Monday, November 9, 2009

Wait, What?? She's 1?!?!?!

Can I believe she is truly an entire year old? No way. Where did the time go? Seriously? Is this what people mean when they say the years will fly by?
Can I believe that my daughter is no longer a baby? Well, she tries hard to convince me. She is one independent lil gal. That "I can do it myself, mom" streak runs big and bold right down the middle of every decision she makes! I present to you as evidence:
  • once she learned how to tip her bottle back to drink, she no longer lets me offer her milk, water, or juice. She will cry immediately until I put the bottle on the floor. Then she will practically dive to pick it up and drink.
  • She won't let me feed her anything either, but will only eat what she can pick up herself (I am pretty stubborn about feeding soup to her). And if she only wants to eat avocado, don't even think about trying to coax a little tortilla, corn, cheese, or whatever else into her mouth. She'll turn her head every which way to avoid you and cry like you really hurt her feelings.
  • If she is reading a book and I try to help her turn pages, she will tolerate it briefly, then will either push my hand away, turn sideways and push her body against mine to "box me out", pull the book away repeatedly, or lose interest completely and crawl away.
Only what she wants, only when she wants it, and only if she can get it herself.
We've got our very own lil independent woman. :) (oh man, just wait til the teenage years!)

Here's what we did to celebrate!
I wanted to try out a traditional Korean activity for celebrating a first birthday. All these objects were placed on the piano bench in front of Gwen. I held her and showed her each one, hoping to get her excited about all of her options. Then we took her across the room and let her go. Of course she bee lined it for the piano bench. The idea is that the first or second object that she grabs "foretells" her future. Not that I actually think it does, but sounds fun, right? So her options were:

The traditional ones:
  • bow&arrow (we used a box of ammo): the child will become a warrior or have a military career
  • needle and thread (we used yarn): the child will have a long life
  • jujube (fruit known as the Chinese date, so we used chopped dates): child will have many descendants
  • book, pencil, brush (we used a book): the child will be a successful scholar
  • ruler, needle, scissors (used bag of sewing accessories): child will be talented with her hands
  • knife (we substituted measuring cups and a bowl): the child will be a good cook
  • money or rice (we used money): the child will be wealthy
  • cakes or other foods (some raisins and goldfish crackers): the child will be a government official

and the Modern ones of our own invention we added for fun:
  • mini soccer ball: she'll be an athlete
  • piano: she'll be a musician
  • plant: she'll be an outdoorsy gal
  • computer mouse: she'll be technology-savvy
(We didn't add scriptures or any other religious things because we certainly hope that she will be strong in faith and testimony regardless of other passions she may choose in her life. Same goes for babies and motherhood.)

So do you want to know what she chose?....

wait for it...

drum roll...

oh, the anticipation is mounting....

she went straight for the soccer ball, next grabbed the measuring cups... and as an afterthought grabbed at the ammo box. Eric says that counts, even though it was 3rd. Apparently she will be warrior enough to fetch her own food for use with her culinary expertise and then work off the results with some athleticism! whew, what a gal!

We also had a delightful monkey cake (I was so excited to see if she would think it was just like a stuffed animal since I used some of my birthday money to purchase this mini stand up pan for this very occasion) which she very fastidiously smeared at first and then eventually got around to eating some.
and opened so many presents! She loved it! (I, seriously, no joke, was getting quite anxious to open these myself! I was just so excited to see what she was going to get!) I thought she might be more interested in playing with the wrapping paper. She was so funny pulling it off in strips and then trying to get it off her fingertips! I loved the way she wouldn't even look at it as she 'flicked' it away-- already focused on her next move. Sort of with this "talk to the hand" attitude flair that only teenage girls and toddlers pull off so convincingly. (oh, funny side note: she wanted to hold her own cards. Kept taking them from us when we tried to read her the messages on them.)
From Uncle Justin and Aunt Amber: thanks for the thoughtful card!
From Grandma and Grandpa Allan: thanks for the adorable lady bug outfit, the much-needed warm pjs, and the fun books!
From Grandma and Grandpa Hart: thanks for the "smart" caterpillar, the fun dinnerware set, the camo dress, and the lovely black-white-pink dress!
From Mommy and Daddy: thanks for the stacking cups for making bath time fun
(boy our present is kinda lame compared to what everyone else gave her! :)

Happy Birthday, my darling little Gwen! I can't even express how much love and joy you have brought into my life. You are such a huge blessing from our Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful that you are ours for all eternity!


  1. Happy Birthday to the cutest little sweetie!!

  2. Happy birthday, Gwen!

    And happy momiversary, Elisa!

    (PS--stacking cups = hours of enjoyment. Hayden still plays with his, and so does Rebecca.)

  3. A whole year already. It really does fly. So do the subsequent years, trust me. I cannot believe my baby is going to be 4 in just a couple months!

    I LOVE the monkey cake! You are just so talented! It turned out so cute. Looks like Gwen was a fan too.

    Birthdays just get more and more fun the older they get too because they can anticipate them and plan for them. Anyway, congrats on making it through the first year. The rest is cake! (until you have the next baby) :)

  4. Wow! That first year went by fast! It really is true that the years will continue to fly by even quicker...oh how I wish we could slow it down a bit! Cute pictures! Looks like a great way to celebrate the Number 1! :)

  5. Happy Birthday, Gwen!! I tried to make the card match her cake...did it work out well?? We gotta get together sometime!!

  6. Happy Birthday Gwen - you are such a cutie! I love the independent girls, they keep it interesting!Your monkey cake is awesome!

  7. The monkey turned out so cute!! What a fun birthday and fun traditions. Happy Birthday, Gwen!

  8. Happy Birthday Gwen! You are a doll!!