1.  She is shy around strangers, but at home she is a total ham.  Still, there are times even at home when she’ll seem to be “performing,” but if she realizes that you’re watching her, she’ll run and hide–or alternatively, scream at you to go away.  Maybe she’s not performing, but rehearsing.

2.  She still loves Thomas the Tank Engine, but she’s picked up a new favorite show over the last year:  Dungeons & Dragons.  ::shrug::

3.  She’d rather sleep in the recliner than in her bed.  But she’d rather sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed than anywhere else.

4.  She is four years old today!

And now for the flashback segment of the program…

When I started this blog, Girlfriend was not even born yet.  She was not even thought of, in fact.  She was sort of a theory, I guess, but mostly academic.  I had my hands full of one-year-old Elvis at the time.  Here is an excerpt from an April 2005 post, shortly after I found out I was pregnant:

The internet is such a useful tool.  I have found all kinds of information on treating nausea during pregnancy.  For example, I could do as one web site suggests and avoid those foods and smells which make me queasy.  [Slaps forehead]  Doh!  It also said I should just eat what I want when I want, and that my cravings won’t steer me wrong.  Obviously not, since my cravings tell me it’s good to eat Jell-O Instant Pudding cups morning, noon and night.  My cravings also just told me that a chocolate chip cookie would be good, too.  And it was.  I wonder what nutritional wisdom my cravings will come up with next.

And another one, from October 2005:

Today I screamed so hard at my kids that I wet myself.

On a happier note, here is an excerpt from her birth story (posted November 29, 2005):

In the car the contractions were three minutes apart and lasting around 90 seconds.  By the time we found a parking space and hauled ourselves down to the maternity ward, they were even closer together.  “So you think you’re in labor?” the triage nurse asked.

“Yes, I think so,” I said, much too casually to convey the urgency of the situation.  She went to get a fetal monitor, and meanwhile I had this killer contraction and started screaming.  Just so we’re clear, I do not recommend screaming as a coping mechanism for labor pain.  It is, in fact, the worst possible thing you can do.  I knew that already, but dammit, I really didn’t want to be in labor just then, do you understand?  I wasn’t thinking clearly.  Screaming did, however, get about four nurses running into the room, and everyone believed I was in labor after that.  I got my cervix checked again, and I was at seven centimeters, which wasn’t good enough for me, because I really wanted to push the baby out immediately, but they had to rush me to an actual delivery room first, and my midwife was still en route.  Have I mentioned already that labor is very, very painful?

So everyone is rushing around getting ready for the delivery, anticipating the midwife’s arrival, while I am breathlessly informing SD that I cannot do a natural childbirth this time, I really, really need something for the pain, I don’t care what it is, but I can’t stand it anymore–not in so many words, of course, but I think he got the picture.  We’ve been married a long time.

“What does she need?” the nurse asked SD.  “What did she just say?”

“She said, ‘Drugs, I need drugs.'”  (For some reason this was amusing to some members of the staff, because I know I heard laughter.  I heard it again a minute later when I was screaming stuff like, “Why did I do this???”)

I can tell you, there is no better feeling in the world than that of not pushing a baby out of your body.  It’s better than ice cream.  Better than hot fudge sundaes.  The contrast from one moment to the next is so, so very exhilarating.  SD said he wished he had a camera so he could capture the look on my face once the baby was born.  Apparently I give off a very arrogant vibe.  Like I’m the first woman ever to give birth and I just so freaking rock my own world.  I don’t remember any of that.  I just remember loving the fact that it was over.

It was at that point that I noticed this very nice Asian woman between my legs…

And on that note, I’ll leave you all.  I have a house to clean and a cake to bake.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIRLFRIEND!

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