|She did the #1 finger all by herself, I promise|
In the blink of an eye, an entire year has passed and Lena is one. How did that happen?
And since her birthday, just a few short weeks ago*, it seems as though she has grown leaps and bounds. Perhaps not physically--since we grow our babies on the petite size around here--but in many other ways. It has been a great joy to watch Miss Lena's spunky personality start to emerge, and there is no doubt that she is going to be able to hold her own with Elsa. An early walker, she has already proven that she intends to keep up with her big sister. Lena is getting better and better at communicating in her own way, and I can't wait for all the words she will quickly learn to articulate. So far, we're enchanted with "da" (dog) and "uh-oh."
As I recall (through rose-colored glasses perhaps), the year between one and two was kind of a sweet spot. Old enough to do more things and be more interactive, yet still young enough to be relatively easy-going. Hopefully this will hold true for Lena as well.
For being only one-year-old, she really does seem to understand what is going on. I know she doesn't completely get birthdays the way she soon will in this family, but it was as though she recognized that January 19th was--and forever will be--a special day.
Lena's big day began with a birthday march (Elsa recently learned about marches in conjunction with MLK Day) and the first of several renditions of "Happy Birthday." We had a breakfast of little-people-sized pancakes before changing out of birthday pajamas into a new birthday outfit.
Since Lena's birthday fell on "Adventure Day" (which are Thursdays, when we have nothing scheduled), we went downtown to watch the duck march at the Peabody Hotel before meeting Jon for lunch. If you ever find yourself in Memphis, I highly recommend seeing the ducks on a rainy winter weekday. The girls were pretty much the only kids there and got a front row seat along the red carpet. I think many of the other guests were watching them more than the ducks.
Then we walked over to meet Jon at The Little Tea Shop. Another Memphis plug: you must eat at this restaurant, if only for the cornbread sticks. Even though we don't go there often, the owner and staff still remembered us and made us all feel special. In addition, Lena inhaled everything we put in front of her, so I think we made the right choice.
In the evening, Lena got to open gifts (thanks, family!) and enjoy a special birthday cookie...and of course, another singing of "Happy Birthday." We wanted to save the requisite messy cake and icing for her birthday party in a few days, but the birthday girls seemed satisfied with the cookie. All in all, everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the glorious occasion of Lena's birth.
We hosted a small party the following Saturday, serving chili and cupcakes. You know, appropriate food for a one-year-old. I feel like I sabotaged her a bit, by interrupting her lunch for the big blowing-out-the-candles production, so I wasn't entirely surprised when she cried and raised her arms up to be taken out of her high chair. The attention, the singing, the birthday hat, the candle--it's all very overwhelming.
Lena didn't really touch her "smash cake," so we tried again in a more low-key setting the next day. There was no crowd, no candle, no additional distractions. Full of anticipation, we set the cake in front of her...and she cried again. I think the child is afraid of pink frosting. So, not the reaction we had hoped for, but this was not the first--and certainly not the last--time Lena has defied expectations.
Happy Birthday, Little One! We can't wait to see where the next year takes you!