Oh, my sweet girl. I'm just beginning to type this letter to you, not even sure of where I want to take it, and my eyes are already filling up with tears.
Let's back up for a minute.
On a cold January morning, I took
We knew with all of our hearts that you were a girl. We decided to wait until your debut to really find out - but we always knew.
I documented every breath of my pregnancy on this blog - I had wanted to be a mama my whole life, and I certainly wanted to remember what it was like to travel on the road toward motherhood. When the end was in sight and you were measuring so big, my doctor scheduled an induction for Tuesday, October 11th.
On Saturday, October 8th, your dad and I went to the Wake Forest football game. I was hopeful that the noise and jumping up and down would convince you to join us in this world! No such luck. The next night, I was sprawled out on the couch, fast asleep (and most likely snoring) when a sharp stomach pain woke me up around 11:00pm. I thought it was just indigestion from the pizza and donuts and cotton candy dinner (I was soaking in my last days as a whale!). So I got up and got ready for bed... and felt another pain. Before I knew it, I was having regular contractions. I will always remember telling your dad to get some sleep while I paced the living room watching Project Runway, stopping every now and then to do squats. Finally, at about 2:30am, the pain was so intense... I knew it was time to go to the hospital.
I'll spare you all the details (as I have documented them elsewhere), but about 21 hours after that first contraction, you made your official debut. On your due date.
To this day, the whole experience is SO vivid. Your dad was the absolute BEST coach while I pushed - he was SO excited to meet you, and he was cheering me on and was my biggest fan. You'll learn that about him soon - he will always, always be in your corner. We're pretty lucky, ya know, to have a man like him as our number one.
I can still hear his voice shout, "It's a girl!!!" But there was no element of surprise with his announcement - it was more like, "Of course it's a girl. We KNEW it, and we've been waiting for you."
My sweet Cameron Kate, I can also still remember how he sat in the hospital room with you in his arms, letting himself experience the most emotion he's ever felt in his life while tears streamed down his cheeks.
You see, you stole our hearts from your very first breath. We were immediately so in love with you, so wrapped around those sweet little fingers. Once I was settled into my hospital room, your dad kept asking if it was okay if he left my room to go visit you in the nursery. I have never seen someone so in love and so excited in my whole entire life.
The things is, we are both so excited to be your parents, every single day. Being your mama is like waking up each day and realizing it's Christmas morning. Everyday is a new gift to open, and I'm always anxious to find out what's inside. You bring us more joy than we even knew existed. You have filled our house with laughter and learning and tears and dance parties and the pitter patter of toddler feet and a timeout corner and bedtime prayers and the most wonderful nonstop chaos.
And I know everyone says this, but I cannot believe it's been two whole years since the first time I saw your face.
Of course, I am so sad as I look back and feel as though the past two years have passed in the blink of your big brown eyes. But I don't want to wallow in the sadness - Because time is supposed to pass, life is supposed to go on. We experienced you as a newborn, as an infant, as a toddler... and now we get to experience our two-year-old.
Our little girl whose smile lights up the room, whose giggles are constant reminders that all is right in the world. Our little girl who is vivacious and defiant, independent and particular. Our little girl who loves her Ellie with all her heart, who takes care of her babies, who likes to make her own decisions. Our little girl who can be shy at first, and often steals the hearts of many.
You are definitely a two-year-old... as we find ourselves frustrated with your stubbornness one minute and laughing hysterically at your antics the next. We all take a lot of deep breaths in this house - you included - when we need to "pull it together." But the minute we feel like we're at our wit's end with your attitude, you'll do something so incredibly adorable the frustration fades away.
I'm pretty sure you do it all on purpose.
You LOVE gymnastics and have most certainly perfected your Ta-Da. You also love Kindermusik, and can sing most of the songs and remember the motions and movements. You're a big fan of coloring, but mostly love to be outside, and bonus points if we're at a playground.
You still HATE bathtime (and now, so do we!). Ironically, you loved the pool this summer! We can finally put your hair into pigtails, and you're so tall that most people are surprised to hear that you're only two. You insist on putting your shoes on all by yourself, so we usually let you do it. You now have chores around the house, too. You're in charge of giving Bailey treats and filling up her bowl with food. You love to
Speaking of preschool, you've adjusted well to your new school; however, you are obsessed with your "nanny," who is officially your "Aunt Becky." You also adore your cousins and your close toddler friends here in town.
You have a huge sweet tooth, like your mama. You could also live solely off of "snack fruits" as you call them. You're a pretty picky eater, though, and most meals end up with you declaring that you're "all done!" after only a couple bites... though we always make you wait to leave the table until everyone is finished.
You've started singing your prayers with us, and also the blessing. When we sing, "God our Father" you say "we give Banks" instead of "we give thanks" - and you usually also follow with, "we give Raleigh!!"
In fact, your newfound love of singing is one of my most favorite things.
You can count fairly well, though sometimes some numbers go missing. It usually sounds something like this: "one, two, free, six, seeeeven, eight, nime, ten, 'leven, twelve, fourteen, sisteen, eighteen, twenty!" Every now and then, you get them all in there. You LOVE to sing the alphabet and it's usually a request before naptime.
You're also officially at the age where you say things that catch us off guard, thinking, "Where did she hear that?! How'd she know that?!" For example, the other day I said, "Cameron, eat your peas first and then you can have some grapes." To which you replied, "I ate my peas already, mama!" And I thought, where in the world did you learn how to use the word already? And also, the other day you were drawing with crayons and drew a pretty perfect circle. "Yook, mama, a bracelet!" You kept scribbling and managed to draw another pretty decent circle. "Yook, mama!! I has TWO bracelets!" Seems simple, but it's the little things that remind me that you, my dear - you're growing up.
And as you grow up, I want you to always know how lucky I feel to be YOUR mama. I am so blessed that God chose me to hold your hand through this beautiful life. I will work everyday for the rest of my life to be enough for you, Cameron Kate. To give you all that you deserve.
And that, sweetie, is why we're fighting so hard to give you a sibling. Your dad and I want this for you so bad. And at this point, we're not sure if it's part of God's plan. But please know that if it's not - if our little family stays just the three of us - we will make sure you have a happy and memorable and full life. And we will forever feel incredibly blessed, because we have YOU. You make every cry a little shorter and every heartbreak a little less painful. It is during the last nine months that I have realized just how much strength you give me. I've felt weak, and guilty, and sad, and hopeless - and then I see you...
My sunshine, the best part of my day, the person who continuously reminds me what life is really all about. And just when I think I can't possibly love you any more than I already do - tomorrow shows up.
And I'm back in your room, singing, "Good morning!" and feeling you nuzzle into the place where my neck meets my shoulder, and I ask you how much mama loves you and you reply, "A bushel and a peck!"
So yes, I'm sad to see that two is here so quickly. But everyday with you just keeps getting better, so I am so looking forward to what life will be like as we continue to walk hand-in-hand, me and my girl.
So to the little girl who made me a mama - to my daughter - to the best thing that has ever happened to me - to my heart - to the person who makes everyday feel like Christmas...
Happy 2nd Birthday.
Picture by the amazing Urban Bloom Photography