We sent some cupcakes for the kids at his daycare and some cake for the teachers, and had a bit of cake at home. He was quite amused by the whole family singing "Happy birthday".
Smurf started walking about a month ago,often plopping on his diaper-padded butt at first, but practice makes perfect and he now walks quite competently. He also enjoys us mimicking his "tricks" -- he has a repertoire of clapping hands, shaking his head, wrinkling his nose, and blowing kisses -- and he squeals with delight when we repeat what he does. He understands simple sentences, like "No!", "Sit down." (in the tub), "Don't put that in the mouth!", "Come to mommy," and several others. He loves balls, and his first word is "baw". He also calls daddy "Dada" (says "Mama" but I don't think it actually refers to mommy, at least not yet.)
Overall, Smurf is beyond awesome. Everyone in the family completely adores him.In other cheery news:
Smurf's Mom's birthday was a couple of days ago. She turned 3x13. It was a nice, active day. Middle Boy had an early afternoon playdate, Oldest Boy had a sleepover birthday party at a friend's house in the evening. Since Smurf's Mom doesn't really desire anything that can be bought for her (except maybe her own punching bag -- literally -- but she only thought of that today), she wanted to start what she hopes to be a family tradition: the family went to have family portraits taken (we've never done this before) and followed by an early dinner and ice cream between the two boys' activities. After dropping off Oldest Boy at his party, Middle Boy collapsed exhausted at 7, baby Smurf went to bed at 8. Suddenly, it was 8:30 and Smurf's parents had oodles of time alone! They saw "Shame" (highly recommended, and not only because Michael Fassbender walks around naked) and generally had some quality couples time. What more can a girl wish for on her birthday?
The last cheery bit of news is that I just found out today that a fairly large single-investigator grant of mine is being recommended for funding! It's a bit of a big-idea project of mine, and I have been trying to get it funded for a while, targeting two different agencies. While it it did receive good reviews in the past, it didn't get funded on account of not enough programmatic importance, just below the cutoff, etc. I revised after every rejection and I think this time I really did it right. Plus the stars aligned, I suppose. I was so happy (I literally screamed "Woo-hoo!" and jumped around when I received the email) but mostly I felt so relieved... I can now get another postdoc and another student for another 3 years and we can get this big idea working! So "Yey!" And "Phew..." Maybe I don't totally suck. Academia can be a very demoralizing game, with an unrelenting stream of rejections and very few affirmations. But persistence does pay off, usually. Besides, if you want an academic STEM job at an R1 university, then you really have no other choice but to keep going at it. And then, when you finally do get the funding, it's so fuckin' exciting!!! Every time.
To happy birthdays and new funding!