This week felt very sentimental and special. I have been thinking about the many days leading up to the twins’ birth as well as the 36 hours in the hospital before they were born. I took some time to prepare for their first birthday. It was nothing crazy, but just some small preparations to make the day feel special. Their first birthday happened to be on Thanksgiving this year which was perfect because we could celebrate with our families. Through these preparations, I realized how practical life tasks, such as making a pie from scratch or stringing a cranberry and orange garland, create opportunities and space to think and reflect. Through all of these preparations, I was able to recall and go back into my mind about life one year ago. Let me share with you what I did to prepare for this first birthday. Creating beauty and order in our home even through the celebrations is important.
As we get closer to the Christmas season I was thinking of making some decorations for our home. I made a few things that I would be able to use after their birthday as well.
Dried Orange Slice and Cranberry Garland
I’ve always wanted to make dried orange slices. I decided to make an orange slice, cranberry, and tassel garland for their birthday party. The look of dried orange slices is so elegant and I knew it was something I could make with what I had on hand.
Then I used an old linen blouse of mine that was too small and also tearing at the seems to make some tassels for the garland. I used the fabric to cut out a number one. Then I stitched it onto a small banner made out of a flour sackcloth towel.
I attached the small number one banner on the center of some twine, then I strung on three cranberries, a dried orange slice, and a linen tassel. It turned out lovely and I thought it elevated the celebration just a little bit without spending any extra money.
The Smash Pies
Probably my favorite thing to create for their birthday was their berry smash pies. With the first birthday tradition of a smash cake, I had to put a twist on it since we had a Thanksgiving birthday. To my husband and I’s surprise, they both ate their entire pies.
I made a triple berry pie on a sourdough pie crust with a lattice top. I used some tart pans that I had on hand which made the perfect personal-size pies. It was a labor of love because after I baked them, when I was taking them off of the pan to cool, one of them flipped over and broke. Luckily I had some extra crust but I had to remake some filling. All in all, I thought the second version turned out better than the first. They were a smash!
As with any first birthday, the child likely won’t remember what gifts they received. We kept it pretty simple. I wrapped up some books that were already on our bookshelf, just as another thing to unwrap. We got them the EzPz Mini Cup and Straw Training System. I thought this would be good to have water while we were out and about. Also, learning to drink from a straw is a skill that they are ready to start working on. We will continue open-cup drinking as well.
I got them a chunky wooden knobbed puzzle. I got this one with three shapes in the primary colors. They have enjoyed removing the puzzle pieces and exploring with them. They don’t currently return the shapes into their frame but they will get there.
The last gift that we got them was the Fat Brain Spoolz. These are fun to stack and knockdown. They also roll down our fun ramp structure.
A gift that I was excited that they received was their Radio Flyer Walker Wagon. This was a gift from my parents to them and it is just perfect for twins. I like that the sides can be removed to allow independence getting into and out of the wagon. They have been having so much fun with this wagon and will for years to come!
There is something about a birthday morning that just feels different than any other morning. I filled their Radio Flyer Wagon with their presents and we had a slow (and early) start to our morning. The morning started by nursing them in their room, then we had some family cuddles in our big bed and then headed downstairs for some presents.
I made a special breakfast of buttermilk sourdough pancakes which were loved by all. We spent some time getting last-minute things ready for our family Thanksgiving meal at my in-laws and the boys took a good morning nap. In my family growing up, birthdays were always a very special day. Even though they won’t remember this day, we will be able to look back at photos and videos and remember the care and preparations that were done to recognize this special day.
The First Birthday Celebrations
Since Thanksgiving and their first birthday were on the same day made for the perfect birthday party! The boys were surrounded by their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
There were gifts, great food, and best of all their smash pies at their Montessori weaning table. It was so fun to watch them enjoy their entire pies.