On Friday Emmalee turned one year old. I decided the fact that we both survived the year deserved a momentous celebration. In retrospect, I probably could have scaled it back a bit. But I think I’m glad that I didn’t. I realize the festivities were probably more for my sake than Emmalee’s, who would have much preferred to munch on cake with a smaller audience, but it was fun. And the pictures will forever prove to Emmalee how much I loved her on her very first birthday. Because providing excessive indulgences equals love, right?
To honor my daughter I took two days off from work. Friday was her actual birthday and I took her to Disney World, with Grammy and Aunt Lers along for the ride. I was a little skeptical about how Emmalee would do at a crowded theme park, but to my surprise and relief she seemed to enjoy herself immensely. Luckily the lines weren’t too long and the temperature wasn’t too hot, and the stars and planets aligned just right to keep Emma in a mostly pleasant mood for the duration of our trip (minus one little pre-nap melt down). Emmalee sat through “It’s a Small World” in mouth-gaping awe. I’m pretty sure that it was truly the most amazing thing she has ever seen. When she caught sight of the Carousel, Emmalee held her hand out and insisted that we try it out by yelling “Ahh!” She is familiar with carousels because there is one in the mall that we frequent and she also experienced one at Sea World a few weeks ago, but neither could measure up to the grandeur of the Disney Carousel. She seemed especially excited that we could ride together and she lay back against me in pure contentment. When the ride ended much too soon she held onto the handles and it took a good bit of coaxing to get her off. We also rode the Winnie-the-Pooh ride, where Emmalee shouted with glee and waved fervently each time she spotted her dear friend Pooh. It was a fun, exhausting day.
Saturday was Emmalee’s party. My plan was to keep the party on the small side, and though I only invited family and close friends with children my house still felt much too small to accommodate everyone. The party only lasted two hours, but it was a noisy and chaotic time. Luckily Emmalee handled it much better than I would have hoped. Despite the commotion and the only slightly familiar faces, Emma did not feel the need to remain attached to my hip the entire time. She even played happily while Mommy was in a completely different room, which is unheard of most of the time. The highlight of the day was by far the cake. Emmalee listened while we sang her “Happy Birthday,” seemingly both confused and amused by our chorus. Then she was given cake, which she has had before, but this was her first taste of icing. She dug in a little hesitantly, but it wasn’t long before she was covered in the creamy, sugary goodness, to the delight of her attentive, picture snapping audience. Next came presents, and to Mommy’s dismay, Emmalee just wasn’t all that interested. Perhaps she was just too distracted by all the people and voices, or perhaps she was too hyper from all the sugar she’d just ingested, but Emma wanted to crawl around and explore leaving Mommy to star in the opening-presents spotlight. And there were lots of presents. I am very grateful for the generosity displayed by our family and friends, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed in making sure that Emmalee retains her “most spoiled baby in the universe” title. As soon as the presents were opened, our guests quickly bailed in a comical all-at-the-same-time way, not that I blame them. It was fun and I was happy to share the moment with everyone, but I was also happy for the quiet left in their stead!
After a day of shopping on Sunday, we wrapped up Emmalee’s birthday weekend extravaganza by going to her one year check up at the pediatrician’s office on Monday. Emmalee, predictably, wailed in a heartbroken, completely desolate way after the poor nurse took her temperature and the tears and despair continued until Emmalee realized we were on our way out. The bright side of her dramatics is that Emma was already crying so hard before she got her shots that she barely noticed when they administered them. She is still in the 95th percentile for both weight and height, she seems to be developmentally on track (despite her obstinate refusal to hold her own bottle) and was given an overall “healthy” stamp by her doctor.
So I am now the mother of a toddler. We survived the first year, and the weekend devoted to celebrating it. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for us.