1. When I first met you!
After months of anticipation and being in a room filled with silence, you decided (kind of) to make your appearance in a way that I did not expect - I still say that the doctors disturbed you, but in all seriousness God decided it was your time to be born! The doctors, surgeons and midwives were ever so quick and although they appeared to be quite worried about you, they did not allow that to show. Nanny and I knew you would be just fine, in fact I knew you were sleeping hence why you were not moving around so much.
Towards the latter part of our journey you became a bit of a sleepy little fleur, but the minute you entered the world your scream was one of the loudest, most high pitched noises I had ever heard. It was scary, but amazing all at the same time! The medical team let out a huge sigh of relief and I just said, "THANK YOU GOD! YOU DID IT!" God already promised me that you would be fine and I knew all was well.
2. Your first words!
Who would have thought that you would utter, "Ma, Mama, Mum" all in one go. That was the most awesome feeling ever to hear you call me in three different ways. I will never forget that moment, I shall treasure it forever, it was absolutely priceless. I would not be your Mama if I did not record or take pictures of every special moment, you may not understand now, but on your 16th birthday it is definitely going down!!
3. Your first steps!
Oh gosh, the joy I felt when you started to take your first steps. Despite stumbling a few times, you got right back up with determination and persistence and you carried on walking towards me! I remember lifting you up and celebrating with you as you smiled proudly knowing that you had done something so special. In fact every little milestone you have reached has always been a celebration for me and it always will be, no matter how big or small it may seem. You will know growing up that your efforts are important and you deserve to be celebrated for them.
4. The first time you said "I Love You" - and meant it!
Those three words are words we often come to hear, but sometimes they can be said without any real meaning or though behind them. Me telling you I love you is the truth, there is not one day that goes by where you are not on my mind. When I am not with you, I miss you dearly and wonder what you are getting up to, but I know within my heart that you are just fine because my prayers are always covering you my darling girl. The day you told me that you loved me, it made me realise that every struggle we have encountered thus far and our story is just so worth it. My darling Bella, I love you endlessly and forever more!
5. The first time you made the conscious decision to not wear trousers anymore, instead proclaiming "I only like dresses!"
I have always given you the choice since you have been old enough to think consciously - some may argue that you are just a child and I am the adult. That is true, BUT you are my child, I am your mother, so those with that opinion are free to think as they like, and do as they desire with their children. However, you and I do things differently around here!
By me giving you such choices in life it has helped you to continually develop into an independent little girl who is able to make her own choices about small things and one day you will be making bigger decisions. When you were much younger I dressed you in cute little jeans and trousers, but you have since decided that you only want to wear dresses. That is completely fine, I love the fact that you pick out your clothing for the day - if you decide you want to wear something that is not appropriate for the weather we do look at alternatives together or ways we can make this outfit work, so that you are not too cold/hot.
I would like you to always remember that in this life you will always have the choice. When it comes to homework, coursework and so forth - that is non-negotiable clearly Bella, but you get my drift little one!
6. The first time you so graciously expressed gratitude.
I have often been commended for your use of words, phrases and your politeness. I beamed with pride the other day when we went to Clarks to get you a new pair of shoes as you had outgrown your other ones and the sales assistant was blown away by how polite you were. It is such a remarkable feeling to know that I am doing a wonderful job with you. Being kind, polite and your use of "please" and "thank you" will be very important during your life and as you grow up, may these traits and words open doors for you and lead you to excellent opportunities!
7. Your ability to articulate yourself very well.
I have always encouraged you to use your words and I am thrilled that you are so excellent at expressing yourself. As a result, we can have conversations with one another and you are able to express your opinions whilst explaining what, why, who and when! You tend to be a deep thinker at times and you have such a vivid imagination, much like me. I love to listen to your little stories, sometimes you make them so believable that I am not entirely sure if they are actually true! I pray that as you grow you will continue to be an excellent communicator, using your voice for good and using your words to uplift and motivate.
8. The way in which you show compassion and love to others.
Other than praying for a healthy baby, one of the things I prayed for when carrying you and even after you were born was that you would be a loving little girl. I prayed that wherever you went that you would spread love and kindness everywhere, so that even the sternest individuals will look at you and would not be able to hold their smiles in. God came through on everything I prayed for when He gave me you!
You're so thoughtful and always think about other people. If someone is feeling down or appearing to be sad you always shower them with hugs and kind words. I see beauty within you and I see a very empathetic little girl who will grow up to touch the hearts of thousands.
9. When you began to say your full name (and mine) – plus little facts about yourself and our family.
I was so shocked when I heard you saying your full name for the first time as we went about our daily travels. It was a very delightful moment for me because I know that you had some difficulty saying “Isabella-Grace!” You have finally got the hang of it and although you like to shorten your name when people ask what your name is, it is still something to go down in your milestone book!
Whenever I am introducing myself to someone, you make me laugh so much when you blurt out my full name. The first time you did it I questioned myself thinking, “how on earth does she know that?!” as time went by I realised it was because you have been eavesdropping on most of my conversations, you cheeky little lady!
Nanny’s face is absolutely priceless when you call her by her first name, oh how times have changed because when we were younger we could never get away with doing such things! You don’t do it often, but there are moments where you decide to show how much of a smarty pants you are by calling Nanny, Aunties and Uncles by their full names!
Another funny thing you do is when someone asks how old you are, you respond “3 old,” I have spent the past few months telling you that you are not quite 3 years old yet, your response nowadays is, “my birthday in June! I’m going to have my party and my cake and my presents. Oooh I love my presents!”
At least I can rest assured knowing that you know these things, there is so much more for you to learn as each day goes by you will in time learn everything that you need to learn.
10. You being yourself unapolagetically.
A few months ago Bella and I went somewhere and Bella was being her usual playful self and an individual made a comment much to my dislike. It was at that point that I realised just as children can be mean to others, sometimes grown ups can be just as mean. I did report the this individual, but before that I corrected her myself.
Children are all different and as a professional this particular individual should have known that you do not paint children in fact anyone with the same paintbrush!
My 3 older brothers are all extroverts, my mother and father are also extroverts, my daughter is one as is her father, but I am the opposite - I am an introvert. I do not do big group conversations and I do not like attention - it makes me cringe immensely! I prefer to be curled up in my own private space reading a book, writing or spending time with my daughter. I do not mind interacting in small groups with my loved ones, in fact we do this frequently. However with new people and strangers, it is a different story!
However, I admire the fact that you keep on being your loud, free-spirited, joyous and friendly little self. If you could you would greet everyone and anyone - thankfully you are growing up and I am teaching you more and more everyday about strangers amongst other things. I love that no matter what NOBODY can steal your joy! May you stay exactly the same caring, compassionate and wonderful little girl throughout your childhood, teenaged years and beyond.
Never change and never allow anyone to dull your sparkle. You were born to shine, to stand out and most importantly to be Isabella-Grace. No one can take that away from you, beautiful child of mine.
I have loved writing this post, just because it is so different to my other posts, it is very special to be able to write something to you knowing that one day you will be able to access this and read it. Life without you was not as it is today, I much prefer it now that you are here to share it with me. All of the precious moments we share together will always mean so very much to me and all of your milestones are recorded in some way or another for us to look back on together.
I have a feeling that you will say, "I never did that Mama, you're lying!" I will respond, "Darling, take out video number 54!"
I love you always and forever my beautiful little lady.
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