Tuesday, January 11, 2011

19 month old letter to Ella

Dear Ella,

You are a little more than 19 months old. You amaze me with your warmth and laughter. Your personality is blossoming a little more, every day. You have such a sense of self, even at 19 mo, which, I know sounds silly, but you do. The other day, we were coming back from Target. I had mounds of groceries, houseware stuff and also had you in tow. I set you down so that I could get a better grip of the bag and my hand, instinctively, reached for yours. We don't do this often, this hand holding thing, because 1) we are never anywhere where you would need to hold my hand (I am not letting you cross a Chicago street without you being close against my person and 2) I just kinda prefer holding you as I know that it won't be much longer that I can hold you, and you let me. As my hand reached down, you grabbed it, smiled at me and I melted. Right there in our garage, I looked down at this little girl who smiled as she held my hand. It makes my eyes well up with sadness seeing how fast you are growing up...

My heart swells with pride for you everyday. I think about how much I love you and wonder if you will ever know, aside from having children of your own, of how much I could possibly love and adore you? It's a tedious and tricky relationship, this relationship b/w a daughter and a mother. I want so much to be the best momma I can by you, to be the kind of person you admire and respect. The kind of of woman you could aspire to be without knowing that any admirable attribute I might possess was only realized by being your mother. By loving you. By watching you grow up. I saw the following line on a blog that stuck with me, "I want, more than anything, to do right by you. I want to be someone who is easy for you to love, easy for you to fold yourself into when you most need me. I also want to be easy to walk away from, easy to be apart from. What a funny combination. What a challenge". What a challenge it will be, bug. I came to Chicago, on a wing (err, Honda) and a prayer, and these abounding hope of something new and exciting. To make my own way. To meet interesting people and to be inspired. Oh, how God knew what I needed more than I ever did. I met your father and the rest is history, and your beginning. Your beginning has made me feel like a complete person, to be your mother..

I shudder to think of how this relationship b/w us could veer south, but I want you to know that i will always strive to be the bigger person, because, after all, I am your mother. I will do my best to not hold grudges or be envious of all that you achieve. I want you to succeed and accomplish more than I ever could. Most importantly, I want you to always remember just how much I love you, at your 19 month birthday, of just how much I will always support you and be there for you, no matter what. I will always shower you with "I love you's" even when I am not happy about your choices because, after all, I always will. I hope you will do the same, too.

I am battling through my inherited trait of helicopter-ing. I do need to step back a bit more, move aside from my own thoughts and desires for you to make the choices you feel like you need to make. You are an amazing little bundle of self awareness and precociousness. You are already marching to the beat of your own drum and throw caution to the wind and let loose. Already. I want you to always be proud of yourself and of these traits I admire so much.

I couldn't love you more as we barrel towards your 2nd birthday. I love you with all my heart, little nugget, and pray that God keeps you safe from harm as we figure out this whole thing together. I will try to be the best guide I know how.

Love you for always,


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hodge Podge and Christmas, too....

NYE 2011...Cocktails a flowing...

Pre-dinner picure.

Logan Square Christmas beauty.

3 story Christmas tree!

Another house in Lincolnwood..

Ella and Daddy Christmas dinner pic.

Chrismas dinner pic in our PJs.

Kayla and Ella at church.

Ella opening her presents.....too bad the vaccuum noise scares her or she is already boycotting chores? Hmmm...

More prezzies. Again, less than impressed. Tear.

Before madness ensues.

Christmas Eve dinner...

Ella and Kayla- Christmas Eve.

Mommy and Ella...does her thumb ever come out of her mouth!?
Posing. Love her.
Naked post bath admiration of the decor.
Christmas Eve dinner.

Breakfast with Santa at Macy's. LOVE.
Pre-church picture.....

Ella just loved Santa. Nightmare! She was climbing up my person to get away!

A little still freaked by the Santa experience. A balloon artist helped. A little.
So happy to have gramma and granpa in town for the breakfast with Santa!

Ella having a little breakfast. Do you love her bib?! I DO!

Loving on some cheerios.

It's 2011! Can't believe it. We cozied up, hunkered down, rested and ate all day yesterday. It was so nice. I am dreading the work week already as the last 2 weeks have been filled with Ella and Scott time. It's back to business with no long weekends in sight.
We have some fun trips planned to fill our winter but that's bittersweet, too. The faster winter passes, the closer my little girl is to turning 2 and that just makes my heart beat fast and feel heavy. I will cherish the last few months of her being a "baby"....I know, I know, she is kind of a toddler, but I feel like 2 is the official start of little girl-dom.
Christmas went by much too quickly this year! I feel like a broken record but jeez! It really did. We celebrated Christmas Eve with our neighbors full of food and laughs, and then woke up early on Christmas to eat gorilla bread, break open the presents and get ready for church. We couldn't take too much in at church b/c it was a full house full of noisy kids (Ella was one of them, oops), but it was nice to celebrate Chrismtas at church b/c really, that's what its all about. I pray that we instill the real message of Christmas in Ella as she grows...very challenging in such a commercial world but little traditions surrounding around church and family will hopefully do the trick! Speaking of commercial trappings of Christmas, Ella just didn't really get the hang of unwrapping the presents fully. She liked ripping a piece of but would get bored and play with our adult gifts to one another. I don't think she's paid too much attention to her presents this year, oh well, I am sure she will be more into it next year. She gets really excited when she sees Santa in print, real Santas, however, are not so appealing. She is not a fan of the man. This, too, will improve (hopefully!?) by next Christmas..
We ate a huge meal and wandered around Lincolnwood, IL, which is just north of the city and is so cute...close to Chicago but so many neighborhood amenities/feel. I really like it. It was my mission to find the 3 story christmas tree that is written up in the Chicagoist.com, and we did! It was glorious. Pictures of it, along with other pretty houses, above. We also visited the coolest, most ostentacious house this year again, and the owners added a few more lights, if that's possible. This house is off of Logan Blvd, just a 1/2 mile from where we live. Check it out above! It's hilarious!
NYE 2011 was seriously perfect. I really wanted to go "out" but like, low key "out". So, we made ressies with the Vajdas for dinner at our favorite restaurant, Rose Angelis. We rang in 2011 across the street at a little neighborhood bar, complete with a little dancing, bubbly and taking in the drunken 25 year olds pairing off. God, I don't miss that scene but it is fun to be silly and dance with good friends!
We have taken down the decorations, met a new friend for coffee and pastries, so I think we will spend the rest of today relaxing and gearing up for January. We are visiting my friend Sara and her little ones in a couple of weeks to celebrate Reece's big 3rd party! I cannot believe this little lady is 3! She's a doll and I can't wait to catch up with my favorite girls.
We hope you are having a fabulous 2011 so far!