“One minute he’s a baby, the next, a grown young man going to college!”
“Don’t blink… Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink.”
I’ve heard 2 out of the 3 quotes many times over the course of the last year by moms everywhere. When it started, I didn’t mind so much because Will and I were dealing with long, long, long nights with Elliott after he was born, especially when we moved back to Vienna and he was recovering from jet lag. I remember one particularly awful night trying to get Elliott to sleep instead of scream, and I honestly thought the sun would never come up again. But now that all three of us are consistently getting a good night’s rest and Elliott is off walking and stuff, all I can think is WASN’T HE BORN YESTERDAY?! Pure insanity.
I don’t know what happened, but somehow, we have a 1-year old in the house; a goofy, happy, extroverted, stubborn, hangry 1-year old. We celebrated his birthday as a family on his actual birthday, then threw him a party the following weekend. Will and I struggled for weeks to come up with a gift that we thought he would both enjoy and play with, but we only knew what to definitely not get him, that being anything that made noise. Then 4 days before his birthday, I happened to spot an ad for a used rocking horse. To quote Will, “Every kid needs a rocking horse!”, so we picked up the rocking horse the day before his birthday.
We hid the horse from him once we got it inside the house then tossed a blanket on top of it for him to pull off the next morning. Unfortunately his birthday morning didn’t go as I had imagined. I’d forgotten that he’s exactly like me in that he can’t concentrate or feel emotions other than grumpiness if he doesn’t have food in him. I should’ve known that before I sat him down in front of his blanketed present. He sat on the floor long enough to check out the sweet, pre-recorded books made by his grandparents and great-grandpa, but after that he wanted nothing to do with the giant secret object and yelled at me until I put scrambled eggs on his plate. Many moments later, Elliott finally pulled the blanket off of his new rocking horse, rocked in it for about 2 minutes, then spent the rest of his celebratory morning eating crumbs off the floor. That’s my boy!
The day following Elliott’s birthday was my baking day. Though I love planning and organizing parties, I don’t love making parties look pretty or crafty. I’m the opposite of a Pinterest Party planner. I wanted Elliott to have a fun first birthday, but I also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg and my sanity on making it unforgettable, especially when little man would forget about it 5 minutes after it was over. I do, however, love to bake, and thus decided that would be my contribution.
If you’re planning a party in the future and want to keep it simple, but also want to put notable effort into it without relying on the pizza guy down the street (though that is totally acceptable), here’s a piece of advice: Buzzfeed Food. Do it. Not exaggerating here when I say Buzzfeed Food was 90% of the available goodies at Elliott’s party. And it was good stuff! Originally I was going to order pizzas (see above), but then I found these Pizza Pinwheels. Bam! Sort-of homemade pizza! For desserts I made 3-ingredient Nutella Brownies and a No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie. I don’t like Nutella so I probably won’t make them again, at least not for myself, but that pie… Every day. Thanks Buzzfeed!
Ok, Buzzfeed shout-out over. The party was fun and relaxed as I had hoped it would be. We loved spending time with our friends and their kids and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Elliott do the same. I’m not sure how he felt about the Happy Birthday song or the candle, which he did try to touch, but he did, with great determination, destroy his cake.
One more shout-out. If you live in Vienna and need a custom-made cake for any occasion, Cafe Little Britain is where you need to go. I can’t say enough wonderful things about them as people, and their food is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. We’re still eating Elliott’s birthday cake because, well because I can’t say goodbye to it yet. It’s so stinkin’ good. Anyway, go to there!
It’s only been a little over a week since we celebrated Elliott’s 1st birthday and already I can tell a difference in him. He talks non-stop, he moves non-stop, he laughs hysterically at any and all dogs. He points to things and says “dat”. Honestly I didn’t think he’d change so much in such a short period of time. I thought he’d still very obviously be a baby despite being a year old, but I suppose that’s not so true anymore. I guess The Doctor was right.
I shouldn’t have blinked.