Monday, February 9, 2015

365 Days of Zoe Marie

Well, I just finished the last piece of her birthday cake so I guess that means we're wrapping up Zoe's birthday week. I ate the cake on her behalf, as all good mothers would do. Just one of the many sacrifices we make. Also, we'll call it a birthday week since it's taken me a full week to post about her 1st birthday. If it had taken a month, we'd have a whole birthday month. You see how that works?

But here we are, one week later. What the balloons have lost in helium, I have gained in cake weight. Good thing birthdays only come around once a year.

Our baby is one. Wow.

A few people have asked me how I feel about having a one year old or how I felt as her first birthday approached, and I appreciate that because they are acknowledging a huge milestone in my life, as well as in hers. We made it through the first year! High-fives and holy cow.

Truthfully, her first birthday was very bittersweet. I went through a whole range of emotions that I don't fully understand...panicky to thrilled to weepy to what's-the-big-deal-anyways. But that's also kind of how I feel about every day, so it's hard to tell what to attribute to Zoe's first birthday and what to attribute to a Sunday, you know?

We didn't do a big birthday bash and I have mixed feelings about that, too. On the one hand, she's everyone settle down. STOP PRESSURING ME, PINTEREST! I got a little bit panicky when I realized that I forgot (is that the right word?) to plan and execute the perfectly themed party with banners and balloons and a caterer and photo booth. Rats. Foiled again! I sent some worried text messages to the 24/7 iMessage support group, who speak truth into my life (and also to my mom). I was all "I'm feeling really stressed out about the fact that I'm not doing a fantastic birthday soiree for Zoe" and they were all "hey, it's ok.  Less is more. Check your motives. Deep breaths. This doesn't mean you love her any less than the super-party moms. And also...have some wine" And they helped me remember that I am definitely not a soiree-type of person in ANY area of my life, so why start now? Phew. What a relief. Just as I was having SERIOUS angst about baking a multi-layered organic cake in the shape of a giant number one. I was thisclose to pulling out my sewing machine and whipping up a glorious monogrammed birthday banner. It was a huge letdown when I remembered I don't have a sewing machine or even know how to monogram anything...but again, crisis averted.

So we just had cake (she wasn't totally into it, but mama hungry-hungry-hippoed the heck out of it, so no cake was wasted in the celebrating of this birthday). And we had a Happy Birthday banner. And a birthday crown. And exactly three presents (one of which was a recycle from Christmas. She LOVED it! Again!). And it was delightful and simple and not-at-all stressful, so I'd call it a huge success.


The only twinge of sadness I felt was the fact that our "party" was just the three of us...I wished for cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents...but there will be many birthdays like that in the future, Lord willing. So this is good news. And you better believe that for THOSE birthday parties there will be banners and themes and color-coordination. Definitely custom family birthday t-shirts, at the very least.

But this time, that was it.

Zoe's first birthday.

I'm still in awe of having a one year old. Z and I reminisced about the day she was born and how CRAZY it all seems...very surreal, in fact. I actually can't believe I feel that way, I can't believe all of the stages we've already made it through, I can't believe how fast it all went. People try to tell you, and they're actually right about this one.

I think it's been my favorite year yet.

I keep telling my mom about all the funny and delightful and brilliant and amazing things Zoe does and she keeps saying "are you writing this stuff down? Because you'll forget! You'll forget she does those things!" and I know she's right.

So Zoe, I'm writing it's who you are at one year old:

You love to dance when you hear music, you love Curious George, you love reading books and having books read to you.

You have two tiny bottom teeth and more on the way based on your level of crankiness recently.

You show us how big you are, you clap your hands, you make a fish-face, you wave bye-bye, and we're learning signs and blowing kissing. If you ask your dad, he would say your words include "mama" and "dada". But you and I both know you've already said "cracker" and "doggie" and "onomatopoeia".

You still scrunch up your entire face and crinkle your nose when you're happy, you snort when you get really excited, and your entire face crumbles when you cry. All of it is impossibly adorable.

When you're tired or sad or nursing, you reach behind my neck and grab my hair, gently stroking it or simply holding on tight. When your daddy holds you, you reach behind his neck and search for hair to play with, which is really sweet to watch but maybe disappointing for you. This is one of those precious quirks that I definitely don't want to forget after you stop doing it.

You eat like a champ...the more flavor, the better. Chicken is still a favorite. When you don't like something on your tray, or when you're done with a particular something, you very casually drop it off over the side like "hey, no big deal. Nothing to see here. It needed to be gone and I took care of it". We are working hard to discourage this habit and it's a painful process for all involved.

You crawl so fast and with such determination. We love hearing your little hands slap-slap-SLAP across the floor. You also cruise around the furniture really well. You CAN stand on your own, but you're timid about it and rarely do. You walk behind your push-toy and think this is the greatest thing EVER, but you haven't ventured out on your own yet, and this is fine.

You sleep great, although naps are inconsistent...but I'm ok with this, since nighttime sleep is essential for all of us. Most nights your little buns are up in the air or you're sprawled dramatically on your back, limbs everywhere. We call this position "crime scene baby".

You still find Olive equal parts hilarious and bothersome. Don't we all? Recently your favorite activity involves crawling onto her bed with her and playing with her toys or her floppy ears. She is so sweet to you. You find it HILARIOUS that she is afraid of your push-toy and you love to "chase" her, screeching with laughter when she runs away.


Your daddy coming home from work is still the surest way to get a huge smile out of you.

When you're happy you like to scream DA-DA-DA-DA! and when you're sad you wail MA-MA-MA-MAAAAAAA!

When you're comfortable, you WILL NOT stop chattering away in your sweet little baby voice and cheesing and performing for your adoring fans. When you're in a new situation or around unfamiliar people, you clam up and give a deadpan stare. Just today the bagger in the grocery story asked me, "Is she always so serious?" (By the way Zo, the stare you totally get from your daddy. Actually, you get most of your face from your daddy).

You absolutely light up our lives and we cannot get over you. We're your biggest fans, we're crazy about you, we ADORE you. Your first year was our favorite. We are so excited about the years to come!

1 comment:

  1. This is the greatest post ever. I love her AND YOU!! We're all meant to be cul-de-sac neighbors, obviously. And we can eat the kid's cake EVERY year, not just on their first birthdays. Also, we'll have wine. My treat. You're welcome.