Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Happy Birthday to Our Big Boy!

One year ago today, our lives changed in a big way. In a 7 pound, 10 1/2 ounce way, more precisely. At 6:43 pm, in a big comfortable birthing room at Piedmont Hospital, Gabriel Luke Angle made his appearance. The labor was fine at the beginning, but pitocin is a terrible, terrible thing, and after the epidural, we played some Boggle, watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and chit-chatted. Of course, it was difficult to talk through the oxygen mask, but they decided that Patty might stop shaking uncontrollably if she had the oxygen. The pushing was really easy, which was obvious from the way the two of us and the nurse only paused in our chat during pushes and continued the sentence after the push, and Gabriel entered the world like a champ.

The first thing we noticed about Chipdip was how tall and skinny he was. He seemed like a giant spider sprawled across his mommy’s belly, and he had a hard time keeping his legs and arms in close to his body, since he’d never had the room to spread out before. It was the most amazing thing. And even though we’d watched every baby show ever made, it was still really scary that he didn’t breathe right away. It’s impossible to see a human being who doesn’t need to breathe, and not be freaked out.

The second thing we noticed was that he looked African-American! His skin color, his hair, the shape of his cute little nose... nothing except his blue eyes looked white. Of course, he’s grown into just about the whitest kid we know, but for a while there we wondered whether someone had switched him in utero!

The third thing we noticed, and the thing that everyone else noticed for a good month, was that he was born with frosted tips in his hair! He had curly sandy blond hair with white tips, and it looked just like Matt’s hair used to look when he paid to have the same thing done.

He’s been a perfect kid in every way, but he’s becoming challenging because he is so headstrong. He definitely takes after his mother in that respect. We think that he is going to be a success in whatever he is inspired to become, because of his determination. We hear that personalities don’t really change. He’s also the loudest kid on the block. As long as they’re happy sounds, we think he’s pretty funny and a lot of fun. He has a lot to say, and we think that’s pretty cool.

His birthday celebration began today when Uncle Jack called from Iraq to talk to the big boy. Of course, he decided then to become uncharacteristically quiet, but they got to chat a little bit.

The kid and the kid

Later, Mommy took the one-year-old to Zoo Atlanta. We had to wait for about 45 minutes in the car until the rain stopped, but we made good use of the time by eating, Mommy reading and doing makeup, and Chip exploring life in the front seat. We went to the petting zoo, where he played with the goats, particularly one white kid. On the way into the enclosure, we looked down and there was an alligator at our feet, on the other side of a fence. That was a surprise!

G rides a wooden horse

After we played with the goats, Gabriel got to play on a wooden horse. He loved it, which boded well for the chance he'd like his birthday present...

There weren’t many other people at the zoo because of the rain, but one of the other families was there with their son who turned one today, too. Gabriel liked watching the potbellied pig and sheep, and he noticed the golden tamarinds and gorillas. We went to see the pregnant panda, but she has been taken off display so that she doesn’t get disturbed. Gabriel got a t-shirt as a souvenir of his first birthday celebration (part 1 - the big party is in a couple of weeks).

Facing forward!

After we left the zoo, we stopped at home for a snack and turned around his car seat. Now he gets to face front, and he loves it! He loves being able to be a part of the conversation, and we’re happy to be able to see him better. It's also great for us, because for the first time in his life, we don't have to climb up into the back seat to put him in his car seat. It's a huge luxury!

G & Jennifer

We also stopped by the office at our apartment complex so Gabriel could play with his grown-up friends there. In this picture, he's playing with Jennifer, who walked him around and gave him birthday kisses.

G sees his present

G opens present from Grammie and Grandpa

We came home and gave him his present - a rocking horse, and to open a couple of gifts from his Grammie and Grandpa. He got some clothes and a really funny toy called Goofy Giggles. It’s a toy that our friends have and that we think is hilarious. It makes funny noises and moves around on the floor like crazy. It can be controlled remotely or by Gabriel. He loves it, too. He loves his horse and even wanted to ride on it tonight. It still may take some time before he tries to climb up onto it, but as long as we’re holding him, he reaches out for it.

We tried to make him a cake, but Alton Brown failed us for the first time. The recipe called for a greased pan, but that wasn’t enough and the cakes fell apart. We baked a second batch and will hope that greasing and flouring the pans will result in them staying together. We’ll find out tomorrow when we take them out of the pans and frost them.

We had a great day today, and we think that Chip did, too. We can’t believe that he’s one already, because we’re just starting to get used to the whole parenting thing. He’s really made our lives fuller and happier, and we’re really grateful that God entrusted him to us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Gabe had a wonderful first birthday. You are indeed lucky to be entrusted with his care, and he is lucky to have the best parents in the world!

Much love,