Happy Third Birthday, Isabella

Isabella,

Today, you are three years old. Lately, when I look at you it's hard to see the baby I gave birth to on that hot and humid day three Augusts ago.

You have grown up so much in this past year, and have left toddlerdom behind completely. You are a preschooler now, and next month, on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, I will drop you off in the care of your teacher, and you will develop a world all your own. You will make friends that I didn't help you make because I happened to have clicked with their moms. You will eat snacks I didn't prepare, work on art projects I couldn't dream up on my best day, and you will learn that there is an entire universe out there that exists beyond my arms. I am so excited for you to go, but at the same time, I wish you could stay home with me forever. I'm not quite ready to let you go.

And yet you have surprised me in so many ways in the last 12 months, which shows me that you are ready for some independence. This past year you ditched the diapers and became fully potty trained. You learned that there was life after binky, you moved from your crib to your "big girl bed" (which you absolutely adore), and you learned to jump. You are braver, funnier, and much more social than you were this time last year. I think you're ready.
I'm just not so sure that I am.
The biggest change in your life over the past year happened last October, when you became the big sister to Luci and Nicholas. Instantly, you were no longer the baby, and we began insisting you act like a big girl, when really, you were still a baby at barely two when they arrived. My expectations for your behavior were probably a bit too high. Thank you for rolling with it, baby girl. I know you normally roll with it just about as well as I do (which is to say, not well at all), but you shocked us all by adjusting superbly. Your brother and sister adore you, and I am so happy to see how much you love them too.


You are my smart and beautiful daughter who is worshipped (quite literally) by your extended family, but you are not without your challenges. You are so strong-willed and defiant. You are insisting on doing things your own way lately, and you do not like to be told no. You earn your "Mini Mussolini" nickname on a daily basis.You are a mystery at times. The slightest little perceived injustice can set you off. You have much to say and do not enjoy being silenced.

In other words, you are still just like me.
Drawing is by far your favorite pastime, which gives me hope that perhaps you might have inherited your grammy's or your aunt Karrie's artistic talents. You certainly did not get your passion for art from your mother, who is herself challenged by stick figures. You also love dogs, being outside, stalking our wonderful next door neighbors whom you adore and who adore you right back, and digging in your sandbox. This is one of the few activities that can keep you busy for more than 10 minutes.


You talk from the second you wake up in the morning, until well after we've put you to bed for the night. Even when there is no one else in the room with you but your beloved stuffed bear, Charlie, you keep right on talking. Your favorite words lately are "condensation," "saliva," and "interesting," all of which you are able to use correctly and talk about in the right context. Perhaps you will grow up to be a word nerd just like your mama.

Today your family and some special friends will gather for your last birthday party at grandma's house. Next year, we'll have a house large enough to accommodate everyone. And while everyone clamors for your attention, asks you for one little kiss or just one small hug, or sneaks you an extra piece of cake or a fistful of crackers when you've already had 20 just to see your sweet little face break out in its trademarked "I'm getting away with something, aren't I?" smile, I'll be watching and remembering how I felt the day you were born.

Happy birthday, baby girl. Your birth made me a mom against all odds, and I will never forget what incredible joy you brought to my life on that day, and on every day since.

15 Responses to “Happy Third Birthday, Isabella”

  1. # Blogger Jamie

    She is absolutely beautiful Kristi. Three. Wow.  

  2. # Blogger My Wombinations

    can't believe she is three! Happy birthday!  

  3. # Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog

    Happy Birthday, Isabella!  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    Kristi, that was absolutely beautiful writing. I'm a tad jealous of your abilities.

    Happy Birthday Isabella.  

  5. # Blogger shokufeh

    Happy Birthday, Isabella! It's hard to believe you're already three. I've enjoyed getting to know you through your mother's words.  

  6. # Blogger Veronica

    Awww... so much love! They grow up so fast!  

  7. # Blogger Debbie

    Happy birthday Isabella!  

  8. # Blogger Holly at Tropic of Mom

    "You will learn that there is an entire universe out there that exists beyond my arms." Sob! Now I don't want to send my boy to his first day of preschool on Tuesday. Somebody help me!

    What a cute, smart (condensation?!) little fireball (Mini Mussolini!). Sending her virtual hugs for her third birthday.  

  9. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    What a beautiful tribute! A very lucky family and very lucky little girl to have such a wonderful family.  

  10. # Blogger kenju

    Kristi, this makes me smile and also to tear up a little. How badly I wish that my mom had written something so special about me. I hope that you will save this and give it to Isabella when she is 16 (or maybe younger), but when she can read well and understand just how much you love her.  

  11. # Blogger In Due Time

    Thanks for making me cry!!

    Happy Birthday Isabella!!!  

  12. # Blogger Christine

    Happy Birthday Isabella! Jeez, three! I can't believe it.  

  13. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Isabella is absolutely gorgeous. :-)  

  14. # Blogger Simply-Mel

    Congrats Kristy. This is a landmark age....I am loving my 3yr old Hooligan!  

  15. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    Still...catching...up. Happy belated birthday Isabella!

    It's hard to believe they're three, isn't it? Yikes. I still maintain that Isabella and P in the same room would yield a coup of epic proportions. Maybe one day!  

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