This is a little late… I am sorry about that. Sadly that’s bound to happen with the 3rd kid. Harsh but that’s your reality
You are 1 year old! How is that possible? This year flew by… all parents say that but it doesn’t make it any less true. I feel like I blinked and you went from an itty bitty newborn to this walking babbling spitfire of a baby. And yes… I will continue to call you baby as long as possible.
You have been such a blessing to this family. From the moment we found out about you we have been eagerly awaiting your arrival. Chase just knew in his heart that you would be a little girl. And because my pregnancy with you was so different from the boys… I had my suspicions You have added a bold pink and purple to our otherwise vibrant blue and green lives. You have rounded out and completed our family perfectly.
Chase takes his job as big brother VERY seriously. He keeps a close eye on you… always making sure you are safe. Once you became mobile I started asking Chase to help corral you… which turned into me calling out “baby relocation services” and he would come running from wherever he was, pick you up and take you out of harms way. You might not have liked it very much but it was very helpful when I was in the middle of cooking dinner and you were banging on the fireplace.
I have to admit that you have been SO much fun to dress. I love all the accessories… the shoes, the bows, the lace, the ruffles, the girly colors… it’s so much fun. I attempt to have you dressed to the 9′s anywhere we go… it doesn’t always happen but I do my best. I, with the help of a friend, learned how to make various bows for you to wear… just because they were girly and I didn’t want to go broke! The fact that you didn’t have a lot of hair just gave me more reason to plaster those bows on your head!
Your smile is something to marvel at. It takes up your whole face and can light up a room in an instant. For the most part you flash that smile whenever prompted… and the boys do almost anything to see it. They will throw themselves on the floor over and over again just to make you laugh… I’ve seen it with my own eyes. They adore you.
My one sadness about your newborn days is that I couldn’t breastfeed you like I did the boys. I spent a lot of time trying and failing which made me extremely sad which made it harder to try… and so on and so forth. It’s a vicious spiral You were losing weight and it made me very very nervous so Daddy and I eventually decided to switch you to formula and I had to let go of my dream of breastfeeding. I felt guilty and worried that we wouldn’t bond as well but I kept reminding myself that Nona bottle fed me and we had an extremely close bond. Still it tore me up for a long time (and I am still a little sad about it) but it really was the best decision at the time. You started gaining weight, I started to heal, the boys were able to feed you… there were a lot of bright spots
I can imagine there will be days where you don’t get along with your brothers but I hope you always know that they love you very much and you are each others best friends. I hope and pray for your bond to be strong as you 3 grow up and become adults. I can already see special but different bonds forming between each of you.
Since I knew you would be our last I have tried very hard to enjoy and savor every moment of your babyhood. I tried to cherish the long nights, the early mornings, the clingyness, the new discoveries… all the things that are only there for a year. The things that I didn’t know I would miss because I thought they would never end.
I co-slept with you… something I rarely did with the boys… and I did it longer than I thought I would. I kept you with me in church way past when I should have been putting you in the nursery… I couldn’t bear the thought of being without you. Outwardly I gave a heavy sigh when someone else tried to hold you and you screamed for me but secretly inside… I was thrilled. I adored the fact that you wanted me and no one else.
You were my biggest baby at birth… 7lbs 9oz but that didn’t last long at all. You dropped weight quickly and always stayed under where your brothers were at your age. You always rivaled them with height though… I think all 3 of you were always 95% and above for height But you… you are my long and lean girl!
Lucas loves you… he loves you so very much but he’s a little misguided as how to show his love. A lot of the time it comes out in holding your leg so you can’t walk or crawl, or bear hugging you so you can’t get away, or just bumping into you so you fall over. I think he’s more jealous of losing the baby position than Chase was when he came along. Chase was born to be a big brother… Lucas is learning how to be one. He does love you though… one day, all the sudden I hear Lucas yell ‘UH UH UH BABY WHOACATION!’ I run over and he has you by the waist as you are trying to climb the stairs. We praised him for being such a hero! Later the same day he yelled ‘baby location’ as you were already 5 steps up! Again… we lauded him for being so heroic and watching out for you. He was on cloud nine… he loved being the person that saved you. Of course ever since he has been on you like white on rice… shaking his finger and saying “no, no, no” to anything and everything he thinks you shouldn’t have. Regardless of whether I am standing right there or not.
I try to remind you that you are just a baby… you can’t possibly keep up with your brothers but you will have none of that. If they are doing it, you want to be doing it. This is probably why you were walking before your first birthday. Your brothers are a lot to keep up with and you try with all your might.
I will miss the attention you commanded when you were a baby. Not that you aren’t cute now and every day since you were a baby but man alive did you ever get attention. People routinely stop me to comment on how cute you are… the lovely old ladies at the grocery store love to try and make you smile. Between the bow on your head, your sweet demeanor and your infectious smile… not many could resist you. And if they did… if they walked by and didn’t smile… well I judged them harshly
I am so thankful that you will be raised seeing how much your daddy loves you and how much he loves me. It is so important for a young girl to know her worth and her value and that starts with how her father treats her and her mother. You my sweet girl have the best daddy out there. He values, respects, loves and cherishes us. I could not be more thrilled that you will grow up seeing that.
Your comfort on the 4-wheeler only serves to scare the pants off me.
We, the entire family, have learned (and are still learning) that closing the baby gate is an absolute must. You have a sixth sense about that gate being open and you don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Just this weekend you made it halfway up the steps once and all the way to the top the next time… with no one around. But by the grace of God you didn’t fall backwards. You will climb any obstacle put in front of you. I sat next to the coffee table and you used me to climb on top of it. I’ve seen you traverse piles of toys just to get to the 4wheeler. You love to climb the step-stool… which now resides in the shoe closet because of you. You love to climb on and sit on the dishwasher door. But those steps… they are your favorite. You can be in the kitchen, nowhere near the gate and if you hear it click open… you coming speeding through, a smile plastered across your face, determined to climb those stairs.
I can’t say Happy Birthday to you without also wishing Grampy a Happy Birthday too! You surprised us all by joining the world on Grampy’s birthday
We love you so much little one. You’ve captured all our hearts.
I hope you always know how much your daddy and I love you. We thank God nightly for the privelege of raising you and your brothers. We continually ask for guidance and wisdom when it comes to raising you guys.
I pray that you always believe in yourself. I pray that you see your beauty, your intellect and your heart as you grow up and navigate this world. I hope you never lose sight of how much God loves you and just how very special you are to Him. I pray that you are a leader and not a follower. I pray that you always stand by your convictions and never let anyone compromise them. I pray that you love life and enjoy all that it has to offer.
I love you so much baby girl. Happy Birthday my sweet Celia Iris.