Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dear Stella (Happy Half Birthday)

A letter for Stella....

Dear Stella, 

Happy "Half Birthday" Bug! I seriously cannot believe you are already 18 months old!! I feel like I just held you in the hospital for the first time yesterday, even though I have completely forgetten what life was like before you were in it. I love seeing the new things you learn, and am more and more proud of you each day, even though I hate it all at the same time. Every second you get bigger, is another second closer to you growing old. 

Even though you are still considered a "baby", you are already an independent little lady. I could tell you were going to be a free spirit from the start. When you were in my tummy you definitely made it known that you were here and wanted OUT!!! From the progesterone treatments, the bed rest, the nausea, the heart burn, and the dreaded PUPPS rash, you were going to give me a run for my money. Then there was the 30 hour labor, followed by the emergency c-section, followed by the week long stay in the NICCU. You were one big 8 lbs 13 oz baby in that little incubator next to your neighboring 2 lb friends. You were a fighter from the beginning! I will never forget how blessed we were to be  taking you home to your pretty pink nursery, while other Moms and Dads had to resort to daily visits in the hospital for months on end. 

Just home from the hospital you were already lifting your head. By 5 months you were sitting up on your own. Six months old , you were crawling all over the house. By an astonishing 10 months you were off and walking all by yourself. Now 18 months old you are already a " big girl". You won't let anybody feed you (you prefer to do that yourself). You can control the iPad and all your favorite apps  (heaven forbid Mommy is on Pinterest for 5 min, because the iPad is for visiting Small World or "Yo Ho"). You even prefer to lead the way or push your own stroller. Sitting in strollers is your pet peeve, and you have a meltdown every time I strap you in. Letting me or anyone else carry you is forbidden, as you are a "big girl" and can walk all by yourself. Even though I struggle with "letting you be", as I am scared you are going to get hurt, I am so proud of the strong-willed, feisty little girl you are. It's no wonder that Ariel, Merida, and Rapunzel are your favorite Disney princesses. All adventurous, brave, and full of dreams! 

You are so much fun, and your laugh is infectious. You love your bull "doggy", "kitty", and "bath time".  Even though your doggie, Minnie, is big and buff, she is actualy a softie and lets you wrestle her to the ground. You think its hilarious when all she does is lick you. You must know Missy, the kitty is a little more feisty as you are always more gentle when petting her. Bath time is one of your favorite parts of the day, as you love to play with your mermaid dolls, and splash in the water. I am so excited to put you in swim lessons this Spring, as I know you are already a little Cali babe. One thing you recently started doing is racing. You love to put your back against the wall, and when I say " Get mark, get set, GO!", your wild child is released, and you sprint as fast as you can. It's no surprise that your favorite toy is a "baaaa" (ball), which is most definitely from the athletic side of the family (mine). Haha your football loving Grandpa Bruner, knows this is true. 

Your favorite foods are strawberries, chips, and cookies. Not all the food groups, but Mommy is so proud you love fruit, as I still to this day cannot stomach any type of food in the fruit group. They always looked so pretty to me but the second I take a bite, I feel sick. I am proud of your willingness to try new things.

Your best friends are definitely Grammy & Grandpa Box who watch you during the day when Mommy and Daddy have to work. Being the extremely active little one you are, you sure keep your retired Grandparents working hard!! Every other weekend you get to go on adventures with your Grandma Pam, who will take you to visit their horses. You absolutely adore all animals, and fear NOTHING!!! 

Over the past two months you have started to wake up in the middle of the night, and cry insistently until I let you sleep in our bed. Because I am a sucker, and because I want to sleep, I always give in and let you sleep in our huuuuge Cal King bed. Between you , Daddy, and the Bulldog, I now have about four inches of sleeping room. However, with you being such an independent lady, I savor every moment of our night time cuddles. 

Today, we are celebrating your "half" birthday, with cinnamon rolls, cute clothes, a trip to Target, and baking cookies on this special rainy Southern California day, or else ( let's face it), we would probably be at Disneyland. 

I love you Stella with every inch of my heart! Cheers to many more "half birthdays"!!! 

Lots of kisses and hugs, 


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