Nathanael turned one yesterday.
He started walking today. He has taken a single step here and there off and on for months now, but this morning he wanted the camera Tim was holding, and he was WAY over-tired, so I think he just forgot he couldn't walk. He took 5 steps in a row, straight toward Tim. (Caleb learned to walk this way, too. He was screaming and angry at me and turned to appeal to Tim and walked right over to him, about 5 steps away. Then he was so surprised he could walk that he forgot what he was mad about!). Anyway, now Nathanael is popping up and taking several steps in a row on purpose, like he just decided to be a walker now. He still crawls when he's in a hurry, but it's good to see him on his feet!
His birthday was fine. He got 4 nerf balls that are all the same but all different--all are half-black, but the other half is red, orange, or green. Three are round, one foot-ball shaped. Two have soccer patterns, one has basketball, one has wavy lines. He spent a LONG time sitting in his high chair studying the three balls--staring at them, turning them round and round, squeezing them, holding them. You could almost see his brain working as he compared and contrasted the 4 balls. It was amazing to see his little personality pop out--he was getting great pleasure from studying his presents. Meanwhile, Benji was in the background exhuberantly tossing the balls around the instant Nathanael let go. It was such a contrast! Both little boys were learning learning learning, but Benji was learning by doing and Nathanael was learning by observing. I suppose I won't put those two on a science experiment together any time soon. They'd drive each other crazy! Still, it's probably a good thing that Benji is there, in all his energetic hyperness, between Dan (too sensitive and timid to really get going, but he wants to) and Nathanael (too studious and scholarly to really get going, but he enjoys it immensely). He'll keep everyone being kids, like they're supposed to be, until long after they're "too old", I suspect!
Nathanael also got some books from Grandma Jones that he enjoyed reading and using as a ramp for the matchbox car the kids gave him.
The kids had fun digging through all the boxes of our old toys that Grandpa brought us and picking out presents for Nathanael. It was cute.
We made a cake for Nat from cool whip and graham crackers. The cool whip softened the grahams (like the cream does the cookies in a birds milk cake), and it was tasty, but the opposite of a bit rich (what word do you use for that?!). Still, it was less sugary than a cake with frosting, and it tasted fine (I stirred crushed Andes thin mints into the cool whip, so it was minty). Interesting experiment. I think it would taste better with ice cream or whipped cream instead of cool whip--more substance to it!