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Yesterday was Cool Newbie’s first birthday!

Just a couple of months ago, I recapped the birth of Newbie as it was certainly the top moment of 2010. The year has flown by in some ways: seeing li’l Newbie grow from a squinty, feather-light newborn to a speed-crawling, independently standing baby. In other ways, the year has felt like a complete 12 months: figuring out how to raise two young children, in addition to the challenges of living in expensive NYC, in addition to all of the transitions we’ve undergone.

It’s strange to think that this is the only birthday for Newbie’s entire life where he won’t understand that it’s his birthday. So in lieu of a party with hats, streamers, glitter, and clowns, we instead celebrated with friends over Mexican food. And then I did laundry.

As our birthday present to you, here are 12 photos to commemorate our sweet first 12 months with Cool Newbie!

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Teaching him to tweet

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On Saturday, we attended a kids event in Lower Manhattan that involved a magic clown, a legendary rapper, and a dancing giant Elmo. Of course, video is forthcoming.

Afterward we headed home on FDR Drive, which spans the east side of Manhattan. The sailing was smooth until we hit a traffic jam, which wasn’t entirely unexpected even on a Saturday afternoon. However, this was unlike any traffic jam we’d ever encountered.

After a few minutes, it was clear that we weren’t moving for a while, seeing as the drivers ahead of me were out walking around. Cool Mum pointed a column of smoke on the horizon which corroborated the reports of Car Fire! among the chatting drivers.

One Twitterer pointed out that “the fdr uptown is a parking lot!” I would’ve found that cuter if we weren’t stuck in the middle of it. To record this momentous event in NYC transportation (which probably occurs a couple of times a day), I pulled out the camera and started snapping.

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This guy didn't mind standing on the guardrail that separated us from the speeding cars on FDR South.

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The Cool Studio was on this street! Once again, we were trapped on E 78th Street.

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Cool Baby was determined to drive us out of there.

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Cool Newbie didn't mind the traffic jam (and the freedom from his car seat).

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In the last photo, Newbie was was actually looking at a dude in the car next to us. Dude was having fun playing peek-a-boo with Newbie.

Looking back, I WISH that I had taken a picture of them playing together against the backdrop of a hundred stopped cars. I was hesitant to snap the picture, afraid that Dude would get upset. I need to get over that. We’re in NYC, and if you’re in public, you’re fair game.

After about 30 minutes, I and my fellow stranded drivers were moving again, back to cutting each other off and being cut off.