Monday, April 21, 2008

To My Daughter...

Dear Livia,

One year ago, you came into this world. I found out a lot of things after you were born - things I just had no clue of before! I've learned something new nearly every day; I've also felt emotions I didn't know existed until you came along. Livia Rachelle, my life was completely incomplete before you!

Over the last year, you have taught me so much... To appreciate, to see, to live, and to love as I never have before. I never knew that someone so small would SO VERY QUICKLY become my all! It has been so wonderful to love and care for you. I never dreamed how much I would love to have this tiny little person depend on me in every single way, every awesome day. Livie, I have gotten more joy from one of your sweet little smiles than from any and all things materialistic. I see myself, the world, and even God differently. If there were ever times I perhaps questioned God's way or even His existence in the past, YOU - my sweet child - have completely quelled those thoughts! You have been God's ultimate present to us; and because of you, I will forever feel His presence.

Because of you, I became so many things. I became a better wife and companion; I became a better friend. I became more compassionate and loving; I've gotten more mature and considerate. Unfortunately, I'm still not that great at being on time... Though that, Baby-Boo, is certainly not because of you!

Most importantly, I became a Mommy. Livia, because of you I now know how much my parents love me. Not that I EVER doubted their love! But when you were born, Livia Rachelle, I felt a love that I had never felt before. I see the looks in their eyes, and KNOW those are the looks of pure and perfect love. I now also know why they protected me so - just as I will do everything I can to protect you.

Your grandparents are the most amazing people on this whole earth! Both sets of your grandparents have been married for 30 + years - and completely in love every single one of these years. My parents raised me in a way that I become more thankful for every day. They inspire me to be a better person, and a better parent. They are everything I strive to be.

Livia, you may not know this yet, but you are SO blessed with family and friends who LOVE you so much. You have 3 wonderful cousins on both sides of the family - both 2 little guys and 1 little girl. You make things just perfect :o) You have 2 amazing Auntie's who love you almost as their own; because of you, sweet Liv, I have formed such wonderful bonds with them that may have never came to be if it weren't for you! So many family and friends care deeply for you. Over the last year, these dear people have become my best friends.

You have already learned SO MUCH - gosh, you are such a smart baby! Your Daddy and I tell you this all the time, but I want to put it in print so I can look back someday and say, "Wow - she really WAS a smartie-pants!" So what can Livie already do...?
She can "patty-cake" and "clap", and responds to either word.
She walks and runs all by herself, but still lets us hold her whenever she gets hurt.
She can raise her hands high over her head to show us all, "So Big!"
She loves her little tongue pocket (she sticks it in her lower lip!)
She puts her hands right up to her cheeks when "Oh my goodness!"
She goes on baby-rampages and makes us one huge mess
She takes and pulls the bows right out, that I put in her hair.
She can put her hands together to say a little prayer.

There are so many wonderful things that you do for us - I cherish every single one of them! If I've forgotten one of your latest feats, I promise I'll note it when I do remember.

Finally, Livia, I never want to forget the songs your Daddy and I love to sing to you. Perhaps this seems silly, especially since your Daddy and I do sing & say these things to you all the time... But what if someday we get new songs, and these get thrown to the wayside? I want you to always know the way you make us sing with joy! And for your first year of life, these were by far the most sung:

Here we go Livie-Loo
Here we go Livie-Ligh
Here we go Livie-Loo
All on a Saturday night!
You put your right hand in,
You take your right hand out!
You give your right hand a shake-shake-shake!
And turn yourself about!
Here we go Livie-Loo
Here we go Livie-Ligh
Here we go Livie-Loo
All on a Saturday night!

Munckinator she's my very, very very-best friend
She's the sweetest baby that there's ever, ever been
She's my Baby-Boo! And I love her too! She's my Livie-Loo!

You are my sunshine
My little sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take
My sunshine away

Apple-red happiness, popcorn cheerfulness, cinnamon singing inside!
Peppermint energy, gumdrop holidays, when you give Christ your life!
The benefits, of God's great love are super-satisfying!
Throw away your sins, let the sunshine in!
Try it and you'll see how you'll... get...
Apple-red happiness, popcorn cheerfulness, cinnamon singing inside!
Peppermint energy, gumdrop holidays, when you give Christ your life!

A-B-C-D-E-F-G, Jesus died for you and me!
H-I-J-K-L-M-N, Jesus died for sinful men - AMEN!
O-P-Q-R-S-T-U, I believe God's word is true!
U-V-W, God has promised you -
X-Y-Z, a home eternally!

Skid-a-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skid-a-ma-rink-a-do! I love you!
Skid-a-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skid-a-ma-rink-a-do! I LOVE you!
I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon!
I love you in the evening, and underneath the moo-oon!
Skid-a-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skid-a-ma-rink-a-do! I love you!
Skid-a-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skid-a-ma-rink-a-do! I LOVE you!

Here we go munchkin girl, all in a munchkin world
Here we go munchkin girl, all in a munchkin world!*

We represent the lolly pop guild
The lolly pop guild, the lolly pop guild!
We represent the lolly pop guild...
And we're here to welcome you TO munchkin land!*

Little Livie, little Livie,
You're so pretty, you're so pretty!
Little, little Livie! Little, little Livie,
Daddy loves you! Daddy loves you!*
[*your daddy's special songs]

Finally, there are SO many firsts I will NEVER forget with you, sweet little girl... And each 'first' seemed more magical and awesome than the last. I would like to document just a few of your 'firsts' that were SO great.

The first time I saw you ~ For completely obvious reasons, of coarse! You were so beautiful - and I loved you from the moment I first saw your beautiful face.

Your first smile ~ Your Auntie Laura Belle actually got it! She had you laying on a bed out at my parents, and she was just a'talkin to you, and you just loved it - and then you smiled. I mean REALLY smiled! There were many times before where you just had the sweetest, most content little baby grin... (like laying on Mr. Michael and taking a nap with him, and the sound of your Daddy's voice) but that SMILE just made my heart skip a beat.

Your first laugh ~ Can you believe that your Auntie Laura Belle also got your first laugh! We were in the dining room, and she kinda put you up in the air and let you fall (completely holding on to you the whole time of coarse) - you LOVED it! You let out the first little baby laugh, and I thought it was the happiest sound I've ever heard in my life.

Your first word ~ Da! OK, some people say that to really count as a first word, there must be association. But I don't care! You SAID da... then da-DA... then a very short time later, you began to say Ma! Now you say Mama and Dada all the time; and you know who of us each name goes with. We're so proud of you, Livia.

The first time we gave you solid food ~ Oh the look on your face was priceless! I think you were a little confused... Milk never tasted like that before, had it?

The first time you patty-caked on your own ~ I was gone taking pictures and your Daddy was here watching you. I came back home and he told me all about how he taught you to patty-cake all by yourself! As soon as you woke up the next day, you showed me too.

Your first Halloween ~ You were a little pumpkin baby! And we got the most amazing pictures of you with Henry, the black Halloween cat. We had SO much fun the day of Halloween; we traveled all around to our relatives - your grandparents, aunties, and uncles - and we even got to see the triplets out at you Mommy's parents! It was SO fun getting you out and showing you off.

Your first Christmas ~ You had THE sweetest little red Christmas-y dressy jumper; I had you wear it a lot! There was also a 'Santa Baby' outfit that we put you in - your Daddy LOVED it! I think he would have been happy if I would have never taken you out of it.

The first time you crawled ~ You were just a little over 9 months old. It was so cute to see this little bitty body going somewhere all by by yourself! I can't believe I was lucky enough to get a video of the first time you crawled!

The first time you walked ~ Your grandpa took you 'walkie-walking' from the time you were very little. We all wondered whether you'd crawl at all since he walked with you so much. The first time you really walked all by yourself, you were just a little before 11 months old. It was so cool! And even from the get-go, you walked SO fast. It was only a couple of short weeks until you were running. You don't run all the time (thankfully!) but you do especially when you're excited or tired.

Your first tooth ~ Just over a month ago! You were 11 months old when you got your first tooth... and now you have 4 going on 5 or 6 - I can hardly believe it!

And last but certainly not least... Your First Birthday ~ Has it seriously already been a year?! It feels like only yesterday that I was holding a teeny tiny 6-and-a-half pond baby in my arms! And now you're 3 times that amount. Where does the time go...

And finally, here are just a few other things I'll never forget about your first year of life:
~Your tiny little baby squeaks
~Your sweet, contented baby sounds
~Pick it up, throw it down! (Your favorite game)
~How you've always liked to try & eat everything
~Your wonderful baby-babble

Livia, thank you for coming in to our lives. I thank God every day for entrusting US with your care. My undying love to you always, sweet little girl.

Love Momma

*Note: This entry was obviously written a few weeks ago, but it totally exemplifies what it means to be a Mommy to me. I unfortunately really can't pick just one favorite Mommy-hood moment... Though my daughter's only one, she has filled my life with SO many wonderful memories already! I don't know what I'd do without her :o)

You may also notice that there's a link to this post at the top of my blog (if you didn't click the direct link from 5 Minutes for Mom) They are hosing a super-neat contest to "post one of your favorite motherhood moments - it could be a funny story, an essay, a photo or whatever else captures your memory best" So, click here to enter too! Seriously! They're going to choose their top 10 favorites, so get memory-making! Much love to you all, take care and God Bless!

7 comments:

Valarie said...

That was such a sweet letter. She will treasure it when she is older. :)

mah-meeee said...

very sweet letter for livia. it's great that you are putting all these down because she'll really appreciate all that you have done for her and how much you love her.

mah-meeee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mah-meeee said...

sorry, i accidentally submitted my comments twice... thus i deleted the duplicate. :)

E and T said...

What a beautiful letter that Livia will always have and cherish. She is blessed to have you and Perry as her parents. She has been shown so much love and will never have a doubt in her mind just how much her mummy, daddy, family and friends adore her.

I totally agree with you when you say: "You have taught me so much - to appreciate, to see, to live and to love as I never have before..." Isn't it amazing how one little precious person can do this and so much more.

It reminds me of that quote - while we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

I love that you have recorded Livia's favourite songs and clever things that she does. I was oooohing and aaahhhing my way through her list of cute things she does. How beautiful that she puts her hands together to say a little prayer.

Amanda, thank you ever so much for the kind words you left on my blog. It has been a blessing to have "met" you.

Love to you and your family
Elise

S.B. said...

I loved reading this. I'm a new mommy to an almost 9 month old girl and I can just relate to what you have written. I love your letter and your blog - just found you on 5 minutes for mom.

I have a blog too. Stop by if you get a chance.

S.B.

Kate said...

This was such a sweet post!! Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed day...