This is probably going to be my longest blog post ever! First, because it is documenting a very important occasion - Alex's first birthday! Second, because I took over 600 pictures at his party. I'm not proud of that. In fact, if anything, the fact that I have to take 600 pictures to get 50 that I'm happy with seals my status as a hack photographer. And finally, Alex is just so insanely cute, that it is really hard to narrow down photos of him!
I traveled to Connecticut with Jacob and Elizabeth for Alex's party. I was sad that David and Caroline were not there, but David had a trial on his schedule for a couple of weeks after the party and couldn't be sure he'd be able to leave town for the weekend, and, well, I was not feeling the courage needed to face the friendly skies alone with three kids. (And that was a smart move. I overestimated how easy it would be to fly with "just" an 8 year old and a 5 year old. I had visions of flipping through In Style magazine while the big kids snoozed or played happily with their portable electronic devices. My visions did not include flagging down the flight attendant as the plane was taxiing out to the runway to see if I could take a sobbing 5 year old (who had gone to the potty not 10 minutes earlier) to the potty. Or managing a grumpy 8 year old, who was rather vocal about the injustice of being booted from the window seat when the 5 year old was afraid to take off and wanted to sit next to me. Or SPRINTING with these two (carrying 5 bags myself because the kids are not yet able to sprint and carry bags at the same time) from gate A32 to E1 when we landed at 4:25 and our connection was scheduled to leave at 4:35. Yup, we missed you, Caroline, but I know you had fun with your daddy this weekend, and I would have needed extensive therapy afterwards if you had been flying with us).
Let's start with the cute party details.
The giraffe centerpiece:
Jungle animal table:
Diane and Sal baked and decorated these AMAZING animal cookies. They did an incredible job. I have decorated cookies before (not nearly as well as this though!) and I know what a nightmare it is. I have such talented family members!
Adorable birthday cake!
The dessert spread - yum.
Jacob and Elizabeth, party hats on and ready to go!
Okay, now let's move to the all-important first birthday cake extravaganza!
Daddy putting on the cake bib.
With his mommy, getting ready to sing happy birthday.
Blowing out the candle!!
He sees the cake. He's going in.
Not completely sure about this.
Hands off, pondering this completely new genre of food.
Yes, he likes this cake thing after all.
Alex is fully immersed in his cake by this point. Hat is off. He means business.
I know I am biased because I'm his aunt. But I have been around a lot of babies, and I have NEVER seen a happier baby than Alex. He is always smiling. I hope that Diane and Sal will consider bottling some of that happy juice that they feed this boy - I will be first in line to buy some!
Another day, another reason to clap his hands in delight!
Alex with his cousins.
We had fun watching Alex open his presents. Alex seemed to enjoy it too (although I think Alex would enjoy a lecture on the molecular structure of polypropylene pellets - there isn't much that this kid isn't happy about!)
With his two adoring Grandmas - lucky lucky boy.
Happy boy with happy mom & dad.
This was such a party highlight. Alex was in the middle of opening presents when he decided to stop what he was doing, pull up on his new Radio Flyer Walker Wagon, and go for a little walk around the house. Everybody was cheering and laughing - he put on quite a show for us! Here is is, heading back into the den after his little jaunt, quite pleased with himself. That's Grandpa P behind him!
After the party winded down, Diane and Sal took Alex outside to see one last birthday present - his new sandbox!!
Of course Jacob and Elizabeth made themselves right at home in it alongside Alex.
The one year old with Grandma C.
Getting a smooch from Grandma P.
With Grandpa P:
And with Grandpa C:
Here is the beautiful family!
I love this little cutie pie! Happy Birthday, Alex!