Well, it happened. My little baby girl turned one today. I am not sure that I ever really believed she would get older when she was just brand new. Part of me had to have known that, but part of me kept wishing that she'd just stay my little baby forever. She's really growing up, though.
Her birthday started nice and early, promptly at 6:00 AM when our alarm clock went off. We had to be ready to go to Wales by 7:30 AM, thus the earlier-than-usual wake-up call. After nursing for a few minutes, Rachel slipped off the bed and found a pile of ChapStick.
(We bought a big package at Costco to take to Egypt with us, and left them on our bedroom floor, along with other items we had be gathering for our preliminary suitcase packing last night.)
She was instantly in baby heaven. She loves ChapStick. She loves the stuff inside, of course, but she also just likes to play with the tubes. She picked up as many as her little hands could hold--2 or 3 in each fist--and stumbled off into the living room.
In addition to our preliminary suitcase packing, we also blew up a lot of balloons last night and left them on the living room floor. To be fair, I only blew of 4 and Andrew blew up 32!
Rachel also loves balloons. Her face went into shock when she saw all the balloons. She looked at her hands, full of ChapStick. She looked at the balloons. She stood there, bouncing up and down while deliberating her next course of action. Upon making up her mind, she threw the tubes of ChapStick behind her and ran to play in the balloons.
6:23 AM and already it was a happy birthday.
After getting home from Aunt Dorothy's, we made our final preparations for Rachel's party. We didn't think she needed a big party with friends and games since she's so little still. Further more, we felt it was important that we invite our family that lives in the area since we'll be moving...and we have a lot of family in the area. Our apartment was bursting at the seams! We wouldn't have had room for any of Rachel's friends!
Both sets of her grandparents came, both my parents and Andrew's; her uncles Patrick, David, Jacob and Todd; her aunts Sarah, Emily, Josie, and Katherine; and her cousin Kayl came; as well as her great-grandparents Heiss and Layton. That's 18 grown ups and 2 babies, including our family.
So, I know I said that we didn't plan any games, but did end up playing an impromptu version of musical chairs because we didn't have enough sitting room for everybody. Every time anyone got up to do anything, they'd come back and have to sit somewhere else: on the floor, perched on the arm of the couch, or on a freshly deserted chair.
One day we'll have a place big enough to throw a party without it feeling so cramped.
First we had cake and ice cream. Rachel's cake this year was in the shape of the number one. I've been working on it the last couple of nights after she's been in bed. It's a bit of a challenge to do things like that when she's awake... I think that it turned out nicely, even though I was half asleep wile making it! It's my first try doing a "shape cake."
Rachel needed a little help blowing out her candle this year. She was more interested in grabbing the flame than she was in blowing it out. Maybe next year she'll be able to do it alone, but this year I just did it for her. I did it on the first try, too, to prove to everyone that I could.
Grandma Sharon was kind enough to supply us with three different kinds of ice cream and some yummy lemonade! Thanks, Grandma Sharon!
After dessert we opened up Rachel's presents. She did well this year; she got a card with money from Andrew's parents, and several cute outfits from her great-grandmas (and one from us).
We also gave her some crayons and a notebook to draw in. She was really confused when she opened the notebook because there were no words or pictures inside. She kept flipping through the pages like she was looking for buried treasure. No matter how many pages she turned, there was not one illustration. Poor girl.
She got a Dr. Seuss book from Grandma Sharon, and a big book about vehicles from us. Those books had pictures in them, and that put her at ease.
Her most popular gifts, though, were the toys. Grandma Sharon bought her a baby doll and Rachel's face lit up when she saw it--she's been coveting her friends' baby dolls for quite some time. She couldn't even wait for it to get out of the box before loving it.
We got her a set of blocks in a wagon from Ikea. She saw it last night before I wrapped it and started playing with it--she was quite upset when I took it back so that I could hide it until today. The wagon got kisses as soon as it was unwrapped, still in the shrink wrap. Her favorite blocks are the little round ones with holes. She was carrying them around all evening.
Rachel had so much fun playing with her new toys and I think everyone had a fun time watching her play!
When people started leaving, though, Rachel decided she wanted to go outside as well. She ended up playing at the park with Grammy and Auntie Josie, neglecting her other guests. When Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Frank were driving away, though, they stopped by the park to say goodbye and to watch Rachel in the swing. She giggled her giggliest giggles for them, and I think that made them happy.
Happy, Happy Birthday, Rachel, dear!