Dear Isabella (aka Bella Mella, Bella, Izzy, Bell Mell),
Happy one year birthday, sweetheart! I cannot believe one year has arrived already.
You know how Momma always tells you that time flies when you're having fun?
I can say from this past year that it has, it truly has!
I knew you were going to be a girl. I knew it! Momma had what I like to call, 'Momma instinct' (so remember that one in the future...I'll always know what you're up to....).
I loved everything about your first year. Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, seeing your first smile, hearing that first hearty laugh that I know all too well (hey, Papa, remember how you made her laugh and laugh? That was funny!), seeing you hold your head and neck up, sitting up alone, cruising, dancing, teething, eating baby cereal at Mema and Papa's, eating baby food, eating grown up food, hearing your first words and walking.
I loved it all, honey.
Because of you I wake up every morning happy to have you here in this world. Happy that I somehow got the best.baby.girl.ever! (Wait, are you still a baby?! Or a toddler?! Well, in my eyes you are still my baby, m'kay?)
Because of you I try to be the best person that I can be. The best Momma that I can be. The best role model that I can be.
I have also learned some valuable lessons from your first year that I want to pass on to you for when you are a Momma:
1) Never turn your back--even for a second--on a baby on a bed. Never.
2) Never put a dog in their crate after pooping on the living room floor BEFORE cleaning said poop up. You will be in for a horrible surprise.
3) Never let a baby think that the remote control, cell phone, keys, calculator are toys. Because they are not. And then when you try to tell a certain little one no....well, lets just say things will get ugly. Real ugly.
4) Never let others tell you how to raise your child. This is your time to live and learn--others have done it and now you can do it. Example: you would only take naps being held. You would also only sleep at nite if you felt someone next to you. Everyone would tell me how bad that was. I let it roll off my back because in my heart I knew someday you would be ready. And you are now. You are a great sleeper and no longer need me (did anyone see my eyes fill up with tears? Because they did....).
5) Always dance with your little one. You and I love to dance. In fact, when you hear certain songs on Noggin you come up to me with your arms open and ready. I drop everything to dance with you, my sweet girl, everything.
6) When you prepare for your baby's arrival you will say such non-sense as: 'When MY baby is here I will NEVER go a day without showering. I will NEVER have my baby cry in public. I will NEVER allow myself to go out in public without makeup.' Because guess what...you will most likely do a majority of those things that you said you would never do....and you won't even care.
7) Always keep reading and read to your little one(s). Knowledge is power my dear and reading is a great way to gain knowledge. You are a bookworm now (just like me) and I am hoping you will keep that fantastic trait and pass it on.
So, my sweet little Bella Mella, on this first birthday I want you to know that I love you. I care for you. And I will always be here for you. To laugh with you, to dry your tears, to mend that broken heart, to hold you when you need a hug.
We have so much to look forward to in our journey called life and I am looking forward to every single second of it.
Love always and forever,
Momma (or as you love to call me, 'mom')
A trip down memory lane....