Monday, July 30, 2007

The Official Celebration

Yesterday we held the official Sarah celebration. First on our list of exciting and thrilling things to do to celebrate Sarah's being one year old, was to buy a real carseat and never again have to lug that unwieldy infant seat around with an increasingly heavy human in it. This, coupled with the fact that they're now feeding Sarah finger food and cups of whole milk at daycare, meaning we no longer have to prepare bottles nightly, made this an extra special birthday for us all.

Except Kate. She really didn't care. The giant box from one of the car seats did make Kate's day a fun one. Who doesn't love to play inside a giant cardboard box? I mean, besides homeless people, who doesn't love it?
In honor of the big day, and his brand new grill/smoker combo super-manly machine, Jeremiah smoked a pork butt. We were joined by Eric, Raigan, Steve and Joy. With more than a little help from the birthday girl, we ate nearly the entire hunk of meat. It was fantastic. And of course, there were sides. And then, just as Kate and Sarah were both starting to think this party was totally lame, out came the cake and home made ice cream.

I didn't make some fancy cake concoction for Kate's first birthday, so I decided I was off the hook for Sarah's this go-round, too. We ordered this adorable little doggy cake from The Little European Bakery up near my office. I asked for something cute and they asked "what does she like?" My first thought was "well, she likes to have her dirty diaper changed straight away!" but I opted to go with "she likes dogs." because I think she's too young to have a cake with a nice, clean naked butt on it. If you get the 8" cake, they throw in a free "smash" cake. I only needed a 7" but I figured my co-workers could help me out with the extra so I could have a cute little mini-cake (they were very obliging). So, somewhat unceremoniously, I'm afraid, I presented the smash cake to Sarah as we sang, terribly, Happy Birthday.And the destruction commenced. That poor cake never even knew what hit it. Oh! The humanity!Kate had her own piece (she ate all the icing and the ice cream and left the cake portion) but was still gracious enough to help her sister out.

Once we deemed the smash cake sufficiently humiliated we swept it away while distracting Sarah with a shiny object (that works on every member of my family). Once she noticed she was no longer seated before her own personal cake, though, things got ugly, and she began to scream for my cake. I was forced to share, something I am loathe to do when it comes to cake and ice cream, so you know I must really love this kid.

Sarah consumed so much sugar that evening that before she passed out (without puking, unlike Kate after her first birthday party) she stripped down to her diaper and danced on the table. Not pictured is Kate, who, inspired by her kid sis, also removed every article of clothing and ran around the entire house meowing like the cat...buck naked. Our guests all dourly predicted frightening things for their college years. I had another glass of wine.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oh oh oh ooooh, Little China Girl

My coworker, Yanwen, returned home to China for a visit earlier this month. When he came back to work he brought a little dress for Kate. As soon as I showed it to her, Kate wanted to put it on. So we got her in it and I realized she bore a striking resemblance to Kate Capshaw in Temple of Doom (OK, not really but her name is also Kate), so I put her hair up and made a mental note to ask Yanwen to teach me how to sing "Anything Goes" in Chinese. Kate decided she should wear her shades with the dress. She looked very cool, but the fashion show coincided with a meltdown so she appears to be opposed to the outfit in photographs. Oh well. I told my little China girl "...just you shut your mouth".

Friday, July 27, 2007

Drunkle Steve

Today before picking the girls up from daycare Jeremiah stopped off at the store and bought a case of beer. We'll need that for our official birthday celebration this weekend.

When Kate climbed into the car she saw the beer in the box on the floor next to her carseat. "Did you get beer, Daddy?" she asked. "Yes, Kate, I bought beer" Jeremiah said. "Is it for Uncle Steve?"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

A year ago today, young Sarah made her debut. Since then she's tricked us daily into loving her more and more. Her brand of comedy is not as slapstick and physical as Kate's and certainly not as uproarious - she is somewhat harder to amuse and slightly more serious. But she does display a sense of humor that I think belies the workings of a busy and slightly evil mind. Still, she loves to be tickled and held upside down (but not thrown, that's all Kate). She initiates peek-a-boo with anyone she deems worthy of her attention. But what I really love is that she will look at you, duck down slightly and let out a throaty "hazaah!" while throwing her head back so much to her own amusement and often completely unprompted. To that end, we're trying to teach her to throw her arm and the air and yell "Sarah!" like South Park's Timmy.

Now she's not only walking but running. Signing all about the world around her and cheerily shouting "hi!" and sometimes "hey!" (she is a southerner, after all). She gives big hugs and, if you're really lucky, will "kiss" you on the nose. This was cuter when she didn't have those two teeth up front.

Sarah adores Kate. She follows her everywhere and does what Kate does. Sometimes we find them holding hands across their car seats. Lately, Kate has started to try to pick Sarah up. It's pretty funny, but of course they only do that when there's no camera around. All this makes parenting easier for us; we can just focus on making sure Kate turns out alright and we know Sarah will do the same. Settle down, I'm kidding.

She also adores the dog. All dogs, in fact. She's already figured out not only how to ride Kate's little scooter but how to maneuver it out of tight corners and around people and animals. We're reasonably certain she's a genius. Dog lover? Adept scooter driver at one year of age? Fond of Kate? Those are all marks of a smart individual, on several levels.

So today we will let her open all her gifts from the grandparents. And this weekend we will celebrate her birthday with a small cookout among friends (ours). Low-key is the thrust of this one. I'll get a special cake, pictures will be taken. But the main thing is we're glad she survived this deadly first year, glad she's so beautiful and endearing and really, really glad she was born. Party on, my birthday girl!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chincoteague - a retrospective

Here are a few scenes from Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. We've been back for a week, but Jeremiah and I have not stopped saying, upon getting up in the morning "I don't want to go to work, I want to ride my bike to the beach." Which might explain why Kate keeps telling everyone we see "I went to the beach!" There are a ton of Sarah pictures, too, I'll get them posted at a later date.

Most of these were taken while biking on Assateague's wilderness trail, but the sunsets and the house were all where we stayed. Not pictured are tons of bunnies, including a few tiny baby ones, some muskrats, approximately one million different types of birds, the quaint downtown of Chincoteague, the other house we rented or the swarms of mosquitoes that probably gave us all either malaria or west nile disease. Still, fun trip.

The kite-flying series

It may look like Kate didn't really do that much "flying" of her kite and that when she was "flying" the kite she was doing it by holding on to the tail, but that's only because that's exactly what happened. She will tell you in no uncertain terms and usually completely out of context, though, that she "flew a kite at the beach!"