Sunday, September 30, 2007

Birthday Daze

Anna has now celebrated her first birthday. For, oh, about three days now. I took the actual birthday-day, Friday, off work in hopes we could have some family adventures, but, alas, it was very rainy, and we barely got a walk in without a drenchin'. But we got a head-start on baking and preparing for the birthday party, and we went to the grocery store. Always fascinating.

Here is a snapshot of Anna at one: She has shifted to one nap a day, but has not yet quite adjusted to getting less sleep in the daytime and so can sometimes get a little wild. (We're in favour of lengthening the one nap, a strategy she hasn't hit upon for herself yet.)

At one, she loves accessories and checks the bangles, earrings, necklaces, shoes, and handbags of everyone who comes in the door. At the end of the day, when her mom gets home from work, it is often hard to tell if Anna is happier to see her mom or her mom's brooch, watch, and (occasional) necklace.

At one, Anna has lots of hugs and kisses for her family, immediate and extended, and she loves spending time with all her grandparents. She has special rituals with each of them and has broken at least one of each of their possessions.

At one, Anna loves to cuddle up with a book and someone to read it to her. She knows what will happen on the next page of her favourite books and makes particular sounds and gestures that anticipate the next page and show how well she remembers the story. She loves to look at paintings, pointing out one colour at a time and wanting it named; pointing out cats or birds or objects she knows in the pictures. (She also likes to explore paint textures with her fingernails, but don't tell her father.)

At one, Anna spends most of the rest of her time following the cat from room to room (and the cat spends her time walking from room to room trying to be followed). Peekaboo has expanded into hide and seek as Anna has become mobile and can sidle down the side of the couch. She is so mobile on her feet, she barely scoots on her bum at all.

At one, her word comprehension is still much better than her ability to speak, and "ga" (which also specifically means "cat" or "dog" when spoken with specific inflections) is her general word for almost all concrete nouns. "Mmm" is her sound for all animal noises.

At one, she carries around shoes and reorganizes her socks. She is a connoiseur of blackberries, raspberries, and varieties of cheese. She holds phones (and remote controls) to her ear and wanders the house babbling into them, but if the phone rings and gets held to her ear with a familiar voice on the other end, she just smiles and laughs. She is still very solemn when she is observing new places and people and very giggly with the people she knows and loves.

She's a lot of fun, though it takes some effort to say so after the ordeal of getting her settled this evening after a weekend of over-stimulation. Her party on Saturday saw all her local family members and some special guests from BC (including a nine-month-old second cousin) gather for lunch and time to admire her in a pretty dress and fancy (clunky) shoes. After the party ended, she woke from her nap and went to the livingroom and cried to see that everyone had gone home.

And today, a long autumn walk along the bay where her forebears lived, and another visit at Grandma Marjorie's, the Sunday afternoon visit that has come to be called "The Viewing." Anna will find the week at home with her dad quite a come-down after all the feteing.