Someone is happy to finally have some nice weather!
Ingrid and I took a road trip to Wisconsin this weekend to visit our "besties" (G and T) and have breakfast with Erin and Brian. As you can see, Ingrid was so exhausted by the end of the weekend that she fell asleep while watching a "Lalaloopsy" marathon on the iPad on the way home. My sweet, beautiful girl...
Your third birthday party was a love-filled, pinktastic, princess success! You and your friends dressed up as princesses, complete with gowns, tiaras and wands, and everyone dined on homemade cakes (three kinds -- regular, cupcakes, and cake pops), pink popcorn and sugar cookies (regular and chocolate).
It was one of my favorite days; I'll always remember how excited you were for your party and how much fun you had playing, eating M&M's and opening presents. I love you so much, Ingrid, and cherish every year we get to celebrate your birth.
Love you forever,
Happy 3rd birthday, my little turtle! My, how quickly the years have gone by...
Your daddy and I stayed up late last night reminiscing about you and all of the experiences we've shared since your arrival. Things like how surreal it was to wake up in the middle of the night when my water broke five weeks early and, somehow, managing to remain calm all the way to the hospital. The way your daddy introduced himself the moment you were born and promised he'd always take care of you. The rawness of our hands from constantly washing them each time we entered the NICU. How terrified I was when we gave you your first bath. The adrenaline-filled early months of endless feedings and the sweetness of "kangaroo-care". The celebration when you mastered something new. My stabbing, ceaseless guilt for missing so much of your first year. Impromptu "Barfy" and "Vomitus" puppets on your first plane ride. How much you laughed at Owen when he'd try to lick your face. Your swimming lessons with Daddy -- especially how you'd gently hold his cheek while floating. All of the tackles and tickles and waltzes. Disney World and "Floridada". Books and toys and Dora and baby blanket. Diapers...so very many diapers. The way you hide behind our legs when uncertain. How so many of your teachers make special trips to your classroom just to say hello and get a hug from you. And the indescribably overwhelming protectiveness and adoration we feel for you.
I know that little of what I'm saying is unique -- most parents share these experiences and feelings. But you're our baby and these memories are especially precious because they were shared between your Daddy and me. We love each other very much; having you in our lives has enhanced that love even more.
This weekend we'll celebrate your day with a princess-themed party, complete with dress-up, sugar, and all things pink. It won't mean much to you now, but when you're older and looking through the photographs, take special note of all the people present. Never forget or take for granted just how many people were there with you, celebrating you and marking another year in your life. You have many, many wonderful people who love you -- and that, our sweet girl, is your greatest gift.
Happy birthday, Ingrid. We'll love you forever.
Mommy (and Daddy)
This afternoon, as I picked you up from school, you informed me when I reached for you (like I always do) that you no longer needed to hold my hand because you're "a big girl".
You're two. Slow down. Stop growing up. I was much older before I starting pulling this stuff. Remember, to me, you'll always be my little baby...who asked to hold my hand in the car, while snuggling and at Target. I'm not even close to being ready to let go, Turtlepants.
Love you forever,
We visited Santa yesterday and had lots of fun riding the escalators in the downtown Macy's. Actually, I think she was more excited for the latter.
Ingrid and her class performed their annual holiday concert yesterday. It's hard to miss her -- she's the really loud one wearing the pink shirt with the poodle on it. Our little turtle has never met a stage she doesn't like -- and we love that about her!
Ingrid loves receiving mail...and I mean LOVES. Grandpa and Grandma Schwanke send her cards every so often; when I told her she received a letter this Tuesday, she actually squealed and immediately began asking for it. Post-bath, she opened it, commented on the cute puppy ("Awww...that little puppy us so cute..."), and began "reading" it herself. Translation: "No, Mommy -- I read it all by myself". Which she did...by making up a story. It was adorable and made her so happy. She says "Thank you!" for the card, Grandma and Grandpa!