The day before Baby E's birthday, I really couldn't believe it. It was actually happening. It was real. My baby, who was a newborn just yesterday (at least that's what it feels like!), was going to be turning a year old.
For his birthday, we had an intimate get-together of a few close friends and had a picnic in Hawrelak Park. We had pizza, homemade red potato salad, homemade feta dip, chips, and several other dips for food. And of course, the most important part: a cake! Since my favorite bakery, a natural health food bakery closed down several months ago, I decided the best alternative was to make a cake myself. After much deliberation, I settled on making a carrot cake. I couldn't find an amazing recipe, so I followed a few general rules to all the recipes I found and then changed everything else. I crossed my fingers that it would turn out okay. Which it luckily did! Considering that it's only the second cake I've ever made from scratch, and I didn't have a hand mixer or stand mixer, I think it was quite a success. Even if it's not quite as pretty to look at as I would have liked!
Baby E's birthday party went as well as I could have hoped for. He enjoyed the food, adored the company of those who were there, and loved his presents. Baby E now has two new Melissa & Doug toys that were gifts, a Janod chunky puzzle from ourselves, which he has played with every day, and a generous pile of new books. For the finale, we gave him the big present that we'd picked out. A Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug! When I put it onto the picnic table to show to him, he immediately rolled it back and forth on the table. So I took him over to a small patch of cement (which you can see in the third picture below), and pushed him on the Wheely Bug bee in a circle. The expression on his face was priceless, as he was absolutely ecstatic! (Anyone recognize the robot onesie, by the way?)
Looking back on the past year, it's been one amazing year. It's hard to believe in the past 12 months that I went from having a newborn who couldn't do more than lift or control his head, to a crawling, babbling, clever little toddler. They have been, without a doubt, the most well-spent months of my life. It's incredible, the experience that we are a part of in parenthood, where we see these little people evolve and blossom every single day. Few things in life can be compared to the fullness I feel when Baby E smiles at me in the morning, the sweetness of his face as he falls asleep, or the pure excitement that overcomes him when he hears the front door and realizes his dad has come home from work. These are the things that mean something. These are the things I hope to remember forever.