Monday, August 6, 2012

Noah's First Birthday Week

I think Noah had a pretty fantastic first Birthday Week.  In fact, I'm a little nervous that we won't be able to match this kind of fun and excitement in the future.  Every birthday from here on out might be a disappointment for him.

The fun began on Wednesday morning (his actual birthday) when Aunt Sarah invited us to go to the Pancake House with her and her kids to indulge in some chocolate chip pancakes.  It was close to Noah's naptime already, so I almost said no, but then I thought, "What the heck?  You only turn one once!"  I told Sarah that we needed to hustle to the restaurant (instead of taking our usual two hours to get somewhere), so we decided that we'd all go in our pajamas.  Sarah's son, Callum, is a rather particular three-year old, and he generally doesn't like to be seen in public in his pjs (it's kind of hilarious), but he made an exception for Noah's birthday.  He said to Sarah, "I think the people want to see me in my pajamas eating pancakes with Baby Noah." Thatta boy, Cal!  Noah, on the other hand, didn't seem a bit bothered that "the people" saw him in his tight, thigh-showcasing pjs!

When the pancakes arrived, Noah couldn't wait to dive in.  We watched in amazement as he finished not one but two huge pancakes.  He is quite the chunker.

"I'll take this."
"Is this candle edible?"
"Lay off me, I'm starving!!"  (Chris Farley, anyone?)
"Don't even try to snitch a piece, Mom.  These are MINE!"
"I am so happy right now."
I was glad Noah got to have a chocolate feast on his birthday because we weren't planning to eat cake until the weekend, and it seems like a shame not to have something delicious on your actual birthday.  He definitely indulged in those pancakes and seemed very satisfied by his birthday treat.

The rest of the day was fairly non-eventful.  We ran lots of errands, and I couldn't resist forcing Noah to wear his birthday crown everywhere we went...the post office, the drug store, and the grocery store.  He caused quite a stir.  The minute I pulled him out of the car at the grocery store, a guy shouted, "It's the Birthday King!"  Then walking into the store, another guy said, "Hey, little buddy!  I'm August 1st too!  Give me a high five!" I asked him where his birthday crown was, and he laughed and said he was on his way to get one.  Everywhere we went all day, people smiled at Noah.  I loved it.  I love when people are happy.

We hit a snag in our plans for the day during our errand to the grocery store.  I had stopped there to pick up some balloons, and I accidentally locked my keys in the car.  I called my apartment complex management, and they agreed to let me in to my apartment, but I had no way to get there other than walk.  Fortunately, the store is only about 1/2 mile from our house, so I hefted Chubby Noah onto my hip, tied our seven balloons to his wrist, and started the trek home.  Hauling that 25-pound cutie home is actually one of my favorite memories from the day.  It was windy and the balloons were blowing like crazy behind us, and Noah was giggling in glee.  I just kept squeezing him tight and thinking how lucky I am to have him.  It started to lightly rain while we were walking, and it was perfect.  I love rain, and I love Noah, and I love balloons, and I love birthdays.  Such a great memory.

That evening, we used our seven balloons for a new family tradition.  I've heard of people doing "balloon releases" on birthdays, and I think it's a really cool idea.  It was easy: we handed Noah a balloon and let him play with it and walk around with it, and when he let it go, we made a wish for the coming year and watched the balloon drift away.  We made some wishes for him and some wishes for his birthparents.  We are going to keep doing this with him throughout his life.

After that busy and fun day, Noah fell right to sleep and Ryan and I lay in bed talking about how awesome Noah is and what a year it has been for our family.

The celebration continued on Thursday when Ryan's mom and his little brother arrived for the weekend.  Of course, Grandma came bearing gifts and lots of hugs and kisses, and Uncle Tanner came with lots of energy to play.  Noah was in heaven!  It was very very fun to have them here, and, with Noah's birthday on August 1st and Ryan's on August 6th, I hope it can become somewhat of a birthday tradition to be with family during the first weekend of this month.  More on what we did with the Nielsons and how we celebrated Ryan's 30th birthday in another post.  For now, back to the Birthday King...

We were having a little family birthday party for Noah on Saturday, and I wanted to make a fancy cake for the occasion.  This is really not like me at all (remember, I don't make things), but Noah's birthmom Katie is a fabulous baker and cake decorator, and I want it to be a fun tradition to honor her every year by attempting to make Noah a fun cake.  I found a photo of what I wanted online, and then I asked Katie for advice and encouragement. :)  She sent me her amazing buttercream frosting recipe and said she was sending lots of cake decorating vibes my way.  It must have worked because the cake turned out really cute, if I do say so myself.

It was definitely a team effort, and I didn't contribute much by way of artistic skills.  I baked the cakes and made the frosting; Ryan made the ark and animals out of fondant.  I did make the fondant rainbow, so that's something.  Sally helped us every step of the way, and she assembled and frosted the cake at the end.  She made everything come together perfectly.  If I would've frosted this cake, the blue frosting would've been smeared with chocolate cake crumbs.  Thank goodness for Grandma!

Other attendees of the party were: Mom and Dad, Bapa, Granny and Grampy, Uncle Tanner, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Logan, Callum, and Jade.

I love the kids' expressions in this photo.  Hilarious.
It was a very low-key party.  Noah was tired and a little cranky, but we watched him open a few presents (he got some toy cars from Callum first, which cheered him right up), then we sang Happy Birthday to him (he looked horrified by all of the attention and almost burst into tears), and finally,  we watched him mangle his lovely cake (oh the joy of turning one!). :)


A bite for Mommy...
but none for Bapa!

I really feel like it was a perfect week.  We had just the right amount of contemplative time and party time.  We are so grateful for our little Snuggle Bug and don't know what we would do without him.

I hope you enjoyed your birthday week, Noah, and I promise to try to make next year's birthday just as memorable!  Love you!!


  1. In the second picture of him (the "I'll take this." picture), I think Noah looks so much like Katie.

    What a fun birthday week! Good job on the cake!

  2. That looks like so much fun!!! I am so sad that I missed it. :(

    Um, that cake is incredible. What the heck?!? I had absolutely no faith in you when you showed me those pictures, but you proved me wrong.


  3. You have a 1 year old! Whoo hoo! Happy Birthday Noah Nugget. I am also impressed with the cake

  4. Good news!!!!! He is ONE and won't remember a full week of celebrations, so you can just do one day in the future and it will be just as exciting! :) Love that fatso. And now I'm craving that frosting. MMMMMM......

  5. Can't believe it has been a year! Noah is adorable, wishing your family the best!

  6. Good one Rachel and Ryan! I feel full and happy just looking at the pictures of the fabulous birthday week of the Amazing Noah, one year old.
    Paul and Rosalia


I love hearing from you!! Thanks for the comment!