Today Hallie turned one.
She began her celebration with a lovely breakfast of chicken and vegetable stew mixed with butter and pear/pineapple medley (please don't ask...I am sure that, when she's older and she reads this blog she's going to be horrified by the food combos to which we subjected her). She followed this up with a session of practicing "pull to stand" that ended with a quick dive off of the couch. Happily, I caught her on the first bounce. Unhappily, this involved a small amount of crying that resulted from shock, breaking her fall with her arms, and a short skid along the carpet. No one was hurt, but I made a mental note to practice my own dive and rescue techniques so that I'd be a quicker responder to such events which, alas, will probably become ever more frequent in the upcoming days.
This afternoon, Hallie was honored by a visit from Aunt Ellen, who is Hallie's first friend. Ellen is the first nurse that we all got to meet in the Labor and Delivery suite to which Sharon was rushed (careening into walls, doors, and us) a year and a day ago today. Ellen's prediction when she said, "Ladies, we are going to get to know each very well this summer" was totally on target. Anyway, Hallie shares all of her important milestones with Ellen, and today was no exception.
Here's Hallie ripping into her gifts from Ellen. She found the paper intensely exciting and apparently quite flavorful.
Maybe her high fiber diet is the reason we are getting to change so many interesting diapers these days?
Aunt Ellen and Hallie had a very long, very serious birthday talk, to which Hallie responded with many high-pitched "ays" and "ahs."
Then we all went off to More Than Just Ice Cream for lunch. Hallie was very well behaved and crunched away on her Trader Joes veggie sticks and had some bottle while we partook in salads and such, saving lots of room for the purpose of this visit: long ago, back when Hallie weighed considerably less than two pounds, Ellen had promised that she would take Hallie out for chocolate ice cream on her first birthday.
Here's Hallie digging into her very first sundae:
Truth be told, right now we think that Hallie enjoys fruit flavors above everything else, and to our horror, she liked the low fat peach frozen yogurt the best. But she got to sample lots of different flavors--chocolate marshmallow, mint chip, cinnamon bun, and coffee and liked all but the last of the ice creams.
This little exercise of feeding Hallie did, however, involve the use of many spoons. This was not because our girl is a stickler for avoiding double dipping but because she takes very seriously the fact that these spoons are of the "take and toss" variety. She is especially fond of the "toss" bit and this is what the floor looked like after our little adventure:
Needless to say, we tipped well.
Later on today, we had dinner with a subset of the commune. Ethan, unfortunately, was a bit under the weather so he and Josh could not attend, so we got together with Mark, Vanessa, and Karina for a short meal and birthday cake. Karina and Hallie had a blast hanging out with one another.
Karina was very emotional about her best friend turning one. At one point, she reached over and gave Hallie a huge hug and kiss. Hallie was a bit stunned but took the headlock Karina placed on her in stride:
Like Ellen, Karina also gave our girl a birthday talk:
This was followed by a long 'girls only' conversation that we found absolutely hilarious.
Then we brought out the cake, which was dedicated to both Hallie and Olivia:
Hallie helped us blow out the candle:
Then she got down and dirty with the cake, which not only was delicious but has secret moisturizing capacities:
A good time was had by all and Hallie especially enjoyed her post-cake, pre-bedtime bath.