Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Birthday

We survived birthday week. There were some points this week that I thought it wasn't going to happen. Like when I lost my voice on Thursday, or when Squirt's 12-month shots left her bruised and cranky ON her birthday. Poor thing.

But in the end, I do think we accomplished the goal. Remembering her day of birth with joy, not sadness.

Unfortunately, her birthday will forever be linked with the tornadoes. To this day, whenever anyone asks her birthday and I say, "April 25," they make the connection. Or they say, "I'll never forget the day you came home from the hospital."

Yeah, neither will we.

But I digress. Today was about the JOY of the last year, not the stress of her first week.

About four months ago I decided her birthday party would be Very Hungry Caterpillar. It's her favorite book, has been since she was old enough to pick her bedtime story. Pinterest is FULL of VHC ideas (Link to my board here). Some easier than others, I thought it was a theme I could pull off with little effort. Unfortunately, since I've had so much time to think about it, the simple "cake and ice cream with the family" went a bit overboard. But I don't care because I had fun.

The best part about this theme- it's all about the food. And honestly, what else is there to do at a one-year-old birthday party? Garrick and I had long decided we would only invite family to the birthday parties until our kids are old enough to have buddies that they want to invite. That being said, we weren't going to do any crafts or games for the adults. (Although this morning I thought it would be fun to make everyone list all the foods from the book from memory. Alicia, my brother's girlfriend, correctly named twelve! And Andrew is quite the artist, so I gave him a VHC coloring page, which he and Alicia colored for her memory book.)

We had Squirt's one-year pictures done this morning, so I'll have actual professional photos of her dress, the VHC quilt I made, and some of the party stuff soon. I'll definitely post it!

Some of the things not in the photos:
1. The "game" I came up with was pretty fun. I wish I'd thought of it sooner so I could have had a good prize! (The "prize" was the empty helium canister.)
2. I bought a miniature version of the book to use as a guest book. Everyone loved it.
3. We did pre-scooped ice cream in cupcake liners per Pinterest. That and the cupcakes made serving cake and ice cream a cinch. Which was good since I was upstairs hosing someone off.
4. We bought a helium canister because we thought it would be cheaper than buying individual latex balloons at $1.29 +tax each. I don't think it ended up being a savings. I'll know better next time.

Here's a rundown of my execution of all the Pinterest ideas I found. Since none were original ideas, I'll just post the pictures. It's up to you to find the original pin if you want to copy it! If anyone is doing a VHC party in the near future, let me know and you can borrow all of my stuff!

Flowers, using orange slices to brighten the look.

Watermelon (cut into butterfly shapes using cookies cutter. Wilson bug set found at Joann's) and Strawberries. 

Apples and Oranges

Lollipops from Party City. Great party favor for big "kids."

Salami (butterflies) and Swiss Cheese (caterpillars) cut with the cookies cutters. FYI- cutting salami with a cookie cutter is not as easy as you might think. Cheese was easier than you might think. The butterfly crackers come in the Pepperidge Farm Entertaining Pack.

Chocolate cupcakes (cake mix+greek yogurt+water) for the grown-ups and white cake for the babe.
This was actually my husband's idea.  Even though I had seen it on Pinterest, he had not and came up with the suggestion all by himself! Impressive!

The spread

Gorgeous dress made by Squirt's Nanny.
If you must have one, contact her via Etsy! She's very good at custom orders.

Frame off an artist's canvas. We got pictures with Squirt and everyone at the party.


Memo board found at Joann's and button art by me. Ok, so that was original.
I'm going to do a post on how I did that sometime soon.

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