Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm just not ready for tomorrow

So as I mentioned yesterday - my baby is turning 7 tomorrow. 
I. CAN. NOT. BELIEVE. IT.  For those of you who either haven't gotten there yet or have passed so many other personality change points, you have forgotten the transformation into a 7 year old let me give you an example.  For the past 7 years I have spent the days leading up to Christmas buying not one set but two sets of gifts for Cate.  We are very strict on the no "it counts for Christmas too" rule - so Cate get separate presents, wrapped in birthday paper, at her birthday party which includes lots of pink, birthday decorations and a cake/cupcakes with no sign of a Christmas theme (excluding trees and existing decor of course - we aren't that strict), not even a red table cloth.  Her grandparents host this family party every year because Grandpa has a Christmas time b-day and has memories of it being lumped into Christmas as a kid so he vowed when we found out the original due date of 12/28 that his granddaughter would have a true birthday party every year if he had to throw it himself.  The 22nd is a little better than after Christmas since you are on the upswing of the emotion high not the down slide afterwards, plus Cate is still young enough to just love getting presents so its all good to her.  But in the past that present shopping has been fun - more of an adventure of choosing which option the little girl in me likes better, the dollhouse or the kitchen.  This year, my 7 year old asked for a camera and a computer game - not a single toy.  I couldn't even tempt her with toy ads and "oh isn't this fun" prompts.  When it came down to the letter to Santa the only thought was a camera.  For her birthday I still have no present for her because I've spent hours wandering toy aisles and realizing she either has it or won't play with it.  So don't tell Cate but she is getting something she didn't ask for Christmas (or maybe her birthday if I don't have a revelation in the next 24 hours) - an MP3 player.  Yep a gadget that wasn't even invented when I was 7 years old and I didn't have until I was 35, shoot I don't think I even had its historical predecessor the Walkman until I was in high school (but how I loved that bright yellow hard shell Walkman cassette player).  She loves music and asks me constantly to listen to her music on my phone so this seems like a natural choice.  The only reason she didn't ask for it is that she doesn't know it exists.  I was not expecting to have a young girl not a little girl in the first seven years that went by in the blink of an eye - I was still seeing bows and Mary Janes at this age, not skinny jeans and trendy boots.  Cate has changed so much this year.  She is so much more "grown up" from her wardrobe choices to her speech.  We went from the girl who really didn't care what I put out for her to wear to one who digs for those favorite leggings, refuses to wear certain items, and throws a fit when she is forced to wear sneakers to school instead of boots.  She also speaks differently - we went from 10 words at 3 yrs, to a vocabulary explosion at 5, to still being amazed that others can understand her well in kindergarten to now with sentences like "Grandma what ingredients are in this soup?" and "I liked the movie except the violent part".  I'm still amazed when I understand all those words and its not that I'm surprised she knows what they mean it is just new that she throws them out in complex sentences with no hesitation.  I guess what it all boils down to is that she has a quickly growing confidence in herself.  She wants to be on stage, wants to talk to people she has never met by herself when they have a dog and has things to say about most subjects.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE it, I'm proud of the confident girl she is becoming but I'm still not ready for it.  I just thank god she hasn't given up her frequently saying "I love you" and generous hugs and kisses. 

So tomorrow at the party I'll mourn the lack of toys on the table while I bask in the sunshine that is even brighter now in her smile.  That is after I get slimmed by an elephant - instead of a party this year Cate chose to do a private tour at the zoo that involves feeding an elephant and I hear it is a very wet experience but she will love it!

In the meantime you can see the physical changes for yourself.  The crazy hair morning shots are our little tradition of taking a picture of her at exactly the minute of her birth every year and letting her open a "birth minute" present, the second one is her birthday cake picture from every year:

birth minute - 1 year
1 year party

birth minute - 2 years
2 years birthday party

birth minute - 3 yrs
3 year birthday party

birth minute - 4 years

4 years birthday party

birth minute (actually this one is slightly early because she had school that day) - 5 years
5 year birthday party

birth minute - 6 years
6 year birthday party


  1. My birthday is tomorrow as well! The only time it was disappointing to me when I was little was when extended family members got me one "really nice" gift.

    My four-year old little boy actually has a camera of his own - which he LOVES. It's an old camera of my husbands although it does take digital pictures. There is no way we would buy him one until we think he's actually able to take care of one.

    Ciena's grandmother sent her home this summer with an iphone to play music and games on. Jon and I were floored. We had never heard of a kid having something like that - even one about to be 11. But we decided that when she is able to take care of her toys and books she already has, then she can have something nifty like an iphone or ipod to call her own.

    An mp3 player is a good stepping stone up to that though. And they should be pretty cheap now right? I hope she likes it! Even if it's not exactly what she's expecting. :)

    1. Happy birthday Jess! I figure when Cate gets older we can lighten up a little on the rules but for now we go for no disappointments! We got Cate a VTech Camera made for kids - I'm sure the picture quality isn't great but she only cares about taking the pic & reviewing them not printing so I think it will be fine. The MP3 was pretty inexpensive but it is so tiny I'm afraid she'll lose it pretty quickly - we'll see. One of the greatest things about Cate is she doesn't disappoint easily - she loves everything she gets whether she asked or not!

  2. My sons birthday is on the 26th, but we're celebrating it today. We're the same way, nothing Christmas, just his birthday, and he gets see rate presents. I prefer to celebrate my kids' bdays on their birthday, but we found it works better to do his before Christmas.

    1. Oh the 26th would be hard, for you as much as him - I know how exhausted I am by Christmas day I can't imagine planning something for after. I'd do the same and celebrate early too. Hope you had a great party?