Last week, our dear little Grace turned one. She’s been growing so fast, sometimes it feels like she is already well past the one-year old mark.
At first when I first started thinking and planning what to do for her birthday celebrations several weeks ago, I thought we were going to throw the usual big one-year-old birthday bash with the whole shenanigan. I even made a start on the washi tape party invitations which I had pinned months ago.
But after an honest evaluation of the situation, I realised that all I really wanted was simply for our family to be together. I very much wanted to make a big fuss over the birthday girl and prepare up a really special celebratory meal for her, but not necessarily for ten to twenty other people.
So after much consideration, I decided to make Grace’s birthday party a really exclusive one, so I could dedicate all my energy into making it special just for her, instead of wearing myself out trying to impress a big crowd. After all, this is her very first birthday in this world, and I really wanted to BE there and enjoy wholeheartedly it with her.
And because of that, we were able to have not one but TWO little celebrations for her…
For celebration number one, we had it during the week with a couple of our regular little friends who attend our family day care. I made a rainbow pikelet ‘cake’ for morning tea for everyone to enjoy and celebrate together.
This picture below is actually a really funny moment. I had sat Grace down on one of the regular kiddie chairs so she could be on the same level as everyone for the singing and candle blowing. As expected, she immediately reached out to try and touch her cake. So I instinctively pulled it away out of reach and she started bawling her head off (she can get a tad bit melodramatic at times). I quickly said to her big brother, “Nathan, quick, do something to make Grace laugh”. He then pulled his finger out and did their special ‘secret handshake’ thing which is to touch their forefingers together in E.T. style and go ‘teeeeeet!’ and I quickly snapped this picture. It turned out really funny because she was still in half-teary mode, adamantly trying hard not to laugh, but couldn’t help letting a chuckle out anyway. That’s why her expression here looks sort of half-teary, half-laughing. *LOL*. Sigh. Dear little Grace.
Then over the weekend, we had an official family celebration together. I decided to prepare a traditional Chinese birthday meal for Grace which includes ‘Longevity Noodles’ and red eggs. The long strands of noodles signify long life, while eggs symbolise birth or a new start. The red colour of the eggs signify prosperity and good fortune in Chinese culture.
They say when eating longevity noodles, one must not break them with chopsticks or bite them off with teeth, but instead try and keep the whole strand intact until inside the mouth before chewing on them. Definitely not an easy task.
Here is Grace, enjoying her taste of longevity noodles. The last picture is just a silly moment she was having with her daddy trying to feed her the noodles. A very apt glimpse into her cheeky personality.
For the eggs, I put a special twist on them by making them into ‘Surprise Jelly Eggs’. It took some work to collect the eggs over a couple of weeks. Instead of cracking eggs, I meticulously punctured a small opening on top with a chopstick, emptied out the egg, gave it a good rinse and set them aside to dry. Then when I was ready to prepare the jelly, I boiled the jelly mixture and used a syringe to insert the liquid into each egg shell.
Here is Grace, curiously exploring her surprise jelly egg… It was her first encounter and taste of jelly.
And finally of course, what birthday celebration would be complete without cake, and the ceremonial singing, hip-hip-hooraying, and candle-blowing.
So, Grace, even if your first birthday celebration was small and exclusive, it was no less special and definitely filled with plenty of love.
Happy birthday, dear Grace!
Linking up to Jess for IBOT