Rory had a whole WEEK of birthday celebrations because we are first time parents and have absolutely no chill. It started off on Monday when she got to go to her friend Rebecca's birthday party. Rebecca was turning two so a bunch of the little cutie girls in our ward got together at the park and had a little tea party and games. Rory ate some Play-doh and absolutely loved the bubble machine, so it was obviously an extremely successful day. I told Rory to just pretend it was her party because ain't no way I'm putting in all that effort for a kid who isn't making memories yet. Mommy loves you baby.
On Tuesday Emily stopped by with an early birthday present for Rory. She handmade the cutest "1 is fun" card and got her THE cuuuutest outfit (pink giraffe dress, I mean, COME ON). Rory liked the present, but LOVED Emily's keys even more. Now you see why she's not getting a party, right?
On Wednesday, October 4 2017 *tries unsuccessfully to hold in the mama tears* we celebrated one year with our Florence! I went and got McDonald's breakfast sandwiches for breakfast, just like we did on the way to the hospital that morning, and we went and woke this little stinkface up singing happy birthday. She immediately popped up and started talking to us like she hadn't just been dead asleep (she does this every time we have to wake her unexpectedly and it is one of her cutest qualities). Stephen got her a present (because she owns him) and it was a major hit. Rory is obsessed with my Camelbak water bottle so Stephen got her one of her very own! He had the idea to wrap it pre-filled with water so that Rory wouldn't have to miss a beat, and she didn't!
That night we had Evening in Excellence for the young women so Rory got to get dressed up in her cute birthday dress and come with me. She was loud and distracting and a total hit. There's a little boy in our ward named Thor and Rory is obsessed with him! Thor is like 8 or 9 years old, by the way- not a little baby. He makes Rory laugh every time she sees him, even if it is from across the room. I was standing in the back of the room while one of the young women was speaking and Rory just starts cracking up. I can get her to quiet down for the life of me and I finally follow her line of sight to see Thor in his seat halfway across the room making faces at her. It was seriously adorable. Rory was not feeling taking the birthday pictures, but I love them because they capture the real Rory. She is feisty! Also this is the cat Stephen gave me on our first Valentine's day together and Rory is now obsessed with it.
The one rough part about turning one is that you have to have your twelve month well check and that means more shots. Rory has always handled shots like a champion, but they took some blood to check for anemia (just like you would take an adults blood- on my tiny baby's tiny little arm- it was awful!) and she needed a little longer to calm down this time. This little girl is a champ though and her doctor visits always make me feel so proud of her.
The Friday of Rory's birthday week Stephen had a charity dinner that his firm bought a table at so we got a babysitter and went out for a fancy dinner. It was fun to have a reason to get all dressed up and I did my best to not embarrass Stephen in front of his coworkers as I casually stocked the waiters walking around with mozzarella sticks. I know this doesn't really count as a birthday celebration for Rory, but I don't know if I'll ever look this good again so better to document it while I can.
Saturday was when the party really got started because Madalyn came to help us celebrate Rory's birthday! She got her the cutest Tinkerbell costume, complete with light up wings and everything, and I already can't wait for Rory to get bigger so that she can wear it. For this visit we actually cooked food ourselves and even managed to keep the treats to a minimum, well a minimum for us at least. Mady watched Rory after Sacrament and Stephen and I were actually able to attend classes! Plus she totally got her to sleep, which is quite the feat these days. Madalyn's mom is the cupcake queen of Washington, and thankfully she taught Mady everything she knows! So we put Mady to work on Sunday and she made Rory some peanut butter cup cupcakes to celebrate her birthday. My favorite part of the night was when we sang her happy birthday. We put a candle on the cupcake for her and then I put it on her tray. I knew she didn't really know how to blow so I wanted to see if she would try. Well, before I could do anything about it she stuck her little hand out and snuffed out the candle with a little pinch. If it hurt I wouldn't know because she did not react in the least. She just got her hands on that cupcake and went to town! She's just my favorite little person.
On Monday we went out shopping and in search of The Baked Bear- cookie ice cream sandwiches that I have been dying to try. We stopped to get some Sodalicious on our way to the store because every good shopper needs a little fuel. I was looking through a rack of clothes at Carter's when I heard a sucking sound and realized that Rory had managed to get to the straw of my drink. Yes it is caffeinated, yes I let her take another drink so that I could show Mady and then one more so that we could get a picture. She loved it. Baked Bear turned out to be just as delicious as I imagined it would and totally worth the drive to downtown Tempe. I love birthdays, I love this sweet baby of mine, and I love when Madalyn comes to visit so this was basically one of my favorite weeks of all time
And now, a bit about what life is like with Rory right now. Rory LOVES being outside but she isn't quite big enough to DO anything outside yet. She can stand up and walk along furniture, but she's only taken a few hesitant steps (that Madalyn filmed for me because she is the greatest friend ever) so it's not like she can run around the playground and climb on the toys. She mostly wants to crawl around and eat dirt, branches, and leaves and I'm not a cool enough mom to let her do that. So this is our usual outside routine: 1) Rory makes it clear she wants to be outside, 2) I think, "Nature is great! I'm a cool mom! We're going to go outside and explore and it's going to be magical and also make her a genius!" 3) I take her outside and show her flowers and pretty things and she immediately wants to be put down to crawl around in the dirt, 4) I take off her clothes so she doesn't ruin them in the dirt and find she's already managed to get something in her mouth, 5) follow her around for a few seconds and repeatedly pull gross things out of her hands and mouth, and 6) get fed up and bring her back inside after a solid 2-3 minutes of outdoor time. It is a blast. Sometimes I take her to the neighborhood park anyways though, and if I'm really lucky there will be older kids there that Rory can watch, so she just sits with me mesmerized while THEY run around an get messy.
Rory loves to eat, but only sometimes. She has days where she is a bottomless pit and days when she only takes a few bites of everything I give her all day long. But no matter the day, this girl LOVES avocados and noodles. She loves eating them as much as she loves playing with them, which is a LOT.
A week or so before her birthday we drove to Glendale to have Jules take some one-year-old/ smash cake pictures for us. This smash cake became the obsession of my life. On one hand, I am very proud of how it turned out and on the other hand I would like to make six more until I get it perfect because now that I have done it once I know I could do better. Oh well, maybe her two-year-old birthday cake will be a thing of beauty- we will see! Jules got some ADORABLE birthday pictures of Rory, that warranted a picture book of their very own, but I wanted to document how good she was at destroying that cake. She only ate a little bit, but boy did she love crushing it in her little pincher hands. My favorite things about these pictures are as follows (in no particular order) 1- her little wisps on top of her head, 2- her little teeth, 3- her little tongue, 4- her little nose and her little blue eyes looking up at me and her little hand grabbing that cake and basically everything about this and her.
We love this baby more than words can ever describe. I can't believe it was one year ago that I held her in my arms for the first time. She just fits so perfectly. She fits in our arms, in our life, and in our hearts as if she's been there all along. She amplifies every emotion, adventure and action and our world just feels more alive with her in it. Florence Marsh, we are so blessed you are ours.