Piper had a birthday last week! She turned 8 years old. I wish I felt comfortable sharing photos of her, but unfortunately, the things she experienced in her past make it far too risky. I can, however, try to describe her for you so you can "see" what a special kid she is.
Piper is 4'3" tall. She weighs in at 52 pounds, which puts her in the tall and slender category. She is most definitely a cutie pie. Her hair is light brown and falls about to her collarbone. It is very thick and has nice body to it. She has a small forehead, round cheeks, and a little chin. She has beautiful, beautiful eyes. They are huge and round, and their color depends on the light. Some days they're blue, some days they're green. She loves to stare at people, a habit which can be quite uncomfortable for those who don't know her. Her skin is baby soft and perfectly clear. She's fair in the winter, but tans nicely in the summer. My favorite thing about Piper's face, though, is her smile. She has full lips which tilt up just enough to give her a pouty look. When she smiles, her entire face lights up and her eyes come to life. She has been missing both her front teeth for 2 1/2 years, so she has that adorable toothless look. Her front teeth have broken the gums now, though, so toothless is quickly disappearing. I've never known Piper with front teeth, so I'm very excited for them to come in all the way.
Piper has a little, high pitched voice. It's the kind of voice you'd expect to hear from a little girl Di$ney princess. She recently watched a video of herself and said to me, "Oh Mommy, I have such a cute little voice!" When she sings, what comes out is a surprise. She has quite a lovely voice, and though she isn't perfect at carrying a tune, she has great potential. She loves to sing, so we hear her singing voice all the time. She regularly makes up songs, and those songs reveal the ditz within. Oh my goodness...Piper is a true valley girl! Her songs are hilarious, corny, and usually don't make any sense. Tonight in the shower she was singing about Oompa Loompas in bra and panties...
Go figure out that one.
She is my girliest girl, loving anything pink, sparkly, and pretty. Her idea of a perfect outfit is a pair of sparkly skinny jeans, a ruffly shirt, a cute jacket, and some sparkly wedge shoes. She loves to have me do her hair fancy, preferring anything with braids and/or curls. She is a tender mommy to all her dolls. She has an Americ@n Girl doll, an Americ@n Girl knockoff, and a cute baby doll. Leah, Elsa, and Lily get the most loving care. She puts them into their jammies and tucks them in every night, and usually finds time to get them dressed and fed before she leaves for school in the morning. Piper also loves her Barbies, though she doesn't give them the same affection as her other dolls. Piper loves to read, especially when she has someone to read to. Sunny is the most frequent beneficiary of Piper's read-alouds. She likes to play outside, but where my other kids like to be up trees and going fast, Piper prefers to keep her feet on the ground. She adores digging holes in the dirt and "cooking" delectable soups out of dirt, water, and plant matter. She has a vivid imagination and is the best of all my kids at playing alone.
Piper runs on the cross country team at school because she lives a sedentary life and needs some physical activity. She takes karate with Snapper, Bubbles, and Pepper because she needs to be empowered. Because of the abuse she experienced in the past, she tends to be quite timid. The karate--though she isn't passionate about it--is helping her grow in strength, confidence, and poise. We've seen a big difference in her since she started lessons in September.
This girl loves to be a helper. When she finishes her weekly chores, she often volunteers to do more chores to help me out. She likes to cook with me, and often takes the initiative when she sees something that needs to be done around the house. She loves to fold laundry, to sweep, and to clean mirrors and windows. She also loves to help me unpack the groceries when I have been shopping. She is going to make a wonderful wife to some very lucky man someday.
Piper is very sweet and affectionate. She loves to sit on Daddy's lap, give me hugs and kisses, and play with my hair. I'm looking forward to the end of this pregnancy so I can enjoy her affection again. When I'm pregnant, I don't like to be touched and I hate stinky kid smells. LOL! Piper is a joyful child, and she notices beauty in everything. She sees the beauty in the photo I have of my grandmother's hands. She notices every sunset, all the beautiful cloud formations, unique patterns on the back of caterpillars, and the soft details on a duck feather. She is attentive to many little details in life, and she appreciates when I do extra things. She's the one who loves getting notes on napkins in her lunch. She likes me to tie her hairbows because I get them "just right." When I wear lotion or body spray, she appreciates the sweet fragrance. Piper is the sweet breeze of beauty in our home.
She also has a very stubborn streak that comes along with her ADHD. When she is having an off day, she is incredibly difficult to deal with. She will not reason, and can not focus. On those days, we pretty much grit our teeth, get through the day, and pray that tomorrow will be better. She doesn't enjoy feeling out of sorts like that, and is usually quick to plead for help. Unfortunately, she can't seem to follow through when help is given. She has off days once or twice per week.
When I look at this sweet girl, I marvel at her courage. She has experienced more horrors in her short life than most people will in an entire lifetime. Yet with hard work, determination, and tremendous courage, she has overcome most of what happened to her. She's not just a survivor; she's thriving. I am so thankful that Piper got to join our family 19 months ago. She is an amazing blessing, and a true delight. Happy 8th Birthday, precious girl! Daddy and I are hopelessly in love with you.