Katya Rose

Moments ago (or so it seems) the doctor laid a tiny, squirmy baby on my chest and said, “Congratulations, you have a baby girl.”

My daughter.

I never thought I’d have a daughter.  And yet, as I held her in that very first moment and looked at her face, somehow I knew her.  It was like I had always known her, her face was so familiar to me.

And now, four years later, I’m wondering how it happened so fast?

How did she go from this?

Baby Tia

To the smart, witty, mischevious four year old sitting on my couch?

Where did the baby go?  The one who’s eyes and cheeks swallowed her face?

Sweet Tia

To say I adore this little girl is quite the understatement.  She’s just awesome.  And Lee and I both agree that our time with her has seemed especially fast.  We sometimes struggle to remember her as a baby.  I think it’s because, as babies go, she may have been the best infant on the planet.  She slept 19 hours a day until she was six months old.  She ate like a horse (maybe a pony) and she smiled near constantly.

Russian TiaTia 1st birthday

There’s also the fact that she wasn’t a baby for very long. 

As soon as she figured out she had the potential for mobility, she took off.  By 5 months she was crawling, by 9 and a half months she was walking and by one she was giving me a heart attack by jumping off any and everything in sight.

Tia laughs

Before she was two, she was a big sister – a role that she was born to play.

Big sis Tia

But this contributed to the feeling that somehow she’s just grown up too fast.  I feel like I missed it.  Even though I relished in her girlness as a baby, now that’s it’s so far removed, I feel like it happened too fast.  And now this small person stands before me.  How did that happen?


I love having a girl sandwiched between two boys.  She brings a bit of sensitivity to the bunch.  Not much, of course, because she makes it known she wants to be one of the guys.

Tia and boys3

Tia and boys

I look forward to seeing these relationships grow as they get older – to see the boys protect their sister and Tia look after her brothers.

It’s been one heckova year for Tia.  There have been a lot of milestones reached.  Most good.  Some, ahem, not so good.

Bad haircut

And here we are, Feburary 2, and I’m wondering how we got here so fast.  Tia pranced into our room at 6:15 this morning and, with her tiny mouth inches from my ear, stage whispered, “Moooom.  I’m four now.”

TO2 '09

I know, sweet girl.  I know.

Happy Birthday, Katya Rose. 

Last year, I wrote this post for her birthday.  It’s still one of my favorite posts.  I’m not sure I could ever say it better than that.


  1. Happy Birthday, sweet girl with a beautiful Russian name! I think this special name will give you wisdom and strength of Slav women.
    You are so blessed to call these wonderful people Mom and Dad. May all your dreams come true!

  2. Happy birthday, Tia! One year closer to that magical number 5 🙂

  3. Mmm-hmm…she’s already asked me this morning how much longer until she turns five. And so it starts… 😉

  4. candy martin says

    What a glorious day that was. While we all hoped in our hearts in was a little girl, we had been convinced that Stuarts don’t have girls. We laughed and I think I shouted out loud when we realized it was a girl. She is my little Doodle-bug and I adore her. When she lifts that sweet, tiny face up to talk to me, I just want to squeeze her. She is growing up too fast, but I can’t wait until the day we can take her on a trip to Chicago or maybe NYC to the American Girl store. Better start saving my money now.

  5. Happy Birthday precious Tia, our only granddaughter among 5 boys. You are the perfect little girl, being able to hold your own and enjoy the boys, but when the occasion calls for a lovely, young lady, there you are. I love it when people say you look like your Bebe! If I were allowed to pick who would be my granddaughter, hands down it would have been you. Have a great day today and enjoy being 4.
    We love you,
    Papa, Bebe, and Grandmother

  6. Yes, Happy birthday sweet Tia….where HAS the time gone. I enjoyed looking at all the pics over her sweet 4 yrs of life so far! Enjoy your day!!

  7. Happy Birthday Tia!

  8. Happy Birthday to my only niece. I love you, sweet thang.

  9. That is so sweet Kelli! And I reread your post from last year, brought tears to my eyes just thinking of being in your shoes when Mia gets to this age. Oh how quickly time passes.
    I hope she has a great birthday!

  10. Happy Birthday precious Tia! Kelli, what a lovely little girl she is! Can’t wait to see you guys in a couple months.