On October 26, 2015, I found out that I was pregnant with Teddy during a visit to the doctor’s office. I was surprised (surprised because it took nearly a year to get pregnant with Jake, and I got pregnant with Teddy within weeks of first trying) and elated. For weeks after hearing the news, I was aglow with the secret knowledge that there was a tiny baby growing inside of me and Jake would have a little brother soon.
But then reality started to set in. I had found my dream teaching job, and it was unlikely that I’d be able to keep working with a newborn and a toddler at home. I never questioned whether I wanted Teddy, but I started to question my timing a little bit. Why had we decided to disrupt life with a new baby when everything was going so well? When I had so much that I would have to give up?
Let me just tell you, one year in, I don’t have any regrets. Staying at home with a baby and a toddler is a tough job (one that I’m not keen to continue–hence the job search). But this past year has also been full of so many wonderful memories with my sweet little guy. Sometimes I try to imagine what life would be like if it were still just Jake and Justin and me, and it makes me sad. Teddy has become such a central part of our family, and I’m not even sure that Jake would enjoy being an only child now that he knows what it means to have a brother and a constant companion. Whenever Jake looks up and realizes he’s alone in the room, he always asks, “Hey! Where’s Teddy?” We are so lucky to have Teddy, and it was exciting to be able to celebrate his first birthday this past weekend!
On Saturday morning, our entire family (and a couple of friends from out of town who were staying with us) went down to Knoxville Botanical Gardens to take some photos. After having several days of unseasonably cool weather (in the low 70’s), Saturday of COURSE was terribly hot, humid, heat-stroke weather, and by the end of the photo session we were all sweating bullets. But we were glad that at least the rain held off all morning, because there were thunderstorms in the forecast that day!
The theme of Teddy’s party was “teddy bear picnic”, so I decorated with plenty of red gingham table cloths and plush teddy bears in picnic baskets. I even had teddy bear themed snacks like Teddy Grahams and gummy bears. I tried to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and use a cookie cutter to make them teddy-shaped, but that was a bit of a Pinterest FAIL…
Unfortunately, almost as soon as Justin fired up the grill to start cooking the burgers, the skies opened up and started pouring down rain. Not just a little rain, but the kind of rain that comes down in sheets and creates flash flooding. We had all sorts of activities for the backyard–Jake’s new trampoline, the kiddie pool with a slide, and a slip-n-slide that my sister brought us. At one point, I looked up from my party table preparations and saw our friend Ruben standing outside with the air pump, trying to blow up the inflatable slip-n-slide for us, and my nephew Drew holding a giant beach umbrella over Ruben’s head. The umbrella didn’t seem to make any difference since the wind was blowing the rain sideways and threatening to turn the umbrella inside out by sheer force. They looked like those newscasters who try to report the weather while standing outside in the middle of a hurricane!
Needless to say, when the thunder started rolling, we decided we would need to move the party inside. People were arriving to the front door completely drenched, and I quickly tried to move some seats into the living room to make space for everyone since apparently, we would be having an indoor picnic.
Teddy had no idea that his party was partly ruined by weather. He still had a great time, and that’s what it was all about, after all! He didn’t need any encouragement to smash into his cake–he was more than ready to destroy it. And he ate most of it! (We had to pull it away from him because we didn’t want him to get a stomachache.)
All in all, it was still a nice party. But I think maybe next year’s party needs to be indoors. The weather in Knoxville (especially in summer!) is just too unpredictable…