Today we joined over twenty families from our neighborhood to celebrate our babies’ ﬁrst birthdays with a group party at Play. It was great to catch up with some familiar mothers and babies and to see Ellis playing happily with the other toddlers. I made the hanging banner with all of the photos for a little added decoration.
Some exciting news from the weekend: our repaired camera is back! (So glad we purchased that warranty). And Ellis is standing by herself for a few seconds! A lot of the other babies her age are already walking, but we are still very excited for each new step whenever she feels ready to take it.
We can’t believe the big day ﬁnally arrived. Ellis turned one on Monday! I was surprisingly emotional all day, gazing at Ellis for long stretches, running through everything that has happened in the last twelve months—so many wonderful moments and so much learning about what it means to be a parent. Last September was a haze of swaddles, diapers, nursing marathons, and napping when we had the chance. This September, Ellis is bursting with personality. She is imitating our actions (trying to put our shoes on her feet, holding the remote control up to her ear and babbling into it like a phone), sipping from a straw and a cup, feeding herself and giving us bites. She studies objects and pictures that have always been around with a completely new focus. She’s a lightning fast crawler and is gaining interest (and balance) with walking. She is obsessed with buttons and the kitties, of course.
We celebrated a little at home with singing and opening presents. On Sunday, we were invited to Dave and Simone’s annual fall dinner with friends. We brought along a strawberry shortcake with some lovely frosting typography and helped Ellis blow out her single candle. On Saturday, we celebrated Graeme’s ﬁrst birthday in Prospect Park. He is one of the babies Ellis has known since her ﬁrst weeks at daycare. It was great to talk with his parents outside of school and to watch Ellis and Graeme play so comfortably with one another. They do, after all, spend about 40 hours a week together!
This evening we came home to a package from Oma and Opa. Ellis enjoyed ripping off the paper and playing with her ﬁrst puzzle, a book from our favorite bunny Nijntje and some adorable clothing from the Hema.
The long labor day weekend was lovely. Great weather and lots of adventures around the city to various parks. On Sunday we made it down to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6. The new park is beautiful and fun for older kids, but could use a little shade. I think Ellis will really enjoy going there once she is walking and interested in sand (instead of being freaked out by it). After that we rode the bus to IKEA. I admit that when their catalog came in the mail earlier in the week, a seed was planted and I had to plan a visit. Ellis tried her ﬁrst Swedish meatballs, mac and cheese, and some veggies. Of course what she really wanted was my french fries, like mother like daughter I suppose. I love their cafeteria and am always amazed how delicious and affordable it is. We managed not to do too much ﬁnancial damage in the actual store; just picked up a new duvet cover and some plastic bowls and cups for Ellis (great for eating and stacking). Since the ofﬁce was closed on Monday, we were able to meet up with Simone, David, Sophie and Roman for a little Central Park picnic. The weather was perfect and I loved seeing how fascinated Ellis was with Sophie. We visited the Conservatory Garden after lunch and I can’t believe I had never been to (or really heard of) this beautiful part of Central Park. What a gem!
What a bittersweet afternoon. Very excited about the three day weekend ahead and sad to say goodbye to half day Fridays. They have been great. Some were spent traveling, others meeting up with friends and running errands, and a few were spent working in a wonderfully quiet ofﬁce all by myself. Today, Erik and I tried to make the most of our last afternoon. We had a picnic lunch from Pret A Manger in Union Square with Ellis, then headed up to the Met to see the Big Bambu installation on the rooftop. Ellis particularly enjoyed pointing at the Greek and Roman statues. I haven’t been to the Upper East Side in a while and it was nice to stroll around the pretty streets, wander through the museum and end up in Central Park for a little time on the grass. We found a nice patch close to the museum. After Ellis refused to touch the sharp grass in Woodstock, I was delighted to see her crawling all around the soft central park lawn.