My baby turned one on Friday.
She has four teeth and hair long enough for two tiny pigtails. She has at least five words that we can tell – Mama, Baba (abba – “daddy” in Hebrew,) “Zeh” (Hebrew for “that”,) “Den” (Ken – Hebrew for yes,) and our nanny’s name. She has recently become attached to one of our baby dolls and can spend upwards of twenty minutes sitting in a chair, cuddling her baby.
In my usual fashion, I invited the grandparents over for cake and pizza. Honestly, she has no clue what a birthday is and it seems silly to go all out on a party for her first birthday. My policy is to throw a small cake party with lots of cool decorations, so that I have photographic evidence that we cared enough to have a first birthday party for each kid. So this morning I contemplated what kind of theme I could whip up in a few hours, and came up with dots. Polka dots. Have a look:
The garlands were a lot of fun to make: Cardstock circles (I used my 3 1/2 inch circle punch and some 5-inch precut circles) sewn into a chain. They’re fast, too.
I started to set the table and realized that my white tablecloth is terribly stained. Don’t worry, I totally fixed it:
No, there isn’t a stain under every polka-dot on the table… just some of them. The polka dots on the glasses, by the way, are wall decals that used to be on the wall in K’s room. I put a different colour and size on each glass so that people wouldn’t get confused about whose caffeine-free diet coke was whose. Oh, and see the tiny little bucket on the table? Mr. December thought it was just more junk when I brought it home from Shoppers one day – 99 cents after Easter – but I knew that we’d find a use for it sometime. It really rounded out the theme (pun intended.)
I tried to keep the food thematic. We had brownie cookies with “polka dots” (m&m’s,) cupcakes in polka-dot wrappers with round sprinkles on top, and veggies cut into rounds. There was also pizza and bourekas. Yum.
Sure, the icing is a bit sloppy, but nobody complained. And aren’t the polka dots all over the table cool?
Even R’s outfit – a polka-dot dress – fit in with the theme. And as you can see, she was mesmerized by the candle on her cupcake… and very pleased when we finally gave her one to eat. It was only a couple of minutes before all that remained of her cupcake was a (very large) smear of icing on her face.
After dinner and dessert I pulled out the guitar and sang her favourite songs. Then I changed gears and got everybody singing the Shehecheyanu, the Jewish prayer thanking God for sustaining us and keeping us alive to reach this milestone. Mr. December and I got a bit misty-eyed, especially during the next song – Al Kol Eleh – which is all about being thankful for all of life, both the bitter and the sweet. The bitter was so very bitter… but the sweet is indescribably sweet.
So that’s it… we survived her first year. Sure, we were in “survival mode” more often than not, and we’ve been awfully exhausted, but we made it. And – as my best friend pointed out – I made it to her first birthday without getting knocked up (I was six months pregnant at N’s first birthday.) And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a Good Thing.
Happy Birthday, little R. It’s been a real trip.