We had a low-key BBQ at Magic Island Beach Park, under the trees and on the grass where she walked around barefoot, ate all kinds of delicious food, played with her friends, and after we had done all the grilling that could be done before it was time for Yasushi to clean up and get ready to go to work, we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate cake.
I made her cake myself using the following recipe:
- 1 cup butter, cubed 1/2cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 6 c whole wheat cake flour
- 2 cups sugar 2 c honey
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 c greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- In a large saucepan, bring butter and water just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat; stir in the flour, sugar, eggs, sour cream, applesauce, salt, baking powder, extract and baking soda until smooth.
- Pour into a 16-in. x 12-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.
The original recipe is here:
I covered it with two tubs of Cool Whip and sliced strawberries, yellow peach, pineapple, kiwi, blueberries, and Okinawan sweet potato arranged in a rainbow.
We sang Happy Birthday to her, and after that she became fussy, so I put her on my back in the carrier, and she fell asleep leaning against me.
We went home after cleaning up what we could, and we left the leftover food for our friends and neighbors who were going to stay and play at the beach with their kids. When we got home, Chinami had woken up from her nap, so we went to my neighbor's house to enjoy some cake.
After seeing pictures of "smash cake" for my friends' babies on social media, I kind of expected Chinami to be playing with the cake, smearing it all over her face, etc, but maybe because of the baby-led weaning, she knows how to eat quite well and so she simply looked at the cake and fruit, picked it up, and ate it, chewing and swallowing, completely normally, enjoying it. I even sprayed some extra whipped cream on the cake, expecting her to squish it around and play with it, she just grabbed the lump and shoved it in her mouth! I was a little disappointed but my neighbor was impressed at how well she eats. Apparently they had thought I was introducing solids in the "conventional" way and so whenever they gave her something they pureed it, until they saw me give her a frozen steamed carrot and saw her bite it, chew it, and swallow it with no problems. So for them, seeing a 1 year old eat so "normally" was an amusing event in itself.
Then because she had whipped cream on her hands and around her mouth, we decided to take her out and hose her down -- one of her favorite activities. She had gotten a few presents from friends, even though I had told everyone no presents were required and not to feel obligated, Chinami did get a few great educational toys, and a beach ball with a sprinkler inside of it which we fired up right away next to the little kiddie pool her Daddy had bought her, and she had a blast, walking around the sprinkler, hugging the ball, laughing, squealing, etc.
The previous night, as a pre-birthday present, our neighbor took Chinami and I to see the Elmo musical at the Blaisdell Center. I always watch Morning Musume videos, Sailor Moon, Dr. Slump, and other Japanese videos with Chinami, but when she goes to the neighbors' house, they like to watch Sesame Street with her, and they found that she absolutely loves Elmo! And when we saw the musical, I saw for myself how happy and excited she becomes when she sees that furry red character. She danced, laughed, became hungry and fussy, but after some puffs, applesauce, and milk, she was back in action!
On Sunday and Monday, she took very long naps, I guess her birthday was a success!