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Ever since I can remember, I dreamt of having a daughter. I felt in my heart she would someday be my bestest friend. While I was pregnant with our first tiny miracle, I never anticipated the way my heart would feel after seeing her. It was an emotion that’s hard to describe – but I knew I would do anything for her. In the last two and a half years, every time she gets hurt or feels sad, I pray that I can take her pain away. Now that I am close to having another miracle daughter, I know these feelings with intensify. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Annabelle to make sure she knows how special she truly is to my heart.
One of the activities Annabelle loves the most is cooking with me in the kitchen. I will forever remember cooking with my Mom throughout my childhood – and even now as an adult. If I am visiting my family in Connecticut, you can always find me, Annabelle, my Mom, and my sisters making something delicious in the kitchen.
Until Annabelle became tall enough, she would hang out on the counters while I prepared a meal. Now she pulls up her little stool and stands right beside me. She will do anything I ask proudly, since she is Mommy’s big helper. She inevitably ends up back on the countertop, stealing bites of butter or handfuls of some other ingredient she shouldn’t be eating.
Annabelle is obsessed with making pancakes. We make them every single day. When we ran out of pancake mix last week, the poor girl practically had a breakdown. I called my own Mom in hopes that she would have a pancake recipe to save the day. She pulled out my Grandmother’s cookbook and shared an easy recipe that prevented some big toddler tears.
During the last few weeks that my 2 1/2 year old is the only child in our house, I’ve been doing everything I can to bond with Annabelle. I know that when the new baby comes, there will be an adjustment period in which my toddler realizes that she isn’t Mommy’s only girl anymore. I’ve also realized I will have some emotional moments myself since I will be sharing my time with two girls instead of one. Yesterday was my first real, “Oh my gosh, this is it” epiphany as we made pancakes together for what seemed like the 100th time, but felt like it could be our last. A few early labor symptoms had me scheduled for an emergency visit at the doctors, so I told Annabelle we had to make our favorite dish before I left. Thankfully baby sister is staying in my belly for awhile longer and we will have a few more pancake mornings together.
Quality Mommy and Me time is so important when building a lifelong relationship with your little one. The moments we spend alone together give me an opportunity to teach her about life and gives her the chance to ask me anything she wants to know with my undivided attention. More often than not do parents find themselves distracted with daily living and not completely focused on their children – this is why my husband and I make a point to spend individual time with Annabelle.
Recently I watched Miracles from Heaven, a true story that’s both uplifting and inspiring about the relationship between a mother and her young daughter who develops a rare intestinal disease. The movie is such a beautiful story – but if you’re pregnant, be prepared to feel all the feels times a million. I found myself crying into my shirt one too many times as I put myself in Christy Beams’ shoes and imagined life with an ill daughter. Without giving too much away – the movie ends happily – but it really left me reflecting on the miracles I call my daughters in my life. My daughter Annabelle, and our soon-to-be-born baby girl Ailey, are my everything. We can never be prepared for the heartache or troubles that life may present us with, so it is important to cherish our moments together.