November 25, 2014

Livvy Lara Turns Two.

Tomorrow this angel turns two. It was just yesterday that I was throwing up in my hair and giving birth to her. But anyway, here I am and here she is, in all her toddling, babbling new-two-ness. 

Speaking of Livvy's birth, and of our first few days with her, there's a memory that returns to me: While we were in the hospital after her birth, no one brought or sent flowers. After we had Tessa, there were at least six vases to load into the car when we left the hospital. I remember worrying they'd tip over on that first already-precarious ride home with my new baby. Of course, I worried about everything then. After we got home with Livvy, I confided in my mom that the fact of it--petty or not--made me sad. The second-baby effect, I guessed. Mom was over with roses before I could think another thought about it. There are pictures of three-day-old Livvy laid across our kitchen island with a swarm of roses behind her. To me, those photos are emblematic of how those of us who love her have always endeavored to make her understand how loved and how worthy she is. 

A few words about Livvy:

Don't leave her alone with a chapstick. She will eat it.

She has started throwing tantrums. About ridiculous things only.

She goes to a Mother's Day Out program four days a week--the same one Tessa goes to. Tessa will be in kindergarten next year so I relish their short-lived togetherness, my knowing that they are safe in one place.

She has started speaking in short sentences, stringing new words together every day. Words that reveal her personality in the most exciting way. (Spoiler alert for the big reveal of her personality .... She's the absolute best.) But she still talks in full-on "baby talk," which I would prefer her never to outgrow. For Livvy, there is no such thing as the letter "L." Ask her her name: She is "Ivvy," and she "uffs" you.

Ask her how old she'll be on her birthday, she'll tell you "two" but hold up four fingers.

Her hair is now long enough for stubby powder-puff pigtails, which she wears so well. See photos throughout this post.

I still carry her around on my hip as much as I can, even though my arms ache sometimes. I love the feel of her weight and her warmth and the way her head tucks toward me to rest against my shoulder blade. I love the velvet of her forehead on my cheek.

Even though this post is fragmented because it's at the end of my work day and it's her birthday tomorrow and Thanksgiving the day after that, the most important thing to know about Livvy, if you've made it this far, is that she's a mesmerizing spirit with a sweetness and tenderness that runs deep. All babies are. This one speaks straight to my heart, and my heart is better for it. I will spend the rest of my life bringing Livvy flowers.

Livvy Likes:
  • Chapstick.
  • Her sister/best friend Tessa.
  • Babies.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Baths.
  • Garlic knots (and all the marinara) at Five Points Pizza.
  • Cupcakes, icing only.
  • Baby bottles filled to the top with milk. 
  • Swigs of beer, all kinds. (If left alone with a bottle, I feel confident she'd pound it.)
  • Books.
  • Puzzles.
  • Shaking her booty. 

Livvy Dislikes:
  • The car wash.
  • Electric hand-dryers. Thus, public bathrooms in general.
  • Having her hair combed.
  • Most Halloween costumes and decorations.
  • The suggestion that she should start pottytraining.
  • The suggestion that she is too old for a bottle. 
  • Anything to drink out of other than a bottle. 

What I Love About Livvy:

  • The way her breath smells. 
  • The shape of her teeth. 
  • Ah, hell, let me just cut to the chase: Every single thing.  


  1. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl!

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  3. So cute! I like this picture.... Thanks for share.

  4. Ellen! I SO loved reading about your precious Livvy. Your soul's words create a beautiful bouquet for her. Glad I found this !!!!! Savor. Dawn