Caroline turned one on Saturday! On Friday, she was pretty fussy most of the day and felt very warm, but I did not take her temperature because I wanted to remain in denial if possible -- I just did not want to think about Caroline being sick on her birthday. Incidentally, what is it with late August and germs in the blue house? Last year Elizabeth got the croup the day after we brought Caroline home from the hospital. Fast forward a year, and Jacob, Elizabeth and I are all at various stages of cold fighting/suffering, and Caroline had her little sicky day as well. Note to self: do not plan lavish European getaway for late August next year.
Anyway, Caroline woke up on her birthday with no fever, but was still not quite herself. She was acting tired and somewhat clingy, but the clingy part was okay because I was feeling kinda clingy myself. So we all kind of hung out in the morning playing universal crowd pleasers such as "I'm gonna get ya!" and "Where's [insert name of hiding person]?" I sent David, Jacob and David's dad out to do party errands. My initial list contained the basics: pick up cake, pick up balloons, pick up pink flowers -- but I ended up calling David four or five times while he was out as I thought of other things: "Hey, while you are at Piggly Wiggly, you might as well pick up a jar of salsa." "Hi, it's me again. Have you been to Smith's yet? Can you get primary color paper napkins while you are there. Any primary color. No, the dessert table will be pastels." "Hello. I just remembered that I got Caroline a birthday card from us, but not one from the kids. Can you stop somewhere and have Jacob pick one out?" David loves it when I do this. In any event, the boys were excellent hunter-gatherers, and returned home with the party!
The party room:
Caroline's little dome cake:
The balloons were a big hit:
We had to take Caroline out back and hose her down after lunch (yes, that's a baked bean in her hair):
Swept up in the Olympic spirit, Elizabeth & Nolen try synchronized Capri Sun drinking:
Caroline loves the purple rocking elephant that Aunt Diane & Uncle Sal sent for her! She rocks really fast -- I am afraid that I am seeing early daredevilish tendencies. Here she is as Grandma holds on:
. . . and clapping her hands because she's happy and she knows it:
Caroline takes her happy clapping very seriously. No time to pause just because someone else is telling her to "say cheese":
Caroline and her proud daddy:
Caroline had a ball opening presents. She loved it all -- the presents, the paper, the ribbon, the cardboard. It is hard for a toddler to know what to chew first! Jacob was a committed assistant who zealously discharged his self-assigned duties of helping Caroline open her presents:
I was so worried on Friday and early on Saturday that Caroline would not feel well enough to enjoy her birthday, but she was such a little trooper! I think she started really feeling better around midday on her birthday, and she managed to have a wonderful day. She clearly knew the party was for her and took the opportunity to ham it up. We just wanted her to enjoy her special day, and she really did, so it was perfect.
Caroline came into the world screaming and didn't stop for three and a half months. I felt like I had a 12 month pregnancy with her, because I spent the first three months of her life wearing her in a Baby Bjorn carrier while I bounced on an exercise ball in front of the oven vent fan -- the only thing that would calm her down. After the colic ended, she had about one happy-go-lucky month until her chronic ear infections began, and she suffered with them for a couple of months until we finally got her tubes. So when I think about the miserable start my baby had, and then I see her now -- belly laughing when her brother makes a goofy face at her, clenching her little fists and twisting side to side to dance whenever she hears music, burrowing into my shoulder and giving a little shy smile to anyone who comes over to talk to her, and clapping her hands with joy . . . well, quite simply, it just makes me weep with love and joy and pride. Happy Birthday, Sweet Caroline.