Wednesday, April 2, 2014

{Miss Maylin} Happy First Birthday!

** I decided to split Maylin's birthday into two posts, one about her actual birthDAY and another detailing her birthday party. Warning:: posts are picture-heavy! Naturally. Be prepared to scroll. And scroll and scroll and scroll.

Michael and I anticipated Maylin's birthday for a couple months before it arrived. I think we're both pretty emotional and sentimental as parents, so we planned for quite a while for this day. I remember Instagramming a picture in January after I'd returned from the store with things for her party. January, y'all. That's how long we've been waiting for her birthday. I wrote in this post about my emotions leading up to The Day, if you'd care to read. Today's post will mainly be about the events of her birthday.

I've never been that big of a "birthday person." I don't attach a lot of worth to celebrating my personal birthday, and it's been a struggle for me to plan and prepare for Michael's birthday over the course of our marriage {I'm sorry to say}. However, things are so different with my child. I wanted her birthday to be super special, probably mainly more for my sake than for hers because she's never going to remember what we did, or what she felt, or what her first birthday was like. But I will. I think that alone made me want to give her a unique day.

Michael and I both went upstairs that morning to wake her up. Usually just one of us wakes her while the other gets her morning bottle ready, but we both wanted to see our girl wake up as a one year old. I made birthday oatmeal for breakfast for her- a mixture of steel cut oats, vanilla yogurt, and this vitamin powder {which I just started using and I love, and Maylin does too}. I topped the oatmeal with a few blueberries and a spattering of sprinkles. And of course, a single birthday candle. We sang "Happy Birthday" to her and "all three" of us blew out her candle. I was feeling festive that morning, so I allowed her to eat the oatmeal by herself with her fingers, which she's always wanted to do, but I'm too much of a neat/control freak to let her. Oatmeal and sprinkles were everywhere! So birthday bath time commenced.

I dressed her in her special "birthday dress" I purchased back in June on major sale from a local children's boutique. It's been hanging in her closet ever since, and I've been dying to get her in it. I'm glad I waited though, because once she was wearing it she looked so grown up. I'd also saved this white flower headband especially for her birthday. I received it as a shower gift when I was still pregnant with Maylin, and again, decided to wait until her birthday to put it on her. I mean, it's slightly larger than headbands she normally wears, so I felt it necessitated a special occasion to be pulled off properly. {Also, I love baby fashion, so planning her birthday outfit months in advance was just icing on my proverbial cake. No shame here.}

Then, obviously, when your daughter is having her first birthday and you dress her in a party dress you've been waiting months for her to wear, the next course of action is a photo shoot in the nursery. Because, first birthday. And because, pink seersucker cupcake embroidered party dress. 

I took Maylin with me to a local florist to have helium put in the balloons for her birthday party the next day. The sweet ladies in the store swooned over Maylin and gave her a complimentary birthday balloon. Maylin was beside herself. She loved that balloon and would not let it go. She talked to it in the car seat all the way back to the house, which was just adorable. That's the balloon in the top two pictures. We have such nice people in our small town, and it made me feel great that they wanted to give Maylin something special since it was her birthday. It was totally unexpected and unplanned, which made it all the more memorable and touching.

Michael was able to get off work a little early, around mid-afternoon, since it was a Friday. We saved doing the main "birthday activities" until then. When he got home, we let Maylin open the presents from us and one that was sent in the mail to her by Michael's cousin.

Maylin loves the television show Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS. It's really all I allow her to watch since she's still so young, but this show has great lessons for small children and no hidden agendas or bad attitudes from the characters. It's a spin off of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and it's been fun to recognize some of the characters I remember as a child. Anyway, Michael had the brilliant idea to get Maylin a toy Trolley and little characters from the show. Brilliant, I tell you. Her eyes lit up when she saw that she could touch and hold the "real" Daniel Tiger. The Trolley even dings when you push it. You can see in the picture below she clutched that little tiger even while she opened the remainder of her gifts!

I gave Maylin a baby doll with a bib, pacifier, and bottle. Every little girl needs a baby doll, and I especially wanted Maylin to have one early so she could practice "feeding" and "loving" and "being sweet" to the baby before little sister makes her appearance and upends Miss Maylin's tiny little world.  

I'm pretty impressed with the way she's taken to the baby already. She caught on quickly to the concept that the bottle goes in the baby's mouth. Although sometimes Maylin puts the bottle in her own mouth! I can say, "Maylin, can you give the baby her bottle?" and she'll Gollum crawl over to the baby and touch the bottle to its mouth. It's precious. And gives me great hope for our "real" baby that will be here in less than 9 weeks.

Maylin's favorite part of opening the presents was the tissue paper. She loved flinging it away from the gifts. I think she would've played with that tissue paper all day! Here's an action shot.

After opening presents we took Maylin to a local frozen yogurt bar as a treat. This was her first taste of anything this sweet. I swirled a small amount of strawberry and vanilla yogurt in her cup. Sister was hooked from the first taste! It was so fun watching her eat that yogurt! After every bite she'd bounce up and down, waving her hands in the air, and saying "mmmmmm"  until she got another. That may have been the highlight of the whole day for me.

After froyo we spent the remainder of the afternoon in the front yard while Michael did some yard work. The day was warm, the sun was shining, the colors were beautiful. Maylin played in the grass with her Daniel Tiger until time to go inside.

Look how close this girl is to walking! She plants her feet and leans forward as far as she can, but she WILL NOT take that first step! She doesn't like the idea of picking up that foot and scooting it forward. I was so hoping she would take her first steps on her first birthday, but alas, it was not to be. I have a feeling in the next couple of weeks she'll be walking. I can't wait to take her walking down the driveway to check the mail. For some reason, that's what I'm looking forward to most.

Finally, I have to document how sweet she's already being to her baby, although the infatuation with the baby's bottle is quite evident. I dearly hope she's this sweet to baby sister, too.

Happy First Birthday, Miss Maylin! This year has been more than I ever hoped for and better than my wildest dreams. You are my sunshine, my light, my joy. I love you, baby girl!

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