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2009-01-17 - 4:44 p.m.

...can't have too many first birthdays...

Susi's first birthday was yesterday!! She's made through an entire year, in one piece!

We've had two small celebrations for her. I made a Susi cake out of banana, yogurt, stewed fruit, and cheerios. We stuck a candle in it, and stunned her by singing this weird song (Happy Birthday to You). She was fascinated by the candle and immediate reached over and put out the flame with her bare hand. oops.

And then we opened her horde of presents from the relatives with the relatives watching via skype. So many toys! a choo choo train. a peg board. cups. a tug boat. And this cool little cellphone that plays four different telephone sounds, and has a place where you can record your voice for your child: "Hello Susi! How are you? This is Mama!"

K and I decided to make this a truly educational toy and recorded:

"Your call is important to us! Please remain on the line for the next available agent."

THAT oughta prepare her for later life.

Today, after swimming class, I had a birthday phone call with Blighty (hi blighty!) and then dashed off to one of Susi's favorite hangouts - a restaurant on the corner that has four-star food and a little baby mosh pit / play area in the back. Susi LOVES it. She gets right in there with the older kids and smiles from ear to ear as they walk over top of her to get at the little toy farm house. So she moshed with the other babes while we had coffees with our friend Micha.

Tomorrow, we'll head to visit other friends. They just had their second child and so they aren't going out all that much. So we're baking them a quiche today, and will hang with them for a few hours, meet the new boy, and Susi will enjoy a THIRD banana/yogurt/cheerio birthday cake.

As for me, I went through the day remembering... hmmm, at about this time last year I felt like my body was going to split in half and I was pleading for morphine. Yup, and about this time I was screaming, "Where's my F'ing epidural!!!!!!" And then, aahhh, I remember thanking the heavens that an epidural was invented. etc. etc. etc. Funny, I didn't remember the moment of birth itself. I don't remember being overwhelmed by emotion. I remember a month of subsequent pain and dark January days. Not being able to walk or sit down or TMI TMI go to the bathroom without PAIN. I remember that breastfeeding HURT. That I was sleep deprived. and that Susi failed to thrive and worried us all.

People say that time flies, but it hasn't really. This was an extremely LOOONNGG year and it all seems so far away. I will definitely definitely DEFINITELY miss all of the closeness and cuddling we've enjoyed, once Susi is big and sprite enough not to need her mom all the time. Like any mom I love my Susi hugs. But really, time feels slower instead of faster. And as cuddly and small as Susi was, she is increasingly satisfying, with her chatting, her toothy smiles, her excitement over music, and her whacky sense of humor.

Right now one of my favorite Susi moments is when we are lying awake in bed upstairs, and Susi starts to kick her feet: kick kick kick. So then *I* start to kicking, too. KICK KICK KICK. She looks at me and grins. kick. I grin back. KICK KICK. She answers as she breaks into a giggle. kick kick. and so on, with this call- response kicking under the covers. It's wonderful.

So, yeah. I don't normally think of all of the rough stuff, but it's regained focus as the anniversary has come and gone. Now I can go back to thinking about the cool fun stuff again.

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