Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rainbow Birthday

Pumpkin's first birthday was about 10 weeks ago, so I figured it's high time I post something from the celebration. We just had a small gathering at our house, but I was pretty excited about decorating nonetheless. Once I found the invitation, I settled on a rainbow theme. Finding ideas for decorations was easy thanks to Pinterest and a few favorite blogs ...
Month-by-Month picture banner inspired by Kara's Party Ideas, via Pinterest.

Fringed number 1 inspired by Oh Happy Day.
(I made it on posterboard instead of taping to the wall.)

Streamers inspired by Oh Chickadee

Oreo Pop favors from Makoodle.

Pennants made from leftover paper from the photos at top, now serving as bedroom decor.
Since we were out of town for a few days the week before the birthday, I put the decorations up early, so it was fun to have the house look festive for a couple extra weeks. The most fun part, though, was watching Pumpkin dig into her cake. I can't believe how fast the first year went by!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Earlier this month, Pumpkin and I went with our friends Jason and Rebecca to see the Great Reno Balloon Race. This is one of my favorite Reno events, and even more fun now with a little one to enjoy. We got up at 4 a.m. to see the Glow Show and Dawn Patrol, but the mass ascension - where all the balloons fill and lift off at the same - is my favorite.

Darth is a crowd favorite.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reflecting forward

Eleven years ago today, I woke up in my boss's house in Monterey. He and his wife were on vacation, I was watching their youngest daughter while they were gone. She was in elementary school, possibly junior high, and as I French-braided her hair into pigtails, we heard the news on the radio of an airplane hitting one of the towers. I went downstairs and turned on the TV and watched as the second tower fell. The girl didn't grasp the enormity of what was happening, but thought it sounded like a good excuse to get out of school (I didn't buy it).

I fell out of touch with this family that was a part of my life for five years. I don't know anything about this girl now, if she went to college, what career path she chose. I know when she was a little girl she insisted on wearing a pig costume all the time. I know anytime I watched her she wanted me to braid her hair. I know she liked to help at her dad's store. I know that because we were together on Sept. 11, I will always think of and remember her as that sweet kid on this day.

This morning, I pulled my own daughter's hair into pigtails. I dropped her off at school. She doesn't know the significance of this day, and I don't know at what age or to what extent she will. I don't know how growing up in a post Sept. 11 world will shape her worldview. I don't know if she will want me to French braid her hair into pigtails for school, or if she will become so infatuated with a costume that she will insist on wearing it to the grocery store. I don't know what career path she will choose.

At almost 14 months, I do know that her laugh lights up this house. She loves her dog Scoop, and blows her kisses when we leave in the morning. She says "momma," "dada," "baby," "hi," "bye," "up," "yeah," and "no." She has recently developed an independent streak, and doesn't want to be carried or hold hands while walking. She knows where her nose, toes and tongue are. She knows dogs say woof and cows say mmmmm. She likes water but is scared of waves. She'd rather be on pavement than grass. She loves books. She loves her friends, and the fish tank, at school. She dances when she hears music. If given the opportunity, she splashes in the dog water bowl and unspools the toilet paper roll. She puts tupperware "hats" on her head. She loves to hold a blankie, and uses them to play peekaboo. She delights.

Each day so far has been an amazing journey of getting to know this little person my baby is becoming. I look forward to discovering so much more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baby Momma Drama

Our girl is tall, and she has a lot of hair. This sometimes means that folks assume she is older than she is.

A couple weeks ago, we went out to breakfast at a new location of a favorite restaurant. One of the owners came by, being that they were in their first day of business, to see how everything was. She looked at Pumpkin and said, "You're too old for a binky!" (Now, I will confess, we are not exactly thrilled that she still uses a pacifier. But after talking with her pediatrician, he said it is fine for her and her teeth and it's better than her sucking her thumb, and he was more concerned that we get her off the bottle. So, that is what we are focusing on.) Why do we as parents do this to each other? I am sure I have been guilty (if not vocally, then in my internal dialogue) of judging another parent's choice. But it's hard enough being a parent without having to worry what other people think. In our conversation with the restaurant owner, when she realized Pumpkin was only 13 months old, she was surprised. She has twins, and at 2 they are still quite small. Maybe she didn't think she was too old for a paci after all. Maybe she did. Either way, she should have kept it to herself. I know it served as a reminder to me to try to remember that when I see another mom and child (or anyone, really) that I don't know their situation, and I shouldn't form an opinion on first impression, and certainly should keep it to myself if I do.