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  • Melissa Porteous

Celebrating a BIG birthday

Hello again everyone! Well, we've just celebrated a big FIRST birthday in our house. That's right, my baby has been in my life for one whole year already. I feel like every birthday is a huge celebration, but I suppose if I had to pick a BIG one, it would be the first one. I do feel like the novelty of a first birthday has worn off a bit, due to the fact that this is the third time I've gone through it. Poor third child, nothing is new and exciting anymore (it's ok, I'm the third child in my family)!

Usually when I tell people the baby has turned one, most people tend to say, "one already!? That went by so fast", however this year seemed like a long one to me. I'm not sure if it's because it seems like we've done a lot since the addition of this third child in our lives or because he just seems like a young baby developmentally. I'm assuming it's the latter. I'm not concerned by any means, but if I'm looking at the facts of what milestones the other 2 kids had reached by their first birthday, I can see that this baby is nowhere near them. So I think for that reason to me it seems like he isn't one yet, he's still just a baby who barely crawls.

For his actual birthday, we spent the day with my parents, then went to the city to run a few errands. His birthday was on a Friday so my husband was working and my oldest child was in school. It was just an ordinary day, but when they are so young, they don't know the difference. The other two kids were more excited that it was his birthday then he was.

We ended up having a get together on the Sunday to celebrate, in which my parents and siblings, in-laws and sibling in laws attended. We also invited my best friend and her family (they are his godparents). There wasn't many people but it was a great party. I didn't go too much for decorations - just this banner that we use all the time for different things. As always, I requested no gifts for my kids birthdays - because we have too much stuff already - and I want them to learn the importance is the presence more than the presents. Before you go thinking I am a terrible, mean mother, I know that my parents in-law and my parents and my sisters - pretty much everyone will get them a gift anyways. Luckily it's starting to catch on at this point that I don't really like getting plastic toys that I already have a million of.

We had the party at 1pm so that it would be before his nap time. We served a bean dip, crackers and cheese with homemade pepper jelly and my mom brought chips and salsa and my mother in law brought crackers with a garlic ring. It was also a great time for me to make coffee, tea and lattes for the guests with my new coffee maker that I got for Christmas (how fancy)!

It was a really fun relaxing party, just everyone gathered to celebrate this little chicken nugget of mine. The older kids were able to get outside to play for a while - luckily it was a nice sunny day.

It's my opinion that it's important to celebrate birthdays - it's a huge achievement growing another year older! I mean, I might be easily swayed into thinking they are so important because I honestly look for ANY reason to gather with my family and close friends. Me and my family continue to gather and have cake for everyone's birthday - whether they are turning 1 or 35 or 70. My husband is of the opinion it's a bit ridiculous to still gather, have cake and sing happy birthday to adults! I can't believe it! Too bad so sad for him, he married into this and he WILL (and happily does) participate. But in reality, it does make me a bit sad that he doesn't find as much joy in that as we do. I don't even know how to express the importance it has in my life, and by "it" and I mean my family and celebrating anything and everything with them.

I've never actually asked him if his family celebrated birthdays throughout his childhood, but I do know that in the last 14 years we have been together, they haven't celebrated many of them. It used to make me a bit angry that they never celebrated together, however if I really think of it, I suppose I am more hurt that it is acceptable and normal in their family for much time to pass by without seeing each other. I have tried to step in and create a routine of family dinner every 3 months, however scheduling always seems to be a tricky one, so it hasn't been a successful endeavor.

Enough about that for now, let's get back to the big birthday boy! As with most one year old's, he seemed very oblivious to the reason for the party. But, he did enjoy playing with his brothers and cousins and opening gifts. When it came time for cake, he didn't know what to do with it. His oldest brother tried to help and show him, and accidentally put his hand in the cake which cause him to start crying! However, once he got a taste of that whip cream icing, he was a lot more interested in what was on his plate. It also helped when I broke the cake into smaller pieces for him. For the cake, I made this banana cake with whip cream icing. I had made a smaller one for his "smash" cake (however no smashing occurred) and a 9x13 cake for everyone else. I wasn't sure what people would think since it was a bit healthier then a normal sugar filled cake, however I got many compliments on it and I'll make it again in the future.

All in all, it was a great day. Winter birthdays are always risky here in Manitoba as driving conditions have been known to cancel many parties. But, we were blessed with sunny skies and warm temperatures. My little Charlie has turned one and I know there will be lots of changes and growing in the next year. I guarantee that this was the first birthday party of MANY that we will celebrate with him. I will be sure to smother him in love on every birthday he has until my time has come to return to the Earth.

Thanks for reading!

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