My bella Ella,
We let you open one of your birthday cards when you woke up this morning, which turned out to be a gift certificate to Toys R Us. I told you that we could go pick out a toy as soon as we got dressed and ready to go. I put your clothes on first, but had to take a shower and get ready myself. So instead of watching your “shows” while waiting, you walked around the house with your sunglasses on (upside down, mind you) saying, “Ready to go Daddy! Momma! Ready to go!” Which in toddler means, GET A MOVE ON – THERE ARE TOYS TO BE HAD!
Last year, on your birthday, you could say a few words and knew a few more in sign language. And now? Now there isn’t anything you can’t say. Unfortunately, that translates into repeating slipped frustrations (SHUT UP PORTER!) and other choice words that I’m not too fond of you shrieking at the top of your lungs (BOOBS!). You also know your alphabet, most of your numbers up to 20 (14 tends to disappear), all the words to several songs, most of the words to others (including, of course, 1234 by Feist), and you are even learning a little geography (although on some days it seems everyone you know lives in YOU-TAH).
Looking at pictures from a year ago, and even 6 months ago, I again can hardly believe the difference. You continually loose more and more baby fat (minus the Eloise-belly that’s holding on strong) and instead of teeny-tiny pigtails, you now have long-curly ones. And of course, your personality is constantly emerging. You love, love, love shoes – which I love, love, love about you. You are incredibly stubborn. I mean, INCREDIBLY stubborn. There are days when I fear my eye will never stop twitching from utter frustration and complete exhaustion. And you are a Daddy’s Girl, no doubt about it. When he’s around – forget it. Mom who? But it only makes those times when you run full-force into me, grabbing my leg, saying “loves for you, Mommy, loves for you” even more special. These moments make my own stubborn heart melt and I will forgive you for anything, all in exchange for a hug.
I’m not the only one who is charmed by you, either. I wondered if your ability to stop strangers in their tracks would fade after the baby was replaced by a screaming toddler. Oh no, it most definitely has not. In fact, you can be throwing a tantrum in a store one second, and as soon as you spot a clerk, or fellow customer looking at you, that grin instantly turns on and beams of sunshine blind every single person in a 5 mile radius. People coo and fawn over how adorable you are, and inevitably, you are given a gift. Usually it turns out to be a sticker or a sucker, but last month you scored a jewelry pouch from Tiffany & Co. And I am left, shaking my head in disbelief. Hopefully you can fine tune these skills and on our next trip to New York we’ll see if you can score Momma some free shoes.
This year has also been big on life-changes. We uprooted our little family from Utah and moved completely across the country, to Pennsylvania. Despite the intense disapproval of the insanely long car rides, and the tantrums you threw for about a month after even when we were only driving to the store, you handled it all very well. We have already moved into a new apartment since then, and will be moving into a house soon. I get sore muscles, and headaches, and sleepless nights because of this – you make our Realtor your new best friend and beg to go see “more houses with Ted!”
And birdie girl, I am so grateful that you are exactly who you are. A stubborn, independent, shoe-loving, freaking adorable kid. You make your dad’s and my life crazier, happier, and full of love.