Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Party Time!!

I love birthdays.  I love all birthdays - my friends, my family, and especially mine.  My mom really wasn't into birthday parties, and so I had to plan my own.  I think I was about 7 when my mom caught onto the fact that even though we were renovating our house, I had invited several friends over to celebrate my birthday.  We moved the event to my Auntie Caryl's house, and the party carried on. 

Later in life, I tried several times to plan my own surprise birthday party.  How much fun is that!  Your friends and family all gathered to eat, drink and be merry.  However, it is not easy to plan your own surprise party - believe me, I know, I have tried. 

So I don't think it was any surprise to anyone, that I was right excited to plan the biggest birthday party of them all - the 1st Birthday.  I should add a disclaimer here, I am of the opinion  that 1st birthday parties are really for Mom's.  There are no labour pains, you haven't just spent the last 9 months pregnant (which let's face it, is not fun), and people aren't snapping a photo of you in your ugly green pyjama's without your hair or make up done.  This day celebrates a full year of motherhood, and I was ready to rock it out - you know, like a 1 year old.
The other thing I love about birthdays and birthday parties?  You get to plan, and I love to plan.  I started back in January, I came upon some Birthday Party decorations clearly made for a boy turning 1, and knew this was my moment.  I loaded up the bottom of the stroller and headed up to the counter.  The cashier looked at Sloan and said are you the birthday boy?  I said yup.  She said "And when is the party?" I replied "The end of April" - and that seemed to be a conversation killer.
I could hardly contain myself between January and April.  I scouted the internet for ideas, and after confirming the date with a must have guest, I set to work on the invitations.  These had to be hand made, because those store bought ones were just a bit cheesy - and it kept me busy.

Invitations done, it was time to move onto decorations and the cake.  Reg would probably like to point out I was about 8 months pregnant when I started planning this cake, I took a 4 week beginners cake decorating class, and then I took most of the level 2 classes,  but missed the last class because it was the day after Sloan's "Birth" day.  Here is the result of more hours than I can count...

I cut those little cupcake wrappers out on my Cricut, I moulded the dots and the 1's out of chocolate, and then used a large cake pan to make the big chocolate "1".  I hope Sloan enjoyed it, I don't forsee this every year...

Next I had to ensure the guest of honor would actually be awake and socialable, and sadly I wasn't 100% successful.  I had decided to start the party at 3:30, figuring Sloan would be up from his nap and ready to P-A-R-T-Y.  Well he was asleep when the first few guest arrived, and then woken up...not making for the most socialable baby...but all in all he did pretty good.  You may notice a few less smiles than usual in these photos though. I think there might be some shock showing as well, no one told the birthday boy that all these people, decorations and balloons would be invading his house while asleep.  I guess that makes it a Surprise party afterall!

He was a little suspicous about the cake at first look...

But did get in the groove after a taste test

I had envisioned a big chocolatey mess for his first taste of cake, but he was rather delicate and carefully ate it slowly while watching all the people.  Where was the destructo baby that I fed everday?  I was later told that in order to get a good cake smash photo you have to plan ahead, and feed them a cupcake a day for a few days prior - I guess I missed that bit of planning. 

From there it was on to presents...we should have practiced this too, I bet it won't take nearly as long next year to open presents.

He was a litle reserved at first...carefully checking out his new wheels from Nana and Poppa, but it didn't take long to figure out that this was FUN!!

And luckily my cousin Austin and his buddy were there to help with the toy assembly.

And soon the party was over...time to just hang with his brothers and sister.

Not disimiliar to planning a wedding, after the guests had gone, and it was just us and the mess, I was left feeling a little like "That's it?"  Only one thing to do at that point, plan the next party!  After all there was still cake, decorations, and we had missed some key guests on round one, Grandpa Giles was in a poker tournament, the Tebbs were in B.C. at a hockey tournament, Laureen, Rob & Sage were in BC, and some friends had also been unable to attend, and so we had a lunch party on Sloan's actual birthday.

A couple of days had passed, so I thought we should warm up in the morning

No worries, present opening is just like riding a bike, it came right back.

As the lunch hour approached I got Sloan ready for his guests.

The cake was now one layer, and when I put the giant chocolate #1 in it, it fell we were down to a single layer, not so fancy, but still yummy cake.

Just a little coaxing from Auntie, and we had a pretty good time with the cake this time...

And the true sign that the party was a success?  When guests start passing out.

And just like Grandpa Giles, I am officially birthday partied out.



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