An Open Letter to My Daughter on Her 1st Birthday

My dearest Isabella,

Today you are 1 and I feel robbed. A day that should be full of celebrations has my eyes tinged red as tears flow down my face. My newborn is gone. My toothless, non-babbling, laying still little person has disappeared. Yes, I am excited for your growth and it is nothing but pure joy to see you become the little person you are meant to be, but my heartaches wishing you were my tiny baby just a little bit longer. See, you’re our last baby. The last one we get to bring home from the hospital and the last one that we get to stare at in awe of just how awesome God is. So yeah, mum, as you call me, is quite sad today.

But I’m also amazingly satisfied and proud. You are 1 and sassy. People that meet you say “she doesn’t take any stuff, does she?” and you don’t. Not from anyone. You stick up for yourself against your big sister, and you give your daddy and I a run for our money. Your giddy smile makes my heart want to burst. It’s contagious. I can’t be melancholy when I look at you. That smile races through my body wrapping me up in the heat of your pure joy.

20160907_212417

Some say you look like me, a few say you look like your daddy, a lot say you look like your grandma Sylvia, and that makes me so proud. I pray you always resemble her, keeping her memory alive. Before I knew I was pregnant I had a dream that on a sunny day in a building in DC I stepped out to meet her. She handed me a stack of baby clothes and some money. She was so happy. I asked her if she wanted to come in and meet Johanna but she said she couldn’t, but she was so happy to give me that stack. I had no clue that she was trying to tell me that another miracle was headed my way and to get ready.

20160918_190826

Since that day you and I have gone through a lot, including laying up in George Washington University Hospital together. I was so worried about your life, and mine. I had really bad anxiety and panic attacks due to being stuck in one room looking at the same 4 walls every day, rarely allowed to leave since I was on pretty strict hospital bedrest due to preeclampsia. But you still had your nightly dance parties in my belly and they let me see you via ultrasound at least once a week. A lot of times you were sleep, sometimes you turned your back on us, but one time you were laying there just blinking at me as if to say hey lady, when does the party really get started? I’m ready to bust out this joint. And eventually we both did. You had a short stay in the NICU my little IUGR baby, pulling out your feeding tube every chance you got until they finally decided not to put it back in. A fighter. You’ve always been a fighter, a survivor. Now I’m watching you thrive.

20160929_091254

You’re still petite and look younger than most 1 year olds, but you are fierce. You are also very loving and compassionate. If your sister is crying you go rub her leg and check on her. Sometimes when I’m upset you’ll lay your precious head in my lap. You could afford to be a little kinder to Pepper though. I know you like him and are intrigued by him, but there are better ways of loving on him than pulling out his fur/hair and chewing on his ear.

IMG_9807

Isabella. I named you Isabella because one day God told me I was going to have a daughter named Isabell… I couldn’t figure out if he was saying Isabelle or Isabella. I hate the nickname Belle so I went with Isabella. Oddly enough when I was pregnant your Grandma Sylvia showed up in a dream to your Aunt Carol telling her you would be named Isabell…Aunt Carol wasn’t sure if it was Isabella or Isabel either. But I knew you were meant to be and seeing the meaning of Isabella I knew that you were special and that me having the opportunity to raise you was going to be a great gift that I should handle with care. Isabella – Devoted to God. What a powerful name for such a powerful baby.

for blog1

I could go on and on reminiscing, thinking about all the great things that make you YOU, but you see, it’s 9am and you are smacking your sister in the face trying to wake her up. Next you will sit on her head, as you normally do, but this morning you’ve already pooed and I just can’t let you do that to her. But I’ll end this by saying I adore you. Thank you for giving me another chance to be a mom to a newborn. Thank you for allowing me to give breastfeeding another shot, even if it still didn’t work for me. Thank you for allowing me to witness a baby’s firsts again. What joy that has brought me. Thank you for the gift of you. You’re unlike anyone I know and I love that. I pray that this year as you grow, I grow too, and that we continue to learn a lot from one another. That you continue to laugh hard and embrace the love that surrounds you from us every day. Happy birthday, Isabella. You’re amazing.

for blog2

Happy Birthday, JoJo Bean

I know that I have been MIA, and I have loved it. Don’t get me wrong, I have missed you all, but I needed the break. I had so much jam packed into December that something had to give, for my sanities sake. Unfortunately blogging was that thing. But I’m back today for a very special reason. In 4 hours one of the most important days of the year will be over. My babygirl Johanna was born on January 12,2011 at 8:24pm and my world changed instantly. She is now 4 years old and I have no clue where the time as gone. Even as her birthday came I saw her personality become a little more mature. There’s pride in her voice when she says she’s 4 years old. It’s totally a big deal for her and I love it. But I’ve created a little bit of a monster…

This summer Hannie said “ooo, I know what I want for my birthday. A my little pony party!”. So since summer I have been gathering items to make that wish come true. But I knew that I would be exhausted so I figured we needed some kind of activity to go with that. Why not an indoor pool party? She loves the water, so it was the perfect fit!

Here are some of the photos from our pony party. The setup was taken before we were done setting up so please forgive the lack of signs to tell you what everything is. Also, please forgive me for there not being a real pony at the party. Johanna wasn’t understanding why that wasn’t possible…:

The Invitation. I had so much fun making this invite. It was colorful, and anything but boring inside, including a little treat for the guests.

IMG_20141209_162359The party table for our little guests. I eventually tied enough balloons to the chairs so that each of them would have one to take home with them. And you can’t see the signs I made from this angle but there was Spikes Chips and Dip, Rainbow Dash Fruit, and Princess Celestia Veggie Platter.

DSCN0183   Rarity’s Nail Polish Salon

DSCN0211Pinky Pie’s Pony Bling

DSCN0191Rainbow dash sunglasses!

20150110_183755

The treats table! I will place the photos of the labels at the bottom if you would like to download them.

DSCN0198I was so proud and happy to be able to make this cake for Johanna. She wanted lots of sprinkles, so that’s what I gave her!

IMG_20150111_201420Shoes I painted for the birthday girl. One shoe was Rainbow dash, the other was fluttershy!

IMG_20140922_021438

Time to sing happy birthday! I absolutely adored this single candle. It put on a great show!

DSCN0230candle1The cutie mark crusaders! So cute. The face painter did an AWESOME job!

DSCN0237DSCN0224Here are some of the posters we had up at the party. Such great work!

*dash&johanna3 watermarked1

all about johannaI am so happy the party is over. There are plenty of details I didn’t capture, like the waterbottles, orthe pinky pie punch, but it’s ok lol. I’m exhausted, and I’m just happy the birthday girl is happy.

Face Painter – fabulousfacepaintingbynatasha.com
Balloons – Party City
Poster 1 – Angie (contact me for contact info)
Poster 2 – Fiverr (contact me for contact info)
Cups – amazon
Sunglasses – amazon

applejacksapples  fluttershyscookies  PC Sugar Clouds Pinkie Pie Lemonade   PT Magical Oreos copy - Copy   Raritys Cinnamon Roll Pops RD Fruit Tray   Spikes Chips and Dip