Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Lazy Mom's Guide to a First Birthday Party

Way back at the end of October, we celebrated Elsa's first birthday with a party at our house.  You may remember that I was feeling pressure from the interwebs that I needed to have some elaborate party with a theme that dictated the food, decorations, favors, and music.  And well, let me tell you a secret: I'm lazy.  And the phrase I've most frequently uttered in the last 12 months is, "I'm sooooooo tired."  So, I just lacked the motivation/creativity/energy to plan some elaborate party for the birthday girl.  I know; I'm the worst mom ever.  But, I think I still managed to put together a decent first birthday party, which I will now share with you in photos.

Some of the most thrilling decorations included balloons.  Pin that for inspiration, ladies!


But I did have a once-in-a-lifetime (for a scientist) surge of creative energy when I painted these pumpkins.  Cute, right?


I bough alphabet stencils and had planned on just doing the lettering with polk-a-dot silver paint, but I got carried away and ended up painting the entire pumpkin.

And rather than hand-carving picture frames from a tree planted the day I learned I was pregnant, I bought some cute paper and taped pictures of Elsa through the year to put on display.


I also didn't want to have to clean my house, so I made sure to plan the party on a weekend after the cleaning company came.  And forget about cooking food: I ordered some dishes from The Art of Entertaining and it was worth every penny to not have to stress about cooking food to feed a relatively large crowd.  I also didn't bake a cake from scratch.  This was the big party splurge, but I ordered a big cake and a smash cake from The Cakery.  I made the most of all these food purchases by eating all the leftovers.  I'm pretty sure I ate almost the entire smash cake and a decent amount of the big cake all by myself over the course of the next week.  You can't waste cake like this, even if you do gain a few pounds in the process!





We also bought this adorable hat/bib combo from Etsy (sorry, to lazy too look up where we got it), which continued with the monster theme in Elsa's nursery.  She refused to wear the hat.


Here is the little lady's loot from us.  Her big gift was a monogrammed chair from Land of Nod.  In an effort to push my scientific interests on her, I also chose an African painted dog stuffed animal and a book with big animal pictures to give to her.  An awesome friend from grad school also handed down a play kitchen that her daughter had grown too old for.  So cool of her to give us that!  The thermostat was not a gift.



So now onto pictures from the actual party.  Here is Elsa in her jail cell waiting for her guests to arrive.


Levi enjoyed his patch of sunshine before the party started.


As always, Elsa's cousins showered her with love and attention.  She has the best cousins a girl could ask for, including one who photo-bombed this family photo (Elsa is eating her barrette).



And the same cousin helped with the barrette placement seen here. But when you have so little hair to work with, you have to be creative.


Getting a picture of the five grandchildren is nearly impossible.




The smash cake didn't really get smashed, which is why I ended up eating pretty much the entire thing.  Even when she did taste it, she wasn't really into it, which proves that Elsa is not, in fact, my biological child.





She was more into feeding me the cake than eating it herself.



Finally getting a taste




The cousins were encouraging her to dive right in!


And this is about as messy as she got.




While we were getting food, the weirdest thing happened.  I had my iPod playing a Pandora kids station throughout the party.  My sister was the only person in the kitchen and I was in the sunroom and we both noticed that a song my dad used to sing to us when we were kids was playing.  I listen to the station all the time with Elsa and had never heard it on there before and haven't heard it since.  It was like he was trying to tell us that he was there.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.

After cake, she opened the presents our families very generously brought her.  You really have to rush through the first birthday party because kids melt down so quickly and you want to end the party on a high note.  She did really well and I think she had a fun time, even if her mom didn't embroider a tutu for her from the tulle worn by her grandmother at her first ballet recital.  She did get to show off her newly acquired walking skills, though.


I just can't believe I now have a toddler.  Lord help me.

And by the way, the (lack of) quality of the photos seen here demonstrates how one year of sleep deprivation will diminish the skills you possess in all areas of life.


*K said...

This post cracked me up! Anyway, congratulations on making it through the first year and happy birthday to Elsa!

Stephanie Lutostanski said...

That's my kind of party! I'll eventually post pics of Evelyn's on my blog, but any "pinteresty" effects were entirely done by my girlfriend. I bought premade food and served it. That was it. Oh, and I attempted to make her cake. Looks like a great time to me!

Kate said...

You are not a lazy mom... you are a working mom!!! I hear you on every single thing you said in this post!!


Emily said...

This post made me laugh and is exactly why I love your blog. =)

Julia said...

aw, it's all so cute! her bib is the BEST and I love this post. Happy belated birthday, baby girl.

Anonymous said...

really, THIS was the best line of the entire blog and I'm sure there was a collective gasp in the pinterest motherhood everywhere...

"And rather than hand-carving picture frames from a tree planted the day I learned I was pregnant..."

so fantastic! thanks for sharing her day with us!
Debbie D.

homeless parrot said...

Ok, this irks me:

"You may remember that I was feeling pressure from the interwebs that I needed to have some elaborate party with a theme that dictated the food, decorations, favors, and music. And well, let me tell you a secret: I'm lazy."

I know you mean this jokingly, but I want you to stop saying it even in a jesting manner. You are NOT lazy. You are a mother with a toddler and a FT job. It's EXHAUSTING. Yes, Pinterest is wonderful and putting on parties is fun, and making neat creative stuff is great, but you know what kids remember? That you were there. That you love them. And they remember what you say about yourself. So don't be telling your daughter that you are lazy.

I know you're jesting, and I'm being all serious, but I really want your daughter to know how incredible her mother is, and to appreciate that. Just because you didn't hand-carve teak picture frames for her first birthday doesn't make you 'lazy.'

Ok, rant off :)

hom said...

This should make you laugh:

homeless parrot said...

That was homeless parrot above.

Catherine said...

Mary, I was looking for your email address to tell you how much your blog has meant to me. I couldn't find it, so I'm going to tell you in a comment.

My friend and I both got pregnant around the time Elsa was born and we have tracked your journey the whole way through. Your honesty and candor have been so helpful and encouraging. My friend and I will call each other and say "did you read her post where she said xyz??? So helpful right?" Thanks for sharing your stories.

I am looking forward to our 1 year old birthday party that will feature pizza and beer and that's pretty much it.

Anonymous said...

ahhh you are so funny. I'm playing catch-up with your blog and enjoying it -- even though I should probably be sleeping while baby is napping! Oh well. :) (what a great birthday party!)