Ruminations on Ali’s First Birthday Party

Just this weekend, I attended another first birthday party.  That of my grandnephew, Ali.  Ali’s first birthday celebration was a little grand and over-the-top: servers were in costumes; food served was buffet style part of which was a roasted calf; there was a funny magician who performed; the dinosaur-theme set-up was ostentatious; alcoholic drinks as post-party celebration for the adults were overflowing; and, there was even a fantastic fireworks presentation.

happy birthday ali !!!

a colorful fun day!

super fun with friends & relatives

I no longer can recall how many times I have attended a first birthday party in the past.  And consistently, since a one year old baby has no concept of birthdays and parties, the baby-celebrator is clueless and has zero idea why everyone is congregating for such a day. 

It will make you wonder if such celebration was really about the baby or is it really about and for the people that surround him.  I guess, the latter seem to be the correct answer to this question.  It is indeed for and about the people who helped and will help the baby to grow happy and healthy.  And it is most especially for the parents (in Ali’s case my niece Thatcher and nephew-in-law Alexis) who seem to celebrate for not screwing up and being successful in their first year with the cute and adorable child.

a job well done…

The child may have received all the gifts, but it is the parents and the people who surround the celebrant who receives all the hugs, the love, the praises and the encouragements as expressed and delivered by all the guests who attended.

I am pretty sure, Ali’s parents (and like any other parents) had numerous uncertainties and frustrations in the past year.  I am also pretty sure, both Thatcher and Alexis had several worries and anxieties from crying outbursts to bottle rejections.  Some hurdles were conquered by mere luck while others were resolved by experience.  And oftentimes, snags and obstacles were resolved thru the assistance of family or friends.  Thus, the first birthday party of any baby is indeed a salute and celebration for the parents and the people who surrounds the child.

pose of the day

I was given the opportunity to give a short talk during the party.  I was able to give my warmest birthday wishes for the adorable Ali.  I was able to greet a beautiful afternoon to all the attendees. I however, failed to congratulate Ali’s parents.  So let me take this opportunity to express my warmest felicitations and compliments to Thatcher & Alexis for a job well done.

Andrea & Pascual

This year, my family’s Christmas Eve celebration was a little different.  It is because my pretty pregnant niece decided to hold the Gender Reveal Party also on the day before Christmas.  Everyone was so excited my mom’s house was colorfully decorated with pink and blue balloons and buntings for the event.

khris mae… my preggy niece

Games were played prior to the exciting gender revelation.  My family is so big that my nephew Den Den, the program host, decided to divide us into 4 groups.  In one of the games, called “Nominate A Name Game”, Den Den directed each group to think of a girl’s and a boy’s name whom we suggest be best given to our would-be newest member of the family.  The best recommended names will win the game.  Khris Mae, my would-soon-be-a-mom niece was, of course, the judge.

i was rooting for a baby boy while my elder sister wants a girl

There were so many suggestions, my group decided that I should be the one to think and provide our group’s nominated names.  I actually got an advantage because I have personally talked to Khris Mae during my birthday dinner buffet at Sofitel on what names does she plan to give her child. 

I however could not recall a single name that Khris Mae showed me as listed on her mobile phone during that Sofitel dinner.  During the game, I instead limit the names to names that starts with the letter A.  Besides, all of my grandniece and grandnephews names starts with the letter A – Arziolo, Alvia and Alexander II so I guess it would be perfect to name this baby with a name that starts with this letter.

When it was my turn to nominate a name, some gentle spirit seems to have whispered to me and made me utter the name Andrea.  A Greek-originated name that means “strong, brave and powerful”.  The very characteristics that I would want my brother’s would-be grandchild to possess.  A very appropriate name for a baby in this age and era of our planet.

For the boy’s name, the first name that entered by mind was Andrew, the male variant of the name Andrea.  But when I was asked what boy’s name I nominate, I suddenly uttered Pascual. That’s when I remembered suggesting to Khris Mae during my birthday dinner in Sofitel that I like the name Pascual.  I told her that it is to pay tribute and homage to my loving grandfather (Nengkoy’s dad) whose name was Pascual.

it’s pink confetti!

it’s a girl!

Later in the party, Khris Mae finally revealed that she will have a baby girl.  And guess what? My group won the “Nominate A Name Game”.

Super Cute Arziolo

How would you feel seeing your baby photos on Youtube?  That is what I thought of while I was uploading a collage of Arziolo’s photo on Youtube.  I hope that this baby would be glad in case he sees this when he grows up or he can always just press “report” and relay his reason for flagging this video.

Arziolo is Nengkoy’s great-grandson by the way…  These photos are too cute not to share for everybody’s viewing pleasure!

Ampogi!