As I sit here watching you colour in, I shake my head at the realisation that four years has passed since you made your grand entrance into this world. And, let me tell you, this world hasn't been the same since!
Oh my beautiful little Lola, you are so very, very special. I say "little" because it seems that no matter how many birthdays you have, you will always be our baby.
Lola, you have a will that, for the majority of time makes me puff out my chest with pride. Although that very will that see's me smile with confidence, also has the capacity to have me hanging my head in defeat.
You are strong willed and stubborn when you want to be. Some days, I can find this challenging - but I believe that this very quality will help you achieve your goals later on in life.
You have a no quit attitude and can negotiate ice to the Eskimo's.
If you ask me for, just say a packet of chips - and I say no - guaranteed that within five minutes not only will you be eating that packet of chips, but you'll be indulging in a chocolate frog chaser as well.
You don't stop until you achieve what you've set out for. It's both frustrating and admirable in the same instance. With the right guidance, I truly believe you could rule the world.
Lola, you are funny. Hilarious actually. You come out with the best lines that have your Dad and I laughing for weeks after the fact.
This one particular time, we had Loren and Santiago crying in unison , and Dad tripped over a toy on the way out to the garbage and spilt the contents on the floor. He was visibly (and understandably) upset and irritated. All I could do was shrug my shoulders at nod at him in sympathy, when you came out and said with an all too knowing tone "Welcome to your life Dad."
We both looked at each other and simply cracked up at this. True to your form, it was both wise and cheeky at the same time. Way more profound than anything that should be coming out of a three year olds mouth.
You often surprise us with intelligent lines that have us in amazement at the way your brain works.
Another time, at Christmas, we were in the car explaining that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus. You asked who Jesus' mother was. We replied, it was Mary. You thought about this for a while with an attentive look on your little face before you came out and asked,
"Hang on, is this the same Mary who had that little lamb?"
You have a logic that is more mature than your years. Nothing pleases me more than seeing the clogs of your brain in action.
Lola, you are a very fast runner. We call you our little pocket rocket because of this very fact. The girls at pre-school say you are the fastest kid in school. You even beat the boys! You are super proud of this achievement.
You are quite the little athlete and excel at any sport you put your mind to. Your Dad takes both you and Luca to swimming lessons each week where you take to the water like a fish. Your dad is super proud of your no fear attitude. He comes home each week and brags about your efforts with a sparkle in his eye. He is so proud of his little over achiever.
Lola you love to cook. You are my little kitchen helper. Every time I am making cakes, you are right there beside me ready to crack my eggs. You're pretty good at it too. You get less shell in the bowl than I do! I have a dream that one day you and I will open our own bakery together and make special occasion cakes.
You are also a great helper. You help me fold clothes, tea towels etc. You are always the first to put your hand up to be of assistance. I know I can rely on your help and that makes me so proud. Except if I ask you to put something in the bin for me, that is your pet hate. Fair enough.
You make your own breakfast these days. You love to butter your own bread/toast/corn thins and this makes you feel like such a big girl - which you are.
Lola, with all of your special qualities, there is one particular one that makes you stand out from the crowd. You are, hands down, the most caring little girl ever.
I see the way you are with your younger brother and sister and it warms my heart. You really have taken on the role of nurturer. If you perceive Loren to be in any sort of danger, you lift her up and carry her to safety. It's so incredibly sweet and kind of funny too because she is almost as big as you are!
Luca is your absolute idol. You follow her around like a little puppy dog. You are currently sharing a room together, where you are sleeping on the floor on a mattress until we move the bed across this weekend. You two are either best friends or worst enemies. There is no in between. Hope you kids find a balance soon, because I fear that my sanity depends on it ;-)
Lola, I cannot express into words how much I love you and how proud I am of you. We have a special bond you and I, that has come about by learning how to deal with your challenging side. At the end of the day, all you want to be is loved. All I want to do is love you. Whenever I see that you are feeling emotional and are acting out, I have learnt that the best way to deal with this behaviour, is with love. Lots of hugs and understanding. Lola you have such a big heart, so full of emotion, that sometimes it overwhelms you. All you need to know is that you are loved beyond time and space and measure. I will always be here for you, I will always have your back and I will never shut the door when you are sleeping because I know how much you hate that. You need to feel protected and I will dedicate my life to protecting you, my gorgeous child.
You are sweet and kind and caring and have a spunk that cannot be denied. You are magnetic. Everyone is drawn to you. You hate photo's, much to my dissatisfaction. I want to celebrate you, but you won't let me! Something that I'm sure we will look back on and laugh, because the majority of photo's that I have, is of you looking cranky!
Lola, you are the cuddliest little girl. You love cuddles and I love to give them to you.
I think you are amazing, I really do. I look at you and get overwhelmed at times because I see how far you've come from that shrieking little baby that I had to hand over to your father when you were four days old because I just needed a break from the non stop crying.
Lola you have so much potential and I cannot wait to see what you make of it. I will be there every step of the way. Every step. In the background. With my fingers crossed for you. My pom pom's poised. My arms ready for a hug should you need one.
Happy 4th Birthday my beautiful Lola. You are an absolute joy. Thank you for enriching my life the way that you have. I love you so much little girl xxx