I am, touch wood, almost caught up on blogging about everything that’s happened in this past crazy year. My handwritten travel journal is still stuck somewhere between 2011-2012, but at least I can reference back here when I’m filling that in. Anyway, the last big thing from the past that hasn’t made it into these pages is Walter’s first birthday.
I had wanted to do something big and spectacular for his first birthday, but as Emily was due the day after, and as I was giant and pregnant and exhausted and cranky we thought it best to keep the day low key. Turns out that this was a good idea because the one year old struggled to handle a whole day devoted to spoiling him.
Birthdays were always a big deal when I was growing up. For one thing, we never had money for new toys (lots of used ones, tho) so birthdays and Christmas were the only time of year that we could reasonably expect something shiny and new. For another, my mum always loaded them with fun. We were allowed to wear one of our special outfits to school (which probably had more meaning for me than for my brother). We had three celebrations – a party with our friends, which was never anything over the top but just good ol’ fashioned fun; a dinner with our extended family, in which we got to pick the meal; and a dinner with just the immediate family, which at least in later years meant going out to a restaurant of our choice. And, to top off the excitement, mum could never just give us our birthday gift. Every year she took the time to hide the present and leave a series of clues hidden around the house, guiding us towards the gift at the end. It was always great fun and made the expectation of present that much greater.
|my official First Birthday portrait|
|the giant box of gifts that arrived a couple of weeks before Walter's birthday -- he's spoiled by his family in Canada!|
|waiting for French Toast|
|attacking his present pile|
|looking for more candy to destroy|
|a not very successful family photo|