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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gretchen Turns ONE!

Wowza, our baby girl is ONE YEAR old!  I cannot believe it.  My sweet little girl is actually turning into a sweet little girl - not a sweet little bundle of baby.

One year ago we had one of the biggest surprises of our lives when 26 days before my due date I was woken up (at 8:00am, how times have changed that I was still sleeping past 8:00...) to a baby belly that was ready to burst.

Monday, February 28, 2011 - just before we hailed a cab to the hospital

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - I feel like the only thing similar about these two mornings is that I was wearing the same shorts.  
One Year Old Gretchen!
This year I woke to a happy little girl with a belly full of cupcake that just needed a balloon to keep her busy for hours on end.  Argentina was lovely enough to give us a holiday on Monday, February 27, so we held Gretchen's birthday party a day early and then spent her actual birthday with just family.

So lets rewind to the day before Gretchen turned one and describe a little bit about her adorable birthday party.

Originally, I had pretty casual expectations for a pretty simple party, but my mother-in-law and I were talking about party themes, I mentioned giraffes, and there was no going back.  I'm pretty sure Jon's parents packed anything giraffe-related within a 25 mile radius of their home and transported it to Argentina in their luggage.  The theme was a huge success.

In addition to the actual giraffe items that were purchased for the party, I tried my hand at cake pops for the second time, and though they were a bit more challenging than the first batch (they were too moist or something, but the chocolate kept slipping off and the poor little heads actually fell off of a few of the sticks.  It was giraffe-carnage in our refrigerator for a while) they turned out really cute!  Thank you to the numerous family members and family member's girlfriends that both helped, and witnessed my disappointment when I didn't think they were going to work out.

In a moment of dessert-inspired panic, we also made a funfetti cake and red velvet cupcakes.  Yum!

Here we are with the birthday girl before anyone arrived.  She was so funny all morning, when she had a balloon in hand, she was the happiest girl in the world, when she was deprived of her balloon, she was incredibly serious-faced.
Note the serious face...
We compromised and gave Gretchen a few balloons while we took some pictures, but that didn't seem to help the serious-face.  

With Gran and Poppa on my birthday!
We just had a few close friends over, but all of the little kiddos played together incredibly well!  I couldn't believe how everyone seemed to find a partner and a toy and just sat, playing quietly, through most of the party.  It inspired me to hide some of Gretchen's toys, and rotate them out in a few weeks so that they are new and exciting again.

Look at those big baby blues!
 The big finale was Gretchen's first time eating sweets - and we gave her a whole cupcake to enjoy.  I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but our little girl is a fantastic eater.  She puts virtually every other child I know to shame in that department.  She likes everything, she tries everything and she eats with conviction - none of this playing-around-with-my-food nonsense.  Knowing this, we were prepared for a cupcake demolition, and she did not disappoint.....

Right after the Happy Birthday song...

Getting a little taste of this delicious little cake...

Two hands grabbing the cupcake to eat the "stump" first (just like Mom likes to eat cupcakes, saving the delicious frosting for the end)....

Cupcake carnage...

Finishing with a tongue-stick-out move that could only mean "why are all these people looking at me??"

It was hilarious and fun to watch Gretchen enjoy her first cupcake, and we'll hope she's not destined for the dessert-craving life that her Mom has endured.  

Before we bid farewell to everyone, we got a quick photo of Gretchen with two of her besties, Trey and Talia.  Look how much our kiddos have grown since the 4th of July (when we last posed them in a picture together)!!!
July, 2011 - They're all just babies!!

February, 2012 - only big kids here!
Gretchen had a wonderful birthday!  She also took this monumental occasion to switch to one nap per day...a schedule that has been working out great for us.  She has been so full of life and fun - as difficult as it is to see my baby girl grow up - it has been wonderful watching her discover her world and develop a personality.  She has started mimicking little things like yawns, crinkling her nose and sticking out her tongue.  She loves her pacifier and giraffe blankie, but knows that they stay in the crib after she's done sleeping.  She is incredibly curious and knows exactly how to get in to trouble, but she has also started giving hugs and kisses (they're open mouth, be prepared...) which completely melts our hearts.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!  And may you always be as happy as you were with your balloons.


  1. Oh, she is just so sweet! Happy Birthday, Baby Girl, and CONGRATS TO YOU, MAMA! :) We just cannot wait to meet her. She and Anna will adore playing together! She is so beautiful (and I LOVE those chunky thighs!) Feliz Cumpleanos from Virginia! xoxo

  2. Happy Birthday Beautiful Girl...you sure have a talented Mama! Jill

  3. Stank and BlakelyMarch 2, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    Happy Birthday Gretchen!! :)