It’s hard to believe, but one year ago, at the very moment that I’m writing this, Elena entered the world. So much has happened since that stormy evening, yet it all seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. But this is not the space for retrospectives. Instead, here’s what we’ve done to celebrate her birthday.
Last Saturday we had a party at Zilker park. We only had a few guests, including Elena’s cousins, but it was lots of fun. We played in the playground, rode on the Zilker Zephyr miniature train, and then ate birthday cake. Elena loved it all. She cried when it was time to get off the train, but then forgot her sorrows when she dove into the cake face first.
Later that evening we opened a package from Grandma Nancy. It had two fun activity books in it. One is about a teddy bear getting ready for bed, and the other is about a farm. It includes a bunch of farm animal magnets, which stick to the magnetic pages of the book. Elena had a good time playing with it at church on Sunday, and we liked it because it was quiet. Speaking of church–on Monday we gave her our first present, a Book of Mormon picture book.
Elena got another present Sunday evening: the Allens gave her a scooter/walker combo. Jenny assembled it with help from their oldest son, then Elena rode around on it like a princess while the rest of the kids danced to the musical stylings of Hampsterdance.
We hadn’t planned to give Elena any more presents, especially since we recently received a large collection of beautiful, new-to-us toys from some friends who no longer needed them. Last night I decided that I wanted to have at least a little something for her on her birthday, even if she didn’t understand the significance of the day. Maybe I was feeling a little bit guilty; I knew I had to leave early this morning and wouldn’t be home until later in the evening.
I decided to get her some more rubber duckies, but the store I stopped at didn’t have quite what I wanted. I looked around and found the perfect substitute: Squirtin’ Sea Buddies. I gave Elena the starfish and penguin just before her bath. They became fast friends and, as expected, joined her in the bathtub for fun time with the rubber duckies.
Jenny sang Happy Birthday to Elena right when first she woke up this morning, then again after her first nap. I sang when I called to say good morning, and my parents called in the evening to sing to her. After all that, I hope she knows that there was something special about today!