have the skill.

  12. Thanks to you, I just realized that I have had babies in my 20's, 30's and 40's! Happy to be blessed so much!

  13. Happy 42 indeed! Lovely post, and I laughed out loud at the Tampa-Cleveland comments.

  14. These pictures are so nice. Your family is beautiful!! Yes, I have eight children and I can raise my hand for having babies in my 20's,30's and 40's. I never thought about it before. I turned 45 in January and had my last baby when I was 44.

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  16. I am raising my hand..had my youngest at age 43.5 (still time for one more, Michelle).
    I chuckled at the paper towel holder and casserole dish..similar items to what my DH would give me…

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