Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Birthday

On August 11th, our baby girl celebrated her first birthday!

The occasion called for pulling out the real camera (as opposed to the ever-present iPhone) and documenting the event on my much-neglected blog (as opposed to the instant gratification of instagram/facebook).

A year ago I was in an "easier" season of parenting where all 3 older kids were relatively independent and things were running pretty smoothly in our household...   And then enters baby Miriam: the nursing newborn stage, the fussy evenings, the night wakings... then it was the too-short naps or the not-at-all-naps and the right-before-I'm-trying-to-get-dinner-on-the-table whine fest... which has turned into "whatever keeps the baby happy" (i.e. letting her shred - and possibly eat - paper or allowing her to empty the entire contents of any and/or all cabinets in the kitchen...)  My days are much fuller and my time is much less my own, BUT this girl has brought so much joy and laughter into our house this year. She is a constant form of entertainment for all of us (so much that I worry she will believe the world revolves around her every move), the older kids adore her and fight over her and want to be the one she looks at or laughs at or plays with or crawls to...

Miriam has become a fixture in our family and it is hard to think of what our family would be like without her.

Miriam's nicknames have evolved over the year.  As with all the kids, we came up with silly little pet names for her - odd names like Meerkat or Whimsical Mimsical or Mimsi-Bear...  The names Mimsi and Meems were pretty common, but the one name that has stuck - I think permanently - is Mimi.  I'm not sure I would've expected to be calling her that when we chose the name Miriam, but it's become fully adopted by all the members of this household.  

Miriam is definitely starting to communicate more and more.  Her official first word would have to be kitty - which mostly just sounds like the letter "T" over and over, along with violent (but excited) shaking every time she sees the cat.  She also says "mo" for more, and "na-na" for night-night.  She waves bye-bye and claps her hands, especially when she stands unassisted, which is happening ALL the time right now.  She has attempted a step or two in between people/objects but no serious toddling yet.

Miriam loves to look at books and spend long concentrated moments turning pages back and forth.  Otherwise her favourite thing is to be in her Mommy's arms.  And if Mommy's arms are busy, she enjoys hanging onto her legs and keeping Mommy from doing whatever task it is that Mommy is trying to finish - sinking her teeth into Mommy's thigh to get her point across if necessary.

 Miriam is our best eater yet - probably mostly because we've thrown her right into the world of food without spending too much time in the baby cereal/pureed food stage.  Some of Miriam's favourite foods are things my other kids wouldn't touch.  Her fave right now is a Mexican quinoa salad with veggies and black beans.  She also really likes the pancakes I make for her most mornings (1 egg, 1 banana, some oatmeal, cinnamon & vanilla).   She is loving all our BC berries and has eaten more than her weight in blueberries and raspberries over the last month.  She has no problem trying just about any food - she polishes off raw broccoli florets and gobbles up homemade salsa...  The only problem with her adventurous eating is that it sometimes overlaps to other not-so-edible items - her two favourites being paper and cat food.  She LOVES cat food.  And if I don't put it up high and snatch up every little kitty crumble off the floor, she will find it and she will eat it.

Miriam has never really taken to a bottle, but has learned to drink from a straw and a sippy cup, though those are mostly just for water.  I'm still breastfeeding - this is the longest I've made it with any of my kids so far - and I'm hoping we can keep it up a little while longer.

We celebrated Miriam's 1st year with a family get-together.  The kids and I had fun putting some simple decorations together for her little party.  It is so nice to plan an outside party after all my winter/spring babies...

My inspiration was a $2 package of cupcake papers I found at Walmart - I loved the green and pale peach colours and decided to use the extra liners to decorate...

Miriam thoroughly enjoyed her first cupcake (dairy-free to be friendly for all our guests - made with coconut milk/oil... Cupcake recipe here and icing recipe here.)

The cupcake didn't stand a chance...

The year has gone by so fast!  But we are in love with our little Mimi and can't wait to see how much she learns and grows in the year to come!