Matteo's First Birthday Party

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Pesto greeting the guests.
Ugly dry cakes.  But hey, Matteo was impressed!
A rainbow colored costume party with $20.00 worth of decor (streamers and balloons.)  Really good food (salmon and chicken kabobs from Grill Hut). Red wine served at 10:30am with no shame. No games, favors or planned activities whatsoever, except the awesome balloon artist who kept everyone entertained (my one and only splurge).  My paleo cakes came out a little dry and ugly, but that's alright. 

wake up birthday boy!  the party's already begun!
It was the best party I've ever thrown.  Know why?  Because I've finally learned the key to throwing parties, at least for an HSP like myself.  Parties are about relationships.  Just being festive with family and friends.  A chance for doting aunties and grandmas to snuggle with the birthday boy and celebrate his first year of life.  Parties should not be stressful.  Not for anyone, especially the birthday boy.  Even Matteo had a blast!  

I felt like such a rebel!  Like a total bada$$.  As someone who used to make events beautiful for a living, it's not easy for me to throw out all the high expectations of what makes a "good" party.  But I've changed so much in the last few years.  My home and my life are so much simpler, so why shouldn't my parties be?  I suddenly felt united with the mothers of yesteryear.  Those moms who just slapped up some streamers, blew up a few balloons, defrosted a Sarah Lee, and put out a bowl of punch. Those moms knew how to party. 

I wouldn't have been able to do it without my awesome party planner, Sisi!!!  She decided everything, from the colors to the food to the theme.  She helped me bake the cakes and paint the posters.  It was a great way to give her a little ownership over the party, which helped to curb the jealousy factor. After all, it's the first birthday party in the house that hasn't revolved around her.  And even more importantly, it was a way to keep my hands off.  My parties tend to start off small, and get crazier and more complex as they draw near.  Sisi knew what was really important, so we stuck with that. 


I've decided to throw parties every other year, alternating between Matteo and Sisi.  Since both their birthdays are right around the holidays, I can't realistically do both.  I will definitely make it easy on myself and let the kids plan their own parties from now on.  They are way better at this than I am!!!


Matteo is 1 Year!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

My rosy-cheeked, crooked-smile baby turned one last week.  I didn't even cry or get emotional.  I just feel proud!  I am so proud of how he is growing, and how he explores the world around him. How content and centered he is.  I'm proud of him just for being Matteo, his own precious and unique self. Matteo is such a cuddler.  We spent much of the year hard-core nuzzling.  Sniffing each other, resting cheek to cheek.  Long nursing sessions where he gazes into my eyes and never pulls away first.  He would probably nurse for an hour if he could.

I remember feeling a sense of regret and sadness when Sisi turned 1.  I really struggled through the first year emotionally, and felt like I missed so much.  I am so relieved to say that this year was the opposite.  This was actually the most balanced, calm, centered year of my life.  Isn't that crazy?  It wasn't without sleepless nights, meltdowns, sibling rivalry.  We also lost my kids' only Grandpa, which was devastating.  But overall, a sense of peace and confidence reigned in me and my household.  I think we finally found our rhythm, and Matteo fell into it so naturally.

It's so neat to watch him climb the bridge that Joe made for Sisi three Christmases ago.  

Matteo at a Glance:

  •  At his doctor visit a few weeks ago, he was 18.5 lbs.  Still pretty small, but climbing up the charts.  He is outgrowing his 12 month clothes, at least length-wise! He is 50th percentile for height, 10th for weight. 
  • His crawling is more efficient and symmetrical now.  Starting to climb onto low things like the doggy beds.  Standing up, but on tip toes and bent over like a hunchback. No cruising yet. 
  • He's very task-oriented these days and will repeat the same procedure fifty times until he gets it right.  I watched him replace the cap to his bottle over and over for a good 10 minutes, a proud grin on his face each time he was successful.  
  • Little scientist.  Loves to thoroughly explore an object from all angles.  If I pour a stream of water into the bath, he will put his hand in at the top, then the bottom, repeat 10 times, then stick his face in and decide he's not going to do that again.  
  • Right handed I think (unlike Sisi and Joe and the many other left-handed relatives we have.) 
  • Loves to groove to fast music.  Flails his arms and legs rhythmically and pants like a dog to the beat.
  • Favorite toys are a toothbrush with a smidge of toothpaste on it, dog toys, and books.  
  • Foods:  becoming pickier about some types of fish, but still eats almost anything we give him. His recent favorites are meatballs, chicken drumsticks, sweet potatoes, guacamole, tuna salad, and any kind of fruit.  
  • Words:  still mama, dada, dog dog, and now has added "yeah" to his repertoire. 
  • Amazing self-control.  He will crawl toward the Christmas tree or the dog water bowl ready to make mischief.  But if I tell him, "No, Matteo.  Please don't touch," he will look at me, shake his head no, and stay away from it.  It amazes me every time! 

 I love you to pieces, sweet boy.  Here's to another magical year!