Posts Tagged ‘first birthday

Dear Jariel,

One year ago you were born into the oversized mesh underwear I had just changed into ten minutes prior. We’d made it to the hospital this time, barely made it into the room nearest the assessment area, didn’t make it onto the bed. They gave you a perfect Apgar, and they gave me the best peanut butter on toast I’ve ever had. You woke up every hour that first night and, uh, to date there’s been only marginal improvement. It’s okay, though. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

imageLately you’re a velcro baby. There are times I suspect you’re trying to literally meld into one entity with me, as if I could absorb you like an amoeba if you smushed hard enough. It’s cute, but incapacitating. I function with one hand, one eye, and half my attention. I feel like I need to apologize to everybody for my inability to carry on an undistracted conversation.

You took your first step (singular) at eight months, but it took three months before your desire to walk surpassed your love of the Mowgli crawl. I think you finally realized that walking frees up your hands to hold things, or push over furniture. There was that one afternoon you chased your sister around the house as she handed you pieces of nori – basically paper you can eat! Which is all you’ve ever wanted, at least until I started giving you free rein at the playground. Then you were all, What are these crumbly little grains hmmm must taste test …

imageYour first word was mama, but I’m beginning to suspect that, all this time, you might actually have been saying mum mum, as in FOOD. Considering the overlap between the two, I suppose I can’t fault you too much. You eat very well, despite being on the leaner side, and you’re willing to try anything (see above re: sand). Your appetite is robust and your pincer grasp is masterful, but the mess is new territory for me, and I’m not even new at baby-led weaning. Your sister never gleefully squished her food into her hair.

Since unfamiliar people get immediate poker face treatment, most don’t know what a cheeseball you are. You like to climb onto the sofa and throw yourself around bodily, shrieking. (Yes, once you threw yourself clean off. Ouch.) The other day you were doing this, happy as a clam, when suddenly your mouth started bleeding. But you just kept going, leaving mouth-shaped blood stamps in your wake. It wasn’t until the day after that I figured out what happened: you severed your upper lip tie. And you didn’t even react.

imageYou may be wary of new people, but you adore new environments. Who was it who said that being a baby is like being in love, in Paris for the first time after having three double espressos?* Well, I believe it. I can see it in your face. Every time you point to a seagull, every time you scrabble at the sand under your tiny shoes, every time you spot a water fountain at the mall. And when you interrupt your antics to sidle over and lay your head under my chin, it’s how I feel about you, too.



*Alison Gopnik

party shy

Posted on: 11 April 2013

Confession: I used to judge people who threw fancy birthday parties for their one-year-old, because dude, it’s not like they’ll appreciate or remember it. Eventually I clued in and realized that the party is for the parents, a celebration of surviving the first year, perhaps. Plus a photo op. And if it brings someone joy to organize and host a party, to decorate, to prepare food, then why not?

I am not one of those mothers.

Just the thought of it all stresses me out. If it were up to me I’d let the day pass without fanfare, but as it turns out, Ashelyn is too darn popular incredibly well-loved. As it turns out, she had a whole weekend of “parties.”

The good news is I didn’t have to plan anything; some of them just sort of happened.

Our westside church plant has its youth service on Saturday morning, and our young adults surprised us with a gorgeous cake and card. In the evening, Kevin had a business thing turned massive Filipino dinner. Ashelyn had nothing to do with this, but nonetheless got to stuff herself with strawberries, and received plenty of well wishes when people heard it was her birthday. Also, how have I not had Filipino food before? It is awesome.

My family came over for dinner on Sunday. They supplied the ingredients; we Kevin took charge of the cooking.

And on Monday, we headed out to the ‘burbs for dinner with Kevin’s family.


And there was more cake. That we ate in her stead.

Mad props to the themed party planners. Me? I think I prefer it this way.