As it happened, August 7th marked the second anniversary of my dear little one's birth. And since the occasion warranted it... we celebrated.
We celebrated by waking up a tiny bit early, tip-toeing into his room, and singing him awake with Happy Birthday. It took a few minutes for him to wipe the sand from his eyes, but once he did I think the reality of his birthday set in. Either that, or my incessantly saying "Elijah today is your birthday! You're the big birthday boy! You're two! Yay!" finally got his attention and he perked up. If for no other reason than to figure out why in the world his Momma was so uncharacteristically cheerful at that early hour.
The night before I had decorated the kitchen with banners, balloons, streamers, a centerpiece, cards, and colorfully packaged gifts. After picking out his firetruck shirt to wear and enduring the dreadful ordeal of getting dressed, he made his way downstairs to discover what I had prepared. His reaction was just what I had hoped... total surprise and delight!
Wearing the special crown I made for him out of bright orange cardstock, frog stickers, and puffy green stars, he gasped when he first saw the room, squealing out "Ahh, Birthday!".
That ideal moment was followed, of course, by his running over to the balloons and ripping them off the wall. For the remainder of the morning he would not let them more than a half inch from his reach at any given time.
I decided that after the stinky week I had that Elijah really needed some Birthday doughnut holes from Doughnut Bank. So off we went to share a special treat and a cup of very bold coffee. Well, not the coffee part, he had milk. Naturally the Birthday boy crown never left his head, so he got plenty of 'oh how cute' comments while we were there too, which didn't hurt his ego any. Even at this age, the boy knows how to flirt with the ladies.
After breakfast I regretfully had to drop him off so I could cover my dad's office. Receiving dozens of kisses about his face and neck from his Momma, Elijah skipped up to the door of my Grandma's house ready for a fun day. We said our goodbyes, many Happy Birthdays, I'm sorry I can't spend the day with you, I'll miss you while I'm gone, etc. And off I went to work while he spent the day riding Lucky, his new bouncy horse that Grandma Theresa gave him.
I left the office early to pick him up so that we could make our way to the airport to retrieve our relatives just in from California. It turned out to be a happy Birthday surprise for him that he got to see his *"Dama Dorla", "Dampa Mae-you", "Aunt Bob", and cousin "Silly" Sam! (*translated: Grandma Gloria, Grandpa Manuel, Aunt Barb, and cousin Samantha)
Elijah helped with the luggage.
As soon as we got home, unloaded the luggage, and got them settled a bit we went to eat a Birthday dinner at Los Bravos (our FAVE Mexican place!).
Where we enjoyed a yummy meal.
a big sombrero,
and an ice cream sundae!
After dinner we headed home for family photos,
His gifts from Manny and me included a beginner wooden train set (which he is crazy about!), a big red tractor, a set of bathtub letters, and a train puzzle with pegs you can stack (which he also loves!). I'm pretty sure his absolute favorite gift is the one my grandparents bought him -- an old-fashioned bouncy horse named Lucky. You ought to see the boy ride! He's a real cowboy. Just ask him! :)
And by 9:30 (nearly two hours past his bedtime) our birthday boy was beyond exhausted, but went to bed that night with a full belly and a very full heart. As I rocked him and told him again about all the fun he had, I reminded him over and over how very much I love him and how blessed I am to be his Momma. We had our usual nighttime routine of singing, saying our prayers, and talking about what we did that day but I wasn't ready to put his sleepy body down just yet. So I thought it fitting that I sing him Happy Birthday until he drifted off to dream of sweet little boy dreams. And just like I did when he was new, I rocked him and sang to him until his heavy lids closed and he nuzzled his little cheek into my chest. I kissed his long eyelashes and unwrapped his chubby fingers from mine as I laid him down and tip-toed from his room.
And that is how my little boy turned two.