HAPPY 1st Birthday to Hayleigh & HAPPY Father's Day!!!
Though Hayleigh's birthday officially is the 15th of June, we celebrated her birthday party on the 17th June which was (coincidentally) also Father's Day! This was not really a co-incidental plan since our weekend was dramatically over busy with work conventions and my Advanced level Photography Course. Nevertheless (with all the craziness aside), with only a subsequent small window left (Sunday afternoon) we knew that it would work out just right because when Hayleigh was born, she didn't come home from the NICU until the Sunday - which was actually Father's Day! So it was actually very appropriate that we celebrated her birthday party on the same day.
I was lucky enough to be "relieved" so to speak from my usual photographic duties for this special day. When you think about it, having spent the entire morning at an advanced level course in the Guild - was photographic enough! So, with great planning (and a best friend who stepped up to the plate) Godfather Oliver took over and managed a fully Manual DSLR with great ease for me! For a person who has never shot with a DSLR, (and in manual no less) he did a fantastic job. I only interviened to change the exposure here and there. Everything else was ALL him!
We invited our closest family and my best friends to help us celebrate miss Hayleigh's special day. It's hard to believe that a year has passed so quickly and that she is nearly as tall and talking away! She also gave herself an early birthday present and surprised us by taking her very first unassisted four steps on the 14th June, exactly a day before her first birthday! She is always full of surprises! Her vocabulary is constantly full of surprises also - as we work so diligently with Mr. Hunter, she has been reaping the rewards of our efforts and has been mimicking everything said. Her first official word (quite some time ago) was CAT. Now she says just about everything anyone says... so it's hard to keep track. She affectionately calls her big brother, "TER-TER" and on occasion actually says HUNTER. She always calls for her "GRANDPA" and "UMMA" for her beloved grandmother. She yells for her DADDA, and screams for her MOMMYYYY. She yells excitedly "CAT" every time one of our four felines roams past, and is now calling "TWIGGY" by name. She laughs and claps with delight anytime "M-ELMO" is on television (Elmo, which she does say correctly when Hunter tells (reminds) her it's ELMO) but there are still exceptions to her verbal vocab as she will still sign "milk" when she's thirsty.
My mother used to always reminisces how fast I learned to speak (especially every time someone jokes or comments at how much/often I talk) but is more amazed at how much faster miss Hayleigh is with her speech. I wonder where she gets it from?!!!
Anyhow, the day was so much fun - I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it is to watch your children enjoy their day, from eating their first piece of birthday cake, opening their first ever birthday presents, and shrieking with delight at all the new toys, books and clothes that they get. Thanks to all my family and friends for the lovely and very special gifts that Hayleigh received. I didn't forget about Hunter - I specifically bought him (what we then affectionately coined during the gift opening) the "neglected child gift". I thought ahead, since my son is infamous for exhibiting a truly pout-y jealous look and ear splitting whine (that every parent has heard I am sure). It worked like a charm, because he was amazed and ecstatic with his fully automated, light-flashing, crazy sounding CAT steering wheel (which for the record, nearly cost as much as Hayleigh's Busy Ball Popper).... Sigh (of relief). It was one of those great, well planned moments that I have to give myself a pat on the back for. Otherwise, it could have been slightly disastrous - and that would have been zero fun.
Enough talk. Here are some of the best photos from our amazing day.
|Getting ready, waiting for something to happen...|
|I know something's coming... They keep telling me to smile!|
|Boooo... How long do I have to wait?|
|I'll just take a peek in here while I wait...|
|Ah ha! I was right, people are here!|
|Now that's more like it! People my size that I can play with!|
|This is my cousin Ryan! He's more my size!|
|Hunter is hanging out with my friend Ashur! Ashur and I are only 3 weeks apart in age.|
|Mommy said it was time to open gifts!!! Ohhhhhh! This is fun! I like this part!|
|Something called a "Tickle Monster"??!! I don't know about Monsters but it looks like fun!|
|My Aunty Merlene got me make-up??!! But Mommy said I was too young for make-up?!|
|Awww Grandma! This caterpillar is soooo soft and squishy! I love her! I'll give her the best bug-hugs!|
|Hunter: Ha! I've got the best part... tissue paper! Yay me!!|
|Mommy always tells me not to rip up paper, but now she says to rip up this paper?! I'm so confused.|
|Okay, if you say so! I've got it with both hands.|
|Check me out! I'm stylin'....|
|My very own cake!|
|Blow? I'll let Mommy do all the work... She said I can make a wish though!|
|Wow... and Mommy always say's not to eat with my hands. I'll do it delicately, I don't have my bib on...|
|Ah ha!! I am now bibbed up. I will just tackle this chocolate covered strawberry first....|
|And so what?! Look at me go!!! That's what my hands were made for!!|
|I am too smart for my own good. I figured out this finger licking good thing, all by my self.|
|Check me out! I am so sweet... (I think Hunter is wondering what's up with me though).|
|My Godfather's! They love me sooo much, and I LOVE THEM!!|
|Uncle Andrew is being chased by Hunter, with Aunty Raji and Ryan in tow!|
|Ohhh look out! Here comes Hunter! He's gunna get Uncle Andrew!|
|Hey look at me! Just in time to have a few swings in the backyard before the rain comes!|
|We aren't sure what Uncle Lester is doing - so... Hey Ryan! How's it going over there?!|
|We are family!|
|Hunter is mighty strong! He's got the whole blue ball in his hands....|
|And, kudos (and kisses) to Mommy, Hunter said Mommy did a great job for baby Hayleigh!!|
An amazing day, amazing photos, amazing family, amazing kids. What else can I say?!
Thank you once again - everyone, for making it so special.