Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy First Birthday, Leela!

Photo by Asiya
On your first birthday, I can't help but reflect on the past year and think about the endless joy you have brought me. Everything in our life is sweeter because of you. Before you were born, I could not imagine that my heart was capable of so much love. When Jiya was born, she made me a mother. But when you were born, you made us a family. 

I cannot believe a year has already flown by since you first came into my arms as a chubby, beautiful baby doll. And today, you are turning one. In the past 12 months, you have grown from a round and sweet baby, with juicy cheeks and sweet little lips, into a walking, climbing, fiesty little toddler. As a newborn, you were cuddly, laid back and adorable. You loved to nurse and be carried, you hated the car and stroller, you loved listening to your sister chat away, or look out at New York City with your daddy. You loved the carrier and it always helped to soothe you. You refused all pacifiers, loved to roll around (even in the middle of the night), started sitting up very early, and right from the start, you became engaged in the world around you. We enjoyed many songs, baths, late-night snuggles together, just you and I. I will always cherish those moments, especially as you will inevitably grow up and become more and more independent. 

Photo by Melanie Rose Photograpy
You make all of us laugh every single day - whether it be because you are trying desperately to climb into the tub or shower, or because you are scrunching your nose and making a funny face. You display incredible focus when trying to accomplish any task, and you are so ambitious when navigating your way around safety gates, up stairs, through cabinets... we love your mischief! You astound us with your intelligence... from mimicking Jiya, to kissing on demand, you are a quick learner and so curious about everything around you. You love to eat. You chase after anyone with food, point and yelp until you get some in your own little hands. You love walking around with a cracker in each hand, gumming  both while you wander around and explore. You also love to nurse, and I am so grateful for the time we've spent together nursing and cuddling. You are picking up new skills every day. You can already walk, climb stairs, clap hands, blow and give kisses, even dip a spoon into food and feed yourself! Although you can't speak words yet, you can always get your point across. You bring over your shoes and point to your feet, you lead us to the stroller, or push your way through the dining chairs to the little toy car... somehow you can always let us know what you want to do next! I cannot get over how quickly you are growing. I often want to freeze time to keep you small, innocent, mine forever. 

Photo by Asiya
Photo by Melanie Rose Photography
You wake up smiling! You are very happy and very naughty. There is always mischief in your eyes when you climb into the toy chest or pull out the bow from your hair. You never stop moving! You hate to sit, but you love to be held while walking around. You have amazing hair and everyone stops to comment on how much of it you have! You've already had 5 haircuts and can make pigtails. You've acquired so many nicknames in just a year! Leels, Leeli, Leelu, Leeli-ki-my peels, and Kimi - are just a few of the names we love to call you. You especially love to play with and annoy your sister. You love to follow her, copy her, and you always try to have or do exactly the same thing as her. In the double stroller, when she is minding her own business, you often pinch or pat her so that she gets annoyed (or maybe you are seeking her attention!). We love watching you two interact. She loves to hug, kiss and squeeze you, and although you often tolerate it - more often, you like to look at one of us and complain. In those moments, I can almost picture the eye-rolling teenager you may become. 

Photo by Asiya

Photo by Melanie Rose Photography
Your smile and giggles took my breath away and you stole all of our hearts, especially your big sister's. Jiya was enamored of you from the first day she saw you in the hospital, saying things like "She's soooo cute," or "I love her so much" or "I need her, I need to be with her." In fact, Jiya was able to use the potty successfully after you "helped" her by sitting in the bathroom with her. She often talks about you when you're not around or asleep, mentioning your "adorable chotis" or sweet face. She is still working on sharing her toys with you, but everyone can see how much she adores you and how protective she is of you. My biggest joy is watching your relationship grow, and I hope that one day you will see each other as a gift - that you will encourage each other's hopes and dreams, share and keep secrets, watch out for each other and grow together to become best friends.

Photo by Melanie Rose Photography
Although you look like many of our family members melded into one, I see a lot of myself and Naveen in you. You are determined and athletic like your daddy, fiesty and a foodie like your mommy, and energetic like both of us. Leela, we wish you all the happiness this world has to offer, strength to face challenges, and adventure throughout your journey. May you always be fascinated by the world around you, may you always be blessed with health and luck, and may you live every year of your life with as much joy as your first. 

Photo by Asiya
                      
With all my love today and always,
Mommy















1 comment:

  1. Happy B'day my sweet little princess!
    Love always!!!!

    ReplyDelete