I can say, without reservation, that M.’s first birthday was a great success. She got to spend some quality time in the pool. She took two very good naps. Ate some tasty food. Got some presents. And best of all, had a fat slice of her own birthday cake. We kept things small and informal; only four relatives came over for the celebration. Since we were doing things at night, we figured it best not to overwhelm her just before bedtime.

She got a set of stacking cups from her grandparents (someone is actually making money off of creating what are basically measuring cups in different sizes and colors for kids to throw around?), a few books from her aunts, a very nice cow pillow, a Leap Frog school bus that plays songs, her very own red wagon (that she loves to be pulled around in), and of course a Little Tykes basketball hoop from daddy. She loves to play with that, but S. and I may throw our backs out helping her get the ball to the rim until she can stand and do it on her own. What was I thinking?!?!

M. seemed unsure of what to do with her cake at first. S. made a phenomenal white cake with chocolate icing, sprinkles, and a layer of chocolate pudding. M. picked at it and took a few small bites, but didn’t really react. S. finally pulled off a big hunk and offered it to her. The mess making was on! Pudding and icing pretty much everywhere on M.’s body, on her high chair, the floor, and the walls. All this naturally prompted a hasty bath following dessert. There was a bit of a sugar high after the bath, but she crashed right on schedule just after 8:00.

And now the toddler years begin. Walking will come soon, followed by rudimentary language skills, followed by an independent little girl who gets cranky when she doesn’t get her way. It’s there a fast forward button on these things?!?!