The Birthday with No Regrets: Happy 2nd Gianna!

Hooray for another birthday letter! Thank y’all for humoring me and allowing me to share a bit of my heart on each of my children’s birthdays. Those days really do change our lives, don’t they?

Gianna, this one’s for you sweetheart.

Dear Gigi,

You’re two. TWO! And I love it. Two years of your happy squeals, cute dance moves, curly hair and big smiles. Man, was it worth it to say yes to life.

A few days ago I took this photo of you and your older brother. Even though it’s a little out of focus and both of you are smiling at Dad, who was standing just above me, something about it gets me. Every time. I guess because y’all are the two kids nobody thought would make it. Your brother fought like a mad man in the NICU and you, well, let’s just say people don’t bring over cake and balloons when you announce the arrival of your sixth baby.

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When I look at that photo all I see is love. And a whole lot of it.

Every Monday morning you and I traipse off to the grocery store. You love it because the entire store dotes on you. And, as I stand in line to check out, you grab my waist and give me squeeze, after squeeze. It is awesome.

Speaking of squeezes, you give the very best. After you wrap your arms tight, you always follow with what we call “love pats” on the back. Then you usually lean in for a kiss. It’s pretty much the best part of my day.

You aren’t talking. At all. Well, at least not in English. People keep asking if I’m worried and I keep saying no. You’re on Gianna time.

We’re still cloth diapering and I can’t believe we’ve made it this long. Oh, how I wish we would’ve tried it with the others. It’s way less intimidating than I made it out to be. It does give you some serious junk in the trunk and the cutest little waddle when you walk. I think that’s why I keep at it. Earlier this spring, you weaned, and while it was hard to close that chapter with you, we had a good run. And, to capture these photos in our home parish under a beam of sunlight? Now that’s a curtain call.

You screech like a howler monkey when we take away your milk (hey, at least you can sign that word!) or a ball. But for everything else you are the chillest baby on the planet. I guess now I have to call you a toddler!

Praise Jesus for the sleep gene, because girl, you have it. Most nights, you’re down for the count before 8 and not up until a solid 12-13 hours later with a 3-hour afternoon nap. It took us a long time to get there, but I like to think it’s God’s reward with the sixth baby. 

Shoes. You are all about the shoes. Every morning we all scramble to find where you’ve relocated everyone’s footwear. It used to be infuriating and now it’s just funny. At least our search area is only two feet high everywhere in the house. That helps.

This fall you’re supposed to start a little Mother’s Day Out program a few hours a week. I’m preparing myself for a massive fail because you are attached to me like bees to honey. I’m okay with that. We’ll figure it out.

You hate baths and bubbles. They freak you out. Granny had to learn that one the hard way. But, you do so love the great outdoors. If I could let you run in the grass all day and swing you’d officially be the happiest toddler on the planet.

All the little moments of my day with you redeem me in motherhood. Where I’m failing with your older siblings, you remind me that all you need is love. I figure by the time you’re a teenager and I’m the dumbest parent on the planet, your older brothers and sisters will think I’m smart again. Full circle, I guess.

You really are the sunshine in the house, G. I’m so happy I got to do this all over again with you. No regrets, baby. It’s time to live life to the fullest.

Happy second birthday!



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  1. Maureen Davis on May 6, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Hi Kathryn,

    Beautiful letter to Gianna! Happy Birthday to Gianna and God bless all


  2. Verdina on May 6, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Kathryn, Do you ever get sick of my saying you are the bomb?

    Another beautiful letter to your child. They will certainly cherish these very special pieces of your heart written down for them.

    Love you; love your family!

    God bless you!

  3. Andrea on May 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I especially love the part about failing with older siblings but all she needs is love. I too thank God for my youngest when the eye rolling teens get to me. And I hope that when she is a stinky teen the oldest will be a mature adult and take mom out for a margarita, lol. “Big” family perk ?

  4. Liz on May 7, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    made me tear up- just love it- thanks a lot!

  5. PamL on May 20, 2016 at 6:57 am

    I’m so happy to read that she’s not talking! 🙂 My 23 month old boy is not talking– well, he says 3 words: hi, bye bye, and daddy. My little guy is #7, and he just doesn’t need to talk, haha! Anyway, beautiful letter and live the baby hugs! This is such a sweet time!

    • Kathryn on May 30, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Amen sister.

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