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she’s 8

March 20, 2013

Approximately 8 years and 5 days ago, as Ali and I drove a screaming 2–day-old Maya home from the hospital for the first time, I realized one thing:

Labor is a piece of cake. The problems start when you have to take care of an actual baby.

At Maya's Art-Themed Party

At Maya’s art-themed party…

When Maya was 3 days old I realized other things:

  • Wipe and bottle warmers only lead to expectations.
  • Cheap diapers are a bad idea.

  • 3 am infomercials selling sleep training DVD’s are just wrong. And mean. (And yet I succumbed?)

Maya opening her presents...

Maya opening her presents…

When Maya was 4 days old I realized even more things:

  • A good stroller is a smart investment.
  • A sturdy swing is an even better investment.
  • Buying batteries in bulk – so the swing never stops – is the only way.
A very large birthday cake....

A very large birthday cake….

When Maya was a week old I realized she’d be an only child. Forever.

So aside from my usual negativity you may be wondering what the point of this post is. Well, not much.

My mom and my handiwork...

My mom and I did the decorations…

Except that I just want to say – to all the other mothers out there who may be struggling – that all children eventually turn 8.

And aside from the occasional smart ass comment and the troubling lack of study skills and the hoarding tendencies?

They are actually sometimes very much enjoyable.

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128 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2013 12:18 am

    Belated birthday wishes to Maya.i completely agree with you when you say that labor is a piece of cake. They actually starts when you have to take care of the baby. Just loved the decorations. Maya seems to have had a lot of fun. 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:30 pm

      Glad another person can relate…note sure why labor gets such a bad rap? Maybe it’s those brave few that don’t have an epidural? 🙂

  2. March 20, 2013 12:37 am

    Well done for raising a beautiful child whose company you (mostly!) enjoy. As a parent that’s all we should worry about…

    • March 20, 2013 7:31 pm

      Thanks Writer / Mummy. I really appreciate the compliment and comment!

      • March 21, 2013 2:23 am

        You’re welcome. Mummies never get enough compliments on the hard work they do.

  3. March 20, 2013 12:41 am

    All the best for Maya. Very sweet dedication. 🙂

  4. March 20, 2013 12:51 am

    oh happy birthday to maya. Hope she had fun on her birthday :). Cake looks tempting.

    • March 20, 2013 7:31 pm

      I didn’t try the cake if you can believe it! But I hear it was good.

      Thanks Eddie for the comment. 🙂

  5. March 20, 2013 3:08 am

    Happy Belated Birthday Maya! The decorations look very cool and ‘arty’! Labour pains compared to bringing up a child seem like a piece of cake! Pun intended! 🙂

  6. March 20, 2013 3:31 am

    Belated Happy Birthday Maya, Hope she has had fun on her birthday – all babies do turn 16 too….

    • March 20, 2013 7:32 pm

      Scary, scary thought. Not sure how the next 8 years are going to go!

  7. March 20, 2013 3:45 am

    Happyy 8th birthday to Maya! Wow your decorations really look very arty, well done! 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:32 pm

      Thank you Sonal! It was thanks to me (a little) and my mom (mostly).

  8. March 20, 2013 3:53 am

    Happy birthday, Maya! When my eldest was born I swore he would be an only child too! Guess I forgot that, twice. 😉

    • March 20, 2013 7:33 pm

      You are just a much less selfish person than me. Twice over! I have no idea how you did it!

  9. March 20, 2013 4:18 am

    Happy Birthday, Maya! And I love the theme of the party! So very cute and age appropriate (ahem… seeing the sex and the city-themed jr high parties really make me worry sometimes…).

    • March 20, 2013 7:33 pm

      Sex and the City parties? In junior high? Are you kidding? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

      Scary.

  10. seana permalink
    March 20, 2013 4:38 am

    What, no sleepover? That’s when the fun really begins 🙂 10 or so girls running around the house all night eating and on a sugar high is the best. Not. But, I’ve done it countless times and wouldn’t change it for the world.

    • March 20, 2013 7:33 pm

      I can’t even imagine. You are just a much better person than me Seana!

      • seana permalink
        March 21, 2013 4:41 am

        Not really, Just a gluten for punishment. I have a funny note from when my daughter was around 8 or so, written in her diary to “Dear Froggy: my friends all just left after a sleep over. My mom is yelling at me to clean and vaccuum. Work work work, that’s all I do.”‘
        This is one I’m waiting to share when she has kids.

      • March 21, 2013 6:29 am

        This is hysterical. I can picture Maya leaving similar notes! LOL

  11. March 20, 2013 5:13 am

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful little Maya! 8 is a super cute age. The conversations are worth writing down. Love the cake and those paint can decorations! Adorable!

    • March 20, 2013 7:34 pm

      Thank you Heather! For the comment and the compliments. I appreciate it!

  12. March 20, 2013 5:27 am

    Congratulations to you and happy birthday to Maya. !! I can relate to you, my 5 y/o is my only child and probably will be the only child… You are lucky to have such a beautiful, smart girl. 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:35 pm

      So you found it as hard as I did? Glad I’m not the only one. 🙂

      And thank you for the kind words Amelia!

  13. March 20, 2013 5:52 am

    your memories of mayas first few days sound oddly familiar to my life right now. happy birthday to maya, and many more to come! love the art themed party 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:35 pm

      Thank you Nuha! I hope that your sleepless nights get better. And soon!

  14. March 20, 2013 6:45 am

    Love this post. Happy Birthday to Maya! And beautiful party – love the decor!

  15. March 20, 2013 7:33 am

    Happy Birthday Maya 🙂 and beautiful post Ameena. Raising child is one of the most challenging job ever yet sounds very rewarding from what I hear from parents. You and Ali have a special, beautiful adorable daughter. I will def. keep in mind about never ending supply of batteries 😛 everything about the birthday is so cool- I am sure Maya had a blast.

    • March 20, 2013 7:36 pm

      Yes on the batteries. Lots and lots of batteries! 🙂

      And thanks for the nice comment Dixya…I really appreciate it!

  16. March 20, 2013 7:33 am

    I knew it! I always knew you’re a softie underneath that steely beauty of yours. Busted! Tell me that you also made that cake in addition to decorating the house like a pro so I can die of shame.

    And finally, happy 8th birthday Maya. Now go bug your mom more so she has more blog fodder. 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:36 pm

      Such a nice comment..full of compliments and you made me laugh too! Thank you my friend.

  17. March 20, 2013 8:29 am

    Happy 8th birthday (and many many more to come) to beautiful Maya! Wishing her all the best and that she’s on her way to become as fabulous as her mom.
    I’m impressed, how did you make that cute birthday cake? I love the decor too, especially all those buckets that spell Maya’s name. Love the family picture.

    • Lydia permalink
      March 20, 2013 8:30 am

      Sorry that was me. Not sure what happened to my name 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:37 pm

      I definitely did not make the birthday cake but thank you for thinking that I am remotely even capable of it!

      And thanks for all the compliments too. 🙂

  18. March 20, 2013 8:34 am

    wow she is growing up fast and quite a beauty! she is definitely a mix of you both! haha nothing wrong with realizing quickly one and done 😉 just wait till she’s a teen, that’s when i hear the real fun begins lol (oh wait…just me that gave my parents a coronary?)

    • March 20, 2013 7:56 pm

      I hear the same thing…that the teenage years are the hardest. The unknown is so scary!

  19. March 20, 2013 9:15 am

    Oh friend, I so needed this post. We have been muddling through three a.m. wake up calls and well, 8 seems like a good goal 🙂 Maya looks beautiful and I love the decorations! You already know I’m a sucker for a themed party 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 7:56 pm

      3 AM wake up calls? Still? You poor thing…I hope it gets better soon!

  20. March 20, 2013 9:17 am

    Happy birthday to Maya! An art themed party is so different — and that cake was beautiful. I hope it tasted as good as it looked!

    • March 20, 2013 7:57 pm

      I didn’t taste the cake…not a cake fan in general. But I hear it was great.

      Thanks for the comment Liz!

  21. March 20, 2013 9:43 am

    Happy Belated Birthday to Maya! She seems like such a sweet kid – I think you guys have done a pretty good job. 🙂
    Also, I love the art theme. That cake is fantastic.

    • March 20, 2013 7:57 pm

      Thank you Leah! For all the compliments…so nice of you.

  22. March 20, 2013 10:05 am

    Cheap diapers are never the answer. Never.
    Also, I’m stealing the paint can idea.
    Ps. Happy Birthday to a beautiful gal xo

    • March 20, 2013 7:58 pm

      FYI you can buy empty paint cans so they hang easier! Crazy but true.

      And thanks Kimberly. 🙂

  23. March 20, 2013 10:19 am

    Happy Birthday Maya! Such a great party, I wanna be 8 too! Love the decorations and how that steel can is dangling from the ceiling. That is a gorgeous picture of you Ameena.. so classy and sophisticated looking like your look alike – Gwen! lol. Maya looks so pretty.. she has such a pretty smile.

    • March 20, 2013 7:58 pm

      The Gwen comparison is the ultimate compliment and it just made my night. Thank you!

  24. March 20, 2013 10:24 am

    She’s beautiful! And thank God on them actually being a joy – who knew? 😉

  25. March 20, 2013 11:10 am

    Raising kids is the hardest job on earth. I look at my friends with 1 & 2 year olds and think ‘how do they do it, those kids never stop!’, and yet I did it 3 times. The more work the more reward I say. Ethan turns 8 on Sunday and all I’ve figured out so far is the cake. There will be no party, no decorations, only some family coming over. I hope he doesn’t mind 🙂

    And how fun that Maya and Ethan are the same age!

    • March 20, 2013 8:00 pm

      I think the simplest birthday are the best. Happy Birthday to Ethan! I also think it’s a nice coincidence they are the same age!

  26. March 20, 2013 12:08 pm

    Lovely Pics!! All of them and I totally loved the theme, the decorations, the cake, your house & all of you look great. 8! you said? Boy they grow so fast 😦

    Wishing Maya a belated Happy Birthday & a wonderful year ahead ❤

    Ditto to most of your conclusions from motherhood too.

    • March 20, 2013 8:01 pm

      Thanks MWAD for all the nice compliments! They do grow fast. Crazy that it’s been 8 years already!

      PS: It’s Maya’s grandparent’s house, not ours. 🙂

  27. March 20, 2013 12:36 pm

    Happy birthday, Maya! I think you did a great job on the decorations!

  28. iSeptember permalink
    March 20, 2013 12:44 pm

    Happy Birthday! Beautiful family 🙂 You hair looks amazing!!

    • March 20, 2013 8:02 pm

      Thank you iSeptember! Love your name by the way….

  29. March 20, 2013 1:07 pm

    I love that cake!

    • March 20, 2013 8:02 pm

      Thank you Observations…I can’t take credit though, it’s from a bakery. 🙂

  30. March 20, 2013 1:09 pm

    What an awesome cake!! Also, I am only having dogs, forever 😉 Happy Birthday to Maya!

  31. March 20, 2013 1:41 pm

    Happy B Day to your beautiful daughter! She def is getting to an easier age but it seems that each age bracket has it’s own challenges. Hope you all enjoyed the festivities. And I don’t blame you one bit for knowing immediately that once was enough and that you never wanted to go through it all again!

    • March 20, 2013 8:03 pm

      Yes, each age bracket definitely has so many challenges. But I’ll take just about anything over crying and sleepless nights. 🙂

  32. March 20, 2013 2:00 pm

    Happy Birthday to Maya! What a beautiful photo of the 3 of you. Love the theme and her cake looks wonderful! I’m sure you had great fun.

  33. March 20, 2013 2:06 pm

    A very happy Belated Birthday to Maya. She looks like a doll! Loved the party decor,so creative. Agree with the swing suggestion, it was a lifesaver for me. I even got the electric kind 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 8:04 pm

      Stupid me didn’t get the electric version…not sure if I was just too tired to get a clue? LOL

  34. March 20, 2013 3:43 pm

    Well, as a soon-to-be-mother and a very confused person trying to set up a baby registry, I needed this post! Lovely photos and Happy Birthday, Maya! 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 8:05 pm

      If you need any registry suggestions feel free to throw them my way! I’d love to help. 🙂

      • March 21, 2013 11:41 am

        Awesome. I shall e-mail you though. Don’t want to spam your comments 😀 Thank you so much!!!

      • March 21, 2013 5:26 pm

        I am happy to help! Will look for your email.

  35. March 20, 2013 6:02 pm

    Lovely post, Ameena!! A belated Happy Birthday to Maya!! Love the photo of her opening her presents, she looks delighted!! And you and your Mom have done an awesome job with the decorations 🙂

    • March 20, 2013 8:05 pm

      Thank you Fab! I appreciate the kind words.

      My mom did most of it, I can’t lie!

  36. willgoh2 permalink
    March 20, 2013 7:02 pm

    “When Maya was a week old I realized she’d be an only child. Forever.”
    The best line I’ve heard or read all week! So true.

    Happy Happy Maya!

    • March 20, 2013 8:06 pm

      Thank you Will! And thanks for the comment, as always.

  37. March 20, 2013 7:09 pm

    Happy Birthday to Maya!

  38. March 20, 2013 8:43 pm

    Happy belated birthday to Maya…love this soft side of you, Ameena ;)! And also, I hope you framed that pic of the 3 of you- you look stunning!!

  39. March 20, 2013 10:26 pm

    Belated birthday wishes to Maya…The theme is lovely and so are the decorations and the cake..The delivery part is the easiest of the lot..according to my current situation I would rate teaching a kid to read and write would rank high up in the list of travails of motherhood..The pregnancy period and the labour pain are totally overrated..the actual fun starts only after you have the baby in your hand…:).But they eventually turn 8 and ironically we wish that they hadnt grown up so fast. Niranjan would start KG next month and I dont how the time flew..these days I keep looking at his baby photos and keep sighing..:)

    • March 21, 2013 6:32 am

      Yes, teaching a child is SO challenging! It goes back to that lack of patience problem that I continue to struggle with….

  40. March 20, 2013 10:39 pm

    i can’t believe i’ve known maya since she was 4!!! happy bday to the lovely lady.

  41. March 21, 2013 3:53 am

    Happy Birthday Maya!!

    I love the art themed party – So crafty of you!

    I’m not a mom *yet* but I have been a nanny. I love that you show the real side of motherhood and not paint a picture like everything is so perfect and easy!

    • March 21, 2013 6:30 am

      I have the utmost respect for nannies! It’s hard enough cleaning my own kid’s diapers, never mind another kid’s diapers!

  42. March 21, 2013 5:11 am

    A beautiful post and lovely decorations😊 happy birthday to maya. I can totally relate to everything in the post. I am going through the “terrible twos” phase now and I tell myself each day “this too shall pass”😊

    • March 23, 2013 2:25 pm

      We didn’t have the Terrible 2’s…we had Terrible 3’s! It was kind of a nightmare. But yes, it did pass. 🙂

  43. March 21, 2013 5:39 am

    A very Happy Birthday to Maya!! She is a lucky girl to have such a lovely mama! Love the theme of the party!

    I really want to trap Neil at the age he is at right now, since he is so very cute! On the other hand, I really cannot wait for him to outgrow his baby sleep stage. God, the guy has not allowed me to sleep for more than 4 hours since his birth.

    • March 23, 2013 2:27 pm

      I remember those sleepless nights! I hope it gets better for you soon Priyanka.

      PS: Crying it out was the only way we resolved things…but Maya was a year or so?

  44. March 21, 2013 8:53 am

    Congratulations to you and Ali — you guys made it to 8 years!!!

    OK, jokes aside — Happy Birthday Maya! I love the theme of her birthday party!!

    • March 23, 2013 2:27 pm

      Thank you Kiran!

      I also marvel that we made it to 8 years…

  45. Piya permalink
    March 21, 2013 4:19 pm

    such a cute theme, and all the decorations are awesome!! great job!!!

  46. March 21, 2013 5:34 pm

    They even eventually go off to college. 😉

    • March 23, 2013 2:28 pm

      I can’t even imagine that day! It seems so far away…

  47. March 21, 2013 7:42 pm

    Love the decorations! Happy Birthday Maya!

  48. March 22, 2013 9:53 am

    Leave it to you to have such a gorgeously decorated birthday party. Did you make the cake? 😉

    • March 23, 2013 2:29 pm

      I wish! No, it was purchased from a bakery, and designed by my mom!

  49. March 22, 2013 11:45 am

    Happy 8th birthday to Maya!!! Great pictures!! and the art theme was creative. never thought that could be a theme in itself ! maybe you can adopt an 8 year old now, since you dont want to have to raise another kid…

    • March 23, 2013 2:29 pm

      Instant friend for Maya! Brilliant idea. 🙂

      Thanks for all the compliments Eva!

  50. March 22, 2013 1:28 pm

    Happy birthday to your sweet girl! I laughed out loud as I read this post…we’ve been preparing for labor for weeks now (with little thought of what life will be like post-delivery!) Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. I’ve missed visiting your blog and I’m very glad to be back!

    • March 23, 2013 2:29 pm

      Thanks for reading Monet! It’s nice to see your comments again!

  51. Shauna permalink
    March 22, 2013 1:55 pm

    Ameena I love how you did this post. Happy Birthday to Maya. There is such a learning curve when it comes to parenting, it’s crazy. The curve never ends. That being said, I think you are a wonderful mother and it shows in Maya’s smile, her eyes, she’s darling, as are you. Take care,

    Shauna xo

    • March 23, 2013 2:30 pm

      Thank you Shauna! I always appreciate your kind compliments and comments. 🙂

  52. March 22, 2013 5:55 pm

    Happy Birthday, Maya.

    Your family is Gorgeous! Kiss..

    • March 23, 2013 2:30 pm

      Thank you for the compliment!! I appreciate the comment too. 🙂

  53. March 23, 2013 11:35 am

    Awww, I hope Maya enjoyed her birthday :)! I have cousins who have children her age, and it’s amazing to see how fast they grow up!

    • March 23, 2013 2:31 pm

      They do grow up fast! And yet kind of slow at the same time. It’s weird?

  54. March 23, 2013 1:11 pm

    she looks gorgeous and so is her party … happy birthday and have a delightful life always full of colors

    • March 23, 2013 2:31 pm

      Thank you Asma! I appreciate the compliments (on behalf of Maya).

  55. March 23, 2013 2:21 pm

    Happy Birthday gorgeous Maya! Love the decorations too.

  56. March 23, 2013 11:06 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday to the gorgeous Maya !! The decorations are very pretty..
    You Rock Ameena 🙂

  57. March 25, 2013 5:01 am

    Happy Birthday to Maya :).
    Great decorations. My kids will turn 8 too(Oct) but well— they are a handful.
    Thank-you for letting me know about your experience with diet coke and how you have not sipped it in years. 🙂
    Made it to three weeks!

    • March 25, 2013 5:50 am

      Great work in the soda! After 2 weeks it gets much easier, don’t you think?

  58. March 25, 2013 2:27 pm

    happy birthday Maya, tell your mother she’s done so well these 8 years, what’s one more? Sounds like she has motherhood figured out. And nice cake.

    • March 29, 2013 1:46 pm

      Thanks Lauren…although Maya’s mom has nothing figured out!

  59. March 25, 2013 5:52 pm

    What a lovely family 🙂

  60. March 27, 2013 7:17 am

    Happy 8th birthday, Maya! Wow, I can’t believe how much she’s grown – a little lady! I feel like it was just yesterday she turned 5. You’ve done a wonderful job, Ameena, and I hope I can do as well when the time comes 🙂

    • March 29, 2013 1:47 pm

      Thank you Jessie!

      I hope you do an even better job. 🙂 As I’m sure you will!

  61. March 27, 2013 1:21 pm

    Happy belated, Maya. Seriously now, how is she 8?!?!

  62. April 3, 2013 9:57 pm

    You guys make a beautiful family! Maya looks so pretty. So ladylike! Love the decor as usual. And much respect to you for raising a beautiful little girl, managing your career and delighting so many people with your blog!!

    • April 4, 2013 8:55 am

      Thank you Meenakshi…such a sweet comment. I really appreciate it!

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