Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Party's Over

It's official. I'm now the mommy of a 1-year old. One year plus two days to be exact.

The party on Saturday can be summed up in two words: delightful chaos. While the details remain one big blur, I will attempt an account to share.

I spent most of Friday doing some last minute cleaning (windows, floors, etc.) and organizing for the party. DH got off work a little early and stopped by a local farm to pick up some hay bales as seating in the backyard. I baked Nate's smash cake, filled the favor bags and assembled the party hats and blowouts.

Saturday morning, we woke up early to pick up the guest cake at the bakery and prep the food. I set up the food table, hung the decorations and blew up balloons. I had just enough time to shower and take a deep breath before the doorbell rang at noon with the first group of arrivals.

Nate was in the middle of his morning nap at the start of the party so I was able to finish up some last minute prep and socialize while DH grilled. I received some phone calls and texts from friends and family who were stuck in traffic. Apparently, there was a 9-mile backup at the Bay Bridge and many of our guests were unable to avoid it. This meant that many of them arrived late and understandably disheveled. Our party seemed to occur in shifts. I apologized profusely out of guilt for the poor timing.

The weather was sunny. A little too sunny, in fact. The high was about 88 degrees and it was simply too hot for many guests to stay outside. So, everyone piled into our house, which dwarfed with 40 people inside. At one point, it was standing room only. I'm sure I wasn't the only one that felt like a sardine. But despite the close quarters, everyone maintained good spirits - even the youngsters.

Around 230pm, the majority of our guests had arrived and we decided to roll out the cake. Nate looked a bit nonplussed as everyone sang Happy Birthday. He wasn't sure what the big deal was. We put the cake in front of him and he picked at the fondant lettering daintily, suspicious of the contents. Being ever the evil mama, I took his hand and shoveled it into the cake. What can I say? I was desperate for a photo opp. I let him taste some of the buttercream icing off of my finger and he licked his fingers clean from the mess we made. But after that, he was through with the sweets and voiced his dissatisfaction being on display upon his throne. He would much rather play with the other kiddos that were grounded.

Once everyone had been served and indulged in their dessert, it was time to open gifts. Mommy and Daddy gave him a Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Home and Bounce and Spin Zebra. But our lucky little guy received so many other generous presents including a water table, trike, ride-on, puzzles, board books and clothes. His favorite had to be his Elmo Live from Grandma. His eyes just lit up the moment he spotted the furry red monster. The kids just about tackled each other to get closer. He was definitely the highlight of the party for the little ones.

After the last of the cards and gifts had been opened, many of our guests hit the road. Some family lingered for a while longer but by 5pm, it was back to just the three of us. Nate passed out early from sheer exhaustion. Before I retired to bed myself, I looked around the room at the clutter of empty food plates and loose wrapping paper. I never felt more blessed.

On Sunday, we decided to spend the day celebrating as the unit we created one year ago. As a family of three.

We took Nate on his first trip to the Baltimore Zoo. He marveled at the animals and the sights. His favorite exhibit was the giraffe house. He couldn't take his eyes off of them. He was so enthralled with the long-necked creatures that we stopped by the gift shop on our way out and got him a little stuffed giraffe so he could take a piece of our safari adventure home with him. He smiled at and cuddled with it the entire way home. It was so incredibly adorable.

The amazing thing was that he was on his best behavior all day. It's as if he knew it was his special day. No temper tantrums, like he has perfected as of late. No obstinence. He was in an unusually good mood - laughing, smiling, shrieking. He didn't shed a tear at all, all day long. I'd never seen him so happy. And I don't think I could have been happier either.

I tucked him in that night and shed a few tears as I reminisced about the happenings of the last year. It's always a little sad to close a chapter. After all, we had so many good times and learned so much about each other in the past 12 months.

But like any good story, I anticipate what's to come next. It can only get better from here.


Melissa said...

What a beautiful party! I'm glad you had a splendid weekend. I don't know why, but your post made me a bit teary-eyed, lol. I'm so glad everything went smoothly. happy 1st (belated) birthday to your handsome little man. :)

Barb said...


Mel said...

Happy birthday to your precious baby boy! Sounds like the party was fantastic. Great job!
My, doesn't time fly? I really cannot believe your baby is 1. Sheesh. Makes my head spin.