One is the Loveliest Number

Our darling Jack turned one this past Monday and we kissed him all over and told him we were going to squeeze him until he popped (I'm constantly threatening him with this type of maternal violence).  Our incredible nanny arrived in full birthday spirit with bundles of party supplies just for Jack.  After a breakfast of heart-shaped pancakes and august peaches he ran around chasing balloons and trying his hardest to make the blowers work by putting them in his mouth and humming.  This kid has the most tremendous spirit.  He talks to us (in jack-babble) non-stop.  He teaches us the tricks he's learned (he gets off the bed and the sofa by himself, feet first, and climbs onto the armchair himself, he feeds himself his purees by sucking on the top of the pouch, he can blow bubbles with a straw) and he reaches for us with outstretched arms and his big, toothy smile.  He gives Rosie bear hugs and giggles whenever he sees her.

In the past ten days Jack has put his baby ways behind him.  He is now a full blown toddler.  He walks and runs and actively plays with toys.  He is getting into everything.  On Tuesday he figured out how to get into the crystal cabinet and we found him with two crystal Reidel glasses, one in each hand.  He smashed one (he's fine) and then moved onto the next forbidden area, somehow locating a saw that Pete swears was impossibly out of reach.  Toddlerdom is a new level of parenting: a new level of childproofing and a new level of exhaustion.  

We celebrated Jack's birthday with a picnic in Washington Square Park with his baby friends and their nannies and some fun Mexican traditions, like tres leches cake and a pinata.  (Jack and his nanny are so in love that we proudly refer to him as half-Mexican.  For my birthday I have been promised a lesson in how to make homemade tortillas, so I'll pay close attention and share some good taco recipes in September.)  Afterwards my mother-in-law arrived and whipped up her famous filet mignon, and we drank enough cold sancerre to cope with Jack's escalating meltdown (sugar, toys, lack of sleep).  We finally realized that his misery was partly teething and we gave him some tylenol which seemed to finally kick in at the exact moment that he received his present from his grand-pop: a Steiff teddy bear.  He had been mid sob when he caught sight of it and his whole face changed.  He reached for it and spoke to it with a little coo and then snuggled it close.  His tears were over for the evening.

This week was my first annual 'Zaitzeff birthday extravaganza week', with Jack turning one on Monday and Pete turning thirty yesterday.  I was a birthday planning machine, but I think future birthdays will be celebrated on vacation.  Can't wait to share details on Pete's birthday, which was really the most (adult) fun I've had in a year.

I miss you all!  And I love hearing from you!  I feel happier and more like myself than I have in six months; lots to share.


It's my party I can cry if I want to


Two best pals; one naughty (opportunistic) puppy

An easy picnic: line a pyrex dish with a napkin, buy a small loaf of bread from the bakery and wrap each individual sandwich in a papertowel so that it stays together and is easy to eat.  
Serve blueberries (Jack's favorite) in cupcake liners.

Jack received one present from mommy and daddy: a HABA waddling duck pull-toy (and a canale for a snack, which he ate in one bite, pressing it into his mouth with two hands)

This is my sweet son who just took a big bite straight from the peach.

A chocolate faced little boy with a big heart and a teddy made of mohair