Monday, June 27, 2011

Caleb's 1st Birthday Party

To me, the ideal 1st birthday party would include all of Caleb's family and friends. All the people who have loved on him, snuggled him and supported us throughout this year. However, that guest list would overwhelm even the most social of babies!

As it was, we were blessed to spend this special day with our dear friends Tim (a coworker) and his wife Jen. This couple visited us at the hospital and delivered pizza and Motrin our first night home with our new baby. They've since had their own son, 4 month old Christopher, who also joined the party. Denise, another coworker and friend was also able to make it. She's been a wonderful help as we've been settling back in to our home in PA, babysitting on short notice and even helping us out with our garage sale.

Since Caleb and I both tend to be a little on the high strung side, I figured keeping the day low key would make it more enjoyable for both of us. As it turned out, the adults definitely ended up having as much fun as the kids!

Preparations for the party began the night before and Caleb was more than willing to help. Our mini-toddler wanted to be part of filling up the kiddie pool (our gift to him).

Of course, he needed to test the water.

It was all fun and games until a good yank on the hose made it squirt him in the face.

After Caleb was in bed, I put David to work shredding carrots and I started mixing the batter for carrot cake cupcakes.

After the cupcakes were out of the oven, David and I set out plates, napkins, etc., tidied up a bit more and went to bed.

The sun came up and the day started out perfectly with Caleb letting us sleep in until 6:30am. No, that's not sarcasm. He's been waking at 5:30 every day this month and we felt like new people just from getting that extra hour of sleep.

After eating breakfast together we traded off playing with Caleb and getting the last few party prep tasks completed. I made a cold pressed sandwich with pesto, salami, ham, provolone and red peppers (you can read the full recipe here) and put it in the fridge to chill until lunch. I also made home made cream cheese frosting for the first time, which ended up being way simpler than I thought. It did make me painfully aware of just how much sugar was in it, but the "yum" factor was totally worth it.

Guests began arriving around 11 and we spent about an hour letting the babies play and visiting with one another. Since Caleb takes two naps each day, time between them is limited so it was soon time to open presents and eat lunch and cake.

Caleb received lots of wonderful gifts including a "big boy" swing to hang outside, clothing, books, just-his-size gardening tools, a tool bench, new puzzle and a ball. He had so much fun ripping the paper and exploring each object. He certainly didn't seem to mind being the center of attention at all.

The adults ate lunch while Caleb fed himself what I hoped was enough slow burning carbs and protein to balance out all the sugar he was soon to ingest.

I tried not to have high expectations for the cake "smash" as Caleb had just begun feeding himself less than a week ago and it was getting really close to nap time. However, none of those factors stopped him from lifting the entire thing off the high chair and trying to cram it into his mouth. I laugh so hard every time I watch the video, but at the time I was petrified he was going to choke he kept putting such big pieces of cake in there!

After the babies were in bed for naps (yes, both at once miraculously), it was of course, time for the adults to clear the table and play Settlers of Catan! We finished the game just in time for the babies to awaken.

The original plan had been to spend the hottest part of the afternoon splashing in the kiddie pool, however, we decided between the breeze and a high that barely eeked over 80 degrees we'd have two chilly babies if we tried that. Instead, we worked on making foot prints on canvases for the grandparents. Tim and Jen also made one with baby Christopher. It was a fun and messy experience!

Paint on
Paint Off

After lots and lots of play time, feeding the babies dinner, doing bath time for Caleb, both babies went to sleep for the night and the adults were free to play Catan again. This time we played the geekier "Cities and Knights" version which totally overwhelmed me the first two times I tried it, but was much more enjoyable this round.

It was a wonderful day for celebrating his birth and spending time with great friends. Here are a few more of my favorite photos from the day:

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