Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to You: 5 Years Old

Dear Anabella,

On January 30 you turned five years old.

Birthday girl at her PJ party.


I mean where do I even begin? Other than to point out that this year has been huge, HUGE I SAY! I guess I can start with a quick run through of just a few of the tiny little life events that you have experienced this past year:

January 2012: You turn four years old
March 2012: You learn that in about 6 months time you will become a big sister
July 2012: You say good-bye to your second home, your second family, at Downtown Kids Academy and start at a brand-new daycare at the school next door
July 2012: We lose our beloved Moet, your furry pal and someone who has been a big part of your life since the day you arrived
September 2012: You start Junior Kindergarten
September 2012: Your baby sister arrives
October 2012 through January 2013: You learn to live with a whole new person in our house and in our hearts

January 30, 2013, you turn 5 years old.

Yeah. So just a few life-altering, gigantic, massive, confusing, disruptive, exciting, devastating, mind-blowing adjustments. Just a few.

Putting myself in the picture. In a bathing suit. At 8 months pregnant. Eat your heart out, Allison Tate.

And I have to tell you Bella, that although there have been some obvious emotional hurdles to leap, not just for you but for all of us, you are leaping them with as much grace and confidence and style and humour and intellegence that I could have possibly hoped a little four (almost five) year old kid could leap with. I hope you know that your dad and I are accutely aware of how huge this year has been for you. How hard it has been at times. And how obnoxiously proud we are of you for how you are handling it all.

Pre-school prom day and last week at Downtown Kids Academy.

First day of JK.

Despite the rollercoaster of a year you have endured, you have still blossomed. I don't know if it's just my perspective because we have a true baby in the house again but you have shed the last of your babyness this year. You have stretched tall and ironed out the double wrists and pot belly. Your face is changing by the day and your legs are long and coltish. I know you are still getting used to your new, long, lean body but I love to watch you use it. When you dance. When you stretch out like a lazy teenager on the couch, all draping limbs and rolling eyes. When you demonstrate the yoga moves you've learned at school or hop awkwardly around the dining room table. I marvel at this body you have now. How can it be the same one that I gathered in my arms and fed from my body just a handful of short years ago? I want you to always take care of it, respect it and always insist that others respect it too.

Spring, 2012. See that belly and those baby wrists? All gone.

But more of a marvel is the development of your mind. My God are you smart. This year you learned to read and write. Just like that you can do it now. I don't even know how it happened, except one day you were writing your name, and then you were writing my name, and then you were writing sentences and spelling words on command and asking questions, questions always with the questions. Never stop asking questions, they are your key to true success in this world.

Big sister.

And yet, despite all the growing and maturing you have done this year, you are still so little. You are my little girl and at times I have to stop and remind myself of this simple yet beautiful fact.  You are small, you are sensitive and you are hungry for the attention that until just six months ago you had all to yourself. I get it sweet baby girl. I really do. And I am trying so hard to give it to you. It's true that I'm tired and busy with the baby and that sometimes it's a struggle to give you 100 per cent but I want you to know that you are and always will be my lady, my first, my heart and my soul.

My heart and soul.

Sometimes I look at you in a moment of calm, when the light is just right and the family is at peace and I can see both the baby you once were and the woman you'll one day become. In those fleeting moments it's clear that we have done a good job, your father and I. Us and all the other villagers that are helping to raise you and to teach you. You're a good girl, Anabella. You are perfect.

When the light is just right.

I love you so much.

You are so beautiful.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to You: Everley Edition: 5 Months Old

Author's Note: OMG I'm so behind on posting and I'm feeling so guilty about it, especially about not having posted about my big girl turning five years old - which happened. She turned five years old. Five. Years. Old. And I will be posting about that soon, even if it's mostly pictures because for some reason I can't seem to find the time to sit here and actually write. And that reason quite frankly is you, my little Everley. That reason is you.

Dear Everley,

Eating everything all the time.
 On February 21 you turned five months old. And just as a fair warning to anyone who might take issue, this will be a post whereby I compare my fresh little newbornish baby to the stinky, snorty late family dog. Because particularly after your fourth month I'm convinced that you are at least partially Moet reincarnated. Here are five reasons why:

1. How You React When You are Excited
It's very easy to get you excited. Basically all one needs to do is a) walk into the same room as you, b) look at you, c) speak. When any one of these three things occur you get very wiggly, you exhibit excessive panting and your eyes light up like firecrackers on Victoria Day. It's pretty much the exact same reaction that Moet had due to the exact same stimuli. If you had a little curly tail, I'm pretty sure it would be wagging right now.


2. Your Eyebrows
If you knew Moet, or you know pugs, you'll know that they have these cute little dots for eyebrows, hovering excitedly just over those big brown eyes. Moet was always very expressive with his dot-brows, if he anticipated something he'd sit, frozen, not moving a muscle, and just raise one little dot, or furrow the two together just slightly. These tiny movements spoke volumes and always made me laugh. You do the same thing. Exactly the same thing with your eyebrows (which are growing in very nicely this month, btw). 

See those little brows just peeking up over the card? They are saying, feed me soon or I'll start scratching on stuff.

3. The Scratching
Lordy, my Lord the scratching! This is what clued me in to the fact that you are part Moet. One of Moet's most hilarious (and infuriating) habits was to scratch on walls, doors or floors when he wanted something. He used it as a threat, one paw hovering near a surface while he stared you down for a moment and raised an eyebrow,  "You gonna move, lady? 'Cause I'm about to scratch the shit out of this wall if you don't get your ass up and feed me." This ruined a lot of walls and caused a lot of laughs. You do the same thing. You scratch the wall while on your change table, the sheets in your crib, my chest while you are nursing. Scratch, scratch, scratch, little deliberate movements that say, "Pay attention to me, please, or I will claw you up until you do."

4. Your Appetite
Just like Moet was, you are insatiable. You love to eat. You would eat all day long if I let you. This month we are still exclusively on breast milk but solids are in your very near future because I can't keep up with you anymore. I can't wait to introduce you to the world of food and I know you are going to love it. Just promise me you will always stay away from the wild mushrooms. 

5. General Disposition, Attitude and Unconditional Lovemuffinness
You are my ever loyal companion. You are such a joy. All you want from anyone is a smile and a pat. You love to be scratched and tickled. You are happiest when I'm sitting with you, singing or chatting or cuddling. This month we had our first family vacation with you in tow and you are an excellent travel companion. Easy going, adaptable and curious, you just wanted to be held and fed (see above: Your Appetite). Moet didn't get the chance to travel much, but he loved the car and would settle in and relax whenever we hit the road.

Maxin' and relaxin' in Playa.

 I'm sad that you will not get to meet him, but feel blessed that you are just a little bit like him.

Being just a little bit Moet-like with the eating and the eyebrows.

I love you,