Well, we went and pulled it off. I’m not sure I’ll be ready to do it again in another year (or ever), but we pulled it off. And most importantly, the birthday girl had a ball partying in her pink bikini and digging into her smash cake (after about 10 minutes of daintily picking the sprinkles off one by one).
I will admit that fell into Pinterest land and started drinking the crafty mom Kool-Aid, which led me to think I could make my own cupcakes, smash cake, and unique party favors and do it all with style and grace. I forgot that I was…me. There was a definite moment the night before the party as I was standing there in our tiny kitchen surrounded by cake mixes, sprinkles, and ribbon where I just went – WHY? But with a little of God’s grace and some help from hubby and mom it came together just in the nick of time.
Family & Friends
We were so touched by how many family and friends came to celebrate with us – many driving from out of town! Our good friends Holly and Heyward were so kind to let us crash the pool at their townhome complex, and the venue couldn’t have been any more perfect for this.
And oh look! My sister and brother-in-law Josh made it to the party! Hehe.
Cake & Goodies
We did make those “beach bear” cupcakes that I mentioned in the first birthday party planning post, since Lucie’s nickname is Lucie Bear. We decided on Funfetti cake mix and store bought vanilla icing. We sprayed them with blue icing color spray for the “water” and sprinkled them with fine yellow sprinkles for the “sand.” Not sure if it’s clear from the photo, but the swimming tubes are gummy peach rings and the “beach towels” are cut up fruit roll ups.
We decided to make her smash cake, although after the cost of the Big Top Cupcake mold ($10 at Bed Bath & Beyond) I’m not sure we saved any real money. Besides a hole in the top we managed to cover from icing (from me forgetting to spray the mold with Pam), it turned out great. I would recommend a thicker cake mix for the mold. We used Betty Crocker Super Moist butter cake mix, but I’ve heard chocolate mixes with pudding work well for this.
For a bear-themed party favor, we stuffed candy into empty bear honey jars. I thought I would get all creative and make little bear party hats with felt and pom poms, but I gave up on them after 3 lopsided cone-looking things and a couple of glue gun burns. They looked pretty dapper with just lids and bow ties.
I was a late afternoon party between meal times, so we stuck with finger foods:
I’m not sure we’d do the jalapeno bites again, but the tortellini skewers were a big hit. I think Lucie even found a new favorite snack.
After it was all over, Lucie collapsed for about 14 hours, we had some pals over for pizza and adult time, and overall had a blast the whole day. Almost makes me want to do it all over again. Almost…
My baby came into the world one year ago, Friday. A year ago today, Ken and I would have just been just getting home from the hospital and adjusting to life with a newborn. The first few months seem like a blur of diaper changes, sleepless nights, and spit-up stains. I blinked, and then somehow she was already smiling, sitting up, and developing a personality.
“She’s such a…person,” Ken still often comments in amazement. She now has a full-fledged mind of her own, a strong will, sense of humor and intense curiosity about her. Every little thing she does is amazing. Sometimes we will be sitting in the living room watching a movie, and then I’ll realize that I haven’t been watching the movie but staring at Lucie for the past half hour and smiling as she cruises around on the furniture and entertains herself with random objects (usually not her actual toys).
What’s also amazing is the amount of love in her life. We have the most amazing family and friends. They have showered her with love and gifts since she was in the womb. Even people who we hadn’t seen in a long time or didn’t know that well were eager to help welcome her into the world with gifts and kind words.
I try to make a lot of compilation videos in iMovie so that I’m actually doing something with the footage and pictures of her that I collect, so here is one that I made for her first birthday. My sister and her husband Josh also surprised us the morning of her birthday with a sweet birthday video since they couldn’t be there to celebrate with us. It was so sweet they took the time to do that.
Birthday party post to follow soon – consider this the sentimental post 🙂
If I have ever truly been close to you, I have probably made you a mix CD (or even a mix tape) at some point in our relationship. I am a huge believer in playlists for every occasion, from breakups to weddings. It’s the best form of therapy, especially when combined with running.
So it’s no surprise that my baby has a few of her own. She absolutely loves music, and we’ve been listening to a whole lot of “Kids” Pandora stations so I can familiarize myself with the cool kids’ artists out there. Some of them are so good, I’ll download the albums and find myself listening to it even when she’s not around. I thought it’d be fun to share with you what we’re both jamming out to this summer.
- Laurie Berkner Band – “I’m Gonna Catch You” (morning) and “Goodnight” (bedtime). I just love this group for their whimsical, upbeat style.
- Raffi – Baby Beluga (anytime), Bathtime (bathtime), De Colores (anytime) and “Like Me and You” (bedtime). I remember listening to Baby Beluga as as little girl and loving it. All of Raffi’s songs are so soothing, and I can definitely appreciate how multicultural they are.
- Alison Krauss – “Baby Mine” (bedtime). It makes me tear up it’s so sweet, but that’s why we love it. Her voice is also just so pure and lovely.
- Jewel – “Sov Gott (Sleep Well)” and “Sweet Dreams for You” (bedtime). Love her “Lullaby” album.
- Angus & Julia Stone – Just a Boy (train rides)
- The Shins – Simple Song (anytime)
- Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out (working out, anytime I’m frustrated)
- The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling (working out, anytime I need to get pumped up)
- Eels – Lone Wolf (train rides)
- The Head and the Heart – Lost In My Mind (chilling out)
- Ray LaMontagne – Jolene (chilling out)
- Pete Yorn – Paradise Cove (one of my all-time favorite artists)
- No Doubt – Settle Down. “Tragic Kingdom” was one of the first albums I ever owned, and the band just keeps getting better. Plus Gwen Stefani is a goddess.
Any great songs I should add to my playlist? Or Lucie’s?
I just discovered what might be the greatest Twitter handle of all time, for new parents at least. @HonestToddler is a person with a very wry sense of humor, who is obviously a parent of a toddler, tweeting a toddler’s thoughts. Some of the greatest tweets are listed in this Huffington Post article, but I basically pee myself every time I see one of his/her updates on Twitter.
As the parent of almost-toddler Lucie, I thought it would be funny to come up with a few of my own. No way will I ever be that witty, but hey, maybe someone will get a chuckle out of it.
Oh, you mean you didn’t request a 5:30 a.m. courtesy wake up call? Suck it!
Mom’s favorite show is The United States of Tara, but she complains about my rapidly-changing personalities. Don’t get it.
Why do they call it a jogging stroller if it’s never used for jogging? smh
While you’re on the subject of my birthday, I’d like 100 electrical sockets to play with.
I HAAAATE MY LIIIIIIIFEE – wait, a game of peek-a-boo? Yipeeeeeeeeeeeee!!
I throw something on the ground, they pick it up like little monkeys. #winning
I honestly can’t fathom a world where I had the money, time, or creativity to plan a first birthday party for Lucie that looks like this:
This is almost ridiculously gorgeous, and I’d love to be able to put on such a production (mainly to post the pictures on Facebook, let’s be real). But here I am with just over a month left until Lucie turns one. We just spent all of our money fixing our dog, who is deathly allergic to everything. I recently started a new full-time job, we’re still working on our house, and I can barely find time to get my butt to the gym.
Who has the time and money for this stuff? Really, I want to know.
Anyhow, Pinterest has been my best friend as I try to plan an affordable yet memorable first birthday celebration for Lucie. We decided on a teddy bear theme, since we nicknamed her “Lucie Bear” when she was still in the womb. She’s now known as “The Bear,” “LB,” “Baby Bear, or, occasionally, “you messy little troll.” A bear theme seemed more appropriate.
Our budget is very small. It’s hard to justify spending loads of money on something she won’t even remember. The main goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves – especially the birthday girl. She’s a total water baby, so it made sense to have the party at a friend’s outdoor pool.
These cupcakes looked simple enough to make myself, and they’re also super cute. I’ll probably make these instead of splurging on big birthday cake:
Instead of ordering party centerpieces that will most likely be thrown away, I was thinking it would be cute to order a few books like this on Amazon and use them as centerpieces. Maybe surround them with little bowls of “bear” snacks, or pictures of Lucie throughout her first year.
I also love the idea of clothespinning photos to a string for additional decorations. This is especially neat for a one-year-old’s party, so friends and relatives who don’t get to see her much can see how much she has grown and changed.
Party favors are a little tricky since there won’t be many kids, and the kids that are there will be different ages. I was thinking maybe some mini Uno cards (fun for families), bubbles (which Lucie loves) and candy of some sort.
It’s shaping up nicely – in my head, at least. This should be interesting come showtime!
We celebrated my grandma “Memo’s” 80th birthday last weekend at Lake Martin. This is a woman who epitomizes class. She is generous, kind, strong, beautiful, and always put together. She’s always been there for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren for everything. I can’t remember a time growing up when she wasn’t present for a birthday party, graduation, or any other milestone. We adore her.
It was wonderful to see my aunt and cousins. Lucie even got to meet her 4-month-old second cousin Briggs for the first time and spend some quality time with her older cousin, June. My sister made the trip from Austin, and although it was a short visit we always LOVE spending time with Auntie LiLi.
Lucie really, really loves her aunt. I have never seen her laugh as hard as she did in the video in the last post. I wish we had these kinds of weekends more often.
Baby Lucie turned 10 months on June 24. She’s starting to look and act more like a toddler every passing day. She’s got a thick head of hair, a full-fledged personality (attitude included) and a little head that’s chock full of knowledge just waiting to come out. She can already say a few words – recent ones include doggie, kitty, ball, up, and “but-a-doo” (that’s “butterfly”).
She’s taught us so much already. Since I have been thinking so much lately about how much our lives have changed in such a short time, I thought I’d pass along a few nuggets of wisdom from a first-time momma who is very much still learning.
- Children are pretty resilient. When we first had her, the level of worry was through the roof. “How are we going to screw this up?” was always at the top of our minds. Every time we changed her onesie or gave her a sponge bath, we thought we were going to break her fragile little arms. But somehow, ten months later, she is healthy and thriving.
- The daycare kids are alright. I get a lot of sad “I fell bad for you” looks when I tell people I have my baby in daycare. And God forbid, it’s not even the super expensive “prep school” variety. It’s a Kindercare. And guess what? I went to one when I was little too. I turned out fine, and she will too. In fact, she enjoys it and seems to be learning a lot.
- It’s not a competition. Have you ever noticed how moms on message boards are so quick to jump down each other’s throat when they feel another mom is doing wrong? I think it’s a shame. The fact is, there’s really not a “right way” when it comes to parenting. And it’s always best not to get in debates. When unsolicited advice comes around (which it will), just smile and nod, and keep doing it whatever way works for you.Baby milestones aren’t a competition, either. Lucie is still not crawling, and I often get pity looks from other moms. The truth is, I can’t do anything to speed it up and I’m happy to enjoy the cuddle time before she’s monkeying out of my arms and getting into every little thing.
- Messes can be dealt with on weekends. I can’t tell you how stressed I got when she was a newborn. With every misplaced dish, bottle or sock, my blood pressure would rise until I finally blew up on someone (my husband). Eventually I learned to look past the messes by reminding myself that we work full-time aside from being parents, and everyone needs at least some time to relax. Now we do our cleaning ritual on Saturday mornings until the mess starts rearing its ugly head a few hours later.
- Choose your battles. Something I have been particularly bad at, especially when it comes to the state of the house or other petty things that stress me out. Most of the time, it’s really not worth an argument or an evening of coldness.