this last week was the culmination of it all, starting on sunday, the 20th. we celebrated nolan's first birthday (a couple of days early) with family and friends at the park. after two days of stormy, rainy weather, the clouds parted and we had a beautiful, slightly warm day filled with so much love. up to this point, we have been very careful and conscious of what foods he eats. we figure, he has years and years later in life to eat whatever junk he wants and we hope that if we start him out with a good, healthy, varied and balanced diet that it will lay a foundation for healthy eating habits for life. i didn't want to throw all that out just because it was his birthday. so, i decided that i would make his cake. i found a recipe on the website wholesomebabyfood.com (http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/tipFirstBDay.htm) and made a cake of molasses, applesauce, flour and spices, whipped up a modified cream cheese frosting (cream cheese, agave nectar and a tiny bit of maple syrup) and topped it with sliced kiwi. i made one for the other little ones too! he had such a fun time playing with his buddies on the giant assembled blanket, munching on fruit and puffs and shocked me by how much he enjoyed 35 people singing "happy birthday" to him! he even clapped after they finished! he was absolutely amazing throughout the whole thing staying awake long beyond nap time. on the mile drive home, it took him a mere two blocks to fall asleep. :)
playing solo before his guests arrived
splash, splash, splash
baby's custom cake :)
"yay, thanks for singing to me!"
sleepy boy...so tired after his big day!
two days later, on his actual bday, the three of us went to the la zoo. he fell asleep after an hour or so, missing all the cool (awake) animals, so after he woke up and we finished the loop o' animals, we doubled-back to the gorillas, lions, giraffes, elephants and chimps so he could see them too! it has been more than 10 years since i was last at a zoo. parts of it were SO cool, but there is something slightly disconcerting about all those amazing animals in such small quarters. and some of them without a buddy to play with! :( but, sad-face aside, it was really cool. most of the animals were so close to us! not really sure how safe that is, but i suppose they have it all worked out. the other interesting thing to me was what a totally different experience it was than going to the oregon zoo; different animals, different feel completely. each has their own pros, i guess, but i think i prefer the oregon zoo. i am, however, looking forward to seeing what the san diego zoo is all about. of all the animals, the chimps and gorillas were my favorite. it was so neat to watch them interact. hard to argue with the theory of evolution, i gotta say.
nolan's special bday breakfast: egg yolk face, cheddar cheese hair, grape eyes, puff nose and a peach mouth :)
la zoo...here we come!
checking out the alligator
stinky, stinky flamingos
tortoise so close i literally could have touched him
bored, lonely monkey
a little chimp lovin'
"i love the zoo!"
papa gorilla posing for baby nolan
"woah, ma did you see that thing?"
checking out the elephant from dad's shoulders
the end of the day...
two more days later, it was anthony's 30th! i bugged him and bugged him about what he wanted to do for his bday, but he assured me time and again that he just wanted to lay low. so, that is just what we did. nolan was up at 6:00 and he and i headed to the grocery store at 7:30 to shop for the big day. we came home and made the pioneer woman's migas (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/09/ree-drummond-migas/) and they were delicious. nolan took a nap. we went for a family walk down to get coffee and an old fashion donut, ran into a couple of friends, returned home, another friend came over to visit for a bit, then i cooked the rest of the day/evening. we had fried chicken (from pioneer woman's cookbook), red "smashed" potatoes (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/?s=smashed+potatoes&submit=) that i felt i needed to add cheddar cheese to (a great decision), sauteed green beans, and wedge salads for dinner and i made pots de creme (http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/?s=pots+de+creme&submit=) with amaretto for dessert, but we didn't eat it until the next day (thank goodness for the pioneer woman as i used four of her recipes in one day)! nolan had a super-rough bedtime (not ideal when trying to fry chicken for your hubby's bday) and we didn't eat until 8:00ish (though i prepped some earlier in the afternoon and started cooking at 3:30) and the whole dinner thing was a bit of an ordeal (similar to my bday...) but yummy. we vowed that next year, we will go out for both of our birthdays. :)
the next day (yesterday), we had our friend michael (nolan's godfather) over for dinner. well, kind of. he brought us dinner. delicious, delicious korean food (homemade by his mama!) to celebrate his bday (feb. 18th), my bday (5th) and anthony's (24th). he even gave me a tutorial on my new iphone. nice.
tomorrow, the bday business continues. we are heading out to san bernardino for the day to visit anthony's grandparents (who unfortunately were ill and unable to make it to nolan's party) and to celebrate all our bdays plus anthony's mom's bday (feb. 25th!).