Ezra is 2! Ah! Ah! Ahhhh!
Two years ago our world changed.
Little Ezra brings love and joy to every one of our days. He gives the best snuggles and hugs and kisses. He has the happiest twirl (and twirl and twirl and twirl - the kid LOVES to twirl), and an infectious giggle. He is determined and independent and constantly surprises and delights me. He is playful and clever. He is kind and caring. He expresses his love so easily and is just as good at expressing his frustrations. His ability to communicate with not just words but sentences and full conversations amazes me. He displays empathy and compassion and his love for his brother is beyong measure.
The time has flown by. And just like that my little baby - my 2nd baby- is two! It's funny how when you have a toddler, before they're two you can still pretend they're just big babies. Sure, he can walk... and talk... and feed himself... and put on his own pants and rainboots... but still he's just a baby. Maybe because he's technically still one year old? But two is a big birthday. Two is when there's no pretending your kiddo is a baby anymore. He's a big boy with his own ideas and preferences. He's starting to feel big feelings and is desperate to be big and independant, like his brother.
We had a lot of fun celebrating his 2nd birthday - and celebrating him - this weekend! He requested a "Count" birthday (like Sesame Street) and I felt guilty because I had already thrown his brother a Sesame Street birthday for his 2nd birthday, but what can I say - the kid loves Sesame Street! And while I recycled some old decorations that I happened to keep around, we also did our best to make it unique and special for Ezra.
The theme for this birthday was maximum impact for minimum effort. I was planning to go super low-key. I didn't buy extravagant gifts (ahem - one of his gifts was his Halloween costume). I didn't stay up late after bedtime for weeks making crafty decorations like I had for past birthdays.
But, surprisingly, Ari was not having any of this "low key" birthday plan. And he was an incredible helper! "Do you know what's so special about your birthday, Ezra?" he said to his brother one day. "You get so much extra attention!" Ari was determined to give Ezra the maximum amount of attention make him feel as special as possible. He stayed up after Ezra went to sleep one night wrapping his gift, decorating bananas to look like Bert, and making his card (if you read it right to left, you'll see that it clearly says 'Happy' 'Birthday (Cake)' 2 U Ezra Love (Heart) Ari).
On his actual day, we woke Ezra up with our traditional Beatles Birthday song and dumped balloons into his crib.
Then I got them dressed and sent them off to their Dad for their birthday celebration with him. And for the first time, my baby had a birthday party that I wasn't a part of. It was great to have the time to get ready quietly for our own celebration, but also a new dynamic that was tough to get used to.
Then today we had our chance to celebrate with my family and it was wonderful.
The decorations weren't just recycled from Ari's 2nd birthday, but from Ezra's birth announcement (scroll back up to the top of this post to see)!
Ari made a "toss the cookie into Cookie Monster's mouth" game and helped me decorate loot bags (which really just had pencil crayons and markers in them) as Sesame Street characters. When I tried to take him for a haircut during Ezra's nap the day before he was having none of it. "I'm too busy!" So we spent his quiet time decorating Cookie Monster cookies, hanging a few streamers and balloons, and we were ready! It was a quiet and calm morning before the party started, which was so nice.
The party was super fun! He loved opening presents ("fank you!") and playing with his cousins - and as my sister pointed out, for a very short window over the next couple of months, we have kids ages 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1!
For food, I searched and scrolled through Pinterest for ideas and finally just decided to make pizzas because why should I make things harder than they need to be - I would probably work hard on something special that nobody would eat, and they all love pizza! Plus, it took about 10 minutes to make so I actually got to enjoy the party too. We had a yummy green salad, rainbow pasta salad, and Baba made character faces out of fruit.
One of the best parts of getting ready for the party was when Ari wanted me to print food labels that looked like the Sesame Street signs (like we did for his 2nd birthday) and the printer ran out of ink. "That's okay, Mama! We can make our own signs!" Ari exclaimed. And honestly, I think they were way more special than if they had been perfectly printed from the computer.
I was planning to make an Elmo cake myself, but again decided to make my life easier by ordering a cake (and using my grocery points to pay for it... so FREE cake, right?!)
And who could forget our special guest: Big Elmo! We have been very luck to have Big Elmo make an appearance at a few of our family birthdays and the kids were still just as delighted as the first time (although the older ones are catching on). Ezra gave Big Elmo big hugs, and stuck his head right inside Big Elmo's mouth for a kiss.
Ezra has been telling me all week how people (Cookie Monster, The Count, his babysitter) "yove me SO MUCH!" and it makes me so happy that he knows just how loved he is.
Happy 2nd birthday Ezra! Love you more than words can say - and hopefully you always feel it as much as you do today.
Now excuse me while I go lie in our hammock and relax on this hot, "bonus summer" day!