Has it really been a whole year? John and I can’t believe it! We’ve only been home with her since January so we don’t feel ready for her to turn one and yet we couldn’t be more excited to have made it to this Magical Milestone!
We feel like we really share this day with everyone that helped keep our spirits up, energy positive, kept sending prayer and even helped our bellies stay full over the last year. So we gathered with family at our cousin Jills’s house for a family pool party to celebrate Hope’s Magical day and had a casual drop in celebration on her actual birthday to share with our Cincy family. We also decided to spend Hope’s birthday paying forward some of the kindnesses shown to us. We decided that instead of buying her toys for her birthday that we would cater in lunch for the CICU parents who are now in exactly the same situation that we were just one year ago. We also catered lunch for the CICU nurses and doctors who took such good care of us and made us feel so comfortable right from the beginning. Even from the first day we and nurse, Patrick, helped us feel comfortable holding our little girl for the very first time, showing such patience and kindness to us.
Thanks to the persistent encouragement of Hope’s cousin, Addie, her parents, Jill & Dustin, reached out and graciously offered to host a family pool party and we were truly touched beyond words. It was very hard to decide to even have a party because we can’t do an event with 30 people crammed into our tiny condo. We already battled a round of a virus and were in no hurry to see round two. Also, color us a bit superstitious, but we were scared to plan too far in advance in fear that it would jinx her good health. But her good health persisted and we decided that even though it was shorter notice than most moms do for their first birthday that we’d cross our fingers, knock on wood, say a prayer, avoid black cats and have a celebration. Johns cousin’s offer to use their amazing outdoor space made it possible to feel like we actually might be able to pull together a fun party, let people enjoy themselves and not have Hope get sick from being in close contact with too many people & kids. It was so amazing to see Hope in a pool enjoying her unicorn float surrounded by friends and family. It felt like such a NORMAL thing that we did not take for granted. Enjoy the pics of the magical unicorn party below!
Hope & Addie after a very fun pool party
We have to send a special thank you to the Childers crew, Jill, Dustin, Addie, Austin, Hannah and Lily, for opening your home and helping us put together a super fun party for Hope. Not only did you open your home, but everyone helped us take care of Hope – from Addie’s encouragement that we throw a party, Lily letting Hope borrow her rocker, Hannah reading stories to her, Austin being our nap time noise patrol, Jill’s amazing crafting skills (she made the unicorn ear sign!!), and Dustin being the grill master & pool boy – the whole family pitched in to make Hope’s day special and your generosity & kindness were a reminder of what an amazing gift family truly is.
On the update front, Hope has made so many leaps forward with eating lately. She was awfully suspicious of a chicken nugget I offered until she took her first bite. Her eyes lit up like Christmas when we added ketchup. We also managed to get some Mac and cheese in a little tasting pop and boy do we have a fan of the liquid golden deliciousness! She attempted the biggest, authentic bite we’ve ever seen her take! She apparently also has an affinity for Mazunte’s guacamole, too. We’ve come to the conclusion that she is definitely a savory babe, so we were pretty unsure she would she would actually play with her smash cake. Maybe if we smother it in gravy?!? She actually karate kicked it once she was done playing, but didn’t end up eating it.