Philippa turned one! Yay! And I would assume, had the worst birthday of her life. Sure she's only had one birthday but it was a pretty crappy one. Our entire family came down with the stomach flu the night before and the wee hours of the morning. So no one was in the mood for partying on her special day. Poor girl. Luckily she's never had a birthday and possibly had no idea what it consisted of. So she was a real trooper and didn't complain. It took us four days to get around to the celebrating since we had a few other things to do. For example, my Lasik surgery!!!!! (What?! Yep, I can see sans glasses/contacts.)
The party did not disappoint. There were lots of presents, birthday serenades (courtesy Roosevelt Wilson), and of course, birthday cake! That was the fun part. Pippa got an entire mini cake all to herself - for smashing. When we plopped it in front of her she proceeded to pick each raspberry from the top and eat them one-by-one. It was "The Act of the Disappearing Raspberries." She looooooves raspberries! She had very little interest in the cake itself. Not unusual for Pippa. She doesn't seem to scarf down sweets, carbohydrates, and a mixture of the two - the way her brother (ahem, and mother) does.
I cannot believe it has been a year since Pippa was born. Remember how I was complaining about breastfeeding? That's all done (Pippa's birthday present to me) and I actually kind of miss it. Not the actual act, just the closeness of having a little baby. Though, admittedly, every time I see someone with a newborn, or think of my children as newborns, I get a little anxious. I did not enjoy the newborn months. It was such a stressful time for me - I have very little desire to repeat. I honestly can't think of any part about them that would be enough driving force to do it again. Not even having a sweet little baby. That isn't enough to do it again. All the stressful stuff that comes with having a newborn overshadows that part. I very much prefer having a baby post-six-months.
In spite of my aversion to the newborn stage, Pippa really is a sweet baby...with some spunk on the side. They say that every kid is different and comparing the two of my kids to each other is a testament to that statement. There are so many differences. And I'd like to emphasize that I love each of them for their differences (and similarities). I don't have a scale weighing their attributes (good or bad) against each other. I love them for who they are as individuals. As my mom always says, "love doesn't divide...it multiplies."
One thing I love about Pippa is her independence. She is not afraid to try and do things solo. And along that same vein she is quite assertive. She knows what she wants and is willing to do what is needed to achieve that want. Even if she's not always successful. An attribute I admire since I spend so much of my life hoing and humming over every decision - big or small - in my life. Sometimes this isn't a good thing because she'll throw a fit if she can't get what she wants. I thought tantrums were reserved for two-and-older...but we have seen a handful in her life.
Pippa is a quiet kid. She doesn't make much noise and isn't very animated. But I assure you, she is a happy kid. Just because she doesn't have a smile on her face, doesn't mean she's not happy. Ro and I always say she's "contended as a frog." Just like the Sandra Boynton feelings book. Though, I feel like Pippa has been practicing her language skills. I swear she is trying to say "hi" because she makes a "ha" sound every time we call someone on the phone. She also will chant words that sound like her versions of "mama" and "dada". And often she will grunt at us if she wants something...often food. She has been good at communicating in other ways. She is good at shaking her head "no." And she'll point at things she wants. And recently started saying "all done" in sign language. Babies are smart. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Not unlike her brother who is a little hesitant around strangers. Strangers in Santa costumes...
Pippa has started delving into climbing. She's only successfully crested the door on the dishwasher (eek!) and a short coffee table at a friends house. But that hasn't stopped her from trying. She tries nearly every night to climb into the bathtub and it is the cutest thing to see her naked determination. She's actually really good at practicing (again, unlike her mama). It is not uncommon to see her practicing a new trick without any encouragement from us. Not that we don't encourage her...we just don't need to initiate. For example, she'll be holding onto something as she stands, and then she'll let go for a bit to see if she can stand alone. She does this quite often. Also, she's been hovering around the stairs lately to practice going up and down. She's actually quite good at it now. I almost feel like she'd be okay if she did it without me right next to her as a safety net. I said "almost."
Pippa as Mary
Pippa also loves to dance. During Christmas Ro would ask me to play the "Boom Boom" song (The Carol of the Bells by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra) multiple times. Often I'd play it while the three of us were sitting at the table eating. And every time I did, Pippa would start swaying her head side-to-side giggling as she did. Ro followed suit and the two of them were "dancing" up a storm while we ate. I would've taken a video but my phone was playing the song. Too bad. Pippa loves other songs as well. Whenever I put Pippa to sleep without Ro (which was more common when she was littler), I'd sing to her - always Primary Songs. And then at Christmas time, at the request of Ro, I'd sing Silent Night a lot. She obviously finds comfort in the singing (despite my lack of singing talent) because if she's fussing she'll stop - and she always pops her thumb into her mouth.
Pippa is a quick learner. As mentioned above, she learned how to use the stairs in just a few days. We also taught her how to decent from the bed and she can do that too. Even my high-up bed. She recently attempted to decent and fell fast (since it was higher than she's used to on Ro's bed). She fell to her feet, then backwards on her head. No major damage, though she did cry. I thought she'd retire from trying after that but no. I quickly learned that she wasn't crying because she fell. She was crying because she wanted to try again! I have no doubt this girl's determination is going to get her somewhere - wherever it is she wants to be. She proceeded to try, try, try again. Each time falling too fast. Each time determined to do it again.
Wyatt has recently won Pippa's heart. I'm really bummed about this. I had her heart all to myself for so long, I thought for sure I'd get to keep it forever. But no, Wyatt cranked-up the charm and won her over. Not really. Wyatt was just Wyatt, who is the softie between the two of us. And is willing to hold her more often than me. (In my defense (!) I love holding that baby girl! It's just hard to do when I'm in the midst of cooking dinner...or tending to her three-year-old brother.) If she could speak, I'm certain she would sing the song "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" at the top of her lungs. The minute he walks in the door she runs (as fast as one can crawl) to meet him at the door. And then she holds on tight the remainder of the evening. It is pretty cute. I'm mostly okay with this. Mostly...
I took Pippa in for her one-year well check. She is doing a great job of growing. She weight nearly 22lbs (60%). Is 30-inches tall (77%). And has a 48cm head (98%). Both my kids have giant heads...for their giant brains! So Pippa is doing a great job of growing. Following the growth curve really well and tapering down her size. Not the "tiny giant" she was when she was born.
Pippa is also a really good gift giver. When she was born, she gave Ro the book "Snoozers" by Sandra Boynton. Ro really likes the book and talks about how Pippa gave it to him. (This was an idea I got from my doctor who did it for her daughter when her second was born.) Pippa also gave Ro his favorite Christmas present: six DinoTrux figurines. He loves these! And still talks about how Pippa gave them to him. Though, he won't let her play with them. Oh, the irony.
Ro's not a bad gift giver either. He gave Pippa "Scallion the Lion" for Christmas. A lion quite similar to his own "Grape the Ape." Pippa loves this animal! It's pretty cute to watch her snuggle him when we give him to her. And Ro is pretty excited that she has her own stuffed animal. Not in a greedy way. In the way that he thinks it's cool that they have similar stuffed animals.
Wyatt's sisters came to town for Christmas, so Pippa (and Ro) got a lot of extra attention. It was lots of fun - minus the 36-hour bug that travelled through Wyatt's entire family. Ugh. Pippa also experienced her second...third...and fourth snowstorm this winter (her first was days after she was born in Seattle). I think she was a little envious of Ro who got to play in the snow. Though she had her hand at playing and ended up eating it instead. No surprise there. She liked it too! She seemed to enjoy sledding as well. And our family outing when we did donuts in the church parking lot. (Ro enjoyed it too but kept asking if we could get real donuts too. A very Ro thing to say.)
This is what traffic looked like the evening of the first snow storm. Wyatt was lucky enough to make it home in 1.5-hours. There were horror stories of it taking eight-hours for some to get home.
We sure love our little Pippa. Our little Flipper. Our little Hippa. To think that I was initially disappointed when I learned she was going to be a girl. How grateful I am that she is! I can't imagine (or want) our family any other way. Happy birthday, Pippa!
Oh, I almost forgot. Pippa loves popcorn! I think she got that from Wyatt because I don't really care for the stuff. You'd think she'd be too little to eat it. She's not. She always hovers around the popcorn bowl when there's one around.