Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Jacob!

Well, as I mentioned in my post on Saturday, we survived Jacob's first birthday. The party had me nervous, for a number of reasons. I'm not a great party planner, and I just get nervous that I'm going to forget some huge but mundane detail. You know, like we'll get ready to eat and have no ketchup or something. The weather was forecasted to be terrible, and I basically had a week of evenings and one full day to get ready. I didn't feel like we needed to do a big, fancy party because Jacob isn't old enough to know better yet. I'd rather save the fun themes and any expensive entertainment for when Jacob is old enough to enjoy it. Still, he only turns one once, so I didn't want to go too low-key. We did go to Party City the other night and spend around $25 on decorations and accessories...a "1" candle, a bib, "Happy Birthday" banners, balloons, a tablecloth, a "1st Birthday" plate for Jacob's cake, and some napkins. Nothing fancy, but enough to make it look like we made an effort! It's amazing how much we could have spent...or may spend down the road for themed friend parties. Wow...that's a whole new world and a far cry from the parties I went to (or hosted) as a kid.

Anyway, one of my bigger challenges was keeping the party nut and egg-free for our nephew Grant. Nut-free wasn't hard...but egg-free is a bit challenging, primarily because you have to avoid salads with mayo, cross-contaminated meats (meaning, they can only come from meat-only processing plants...not Wegmans' meat department, for example) and any egg-containing treats like store-bought cakes or French Vanilla ice cream. Lots of label reading, that's for sure. I'm not sure how Craig's brother and his wife do it. Anyway, no egg meant that I had to make the cake myself. Fortunately there's a nifty shortcut...just take a store-bought cake mix, add a similarly colored can of soda, mix and bake. You'd hardly know it was different. It's just that I don't have a lot of cake experience, nor much equipment. Definitely investing in a pastry bag next time. Anyway, getting the cake together and decorated was probably my biggest stress, and although it's not particularly pretty, I suppose there's a certain first-timer charm to it. Jacob's little cake turned out pretty cute, too. I'll only get better with experience, I'm sure. At least it tasted good.

Here's Jacob before the festivities really got going...

On to gift opening...reading the adorable Snoopy-themed card from Craig's parents...

Checking out the Busy Ball Popper...this ended up being the first big toy we opened later on, because I figured it was high impact with minimal assembly. Jacob's still figuring it out but likes the balls and laughs when they start flying everywhere and we make a big deal out of it.

He, ummm, really liked the gift we gave much so that he's eating it. Yeah, he's really got an oral fixation lately. And with teeth, that is no fun for us. Or him, for that matter. When he was really upset yesterday he gave himself a bite mark on his arm. Ouch.

So, by the end of gift-opening he was getting really squirmy and a little cranky, so I knew cake might be a problem. However, the show must go on. He mashed up the cake pretty well, but it was sort of more in anger than anything.

He didn't really get a good taste until later, when he was clean and calm and decided he wanted Mommy's cake. I got a baby fork and fed him some bites of cake and ice cream, which he really seemed to like!

It was a long day and all things considered, I guess he did well. Cake time wasn't the best time to have a tantrum, but what can you do? He was a good boy being handed around all day, and it was nice to have everyone over since we don't get our extended families out to Rochester very often. We survived the rain thanks to our large garage and our fantastic 70's-era party basement. But it was WET. Again, thanks to everyone for coming. We had a good time and I think someday Jacob will appreciate it!

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