Baby’s first birthday

Making it through the first twelve months is such an amazing milestone for both baby and parents. Baby has blossomed into a toddler becoming more and more mobile and vocal. As a mom, seeing my son turn one was bitter sweet: I’m so excited for how far he has come, but also so sad that my little baby is growing up. 

When I hosted my daughter’s first birthday party I got stressed and even overwhelmed at some points. Don’t get me wrong everything turned out fine and we had a blast, but I knew that I wanted to take a more laid back approach to my son’s party. With that in mind I started planning Bobby’s wild ONE party when he was about six months old.

The idea was to choose a theme that would work for a Texas January. Which means it could have been anywhere between 35 – 65 degrees. So a lodge/ forest wild ONE seemed the perfect fit. Plus we can re-use some of the buffalo plaid decor at Christmas. For my daughter’s party, I made many of the decorations on short notice which contributed to being stressed. This round we grabbed balloons, table cloths, and banners (more banners) months ahead of time, for less than $40 (including shipping). It was a good thing we ordered so far in advance since shipping from this site can take six weeks or more. To save ourselves some time and stress we decorated the afternoon before the party. Seeing everything in place made it very easy to make a list of items we still needed to grab before the party. We did the standard 1- 12 month photo banner and added a “my first holidays” banner (not pictured.) Table cloths went down on the sign, snacks, and goodie bag tables; and our wild one balloons hung above the gift area. Other than that we didn’t do much decorating, we figured with the majority of our guests being under ten they would most likely be on the floor or outside in the bounce house. 

Part of the cash we saved on decor went toward a cake smash photoshoot with Willie + Rose Photography, which has become a family tradition. These photos will last forever so I definitely think it is worth getting them done by a professional. We used our favorite shots for his party invites and thank you notes. Another budget efficient tip we used was only mailing invitations to out of town family and opted for a Facebook event for the remaining guests.

Keri’s Kreations makes the best custom treats in Waco, TX; they are almost too beautiful to eat. Keri did the cake & cookies for my daughter’s birthday so naturally she is who we chose for Bobby’s forest themed cake and woodland animal cupcakes to serve at the party. Both the the cake and cupcakes tasted like heaven. Bobby did not dig into his smash cake as expected, which was a bit of a bummer but I think he was taken back by seeing everyone sing to him. 

Although we we’re aiming for a laid back celebration, I’m a sucker for a good theme party and always looking for a reason to bust out a costume. Bobby’s first outfit has been dubbed the little stinker. He was such a good sport with this one he loved the little footie paws and kept rubbing the fuzzy section on his belly.

Bobby really enjoyed this little skunk outfit gifted to him at Christmas (thanks Uncle Nat), but couldn’t keep it on for the whole party. He started getting a little sweaty about an hour in. Assuming things would get messy we brought something to wear for after cake. Comfort is key, so we chose buffalo plaid joggers from B3 Wraps (using the code “Bobby” saves on your orders) and a custom birthday T-shirt from Hustle Darling. This was also one of the outfits from his birthday shoot.

Originally I hadn’t planned on doing goodie bags. I read an article about parents not wanting cheap little toys that break and the risk of food allergies or anti-sugar households and basically all the things that could go wrong, but my mom found the cutest little Pinterest project a couple days before the party, and I couldn’t help myself. So we put our own spin on it and made s’more kits with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and teddy grahams. The mix was put in snack bags and I added tags made out of cardstock. We thought a cheesy-yet-adorable bear pun would put it over the top, so I made stickers from mailing labels with my Cricut. I think they turned out super cute!

I told Bobby’s dad the day before the party that I felt much less stressed preparing for this one. To which he replied “second child syndrome” and chuckled. He was obviously joking, but I would be lying if I said that it didn’t sting a little. As a mother to siblings I strive to give both babies the same amount of effort and affection. I’d like to think that Bobby’s party was less stressful because we were able to use the knowledge gained from hosting Betty’s first birthday to make it easier for everyone involved to focus on the fun. The lesson I learned from hosting both is that the best part of any party is celebrating with people you love. Seeing all of our friends and family play, smile, dance, and laugh in honor of Bobby’s birthday was the highlight of the day. All the decorations, costumes, and gift bags are useless when you don’t have anyone to share them with. Our little family is so incredibly lucky to have people that show up for us and our babies.

 

Christmas lights in the village

Mayborn Christmas villageSince today is the last day of 2019, I figured if I wanted to squeeze a Christmas post in, I better do it now or forever hold my piece. My daughter and I added a new tradition to our list this year, the Mayborn Museum‘s Christmas lights in the village. Baby Bobby was sick so he & his Dad had guys night in, while Betty and I headed out.

Betty chose to wear her favorite holiday outfit. Which just so happens to be a dress (shocker) this one is pink with vintage Santa and holiday stocking pattern. We scooped it from a local boutique, here in Waco, called Junque Queen’s. We paired white knee highs and soft pink Ugg boots. We got these adorable boots from a friend, and have no shame in our hand me down game.  The look is finished with a coordinating B3 bow (don’t forget to use code: Betty to save when ordering from their website or the VIP group on Facebook.) It was pretty chilly so we added white, a faux fur, crop jacket to stay warm.

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After paying the entry fee, we were given glow in the dark necklaces, and headed to meet up with cousin Claire & her parents. Betty received a family membership to the Mayborn as a gift for her birthday, so going to the lights was just $5 per person for us (member rate). Once we made our way outside the girls were shocked by all of the lights, especially the tunnel at the entrance to the village.

After running through the light tunnel we made our way to a couple of cute photo opt areas set up by the staff. First was exciting for the girls, because they got to sit in Santa’s sleigh. The second included hay bales and an old timey wagon. I loved that all the guests were willing to take photos for each other, helping to preserve the night’s memories. Christmas may give people the warm and fuzzies, but I like to think their is a kindness built into the people here in Waco.

We continued through the village noticing cute Christmas activities offered at each of the village’s tiny buildings. Since the girls are unable to write legibly, yet, we skipped writing a letter to Santa at the schoolhouse, however it is a must try for next year.

We soon made our way into the line for Santa and only had to wait a few minutes for our turn. Betty always claims to be ready to meet him until it is actually her turn, at which point she very clearly wants nothing to do with the poor guy. So no Santa pic this round. But, I was able to snap a photo of my favorite cousin duo scoping out the pioneer home while waiting in line.

We saved the best part (personal opinion) for last, the petting zoo!!!! I’m about 98% sure if we would have tried the petting zoo first, other activities would have received zero attention and no participation.

There were donkeys, piglets, bunnies, goats, llamas, chickens, and even fluffy little puppies! I’m sure I left some off the list, but it is not my fault I was totally overwhelmed by their cuteness. All of the animals were well behaved. Only one of our group members, got poo on their shoe.  one out of five isn’t too bad. The puppies completely stole the show for me. So soft, fluffy, and friendly. Both girls gently pet each animal and had smiles as big as their faces would allow.

After sanitizing our hands we regrouped and headed toward the exit. Only to find the fox and the crow jammin’ out along the path. Our little ladies immediately started dancing their tiny hearts out. Unfortunately, we caught the tail end of the song and a break was announced. The band noticed how crushed our tiny princesses were and suddenly a Christmas miracle occurred, the singer asked if they’d like to hear Jingle Bells! Of course they did, so it was played specially for them and the dance party continued just a little bit longer, which made our entire night.

We passed snack and hot cocoa vendors on the way out, and decided on chips & queso from Fuego, before venturing back inside the museum. Fun fact: Betty loves chips & queso above most other foods, and requests it at every restaurant we go to.

There was no chance of making it all the way to the car without these two stopping to check out the enormous Christmas tree in the lobby. So we had a mini photo shoot and let the girls explore the beautiful ornaments. This was such a wonderful experience, I cannot wait to see what next year’s version is like. Fingers crossed everyone is in good health next year and the whole family can enjoy it.