Wednesday, January 28, 2009


My birthday girl, when she was just 1 day old -
How can my baby be one year old? Didn't I just bring seven and a half pounds of squirmy cuteness home from the hospital a month or two ago? Who is this twenty-three and a half bound beauty walking around my basement, delighting me with unsolicited kisses and hugs?
Starting on Saturday evening around 7pm, I started playing "One year ago right now...", mostly talking to myself, but also to anyone who had the dubious fortune of being in the same room. It started with "One year ago right now, we went out for wings with Francis' co-workers. I ordered the HOT honey-garlic, in hopes the spicy food would help bring on labour." Two hours later: "One year ago right now, my contractions started, but they weren't that bad." I even woke up around 2am on Sunday and thought to myself: "One year ago right now my contractions got too bad for me to sleep any more." This continued until 3:37pm on Monday: "One year ago right now, Norah was born!" I'm sure this got on Francis' and my mother's nerves, but they humoured me nicely.
Norah's birthday was on Monday, but we held her first birthday party on Sunday afternoon. We had somewhere between 20 and 25 people (family and close friends) in attendance. The birthday girl was not quite herself, as she was battling a case of bronchiolitis AND an ear infection. So if you're wondering why she doesn't look too thrilled in the picture, that's why.

The FOUR of us Kwoks at Norah's party -
Considering how miserable she must have felt, she did very well at the party. She was in a good mood the whole time, and other than having NO interest in eating cake or ripping wrapping paper, she was pretty close to perfect.
Norah's birthday cake -

This is the princess castle cake I made for the party. Well, to be clear, my mother baked the cake and cupcakes, and I just decorated. I whispered to Norah, "I had fun making this, but don't expect one every year!" It took me close to an hour and a half, mostly because constructing and icing the towers was a longer process than I'd expected. Mom also made golden pig cookies (which required some explanation for the non-Asian guests) to honour the fact that Norah was born in the year of the Golden Pig - very auspicious in the Chinese culture. I wish I'd gotten a photo of them, but I was too busy eating them!

Of course Norah's first birthday also happened to fall on Chinese New Year, so my mother in law took Norah, my mother and me out for Dim Sum, then over to one of the schools she works in to introduce us (well, mostly Norah) to some of her co-workers. When Francis got home, we sat down to a lovely dinner (courtesy, again, of my mother) of homemade chicken soup and fergosa. It was a wonderful way to spend the anniversary of my firstborn's birth - and, more selfishly, the anniversary of the day I became a mother. That's a day I wouldn't trade for the world!