Saturday, June 22, 2013

First birthday party

Let's be real. I'm not one of those moms who can execute a perfectly organized, adorable themed party. I'm just not really that much of a detail person. More so, I'm not one to remember to take photos of everything.

And, Little Man is one. So, really the "perfect" party would have been more for me to show off than for his enjoyment. So, we kept it pretty sweet and simple.

I did put quite a bit of effort into designing the invitations because I figured I couldn't let my vast experience in graphic design (read: eight years of advising a yearbook and ten years of school newspapers) go to waste.

This is what I came up with:

I simply designed them using Adobe InDesign, printed them on card stock at Staples, stuck a mustache sticker in the middle and glued 1/4 of a piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper to the back of the invitation. I got a combo pack of paper at Target, so there were different patterns of paper for every 4 invitations. The argyle above is my favorite. Because of that "vast experience," they were pretty quick and easy to whip up.

As far as theme went, I decided that a "Little Man" party seemed appropriate since I refer to him as Little Man here. There were mustaches, and that was pretty much as far as I took it. I got finger 'staches, but totally got so busy with everything party related that I didn't take many pictures of kids and adults "wearing them". Mom fail number two: an improperly documented first birthday party.

Take my word for it, finger 'staches are fun.

I kept decorations pretty simple. We did balloons and streamers, a "Happy Birthday" banner I plan to use for all future birthdays (from Target), and some chalk "art" to welcome guests and show where activities and beverages were.

The only mustache decoration that I did get was a wall decal that I put on the glass of a shadow box frame with some of the paper from the scrapbook pack I got for the backing of the invitations. It'll hang in Little Man's room as soon as I get around to figuring out where exactly it belongs.

It looks off center, but I had to put it where it was for the "e" to fit on the glass. 

The only other mustaches were on the cakes.

I got a cake from Costco because, really, who doesn't want an excuse for that chocolaty goodness? They say that they don't do custom cakes, but I put a note on the cake order form that I'd like a mustache, but if they couldn't customize it I'd take a dinosaur for my son's mustache party even though a dino made no sense at all. 

They did a mustache. 

Because Costco freaking rocks. Even though they left off "First" between Happy and Birthday. Whatever, we got a fat, brown mustache on our cake. 

I wanted Little Man to have his own cake to smash and go crazy with, so I had a dear friend who also happens to be an incredible baker make some cupcakes.

They were adorbs.

They were also pretty healthy. (Especially when compared to the Costco cake with two pounds (!) of fudge mousse in the middle...). She used fresh strawberries for a strawberry cake and a cream cheese/whipped cream type frosting. And, as you can see, she also used chocolate molds to make chocolate mustaches. Isn't that the cutest thing ever?

Anyway, on with the smashing. Notice I removed his shirt in preparation for some messy eating.

 First, he took a look at the cake. (This was after "blowing out" the candle. Where I inconveniently stepped in front of the camera. Mom fail three.)

He's eyeing the cupcake as I remove the paper. He's so going to dig in and smash away. Look at him sizing up that cake. He's at the ready. He's going to pounce.

Oh, wait. No, there is not an ounce of cake smashing joy there.

But he liked looking like a Big Man, so that was cute.

After that anti-climactic thrill, I went inside to cut and serve the big cake. After that was done and I was enjoying my slab piece of cake, I thought maybe Little Man takes after me and would rather dig into a slice of quadruple chocolate, super sugary cake.

This was a little more of what I was expecting, though he still wasn't as messy as I thought he'd be when I envisioned his cake smash.

 After getting cleaned up, Little Man played at the bubble station with his friend Ellie.  By played, I mean he shook a bottle of bubbles as Ellie stood next to him and played with a plastic cup. One year-olds are cray cray.

 After Ellie went to play on the swing, Little Man pretended to drink from the empty cup.

I know, I know. I throw a wild party.

Because our neighborhood is full of kids of all ages, I tried to have activities that would amuse them all. I had a sidewalk chalk area that was fun for the older kids for about 27 seconds.

Or however long it takes to trace everyones' feet and draw a few pictures. I think after that they went next door and played in the play house. After the party I brought over the streamers and balloons and they decorated it and made a fairy play land. It was pretty cool, and they enjoyed it very much. Yay for imaginative play.

The party was a success. There was snack food, more than enough cake, and just enough beer to keep our neighbors and friends chatty without anyone waking up the next morning on our lawn. 

One of my favorite images from the party is of these two future and forever BFFs.

Hey, it is hard to get a 12 month old and a 6.5 month old to look at the camera at the same time. (Or at all, apparently...) Despite that, there's a whole lot of cuteness going on there.

All of this happened on Memorial Day, but Little Man's actual birthday is the 29th. Here he is on the morning of the 29th. My one year old baby. Sigh.

Even right out of bed he's a happy guy! I'm a lucky mom!

Since he'd tasted and enjoyed refined sugar for (pretty much) the first time on the 27th, I thought I'd give him a breakfast treat on his actual birthday.

I made homemade waffles with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream.

 Holy yum.

I'd never actually made "real" waffles. I always use that boxed stuff.

Never again.

Perhaps soon (after I experiment a bit more), I'll post that recipe. You'll love me for it.

Little Man liked the waffles almost as much as I did. Here he's blurrily signing for more.

My new plan is to do waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for every birthday!!

After breakfast it was time for the reveal of Little Man's big present. Dude got a trike! 

He loved it. Look at that concentration.


Look at him showing off for the neighborhood ladies. Heeeeyyyyy, ladies. I've got a ride now. 

I could just eat him up. 

I can't believe it has been a year. In so many ways it seems like so much less than that, but then at the same time it seems like I've loved that little person forever. 

I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for us. It'll be an adventure, for sure!

Do you have any birthday traditions like waffles or a banner? 


  1. You make me laugh! I LOLed many a time reading this. My friend fills her kids' rooms with balloons the morning of their birthday and a 'birthday bear' brings a present. Looks cute in the pictures! My favorite pic here in him leaning out to the ladies on his new ride. Watch out!! Love you all! -C

    1. I love the balloon idea! Cute. Have you seen where people put streamers over the door jamb and then fill the space between the door and the streamers with balloons so when the birthday victim opens the door he/she is buried in an avalanche of balloons? I think that's a fun idea. We love you, C!! Miss you all. A CA post or two is/are coming soon!


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