Smorgasbord Sundays: My Nephew Turned 1 Yesterday!

Baby's First Birthday GiftsOne year ago yesterday, I became a first-time aunt. 🙂

Since he was born, every time I see Berkeley, he keeps getting bigger. It’s amazing how fast babies grow. If adults were like that, we’d be the size of a house in a year! Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but still!

On Saturday, I went over to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for my nephew’s first birthday celebration with family and friends.

He’s getting mischievous! Hehe, he’ll take his toy, look at you, and then throw it violently onto the ground. Then my sister-in-law would pick it up, hand it to him, and he’d repeat this. Haha, he’s learning physics – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 😛

There were so many things I wanted to buy Berkeley, but he was too young for most of what I had in mind. And he has way too many toys as it is, so I ruled that out.

I thought about buying him a Robert Munsch treasury book, but he wouldn’t really get to enjoy it until he’s older.

So I ended up getting him two books that he can enjoy right now or soon enough – Pat the Bunny Sleepy Bunny (a soft rag book) and Dr. Seuss’ Happy Birthday, Baby! (which has flaps to open, a wheel to turn, and other interactive features). I’ve never shopped before for a baby, so this is all new to me. I hope he enjoys them.

And I realized too late that there are two candles on the cake on the Dr. Seuss cover. Oh well!

When he’s older, I plan to get him all the classic children’s books like Love You Forever, Where the Wild Things Are, Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Amelia Bedelia, etc.

Baby's First Birthday Gifts

Dr. Seuss' Happy Birthday, Baby Book

Dr. Seuss Happy Birthday Baby Book

This was my favourite part in this book. You can turn the wheel on the side to make the creature look like he's shoving more hot dogs into his mouth.

Nephew's First Birthday Gifts

This is a soft & cuddly book that Berkeley can hold, turn its pages & play with.

Pat the Bunny Sleepy Bunny Book

It comes with a ribbon bookmark attached with a small plush rabbit.

Pat the Bunny The Sleepy Bunny Ragbook

There are pockets on the first & last pages where you can tuck the rabbit in. How cute!

I can’t wait until Berkeley’s older so that he can read and really appreciate books even more. I’m going to fill up his home library with cool stuff.

When I was a kid, money was really tight, but my father always bought me books, and I was a real bookworm! He said that books are like investments for the future and that they’re always worthwhile things for children to have.

My father passed away unexpectedly in early 2010 – a few months prior to when Swatch And Learn began, actually. He taught me many important life lessons and instilled a strong set of ethics in me. He also was my role model because he always was able to see the humour in every situation even when an average person had every reason to be grumpy.

Of course there are lots of things he told me that I still remember, and what he said about books is one of those things that stuck with me.

Berkeley is going to have a treasure trove full of educational and fun books from Aunt Mary. 🙂

What are some of your favourite children’s books? Are you an aunt (or uncle)? If so, how many nieces and/or nephews do you have? Do you come from a large family?


10 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sundays: My Nephew Turned 1 Yesterday!

  1. Debi

    Congrats to the birthday boy!

    I’m an aunt to 5 and grandmother to 4. And yes, yes, yes on the books!
    Fuzzy books and learn-to-read books and cuddle books and color books and as they get older, books about skateboards and guitars and building things and science and food….

    Anything by Dr. Seuss. Winnie the Pooh and Curious George. Richard Scarry. Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Anything by Zelazny or Neil Stephenson. Can you tell the ages I bought for last Christmas? LOL

    Also – I lost my Dad almost 9 years ago. He, too, was a huge influence on the number and type of books for all the kids. I hope to pass that on to the younger ones.


    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Debi!

      Thanks – he was very happy getting so much attention from everyone! He can crawl around so fast – almost looked like he was swimming…haha!

      Wow, an aunt to 5 and a grandmother to 4? Congratulations! That’s a huge blessing for your family!

      Oh yeah! All those books are great choices. I remember having a cool Richard Scarry book when I was little that I absolutely loved. Berkeley needs some of those for sure!

      I’m saddened to hear that you also lost your father. But I’m proud of you for continuing his legacy and his passion for books/education. 🙂

  2. Marta

    Awww. What a sweet post. I’m sure your dad is real proud of today’s post! How you are carryin on his tradition and how much you cherish what he taught you!
    I have three munchkins of my own, as well as two nephews 🙂 I agree that age appropriate books are THE best gift for any occasion 😉
    I really like the Mercy Meyer Critter series… Next year your nephew should be old enough to enjoy this series 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂
    Marta recently posted: Past, Present, and Future!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Thank you for saying that! I really think that if my father was still alive, he’d seriously be Swatch And Learn’s biggest fan – he’d visit the blog daily. Heck, he’d probably even offer to test out some beauty products for me! Haha, he had a very kind heart, and he had the best sense of humour. He wasn’t afraid of looking silly…hehe, I even gave him a mud mask once (complete with cucumber slices over his eyes)…and he’s not that type of man at all who pampers himself or does stuff like that. He just was very open-minded about trying new things that I was excited about. 😀 Miss him.

      Ohhhh! Mercy Meyer! I forgot about those Critter books until now! Those were so popular when I was a kid…Yes, I’ll definitely have to buy some for Berkeley when he’s old enough! 😀 Thanks for reminding me.

  3. Carmela

    A post that pulls at my heartstrings. Happy birthday to Berkeley! 😀 I’m sure he’ll love those books. Such an awesome present! You’re going to win the “best aunt ever” award for sure. 😉 I never would have thought to get my niece books just because I’m not sure if I should get her one in English or Spanish. It’s a great idea I might do myself later on. 🙂

    I’m a new aunt myself and my niece, Alena, is turning 1 in October! She’s such an adorable happy baby. They definitely do grow up so fast! Last time I saw her, she already knows how to say “bye-bye” with a wave to match, altho it does sound a lot more like “dye-dye”. 😀 I’ve been spoiling her with dresses lately just because she looks so cute in them. I’ve been getting them in much larger sizes tho, so she doesn’t outgrow them too quickly.

    I salute your father for having the insight of a great man. I’m a huge bookworm myself and I got it from my parents. Both of them really emphasized the importance of reading and education, and the continuous process of learning. I’m very sorry to hear that he’s passed, but I know for sure that he’s proud of you for upholding the values that he’s instilled in you, as well as for passing it on to his grandchild. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Hahaha, well if there is a Best Aunt Ever award, I’ll definitely try my best to compete for the title. 😛 And if my brother and sister-in-law decide to have another kid and they get a girl, oh my goodness…I think they may try to keep her away from me, lest I turn her into a polish fiend! 😛 Can you imagine Konading her tiny fingers when she’s in grade 2 or so? Awwwww!

      Congratulations on being a new aunt! Happy early birthday to Alena! (Beautiful name they chose!) Hehehe…”dye-dye”…too cute! Sounds like she’s a smart cookie.

      Thanks for saying what you did about my father. He was most certainly a man of integrity and unconditional love. 😀

  4. Amber

    Aww how sweet happy birthday to him!!! My nephew will turn one in the beginning of November, he is such a gift to me I love that little guy so much! For my sisters baby shower I asked people gave books in place of cards, so he has a nice book collection already 🙂
    Amber recently posted: FOTD: Supernatural

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amber!

      Happy early birthday to your nephew! I’m so glad that he has brought so much happiness into your life. 🙂 Children help us remember the positive things. (Hehe…okay, they also remind us about changing diapers, but…we can overlook that. :P)

      That was a really smart idea to ask for books instead of cards. He’s going to learn so much! 😀

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Maribeth!

      Oh wow – 4 boys! You certainly have your hands full and then some! 😀 Hehe, it’s only a matter of time before your sisters ‘give in’ to the pressure.

      Yes, my father was a really strong person – mentally, physically, and even spiritually. We had a close connection of which I’m thankful for, and we used to crack jokes like there was no tomorrow.


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