Year 1 as a Family of 5
It's been a full year since we first brought baby West home to the Cottage. We celebrated our son by hosting a cozy little gathering at the house.
(I deliberately kept my camera and phone tucked away as much as possible, focusing on the moment more than the documentation of the moment. But I'm glad I caught this photo. We decorated minimally, with faux vines instead of traditional birthday bunting. We topped the cake table with light-up letters, which remind us of the famous Venice Sign not far from our home.)
Our families visited for the happy occasion. Rather than packing our weekend together with events and to-dos, we decided to relax. We strolled the canals and visited the farmers market with West, and in the evening we sat outside and chatted for hours. We lit a sparkler candle and sang happy birthday to our boy in the main room of the cottage, then watched as he happily destroyed a sliver of carrot cake AND a helping of chocolate cake (both from Gjusta) on the porch.
We gave West his first bike-- a Venice necessity-- and he's aaaaalmost tall enough to start using it comfortably. (He already wants to climb on it constantly, but his toes are still a few centimeters from the floor when he's on the seat.) I selected a Wishbone Design Bike, because it can transform as the months go by. It starts as a baby walker, and can then be adapted into a toddler trike, and then later into a balance bike until West is ready for pedals.
We also got a collapsible wagon-- admittedly as much for us as for West. At 12 months old, he wants to explore EVERYTHING around him, and the wagon allows him to see and move around more than the stroller as we walk through the neighborhood. It also provides ample space for his blanket, a few books, and our market groceries. I looooove the wagon, as does West. The model we selected has an optional sun canopy, and cup/bottle holders. And to make it workable for small space living, it folds up easily under its cover, and tucks up tightly against our stoop. (Although in my mind, I pretend it looks more like this.)
West's birthday weekend went exactly as we'd hoped. Everything was simple, sweet, and close to home. And most importantly, our son was surrounded by family, and oh so much love.