I'm not purposefully staying up until 10:30PM to celebrate Ari's birth, but it almost seems that way. It's either the green frosting sugar rush, or the 96 birthday pictures that need dumped and formatted. But whatever the reason, The Big Moment is almost here.
It was a year ago that I went into labor with Ari, unknowingly, thinking I had some sort of bladder infection. I spent the day laboring at home with Owen, while Keith was at work. When he called me at 3PM, saying he had to work late, I broke down in tears and told him absolutely I could not watch Owen anymore. I needed to be curled up in bed, or (as I eventually would be) stretched out in the rocking chair, breathing through contractions. Owen was not yet 2 years old, and needed more attention and focus than I could manage at the time. So Keith came home to us.
Thinking I was not truly in labor, I went to the hospital by myself, just to get checked out. "Just in case," we told each other, and Keith took Owen home after dropping me off at the L&D ward. I made it upstairs, and changed into the backless gown, almost made it to the bed before another contraction hit. The nurse checked me - "Dilated to a strong 5!" she said, apparently unaware that I didn't think I was in labor. A FIVE? Call Keith. And within 4 hours, we had Ari Kyle.
Fast forward a year to today. Ari is pacing around the kitchen while dinner cooks. He is hungry and cranky. Owen is stalking the birthday cake. The balloons are hung and the house looks muy festive. We eat dinner (Keith and I do, Owen and Ari are apparently holding out for cake), light the one candle, and cake is served. It is a green frosting delight like none other. Ari manages to pick the cake out and just eat the frosting. Ah, a boy after my own heart.
Eventually we get around to opening gifts. Owen opens them all, and Ari is most intrigued with the screwdriver used to put together a toy. We take the balloons down and both boys kick them and throw them around. "Head up, guys!" Owen keeps shouting. We think he means heads up?
Ari stays up late, until 8PM, and is ready for bed. I turn on his new Baby Tad Leapfrog toy, which whispers, "Three minutes until night-night!" and begins to play classical music. Sugar high or no, he's asleep within a few minutes.
We play a few rounds of Hi-Ho Cherry-O with Owen, and drink hot chocolate. He needs the one-on-one time, after seeing Ari get all the cool gifts and cake and celebration today. And then the day is over, and all the babies are tucked in.
Happy birthday, Ari, and I'm reminded again what a gift you are. You and Owen, both of you, make my life so much more interesting. Exhausting, but worth all the effort plus some. You make me laugh, you make me nervous, you make me proud, but most of all, you make me incredibly happy. May every day be as happy as today, and many more to come.