Happy First Birthday, Isabella

I woke you up last night when I went in to check on you before going to bed. I didn't mean to. It was an accident, but the light in the hallway must have shined a bit too brightly onto your crib. You immediately sat up, a confused look on your face, and began to cry. I tried to make a quick escape, hoping you would think it all a bad dream and go back to sleep. But you're too smart to be fooled like that. So I scooped you up. You put your little head on my shoulder. We sat in the glider in your room, and I rocked you. I rubbed your back and stroked your fine hair, which is so much like my own. And although it was late and I was so tired, there wasn't a place on earth I'd rather be.

For today you are one year old, Isabella, and holding you in my arms as I did when you were first born allowed me to recapture, if only for an hour, your fleeting babyhood. If only you could stay this small forever.

At 10:30am on this day one year ago, you came into this world amid massive familial fanfare. There were almost 20 people in the hospital waiting room, each of them anticipating your arrival.

But perhaps none more so than I. Your birth made me a mom, which is something I truly thought I would never experience. Your father and I tried for two years to have you. To say you were truly wanted and loved from the second we knew you were on your way is an understatement.
And somehow right before my eyes (and seemingly overnight), you have grown from the tiny baby you were when we first brought you home...

to a very sweet, active, vocal, and opinionated one year old.

What an amazing year it's been.

At one year old, it is clear to me that your personality will most likely mirror my own. You are strong-willed, and although you can't talk yet, you have opinions, and you find ways to express them, most especially by pointing at things with your index finger. But you also have your father's sense of humor. Your laugh is the sweetest sound I've ever heard.

You still don't have teeth, and frankly when you do finally get one and your smile is transformed, I'm not sure I'll recognize you, since I've been looking at your gummy grin for so long. You're standing up without much wobbling lately, and I think in another month or so, you'll be walking. You give hugs now, in addition to kisses, and you've started dancing to music whenever you hear it playing.

And my favorite accomplishment of yours in the last month: you are finally saying "mama" on a regular basis.

You are not the perfect child, contrary to what your grandmas and aunts believe. You hate your stroller, which makes walks and shopping trips unpleasant to say the least. And your eating habits are at times odd. I firmly believe you would be content eating from a cheese board for three meals a day. This is yet another trait you probably get from me.

To celebrate your birthday, your Aunt Karrie is coming to visit from Seattle with a special surprise. Your grammy from Lake Placid is on her way. And your nana from Florida is already here. You'll have a few presents today, but your party in on Saturday. With over 30 people (all but a handful, family members), I hope you're not overwhelmed. Given the crowd that follows your every move, however, I don't think you'll have a problem.

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby girl. Being your mom is an amazing and fulfilling gift. You've shown me what it means to have my heart living outside of my body. Because of you, I now know what the strength of mother-love is all about.

19 Responses to “Happy First Birthday, Isabella”

  1. # Blogger Kris

    AH! You just made me cry! I can't believe how fast this year has gone. I distinctly remember when Isabella was born, because I was SOOO jealous and ready to not be pregnant anymore myself! This can't mean that Brody is going to be one soon, right? I mean, he's still my baby! =)  

  2. # Blogger Editorgirl

    Oh Kristi - I too, had tears in my eyes reading your post! There really is nothing like the bond and love between a mother and her child. Happy Birthday to Isabella and give yourself a big pat on the back - you're a wonderful mother and that grin on your baby girl's face is evidence of that. Have fun at the party - lots of love, L  

  3. # Anonymous Melissa Garrett

    Happy Birthday! What a pretty girl ;-)  

  4. # Blogger Marie

    Happy birthday Isabella! And happy 1-year of motherhood, Kristi!! The time has flown.  

  5. # Blogger l

    I can't believe it's already been one year. You, Isabella and Rich have done so much in the past year. I can't even think of anything impressionable that I've done in the last month! Happy first birthday, Isabella!  

  6. # Blogger sunShine

    Happy Birthday Isabella. I remember that day a year ago waiting for the news. That was a beautiful post!  

  7. # Blogger My Wombinations

    Happy Birthday to an adorable little girl! I have so enjoyed reading her first year's adventures.  

  8. # Blogger M

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ISABELLA! I still remember waiting to hear the news as you went in for your c-section! I just scheduled Maddy's 1 year pictures...and the photographer said "A year already???" My thoughts exactly.  

  9. # Blogger Damselfly

    Ah, I'm getting misty-eyed. Happy birthday to Isabella and to you on becoming a mom! Wow!  

  10. # Blogger Shannon

    happy birthday you cutie... I really think at times personality wise her and Lore could be twins lol... hope you have a fab party and get to make a big mess... but be nice to mommy!  

  11. # Blogger kenju

    I can't believe it's been a year! Happy birthday, Isabella. Kristi, I hope you will print this post and put it in her baby book. I can only imagine how wonderful she will feel when she reads it in the years to come.  

  12. # Blogger Christine

    A bit late, but still...


    You guys must be so, so proud of her.  

  13. # Blogger Beagle

    Happy Birthday Sweet Isabella!  

  14. # Anonymous sher

    I also had tears in my eyes, and a sappy grin on my face as I read this post. What a wonderful thing it has been to read about you and the marvelous Isabella these months. Happy Birthday Queen Isabella! And many more! You are loved by so many people!  

  15. # Blogger Ramona

    Happy First Birthday, Beautiful Isabella!
    And Happy First year of Motherhood, Beautiful Kristi!
    Have a wonderful party!!  

  16. # Blogger Laura McIntyre

    Happy First birthday , your daughter sounds adorable.  

  17. # Anonymous lisanne

    HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, ISABELLA!!! Such a *sweet* blog entry. Aww ... she will treasure reading that when she's older. Sounds like she is surrounded by *so* much love it's unreal. What a cutie! I remember holding Lucas during the night around his first birthday and thinking the same thing, that it reminded me of when I held him in the hospital on the day that he was born. :)  

  18. # Blogger The Princess

    When on earth did this happen?

    Wasn't she just 6 months old like last month?

    I guess time does fly by when you are that precious!!

    Happy 1st!  

  19. # Blogger anne

    Belatedly - Happy Birthday, Isabella! You are so much loved by family and friends... and also by relative strangers such as myself. You are a beautiful, beautiful little girl. Yay for one year!

    Kristi - what a lovely tribute to your daughter on her first birthday. You brought tears to my eyes as well. Congratulations again on having such a lovely girl. I'm so glad you write about being a mom with such heart and honesty.

    Best to your whole family,

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