Monday, April 11, 2011

What A Weekend It Was

In a truly shocking turn of events, my tiny newborn baby, who was just born a week or so ago turned ONE on Saturday. Seriously - this childhood thing? Blink, and you'll miss it.

A first birthday calls for a party, I say, so I planned a bunny themed fete for my girl.

Invitations went out a few weeks ahead of time.

And then the baking and cleaning and more baking and packaging and planning and organizing (and worrying and - briefly - panicking) began.

My mom bought special candy bar labels with Miss V's name on them, along with a ton of gorgeous decorations. Not to mention all the amazing presents. Can you tell I'm the only one of my siblings who has any children yet? My mama takes Granny duty seriously. ;)

I made three kinds of mini cookies - chocolate chip, oatmeal, and animal crackers cookies cut in flower shapes, vanilla bean cupcakes filled with vanilla whipped cream and topped with pink vanilla bean cream icing, and individual chocolate covered cakes in the shape of bunnies, which gave me FITS (see "panic" above).

I was going to make fruit, veggie and deli trays myself, with homemade rolls, but I ended up buying all that stuff and arranging it on pretty platters, because I reached a level of kitchen time that exceeded what I could stand. And I like being in the kitchen. But enough is enough, yeah?

Carrot shaped party favors.

The preparations were consuming and fun, and I was glad when everything was as ready as it was going to get. On Friday afternoon, the kids and I hopped in the car and drove to the airport to collect my parents and one of my sisters (Tassi, who is 13-going-on-14 and adorable) who are awesome and flew in for half a second to be here for Miss V's big day.

My dad and James very kindly picked up my slack and put together Miss V's big birthday gift...

A little pink play kitchen! She loves it. The J-bird loves it. It is already a beloved toy. We gave her a little tea set and some small pots and pans as well. I had a play kitchen as a little girl that my parents made, and I loved it beyond reason.

The big morning dawned, and my sweet little birdie woke up smiling. She bemusedly enjoyed our "Happy Birthday" singing and surveyed all her new toys. After breakfast, my mom and I assembled the table and slicked up the downstairs to get ready for the par-tay.

The blasted bunny cakes

My failed "milk and cookies" joke. The idea, see, was that babies can't have milk or cookies until they're a year old, see. Apparently, I'm the only adult in my peer group that still drinks milk. These were labeled "whole" and "skim". I kind of wanted to label one "breast", but then I didn't. Perhaps you are getting some idea of my sense of humor. Juvenile. Not all that funny to anyone but me. Fantastic.

I covered Miss V's high chair with some pretty fabric, so the background on the photos of her eating her cupcake wouldn't be the regular ugly cover.

Miss V took a short nap while we got everything ready, then she got up, put on her party clothes and got ready to boogie down!

It was a great time. Our (awesome) friends showed up with their families, the kids ran wild, the food got eaten, and no one said anything mean about my bunny cakes. Well okay...a few of my girlfriends made fun of me a little for getting so worked up, but I had that coming.

The big kids went up to the J-bird's room to trash the joint...I play.

And after everyone had noshed and socialized a little, I thanked them all for coming (breaking down in tears of course. Classic.), and we sang to the birthday girl.

who liked her cake a lot.

and wanted to share.

James liked his, too!

My dad and my daughter.

Miss V received beautiful, thoughtful gifts from everyone. She particularly enjoyed the wrapping paper, bows and cards. All very chewable.

Then, more socializing.

Partied out.

After everyone left, we cleaned up, and the kids took naps. Then, we got revved up again to go out...

to take some grandparent pictures at the park!

I am an extremely amateur photographer, but I love this setting, and I love how the pictures came out.

When the light was just about gone, and we were tuckered out, we hoofed it back to the car and went for some Chinese food for supper.

Miss V got her first taste of egg drop soup.

She liked it.

A lot.

And that's how it went! My family left the next morning for home - always a sad parting. And with the party thrown and the excitement over, I was left to reflect on the last year, the first of my daughter's life. Like most mothers, the milestones are a little bittersweet for me. I love to watch my children grow and change and become the little people who will become the big people they'll eventually be. I also think about the very tiny beings they were, and how those tiny beings are gone, my photos of them the only proof that they were here, that they were mine for a minute. My heart is full of joy and gratitude for who they are - and, once in awhile, a wee bit of longing for who they were. It's a good problem to have, and I try not to let myself be torn in two, but to roll around in this moment, soak it in, and be here for it all. To be grateful for what I get. Because whether I'm paying attention, or not, bitter or grateful, happy or sad, content or jealous, life gets inexorably spent moment by moment, and if I let them be, if I treasure them, then each of those moments is something precious and whole.

They come,

they shine,

...and then they go.

And I want to remember them and know that I didn't just let them all go by unnoticed.

Happy birthday, my precious baby girl.
I love you more than the sun in the sky,
deeper than the sea,
and farther than the birds can fly.


1 comment:

Berly said...

How is it possible that we are missing all of these milestones? Happy 1st birthday, Vivian Adele!!! G, the party... Can you please come and help me with Gabriel's 1st? Your creativity continues to have no bounds. Miss you guys so much! xoxo, Birdie