Helena hits the big One!

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One year old that is! Yup, just over a week ago we celebrated Helena Murielle Hill Meyer’s first birthday. The actual birthday fell on Friday the 13th, make what you will of that fateful day. However, to celebrate, Jody and I actually joined Andrea, Patrick, and a group of their friends at Patty Bolands in the market. They had decided that rather than drag everyone to a baby’s first birthday, which admittedly isn’t usually all that much fun for the adults, they opted to have a ‘surviving one year of parenthood’ party. The actual birthday girl was being babysat by her grandparents who made the trip up from Prince Edward County to help celebrate. I had been in Toronto for most of the week on business, so I showed up a bit late for the fun, but still managed to see some of the friends and the Godmother. The mother and father seemed to be having a good time, so we left them at the bar and headed home around 10pm after having a bite to eat. Read on to hear about the rest of Helena’s birthday weekend.

Helena was lucky enough to have a full weekend of celebrations lined up by her parents. Not only did they get to have they’re own party Friday night, but the following day the birthday girl was having her own little party, albeit on a smaller scale, with a group of her closest adult friends. The festivities were set to begin around one thirty in the afternoon and was supposed to go to around 3:30. In attendance were a group of friends that have been the most supportive for their family over the past year. It also appeared as though Helena would be showered with gifts from all ends! All over the living room seemed to be packages of various sizes and shapes for our favourite niece / daughter. Looked like she was about to get spoiled big time! If you’re so inclinced, you can have a look at the pictures of the party on flickr. As you can see, the little munchkin was very excited about everything. Being the crazy uncle that I am, I even snuck her a little chocolate to try out (but don’t tell her mom!). Apparently, the little ones aren’t supposed to chow down on that stuff too early. Oh well, she’s Swiss, so I figured that I should introduce her to the good stuff as early as possible.

I was really impressed how Helena was able to stay up past her normal nap time. I’m already under the impression that she’s going to be able to party into the wee hours when she gets a little older. That’ll come in handy when I’m starting to get a little to old to carry the torch. But have no fear, I should be good to keep partying hard till she’s at least 18 or 20 years old 🙂 I’ll have to teach her everything she has to know. Helena still hadn’t quite grasped the concept of unwrapping presents, but was generally happy to play with whatever was presented to her. Among her favourite presents was a big electronic musical activity center, that was given to her by her nanny. Even when we tried to take it away from her, she kept following it. So much for my hope that our prezzies would be the favourites. I’m encourages by her interest in music though. Jody and I gave Helena her first little set of shakers, as well as a kid-safe tambourine, a book (the ABCs of Canada), and some little rolling toys that make noises. Nothing too extravagant, but trying to stimulate her active and musical sides.

Helena’s grandpa made a great birthday cake for all of us to enjoy, and we even stuck a candle in it for her to blow out and make a wish. Sadly, she just wanted to stare at it and try to grab the fire. Not a particularly productive thing to do with fire, is it? 🙂 I’m sure she’ll fully learn that lesson later on, because as it was, dad wouldn’t let her light herself on fire. She did manage to eat almost a whole piece of cake on her own, paying no attention the curious onlookers watching as she slowly made her way through it. By around 6pm we could tell that little baby G was pretty well wiped out. She was making her sleepy faces and starting to make some grumpy noises. She was whisked off to the crib while we sat around a little longer, straightening out all the wrapping paper and toys.

That wasn’t quite it for the weekend though. Sunday morning Andrea and Patrick had booked a professional photographer to take some pics of the family for the occassion. Jody and I were even invited over to be in some of the shots. The fellow seemed pretty professional. He had a couple different cameras, lenses, and a butt-load of memory cards. He must have shot about 5 or 6 memory cards in the hour or so that we were there. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got a 13 megapixel camera, and your doing continuous shooting on the highest setting! I haven’t seen any of the pictures yet, but I can only assume they’re going to be pretty spectacular! Well, at least the ones that I’m not in. The photographer said he got a ton of great shots, more than he usually gets in these sorts of shoots. He was impressed with how co-operative Helena was!

Anyway, in a nutshell, that was Helena’s first birthday. I’m glad that it was such a great birthday, seeing as there’s a good chance that I won’t see her for her second one 🙁 Riyadh is a long way for a birthday party!

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