Saturday, we celebrated Ian's first birthday (November 3rd is the actual B-day). As you can see, he liked his cake. And this is no ordinary cake. Ian is allergic to eggs, which are called for in most cakes, so Katie researched and found that if you substitute the eggs with diet soda, you can still have a pretty good cake. So Ian's cake had Sprite Zero instead of egg. I didn't try the cake, and it has nothing to do with it being a cake-light, I'm just not a big fan of cake. But, everyone else raved about it, especially Ian, which was most important.
All birthdays come with some reflection, especially when it is your kid's birthday and even more so when it is your kid's first birthday. It doesn't seem possible that it has been a year already. But then again, Ian was born the day before our latest president was elected and sometimes it seems like he has been in office several terms already. When I look back on some of the individual nights and days that seemed to never end when caring for our infant's first year, it is hard to believe at the end of it you can feel like time flies. But I do.
I remain ever thankful for all of the more "experienced" parents who have said to me hundreds of times: "Cherish every day, they go by so quickly." I make an effort each day to heed that advice. I have help too. Elliott and Ian are pretty committed to being cherished, and on days when they are feeling under-cherished, they offer tons of encouragement for Katie and I to offer up a little more cherishable treatment.
That first birthday comes with a lot of milestones. The most important one, the one I started looking forward to the moment Ian took his first nip of the bottle, the switch from formula to regular Foodlion - 2-dollar-and-something-a-gallon - 20-some-dollars-less-a-month, milk! Hallelujah!
Then there are also those milestones that just simply raise your social standing in the world. Like the turning of the car seat. Can you imagine being an infant in this world. It's bad enough you get shoved in the backseat from the moment you leave the hospital, but on top of that you get put in a car seat that faces backwards. Does Dr. Phil even this is a good idea. I mean, is it no wonder that so many kids today struggle making plans for their futures when they spend their whole first year looking at the past. I do have an idea that would put a little fun into their predicament. Signs. Baby signs with big baby sized letters that they can hold up to the rear window at trailing 18-wheelers. Signs like this:
If you can read this sign my mama needs to change my diaper
If my dad is driving this vehicle, flash your lights once, if my brother is, frantically flash SOS.
At any rate, we made the switch yesterday and Ian made his first forward-facing, morning trip to Chesterfield. His big smile, clapping hands, and waving feet seemed to be a sign of approval.
Elliott enjoyed Ian's birthday as well. Aunty Mo sent a gift for Ian that was wrapped in Sesame Street paper. It arrived several days before the party. Elliott watched it go torturingly untouched on the island in our kitchen until Ian's party on Saturday. He volunteered to shake it, to listen to it, to peek inside a peeled back corner. He even volunteered to just open it for Ian and save him the anticipation and the bother. But Ian held out. On Saturday, when Ian finally opened that gift (with assistance from Elliott), he loved his puzzle from Montana. He treasures every minute that Elliott allows him to play with it. Remedial sharing lesson number 367 coming right up.
And finally, a reminder that our kids work on a lot of things but only one thing consistently: being just like their parents. Elliott was eating breakfast Saturday morning. He was eating quite a bit which was unusual. He says to me "I'm going to finish my piece of toast so I can be a big fat cow that moos." I laughed and watched him inhale his second piece of toast. When Katie got up, I shared this story and wondered out loud where he could pick up such a phrase. She looked at me puzzled; puzzled that I didn't already know that answer.
"What do you say every time you get up from a meal when you've eaten too much?"
Oh yea, "I'm a big fat cow."