For over a month. (sigh) I guess in my heart I didn't want to admit that it has really happened. That my baby is no longer a baby.
She's a big girl now. Yes, it's true.... Lila Kate has turned ONE! My heart is broken yet joyful. Proud yet disappointed, because you see, she's our last baby. I will never again throw another 1st Birthday Party (hmm, which in itself is a blessing and a curse, lol!).
So I can't put this post off any longer. Why? Because Lila WALKED TODAY. :) Her first steps! She took four big steps toward me before stopping and squatting back down again. Lila, Parker and I had been dancing in the living room (they each love to be swung around on my hip, even Parker ~ as big as he is!), and we were swirling and spinning to Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind". Both kids were laughing hysterically as we twirled, and Daddy was even smiling at us from the couch. (Probably laughing AT us under his breath, as Sinatra really isn't Chris's thing!) I sat Lila down in the floor and plopped down myself, as Parker chattered excitedly to Chris, "She's standing, she's standing all by herself!!" (She's been doing this for quite some time but Parker always acts as if it's her first time ever standing on her own. What a proud big brother he is!) Then without any warning at all, she spread her arms out and stepped once.... "She's WAAAALKING, honey, she's walking!!!" She stepped again, and again, and after the fourth step toward me, she surely must have grown tired so she squatted back down again. ;) She just sat there and smiled the biggest, proudest smile I've ever seen! We all clapped and "yay'ed" and hugged and kissed her all over.
Aaaaaand she didn't take another step the rest of the night. LOL!
These images are all from her birthday party. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED: SNAPSHOT OVERLOAD!! Sorry about that. But I make it a priority to ENJOY my kids' parties instead of obsessing over the photography end of it (hard lesson learned, though). So ignore the horrible lighting and the icky shadows and the boring crops ~ sometimes ya gotta throw the rules out the window and just DOCUMENT. I get plenty of those "good shots" all the other times I photograph them. ;) Anyway, above, Lila is "walking" with Grandma Nancy (Chris's mom). And yelling at her brother, if memory serves!
As I suspected, Lila handled the cake-smashing with dignity and grace. (Translation: She wanted NOTHING to do with this sticky, messy cake. She picked at the icing ever-so-delicately with her thumb and forefinger, but had a hard time understanding WHY IN THE WORLD anyone would want to grab a handful of that chocolate crumbly stuff down underneath.) And I can't say that I blame her, actually. That cake was frosted with pink buttercream icing ~ who needs anything more?! Yum! ;)
Finally, she eased up and started to enjoy the mess-making ceremony, after much encouragement and clapping from Mama, Daddy, and a handful of family and close friends. Hey, the girl knows when and how to play to her audience, that's for sure! (PS, we had a "Circle Party", which was inspired by this article in Cookie Magazine. Polka-dot plates, decorations, even the food was round! Fruit skewers of grapes, banana slices, melon balls, etc. Round crackers and cheese, burgers, etc. A circle-shaped cake for Lila, and carrot-cupcakes for the rest of the kids. Subtle, not too "theme-y", and super easy to put together!)
And then it was bathtime.... which called for kisses on the nose from Nammie (my mom) while waiting for the tub to fill.
Then lots of pink, girly presents to open. (Now, that part she loved. She's a master at tearing things apart and pulling items out of bags and boxes, I can attest to this for certain!) She loved playing with her new pink kitchen, and secretly, so did her Bubby. ;) Shhhh......
Sweet Lila. Her little personality amazes me at times. She's so independent already! She's fed herself for quite some time now, and is doing pretty well now with a fork and spoon. Don't even try to feed her anything mushy or pureed anymore. Bring on the good stuff!
She wants desperately to play with the big kids ~ so much that she's claimed her very own Wii remote, and will sit with the remote in one hand and the nunchuck in the other, as her big brother plays Lego Star Wars. ;) She growls at his dinosaur collection, and "reads" his books to herself.
She's fiercely attached to her Daddy, and will stand at the sidelight by the front door calling, "Dah? Dah?" as he leaves the house. She is the snuggliest little thing ever.
She hates to be clothed, yet one of her favorite pastimes is to open all of our dresser drawers and pull out every single article of clothing we have. One at a time. And then crawl away as if she had never seen such a mess in all her life. She also refuses to wear shoes for more than 10 minutes, a trait that Chris is certain I passed along to her by way of my Kentucky upbringing. Ahem. ;)
She loves to eat, despite her petiteness ~ she's still under 20 lbs! Avocados are her absolute favorite food ever. She also loves cheese, bananas, blackberries, hummus, peas, and tomatoes. (And yes, she's already enjoyed a yummy tomato sandwich or three, just like every good Southern girl should.)
Lila loves her big brother, even if he tries to smother her with kisses and smash her with his hugs. His antics never fail to crack her up, and when she's fussy he simply sings to her... his little lispy voice immediately calms her down. She would follow him anywhere. It's a good thing too, because Parker loves her immensely. Last week, I overheard him telling her gently, "Lila, when you fall down, I will alwayth catch you." SWOON.
Happy Birthday, my sweet LilaCakes. You are loved more than any of us can ever tell you. We can't imagine life without you anymore ~ you've completely changed us ALL this past year. And we are so very proud of you, our Big Big Girl.