Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A First Birthday Celebration

On Saturday, June 25th, Avi Bird turned ONE!!  We started celebrating his entry into this world on Thursday June 23rd with a hike on Mount Sanitas Valley Trail.  That's were we started... one year ago.  An evening hike on the the 23rd brought on good surges... good enough to make me stop in my tracks.  After we got back to the car (2 hours later) we went to Lark Burger for chocolate shakes. Then my surges slowed to allow a beautiful nights sleep.  When I woke on the 24th - baby was telling us it was time to get busy with coming into this world.  I labored long and hard, with Jenn at my side and at 1:09am, our baby was born.  A son.  Our son. Avi.  Avi Bird.

Our first moments as a family one year ago. 

Our Birthday Celebration - one year later!

 Water table onlookers

 Our flower friend Zinnia and her mama in the background
Neighbor Carter enjoys the pool with his mom and dad in closeby
Amazing community of friends and family
Who needs a drink?
Benjamin at the water table
Adult friends and kid friends and some unborn friends gathered in the sun to celebrate our son with song.

Avi takes in the singing

 Avi enjoyed eating his (gluten free, dairy free, sugar free) Birthday Cupcake

Must put face in yummy cake!

I adapted Gracie's Yellow Birthday Cake from "Feeding the Whole Family"

1.5 c unbleached white flour (I used rice flour here)
1/2c whole wheat pastry flour (I used sorghum flour here)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1.5 cooked millet (1 c millet to 3 cups water pinch sea salt, bring to boil, lower heat and cover and simmer for 30-40 min; can toast millet first if you choose)
1 c orange juice
1/2 c water
1/3 c oil 
(I used coconut oil)
1/2 c maple syrup (I used unsweetened organic applesauce)
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs separated
Preheat oven 350, oil/flour two 8 inch cake pans (I made cupcakes). Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together in large mixing bowl; set aside. Put millet (cooked) and oj in blender; blend until smooth. Add water, oil and syrup to millet puree in the blender; pulse briefly. Separate eggs, placing egg whites in a glass or metal bowl. Add yolks to millet puree and pulse again. Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and mix well (I do this right in the blender because I have a large blender). Whip egg whites until peaks form (I didn't have a mixer and did my best by hand, but I'm sure it would have been better with a mixer) then fold egg whites into millet mixture in a bowl (not in blender). Pour into cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes, until cake begins to pull away from edge of pan. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing. Wait until completely cool before icing.

For the icing: I borrowed a raw sugar free banana cream recipe from Hearth Bird to use as the icing and it worked great!!

Banana Cream
3 bananas
1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
few pinches of salt (not quite 1/4 teaspoon)
pinch of turmeric for color
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil

In a high speed blender, blend bananas, milk, vanilla, salt, and turmeric. Add the melted coconut oil and blend until combined. You should see it thicken up a bit after you add the oil. It should look have a thin pudding consistency and will firm after it is chilled.

A moment with Ema (me) and Mama (Jenn)

I love this photo of Avi and I taking a break from the birthday festivities to enjoy some chow! 

When I look at the photos, I think of his birthday crown which I spent time making back when there was snow on the ground.  He wore it for a few photos his grandma took at the start of his party, but it didn't get put back on his head for the Happy Birthday singing and these pictures.  Parenthood is teaching me that I cannot control all things even though I still tend to think that I can.  It is a good mediation in letting go.  Another day I will post photos of his cutest crown! Right now, I'm just so grateful to have made it through this roller coaster first year with my beautiful partner, Jenn, who "screamed" alongside me as the coaster car roared around the track doing loopty-loos.  It's been a ride and I'm am so thankful because we have the most amazing son and we are truly blessed.  

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