Nathan’s 1st Birthday

Yesterday, the 21st of February, was Nathan’s first birthday. To think that it is already a year since he was born is quite hard to grasp for me as it feels like it just happened few weeks ago. So what do you do when a kid turns one year? My wife got all the answers!

Really, in case the birthday party had been planned by me we would just go out eating with the family  but of course that is not enough for her. My wife had big plans, very big plans for this birthday of Nathan including several cakes and more than enough guests at our home.

Nathan looking forward to the start of the party


First of all lets talk about the guests. Naturally my parents were invited and my brother with his girlfriend. To bring some more children to this birthday my wife invited my cousin and her husband together with their four children. Last but not least some people from her German language course were invited with one having a baby girl just one week older than Nathan. (however she is already able to walk for three months now while Nathan just did his first steps without support few hours ago!)

Now to the food. That was some rather intense topic as we had to drive to several shops to get all the right stuff. I offered my wife to go alone and buy everything so she can prepare more at home for the party but this didn’t work out. Why you may ask, well, I would need  a grocery list  but my wife just said “I don’t know what we need, I will know when I see it.” Great planning there! As we had already more than enough to do preparing everything for the celebration my mother got the task to prepare two cakes and my brother’s girlfriend has to create the real birthday cake for Nathan.

My brother with his three cousins twice removed and our rabbits


One might think that there just has to go something wrong because at least when I plan something like this there is always something which gets messed up. But big surprise, nothing went wrong at all. All the food was ready just in time when the first guests arrived. Furthermore all the guests were coming at the right time, something I have never experienced before as there was usually always someone who was very late or had suddenly other plans. Perhaps Nathan is cute enough so people don’t want to miss his birthday and of course free food? Or am I just used to the daily craziness in this family so I always expect the worst to happen?

After the main meal was done my wife brought the birthday cake to Nathan. The little one got a birthday song by all of us and then he was allowed to get closer to the cake.  As he is still a bit too young to blow out the candles his second cousin Paul had to do it for him. After this my wife had a little game planned for Nathan. We placed several items in front of him such as a sports medal, pen, calculator and so forth and then we set him lose on those items. The idea behind it was that the item he grabbed first would be then his “future” profession. As he grabbed the pen my wife believes that he will be an author later. It seems me trying to read to him “The Hobbit” has already paid off.

The kids chosing their snacks
The kids chosing their snacks

From here onwards more eating continued, more noise by all the children, drinks were spilled and the trash mountain in the kitchen grew taller and taller. In between we opened the presents for Nathan and he was allowed to try out each one of them…with his mouth. He just still loves to try to eat everything he can grab such as his favorite chewing toy: The Glass Table!

Now its been already a day since the birthday party and we are still exhausted. To have so many children over and prepare this kind of birthday party is certainly draining your battery quickly. However something exciting happened today and that is all about Nathan doing his first steps on his own. So now I will leave the blog post as it is and try to videotape him testing his walking skills.


How are your experiences from birthday parties, your own and those of your children, or even grandchildren?

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55 thoughts on “Nathan’s 1st Birthday”

  1. I love your wife’s style and the cake is gorgeous! I didn’t know you have the same grabbing game, when I was a kid I grabbed the wallet – didn’t really turned out that well 😀 and congrats to the cutie pie for his first steps, you two must be so happy! 🙂
    happy birthday to little Nathan, can believe he’s already one year old!

    1. I actually didn’t know about the game until my wife started talking about it. So I do not know whether it is comon here or not 🙂

      Yeah, now the little demon will get around even quicker, was already hard enough to keep track on him when crawling

    1. I don’t remember my first birthday, but I do remember many of the others. I would invite many of my classmates but normally the party would be in a cafe kind of venue because there were too many people to fit at home. We would eat a lot of orange color cheetos and pee orange that night. We would dip potato chips in coca cola and then eat them. We would eat small sandwiches made with sweet bread. Oh, that was the good life, haha.

      1. I do not remember my first birthday as well but during the few others I had usually few friends over at my place to eat pancakes and so on 🙂
        Sometimes we would go to the movies, other times to the local swimming pool and in the very end we had LAN-Parties!

  2. First birthdays are always fun to celebrate, now try doing it every single year! Haha..I only had one big birthday party when young and then never again. But happy birthday to Nathan! May he grow up strong, healthy and happy! And congrats on the first steps to independence! Now you have to brace yourselves to start running after him..haha..😄

      1. Haha…maybe mine was because of all the relatives that we had to invite. But oh well, look forward to more birthdays to celebrate…😄

  3. Aw, baby party. How cute.

    Congratulations on making it through the first year year of parenting!

    Ah, kid’s birthday parties. They rarely went as planned for me.

    Best of luck to the next year, and the years after that…

    1. I do hope my wife has less ambitions for the upcoming birthdays, just too much work. We barely managed to clean up everything up till now and the leftover food…doesnt look so delicious anymore

  4. Oh my gosh! He’s one already? :p wow… time does fly lol. I know I have only been following your blog for a short time, but a year is quite a big deal! He’s soooooo darn cute!

    My parents always tell me the story of placing different items in front of me! Apparently, I chose money and a dictionary. LOL I guess in the long run being an English and Linguistics major will pay off!

    As for kid’s birthday parties, I don’t think much planning is needed :P. My parents always used to just put something together last minute and I was always happy. In all honesty, I was more concerned about my gifts than anything 😛

    1. Yes, time really does fly quickly.
      As for preparing the birthday party…you should have seen my wife. First finding stores selling those decorations and then selecting over several days what kind of theme would be best suitable and what items to buy and and and. Trust me, I am able to decide on what car to buy quicker than she is doing the birthday planning. 🙂

      1. Haha, it seems some mothers are like that 😛 My parents are the more ‘let’s wing it’ kind of people 😛 I would probably be planning my child’s first birthday as soon as I found out what gender they were 😛 so i cannot judge or blame her 😉

  5. What an awesome cake – the cutest cake ever!! And it sounds like Nathan had a wonderful birthday. I just love how the table was decorated in the first picture!

    I guess Nathan wanted to be one before he took his first few steps. Exciting times at your house this weekend.

      1. I am sure she was really excited to decorate for his birthday. Women usually care about the décor and the details than men. And tell your wife that she did such a good job that the first pic would make a perfect pinterest photo. 🙂

  6. Awwww! Congratulations and Happy Birthday Nathan! He’s SO adorable! I’m so happy all went well. That cake is beautiful. I hope it was as delicious as it looks. Here, it is hard to make a good birthday party, as you may have already guessed. Raelynn gets one at school though so that makes it a lot easier for us. Our house is very small and if we invited even 2 families we know, it would be too crowded in here. It’s hard to go elsewhere for a party since it’s still cold out for her birthday so that rules out parks and children play places can often be dirty, crowded or expensive. I cannot wait to have parties for Raelynn and Seoul in the US. Also, finding good toys for gifts here is sooooooooooo hard.

    Oh and now that Nathan is walking, get ready to never rest. He will get into EVERYTHING. Make sure you’ve baby-proofed well! Good luck!

    1. I realized that it is hard to come by good stuff for children in China. When my wife was pregnant we were for a few weeks there and found mostly pretty bad stuff in the stores. At least in Finland and Germany you find in any supermarket good toys and clothes for children 🙂

      I am already fearing that the never rest will start. It is already stressful enough to run everywhere when he is crawling. Usually we know something bad is going on when we don’t hear him…then usually he found something to play with which he shouldnt!

      1. Seoul is getting ready to crawl so we’re about to get crazy up in here ourselves. Not that Raelynn doesn’t already drive us insane. She drew all over our walls a couple weeks ago while I was busy putting Seoul down for a nap. She’s a naughty one. I should have known because she was so quiet. Usually, I have to pop my head out of the room and give her a stern look because she’s jumping or shouting or something. So you are very right – when children are quiet, they are up to no good, rotten things.

        Also, I saw you mention about how the 1st birthday party is more for the parents than the baby….very true! Did you ever see the comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s bit about how your first birthday party and your last birthday party are a lot alike? I believe they used it as an opening to one of the episodes of Seinfeld. Anyway, it’s hilarious and spot-on.

      2. I never really watched Seinfeld, just didn’t get into it 🙂

        When Nathan is making noise it’s annoying but we know where he is but as soon as it gets silent, oh no, terrible things are bound to happen!

  7. Happy Birthday to Nathan. That looked like quite a party, what with the massive carrot cake and all of his friends there. He doesn’t look overly excited or overly bored from the photos, though; must have been wondering what the fuss is all about 🙂 Although drinks were spilled, it does sound like the party was pretty tame. I am surprised no one attacked you when you were opening the presents!

    I’ve stopped celebrating my birthday a long time ago. Didn’t see what the fuss is all about, and it’s not an age thing. Just another day for me. Though if someone wants to buy me a slice of cake on that day, hey, why not. I love cake 😀

    1. I am pretty bad catching the right moment with the camera. Nathan was actually rather excited as there were so many people around. Also the little girl who is only one week older than him fed him some cookies 😀

      I also stopped celebrating my birthday long time ago. The last one I did was my 18th and it was an LAN-Party with few friends…before that I already didn’t celebrate for several years

      1. If I ever get to hang out with you and your family, rest assured you will get many, many photos of you and Nathan…I just love taking photos 😀 Cookies. Great choice of food for a birthday party, or another party. Always tasty.

        Hope you still eat cake since you don’t celebrate your birthday. I love cake but rarely eat it.

      2. Sunday cake. Lucky you, Crazy. I hope you get to eat fluffy and soft cake all the time. Have an extra slice for me next time you sit down for cake 🙂

        All the more reason why I should hang out with you and your family someday. It will take you days to sort out all the photos I take of you…yes, you… 😀

      3. Oh well, someday we plan to to visit Australia but when that day it, we do not know. For us it is already a challenge to visit Japan which we planned now for several years!
        Pictures, mh, I have already enough trouble to sort through all kinds of them and edit them for the blog, so probably I don’t even want to imagine having to look at myself on the screen 🙂

  8. Happy birthday, Nathan! How exciting that he is starting to walk now. Where I’m from, everyone says that the first birthday party is not for the baby but for the parents, since the baby will not be able to remember it. So this party must have been for your wife! I hope Nathan has a great year!

  9. Congrats on Nathan’s birthday of course, but even more awesome… congrats on his first steps walking!!! 😀 😀 😀 Woo! Soon you’ll be getting fitter and fitter and you chase after him as he zips around on mischievous adventures. 😀

    I liked birthday parties up until I was maybe 12-13. After that the whole “omg BOYS” etc thing got so annoying it ruined the fun. I mean, there were boys I liked, but then suddenly becoming shy in front of them etc or caring what they though… ugh, exhausting. 😛

    1. My birthdays wee always a only boys gathering and I also stopped celebrating when I was fourteen or fifteen.

      For my own birthday next month I plan to only go eating out with the family that will be enough :p

  10. Ohh so nice to hear that everything went so smooth and nice! And usually when I plan something it always goes the opposite of what i planned… I was so surprised when I read about the choosing objects since here in Bulgaria we have this tradition too. When the baby starts to walk on its own all the family gathers together and place different objects in front of the baby and then we leave it alone and whatever his/her choice is it’s believed to be connected to its future occupation, Oh well it might be something true since I myself choose pen and book and now I am dealing with a lot of languages haha.
    Your baby boy is really cute and I agree guests probably came on time just because of his cuteness! :))

    1. I actually never had heard of this game before until my wife mentioned it but then again I do not know much about any of those games :p

      We do try our beste to keep him cute but whenever he gets fuzzy about not being able to chew on the glass table he ain’t no more cute :p

  11. Congrats. on throwing and surviving his lst b-day. With photos, he will treasure the day. Might take another 10 years before that happens.

    Innocence of birthdays are to be highly treasured.

  12. Happy birthday, Nathan. What a party! Fun for everyone.

    When we moved to Asia, we had our first experience with big birthday parties for little children. I was surprised to see so many adults attending children’s birthday parties. Some of the parties in the Philippines were huge. Fortunately they had maids to prepare the food and clean up afterwards. I’m glad you had help from your mother and your brother’s girlfriend.

    Congratulations to Nathan for his first steps.

    1. These kind of birthday parties are real much work but also nice once you get some little rest during the celebration when you can eat some cake and drink coffee 🙂

      Even though we had not even a really big party some maids would have been handy, at least in order to clean all the dishes

  13. Congratulations! I’m always amazed at the big deal over 1st birthday parties – this one at least was focused on kiddos and families! I’ve seen many in Mumbai that are simply an excuse for a giant party, with the kid almost an after thought – “Oh that’s right, we are here as it is so and so’s son’s 1st birthday!”

  14. Aw he is cute!!
    I am also your wifes style lol it is planned, but in my head and it might change based on the shop offers, so I have to go and see aswell hehe
    I never really liked birthdayparties for myself and also not going to parties much. I don’t think we will do such a big party when our child turns 1, because I think they are too young to understand what’s going on anyway haha probably saving up the money for when they are older and get to chose presents, cakes, friends etc.

    1. Oh well, the party wasn’t even that expesnive. The decoration was around 80Euros and most of it we can reuse for later years.
      I am myself no big fan of birthdays/ parties, just don’t like them 🙂

  15. Oh, I know this game! My daughter tried to grab the chicken leg, and that moment we were all so excited (Taiwanese grandma the most), that we started screaming, our daughter got scared and grabbed the book instead. Now, what does that mean?! 😜

  16. Happy Happy Happy Birthday to an adorable little man 🙂 May he have a wonderful year ahead.

    We are not big on parties and celebrations. But we attend plenty and we do find that it seems that some are rather extravagant and elaborate.

    We see these events as an opportunity for people to get together, enjoy good food and to spend time with the person of the hour 🙂 How people choose to organise and deliver the event… well – each to their own! 🙂

    1. Thank you. I have enough now when it comes to birthday parties. I wasn’t used to anything like this as I didnt celebrate my birthdays for many many years…
      But yes, those events are great for people to come together 🙂

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