Happy Second Birthday, Isabella

My sweet baby girl,

It was two years ago this morning, at exactly 10:30am, when you made your entrance into this world. You began life as an ever-alert infant, loathing your naps, clinging to your mama, and never missing a chance to express your opinions. Two years later, I see you navigating the world around you in much the same way, demonstrating that in some respects, you are my baby still. You prefer to be carried rather than to walk on your own. You're still vocal about what you want and when you want it, and you never did get the hang of the two-hour nap.

Yet in so many other ways, you've grown up and apart from me, and as happy as I am to witness your strengthening independence and your developing personality, there's a part of me who would love to have you willing to snuggle close to me forever.

This past year has marked the emergence of your true self. You are so much like your mother. We are an impatient, demanding, opinionated, and vocal duo. We are not easy-going, roll-with-it girls. This has caused friction, and luckily your father, on the polar-opposite end of the personality spectrum, is always there to mediate. You are lucky to have him for your Daddy.

But your strong personality comes with something special. You learned early on how to articulate your needs (and your wants), and your vocabulary is nothing short of amazing. You are speaking in full and complete sentences, often consisting of 10 words or more. You have memorized some of the books we read you and songs we sing you, and you recite them back to yourself when you're awake and playing in your crib in the morning. You are amazingly empathetic, sensitive, and able to express your emotions, telling departing family members that you will "miss them" when they leave our house, telling us that you "wuv" us, apologizing when your temper causes you to lash out, telling us we "scared" you when you're startled, and crying yourself when you sense that those around you are in pain.

Twice in the last week, when you saw me wearing clothes I hadn't worn in awhile, you told me, "You look so pretty, mommy." And when you saw me bringing three rolls of toilet paper into the bathroom, you first asked me "What doing?" When I told you I was bringing toilet paper into the bathroom, you said, "That's too many." (Surely, you are a genius.) When I told you two were for later usage, you said, "Good idea." Other favorites of the moment include, "Don't worry about it" when we tell you to be careful, and "I'm busy" when we need you to stop what you're doing.

You talk all day, from morning until night. Much like your mother, you always have something to say.

You are naturally curious, and constantly ask, "What doing?", "Who's that?", "What's next?", and "Where's Isabella going?".

You love playing outside, and our neighbor's dog, Scarlet is your best friend. You love giving her a bowl of water to drink from, and you squeal with joy when she licks your hards. In fact, you're fascinated with all dogs, and as a result, you know the names of most dogs in our neighborhood. And because of your outgoing and social personality, they know you too. You have earned our neighbor's nickname for you as the Mayor of our street.

Big changes are coming to your life later this year. In a few short months, you'll become a big sister, and my greatest fear right now is not that I won't have enough love for you, your sister, and your brother, but that you will somehow feel short-changed of my time and my affection. I hope you will always remember that you were my first-born, the baby I thought I would never have, and because of this you are uniquely special to me. I will treasure the time we spent alone together, because it was you who taught me how to be a mom. Our bond is unbreakable, and will never change. I promise you that. And let me assume you that as a "first child" myself, I know how special we are to our families. Just as it's been since the day you were born, you will never want for love and attention.

So happy birthday, sweet daughter of mine. You have changed my life in so many ways, and it is my greatest joy to watch the person you are becoming.

The super-cool photo of Isabella is courtesy of the amazingly talented and way-too-humble Ness, who offered her readers the chance to email her their photos for an "extreme makeover." Thank you, Ness!

18 Responses to “Happy Second Birthday, Isabella”

  1. # Blogger Damselfly

    Yay! I get to be first to wish Isabella a happy birthday! She's such a beautiful and smart little girl, and I hope she has a great day and another amazing year while becoming a big sister.

    And happy birthday to you, Kristi, on becoming a mama.  

  2. # Anonymous Ness

    Happy Birthday Isab(ella)! Lots of love and hugs from your web aunty Ness! :)

    P.s. thanks for the linkage and the compliments...**blush**  

  3. # Blogger Jesser

    Great retrospective on your little one. You're truly blessed. Love the sel color photo too. Great job!  

  4. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Happy Birthday, Isabella! You are such a special little girl. :-)

    You already have a friend in Bridget who now knows "that's Isabwella" whenever she's sees you on the computer.

    We all can't wait to meet you, your mommy, and your daddy in September.

    Have a terrific 2nd birthday!

    Congrats Mom & Dad on a job well done!  

  5. # Blogger Mom24

    What a beautiful retrospective on Isabella. I'm sure there were times you never thought you would be where you are now. The picture is great too. Wonderful birthday post. I hope she has a great day.

    Just remember--she will never remember what it was like without her brother and sister. Sharing you will be normal for her, it will be fine. It is hard sometimes, but it's hard sometimes not having siblings too. I've had kids that have experienced both. IMO, with what I've seen with my kids, the sibling relationship adds so much to their lives, it's worth having to share mommy and the other sacrifices.  

  6. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    Happy birthday Isabella! Where has the time gone?

    I love reading about what she's up to, as I've told you before. P does not say "don't worry about it", just "don't worry", but always in the right context. Food dropped on the floor - Don't worry Mum! She also likes to say, "no problem", ie, "Thank you for handing me that P", "No problem Mum!" What a great age, huh?

    I hope you all have a wonderful day!  

  7. # Blogger Riley & Tiki

    Happy Birthday, Isabella!! We are also two. Two is good!!  

  8. # Anonymous Jenny


  9. # Blogger Tracey

    Happy Birthday, Isabella!!  

  10. # Blogger Shannon

    Hippy hoppy birthday, Isabella! When I turned 2 years old, I shrieked for Smokey Bear when my mom lit the candles on my cake. You sound like you're probably more savvy than I was at that age. ;)  

  11. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    That is such a sweet and wonderful post! I hope she has a happy day!
    And there's an award for Mommy over at my blog!  

  12. # Blogger Editorgirl

    What an absolutely beautiful post Kristi! I'm sure Isabella will have tears in her eyes many years from now when she reads it (as I did). Happy Birthday beautiful girl!  

  13. # Blogger shokufeh

    Happy Birthday, Isabella! It's hard to believe you're two already.  

  14. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    Happy Birthday, Isabella!  

  15. # Blogger Thalia

    oh you made me cry! Happy Birthday Isabella, we're so pleased to know you.  

  16. # Blogger My Wombinations

    Happy birthday sweet girl! We are so glad to know you.  

  17. # Blogger Marie

    Happy birthday Isabella! And a big hug & kiss from your future prom date, Little Man K.  

  18. # Blogger beagle

    Awwww . . .

    Love the artsy photo too!  

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