Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday, Rebecca!

Five years ago today I had my most pleasant birth experience out of all 4. But I deserved it because that birth experience followed the most difficult pregnancy I ever experienced. But anyway, this post is supposed to be about Rebecca Lily Ball.

Becca was born at 4:45 p.m. on October 28, 2003 and she weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces. She was 20 inches long. The funniest thing about her birth is that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her in several very odd ways, around her neck, through her legs, around her waist, over her shoulder, and on and on. Ed says the doctor put Becca down on the table, grabbed the loose end of the cord and yanked. Ed says Becca just flopped around on the table like a little fish until the cord was all unwound. I didn't see it, but it sounds very funny to me...a little horrible for a newborn, but also very funny.

She was also born with a strange birth mark. I had noticed that there was something in her hair, which was pretty dark even then. There was this spot of hair on her head that had something white in it and I kept trying to scrub it out. I finally took a closer look and discovered that all the hairs coming out of the nickel-sized spot on her head were completely white hairs! The doctor said that it's basically the "opposite of a birth mark" - no pigmentation there, so all the hairs are white. My mom calls it "natural highlights". But, now her hair is so thick, you don't see the white strands very often - you really have to look for them all in there, but they are still there!

Her name...Rebecca was Ed's favorite girl name of all time. I was absolutely dead-set against it for both Sarah & Bethany and until about 3 weeks before Becca was born. We were all set to go with another name, but then I suddenly couldn't handle that name any more, so I told Ed that we could go with Rebecca if he REALLY wanted to and if we spelled it the American way and if we called her Becca and not Becky. (The reason I didn't want the name was because when I was teaching I had a student named Rebekah who was absolutely one of the most difficult children I had ever met. I eventually realized that I couldn't remember what she looked like anymore and that my new association with that name would change all my feelings.) Anyway, Ed said YES! and that's where her first name came from. Her middle name, Lily, is from Matthew 6 where it talks about the lilies of the field in the "do not worry" passage. While I was pregnant with Becca, Ed's mom became sick with brain cancer and it was a very stressful time in our lives. I'm sure that's part of why my pregnancy was so difficult - I was so stressed. Anyway, Matthew 6 had become a regular part of my Bible reading, so I wanted a constant reminder of that and so we used Lily as Becca's middle name.

We kind of wanted Lily as her first name originally, but if you shorten Lily, it becomes Lil' and then her name would be Lil' Ball. Yeah. Not so good.

Becca was a good baby, yet always made sure that her presence was known. From a very early age she was the drama queen, always making everyone laugh with her expressions - both of word and of face - and loving all the attention. Here are a couple of my favorite Becca stories:

When Becca was about 2 1/2, she was being very mean to her sisters and taunting them. I told her that she needed to be nice to her sisters and that Jesus wants us to be nice and he loves it when we're nice to each other. She promptly replied, "Is JESUS gonna spank me?"

When Becca was almost 3, she was not quite potty-trained. I was trying every method in the book to get that child to use the potty. It was frustrating because I knew she COULD, she just WOULDN'T. So, one time she was sitting on the potty and she wasn't going, even though I knew she had to go and so I tried reverse-psychology. I went on and on about how I didn't really care if she ever used the potty and it didn't really matter and I just went about cleaning the bathroom while we were in there, not really paying any attention to her at all. She just looked at me matter-of-factly, my not-caring having made no difference to her - and said, "Well, why don't you get me off of here then?"

Hm. Why don't I?

She potty-trained the day she turned 3. She said, "It's my birthday and I'm 3 now?" I said, "Yep, you sure are!" and she said, "Okay, then I'll use the potty" and promptly went and did it all by herself and was completely trained from there on out. Let that be a lesson to me as I attempt to "train" Elise...

Oh boy, I know there are many, many more stories...I'm sure a lot of you could even share one yourself! So, if you have a Becca story to share, go ahead and write a comment and share the story that you remember about Becca! Thanks!

You may also view pictures of Becca as she grew up at this web album: Becca through the Years. Enjoy!

Here are a few pictures from the family party this past Sunday. Click here to go to the web album with those photos.

Today is also my Grandma DeJong's 86th birthday! Happy Birthday, Michigan Grandma! It is also my dear friend Tami Rouw Nelson's birthday, so Happy Birthday to you! I tried to call you, but hopefully you were out celebrating!

So, enjoy your October 28 and if you know Becca (or my Grandma or my friend Tami), give thanks for their lives and what they mean to all of us!

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