You have seriously been the most perfect baby I could have ever asked for. From the moment you entered our lives, you have brought us nothing but joy. When I think about the past year, and try to come up with one thing that was difficult about your 'baby-hood'...the only thing that comes to mind, is that you had a hard time in the car for a few months. That's it! I remember reading about the different 'types' of babies in the book, Baby Wise. You would be classified as an angel baby. I was once skeptical that these types of babies even existed--you have proven me wrong. And it's not like Sawyer or Violet, were hard. In fact, they were mostly great. But you, my sweet Isla, have taken great to a whole new level :). Daddy and I often joke that you are the favorite. We know, of course, that we love all of you so much and equally. But we are so grateful to you for having made this past year that much better and that much easier. There was a lot going on for the Larson family this past year. We moved to Germany when you were only 3.5 month old. You slept in my bed with me for much of those first 4-5 months, because we were always on the go. I worried, at first, that I might spoil you too much and make the transition into sleeping on your own and sleeping through the night much harder. Again, you proved me wrong! Once we moved into our house in October, you were happy as a clam to have your own bed in your own room. I can count on one hand the number of times you've cried when I put you to sleep for the night (over the whole year!). You started crawling somewhere between 6 and 7 months. By 8 months you were pulling to stand. Around 9 months I thought we might have a walker soon. You were cruising around the furniture and occasionally standing on your own. Well, here we are at a year and you are not anxious to take those steps! You can do it...in fact we've seen it many times. 1, 2, sometimes 3 steps. But that's all you care to do. And honestly, that's just fine with me. It's kinda nice not to have to chase you around yet :). I know it's coming, and we'll be excited when it does, but for now we will just enjoy a baby who's not running away from us yet!
Isla, you are so snuggly. You have always been. If anyone holds you to their chest, in an upright position, you will immediately put your head on their shoulder. If Daddy or I are sitting on the floor or on the couch, you will crawl up to us, and lie your head on our leg. It is your way of showing us love. And I can't think of anything more wonderful in the world! In fact, just the other day you were not feeling well and having a hard time sleeping. Daddy took you in the room and sat on the bed with you. A few minutes later I came back in with some medicine and found both of you sound asleep. It was so, so sweet.
You are a fabulous little eater. Nursing is winding down. I just feed you occasionally at night and in the early morning, but as the milk supply dwindles, your interest is dwindling as well. I'm kinda sad to stop nursing you. I just love that time we have together. I think you have almost eaten anything that I have offered you, with the exception of milk. Not a fan of that, yet. You spend a lot of your time in the high chair. Often because there are too many dangerous toys/objects laying around from your siblings and I can't think of a safer place than the high chair. We love to see you sitting in there, all chill, like you are the queen of the place. You usually lean back and look super relaxed while eating your snacks. It's pretty funny. Your long, narrow fingers are so adorable and I love to watch them pick up little things like peas. And you have recently discovered your love for ice cream. You LOVE it. The cold doesn't seem to bother you, and you will gobble down a whole chunk of ice cream with no problem. I think it must be the Larson genes...you have a couple of aunts who share that same love. ;)
Speaking of genes, you are our smallest baby so far. So slender and petite. Most of the headbands I made for Violet as a baby don't fit your head yet. You have very feminine little ballerina feet. Often pointed. You haven't hit the 20 pound mark yet, either. You are still riding in your baby car seat! Ha! I keep meaning to get you a bigger one, but frankly, you just don't need it yet. And you seem to be content in there. About a month ago, we were worried you were starting to get car sick. You threw up in your carseat at least 3-4 times over a couple of weeks. It was not fun for anyone. But I think it was just due to the congestion from your cold, and you had been gagging on some of that. Once the cold cleared up, no more barfing. Thank goodness!
You don't do a whole lot of babbling yet. Laughing, yes. Babbling, no. Oh but you can squeal....and your daddy and brother invoke a lot of that. I told the doctor at your 1 yr check up that you weren't saying any two syllable sounds yet (mama, dada, baba). He told me to tell him if it didn't start by 15 months. 2 weeks later, you suddenly said 'buh-bye' when we were saying goodbye to some of our friends! And then you said, 'mama'! It was so unexpected and so stinking cute! I could have died it was just adorable. I'm excited to hear more of that from you.
Isla Bea. I don't know if you will always go by your first and middle name. But for now, it seems that we call you both equally. Even our friends call you Isla Bea, a lot of the time. I love it. It just seems fitting. And in the back of my mind, I am always reminded of your unique and special entrance into this world. You came at a time of sadness for our family. Your great grandmother passed away the same day that you decided to come. She was a wonderful woman whom I loved so much. Your daddy and I debated on your name, long and hard. Somehow, we stumbled across the name, Bea, which means bringer of joy. You truly did that. In our time of sorrow, you brought great joy. And you have continued to bring us joy throughout this year. The name also makes me think of my own mom, whose nickname is 'Bina'. She is a tremendous example to me and my relationship with her is one I hope to emulate with you.
I think the more kids you have, the harder it gets to see your babies growing up. It almost seems like denial on my part. You are still such a baby in my eyes. I remember thinking Sawyer was so old when he turned 1. I guess it is just perspective. When I force my mind to see you as an almost toddler, it makes my heart throb. Part of that throb is a little twinge of sadness to see that baby in you going away, but the biggest part is joy. I think of the joy that I have felt in watching your siblings grow and develop, and I feel the same way as I watch you become your own little person. I am so excited to get to know the person that you are becoming. What I have seen so far fills me with great hope and love. You have a special spirit, my Isla Bea, and I feel so blessed to be your mommy in this life. I hope you always know how much we love you, and how much your Heavenly Father loves you. Here's to many, many more years of joy with you, Isla. Happy Birthday!
We had a wonderful day spent celebrating with our birthday girl at home. Sawyer and Violet were so excited for Isla to have her first birthday! They really made it so much fun for her.
|She may or may not have been slightly gagging from the elastic under her chin (tears starting to well up!)...the hat stayed on for about 3 seconds. Guess I made it a little too tight! Whoops!|
Such a happy little Woogie (another name we often call you!)
|This was the day I found them sound asleep together. It's horribly blurry because it was pitch dark in the room...but I love it so much.|
Poor Isla was way too tired by the time we actually let her have the birthday cake. She was grouchy and whiny. She eventually realized what she was supposed to be doing, poked around in the cake, and sat back in her 'chill in out' stance in the high chair until we finally took her to the tub. Funny girl.