Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

I cannot believe that Juliana is one year old!! A few months ago I looked at her and realized she was no longer a little baby. She's still a baby, but not a baby baby anymore.  As a side note, we have finally chosen a Chinese name for Juliana, just in time for her first birthday: 林安安 lin2 an1 an1. Lin is Kevin's family name meaning "forest" and "an" means peace or safety.

We had her an early birthday party at my parents' this summer, so today was not a big 'to-do.' We had a little three-person party after I got home from class. She opened a couple of gifts we had bought (well, they weren't actually wrapped, just hidden in her special cabinet) and a package from Nana and Gramps. She played with her new toys – a little train, a 3D puzzle, and a phone toy that talks to you, plays music, and flashes lights. Clearly she is unfamiliar with the 'old fashioned,' non-cell-phone type phones, because she grabbed the whole phone, base and all, and held it up to her ear.

After presents, we partook of some iced banana bread 'cupcakes.' She was hesitant about the cake at her early birthday party, but this time she had it figured out. She grabbed the cupcake and immediately tried to stuff the entire thing in her mouth. She gobbled down about ¾ of it before resorting to one of her recent favorite games: fling the food across the room.

The rest of the day was filled with some extras of the normal activities she normally enjoys. Block towers to demolish. Containers to fill with toys. Books to pull of the shelves. Music for dancing. Tickles. The kissy game (in which I grab her and kiss her chin until she erupts into giggles). The hide-toys-in-the-special-cabinet game. Cheese snacks. More of the fling-food-all-over-the-floor game. All in all, I think she had a good day.

So here is the one year update!

Baby loves: putting things in and out of containers, knocking down block towers, standing up and cruising around on the furniture, being carried up and down the stairs (she's happy to live on the 6th floor!), pulling all her books off the shelves

Baby eats: Lots of mashed veggies and fruits (squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, melon, peaches) and some finger foods (tofu, mixed vegetables, eggs, cheese). You wouldn't know it looking at her, but she eats a ton! Sometimes as much as me! She nurses about 5-6x a day, generally while practicing her latest acrobatic moves.

Baby moves: She is always eager to explore and follows me or Kevin around everywhere we go. She's not walking on her own yet but loves to stand up and cruise around whenever she gets the chance.

Baby sleeps: Yeah, it's still her personal nemesis. She has been doing a lot better lately (sleeping 6-8 hours at once!) but once she wakes up, whether it's 3am or 6am, she thinks nighttime should be over. We're still working on that... She also thinks she should drop her morning nap, even though she's clearly not ready. She's just too busy for sleep!

There are many things I just love about Juliana. Her incredibly bright blue eyes, which you can bet draw a lot of comments here! Her squeals. Her love of cuddling (even when it's a 3-second “check in” before she's off again). Her “I'm going to die if you don't feed me this instant” impatience for food. Her friendliness. Her little arms reaching out imploringly for a pick-up. Her little dimpled smile, her wispy hair, her chipmunk cheeks. One of the things I enjoy best though is her exuberance for life. She is so happy. Not just content, but thrilled, delighted, vibrant, and joyful. I can build the same block tower 20 times and each time she is so excited she can't wait for me to get more than two blocks on. I can hide the same toy in her special cabinet every day and she still thinks it's the greatest thing ever. She dissolves into giggles when you tickle her or sometimes just look at her funny. She beams delightedly when she sees me and squeals when daddy comes in the door. She makes us laugh a lot and smile even more.

Happy Birthday to my not-so-tiny baby!


Anna said...

=) I'm a fan and pretty much think she's the best child ever too. And her front teeth are really growing in - she looks really different. (and I suddenly have a desire for iced banana bread cupcakes...) Happy Birthday baby!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Juliana! I love her happiness with life. Glad you get to experience most of the moments. I love you :-)


Mallary said...

I love her Chinese name. So pretty and fun to say!