I'm writing this an hour early but since Ella is asleep for the night, the next time I see her she will be 3! Plus, my only chance for reflection is when she is sleeping :).
Ella's birthday makes me very nostalgic. Tonight I'm thinking about the night before she was born, I stayed up late writing thank-you notes for my work shower and had many plans for all of the things we needed to get done that weekend (it was a Friday night) to get ready for her arrival. I had stayed a few hours late at work and transfered all my files off the server onto my laptop, in case I wanted to start working from home the following week. Little did we know she'd be here the next day!
January 5, 2008 changed our lives forever. Ella came into the world as a sweet adorable baby that relied on us for her every need, and being her mother the last 3 years has been the most incredible thing I've ever done. She is now an amazing little girl, and although she still relies on us to meet the majority of her needs, our job has become so different - in some ways it is much easier, but is much more challenging at the same time.
This birthday doesn't feel like a surprise to me in that I can absolutely believe that she is 3, she has changed so much since her 2nd birthday. We said goodbye to her binky, she has been potty trained for a few months, and sleeps in her big girl bed. She is a big helper around the house and helps with dishes, cooking, laundry, feeding our pets, and picking up her toys and clothes.
I love her personality - she is sweet, silly, and talks nonstop. She tells me stories, asks many many questions, and loves to pretend. She is shy when she is around new people and big crowds, and takes time to warm up to new situations. She has 2 best friends at school that she thinks about and talks about all the time, and misses them when she doesn't see them for a few days. She is loving and empathetic and very affectionate. She is also very feisty and strong-willed, and knows exactly how she wants things to be. She likes things to be orderly and neat and wants everything in its proper place.
Her memory is incredible - I can always count on her to remind me of anything I ask her to remind me of, and she'll talk about events and small occurrences that I didn't even realize would've made an impression on her. She is very observant and notices anything that doesn't seem to be the way it should.
Physically, I think she looks a lot older - her hair has grown so much, and it has kept its curl but is getting lighter. She is taller and thinner than she used to be. I think her face has lost all of it's baby-ness although she still has adorable chubby cheeks.
She has become more self-aware and will tell me to not laugh at her if I laugh at something she says. She is just so funny and cute that sometimes it is so hard to keep a straight face. There are times when she'll be telling me something and her speech, expressions and gestures are so priceless that I wish I could freeze that exact moment in time forever.
It has been quite the year, and I am very excited to celebrate Ella's birthday, especially now that she understands birthdays and is really looking forward to it!
To my sweet angel Isela Marie,
Thank you for a wonderful 3 years. Daddy and I love you more than words can say, and thank God every day for the blessing of you. You have turned us into a family and bring us more happiness than we thought possible. It is a privilege to be your Mommy. Happy 3rd Birthday my sweet girl!!