Thursday, November 27, 2014

one year

our beautiful Greta Kathleen. this past year has been filled to the brim with precious memories. it seems like we've barely blinked for the past twelve months, and yet here you are, one year old, and you keep on growing and changing every day. it shouldn't surprise me. that's what babies do: grow and change, grow and change, and it's thrilling and exciting and a little bit sad, all at once. your sense of humor is growing too, and over the past few months you've become much more smiley and interactive with friends and strangers. here's a look back at the first year we've had the delight of knowing you.

you took your first steps just a week before your birthday, and you do the best walking when we can distract you from the fact that you're not actually holding onto anything. you emphatically sign "please" now for anything you want, and sign "more" and "all done" (usually while saying a singsong "ahh-duh!"). we started to add whole milk to your bottles and have gradually increased the proportion until you were just drinking milk, and then ... voila! made the switch to sippy cups. you didn't protest giving up the bottle, but you love your milk and it's a struggle sometimes to get you to drink water throughout the day. 

we celebrated in style this month, with a cake smash extravaganza; cake and presents on Thanksgiving Day (your actual birthday!) with Nana, Pappy, and the rest of our extended family; and finally, a Dr. Seuss-themed birthday party at our house.

for the cake smash, i made your cake with a Duncan Hines white cake mix, baked it in my two-quart Corningware dish, and frosted it using a technique i found on Pinterest. before we got started, i lined the floor and walls behind you with two plastic tablecloths (which turned out to be a very good thing!). you weren't quite sure what to make of the cake at first, and you were mostly interested in playing with the candle. i naively thought that it would be a great idea to decorate the cake smash "set" with iridescent tinsel, which unfortunately stuck to everything, so you were preoccupied with trying to shake it off your hands.

after a few tentative swipes at the cake, you really started to have fun and managed to smear pink frosting all over yourself. the cake got decimated in about five minutes, even though you didn't eat much of it. you wore your pretty white top from Great-auntie Kim (and the frosting washed out of it without any stains!). 

you weren't too pleased when i took the candle away. then you crawled through the cake, twice, and that was that. bathtime for Greta! 

on Thanksgiving Day, your daddy played for mass in the morning, and then we headed to Martinsburg for the afternoon and evening. we had a lovely dinner with Nana Sabrina, Pappy Joe, Auntie Becca, Uncle Josh, Great-Pap Shaffer and Great-Gram Peggy. your Great-Aunt Becky and Great-Uncle Carl stopped by to visit as well. you had another cake, and this time, you knew just what to do with it. while we were singing "Happy Birthday", you grabbed a big fistful! you did need some help opening your presents, but you had no hesitation playing with your new toys! 

two days later, we had a Dr. Seuss party at our house for family and friends. you were especially excited to see your godparents, Father Aron and Steph, and loved playing with Shannon and James Hoyne. your birthday presents from Mommy and Daddy were your very own rocking chair, and a real typewriter, since you love to press buttons so much. 

you wore your sparkly tutu from our friend Bridget (who used to live across the street from us). we had a photo booth set up with silly props, and Shannon and James played Pin the Hat on the Cat. your guests wrote sweet little messages to you in a copy of Dr. Seuss' book Happy Birthday to You! i had lots of fun with the decorations and food. we ate Sam I Am Sliders (ham & cheese sliders), Poodle's Oodles of Noodles (macaroni and cheese), Truffula Fruit and Truffula Trees (fruit and veggie trays), Green Eggs (deviled eggs with green filling), Oobleck (green Jell-O jigglers), Red Fish Blue Fish (Swedish fish and blue gummy sharks), and Cat's Hats (Oreos topped with red gummy coins and white frosting). and we drank Pink Ink Yink Drink (pink punch), Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can Yoo-Hoo? (Yoo-Hoo chocolate milk boxes), Water from the Pool of the Jungle of Nool (bottled water), and beer.

we held the party from 2 pm to 5 pm, and you were a champ throughout the whole thing. you began to get the hang of opening presents, and went to town on your birthday cupcake (red velvet with turquoise icing). 

Happy First Birthday, sweetheart. you are the sunshine of our hearts, and we are so excited to see what this next year brings!