Gabriella Imani Freeman was born on Friday the 13th (something that I was VERY concerned about), the opening day of our last summer Olympics. She had some trouble breathing at first and had to stay in the NICU while her lungs gained strength. She improved each day and was always super strong and alert. I think it was a sign of things to come :-). Over the past four years Ella has definitely remained strong willed and although sometimes quiet, is always observing and taking in the things around her.
I can't imagine life without her and I feel like she has always been here with us! I have loved watching her discover the world and witnessing her emerging personality. I love being able to really talk and laugh with her as she gets older. I love to see her full of pride when she accomplishes a new skill and eager to learn and understand why things are the way they are.
As for Ella's big day yesterday, it was very exciting and a little confusing for her. Her party is this weekend so to her that is her actual birthday and it took some explaining to get her to understand her actual birthday is the 13th, but her party is a different day. She did quickly catch on that it is pretty great to have it be YOUR day though and was soon asking for special treatment (an extra show in the afternoon, a popsicle while playing outside, etc.) all because "it's my birthday!" She has been watching the Olympics with us and has told me she wants to be in the Olympics and on TV and although yesterday was no exception, she wanted to do it that very day "cause it's my birthday" - if only it was that easy :-).
We gave her our family presents in the morning and went to Shipley's for breakfast. Mike had convinced Ella not to have a pinata this year by telling her she could have TWO doughnuts instead - a great bargain for us!
Unfortunately Ella also had her 4-year check up later in the morning. It was so cute though because it was her first appointment being treated like a little adult...complete with paper gown :-). She weighed in at 34 lbs (50th percentile) and is 39 1/4" tall (50th %) and passed her hearing and eye exams. They started her eye exam with a chart that had shapes on it. Some she was familiar with: heart, star, etc. but there was a '+' sign and a flag that she wasn't sure what to call so when the nurse asked, "this one?" she would just say matter of factly "don't know it." I suggested we try the letter chart instead and she did much better :-).
We stopped by to see Nana and Grandad (and my dad helped me figure out his power washer - I LOVE power washing! more on that tomorrow) and they gave Ella a few little birthday surprises.
We're having our family party tomorrow and her real party Saturday. I really need to get going...story of my life. I have just been power washing instead of cleaning our house or preparing for the party. Last year I was really stressed about Ella's party, but I think I learned from it that it doesn't really matter what happens because the kids are just so excited to be at a "party" and eat cupcakes that they have fun no matter what. Honestly I think Ella would have been content eating doughnuts for her party, so maybe next year we'll take a car full of her friends to pick out doughnuts and call it a day :-).