I’ve been working on this video for months, and somehow I was still up late doing it the day AFTER Jena’s birthday. Something about having two birthday parties, Easter and a baby cutting their first tooth all falling in the same week.

All things considered I’m shooting the perfectionist in my brain on this one. First time I watched it she found at least 5 things to change…you should have cropped that photo and put that one in a different spot and slowed this part down and why’d you highlight THAT one and and and then I told her to SHUT UP and enjoyed watching it again.

On that second run through I thought I would burst with pride. Not only did I create this thing, but I made (ok so technically God did…semantics really) that little girl.  Wow. I’m still in awe.

Dear Jenavieve Grace,

It’s your birthday…not today, a few days ago. But I told myself I could have 10 days to post this, since you were 10 days late, I felt it was only fitting.

Easter morning, a little after 10 you were officially two years old. We had a rough start, you and me. My brain did not react well to your birth, though for all intents and purposes yours was the easiest labor, I forgive you for waking me at 1:30 in the morning to begin your decent into this world. I’d been practicing my relaxation techniques for months and after the first hour of labor I had it down pretty good. As long as I was still, the contractions hardly hurt at all. Of course being still made you take longer, that’s what I could over heard them saying about us in the hall. I personally believe you were just paying them back for making you come on their timetable not your own. Starting labor tired was not the greatest idea, by the time the sun came up I was exhausted. As easy as your labor was I was able to lay down and sleep for a few hours before I brought you to the outside world.

Somewhere around 10 the next morning I had your daddy go get the birth team and tell them I was going to push you out. In they came and we wrestled over how this was going to be done. Once we’d settled on a position and a way to go you were on your way. One strong push and out you flew, covered in vernix. Like you weren’t even past term, I think you’d been telling them that all along.

You were a quiet little girl. They laid you next to me and you just laid there, you didn’t cry you just were. I didn’t know what to do with you. My mind was not computing that you were here, my little girl, the one I had desperately prayed for months convinced you were not going to happen. I was bleeding pretty bad, but I was so tired I didn’t even realize until later they were concerned. All I wanted to do was sleep, luckily you were my sleeper.

Boy could you sleep, 6 hours, 8 hours, even 10 one night was your norm the first few months of life. Of course then teething started and ended all that, but let’s not talk about that. Your easy labor turned into an easy babyhood, God knew my frazzled brain couldn’t handle much more. You were the dream baby. We decided to no-cry train you to sleep on your own in your first week of life. Since you seemed to want your own space anyway, it worked like a charm.

You were daddy’s little girl, right from the start. You two took to each other like peanut butter on bread. Daddy did everything with you, but feed you, that was all I had with you.

I really enjoyed making you your birthday video baby girl. I’m so glad we took videos and lots of pictures, I know if I look at them enough, someday it will feel like they are real memories not just images implanted into my hazzy memory of your first year of life. Your little brother decided to enter the scene when you were only 9 months old. I was crushed, for a variety of reasons but mostly for you. I felt so bad you’d had such a bum mother the last year and now it was going to start all over.

Thankfully God had other plans for us. A few months and a good midwife later mommy started coming back. I couldn’t believe how beautiful you were. How had I not seen it? With your big blue eyes and your blonde hair starting to curl all over your head. You were a happy and mischievous little girl, the happy has stayed, though thankfully the mischievous is starting to go. You’ve kept us on our toes this last year, mostly to step over whatever you found to dump on the floor in the two seconds we took to blink our eyes. Your willingness to eat off the floor began the morning you dumped every box of cereal and crackers we had in the middle of the kitchen floor. I was only trying to go to the bathroom, my mistake.

When your baby brother entered your world, your eyes were opened and all of a sudden I existed. Oh how I cherished those moments with you sitting on my lap without wiggling to get down. You finally decided I deserved my own name and mommy entered your permanent vocabulary. No longer was I daddy or nena to you, finally I was mommy.

I have so enjoyed watching you turn into a little girl this last year. You are a beautiful, sweet child. I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow. You’ve taken all of your life so far in stride, lighting the world with your smile wherever you go.

Happy Birthday my Jenavieve. Mommy loves you little girl.