Monday, January 2, 2012

Party time

Before the all-important birthday party post, an addendum to Marla's twelve month post... her latest stats and report from the doctor:

Weight - 18 lbs, 14 oz (14%)
Height - 29.72 in (71%)
Head - 45.1 cm (52%)

The doctor was very impressed with her progress and demeanor, especially considering the whole broken arm debacle, and called her "the most well-adjusted 12-month-old" he's seen in years. The three weeks she spent in a sling created a bit of a delay on the developmental front, but she's catching up quickly. She pulls herself up on things very well now, and is beginning to show some interest in cruising along furniture, although she still prefers to crawl.

She still has just two teeth, but the doctor assures me that there are in fact more to come. She eats almost all table food without a problem, but her appetite seems to come and go. She's become more finicky than she used to be and her diet consists mainly of fruit, cheese, and Cheerios. She still nurses a couple times a day, but the doctor gave us the go-ahead to introduce cow's milk as desired. I feel like I could write about 20 posts on our experience with breastfeeding, but I'll spare you the details and just say that the weaning process is bittersweet for me. The breastfeeding journey has been almost 100% positive for us, and I feel so fortunate that we were able to make it this far. The thought of it coming to an end makes me sad in some ways and excited in others.  

Ok, on to the party! Since Marla's birthday was the day after Christmas, we gave ourselves a week to do some holiday detox and catch a collective breath before diving into her very first birthday party. The party was New Year's Day. We kept it small-ish, since our current living quarters are a little cramped, but the size of our immediate families sort of prevent any gathering from being truly "small."

My mom always made our birthday cakes when we were kids, and I want to continue that tradition with my children. Unfortunately, I'm a novice in the cake making and decorating business, so I enlisted the help of my mom. We decided to make a cake of Marla's most treasured possession, a monkey blanket which she sleeps with and takes everywhere, better known around here as "Miss Monkey."

Due to my aforementioned lack of experience and talent for cake decorating, my mom did most of the work. I baked the cake, she drew up the pattern and did most of the decorating. I didn't really realize what an undertaking this would be, which makes me appreciate the end product even more. I think it turned out great! (Thanks Grandma!!)

The birthday girl checking out her monkey cake.

We had sloppy joes and an assortment of other goodies at the party. Can you spot the baby behind all the food?

After a lot of stimulation and very little sleep, by the time we got to singing and blowing out candles, Marla was pretty fried. She didn't cry, but didn't indulge in any cake or ice cream. I was disappointed that I didn't get any cake-smearing pictures, but the clean-up was nice and easy! And luckily we have lots of leftovers to work with. So help me, I WILL get to see this girl covered in frosting someday.

Just when I thought we'd run out of space for all of Marla's Christmas gifts, she was bestowed with another mountain of presents. She got lots of awesome new books and toys to keep her busy for the next four years or so. Here she is with a new baby doll. Hugs and kisses ensued...

A shopping cart, complete with goods. Start 'em early, I say!

Can't wait to pull her around in this wagon.

A percussion set! Anyone looking for a drummer for their toddler band?

Here are some pictures of Marla with various party guests. We are so grateful for all of these people, who continually lavish our girl with love, support, and toys. :)

Uncle Craig and Aunt Sara:

"Aunt" Tracy:

Grandpa Todd and Grandma Kelly:

Aunt Alisa and Uncle Jim (aka "The Godparents"):

Grandpa Dave and Nana Margret:

Grandma Susie, another Grandpa Dave, and Cousin Brennan:

Cousins! (I didn't get any shots of Brennan's mom and dad, but they were there too of course.)

Grandma Pam and Grandpa Sonny:

Last but not least... Mom and Dad!

Thank you to everyone who came to Marla's party and, more importantly, to everyone who has been part of her life over the past year. And happy birthday (once again) to Marla!