12 Months = 1 Year

12 months

Now, that Luna is one year and eleven days old, I guess I can finally post Luna’s final “month by month” photos. Insert sad-face emoticon here. Why does it all go by so fast? It’s weird how some moments seem to drag on and on forever (hello, 2am crying wake-ups!), and yet the entire year seemed to go by in a blink of an eye. Sigh…

blue eyes

Even though, it’s sad to know that babies grow up so fast, I have to say that it just keeps getting better. Every milestone, every month, ever new personality trait makes my life better. Luna is so much fun! Just when I think she couldn’t possibly get any cuter or I couldn’t possibly love her more, another day passes and she’s cuter and more lovable. Even, after she spits her food out, pulls the cat’s fur out, plays in the toilet and spills the dog’s water bowl for the thousandth time, I still go to bed thinking I’m the luckiest Mom alive. (And, also praying that she sleeps through the night… yeah, we still struggle with that!)

clapping

As always, Luna had an adventurous month. She went to a wedding, a few parties, had tons of people visit her for her Birthday, “ran” the Zoo run, joined Gymboree and learned lots of new skills.

so big

Happy 12 Months baby girl. Here’s to the next 12!

teddy bear

Cheers!

Luna’s First Birthday Party (On a Budget)

one

Before having Luna, I swore I would not be one of those parents that goes stupidly nuts for a kid’s birthday parties. Don’t get me wrong, a love a good themed party, but I do not want to spend a silly amount of money on something she will never remember. Now, that I am a parent, and just planned the big first birthday party, I’ve got to be honest, it is hard not to go a little crazy. Planning an extravagant party is as fun as shopping for baby clothes and accessories, which is another problem I have. I am happy to say I managed to save A LOT of money and still have an amazing shindig for my baby girl.

The birthday girl wearing the outfit that her Aunt Zoey MADE her!
The birthday girl wearing the outfit that her Aunt Zoey MADE her!

I was slightly stressed out before the party. We had seven people staying at our house (not counting us), and lots of other people from out of town staying at other houses. The entire weekend was jam packed with plans and I did not know how I was going to get everything done for the party. I don’t know why I ever worried though… every person at our house pitched in, offered to help and basically did all the decorating for me without me ever even asking them to help. Our family and friends are the best and now I realize I couldn’t have gotten it all done if they had not all been staying at my house driving me nuts. Thanks guys.

birthday girl

Luna’s party was “Winter Onederland” themed. Of course, I got the idea from Pinterest. Where else? I wanted an inexpensive way to transform our house into a white glittery winter landscape and I figured out the perfect way to pull it off. Here’s what I did:

big eyes

1. I emailed everyone I live near and asked if I could have any [insert needed craft supplies] they no longer wanted. I figured everyone has random bits of construction paper, glitter, felt, ribbon, etc they want rid of and I was right.

2. I borrowed, borrowed, borrowed. I’d love to eventually own all white matching pretty serving trays and platters, but right now that’s just not possible. So, I borrowed them. I also borrowed lights and decorations. Luckily, several people decorate their house like winter wonderland for Christmas.

3. I shopped at Costco. We had brunchy type food (bagels, hummus, veggies, fruit, coffee, hot chocolate, biscotti, nuts and juice). It was easy to pick up almost all of this and disposable dishes in bulk at Costco.

4. I got crafty (and made all of our guests get crafty). We used all of those donated art supplies to create our own decorations. I just wish I had more pictures of the decor… We were so busy celebrating!

5. We had a relative make the cakes. Our Aunt Amy is an AMAZING baker. She made the most delicious tye dye cake for us and a healthy smashcake for Luna.

cakes

Clearly, Luna loved it... I did too!
Clearly, Luna loved it… I did too!
"Want a bite, Mommy?"
“Want a bite, Mommy?”

We ended up spending very little on the party. I may make all of Luna’s birthday parties winter themed…

The best part of the party planning was asking that no one brings gifts for Luna. We asked instead that our friends and family (who want to bring a gift), bring a toy to donate to the Renewal House (a residential recovery program for addicted women and their children) instead. We ended up with a nice collection of gifts for the Renewal House and are so excited to bring them their gifts! Luna is a lucky little girl, she needs nothing and we are so happy to give these toys to kids who really need them.

singing

Thank you all SO much for the many Birthday wishes and comments on the birthday blog and birthday video posted last week. Husband and I could not feel any luckier and our little girl couldn’t feel more loved.

our family

Oh, and if you’d like to make a donation to Renewal House, just click here!

ball pit

Cheers!

My Baby is ONE

Exactly one year ago at 12:11 pm, after a not-so-magical delivery, Luna was born. That little red bundle with blonde hair and a huge lump on her head from the vacuum was placed in my arms. That’s the moment that will forever change me. That’s when I became “Mom”. As I type my eyes are welling up with tears, so bear with me as I try to get through this without a ridiculous amount of sentimental cheesiness. My baby is one. ONE. How does this happen so all of a sudden?

I swear she is still this small!
I swear she is still this small!

There are several memories and moments over the last year that I could gush about, but I just want to write about two very special memories. At this big one-year milestone, these two memories seem the most significant.

baby luna

Luna was born about 3 weeks early. She was forced out because of my blood pressure, and I couldn’t help but wonder Is she ready? When I held her for the first time I looked at all her toes, fingers and features and everything seemed right and ready, except her eyelashes. Luna had no eyelashes. I thought, that’s it, that’s all she was waiting for…eyelashes. They seem so insignificant, but to me they were the one thing reminding me that she wasn’t fully ready to arrive. She needed a little more time.

Each morning, the first thing I did was check her lashes. Every single day,  they grew substantially. As we bonded in the hospital those first ten days I couldn’t help but stare at her lashes. I tried hard to memorize every little curve of her tiny red face, but her eyelashes will always be what I remember most. The rate at which they grew amazed me and comforted me. She was growing. I was sustaining her, and her eyelashes proved it. I still stare at them in awe, like, “I did that… I grew that baby, and those long lashes”.

sleep baby

The next memory is about a week later. We were home from the hospital, and like every new Mom I was exhausted and overwhelmed. One night, I was trying to lull her to sleep by singing and for some reason only “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” would come to mind. Desperate for song ideas, I grabbed my phone, opened Pandora and searched for a “lullaby” station. (BTW, this is a great station!) I walked her around the room gently patting her back and singing along with the music. Then, a popular current ballad began playing that caught me by surprise.

bath baby

The song A Thousand Years by Christian Perri played and though I’ve heard this sound a thousand times, the lyrics spoke to me for the first time. The song began…

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave?
How can I love when I’m afraid to fall?
But watching you stand alone,
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow.

Without thinking, I began singing along, but after the first few lines, I stopped in my tracks. My eyes filled with tears. I looked at that beautiful baby girl in my arms and thought, I have loved you for a thousand years. This song suddenly made so much sense. It didn’t sound like a mushy romantic love song from Twilight anymore. It was describing exactly how I felt at that very moment, holding my crying baby, exhausted, scared but so in love with that tiny little human in my arms.

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

Right there, in Luna’s nursery, I completely fell apart. I cried and cried, not because I was sad or scared, but because the lyrics were a reflection of those first couple of weeks. I have loved this beautiful baby my entire life, and always will.  (Also, I was incredibly hormonal…) Anyways I still can’t hear this song without getting teary eyed.

Recently, I was trying to think of what to do with the dozens of videos we have taken with Luna with our phones over the last year, and when this song came on the radio, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

ny baby

So, hear it is, a year with Luna…

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! We love you more than you can ever imagine.

Cheers!