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Entries in 1st birthday (6)


Alphabet First Birthday Party: A to Zachary


At a 3 am feeding when Baby Z was three weeks old, I had an epiphany. The theme for his first birthday party would be A to Zachary. Though deliriously tired, I somehow remembered this lightning bolt idea and almost a year later, we had an alphabet birthday party for our little boy.

The party was full of family, fun and smiles. But I know what you guys are here for. Pin-able party pictures! Without further ado...

I used a Cricut to cut a lot of letters for this party, especially for this sign in on our front porch (yes, I realize now that the C is upside down!). I also had a silohuette made on Etsy of my sweet little boy (I used this on the invites too).

I made this wreath years ago (for Jennifer's baby shower for Elle!), and I update it for the seasons or parties that I host.

Nic and I worked together to melt down old crayons and pour them into a silicon letter mold. These crayon favors were a bit more fragile than I had hoped, but were fun to make.

This is one of my favorite things about entertaining at our new(ish) house. I can WRITE ON THE WALL! I have horrible penmanship, but chalk is SO forgiving. I fully recommend sidewalk chalking your house for a big party impact (test an area first to make sure your chalk will wash off).


More letter decor. The Lego letters were a last minute addition to hold down the tableclothes in the wind. Grampy and Nic had fun putting those together the morning of the party.


I used letter cookies from Trader Joe's for Z's name and filled a cookie cutter with sprinkles for the 1. Then I filled the ring around the cake with more sprinkles! Inside, this is a funfetti cake.

BabyBetas Reese and Elle seranade Z!

Z enjoying his personal, dairy-free funfetti smash cake!

Happy family celebrating our birthday boy.



To My Daughter On Her 1st Birthday


Lovely Ava. You are beauty embodied.

When you were a newborn, I used to stare at your balled up little fists and whisper, "Open your hands to the world, Baby Girl. Open your hands and reach for anything you want in life."

It looks as if my prayers will come true. I don't know what your future holds but I do know that you are a little girl with determination and tenacity. You open your hands to explore your world every day and it makes me so proud.

Mothering your big brother has taught me that infancy goes all too fast. So while you are still my little baby girl, here are the things that I want to remember the most about you.

  • Your smile. You love to smile and you have a darling dimple under your right eye when you do.
  • You wake up in the middle of the night mad as snakes. That smile is nowhere to be found. You want milk, a clean diaper, and to go back to sleep posthaste.
  • The way you point with such determination to the things you want. When I pick you up out of your crib you point to the rocking chair so declaratively that I can hardly refuse. 
  • You are a good eater! You took to finger foods far better than your brother ever did and I am proud of your adventurous palette.
  • Your vocabulary! So your first word was Dada. You say a lot more than that now including Mama, which melts my heart every time I hear it.
  • You want to walk in the worst way and get angry if we aren't holding your hands around the clock to help you. You cling to our fingers and wonder around the house as if you own the place.
  • You are completely enamored of your big brother, if not a little aggressive with him. You like to pull his hair and bang on his head if he comes too close but he is sweet with you and usually tolerates it. Except when he doesn't. He has been known to snatch toys right out of your hands and sometimes throw them all too close to your face. I have a feeling you'll be telling him how you feel about that soon enough. 
  • You don't care much for dolls or princesses but you sure do love your brother's superheroes! 
  • You wear it well! Mommy chooses your wardrobe with care and precision. I dress you like a proper little lady, although I choose very little pink. 
  • You give open mouth kisses, or none at all! Big, wet, and unapologetic. 

 I love you so, Ava Girl. 


Give or Give Back


Reese on her 1st BirthdayI’m part of a wonderful Mommy group in San Francisco. We’re really close and started our own Facebook page so that we can easily chat with each other via status updates and also plan events.  Our babies are within a few months of each other in age, which means there are a lot of 1st Birthdays this summer. 

With such a large group we acknowledged that it would be excessive to buy a birthday gift for all of the 1-yr-old birthdays in our group. So, instead, we created a pool of money using WePay, in which the total amount collected will be contributed to a local charity.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Agreed on a local charity
  • Assigned someone to set up a WePay account  (super easy, takes a few min)
  • The organizer then sends a "Payment Requested" 
  • You can choose to pay via bank account or with a debit/credit card 
  • NOTE: One caveat about WePay is that there is a nominal fee for each person who uses it. I personally don't mind this fee for larger groups like ours, since it makes collecting money from everyone a lot easier -- but for smaller groups the fee doesn’t really make sense. 

I’m happy to share that my Mother’s Group will be contributing to the Early Child Education Program at Compass Family Services.

And a big Happy Birthday to all of our little ones! 


The Power Of One


One year. It's been one whole year since I became a mother. Since I met my baby boy and held him in my arms for the first time. Since we became a family. One whole year. How can that be!?

I don't cry very easily. If I get emotional, I get to that almost-tears-but-no-tears stage. But today I am totally Emo Mommy and it is hitting me from left field!

I don't know exactly what about this day is making me so emo. Is it that my baby boy is growing up so quickly? Is it that we have completed a full year of parenthood with what I consider to be success? Is it that I am so happy or so melancholy? I can't put my finger on it.

I am so proud of this little man who is fast asleep right now on his first birthday. He is happy and kind and smart and earnest. He reminds me so much of his father and myself but he is very much his own little man. When I think of what life would be like if he had never come into my life, I want to start up the waterworks again! What is with me? Is this normal? Share your Emo Mom stories in the comments or on Facebook so I don't feel like such a blithering fool!


Healthy Cake Recipes for Baby's 1st Birthday

Just a couple weeks away until Tazzy’s 1st Birthday! I’m planning to make a cake but have yet to determine a recipe. I'm looking for a cake recipe that won't give her sugar shock! I'm not opposed to giving Tazzy sugar by any means; I just prefer that for now I focus on natural sugars as she'll have plenty of time for the other stuff as she grows.

I found a bunch of healthy and delicious cake recipes on one of my favorite baby food web sites Wholesome Baby Food. There are lots of options including carrot cake, apple swirl cake, apple spice cake, vanilla cake and more. There are also some great sugar-free recipes at Homemade Baby Food Recipes including applesauce & banana cake, carrot cake, and spiced banana with dried fruit.

And here is another option for a sugar-free carrot cake more that I found from a member who posted on BabyCenter. 

I haven’t yet decided which cake recipe I will use but I am leaning towards making a carrot cake.

You'll notice that a lot of the recipes posted on Wholesome Baby Food call for some sort of granulated or brown sugar. I agree with the folks at Wholesome Baby Food that a little bit of natural sugar isn't going to hurt your baby. It's not like they're going to eat the entire cake...although my little Tazzy might try. She loves her some food! 

Anyway, for anyone interested in making a somewhat healthier version of a cake or even a cake with no added sugar for baby's first birthday check out some of the options above.

And if you have a recipe you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you!