yesterday our little baby turned one year old. she must not be so little anymore, but to tell the truth, i still see her as so small, because her learning-growth outweighs her physical growth, and compared to a tiny blob that does not much at all, suddenly she is this slightly less-tiny blob that does sooooooo many things that big huge people do! mitchell, liz' boyfriend, calls her "midget" sometimes, and that seems very appropriate for the view i have of her. although i realized a little bit recently how much not-midget she really is for her size: we are in arizona for the week, staying with one of my best childhood friends, whose baby danielle is three weeks older than sparrow, and is much smaller in size. when we first met up, i was marvelling greatly about how huge sparrow suddenly seemed, particularly her head. but nevermind, was this supposed to be a blog about her birthday or what?!
sparrow's birthday started off with her daddy calling us from china at 7:30 to sing to her with the whole dance company through the speakerphone. yes, he had to be in china even though her birthday was smack in the middle of the tour. he told me he had a dream the other night that she was falling over and he tried to run and catch her in time, but couldn't reach and she fell on her butt and he went over and picked her up and comforted her... "i think the message is that i really need to be there," he said. it's not as though he's been particularly absent during her life or development. but i'm glad he has the sentiment nonetheless. sparrow is so in love with him that she's pretty much over me if he comes into the room. the other day i made her some wallet-sized, laminated pictures of him to put into this wallet that we have given her as a toy. once the idea came to me i was like a woman obsessed until the project was finished, and am quite pleased with the results, as she can bend and chew the pictures as much as she wants, and she can get all the daddy-cards out now and gush over them. i am quite satisfied that she won't get all confused and forlorn about it, like she did on the ireland trip when she began to point to every picture of any man and say "dadda!"
anyhow, birthday, birthday. she got to spend most of the day playing with danielle and watching me stress over making her cake and getting everything done in time for the party, which was to be held at 6 pm. i was making a whole-grain carrot cake that was to be sweetened with raisins and apple juice. the frosting would be buttercream, and from my experience at reece's son's 1st birthday, i had decided i was NOT going to try crazy shapes or do ANY piping of words or designs. i was going to stick rubber duckies and flowers on the cake and that would be that. the cake turned out amazing, though it did take lots more time to make than anticipated, partly because i was in an unfamiliar kitchen. contact me for the recipe--it was super moist and yummy.
we went downtown in the afternoon with omi, danielle, and emi, to get balloons and flowers and things, and sparrow got so excited when she saw the balloons and even more excited when she saw the little plastic doggies in the party store. but she wasn't getting one of those. needless to say, the girl blew up our 12 helium balloons way too full, and not only was it so windy that omi almost blew away with all of them tangling around her, but the second we got them all in the trunk and closed it, two of them immediately popped, with more following suit every few minutes. after our wal-mart stop, there were so few left that i had to get a new boquet altogether... sparrow loves riding in the car with a buddy next to her. she kept reaching over and flapping her hand about to touch danielle. also, when danielle droned her sleepytime "song," sparrow caught on quickly and soon they were both droning away.
6:00 rolled around, and i was still in omi's kitchen putting frosting on the cake and washing flowers. and we still had to decorate the auditorium! not all too worried, though, because everyone was basically on wycliffe-time, which meant they would be even later than me. and they were. sparrow was in a beautiful, fluffy pink dress, and lovely shoes and bow in her hair, and had a fabulous time lolling about on the floor with the balloons and kicking her legs around, also playing peek-a-boo with the tablecloth and generally hanging out under the table. the dress had to come off for the eating of the cake, which was actually preceded by the eating of bananas, or shall we say "the squishing of bananas."
this was an event generated by sparrow's contiuous attempts previously to get her hands on bananas, not just to eat them, but mainly to squish them, and bite into the peel. one day in a bit of a fluster about it, i had said, "sparrow--look. on your birthday i will let you squish bananas and eat the peel... and you will be naked." and then i realized that her birthday was actually in 2 days and i would have to be true to my word and fulfill her banana dreams if i was any semblance of a good person. she wasn't naked, however. for this event she was wearing a nice new pink onesie that may never get clean again. (currently soaking in sink.) i had made a mess-safe area by covering everything nearby with plastic trash bags, and we'd brought danielle's booster chair and set her securely in it. then we let it all happen and she mashed them between her fists for quite some time. little danielle crawled onto the banana-droppings area excitedly, signed "please?" to her mum, and with the go-ahead, began squishing and devouring the leftovers. two happy babies.
this was followed by the squishing and devouring of a mini-birthday cake with a little duckie on it and everything, but was still somewhat anti-climactic, i think, compared to the banana thing. then she was thoroughly wiped down, onesie off, and dress eventually back on as i tried to get her interested in the presents. reece and christian had brought quite the plethora of baby gifts and i was myself very excited about the finger-animal books etc. but sparrow mainly wanted to crawl up and down the stairs and climb behind things to get into non-baby-safe areas. she and danielle were having quite the meltdowns by the time we got out of there at nine-ish, for she had not had her afternoon nap that day! but i think she had still generally had a good time.
video: hahaha... kinda long, but all the details are great. like notice, for example, how even when i give her the birthday cake, she is still more interested in the bananas and ends up putting some on top of the cake for decor. she was SUPER tired at her party. i'm hoping to get her more animated at her local shindig...