Sunday, July 10, 2011

One-Year Photo Session

I will post more on Flickr eventually, but until then, here are some shots from our photo session this Saturday. Our albums and frames will be ready in two weeks - I can't wait!

Sophie in her birthday hanbok

World's Silliest Swimming Costume

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sophie's First Birthday

I've always accepted the conventional wisdom about how fast kids grow up, but I never really understood exactly how fast until I had one of my own. The first six months sometimes felt like they would last forever, but now I look back and can't believe how much things have changed since then. One year ago today, our little girl looked like this:

Sophie says hello a video by filozofia31 on Flickr.
Now she looks like this:

I also underestimated how excited I would feel about our baby reaching her one year milestone. I feel only a miniscule bit of regret for leaving behind baby days and huge anticipation for what lies ahead.

Sophie's party on Sunday was a great way to celebrate these feelings. We decided to have a Korean-style first birthday party, which means we made a big deal out of the occasion! We rented a room at the Admiral Hotel in Okpo and invited all of our friends and neighbors and co-workers for a giant buffet lunch.

The head table, with traditional Korean decorations.

Sophie wore a hanbok, traditional Korean dress, for the occasion.

Sophie loves walking with Mommy and Daddy in her pretty dress.

Everyone started to arrive around 12:00, and we had some time to mingle and to eat. After lunch, our emcee announced that we would speak a few words and then cut the cake. Keegan welcomed everyone and then proceeded to say almost exactly what I had planned to say. Darn! I was able to squeak out a few words of appreciation for our friends and to thank them all for their support during the often difficult first year of Sophie's life. I have to say that I did get a little teary. Sophie lightened the mood by squirming in my arms and waving to all the guests. After a toast to Sophie's first birthday, we blew out the birthday candle and sang Happy Birthday. Sophie relished being the center of attention and clapped and smiled the whole time, much to everyone's delight.

She's acting shy, but you can see the huge smile - this girl loved being center stage!

Next we cut the cake with a huge, swordlike knife.

Cutting the cake. Wedding flashback, anyone?

Finally, we put Sophie down in front of a tray of objects for the doljabi. According to tradition, the object the baby picks predicts her future. Sophie could have chosen string (long life), a paintbrush (intelligence, creativity), a stethescope (doctor), or money (riches), but she picked the toy microphone.

Sophie chooses the mike!

She was a bit frightened by the loud cheer that came up from the audience after she made her choice. Everyone said that she picked the mike because it looked the most like a toy, but after watching her ham it up in front of all the guests during the birthday song, I thought it might be an omen after all.

After the ceremony it was time to eat some cake and just enjoy being with our guests. Sophie did remarkably well considering all the excitement. She was thrilled to be able to chase around after the older kids at the party (with Mommy's help, of course). When we finally made it home, she was exhausted and slept like a champ while Mommy and Daddy opened her many gifts and made a long list of thank-you's to write. Our house still looks like a day care center - we have to find room for all these big toys! But Sophie is very happy to have new things to explore. And I think she's very happy to be one!