Celebrating Rupert’s first birthday has left me feeling extremely emotional. It was something that once felt so far away and then suddenly the day had arrived last Friday. Where did that year go? It seems that life moves so much quicker once you have children. Something that I pondered with my Father not long ago, he summed it up perfectly. Children give you something to judge time by as they grow. For us adults being a year older is simply being a year older, for children its so much more, especially these early years as they change so much as they grow and hit new milestones.
When it came to Rupert’s birthday celebrations, I was adamant that lockdown was not going to get in the way of us celebrating his first birthday with him in style. Therefore I set myself a challenge of getting creative in the way we would celebrate the day together.
I wanted the day to be stand out and be different to just another day spent in lockdown.
Even though Rupert may not remember how we celebrated his first birthday, we will and in the end it turned out to be pretty special.
Rupert lives in the moment, a gift he has been teaching me to do more of over this last year, as such I wanted to make every moment of his special day count and be full of wonder and awe.
The day started with a slow breakfast, followed by a visit to the horses (Nanny Neighs). Once the stables and horses were done, we took the dogs for a quick wizz up the fields, sloshing through the mud as we walked. Rupert took a great interest in touching trees and branches as we passed them. I slowed down and let him enjoy this rather than rush by thinking of all the other things that needed to be done. I bent down and picked up a couple of little sticks for him to keep him amused as we went along on our way. Bunter thought this was great fun and assumed that Rupert was getting ready to throw the sticks for him!
Horses done and dogs walked, it was back home to setup for Rupert’s lockdown party!
I really wanted to make the day as wonderful as possible, and somehow make up for lack of loved ones who could not be with us in person to help celebrate our beautiful and happy boys first birthday with him.
To make things a little different for Rupert, and to get us out of the house, I’d asked Chris is we could use his office for the day. Chris did all the donkey work lugging things down the garden, then while Chris gave Rupert his lunch, and dressed him for his party I ran down the garden to set things up.
I asked our lovely local florist, who also did our wedding flowers if she could supply a number one made out of flowers and some foliage for decoration.
I strung fairy lights over a pallet and pegged a photo of Rupert for each month leading up to his first birthday to remind us just how far he has come.
Arriving for his party, (late I might add, after taking his time getting dressed) Rupert decided he could do a better job on the table decor than I had, and as such went to town on rearranging the foliage I had set out.
Once satisfied with the new display, it was time to have a quick rest before welcoming his guests via Zoom!
We invite loved ones, who once a semblance of normality has been restored will play an important role in Rupert’s life not just on screen, to join us via Zoom to sing Happy Birthday and watch Rupert enjoy his cake. Unfortunately despite being up until midnight the night before, and two cakes later (one went rather wrong) I had not managed to finish his cake in time for the call, but he did get happy birthday sung to him anyway. It was so lovely to see a screen full of happy faces all there to wish Rupert a happy birthday and watch him open a few cards and presents.
After our Zoom call, the three of us played together with some of his new toys and ate finger food, which consisted mainly of raw veg, yummy hey?!
When Rupert tired we took him back up to the house for his nap and Chris and I sat and had a cup of tea together. The day really tired him out and we almost had to wake him for his supper.
To spoil him even more, I made us a supper of pancakes which we took back down to the party den! Although Rupert can now technically eat all the same foods as us, I want to keep him off of refined sugars etc longer and made him a batch of pancakes from the wean in 15 recipe book using his all his favourite fruits.
Thankfully during his nap I also got to finish his birthday cake and he got to enjoy this all to himself. It may not look like much but it actually tasted quite nice and Rupert thoroughly enjoyed it!
I made the cake using a batter of oat flour, butter, eggs, maple syrup and chai seeds. For the frosting and filling I used yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla extract. And topped with blueberries.
At first Rupert was not sure what he was supposed to do with the cake but once he did, he tucked in and it got messy!
He had us in stitches at one point as he ate his cake, he turned to the side and started to giggle to himself (a new giggle) which sounded much like Mutley.
The day was full of laughter, love, smiles and cuddles and really isn’t that all that matters?