Happy Fifth Birthday, Helene! A Love Story.

Tomorrow, Helene turns five years old.  It seems impossible that five years passed in the blink of an eye.  Tomorrow, we will hug and kiss her a ridiculous number of times, let her sing her own birthday song (because THAT’s the way she rolls), help her blow out candles, let her stuff herself with frosting, and try to convince her that she’s now “Helene FIVE Years Old” instead of “Helene FOUR Years Old.”

Today, though, I thought I’d relive those fleeting moments and celebrate publicly the little girl who challenges me, inspires me, moves me, surprises me, humors me, snuggles me and lets me love her like a fool.


Hey, little Leni Lou-Lou:

Happy Birthday.  Mama wrote you a little story.  Pull right up here with your frenchfrieschickensapplesmilk and let’s read it together.

Your Birth Day

Fresh from the oven. 🙂

You came screaming in – all 8 pounds and 4 ounces of you.  Your left ear was so smashed against your head, I thought for a moment you had only an ear hole – no lobe.  I find your tiny earlobe tucked under that odd-looking beanie they’d placed on your head and laughed, because the morphine wouldn’t let me cry with relief.  The nurse then whisked you and Papa away.  My body was so numb that – at one point – the doctor held my legs up in the air so that I could see them over the drape blocking the view of my belly.  I thought, That’s odd.  I wonder whose legs those are?

The first year of your life went by in a whirlwind.  You grew like a weed.  We spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get you to smile, because you did it SO WELL!  But, what you really liked more than smiling was showing off your drool-y little tongue.

Here’s what I think of you and your damn camera in my face all the time

Your First Birthday

You had cake for the first time on your first birthday.  You had no idea what it was, but that did NOT stop you.

All the cake.  ALL THE CAKE!

Holy crap! What IS this stuff. And WHY have you been holding out on me? WHY!

We had such a good time watching you demolish that cake, we let you do it again the next day.

Cake?  Again?  How did I make THAT happen?

Ooooohhhhh, so much cake. So good. Wait. Does this mean I have to have a bath? Again? TWO DAYS IN A ROW?!

During your first year, you also discovered the joys of coffee.


This stuff is MARVELOUS. It’s called a “mocha,” you say? NIIIICCCEEE. By the way, I WILL NOT be sleeping tonight, so you people better be ready to PAR-TAY!

Your Second Birthday

By your second birthday, Mama got a little ambitious in the baking department.

No, I don’t know why she’s sprouting balloon candles out the side of her face either, Len. I’m sure your future therapist will explain.

You also got your first set of pigtails.

The Terrible Two

There’s gonna be cake, right? There’s always cake when we go places with too many people in the room. BRING THE CAKE!

Your love of cake matched only your hatred for the dentist.

Sure you're a dentist.  Sure.

You’re not getting in my face with that thing. No way. No how. Nothin’ doin’. Nope. Nada. Nein. Nyet. NEVER.

Your Third Birthday

You celebrated your third birthday with your favorite preschool friends.  This was the year Mommy discovered that it’s not really about the cake for you at all.  It’s about the FROSTING.  Consequently, this is the only picture from that party in which you can actually see your face before it was the exact colors as your dress.

I see those cupcakes. Bring them HERE!

Judging by the Christmas tree in the background, I have no reasonable explanation for why you’re eating a cupcake.  With your nose.

When I said ALL the cake, I meant it!

I swear I do feed this child non-cake food items.

Lots of changes happened between three and four.  You got to come to work with me for a while.  But, then Mommy moved her office back home.  You helped.  I did not have to move a box of Wheat Thins.  So nice of you.

Sometimes, it's good to think inside a box.

Gosh, Mom. Packing your office is EXHAUSTING. I need a snack. Can you carry me to the car, please?

You started really testing Papa’s parenting skills.  Mama went away for a conference, but you were really cooperative for Papa with your bath.  You even helped him do laundry!

Bathtub FAIL

Papa, you said, “Let’s take a bath,” so I got in the bath. I’m a good listener.

You developed a magical talent for napping in whatever position you landed.  I also truly envy your ability to wear horizontal stripes.  Not many people can pull that off, Helene.

I don't need no stinking bed.  Beds are for sissies.

What? I was tired okay? This is more comfortable than it looks.

Your Fourth Birthday

By your fourth birthday, you were not big on the parties, just frosting.  Still, Mama couldn’t help herself.

Take THAT Martha Stewart

Someday, Len, I hope you stop being mad at me that this wasn’t *really* ice cream.


You gave ME a present on your 4th birthday. You actually let me comb and braid your hair for the very first time. You looked like such a big girl.

And, you started developing a style all your own.

Super Fresh

You don’t want none of this, yo. My fedora has SUPER powers. Now get a move on with that Jamba Juice, dude. Baby needs her Orange A’Peel!

And now, here you are — less than a day away from five years old.  Another day deeper in my heart.

Happy Birthday, Helene.



17 comments on “Happy Fifth Birthday, Helene! A Love Story.

  1. sj says:

    Gah, SO CUTE!

    Baby girl will be 2 next month and I’m still shocked she’s so big. [sigh]

    Also, the 5y/o always ASKS for cake, but then looks at it like I’ve placed a big pile of poison-laced poop on a plate in front of him and refuses to eat it.

    I don’t know what that’s about.

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      I read this twenty minutes ago and I Am STILL laughing about “pile of poison-laced poop.” I can absolutely imagine the face he is making.

      • sj says:


        The last time he asked for it, I said “You keep saying cake. I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

        Then he laughed because he LOVES Inigo.

        But seriously, I don’t know why the kid doesn’t like cake. He keeps saying “FOR MY BIRTHDAY can you make me [exotic sounding cake]??”

        And then he doesn’t eat it.

        Blueberry cake with red frosting? Made it, he wouldn’t eat it.

        Strawberry cake with lemon frosting? Nope.

        CHOCOLATE?! Not even.

        I don’t think I’ll be making him cake this year.

        • ProfMomEsq says:

          Oh. Em. Gee. Will you make ME strawberry cake with lemon frosting, because that sounds MARVELOUS.

          Your son is worse than a pregnant woman! I did that to myself so many times when I was pregnant with Nate. Oh, I really want broccoli. SO MUCH BROCCOLI! Then I would smell it cooking and hurl. That or he’s purposely just screwing with you, as boys do … 😉

  2. Helene is ADORABLE. And what personality! I love her!

    Happy birthday, kiddo!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    My daughter turned 6 in April. She has developed such a lovely personality. Your post made me tear up and remember how much my heart has grown because of her. Sometimes it is hard to look at her because I feel my heart might burst. Thank you for the lovely walk through your memories.

  4. gkinnard says:

    My God, this post was just so wonderful, beautiful, fun, cute precious, and all that is good! Helene is just darling!!! The dentist picture is soooo good! Congratulations to all of you on Helene’s 5th!

  5. Heather says:

    Happy Birthday, Helene!

  6. This whole “life story” is just absolutely adorable. I just want to give Helene a hug…and she doesn’t even know me… and would probably run off. LOL.

    This is such a beautiful birthday message. I love it!!!!
    And what great pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      Oh, she’d probably hug you right back! She’s a big fan of people who are a good foot taller than she is (which is gonna be a problem for me if she keeps growing …)

      Thanks so much for coming by and the nice compliments!

  7. Happy Birthday Helene! Here’s a little 1990’s Aussie music flashback for you birthday entertainment pleasure. It’s a song called Happy Birthday Helen – so you will just have to imagine the ‘e’ at the end of the Helen.

    Loving your grumpy girl photo face!
    Aunty Rose xx

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      Aw, thank you Aunty Rose!! (Which, by the way, is Helene’s middle name.)

      We often have to “imagine” the “e” at the end of poor Helene’s name — people either forget it or change it to an “a” (because Helene is pronounced Huh-lane-uh – the proper German way).

      We are listening to the song right now! 🙂

  8. […] this post by @ProfMomEsq about her daughter turning five, Happy Fifth Birthday, made me deliriously happy and made me revisit my daughter’s growing […]

It's boring when I do all the talking around here. Speak now, while you can get a word in edgewise.

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