From the category archives:

Year 1

Your 1st birthday party!

by Milton on Mon, May 16th, 2011

in Letters to baby,Year 1

Dear Axelrod,

Here are some pictures from your 1st birthday party yesterday:

I have to say, I am feeling rather overwhelmed with love and gratitude for you, Esther, and the group of friends and family who celebrated your 1st birthday today (whether they could make it to our rainy house or not). I mean, really, the universe dealt you some pretty dang amazing cards when it comes to the people who love you right off the bat without even having to do much yet.

And then you went ahead and took your first real solid steps and sealed the deal. At your own party. Well played!

Of course, the cheering scared you so much that you crumpled into a ball and started crying, but I think that’s just because you can’t quite tell the difference between people cheering FOR you and people jeering AT you. I promise it was the former. We all are quite taken with your every step, literally.

You got a cape with the first letter of your name on it, which you should never take off.

You got a ukulele. And Jenny helped tune it and play you the first dozen or so lovely songs on it. I have some uke practice cut out for me.

You hung out with your baby friends Owen, and Lilia, and Tavi. They are gonna give you a run for your cute money, you better watch your back.

And one of the most amazing gifts of the day was from your urban family member Carinna, who compiled all the letters we wrote to you before you were born, and all the letters your urban family members wrote to you at Esther’s baby shower for you. It’s a lovely book filled with love for you, and it brought tears to our eyes to read the things within.

Here’s to a long tradition of letters to you from the people who love you.


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Happy Birthday, Baby!

by Esther on Sat, May 14th, 2011

in Baby,Challenges,Documentation,Sleep,Year 1

One year ago tonight I went to a burlesque show with great hope of finding some loving, sexy energy that would slide my baby out from his comfortable nest within.  My water broke during intermission.

One year ago tomorrow, I became a mother.  I’m sad to report that I haven’t been to a single burlesque show (or show in general) since.  I am happy to report the following:

Axelrod has been with us for a year.  He is amazing.  He is sweet and hilarious.  He, like the other people I am attracted to and love, is already somewhat complicated and layered.  He somehow manages to embody the adjectives slow, easy, feeling, introspective and observant while also being silly, stubborn, persistent, curious, and happy.

Today, while I sat and typed a gratuitous email on my iPhone, Niko cruised around our coffee table with a crumpled dollar in his hand.  Trying to get my attention, proud of his acquisition, he waved to me.  I smiled and continued to type while watching him from my periphery.   He reached the end of the coffee table, grinning, and took three steps towards me.  These are his first multiple steps!  He did them without any encouragement.  It is so like him to wait until we don’t expect him to do something, then get right into it.  He laughed, we laughed.  We all knew we were having a moment.

To prepare for those three steps, his sleep has been difficult lately. When I say “difficult,” I mean to the tune of hourly + wakings a night.  Every 2 hours, I seem to be able to handle.  Every hour?  Not so easily.  It is a testament to how awesome this kid is when I tell you that we continue to survive and continue to laugh with him for the majority of our day.  We trust that his second year will bring more rest to the whole family.

This year, I have learned so much.  I don’t know how to put it all into words.  I am practicing patience.  I am navigating the wilds of marriage with new added richness and responsibility.  I am learning, through my child, how to be more authentic and true to myself.  I am learning how to forget about an afternoon of stress and, instead, just go to the playground!  I am learning to let go, while holding together so much.

I never knew my heart could be so full.  I never knew that the simplest children’s books could make me cry so much.  I never knew how much one very small person could change my life.  I never knew that hard work could be so gratifying, or that something so gratifying could be so difficult.  I never really understood how much being a parent could change me; I realize that no one could ever know.

Obviously, I am so glad that we decided to walk down this road.  I love my little family, utterly, and can not imagine my life without this husband or baby.  I am so thankful to have both of those spirits in my life.  I feel totally fortunate.  Even in my darkest, most resentful moments (believe me, I’ve had many), I feel grateful.

Thanks so much to all of you for following us along on this journey.  And!


Happy Birthday, Axelrod!