My favorite little boy in the whole world turned one and I’m not even sure how it happened. I remember the first year of Lena’s life went by at a snail’s pace and this little guy seems to have just rushed through the past twelve months at lightning speed. I suspect the fact that I am actually getting some sleep has a lot to do with it. When you’re awake for an entire year straight, it tends to feel a lot longer.
I had some mama guilt with this birthday as I did very little to prepare for it. In my defense, however, we had just returned from a weeklong trip to Malta and a week in Ireland a month before that. So life had been a bit busy.
Lena picked out the cake – a cheeky monkey – and from there, we had a loose circus theme going on. Animal cups, a circus tent, and loads of bunting and balloons.
Aksel wasn’t super thrilled about wearing his birthday crown that I made but I am determined to make this a tradition so he was forced to deal with it. Jason was equally unenthusiastic about wearing the birthday hats I bought but he, too, was forced to deal with it. Lucky guy. Also, that stray tooth peeking out the top gums is just about more than I can handle. Anybody want a Chiclet?
Our newly-one-year-old has also been flirting with walking and Jason captured my excited face when Aksel took a few steps. I think he could walk if he wanted to but he prefers watching me make a fool of myself when he teases me with baby steps. The sense of sarcasm is strong with this one. I think I am in for it.
Since we’d just returned home from a weeklong vacation, we had a small party with the next door neighbors. The upstairs looked like a clothing store had exploded with dirty laundry and before we left, Lena had broken a leg off the couch so it was squatting on the floor. This irked me way more than it should have but I felt like I had invited people over to a pigsty. Luckily, this group couldn’t have cared less and the kids threw all the toys everywhere within minutes of arriving so it was a moot point.
Being that Aksel was born in England, we had to honor his roots and play a game of Pass the Parcel. I’m definitely keeping this as a tradition even after we leave here as the kids love it. It’s basically like hot potato where you pass around a giant ball of wrapping paper and when the music stops, whoever has the ball opens up one layer. There’s a small gift inside each layer and you keep going until everyone has a present. We had brought home some glass butterflies from Malta for each of the girls and used that for our treat.
Then it was time for birthday cake; notice Jason restraining Aksel’s hands from grabbing the flame. The big girls nearly knocked the cake out of my hands they were so excited to help blow out the candles.
The girls also helped open presents and actually did pretty well at maintaining some composure. I could tell they wanted to rip into everything at once and the suspense was killing them. Aksel got completely spoiled with all sorts of new toys, clothes, and books. The blue journal in his hand is special to me and hopefully will be to Aksel, as well, once he’s older. On their first birthday, I’ve given each of our babies a journal that will be written in over the years. They include funny stories, hopes and dreams and different verses that we pray over the kids as they grow up. Jason and I both take turns writing in it when inspiration strikes and hopefully, when we are long gone, this will be a reminder of how much we loved them.
It still hasn’t quite sunk in that this little guy is no longer a baby. Aksel, you are an answer to your mama’s prayers in so many ways. You are an absolute joy to be around and the best little buddy to me. You have a knack for communicating with just a look or a gesture and your little smirk is going to be big trouble for me as it makes me melt. I love your open mouth kisses, your giant giggles when we go anywhere near your belly, and how you take everything in carefully before making a move. You’ve got an obsession with nipples (let’s hope that settles down a bit) and dancing to Missy Elliot or the Watoto Choir. You’re adored by your big sister and loved to pieces by your mama and daddy. Happy first birthday, Doo Doo Rod!! We love you so much.