Friday, August 2, 2013


My little girl is ONE YEAR OLD!!! I still can't believe it's been a whole year already. It doesn't seem that long ago that I was sitting on the couch at my sister's place and started to go into labour. My baby won't be a baby much longer. She might be considered a toddler already. 
We celebrated Michelle's First Birthday last weekend with the family. Michelle was happy with her gifts and with her first taste of chocolate cake. It was a chaotic, exhausting day but a lot of fun.
We took advantage while the weather was nice and spent some time outside. Michelle is always wanting to go outside now. There isn't quite as much room to run around on my beach as there was on Wasaga Beach but Michelle still had fun. I was worried about her getting her dress dirty but she did pretty well (I changed her before she had her birthday cake later. I knew that she'd probably end up wearing it.)
Of course I always have to get the group photo. I was a little disappointed that Mike's family (Barb and the kids) didn't make it. Since it had rained on Saturday he wound up having Evie's birthday party with her friends on the Sunday because he'd rented a bouncy princess palace and it wouldn't have been very good in the rain. The plan was to send the kids home at 2 pm and head over to my place for Michelle's party but (not surprisingly) he wasn't able to tear the kids away from the bouncy palace. I couldn't blame them. I certainly can't compete with a giant inflatable trampoline castle. I had hoped everyone would be there for Michelle's First Birthday but it may have been even more overwhelming with all the kids running amok and we did get to see them the previous weekend at Wasaga for Evie's birthday party. It's strange how birthdays seem to run together in our family. The most extreme example is Shannon and Reggie who wound up with the same exact birthday!
Michelle had fun chasing her cousin Reggie around. She's saying more all the time. She said "May" a couple of times. At first I thought it was a fluke but then it seemed she really was saying my sister's name. Every day now she comes up with a new word. She was saying "ball" and "hat" and "up." Now she can even say "pink!" My Mom thinks she'll be talking in sentences soon since she does try to put words together. She chatters away in her own language sometimes and it sounds like she's really talking. She even gestures with her hands. She loves to mimic what people say and do so you have to watch yourself!

My Mom got Michelle a toy remote control and a cellphone because she's always trying to get the remote and the phone. She loves pressing buttons. Even when you think things are out of reach on the table or something next thing you know she's running around with it. When she has something she knows she's not supposed to have she runs away or hides it behind her back. Sneaky already and she's only one. Everyone is telling me she's going to be a handful. She's already quite the diva always checking herself out in the mirror. God help me when she's a teenager!
Michelle loves stuffies and is so affectionate she hugs them and says "Awww." She got a stuffed octopus Mama from me and baby from Auntie May. We both saw the octopi and thought they'd be perfect for May. Great minds think alike. At least they were a different size so it works out well. The only duplicate gifts were adorable seahorse beach towels but I'm going to keep them both anyway since I didn't have a towel her size anymore. The only towels I had were for newborns and adult towels are too big.
Cousin Shannon lined up all of Michelle's toys for her. Elmos, Disney characters, Bubble Guppies, Monstaz etc. So many new things to play with. Michelle seemed excited with everything. She must have wondered why all of a sudden she was being given all these new things. She wouldn't understand at this point what a birthday is. She probably just wishes every day could be like this! 
Soon it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" and have cake. Though I didn't really want Michelle having sugar I figured I had to let her at least try her birthday cake. I cut her a tiny little piece and let her have at it. As it turned out she didn't get a whole lot in her mouth anyway. A lot of it ended up on her clothes, on the tray, on the floor and some of it was even flung at my Mom.  
My Mom said Michelle was actually much more careful and less messy than most kids would be having cake for the first time. Most kids would have had it in their hair and everything. Control freak that I am it was kind of hard to watch her playing with the cake and resist the urge to clean up right away. My Mom couldn't resist and kept trying to clean up while Michelle was still eating. I said there's no point until she's done anyway.
Michelle still doesn't have any teeth. She eats baby food most of the time though she also likes Cheerios and Mum Mum rice rusks are her favourite snack. I certainly wouldn't make a habit of giving her sugar (she's hyper enough without it!) but once in a while for special occasions can't hurt. She only wound up having a few crumbs of cake and specks of icing anyway. After several months of the same old jars of baby food it must have been a real treat. She did seem to be enjoying herself.

Of course she wasn't able to blow out her own candles so I had to blow them out and make a wish for her. I wish all the best for her. I hope that she will grow to be a healthy, happy, bright little girl (so far so good!) I hope that all her wishes come true. I wish I could give her the world. If I won the lottery I could spend all my time with her and take her on adventures around the globe. Until then my love and my time are the greatest gifts I can offer her.

Since turning one I'm already noticing a change in Michelle. Not only is she saying a new word a day and becoming more headstrong and independent, she's showing a new interest in solid foods. She even tried asparagus the other day! She was reaching for it so I peeled a stalk and let her eat the soft part inside (I had fried them). She loved it and kept reaching for more. Before I knew it she had eaten the whole bunch (well I had the leafy parts at the top and I peeled off the outside stringy parts)! Then she had some yogurt for dessert.

I won't be giving her cake again any time soon. I did let her try a speck of ice cream one day when I was having a cone. The look on her face was priceless. "Wow!" she wasn't expecting it to be so cold and sweet. Yes if only everything tasted like ice cream.

I'm finding it harder and harder to do the blog. Michelle has been staying up late and by the time she finally settles down I'm too exhausted to do anything. I just have to steal a few minutes here and there to write a few sentences and then come back to it later. This blog was originally supposed to be a "baby blog" anyway to track my pregnancy and my first year with Michelle. I guess technically she's not a baby anymore, though she'll always be my baby girl. I don't want to stop the blog entirely. I guess I'll just write a bit here and there when I'm able. I am grateful to have this record of Michelle's first year and I am so thankful to readers for following our journey, especially to those who offered support and encouragement.

In the evening, after we had the cake and I got Michelle cleaned up and dressed in her pjs, my brother Chris looked outside and said "Look at the rainbow!" It was sunny then raining for a while and then the sun came out again. I was so excited to be able to show Michelle a rainbow. She'd seen them in storybooks and heard about them in songs but she'd never seen a real one. So many times after the rain I would look up hoping to find one but I hadn't seen one in a very long time. Now there was a perfect one for Michelle's birthday party. I guess that was Mother Nature's little gift to Michelle.

I love rainbows. To me they are a symbol of hope. No matter how dark and stormy life can get (sometimes VERY dark and stormy!) you know that the sun will come out again and that everything will be OK. No matter how tough life can get, there is always something to be grateful for. Something magical, something beautiful. I love showing Michelle new things and teaching her things because seeing her excitement reminds me not to take things for granted. We are surrounded by miracles every day. 

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