Posts Tagged ‘1st birthday party’

Saturday was Miss Vivienne’s 1st birthday party! It was unseasonably cool (in the 60’s) and neither Brian nor I knew that it was going to be held outside. So, when we arrived and discovered how chilly it was outside, Brian headed home for some jackets for Jameson and I.

In the meantime, food arrived, and I imagined my terror toddler squirming out of my grasp and/or grabbing at the food to dump it all over me. I was grateful that JP & Lisa were there with Jonathan so that if necessary I could have an adult helper!

However, Jameson was in rare form, and sat still in my left arm while I also held the plate of food right next to him and which I ladled onto with my free hand. I was impressed with myself, for sure.

He then sat like a little angel on my lap on the picnic table, eating off the plate politely with me. Pizza, blueberries, a little pasta. I also enjoyed the meatballs and chips and cheese dip, which Jameson tried at our second helping and enjoyed as well despite a little spice.

Finally, Brian returned with our jackets, and while he ate, we took the kids off to play with the toys they had around!

It was breezy, so it was easy for Jameson to “blow bubbles” by simply holding up the wand at the right angle. He was so excited. He loved playing with the bubbles.

The breeze didn’t stop him from trying to blow the bubbles out himself though:

He didn’t try to dump out the bubble solution either. We were pretty impressed with his maturity; we’ve considering picking a big bubble wand up from the dollar store. It was a long time of entertainment, and would’ve been longer, except that we had to share.

Before Vivienne opened her gifts, we took a break and went down to the nearby playground, which Jameson also loved. It was a perfect location for a birthday party!

After break time, we headed back up for a diaper change and gift opening. I went with my practical-but-still-seems-frivously-awesome StrideRite gift card for shoes for the soon-to-be-walker, and then I also found this gem: Wooden Shape Sorting Clock. It says 3 and up, but the pieces didn’t seem too small for a 1 year old as long as that one year old isn’t insistent about stuffing their face with wood.

Anyway, it seemed like a great grow-with-me toy, and our lucky day, this lucky lady likes to sort shapes like crazy so I’m sure she’ll enjoy it.

Jameson was a champ, but since he had an interrupted nap in order to arrive in time for the party, he was starting to get a little antsy. He said goodbye to Vivienne’s mom Lisa, and gave high fives all around. He’s always adorably shy around Vivienne which makes me laugh.

It was a great time, despite the cool weather (which I argue is better than 100 degree weather any day!). The location was ideal, and makes me wish Jameson’s birthday was in warmer weather. Oh well… we’ll just have to find other excuses to party in the summer!

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Jameson’s friend Jonathan turned one a few weeks ago and had his party just last weekend! Jonathan’s party was in red and blues, a sophisticated polka dot theme.

JP made pork and macaroni and cheese (with goldfish on top!). And as for the cake: The birthday boy definitely knew what cake was since he had had it a couple times by the time his party rolled around, so he dug into his personal cake with a vengeance.

Jameson had some of Brian’s cake, and asked for more after he finished that so he got an extra piece just for him.

While I took photos, Jameson meanwhile kept stealing Jonathan’s walking toy and power walking through the church. Brian and his friend Kyle followed him around, to the indoor slide and through the dark hallways which Jameson had no fear of.

Of course, Jameson-Trouble-Maker also wanted to attack the balloons (which we only let him near a couple times since he was scratching and squeezing them and trying to eat them), and he wanted to climb on chairs.

Friends Jason and Lisa and their daughter Vivienne were there as well. Vivienne is 6 months old now!

Then it was time to open gifts! Jonathan was a champion gift opener. He helped pull out cards from the bags, and was cheerful the whole time.

Jameson got Jonathan a stool with his name on it. Like puzzle pieces, the letters can come out of the stool. It was very sturdy and well made, I’m really happy with how it came out. I purchased it from Personal Creations.

Jonathan had a fan club while he was opening gifts, too cute!

Then it was time to say goodbye, both Jameson and Jonathan were exhausted.

Since then, Lisa and I got together on Monday night without the babies to go Kohl’s shopping (30% off!). I bought a new purse and jeans (since crawling around on the floor is wearing mine out, and I need some for work). I’m excited to announce that I am ten pounds down and fitting into both my goal pants! I will be trying on my bridesmaid dress this weekend and hopefully I will be able to zip it all the way up. Phew!

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Saturday was The Party. Clutter was cleared out to the upstairs spare room, balloons were blown up, cakes were iced and decorated. It was a little bit of last minute chaos but it all came together.

My parents, sister and brother came up for the day, along with my brother’s girlfriend who I was finally able to meet.

The outfit Jameson has on, he had on for his photo shoot on Friday too. They were a clearance find, along with his first birthday bib, from Babies R Us. The bow tie was $2! Note the upside down polar bears on it though. Both my dad and Brian seem to have trouble putting it on right side up. Oops!

Jameson’s always a little uncertain of his grandpa he doesn’t see as often, but he warms up after just a little while. My family and Brian’s parents & sister kept Jameson occupied while we finished up the details. Like borrowing an ice bucket from the neighbors and getting help from said neighbor, my sister, and cousin Sam to work the balloons.

And then the guests began to arrive!

JP, Lisa and Jonathan in his adorable hat (he’s so good with hats) came with the nachos and taco dip. Jason and our other friend Lisa came with not as little Vivienne!

Carrie, Matt and their son Nicholas arrived too. We hadn’t seen them in a long time (not quite this long, but still long).

Cousin Nicholas who’s birthday was just last week arrived too with parents Jerry and Lisa and brother Nathan. (Lots of Lisa’s)

That’s a lot of babies!

After some play time (Jameson has a thing for water bottles right now), and food for the adults, it was time for cake!

Jameson didn’t blow out any candles this year. He also was quite a bit more delicate with the cake than I expected, though he enjoyed it! He was also fascinated with the balloons attached to his highchair.

We didn’t expect to open many gifts, but Jameson made it through all the gifts for the people who were there with us. First up, neighbors Kelly & Curtis and their daughter Lily. Then came Lisa, JP & Jonathan.

The babies wanted to help open the gifts they got for Jameson, it was so cute!

Jameson is learning how to clap, or maybe it’s patty cake (per his grandma). This is the very first time I saw him do it, and it was even captured on camera!

Uncle Ty’s girlfriend Emily took the camera from here and got some great shots. I was really excited to be in some photos for a change (open mouth and all).

Proof that some of the classic, old school toys are the best. Jameson wouldn’t let go of his little man peg (reminiscent of the Game of Life) the entire night from Jason, Lisa and Vivienne.

Here I am, trying on Jameson’s onesie from Aunt Holly. Captured on camera thanks to Emily, haha.

This used to be a card from his grandma and grandpa.

One of the last gifts of the evening, and one of my favorite photos. A frog hat, from my friend Teresa.

Jameson had a good time, but he missed an afternoon nap and was so tired at the end!

We had a great time! We opened more gifts, from us to Jameson and others who missed the party, on Sunday. Jameson really got the hang of opening gifts by the end. Some of his favorite things, of course, are the wrapping paper, bows and tissue paper. It’s the simple things, right?!

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This is all about the hard work that went behind the scenes of Jameson’s first birthday party!


Jameson didn’t care much about the theme (haha), so I decided on a “one year in a flash” style party I found inspiration for here. The colors I chose were blues, whites, silvers and a flash of bright green, and I planned on using his photos and the time capsule in the party as well. Here’s my original post on the party theme. And in the end, I even found a way to use his love of his little brown bear stuffed animal in his outfit.


The invitations were printed with SmartPress on their Felt Weave paper. Here’s a recap and more photos of the final invitations.


Each invitation included a card to fill out for Jameson’s time capsule. Jameson ended up with $15 in ones (hmm…); an Akron neighborhood map; lots of well wishes, and some sealed envelopes which I didn’t open even though I’d love to know what’s in them.

I still need to get a final box or jar to put everything in and seal it up for eternity 18 years.


You probably didn’t forget these lovely garlands on the chandelier. Here’s a recap on how they were made.

I also did one that I hung Jameson’s 12 months of photos on over the fireplace, so there was a festive garland in just about every room.

We had balloons everywhere. We rented a helium tank from ABC Rentals. You get more helium for the same price it costs for a tank from a party store. I actually think the balloons did the most to shout “birthday party!”, more so than the garlands of dots and snowflakes. Everyone loves balloons!


In addition to the garland with 12 months of photos, I had a photo wall in the shape of a 1 for Jameson’s party. This was my favorite part of the whole party and everyone loved to look at the photos. It was hard to select the ones to display.


We decided to do a couple stations of food to try and break up some of the crowd since we had this in our home. A lot of people attended, and it only felt crowded for a little while when people first were getting food. It was all easy food too:

meatballs in Brian’s special sauce
spiral ham & buns
pasta salad
mini hot dogs in crescent rolls
veggies & dip
nachos & taco dip
chips & pretzels
cheese & crackers
relish tray (pickles & olives)


Brian and I argued over the cake a few times (to say the least). I was planning on a mini bundt cake for Jameson, and I wanted to do a (or a couple of) regular bundt cakes for the adults. Bundt cakes would mean I could make a homemade cake myself, but they’re practically pre-decorated so I wouldn’t have to do anything sophisticated to decorate.

In the end we compromised with a store-bought cake for the adults that I decorated with frozen pound cake cubes to make blocks. It is clearly homemade decoration, but no one seemed to mind.

As for Jameson and the other baby cakes? They turned out fabulous. I made them on Friday night and I followed this recipe with carrot & peach baby food and applesauce to the T and was very happy with the results.

I baked them in the 6 mini bundt cake pan for 19 minutes. (P.S. I doubled the recipe and got a ridiculous number of little cakes, some 19 or so, I didn’t realize how much it would make). The icing was also great and I would make both again.

Jameson was pretty neat with his eating, but he liked it! In fact, I think he liked it all.


Finally, everyone got to leave with a photo (of course) and hot chocolate peppermint bag that Brian and I made on Friday. I couldn’t have done it without his help. The cocoa powder made a mess of the bags and made the marshmallows look “dirty” so the bags needed scrunched up close to a funnel to keep it fairly neat. My brother had his last night and said was good, so it was worth it. I followed this recipe.

The best part is the leftovers can be used as gifts for Jameson’s daycare teachers and co-workers.


Thank you’s are doubling as Christmas cards this year, so I’m knee deep in getting them done by tomorrow. I am so happy with how everything turned out and we had so much fun! We have such great family and friends.

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Happy 1st Birthday to my little handsome man, Jameson.

Today, we’re opening some gifts, taking naps, taking pictures, eating pears, eating pizza, and playing with lots of toys.

Plenty of time for reflection next week. For now, it’s all about joy.

The grand finale (just like fireworks, we piled all the blocks on Jameson). He loved it.

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I finally finished the circle garlands for the chandeliers, but I have to be honest: They looked a little incomplete. So I added cheap snowflake ornaments from Target (4 for $1!) and wa-la, finished product. I love them, and I’ll probably leave them up until Brian tells me to take them down.

They were very hard to photograph so you can see the details. I paid a lot of attention to the background of the photo because if it was too busy, it was too hard to see the snowflakes.

Each room of the first floor is decorated with the subtle garland and snowflakes (with a surprise one I haven’t shown here in the living room). Even in the entryway swing the large snowflakes from the banisters upstairs.

I’ve also been careful with the red this season. Jameson’s party colors are blues, whites, silvers, and a touch of bright green, so I limited the red ornaments that went on the tree and decorated around the house with as much blue & white as I had.

I hope everyone is ready for the ridiculous amount of photos I am going to take tomorrow, Jameson’s BIRTHDAY, and this weekend for his PARTY. I am so excited.

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Yes, it’s true, babies don’t need a whole lot. They play with the things that aren’t toys the most anyway, right?

But Jameson is both our firstborn and first grandchild in our family. He has both a birthday and Christmas coming up. He’s bound to get a lot of new toys and clothes and necessities and a lot of un-necessities too. Here are a few things that we’ve gotten him, know that he is getting, and a few things we’ve gotten other babies around his age.*

Stride-Rite gift cardPlay tunnels | Kid-sized towels

Every new walker is a growing boy or girl who will need new shoes again and again sooner than their parents might want.

They’re also really into exploring, a perfect time to introduce these collapsible play centers (and keep them away from exploring other areas of the house like the toilet seats or trashcans). However, a lot of them say they have small parts and aren’t to be used by kids under 3, so use at your discretion!

And if your baby or your friend’s baby hasn’t already outgrown those small newborn baby towels, maybe now is the perfect time to give them a new kid-sized towel that will last longer than their newborn towels did.

Blocks | Giant stuffed animal | Sled

Blocks made for babies are great because they make them now with interactive elements, like mirrors, bells, and textures. Jameson is getting two different sets and the great thing about these is that they can be used for years to come as their block collection can grow.

I don’t know about other babies, but Jameson is loving pillows and soft items. So we thought it would be fun to get him a giant stuffed caterpillar for him to dive into.

And a sled? That timeless classic will never get old for winter birthdays. For the one year old though find one with sides, maybe even handles, and check to see if the little one already has one first.

Finger Paint | Walker & Riding Toy | Puzzles

It’s never too early for finger paint. With supervision, any baby can make masterpieces before they’re old enough to hold a crayon.

Or if you’re looking for something perfect for that age, a walking and riding toy would be ideal.

To develop coordination, puzzles with extra large knobs are also fun. I know Jameson has a lot of books, but no puzzles yet.

Clothes | Touch & Feel Books | $$

Even (maybe especially) the second baby in the family would benefit from new clothes, particularly those clothes that maybe mom and dad don’t spend the money on. You know, the nice sweaters that aren’t on sale yet or high quality pants from a store that penny-pinching parents wouldn’t typically shop from.

Jameson has a lot of books and they are like magic to him right now. I’m not opposed to any number of books if they capture his attention. Baby Touch and Feel books are his favorite right now.

Last, a parent may not say it but money for a big purchase might be the most appreciated, such as for car seats or a college fund.

Bath Toys | Bibs | Snack & Food Utensils for Toddlers

Bath time is really starting to get fun for the one year old. Stick on letters, paint or crayons for bath time (I’ve also seen water dyes), or this endless water spout would be great. Plus, they’re getting more baths now because they’re messier right? Or is that just us?

Likewise, Jameson needs some new bibs, a lot of the ones he has are the small cloth ones we got at our shower, and he’s ready for some big boy bibs. Plus, bibs get gross. You can never have enough of these, I think.

One-year-olds are also getting to the age of snacking, spoons and forks (well, not quite yet), plates and bowls. I like the juice drink holders for when he learns how to use the straw, and the snack catchers are perfect for keeping fist fulls of food in the container instead of on the floor.

Kid Chair | Toys with Wheels | Personalized Stools or Puzzles

I’ve heard it from several parents that their kids just love their own personal kid-sized chairs and sit in them all the time.

And personally, Jameson loves toys on wheels. He’s not coordinated yet, but he tries to roll his animals on wheels, so we’re giving him a big red car that will be easy for him to push around. Vehicles, the pull behind doggy, and plenty of other wheel-ed toys are great. The risk here is that if you are buying for a friend, they may already have a lot of vehicle toys as these are a staple for little boys!

This sign is great for kids any age, but 1 is a special year and parents will appreciate the extra time and thoughtfulness of a personalized stool or puzzle.

Soft Ornaments | Christmas Tree | Food

Instead of a fancy first Christmas ornament, why not a few that baby can hang (or play with) him or herself that are soft or made of felt? I have a lot of ornaments that Jameson can’t touch, but not a lot that he can play with for hanging low on the Christmas tree.

And I admit it, this Christmas Tree I just think is adorable. It can even be personalized!

And for a stocking? Every baby loves puffs, cheerios, and teething cookies to fill that space.


What not to get (or at least consider carefully): Toys that take up a lot of space for babies that live in storage-limited homes and items without a gift receipt or way of returning. Let’s face it, even when you’re trying to find the perfect something, your perfect may not be their perfect. That’s okay, because your gift will still allow them to get something else they may really need.

*I have not used or experienced all these products, but I think they’re great ideas. As always, consider your purchases carefully and note any age specific warnings and details.

P.S. Looking for gifts for a 2 year old? Check out some of my suggestions.

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