Happy birthday, Nathan!
Okay, I'm going to be totally sappy for a second, but my goodness... I love this child more than I thought it would be possible to love anything.
These past two years have flown by quicker than any time in my life. I don't know if it's because my age, the sleep deprivation, or because the absolute delight being Nathan's mama has been. I feel so blessed to have this little man in my life. He's so cute, charming and smart. His huge blue eyes and shock of blonde hair make him stand out in Chicago. Everyone falls in love with his cheeks that slim down a little more every day. He manages to charm people who claim they don't like other people's children. And I know... I know! ... all parents think their kids are smart. This kid --- I'm not saying he's a genius, but he's quick. He knows all of his letters (on sight), he counts to fourteen and sometimes twenty, he knows about four colors, he knows many of his shapes. We're constantly being surprised at what he knows. And also, we're a little disappointed that we can't take credit for most of it. All of this is to say, I can't wait to see what this year brings!
A week or so ago, we had a small birthday party for Nathan at my parents' house. Two of his four cousins showed (one gave him the stomach flu) and many of his older relatives. People with very little were extremely generous to him. He particularly loved playing with Grandma and "Baca" while there... especially putting that buck on Grandma's head.
This weekend, we had a small birthday party for him with my in-laws (Ti-Dah and Nana) and some of my friends and their little girls. Everyone made jokes about Nathan and his harem, which isn't that far from the truth.
The Targo and I didn't want to spend a lot on a 2 year old birthday, so we picked a theme that would make it easy. We decided to have a "cooking party." We got all the littles aprons, chef hats, rolling pins and wooden spoons. We provide stickers, crayons and markers to decorate the hats and aprons. I also made coloring books with each of the kids' names and toddler-friendly recipes inside.
After all the coloring was done, we pulled out the big guns --- the cupcakes! We gave each of the kids a spoon and offered M&Ms, sprinkles, crushed cookies, and chocolate chips to decorate the cupcakes. Four 2 year olds found this fabulous!
We totally forgot to put the candle on Nathan's cupcake and light it. So I gave it to him so that we could get a picture. He took a bite out of it and discovered that wax doesn't taste all that great.
We finished up the weekend by taking him to get studio portraits yesterday - an absolute nightmare. He just wasn't "having it." He didn't want to sit, he didn't want to stand still. The Targo, the photographer, and I were all getting frustrated, which made things much worse. So, we cut our losses and selected three or four different poses and went to have dinner with Ti-Dah and Nana.
I learned that for a two year old, running around with a bucket on your head is all that you need to have a great birthday.