I remember this time last year saying to you, "Ellie in my belly, it's time to come out and meet your mommy!" I am posting this as we are getting ready to leave for your first birthday party at Lil' Gym. You have so many friends coming to celebrate with you, it shows what an amazing little person you already are. You attract people with your spirit and your infectious (but sometimes devilish) laugh. You take after your Mimi the way you attract people and you take after your daddy with your comedic sense of humor.
Even though you may not remember this week, it was pretty spectacular. Your Mimi came out last Sunday and while I worked, you played with her and loved her. You always learn and experience so many new things with her- new words (remember in December she taught you uh-oh?! And this week, you can now moo when she asks you what sound a cow makes!), new songs, new books (you are now obsessed with Elmo), new foods (Cream of Wheat being one messy new one that I will not make you often), new dances... And the time that I did get to spend after work with you, we were busy. I am so happy that Mimi expects to be out shopping, eating, and having fun with you tagging along. In Mimi's world, she says the more the merrier- no matter how young! And Ellie-girl, you rose to the occasion being on your best behavior.
And then your Poppy came out later in the week and you sure love him, especially playing on the floor with him. And how clearly you can say his name, "Hi Poppy!"
I have to say that my birthday was a little sweeter this year (literally, as I got to enjoy a yummy glass of wine unlike last year when I was preggo!!!). No matter how old I get, I will always appreciate March 19. I think because it's a testament to what came before and all the many things I have to live for still.
I already know what Mimi got you for your birthday (but you have to wait 2 days to see for yourself) and it's pretty great. As for me, my best birthday present as I've said before was you. And then of course, the year before you came, my dad (your Poppy) came up with the idea of setting up a scholarship for your brother Kyle and put the initial money in the account to start it off. Wow- a gift like that truly is a gift that continues to give and brings me comfort in knowing that Kyle lives on.
But my favorite tangible thing/gift was my Christmas present in 4th grade from Santa Clause. He brought me a trunk filled with prom dresses, wedding dresses, high heels, all kinds of costume jewelry, hats, and more (all from the consignment store as I've heard). The gift brought endless hours of imagination to me and my friends that year. My 2nd favorite gift of all-time was Christmas during my 3rd grade year. Santa surprised me with a vanity set filled with Cover Girl make-up... all colors of eye shadow, nail polish, and lipstick. I'm not sure if anyone taught me how to put it on (as many would argue that I still love all color and glitter and I tend not to agree with the saying less is more because really more is more!). Another favorite is a few years back, Ryan saw all of our VHS tapes (that contained family memories- holidays, birthdays, recitals...) disintegrating in the storage room. He painstakingly scanned each one into a set of DVDs and gave a copy to each of us. It probably didn't cost him much but the amount of his time that he spent to lovingly save those precious memories was priceless. And now because of him, we still have all of our family's memories preserved through the years (and Ellie can watch Ryan and I sing the 12 Days of Christmas in that pitiful but hilarious rendition). And then there's your incredibly generous Aunt Joanne... she spoils us every chance she gets... for my 16th birthday, the most exciting and biggest gift was waiting in my driveway from her- a magenta Jeep Wrangler! Yup, I drove the Barbie car through high school and it was awesome! And now that I am older, your dad is extremely good at picking out jewelry. He even remembered the "push present" gifts for you and Kyle (even though I technically didn't push!)- your dad is a pretty spectacular guy. Yes Ellie, diamonds really are a girl's best friend and size does matter (and little blue boxes are the best kind to open next to David Yurman)! Mimi, what was your best gift? Was it the year that Dad worked so much overtime to buy you that beautiful diamond ring when I was about 7 years old? I still remember your face as you opened up that present.
Ellie, in all seriousness, gifts are fun yes (and truly your dad will tell you that I am materialistic and love presents). But you need to remember two things. One, always show your gratitude- write hand-written thank you notes and tell people how they affected you. And two, the best gift is the gift of giving. I bet Mimi will tell you that shopping for those dress up clothes in the trunk and the make-up for the vanity was much better than any gift she got that year because she saw that look of pure joy on an unexpected child. Give back Ellie. Find what brings people joy and bring smiles to the world. We don't get to give Kyle gifts anymore so we give to members of the community in his honor. Already, at almost one year old, you give us your gift of laughter. Don't ever lose that.
I love you Sweet Pea and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us. It's hard for me to imagine that it can get any better than it already is now.
PS Any luck Mimi on the trio name?
So for me, this week has been absolutely wonderful! I loved Celebrating each and every hour with you. Getting down on the floor to play, reading books... especially Elmo's Sing Along, chatting in a nonsensical and silly voice with you, watching you play telephone with my shoe, the coaster and even your hand held to your ear, and giggling... lots of giggling has made this week a cherished memory etched in my heart for always! And yours and your mommy's birthday is kind of like the icing on the cake! It completes my smile! Of course seeing you interact with your Poppy brings smiles too as he is so gentle with you even though you encourage him to be rough and tough, especially on the couch with all the pillows! I love how you laugh when one of our fingers pokes up from between the cushions and you try to grab it thinking it is a wiggly worm and it slips through your tiny fingers!... And we repeat this playtime over and over getting the same reaction from you!