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July 07, 2009


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I guess that to receive the loans from creditors you must have a good motivation. Nevertheless, one time I have received a college loan, just because I wanted to buy a car.

Your post was very touching and so, so true. I have to admit, though, that the best part was the image of Bill Murray. Cracked me up! That feeling will continue into the teenage years. At least, it has for me.

Happy Birthday from Canada Quinlan. Hope you had a wonderful day!!!

Such a great post. You captured all the dissonance in raising a daughter. I was feeling similarly today, wondering how I could love so intensely the screaming child I wanted to silence with ever ounce of my being. Keep writing-- I love your words!

Happy birthday to your beautiful Q.

On the rest of it....I hear you. My dad and step-mom have seen H once. In nearly 10 months of life. Only because I took the kids out there. They don't call on birthday's, nor remember their only grandchildren in time for Christmas. It sucks.

All you can do is be there for your kids. Make it special for them and they won't have to feel the disappointment that we lived with. Do it better than my parents did, is all I can hope to do.

Happy happy happy to the both of you.

Happy Birthday to your baby...even though she's not really a baby anymore. What a beautiful post! :)

Happy Bday to Quinlan! Here's to more amazing days.

Mine just turned 5 too. Why must they rule the world once fingers in their fist equals their age?



Happy birthday to Q!

And no one ever told us that our kids would begin their school-age years acting like teenagers. I've heard that kids give the most attitude to the ones they love and trust the most. Lucky you!

I think there's an unspoken, collective myth that we're supposed to be in love and in awe with our children at every minute, to never resent or dislike them. We - or at least I - tend to forget that kids are real people too, with a depth and complexity to rival our own.

I love the honesty in your post, the simple balancing of love and sweetness with that sense of disconnect and desperation. It takes courage and I like to think that one day our daughters will appreciate us for admitting what a huge challenge raising them can be.

Thank you, and happy birthday - to both of you!

You took the frustration right out of my mouth. Tiffany at Electric Boogaloo wrote this, recently: "If you have a four or five year old who is making you crazy, ... Oh holy moly, we are enjoying age six." While I cling to that promise with the ferocity of a bird gripping a flopping fish, I still can't help but feel that it shouldn't be like this. Somewhere, perhaps, I have fouled things royally and chased the sweet little girl into the corners with my, what? impatience? short-sightedness? mad love for her? Sigh. I am counting the days until six (though I just read above that six is bossy. I suppose, considering how bossy she already is, this is a relative term.)


Hey, on a mildly related note, I saw your tweet with the beautiful birthday cupcakes (which wouldn't last a half day in my house). I am here to remind you that if Tastespotting won't take them, TasteStopping will! (I sent you an email a while back, but you probably didn't have any pictures of cupcakes lying around then!)

(you also know me as the kitchen witch)

Happy Birthday Quinlan!

It sounds like she has a very strong personality...hm who else could that be like?

There is so much emotional maturing at this age. I imagine it is nearly as tough to be turning 5 as it is to live with a child this age. My son will be 5 in just 2 weeks and his is definitely exploring how his words and actions affect the people around him. ::bangs head on wall::

Yay that sounds like five. I frequently feel that I have no idea what I doing with my daughter, especially since she has been so helpful with "advice" on how to care the house and her brother (six is bossy).

Happy Birthday Quinlan! Your mother's parenting adventures with you give a lot of moms hope.

You know, I feel better reading that. Roo's been a total pain in the butt since she turned 5. Perhaps it's a developmental stage. Yes, that's what I am going to believe...

As always, Kristen, you put into such eloquent words exactly how I've been feeling. My daughter is very similar to Quinlan, I think...that 3rd paragraph is her to a T as well.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, insight, and ups and downs with us...making me feel better about my own mixed emotions as a mom.

Happy Birthday Quinlan and happy momiversary to you, Kristen!

My four-year-old has that same dress and it's her favorite and she has been so mad that I won't let her wear it when it's 85 degrees and humid outside. She just came over and saw Q's picture and immediately pointed out that Q's mommy must be nicer because she's wearing her dress.

Beautiful post, Kristen.

I'm just awed at how a few extra hours of sleep at night translated into such eloquent use of metaphors.

Nicely written and well said.

THANK YOU for saying that some days you just hold on for dear life. I had one of those days yesterday and am still feeling horrible from it. Your blog is a huge help to me. THANK YOU.

I have such a hard time with birthday posts ... this one is lovely and perfect. Happy birthday, Q., from one Cancer to another!

You summed up perfectly what I have been feeling about my own daughter. Who knew that the mood swings would start so early? I expected it around 10 yrs old, maybe 9 at the earliest, but not at 5 yrs old. I am comforted that I have been reading about it from other mothers. At least, I know that my daughter is normal and so am I.

Happy Birthday!

I'm honored to share a birthday with Q. And don't worry, it seems to just be the nature of women born on this day. This too shall pass...or you will get used to it! LOL. Congrats on another great year, mama!

Happy Birthday to Quinlan! Every year I too feel like I'm steering through uncharted waters with my oldest. Just when I think I've got this parenting thing figured out, they both throw me for a loop. I imagine most parents can say the same.

Congratulations on making it 5 whole years! My 3 yr old has just entered the Snotty-Response-to-Everything phase... I'm not sure if either one of us will make it through another couple of years of that! ;)

Happy 5th birthday to your beautiful girl!!

And happy birthday to you, too =)

Happy Birthday to Quinlan! And congratulations to you. Five years with some sanity in tact is an accomplishment!!
My five year old daughter takes me on that roller coaster ride daily. We're currently exploring the same terrain. The absolutes: "Can we go swimming today?" - "No, there's a thunderstorm." - "I never get to do ANYTHING fun!!!" Even though we'd already been swimming twice that week. And the drama: SCREEEEEEEEEAM! "I can't get my shirt down!" Cue the tears and dramatic gestures. And the impatience: "When is dinner going to be ready? I'm hungry. I'm hungry. I'm hungry. I'm hungry." (repeat another 150 times.) And the occasional mean streak, most often fueled by the fire that is her hair-pulling two-year old sister. This begins normally with a scream directly into her sister's face and a shove so quick, you would miss it if you blinked.
But likewise - the scales always tip in the direction of the sweet smiles, the hugs she gives her sister when she thinks no one is looking, the way she always offers to help me with whatever I'm doing, her genuinely good heart and her the overall amazing little girl that she is.
It is nice, however, to weather the storm with others in the same boat. Thanks for your blog!

It ain't easy. Having lived through that stage with PunditGirl, I often wondered what I was doing wrong or why I wasn't "mother enough" to understand her at that phase. It makes me feel a little better to know I wasn't the only one! Having said that, there now seems to be drama at every age and I am never sure how to navigate each new phase. *sigh*

Oh i can so relate to this! There are days that Grace infuriates me so incredibly much that I cannot imagine ever feeling tenderness for her again. And then it comes, like a wave, usually when i see her asleep.
She is six and still in the weeds of what you describe above, so I'm not sure this is a lot of solace. But I relate and hearing your words is such comfort. Thank you!

I remember struggling with a birthday post for Tacy after a year when it seemed as if we were usually at each other's throats.

She knows how much you love her. That supersedes any daily distractions that might trip you two up.

Happy birthday Quinlan!

Happy 5th birthday, Q!

Happy Birthday. I can so relate to this post. For years, my daughter was all eye rolling teen-bitchy like and everyone around me was all "whoa, you're going to have your hands full" and I was all shuddering in the corner.

Well, she just turned 11 and she is the sweetest child. Truly.

My hope-guess is that some of them just get it out of their system early and then it's all smooth sailing. With a few icebergs thrown in for fun.

We've all been there. You'll love her through it. Happy Birthday beautiful girl.

The first part sounds like she's a lot like her Mom. Independent, smart, makes her own decisions and no one tells her what to do. It's the greatest complement you can get!! You're raising a strong woman :) (BTW- my 5 yr old daughter is the same way and when I complain to my Mom, she always says "It's hard to look in the mirror isn't it?? LOL ) Enjoy her birthday it will go by fast, my oldest is 14 and it seems like yesterday he was 5!!

My 7 year old nephew is totally in that phase too and it drives me crazy!! Let's both hope it passes eventually.

It must be a five thing because I am feeling a lot of the same feelings towards my five year old son. I will always love him but I am finding it hard to like him right now.

Happy Birthday Quinlan! Be gentle with your mama, ok?

It's extraordinary, this business of teaching all the while learning by the seat of our pants what the hell it is we're supposed to do.

Happy birthday to Quinlan and congratulations to you- both of you are doing better than you can know!

My mother used to tell me that she believed children choose their families. There's a reason you two found each other.

Much love, Quinlan! Happy birthday beautiful.

Happy birthday Q!

This is a very nice post. I'm glad to hear it's not just me who has days where it's hard to find the sweetness in a daughter that age.

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