I don’t really know how it happened, or where the last seven hundred and thirty days went, but here we are. Mara is 2 today! TWO! Can you believe it? Her birthday always sneaks up on me. Probably because we are always in the thick of prepping holiday content for work, and then BAM: she is demanding presents and cake. I’m kind of hot and cold regarding birthdays these days. When I was a kid, hell yes! They were the greatest thing on the planet! But now, I’m aching for time to slow down. I don’t particularly enjoy when my birthday rolls around because that just means that I am literally getting older. And I don’t want that. Mara’s birthday always brings up a little PTSD for me because I remember still so vividly how this day went two years ago. It was a fast-paced morning that turned into an all-day labor experience that turned into the quietest night filled with joy/tears/fears/all-the-emotions. I get a little worked up the week of her birthday. I can’t stop looking at her and comparing where she was then to where she is now. And it’s amazing to have had a front row seat to her amazing progress. (You can read all about her surprise birth defects and labor story here.) I am particularly excited for this birthday because it is her first with an actual birthday cake! Last year, she wasn’t cleared for foods like that and so her birthday cake was a legit block of frozen cool whip. Don’t worry. I dressed it up with sprinkles and a candle BUT STILL.
A block of cool whip.
Straight outta the 90s with that one.
This year, I’ve made her her very own cake. We did a trial run with some Starbucks cake pops and I don’t think it could have gone better. She’s her mother’s child. A love for cake is in her blood. So she’ll be stoked later this evening when we let her have her very own! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and video to share on IG stories, because Marz is like the Instagram spirit animal of many. Be sure to pop in over there later for some birthday celebrations!
But first, a few favorite pics from the last year:
- She can roll her tongue. In the tricky way that not a lot of people (myself included) can do.
- A few favorite phrases: “oh yeah.”, “ready, guys?!”, “thank you, mama/sister/dad.”, “here come!”, “go way.”
- Her heart is on the right side of her chest, and you can feel it beat when you hold her sides.
- She is obsessed with Elmo. And Daniel Tiger. But Elmo is still her number 1. “Oh-ho-ho, Elmo.”
- She loves to swim.
- She’s my fearless baby. Literally jumps off of everything she can.
- She cannot sleep without a muslin swaddle blanket. Because she likes to chew on them while she sleeps. We have plenty of videos of evidence.
- When we tuck her in, she says, “sleep tight, ni-night.”
- She talks as much as Vita does. Which is A LOT.
- Her eyes are HUGE and are windows to her soul. And they’re blue, so.
- She’s fiercely independent. She swats my hands away all the time saying, “I’m FINE.”
- When she’s riding in the car seat, she needs a lot of books. She always yells “I need to read a book, mom.”
- Most EA/TEF babies have scars on their right sides. Because Mara’s heart is on her right side, the surgeons had to go in through her left. So she has the cutest scars on her left backside of her ribs. And I love them.
- She is extremely empathetic. If I fake cry, she comes ready to give hugs. If anyone is really crying, she’s there ready to console. It’s the best.
- She calls Vita “sister”. I don’t think she realizes that her name is actually Vita.
- She’s a mimic. Which is kind of the best and worst.
- Grandpa is her BFF. Really. Grandmas? They’re cool, but she would rather see Grandpa’s mug whenever we FaceTime.
- She crosses her legs when she lays down flat on her back. She’s the epitome of cool.
Also, “that she likes to play with me and I like playing with her.” This kid has changed our lives. Really. In the best ways and most difficult ways, but I wouldn’t have done it differently. She’s exactly like Vita. Chatty. Silly. Outgoing. Hilarious. SMART. And I’m in trouble. Give me strength because there’s TWO of them! Love this little weirdo.
Happy birthday, Mars-Bars!