I remember it like it was yesterday.
We sat in our first house, our townhouse, and took a pregnancy test. It was negative. I left for work, came home, took the pregnancy test off the side of the bathtub and saw the very faintest of pink lines. In complete shock, I called Mom-Mom & asked if it could be accurate. Without hesitation, she told me that most likely I was pregnant but I needed to wait and re-test.
But I didn't need to. I knew it. I knew you were alive and growing - the size of a poppy seed and already so loved it ached.
(Obviously, I took another test that Friday and BOOM - two lines).
That was the day I became your mother.
I jumped, cried, twirled and hugged your dada.
And now here we are...
Weight: Just about 32/33 pounds.
Height: Just about 40 inches.
Eating: Picky, picky, picky - with a side of pork roll, always :)
Shoe Size: 10
"Benny, when you get big like me - you'll be able to do REALLY cool things. Right now you're only two, but when you're big like me, you'll be able to get off of the chair all by yourself!"
FOUR YEARS OLD.
YOU ARE FOUR YEARS OLD.
Three? Three is baby status. But four is BIG GIRL ALL THE WAY.
A list of everything I love about you would wrap around the world one million times.
A list of everything funny you say would never end.
A list of the ways I would stop time just to freeze you in this very moment would go on forever.
Below is an update on where we are.
1. You planned your birthday party over 6 months ago. This is mostly your mama's fault. She's passed on the insane planner gene to you - and I'll admit, I love it. You decided early on you wanted a "My Little Pony" theme but it's now morphed into Rainbow Dash, your favorite pony. Bounce U was decided last September after your cousin Max had his birthday there. You were SO excited for all of your friends and cousins to be in the same room, I thought you may explode. Overall, it was a fabulous party. We had over 30 kiddies, everyone bounced the morning away and you were loving it. I think you were a bit overwhelmed with everyone giving you so much attention. After celebrating all weekend, you've asked me (over & over) to cancel your 5th birthday party. Poor bug. You keep telling me you don't want to get big anymore. You want to stay little. I want you to, also.
2. You finished your THIRD year of school. That's so, so, so crazy to me. You're getting ready to enter PRE-K! You had a great year in the big class -- you learned a lot, you played and danced and sang and cried. Your dramatic side greatly emerged this year - I think it's a girl thing? We heard a lot about "so & so said they aren't my friend anymore" and "I don't ever want to play with so & so" anymore. But the next day? You'd tell me how everyone is your best friend. We are working on sharing our feelings with our friends and learning that you don't have to love everyone but you always have to be nice. And if a boy hits you? He probably wants to play with you.
3. Your scared of everything. I don't mean this in a negative way -- you're just timid. You're nervous about scary parts in movies (as in children's movies), you're nervous about water (you finally love the pool but won't go under - and forget about the sprinkler), you don't like rides (except for all the rides at Sesame Place and any carousel), you watch kids play at the playground on the bigger things and cautiously try them (before realizing you LOVE THEM AND WANT TO DO THEM OVER AND OVER AND OVER). Your fear is usually squashed by your love of playing.
4. You are a people LOVER. You love to make friends. Anywhere we go, everywhere we go, you spot a girl that appears to be close to your age, proudly exclaim "I'M GOING TO BE HER FRIEND!" and walk over, smiling beautifully, introducing yourself - "Hi, I'm Layla. I'm 3 and a half. Do you want to play with me" -- this is, by far, my favorite thing you do. I am so proud of your way to put the people around you at ease - it's a beautiful trait and I know it will carry you far.
5. You love a schedule. At least once a day, you say..."Mama, what are we doing when we wake up?" I usually reply with the same response.. "Dunkin Donuts for coffee, gym, school, play, bath, night-night" and you always reply with... "And what about after night night?" -- this could go on and on and one. I am excited for you to learn the concept of time (but really, who understands it anyway?) -- for now, in your perfect little mind.. everything that happened in the past happened "yesterday" and everything in the future happens "tomorrow". There's no understanding past yesterday or tomorrow and it's quite beautiful.
6. You love movies. I mean -- really, really, really love movies. You are constantly asking to curl up on the sofa and watch anything. I'd list your favorites but they're always changing!! Recently, you've liked to watch non-cartoon movies which is awesome. You love Little Rascals, Hook and the new Annie. We are big movie lovers in this house. You also like any TV show that's on and any You Tube video involving My Little Pony or make-up tutorials.
7. You are learning - slowly. You are really good at spelling words (Layla, Benny, Mama, Dada, Hi, Cat). You know all your colors, shapes, etc. You know how to count really well (getting better at counting past 20) -- but you can't quite pick up your letters the way I'd like. I know it'll click soon and I think school helped with this. I'm hopeful Pre-K will be a great learning opportunity. You'll start school 5 days a week in order to get ready for Kindergarten -- and I'm confident you'll excel in your studies!!
8. You are a performer -- if asked what you want to be when you grow up, it's a singer. If there's a stage, you're on it. Shabbat Girl involves sitting on stage with everyone watching and you LOVE it -- and the shows at school are too much fun for you. This is so beautiful because stage freight can be tough and it seems you've conquered this fear!
9. You LOVE your friends and cousins. You love spending time with them and talking about them and generally being around them. You used only want to spend time with the girls but now it's becoming more then okay to be around the boys too :) You love love love your time with Ava, Abbey & Marley but equally love your time with Sami & Remi. And fighting with Justin, Andrew and Max are the best!! Same goes for school - you love spending time with Isabel, Alex, Lydia, Avery, Maya, Liora, Gracie - the list goes on!! And you're always telling me about Craigy, Mason, Eli, Braydon and Andrew :) It's so cute.
Oh my Layla...
Of course I can't remember all the great things you say or do. The words that come out of your mouth make me giggle every single day. You have an attitude of a 14 year old. You tell me through tears "I want to be a good girl! I want to listen!" and I believe you. We're working on this. You have a fierce love of babies, your brother and your Dada. You are strong-willed, bossy and all girl which I LOVE. You love to sing, dance, do make-up, eat Pork Roll and play with your guys.
You're everything I wished and hoped for in a daughter and I'm so lucky to call you mine.
I love you my sweet girl. I promise to write more about all your accomplishments and silly "Layla-isms".
|The morning of your birth.|
|A few hours old!|
|A few hours old!|
|One of our first pictures together <3|
|In the middle of the night, our first night together in the hospital. I felt completely lost and you just stared at me with this face. I loved it.|
|Heading home from the hospital!|
|1 month old!|
|FUN WITH AVA! (Ava is 9 and you are almost 4 in this picture)|
|Your first birthday cake -- dinner at Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop's!|
|So happy Grandma & Grandpa came to visit!!|
|(one day day of) 4 years old!!!|
|Shabbat Girl and her sidekick, Batman!|
|All of your grandparents along with Mama & Dada at your Shabbat!|
|Birth, 1 Years old, 2 years old, 3 years old!|
|Birth, 1 years old, 2 years old!|
|4 years old!!!|
|This sign was at your party - I hope to do this every year!!|
|Ready for Bounce U!|
|Happy girl with her gorgeous cake!!!|
|Birth, 1 year old, 2 years old, 3 years old, 4 years old!|
|So much fun at your party!!!|
|Abbey & Layla!|
|Cousins = BFF|
|Mama & Dada love you so much sweet girl.|
|No explanation needed.|