Ella turned 12 on Tuesday and was celebrated by dad Alex Rodriguez and soon-to-be stepmom Jennifer Lopez on Instagram

By Jen Juneau
April 21, 2020 05:15 PM
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Jennifer Lopez/ Instagram; Steve Granitz/WireImage

Happy 12th birthday, Ella Alexander!

Jennifer Lopez celebrated her soon-to-be stepdaughter’s final preteen age milestone on Instagram Tuesday, posting a sweet photo of the two embracing and sharing a heartfelt message for fiancé Alex Rodriguez‘s younger daughter.

“To my loving little Ella … the first day I met you (you were so little then…), you ran up to me, sat right on my lap, put your arms around me and asked to have my lavender dress I had just worn to the Grammys for when you grew up,” Lopez, 50, began her caption.

Ella was, of course, referencing the number Lopez wore to music’s biggest night in 2017: a simple pastel lilac gown by Ralph & Russo featuring a thigh-high slit, a deep cutout, a slight train and an unexpected ruffle detail at the neckline and throughout the skirt.

“You won my heart in a split second … you’re not so little anymore but you’re still sitting on my lap and I love it!!! 💕 HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet girl! #ThisPicIsUs PS: I have the dress saved for you!! 🌸,” the singer continued in her birthday message for Ella — on which Rodriguez, 44, commented, “Omggggg❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.”

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Jennifer Lopez at the 2017 Grammy Awards
Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

Lopez has remarked in the past that she still has many of her most iconic pieces in her possession, and that her daughter Emme Maribel, 12, and Ella are already working to determine who gets which outfits.

“Ella told me, ‘I want your [Grammys] dress with the orchid,’ and Emme is like ‘What about that [dress], Mommy? Are we gonna keep that? Don’t throw that out,’ ” the “Waiting for Tonight” hitmaker told Entertainment Tonight of her wardrobe in June. “They tell me all the time.”

Speaking with PEOPLE at the Guess Spring 2018 Campaign Reveal, Lopez previously said of Emme, “It’s funny. There’s a few things that she wants and likes of mine.”

“I can’t even remember now because now it’s always like, ‘Mommy, save that for me. Mommy, save that for me,’ ” explained the actress, singer and fashion designer.

RELATED VIDEO: Alex Rodriguez Reflects on Proposing to Jennifer Lopez 1 Year Later: “I Was a Nervous Wreck”

But, Lopez added, there’s more than enough to go around. “It’s like [Rodriguez’s daughter Natasha Alexander, 15], Ella, Emme, okay, everybody’s going to get a little bit of something,” she explained.

Speaking of Rodriguez, the former MLB pro posted his own touching tribute to his younger daughter in honor of her birthday, alongside a video montage of Ella with friends and family members.

“I can’t say enough about how proud I am to be your dad, Ella. You are growing up so fast. You are mature, and wildly talented. You can sing and act and I know you loooove to dance,” he wrote, in part. “What I’m most proud of this year is the dedication you have given to your studies. You really improved your grades this year and that means so much to me. Making a commitment to education yields so many rewards later in life.”

“And I can’t wait to see what life brings you,” Rodriguez added. “Happy 12th birthday 🎂 #EllaBella!! I love you so much. 🎉 🎈 🎊”