I got pretty emotional on the eve of Oliver James’s first birthday last month. On one hand, I couldn’t believe how one year flew by without me actually realising that little O was now 12 months old instead of 3.
On the other, I still remembered the turmoil that took place a year ago – it was my last visit/checkup at the gynae’s clinic at week 39 and doc handed me admission papers for Mt Elizabeth Novena hospital (lovely birthing experience btw!), instructing me to check in after midnight because of my “placenta situation“. He also anticipated that the birth of our second boy would probably be quicker than the first taking into consideration the position of baby in the latest scan + how low Ollie was sitting in the belly + low amniotic fluid + almost into 40 weeks gestation + how quick Liam’s birth was – deep down I wasn’t ready.
I was scared of all the changes that would take place once Ollie was born – Liam no longer being the only child, the house move, the husband’s state of emotions, my mum needing to suddenly live with 2 noisy boys, getting Liam to adjust a new school, new routines for the boys etc. And I wanted to hold on to status quo for as long as I could.
One year on, I’m happy that we more than survived our first year as a family of four! We’ve gone on more adventures than anticipated. And Liam continues to surprise us with his ability to adapt, including his big brother role – where his little brother will only laugh his heartiest for him and affectionately do his best to call “kor…kor” whenever we’re headed to his room to wake him in the mornings or to pick him up from school.
I was hoping that the four of us could spend the day together on Oliver’s birthday when the husband said he couldn’t take any time off because you know…work commitments. So the next thing that came to mind was something I’ve always wished I did for Liam’s first birthday but never got the chance to (because we had his birthday party on his actual day) and knew that it would be a hit with both boys, especially Ollie Bear. A CAKE SMASH PARTY!
Ollie absolutely loved the cake smashing and his first taste of cake!
I initially intended to capture Oliver’s first birthday cake smash on my own using the DSLR because I didn’t think we would be able to get a slot at any of the professional photographer’s studio at such late notice. But after realizing that in addition to having to get a 3rd party battery charger for the camera as well needing better, stronger lighting than the ones at home; I decided not to frustrate myself. After all, it was my little man’s special day and I didn’t want to risk yelling at him to stay still.
Few phone calls later … one studio responded promptly that they were available at my requested slot! All I needed to do was turn up with the boys, bring some extra sets of clothes and a birthday cake! I quickly called Delcies to reserve the only available baby friendly cake that they had since it was Ollie’s first cake, and also decided to add some buntings and balloons for the extra birthday touch.
In addition to photographing Ollie’s cake smash, Orange Studios offered to have some individual photos of Liam taken. It’s been a while since I had professional photographs of Liam, and seeing how he was happy to pose for the camera without much fuss unlike past photo sessions made me realise how much my three-year-old has grown.
After letting Oliver have his first taste of cake, we got Liam in to join in the smashing fun too.
It was interesting and hilarious to observe the two brothers during the cake smash. Kudos to Orange Studios for managing to capture the varied expressions of the boys!
I hope you had a super fun day celebrating your first birthday, with your first cake tasting followed by some playground fun with your cousins and friends! Although parenting a baby the second time feels a lot more enjoyable and relaxing, I still feel like I haven’t seen enough of your first 12 months. One moment you were this tiny 3.2kg newborn lying in the crook of my arm and the next, you’re leaping into milestone after milestone. There are still moments that guilt me, the ones that make me wish I could turn back time and spend even more moments with you. I see how much you love being around your brother, crawling up to him every morning and burrowing your little face in his, and I see how much he reciprocates your love by asking if you can come along to all our weekend outings; and I’m in awe. In awe of the love you have inside that little self.
You have taught us what having a home means. That the place, space size and location doesn’t matter. That all it takes is to have each other’s love and being together…and we can make anywhere our home. You’ve showed us that anything is possible – yes I’m talking about that flip you did at 2 months old – as long as you keep believing and trying.
Keep dreaming big my little one. We love you so much.
Happy First Birthday, Oliver.