Ten things I love about Natalie. Numbers are also in Mandarin because I need to practice.
1 yī -- She always tries new things, even if she is a little scared at first. She is our only child that has ate the octopus.
2 èr -- She can be both a tomboy and a girly girl and knows it's okay to be anything you want.
3 sān -- She burps better than my boys!
4 sì -- She is very loving and giving and is willing to help whenever needed.
5 wǔ -- She has a great smile, and pout too.
6 liù -- She's funny without even trying.
7 qī -- She will make friends with anyone anywhere!
8 bā --She learns things very quickly. She may drag her feet at first but when she decides to do it she does it with a full heart! And she succeeds.
9 jiǔ -- She is very artistic. She loves taking pictures, making movies, styling clothes, drawing pictures, making books, dancing, singing, if it's artsy she likes it.
10 shí -- She has the most tender heart and is always aware of other people's feelings and will sometimes put her feelings to the side to make someone else happier. Sometimes it hurts her to do this but she does. She continually practices kindness even if I think that person may not deserve it. Again, She's still teaching me things.
My daughter Natalie turns 10 this week. She is wonderful and she is trying. I love her with all my heart and can't imagine my life without her even when she is in the midst of a tantrum and I'm trying not to pull all my hair out.
She is my biggest reminder that all things happen in time. That there are reasons why things don't always work out in my time but in God's time. Here's why...
Way back in 1998 we decided we wanted to try and have another baby. We got pregnant so easily and accidentally with Greyson so of course I figured it would be easy. How wrong I was.....
Month after month and nothing! Our lives starting being lived in 2 weeks increments. 2 weeks for ovulation, 2 weeks to see if it "worked". I became a little obssessed. It was not fun. Then we did end up pregnat. YEAH! and 8 weeks later we miscarried. This was my first one and it was devastating. I took it very hard and knew it was something I had done wrong at some point in my life. It took me sometime to go move on and try again. Only to get pregnant again and miscarry again...this time after seeing the heartbeat which I understood was rare. But it happens. Both times we miscarried was under 12 weeks and it is very common just not talked about alot.
So, Bob and I moved on. I feeling like a failure and that my body was turning against me. I started believing that Greyson would be my only child and I felt so sad. Bob couldn't fix this one and it was hard on him. Because we were young and didn't have a full history of miscarriages there wasn't much to do yet. We just kept trying.
We got pregnant again and I was the world's biggest basket case. I was so worried to do anything because I thought I'd miscarry again. I knew in my heart that there was nothing I could do but my head wasn't so sure. We made it past 12 weeks and all the way up to 38 weeks! Every step of the way I was worried and just knew something was going to happen but we finally had our sweet little Natalie in 2001!
It really wasn't that long of a time but when you are in the midst of everything it feels like an eternity! Now it just seems like life. We joke with Natalie that she was our slowest child. Took as a long time to get pregnant with her and then even her labor was the longest of the 3 kids. We nicknamed her slow poke Sally in Kindergarten because she was always the last one out of school and just took her time. She still does. It's part of Natalie and I love it.
She has taught me so much but the best thing she taught me is that all good things come in time. Not always on my schedule and not always when I want it but when the time is right. My life would not be the same without her and at exactly the time she came to us. She is my best reminder to be patient. That I may not know the reasons why things happen but I will be glad in the long term. Now she is teaching me more patience and more understanding. My life really wouldn't be the same without her.
We are all a big lover of Star Wars in the house. We use little references every now and then from the movies, Jake was a storm trooper for halloween twice and I have a long standing crush on Anakin right before he becomes Darth Vader. See how much we love it?
So over Christmas break whenever Greyson wanted something done he'd tell either Jake or Natalie that they should "go, fulfill your destiny" sometimes he'd call them little padawans, you know the name for the young Jedi's in training. Jake and Natalie just ate this up and LOVED it! They ended up doing so many things for Greyson it was ridiculous.
One day we are walking out of an elevator and Natalie beats Greyson to the usual saying and says....Go, Greyson fulfill your destiny little Taiwan! So it's become a great family joke and we all aim to be little Taiwans.
I'm embellishing here a little but not too much! So, if this conversation happened in your house how would you react?
Wife: My house needs cleaned.
Husband: The house is always a mess you need to clean better.
Wife: Look of frustration but ignores comment
Husband: Look, let me help you out. I'll clean and get it all looking good and all you have to do is maintain.
Would your husband still have his life? This wife runs a successful daycare and has 5 children of her own! Seriously, MAINTAIN?
Singapore has brought us alot of struggles. It's not all beaches and margaritas unfortunatley. One of my biggest struggles has been my relationship with my kids. It changed just a little and not for the better!
I use to be someone who LOVED having their kids around even when they did get on my nerves. I was just greatful to have them around. I LOVED spending time with them, especially since they started going to school and my time with them is few and far between. I think I lived more for breaks and summer vacation than they did! And I cried every single first day of school. As other mothers were rejoicing I was sitting at home nursing my broken heart. I missed their fights and their whining. Not every day was roses but I genuinly loved spending time with my kids. Somedays we'd never talk to eachother but I heard the things they were doing and it made my heart glow.
Then, we moved to Singapore....cue bad, scary music.
I really could not stand to be around them. I counted the days before they went back to school. I rejoiced every Monday morning and dreaded every Monday night. I HAVE NEVER BEEN THAT MOM! It scared me. I was ashamed of myself for not enjoying my kids. Every night was a struggle just to get to bedtime and every morning was a struggle just to get to school. I found nothing to be proud of, when I use to find anything no matter how small! I struggled, they struggled.
I thought Thanksgiving break would be good for us and get us back to normal. I didn't schedule anything but family time. Games and dinners...together. We ALL needed to rebond. It sucked. We all wanted our own thing in our own time and we wanted it NOW! We had forgot how to be a family and it made me so sad. I really do pride myself on how awesome my family usually is. I started thinking that this move is going to be the undoing of my family. I was really at a crossroads. My kids were hurting and I needed to do something.
SO, I started talking to the kids about how it's okay to miss friends or the states. I got out a few times, made new friends and encouraged the kids to do the same and let them know they weren't being traitors to their other friends. We all talked about how different it is here and were amazed at how some of our struggles were all the same. Granted they still got on my nerves and somedays I had to reach hard to enjoy them, but reach I did. And I felt like we were getting back on track.
And then Christmas break started approaching and I got scared. What if this break is as sucky as the last? Will it hurt all the progress we've made? Can we just skip break?
B U T..
I am glad to say that it was great! We have enjoyed eachother again. We've grown together and struggled together and that's what families do. I haven't done anything I should have over break and I've let so many other things slide. We've explored parts of Singapore together and cheered eachother on as we tried new things. IT HAS BEEN GREAT! my heart is singing again. They've argued and fought me and whined but in the more normal way. The way that I expect and know how to deal with. That is my best Christmas present.