Last night you were so itchy and you couldn’t sleep so I lay with you next to me and you curled your little body into mine. I stroked your hair and you fell asleep and I thought to myself how lucky we all are.
Becoming a mama has made me realise how many things exist in this world that could harm you. Things that I hardly gave a second thought to before, have suddenly become terrifying. From that angry driver to that kid with the flu, the table with sharp corners or the chunky soup – dangers lurk everywhere and I need to constantly tell my terrified brain to chill out.
In your first year you have been in an airplane 6 times. You have slept in cars, in prams, in arms, in travel cots, in bassinets, in baby carriers, on trains, on planes, on busses, on floors and in beds. We’ve had sleepless nights, restless nights and peaceful nights. And somehow, we’re all still alive.
We’ve called you Pokey, Thumpy, Kicky, Bug, Rascal, but most commonly Baby. You’re our sweet sweet baby girl and not a day has gone by without your papa or I exclaiming to each other how beautiful you are. We’re fascinated with you. You’ve quickly gone from a newborn who needed me to hold her head, to a little baby girl who would much rather hold her own bottle thanks. You went from helplessly kicking your little legs, to racing around our living room on all fours, climbing the stairs and pulling yourself along on our furniture.
Often when we were in transit, flying high over the oceans or speeding along in the dark in an overnight bus, I would hold you in my arms as you slept and I would feel so lucky that I could be here protecting you right now. I know we can’t protect you forever, but I can’t say we won’t be doing our best.
We’re so grateful that we’re your parents. We’re so proud of you and the love we feel for you is terrifying and glorious. We’re not the only ones – So many people love you.
To our little moon child, our sweet winter baby,
Happy first birthday,
Your mama & papa
Are you ready for the best 8 minutes of your life? If you haven’t had the opportunity to be with this little girl for the entire past year, then here is your chance to see the highlights. OK, it’s probably not gonna be that wonderful for anyone who isn’t family, so to our family around the world – this is for you.
So Mika’s birthday is in 4 days. What? Yeah. 4 days. And I’ve been feeling all strange about throwing her a big party and having nightmares where I’m stuck on a Pinterest board and there’s all these mason jars and coloured straws and cupcakes laughing at me and I’ve decided to just chill out about it. Decorations are a waste of environment, presents will weigh us down and we’re still not keen to feed Mika refined sugar. Woah, party nazis much? Yeah.
So instead, on Friday we’ll be making these pancakes into a cake like this, we’ll be drizzling it with this icing and Mika will be able to swim in her paddling pool and climb the stairs as many times as her little heart desires. I’ve begged Ivan to go in search of some pretty flowers for the house and on the weekend, depending on where we’re living (yeah, that’s undecided at the moment!), we’ll hopefully gather with a few family and friends for some lunch and handcrafted yummy treats.
I don’t want anyone to miss out. There is a very good reason to celebrate this week and so here is your party invitation. Make sure you dress the part!
Horribly fuzzy and bright iphone photo from Saturday night after a bit too much sake and wine. Apologies. Ivan is holding the greenstone necklace we all pitched in to buy him.
I was going to write a poem about how amazing Ivan is, but I stopped half-way through coz it was a bit lame. I’m sure he doesn’t want the world to know how sweet and wonderful he is to me.
But just quietly, between you and I – this man has the largest, most considerate heart I know. Mika is a lucky little girl to have a papa who would rather spend an afternoon singing made-up songs, blowing raspberries on her belly and giving her shoulder rides than doing much else.
She will soon learn from her papa that:
- she should not ever feel sorry for herself.
- life is wonderful and she has a choice every day as to how she sees the world.
- nothing tastes better than pancakes and bacon. except pork belly.
- it is important to be nice to everyone, within reason.
- she must love with all her heart, especially her family, who will always love her no matter what.
- font choice is very, very important. as is character spacing.
- dream huge. and chase the dreams, don’t follow them.
And soon she will be old enough to sing him ‘happy birthday’ and cook him pancakes and bacon and tell him how much she loves him. But for now, just hearing it from me will have to do. I love you Ivan! Happy birthday x
My Dad used to read to me every night before bed. Sometimes he would fall asleep whilst reading and I would have to pry his eyes open with my little fingers and beg him to wake up and continue reading. Occasionally he would also sing to me at night. Mum tells me this is why I cannot sing in tune.
Dad always takes our ideas seriously. Even when we were 16 years old, if we had a business idea he would encourage us to flesh it out, think it through, write it down and seek funding. His belief in me (and a good idea) without a doubt contributed to my entrepreneurial spirit as an adult.
Once Dad built us our very own outside playhouse, with a deck and stairs and windows and everything. One time we built a working telephone together. And once we built a boat – a little dinghy with a little outboard motor. We lived on a lifestyle block that was just big enough for Dad to always have at least a few DIY projects on the go. I’d love to say that he passed this talent on to me but I’d say Vinny probably acquired more of this than me.
I used to wake up early just so I could steal more time with Dad alone in the kitchen talking over breakfast. Our conversations used to last for hours before I would reluctantly rush off to a netball game that I was already a bit late for. Long walks with Dad or long breakfasts with Dad both meant long conversations with Dad – possibly one of my favourite things in the world.
I hope that Mika one day gets to experience her Grandpa the way that I know him. Long conversations, DIY projects, outrageously legitimate ideas, culinary experiments and delights, a bedtime story or two and possibly the occasional song.
Happy birthday Dad. All the love in the universe, me and Ivan and Mika.
A year ago yesterday, I was in Portland, Oregon with Ivan and my dear friend Tess.
We were couch surfing in a large abandoned looking mansion and I awoke on my birthday in a large tent on the top floor. Ivan gave me a present that he had sneakily planned together with my friend Adele. (Tickets to see Kings of Leon play at the Gorge in Washington).
I went for my birthday run through Portland. I remember it so clearly. I ran across the Steel Bridge and along the waterfront. It was beautifully sunny but not too hot yet. I wasn’t hungover because Ivan and I were already suspecting that a little one was growing inside me. I got back to the mansion hot and sweaty. I showered in the ‘shower’ and then the three of us spent the day perusing Portland. We ate a leisurely brunch. We strolled through the market. We ate Tom & Jerry ice cream. We played video games indoors. We visited the famous book shop. We drank coffee. It was wonderful. And I spent the whole day feeling a teeny bit more awesome than I usually would.
On every single birthday that I have ever had, I remember feeling a bit more awesome than usual. I never understood people who didn’t like their birthdays as I just adored that special feeling that I got. Even if not much was happening, I would go about my day with a strange sense of entitlement to feeling important.
But yesterday I awoke like any other day. Well, no that’s a lie. I awoke on the couch. But as Ivan and Mika showered me with kisses, it wasn’t until Ivan said ‘happy birthday’ that I remembered what was going on. We did my birthday jog and I showered and we met friends for brunch and still, I didn’t feel that feeling.
My friends had all pitched in to buy me the camera lens I’ve been dreaming of owning. Another couple of my friends paid for my brunch. Ivan changed Mika’s diapers all day. It was wonderful. And still I didn’t feel overly special.
My mum cooked a delicious requested meal for dinner and 6 of us dined and chatted and ate delicious healthy carrot cake for dessert. And still, wasn’t feeling it.
And last night at 11pm Ivan said, ‘only 1 more hour to go!’ and I shrugged and closed my eyes and prayed that sleep would come easily.
I wonder if it will always be like this now? I’m sure Mika’s birthdays are going to be much more exciting and meaningful to me than my own. In fact, on my birthday I found myself thinking more of my Mum & Dad than of myself and how significant it must be for them. But perhaps (and hopefully) it will pass. Maybe next birthday I’ll get that awesome feeling back.
A birthday vote for us on Top Baby Blogs! Thank you