I look back 2.5 years ago, when Laird turned a year old and laugh at all the time and effort we put into throwing him a 1st birthday party. I say “we,” as if the idea to throw a completely unaware 1-year old an actual birthday party was also Curt’s, but of course it wasn’t. He would’ve been fine with our little family celebrating over a home-cooked meal and a simple birthday cake. It’s not that Laird’s party was anything extravagant. We invited other 1-year old friends of his that he, of course, didn’t know, laboriously prepared a bunch of food for adults and kids and the pressure I put on myself to decorate a visually appealing cake made me realize that when Leini turned one, we weren’t doing it again. Not for a one year old. As a first-time parent, the first birthday party is an especially meaningful celebration and I think all parents should throw one for the experience and to also learn a lesson. The lesson that it is not necessary. The kid is too young to understand and they don’t remember any of it. So, with our second child, by not discussing it at all, we decided to celebrate Leini’s birthday with just our family, plus Grandmoo and Grandpoo who flew in as our guests of honor from Hawaii. Low key, low stress, but perfect and memorable.
For Leini’s Valentine’s Birthday, I decorated with some colorful flowering plants, made a tissue paper pom pom thingy I saw on Pinterest, and cooked up pink heart pancakes with homemade whipped cream and strawberries for breakfast. During Leini’s nap, Laird helped me bake some cheesecake raspberry cupcakes for our birthday girl. And, boy, did she love them.
If it could be guaranteed that our next baby would have the temperament of Leini, I might have a few more. Not that Laird was difficult to deal with, but most people that meet her comment on how mellow and easy going she is. And truly, she has been a really easy baby. She sleeps like a hibernating bear sometimes, she never really fusses unless absolutely tired and she is just, well, sweet. As long as she has her Blankie nearby, she is generally in good spirits.
Currently, she has just learned how to cruise, mainly along our coffee table. And after a recent visit from Grandpoo, who specializes in teaching babies how to climb stairs, she is fearless when it comes to ascending our long staircase. Coming down is a different story however. She continues to use her potty and has saved us from cleaning up many poopy cloth diapers. Although she hasn’t said any identifiable words, she loves to babble, point and gesture. “Hi,” “bye bye,” “clap clap,” “night night,” “Blankie,” “potty,” “blow kiss” and “banana” are all words she knows and responds to. Just like her brother when he was a baby, she hates being held down to have her teeth brushed and would prefer to brush her own teeth with the wrong end of the toothbrush. As far as eating goes, she loves, loves, loves bananas. Especially with peanut butter. Other favorites include quesadillas, peas, bread, cheese, Mac and Cheese and oatmeal. Just like every other kid I know (and adult, for that matter), she’s a carb-lover.
So far, sibling interactions between Laird and Leina have been generally pleasant. Occasionally, Laird will snatch a toy from her and, in the past, she hadn’t really cared and he was able to get away with it. Until recently, when she actually got upset at him and fussed enough that he gave her toy back on his own. Most of the time though, the two have fun with each other, Laird fetches Blankie and toys to keep her happy, while she adores him and can’t wait to see him in the morning. If only this could last forever.
Although I was a little reluctant to start working again recently, I feel that the timing was perfect. I was able to spend almost every minute of every day with my two babies this past year. There were definitely those days that I wished I could run away and hide and I felt anxious that I was forgetting everything I had learned about ortho. But most days were filled with spontaneity and play, doing whatever we felt like doing that day, be it going to the zoo or meeting friends for playdates. And now that I am working again part-time, Laird is in preschool and Leini has gotten used to being in the care of others, I feel that we are all in a perfectly balanced place.
I still can’t believe that a year has passed since our little Leina entered our world. So much has happened since then. The only thing that keeps me from lingering in the past, is anticipating what the future has in store for her.