Isn't she lovely
Isn't she wonderful
Isn't she precious
one minute nine hours old
I never thought through love we'd be
Making one as lovely as she
Making one as lovely as she
But isn't she lovely made from love
Ella Elizabeth was born this morning catching almost all of us off guard. Knowing something the rest of us didn't, my brother predicted this would be his little girl's birthday months ago. The number 22 is one of his favorite numbers and is also the number corresponding to the year that one of Ella's great grandfathers - a man very important to her daddy - was born. Her beautiful first name is a tribute to that man's wife, Ella's Great Grandma Bolen, another very influential person in her daddy's life. Miss Ella weighed in at seven pounds, nine ounces and is a healthy 19.5 inches long. She has a head covered in reddish blond hair with light colored eyelashes to match. She shares her mama's middle name and looks just like her too. Her initials - EEP - are the same as her completely smitten daddy. Everyone is doing great, albeit understandably exhausted, and it is clear already that Poke and Care Bear are going to make a great parenting team.
I got the call from my brother announcing her arrival just after 10 am this morning. I was like a caged animal in my room at school, not all that successfully holding back tears of happiness and literally shaking with excitement. Knowing there was no way I could leave before the end of the school day, I tried to keep my mind occupied on anything other than my new baby niece. I decided not to tell the girls that their new baby cousin had arrived and instead explained we were taking a rare weekday trip south, taking advantage of our night off of soccer to have dinner with Gramma and Papa in Bloomington. Even though I left out some key details the statement was based in truth. This was the girls' reactions in the parking garage of the hospital when I finally revealed the news. Oblivious until the very end.
Being experts at this whole cousin thing already, they took to Ella immediately. Initially Punkin was a little freaked out by "that thing on her belly" and in the car she claimed that her new cousin was "a little whiny" (so not true, the babe barely made a peep the entire time we were there, but I think Punkin is already practicing placing blame now that there's a new kid in town), but she was VERY quick to ask to hold Ella. She has made it very clear, however, that she will absolutely NOT be assisting with diaper changes.
Shortcake looked like a pro handling her infant cousin for the first time. I foresee great battles between Shortcake and me in the very near future where we fight over holding rights of Miss Ella Bella. If I can guarantee anything it's that Ella will not be able to make a move without her older cousin hovering over her like a protective mini-mommy.
This picture simply makes my heart happy.
As for me, I am completely, absolutely, without a doubt, 100% infatuated with this little girl. I could not get enough of her, shamelessly loving on her while others were forced to stand by and watch my embarrassing display of love. I took her out of the arms of my father, my children, and I think at one point even the new mommy. She is like crack - it only took one hit of being near her and I was instantly addicted.
Walking out of that hospital room to let the new parents get some much needed rest and important bonding time as a new family of three was, for me, absolutely depressing. It sounds ridiculous but after only an hour and a half with my precious niece I felt like I was leaving a piece of myself behind. I had no idea it was possible to love another person's child as much as I do her. She owns me already, and I have hereby committed to make it my life's mission to spoil her completely rotten.
And if my love for her wasn't enough, there's also a very proud Gramma and Papa ready to give her the world as well. They've had seven years of practice and although I think one of them is a little stressed as to how he's going to spread the love evenly among three, I have no doubts little Ella will have him wrapped around her finger as quickly and tightly as the two before her.
Oh, my little Ella E. I love you so much and am so happy that you are finally here. Thank you, Erik and Cari, for making me an aunt again. It is an honor and easily one of my favorite roles in life. I am so happy for you and can't wait to watch as you begin this next adventure.