SSS #83: Luna's 1st Trip Around the Sun


This week's edition of #SunShakSunday will not be going on my website for privacy reasons.

One more thing. The pictures look 10x better on non-mobile devices so it might be worth pulling out the laptop for this one (or at least an iPad).

Luna's 1st Trip Around the Sun

Before Luna was born, I had this grand plan to document every milestone and notable moment.

I wanted to open a Gmail account for her and send her periodic recaps.

I would give her access to the Gmail account on her 15th birthday and we would hug and cry and laugh and cry some more as we read through the memories.

A year passed and none of that ended up happening.

I’m not even sure why. The easy excuse is “life got in the way”.

I can’t help but wonder… Why did I come up short?

  • Am I a bad parent?
  • Am I lazy?
  • Was there not enough time?

The honest answer to all those questions is no.

We are without a doubt the best parents for Luna. We are definitely not lazy and time is a resource that readily makes itself available to the highest priority.

So what could be more important than documenting the milestones of our first child’s first year of life?

The answer is simple. Being present was the most important thing.

In the beginning, we tried to take a lot of videos and pictures. We tried to manufacture or recreate moments to capture them on camera.

Every parent knows trying to take a picture of a baby doing something you want them to do is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t work.

Trying too hard to capture the moment takes away from the moment itself.

Instead of fighting Luna to stand up, smile a certain way, or repeat a word, we shifted our focus to simply enjoying the present.

That’s not to say we didn’t pull out the camera at all. We took plenty of pictures and videos. They’re just not “Instagram-worthy”.

Below you’ll find a sneak-peek into Luna’s 1st Trip Around the Sun.

My collage-making skills aren’t that good, but I gave it a shot.

Although it took me a while to identify pictures that crafted a year-long story, it was time well-spent.

I may scrap the Gmail idea altogether and do one of these every year.

Everything below is written as a letter to Luna.

April 2020


You were due on April 10th, but didn’t arrive until April 16th! You really didn’t want to come out of the oven.

Giving birth to you was a Herculean effort by mom. You weighed 8lbs 15oz! There were some scary complications, but everything turned out ok.

Mom’s temperature spiked post-delivery so we were treated under COVID-19 protocol. We had a difficult choice to make: keep you in our room or keep you in the nursery. There was no in-between.

I was scared and mom was recovering so we decided to keep you in the nursery. We didn’t see you for the next 2 or 3 days, but the nurses were nice enough to FaceTime us every chance they got. You were well taken care of.

May 2020


So many diapers. So many smiles.

So much sleep during the day. So little sleep at night.

Transitioning you from nocturnal to normal was a tough task, but thankfully we were able to go for early morning walks to help reset your biological clock.

Who knows if that’s actually a thing, but it worked for us!

Grandma Taru made us give you oil massages every day. Your skin freaked out so we stopped almost immediately.

We used breastmilk to treat your baby acne. It worked like a charm. I’m not ashamed to admit I also used breastmilk to treat the occasional pimple on myself.

You were and still are such a happy baby. You have mom’s dimple. Only on one side of your face.

June 2020


Cabin fever took a heavy toll on us. We made a COVID Pod with Aunt Cathy & Uncle Dex so you and Devin could get a 12-year head start on making the second generation of best friends for life.

Somewhere around 12 weeks old was your first full night of sleep (10 PM - 7 AM). You slept right through your 1 AM and 4 AM feeding. We were worried but didn’t complain.

Getting vaccinated was the worst. We loved going to the Pediatrician for advice and reassurance, but they were poking you every time! You never got used to it.

July 2020


July was an excellent month. We went for a walk in the park almost every day.

The twins turned 1, grandma and grandpa put some bling on your wrists, and the final piece of your room came in: a custom nameplate.

August 2020


August was a growth month for everyone.

First, Grandma Lalis left us the day after her birthday. The help and support she provided in the first 4 months of your life were crucial.

She did all of the night feedings, laundry, dishes, and cooking. She was an owl. She slept at 4 am when I took over and woke up at 10 am when mom was ready for breakfast.

We all miss her whenever she’s not here. But don’t worry, she’ll be spending summers in NJ as soon as we have space.

When Lalis left, it was as good a time as any to get you into your own room. In true Luna form, you took the transition like a champion.

Mom and I did, however, sleep in your room for the first week. We took the daybed. Mom took the top bunk, I took the bottom.

September 2020


More outdoor stuff! You finally got to spend the day with your cousin, Liam. We went on a family hike on Pyramid Mountain. We saw a snake! RUN!!!

You also went into the pool for the first time at Leena Foi’s house.

Most importantly, mom passed her citizenship test and traded in her green card for a passport. Crazy! All she has to do now is change her last name to Shakhawala ;)

October 2020


October was a scary month! 👻

Mom went back to work so we sent you to school! That was a tough decision to make. I’m still not sure if it was the right one.

If I was resulting, I’d say it was a good decision because it’s been only upside. However, there was definitely a chance of you getting COVID.

We’ve tested you 3 times in the last 6 months. Anytime you get a sniffle we get you tested. Apologies for that. Judging by how much you cry, you’re not really a fan of a q-tip up your nose.

Thankfully, the results were negative each time. Yay!

It turns out, you get a runny nose whenever a tooth comes in. The first time you got “sick” was because your first tooth was coming in.

November 2020


The weather in November was crazy. One day we were outside going for a nice walk with Devin and Hunter. The next day we’re buying winter hats fit for an Eskimo baby.

You also made great physical strides in a short amount of time. At daycare, you saw all your classmates sitting up and crawling.

It wasn’t long before you were sitting up too. The next thing we know, you were pulling yourself in any direction you wanted to go.

December 2020


There are a few birthdays in December. Mom, Grandpa, and Super Grandma. Too bad you didn’t get any cake. Maybe next year.

You did, however, get an awesome Elf outfit. Dressing you up in ridiculous(ly cute) outfits is one of your mom’s favorite things to do. I am fully expecting this trend to last until you fight back in your pre-teen years.

January 2021


Meg Foi is officially (2nd trimester) pregnant and you’re going to have a little cousin-brother.

You also met your twin, Arya, for the first time over a Kenko Sushi takeout dinner.

This mugshot in front of a white door is your first passport photo. I promise to fill that thing with as many stamps as possible.

Finally, we all rocked fuzzy jackets for winter 2020.

February 2021


A new tradition is born: Saturday morning coffee shops. ☕️

Grandpa was your valentine. He gave you two red balloons and two red balls. The balloons lasted like 3 months, and I'm not quite sure where those balls are.

We took swim classes in Secaucus. You liked it, as long as you stayed above ear level. If your ears got wet you went nuts.

Lastly, you started reading with us instead of us reading at you. I’m not going to force you to be a reader, but I’m going to try like hell to make you love it. So far I think it’s working.

March 2021


The weather is getting a little better so we’re finding ourselves spending some more time outside after school and on weekends.

You went on the swings for the first time at Fairfield park with Roni Foi. You made your first piece of art all by yourself at school.

You officially love books! You crawl past all your toys and head straight to the bookshelf whenever we’re in your room.

April 2021


You’re 1 now. 🤯

Some days were long, but the year went by incredibly fast.

Since we couldn’t have a party, we memorialized your first birthday with a cake smash photoshoot.

You were timid at first but really opened up once you got a mouthful of frosting. It was your first official sugar high.

I wish I could close this with something profound...

I’ll just say you were the silver lining of a worldwide pandemic for us.

...and I love you so much. ❤️