Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The party was a colossal success (despite high winds that kept trying to take our balloons, napkins, and table cloths). The forecast had been threatening thunderstorms, so I didn't mind the wind one bit.
We rented a pavilion at the park near my parents house. It was pretty large - housing eight picnic tables, so even if there had been rain, we could have made do. We started off with "just" family (ha! Between jb's family, mine, and significant others there were fifteen people) doing prep work. It was also pretty special because it was the first time all the members of our families were in one place -and sadly will probably be the last. All hands were on deck preparing food, picking up balloons, putting up decorations, setting up the plates and utensils, choosing music, and loading and unloading cars.
I made some decorations for the party. I made the birthday boy a shirt and a crown (the crown he wore all of ten seconds) with a "1" on them. I also made a "Happy Birthday Leo" banner and twelve posters - one for each month with a picture from that age. Aunt Fanny and a friend also made a piñata - but that will get it's own post.
Leo napped right up until the beginning of the party - and he arrived in the last carload to find a decked out pavilion full of his family. I worried that the mediocre weather and thunderstorm forecast would keep people away, but most everyone who RSVPed showed up.
As the guests arrived Leo was a total ham - both with familiar faces and people he hadn't seen since he was a newborn. I had been worried that it might be overwhelming (there were almost 50 people there), but he loved it. He also loved that there were kids there! There were a few babies/toddlers around his age as well as some older kids. He had a blast watching them run around and enjoyed playing with them in the grass and on the playground.
I do think his favorite part was when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him. We sang twice, once in English and once in Spanish, and through both songs he was mesmerized watching everyone. After the songs he clapped and squealed along with the crowd. When it was time to blow out the candle (which Uncle Daniel took great pains to light and shield from the wind) Leo couldn't figure out how to blow, so he stuck his tongue out at it.
We ate wholesome food, caught up with friends, listened to music, enjoyed the outdoors, and really celebrated the milestone. It was a freaking fantastic day.
When we got home at around seven pm, I changed Leo into his pjs and he opened presents. Abi, Grandpa, Aunt Fanny, Uncle Nick, and Aunt Lissa got him a play kitchen and accessories. We didn't set up the kitchen until our return to Philly, but he was happy enough to play with the utensils before bed. Then I took him upstairs, read him one of his new books and put him to sleep with one of his new stuffed animals. The kid was asleep in seconds. At this point (8:00), he had been awake for five (very exciting) hours and hadn't nursed in almost seven hours. What a big boy. I can't believe it.
As for a quick run down of milestones:
He is a little mockingbird. He will repeat words/sounds and copy movements or faces. It's incredible. He's making more and more complicated sound pairings. "Talula", "Open", "Globo" - of course they are unrecognizable to anyone that doesn't know him well, but I'm still counting them as words :)
He is a regular chatterbox. He's babbling to us, to himself, and even in his sleep ALL THE TIME. It's so funny. Sometimes I think he really is talking and I just can't understand him. jb calls it talking in cursive - which I think is a great description.
He isn't walking unassisted, but will walk while pushing things around the house. To me it looks like it would be easier to just walk than to push things on wheels or that are twice his size, but he's not quite ready to fly solo.
When I nurse him to sleep I often rub his side with my hand. If I stop, he takes my hand and moves it up and down his side to let me know that he'd like me to keep doing that. MELTS ME.
I feel like there's so much more, but I can't think of it. This is SUCH a fun age. It's like he's exploding with development - but still wants to please. He's like a little trick monkey. I can see little glimpses of defiance rearing it's ugly head - like if I take a coveted object away or if someone leaves the room that he doesn't want to go. But overall, he's still a really happy easy going kid.
I'm really looking forward to the second year.
Some notes on the DIY projects:
I made the t-shirt he wore out of two men's t-shirts I scored at the thrift store (45 cents each! I went in with a dollar and left with the two shirts and a dime) and the crown that he wore for all of ten seconds out of some felt and elastic.
For the shirt I used this tutorial: Baseball T (super easy)
And I just winged it for the crown - felt is really forgiving.
The banner and posters I made out of some scrapbook paper and cardstock.
Banner: Used Microsoft Word for the letters and traced them from the screen right on to the scrapbook paper (careful to make sure they read in the right direction on the pretty side) and pasted them to the cardstock squares. Two hole punches at the top and strung them up with some twine. Easy-peasy lemon squeezey.
Posters: Printed the twelve pictures from snapfish.com and pasted them to pieces of cardstock and then to the scrapbook paper background. Printed out each of the months and pasted above each corresponding picture and tacked them up on the posts of the pavilion on the day of the party. Instant crafty walk down memory lane.