Thank you everyone for the warm birthday wishes. We had a great time. There were 30 people here! We did a little ceremony that I transmutated from a Korean 1st birthday ceremony, which went over really well except from the confusion of my aging grandparents and great-aunt who probably thought we were performing some pagan ritual. In fact, it looked more like performance art than anything, with Aleksander dressed in a satin robe and felt hat I made, picking up objects from a table beneathe a canopy of tulle and paper cranes. It was cool. Then of course we moved on to birthday cake (a huge mess) and later, presents (good lord, he made out). He cut his first tooth on his birthday, which I nearly cried over, and then yesterday he stood & took a step, which the whole family applauded over. He's getting so big soo quickly.
1boy1girl, Aleksander was born with a severe cleft lip & palate, which prevented him from being able to breastfeed (though I've pumped for a year now & am finally weaning), and is going to require many surgeries to correct. He had his first surgery at 12 weeks, his 2nd at 6 months & his 3rd at 10 months. The first was to close his lip, half of his soft palate (including joining his split uvula), create a gum where some was missing, and to insert ear tubes. The second surgery joined the rest of his soft palate, half of his hard palate and included a secondary lip repair. The third surgery finished closing his hard palate, so that Cheerios don't continue shooting out his nose. Aside from possibly needing ear tubes, Alex gets this next year off from surgery. If you click the link from his name in my signature, you can see just a few photos of him from birth through July. The change is dramatic.