Friday, February 5, 2016

The BIG Number One

Significant. Memorable. Extremely Important. Historic. Just down right fun!

A child’s FIRST BIRTHDAY is a very significant celebration marking his or her transition from an infant to a toddler. Certainly you just have to celebrate.

When the decision was made for me to stay in the States long enough after the holidays to celebrate LW’s first birthday, my daughter BHB told me she had a problem. She didn't know what theme to make the party because LW didn't have any favorites yet.

I told her the party was not for him, it was for us.  He won’t remember it, but we will.  He will have pictures like she has pictures of her first birthday.  However, we did not need to plan the party around anything that he liked. He will have fun with the wrapping paper and the boxes.

Here is a picture of BHB's first birthday with D's mom, her sister M and her brother B. The theme was pink elephants. Sweet little pink elephants were all over the cake and falling down the sides.
BHB chose an under sea theme for little LW's birthday to match his bedroom décor. It was a great party and everyone had a BLAST!

This absolutely over the top adorable photo was taken by my son-in-law, RB. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, RB! I just love, love, love this photo.
Preparing and thinking about LW’s first birthday was the joy of my month away from Hubby D.  I missed D, but looked forward to the big birthday. And, I would not have missed a minute of it for just about anything.

One big benefit of being in Florida for several weeks was that I was able to see LW at different times during the day and to babysit several times. It was what I call the "real grandma" experience. 
My mom and dad came to visit first and we had a great fun sharing great grandchild LW with R&R.  Then a good friend of mine, ES came in from Virginia and I showed off LW some more. Finally the big day arrived.

My mom loves reading to children and LW loved listening to her.
The big party was supposed to take place at the zoo, but Mother Nature did not get the invitation. It was too cold (yes, in Florida!) and it was really windy. We improvised at a local restaurant and it was great.

How old are you LW?  I taught him that.  :-)

LW loved all his gifts and even enjoyed peeling off the paper on the packages. Over Christmas, our granddaughter, ML had the pleasure of showing him how to grab the edge of the paper with his fingers and pull.  LW loves cause and effect. ML did a great job of getting him interested in this process and he picked it up really fast.

Ripping the paper off with mom holding on.
Yipee! A cement mixer.
Yipee! A police car!  Do we see a theme here? If it rolls, LW loves it.
Yipee! A new ball!  Please take note of the bottom tooth.  
LW loves to see how things work. He will twist, turn, roll, pull and push all the time.  If something rolls, he loves to watch it move and push it again to see it roll some more.  Maybe he is going to be a physicist.

Balls are especially interesting to LW. He loves to toss and retrieve. Maybe he is going to be a baseball pitcher.

The party was on Sunday and his real birthday day was on Monday.  So Monday evening (the day before I left for my return to Bahrain) we had a family dinner with a “smash cupcake” and LW’s favorite meal, grilled cheese sandwiches.

We have a tradition in our family that the birthday child (or adult) gets to choose the food for their birthday dinner so I cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone since LW loves them. It was a hoot!

Here's his first taste of icing. Although LW did not much care for the taste, he had fun smearing it all around.

He enjoyed the toys more than I anticipated.  Usually the boxes have more appeal to little toddlers. However it seems we choose wisely and he loved all his toys.

Grandpa D and I gave LW an airplane "ride on" toy. He needed a big "take off" for his first big year. In this picture I am trying to capture the moment but LW captures my phone.
LW getting ready to taxi for take off.
My time in Florida was especially fun this year.  It would have been hard to beat the experience of being there last year for LW’s arrival, however this year was great fun. It just warms my heart over and over again to think about all the hugs, snuggles and kisses from LW and of course all the great time spent with BHB and her family. D and I are so proud of her and really enjoy sharing in the experiences of her growing family.  

Our fantastic visits from DM, our granddaughter ML, grandson BSJ, my mom and dad and our friend ES made this year even more significant.

Now I am back in the land of sand, long black dresses and veils.

No matter what, I can definitely say life is good.


P.S. If you are interested, here is a video of LW's first steps made one evening just after I left their house. LW has no choice but to try hard. You can hear his dad (RB), "You can do better." We all have high expectations for this little guy.

If you are reading this blog in an email, you will need to go to my blog page on the Internet to view the video.

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