Hey, remember that time Olive turned one? Here are some pictures!
I had been anticipating this day for what seemed like forever, because I am insane.
Aaaand I may have gone a little Etsy crazy.
For instance I ordered a fabric Happy Birthday banner from Etsy that we can reuse for all of our family birthdays. That’s cool, right? I mean it’s cute, and eco-friendly, plus I really like the idea of creating little family traditions like this – this very banner will be in the background of ALL of our family birthday photos! At least until the kids are surly teenagers and want nothing to do with colourful felt banners or family birthdays.
And then we will sit by ourselves and cry. BUT for now – banners! And paper cranes!
I made a wall of Olive’s monthly photos so guests could see the metamorphosis from tiny dark haired baby to vivacious chubby blonde.
Because I am a plastic-hating scrooge, I wanted to avoid using balloons and when I spotted some strands of colourful paper cranes at a local store, I was instantly in love! (The fact that Olive’s aunt gave her a paper crane mobile for Christmas last year made it seem that much more perfect.)
I picked up around ten of them in different sizes, lengths and colours and hung them around the living room. Each of Olive’s little friends got to pick one to take home and hang in their room in lieu of a goody bag.
(Oh hey! Not excited or emotional at all!)
The cake. OH, the cake.
The cake itself tasted great. And Olive’s little cake, with a sugar-free coconut cream cheese frosting was also awesome.
But when it came to making the frosting for the big cake I went a little buck wild with the coconut milk and I upset the delicate balance of this no-recipe frosting endeavour and I could never get it back again.
It was all too runny and I kept adding more icing sugar and more icing sugar to try and stiffen it (ironic since the whole reason I decided against a buttercream frosting like a normal person in the first place was that it had too much sugar.)
As a last resort, I stuck the whole thing in the fridge while we ran out to another birthday party (these one-year-olds and their social calendars, I swear!) in the hopes that the whole thing would magically firm up by the time I got back but instead I got this…
Sigh. It tasted good, and that’s all that matters, right?
When it came time to give Olive her cake, we brought it out and sang happy birthday while a sparkler burned on top. Then we plopped the whole thing down on her high chair tray and waited for her to dig in.
She was remarkably restrained in the beginning, even offering us bites (so generous!)
And I’m not totally sure, but I think she might take after her mama in the chocolate-lovin’ department.
First thing in the morning, we gave her a little wooden walker that has puzzles and xylophones and a little basket in the back to put books or car keys or what have you (one year old’s got stuff y’all.)
She actually found this gift a few weeks ago when I first put it together (what?! I was excited!) and three or four times since the initial discovery we caught her crawling back into her grandparent’s room to try and see it again.
Each time we caught her she would scream and cry at not being allowed to play with it, so when we actually gave it to her, with a big yellow polka dot bow on top she was all “Say whaaaa? I can touch it? For real?”.
I found her dress on Pinterest and then tracked down the shop on Etsy. They didn’t have any current listings for that particular dress but I contacted the shop owner and she said she had an order of the fabric coming in and she would be able to make us one. I mean, don’t you just love Etsy? Seriously.
I am so so so in love with it, I wish she could wear it every day, except it is now tucked away for safekeeping in case she has a sister one day.
EDIT: I forgot to link to the Lamonster Etsy shop when this was originally posted, which was horrible because I always try and give credit where credit is due – so for those who have been asking, Lamonster can be found here.
(P.S. I will always disclose if I am paid or perked by the maker of any product I mention. If I don’t say anything then I bought the item myself and just loved it so much I had to share 🙂
Would you look at this kid? Seriously.
It was honestly just such a fun day, and I thought I would feel emotional, (and I did) but, surprisingly, I didn’t feel sad.
I thought I would be mourning the transformation from baby into toddler. I thought that I might be longing for the days when she could sleep on my chest and I could fit her whole head in my hand. There were definitely moments of nostalgia – especially while putting up her monthly photos, or watching people look through her baby book, but the emotion that staged a devious sneak attack was pride. I am just completely, predictably, cliched-ly proud of this little girl. And proud of us, too.
We made it! That first year is no joke, and in the twelve months since we had Olive our lives have undergone – and are still undergoing – some major chaotic shifts. We are still smack dab in transition, in the middle of trying to build a life we can be proud of, and that process comes with no shortage of growing pains. But in the midst of this chaos and this transition has emerged a little girl that can use sign language, and who says “woof” when she sees dogs. She eats salmon and brussels sprouts and squid and olive tapenade. She can drink from a cup and shrieks with ear-splitting levels of happiness when the mood strikes her. She has learned to roll over and sit up and crawl and feed herself and I know that some of these sound like dog tricks but the development is remarkably similar at this point so bear with me.
Most of all she has learned to love and be loved, she is a warm, happy, affectionate little thing and we are so lucky that we’ve been able to be there with her every single day, for all of it.
On October fifth we felt so stunned, and breathless and awestruck that we were standing there watching our daughter – that once-tiny baby – feed us birthday cake, and stumble around behind her walker with a huge grin, and crawl over to Gus and give him a huge hug wearing fairy wings.
We felt so lucky and so thankful. It was a happy, happy birthday.