I cannot believe my youngest “baby” is 2 already!  This week, we celebrated N’s 2nd birthday.  It seems only yesterday when I was racing to FL to pick him up before the agency sent him to foster care for the night.  I remember the first time I saw him, and saw how absolutely gorgeous he was!  I just sat there for what seemed like a short eternity, gazing at his beautiful, heavenly face, as he laid in my arms, all swaddled in a blanket. 

We had a wonderful first year together, but then, the day he turned 1, we received the diagnosis that he had cerebral palsey.  It came as such a shock to us.  I knew he wasn’t developing quite right, but I never expected that.  Nonetheless, we immediately got him into physical therapy.  For the next 5 months, we stayed busy juggling our schedules to accomodate the other children, and N’s frequent therapy appointments.  His legs were casted twice, he had to use leg braces to learn to walk properly, we had to stretch muscles, we had to force him to use muscles he wasn’t used to using, and we had to do it all without overly frustrating a 1-year old.  We were told not to expect him to walk or potty train until he was close to 3, and that we should expect him to regress every time he had a major growth spurt. 

This 2nd year has been a true miracle with that little boy!  As it turned out, he talks just like any 2 year old, he learned to walk without braces around 16 months, and he potty trained earlier than any of my children, at around 21 months.  He has never regressed at any point, and, unless you have a very well-trained eye, you would never guess he has CP.  God has truly blessed him, and us through him. 

Oh, how I digress.  I can’t help it.  So back to his birthday….

Nana came over to help celebrate.  We tend to do birthdays pretty small around here–especially for the little ones.  I typically bake a cake of some sort, and try to make a nice dinner, we sing “Happy Birthday,” the birthday child blows out candles, then we do a small gift, and that’s about it.  Short and sweet. 

For N's birthday, I decided to make cupcakes using my "Secret Beet Cake" recipe. They turned out delicious!

JR helped with the cream-cheese frosting, while M helped with the sprinkles.

N wasn't sure what to think until we started singing "Happy Birthday." He loves that song, so it got him all excited, and he blew out the candles.

Nana tried desperately to get a messy picture, but for whatever reason, N decided to be very polite and neat with his cupcake. I guess he was trying to savor the moment.

N and A have both taken a great liking to anything related to trains, and especially little blue ones that happened to be named "Thomas." So, I got him a toddler-appropriate Thomas toy.

On second thought, maybe I should have bought 3 more?!

We had a good time, and N was absolutely thrilled with the cupcake and the new toy.  A had some difficulty understanding why it wasn’t his birthday too.  At one point, after N had opened his gift, A said something like, “My turn!”  We tried to convince him that his was in a couple months, but eventually just had to distract him.  That happens a lot with 2, two-year olds!

So for anyone who is interested, I made “Secret Beet Cake” using powdered Stevia instead of sugar, with cream-cheese frosting, again using powdered Stevia instead of sugar.  It was absolutely delicious, if a bit different, and since it had no sugar in it, I even let the older kids have 2 cupcakes each!!  I won’t tell you how many I ate.  But hey, the way I see it, with the cream-cheese, beets, fresh-milled wheat flour, chocolate chips, yogurt, and applesauce, I covered all my nutritional requirements!  I will confess, though, I think I’m gonna try chocolate frosting next time.  Previously, I used buttercream, this time I tried cream-cheese, but I just don’t think it’s quite the right combo with the hint of beet flavor.  I think the chocolate will work well though, since the cake has cocoa and chocolate in it.  S and the kids loved it the way it was, though.  Who says healthy eating has to be unpleasant? You certainly won’t catch me or the kids eating beets–unless it’s in this cake!!

Also, for anyone who is interested, here is a link of N blowing out his candles…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GPNlljhdOs

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