Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy First Birthday, Haley!

Haley enjoying her birthday party. Just family--I've said we're not the birthday hoopla type. At this age, they don't even know what's going on. The party consisted of a barbecue on the back porch, swimming in the infinitesimal pool (older girls only--Haley watched this time), cupcakes and gifts. Fun enough for all of us.

Ruby had the job of adding sprinkles to the cupcakes.

Haley looks on with anticipation (or just contentedness).

We decided to celebrate Haley's birthday on the 18th, the night before Sandy left. Even though we weren't doing anything special, I knew if we didn't do it while Sandy was here, I wouldn't have the energy to do it at all. Thanks for all your help, Sandy!

Haley hangs out in the back yard while we get ready for cake.

Haley jabbers on the lawn while Ruby and Claire do some playing and tidying up (this cracked me up--especially Claire's swimsuit. Can't really see it very well on this size video. A good thing, probably).

These present pictures are supposed to be last, but I'm tired of fighting with Blogger. I cannot get pictures to move nowadays (at least not without significant effort).

As is usual for this age, Haley was more into the paper than the presents. But Ruby and Claire made up for that with their excitement over the gifts.

She may not know what's going on, but she's mesmerized, even so!

Going for the flame.

Haley's first cupcake (I think--can't remember those things with the third child). She has had sweets before, though. (In fact, yesterday, I let her suck on a few lollipops she'd found while crawling around in our candy cupboard--wrappers and all--just so I could finish dinner without extra difficulty. Never would have happened with one-year-old Ruby. Pretty sad when I allow things like that just so my life is easier. Maybe someday my decisions will not be based so much on convenience.)

Enjoying her first cupcake.(?) I believe this picture says, "Yum, Mommy!"

She wasn't the only one excited about chocolate!

Laughed so hard I cried on this one. Two things to notice: the rather large chunk of cupcake Ruby carries around for the first minute of the video. (It is significant for the rest of the video.) Also, it took me watching three times (all of which I was laughing hysterically) before I noticed that Claire was pushing Ruby repeatedly at the end. Wow. She knows when her parents are distracted and not paying attention! Cracking down on that kind of thing this week, though. She won't get away with it every time. We will see to that.

The (Real) Birthday Girl

Haley lays on the cheesiness on her actual birthday.

"What's Ruby doing out there, Daddy?" (Okay, so maybe just "Da-Da.")

That it was rainy that day was a stroll down memory lane, as it had been rainy the day she was born, only more so this year. I would have really loved more of that kind of weather while I was in labor. Rain is so soothing to me--at least living here in New Mexico, where it is not common. (This is not our house. It is the house across the street. I was too lazy to walk out in the rain.)

(Again, supposed to be the last picture.) "This is getting boring, Mom."

I was a bad Mommy and took my evening off on Haley's birthday. (Casey's trying to give me one every week--we just started the week before her birthday.) Felt kinda guilty, but then I remembered that I had left Claire on her first birthday, too, and had gone to a wedding. Perhaps I should make it a tradition. Only for the first birthday, though.

Since I'd be gone when Haley actually turned one (at 4:24 p.m.), I asked Casey to try to get a picture of her by the clock then. (I know. Totally cheesy. Really. But I've done it with the other girls on their birthdays, so I needed to keep it up, right?) Well, Case forgot (he was trying to get dinner for them and didn't get any pictures whatsoever). I forgive him . . . but maybe I should have stayed home that night.

Or perhaps I should chuck the picture-by-the-clock tradition. If we have more children, what if one of them is born at 2 a.m.? Am I going to wake them up and drag them to a clock so I can take a picture? Perhaps it is time to say goodbye to this weirdness.

"Should I show my teeth, Mom? Even though it reminds y0u of Laurence Fishburne?"

A few things about our one-year-old: She is 18 lb, 9 oz and 29 inches long. She eats like a champ (often 2-3 cups of pureed food at a sitting--seriously, she may be thin, but she can pack it away, like her sisters before her--as well as nursing 2-3 times a day). She cruises around everywhere and is just now starting to stand without support for more than a few seconds at a time. My guess is, it will be another month or two before she's walking. Her development seems to be more cognitive than physical for the last month or so. She is very thoughtful looking when she plays (wish I knew what was going on in there) and tries to figure things out (how to put a lid on a cup, how to put a toy in a box, what happens when she drops something/throws something/pushes a button, etc.).

Besides "Da-Da," which she has said for many months now, sometimes referring to Casey, but most of the time referring to everything else in her life (so I don't count it as her first word), Haley started saying her first words at the beginning of May: "No, no." (in a sing-songy voice). She has since added to her repertoire, "Night, Night" ("ni, ni") last week. Yesterday, she finally got "Uh-Oh," too. It has been almost painful to hear her try to say this. She'll get caught up in so many "uhs" or too many "ohs" and it seems absolutely exhausting. We can see her trying to figure out which way she's supposed to move her lips so the other sound will come out. I hope to capture it on video, since she will still revert to this way of saying it, and it is half funny and half pity-inducing to see her struggle so much with it.

Signing has plateaued at one: "More." This sign has become the catch-all sign for anything she wishes to communicate: more, please, yes, thank you. I think she means it to be an affirmation of what we ask her: ("Would you like to get out of your bed?" "Do you want Mommy to hold you?" "Are you hungry?" "Are you finished with your Cheerios?") as well as a request for us to ask her those questions.

In relieving news, Haley is starting to resemble, once again, the Haley we once knew. In the last couple weeks, she has stopped fighting us when we put her in her car seat, a high chair or stroller, and has become. . . not less needy, but less demandingly needy. Recently, if she asks to be held (by signing "more," of course. I'm surprised you asked), I will pick her up and she will often be content with that. She will cuddle against me, or suck her thumb and look around, or sit in my lap and babble and play with her toes. The last four months or more, she did not just want to be held, but she'd yell, arch her back and be discontented with that. It made it so that I didn't really want to hold her, since she was crabby no matter what I did.

This change in her (and Claire's recent illness, which has turned her into a sweetly needy child too) has made me realize that it isn't the neediness that I find so difficult, it is the grumpy, demanding, "I wont be happy anyway" neediness that I can't stand. In fact, the sweet neediness makes me sit down, cuddle up and take it easy with them, read a book, talk about their toy, what they're doing or how they're feeling. If they only knew which way to be needy that helps Mommy do what Mommy should do anyway. . .

We think it has to do with teething, but where are the teeth she was getting? Are they still under the surface but not as painful anymore? So far, her smile consists of two big top teeth, and four tiny bottom ones.
A very welcome change has been in the fact that for the past week, Haley has consistently slept through the night (as in 10-12 hours). This has been very refreshing to not wake for a 2 a.m. feeding. About a month ago, she began sleeping through the night now and then, but only this past week has it been more than a couple nights in a row. One may wonder why it has taken so long, and the short answer is that I have not been forcing it. I noticed that the only nursing where I was absolutly certain she was getting lots of milk was the night nursing (probably because I've been resting). With a baby her size, I decided that I would rather live with a baby who still wakes for a night feeding and gets enough to eat than a baby who sleeps through the night and isn't gaining weight. I've already had one failure to thrive baby (having nothing to do with night feedings, but not having enough to eat--even though she ate more than I did as a pregnant and breastfeeding adult). Yeah, it would have been easier to just go to formula, but that isn't even a consideration for me. Maybe with the fourth or fifth child. . .

Haley still knows how to turn on the charm, and seems to know what to do when the camera comes out. A cheesy smile (overly-toothy-and-gummy and squinty complete with shrugging her shoulders) has come upon her much earlier than I remember it with the other girls. They usually started having forced smiles after two, but Haley's been doing it now for months. It's the Laurence Fishburne look to which I referred earlier. She's a funny gal, and cracks us up (and herself, too, sometimes).

At one year, I have to say that we really enjoy our little girl, and are starting to do so more and more as she grows and interacts with us, but we do not feel badly about her being a year old, or wish she were still a baby, even though it went so fast (a complete and total understatement). I will say that I found myself cuddling her and squeezing her a lot a couple weeks before she turned one, wondering where the time had gone. But we are glad she is one and growing up. We look forward to her future antics and developments. God has been so good to see us through this year. If He wills, He will faithfully see us through another.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great pictures and memories, Sarah. Wish I had been there! Happy birthday, Haley!!