Monday, March 17, 2014

So many Firsts with a new baby

When you have your first baby, there are all of the important Firsts he or she will experience.  Baby's First Christmas, Baby's First Halloween, Baby's First time rolling over, Baby's First time sitting up, First solid food, and the list of important milestones goes on and on.
The other firsts are the things you will experience as a first time parent.  Some are amazing and make you love everything about being a parent.  The first time you feel that little baby fall asleep in your arms.  The first real bath time, which is scary and fun at the same time.  The first time you put him to sleep in his crib in his own room instead of in the bassinet next to your bed AND you don't check on him every 2 minutes to make sure he's okay.
Then there are the things that happen for the first time that are so surprising and no one has ever warned you about like the first time baby poops all over the place while you are trying to change his diaper.  
There are also so many firsts that are not spoken about, but still so important, like the first time you go out again after having the baby.  The first time YOU sleep through the night.  Leaving him with a babysitter and not someone in your family.
Of course, the most important first for you and the baby is his First Birthday Party.
You only get one and you want to make sure it's awesome and perfect and better than any other party you've ever thrown.  Most importantly you want to create the best memories of this day for you and the baby.  The problem is, he's not going to remember it at all.  So first of all, stop trying to make it seem like it's all for the baby, because it's truly a party for you.  And that's perfectly okay!  Almost everyone at the party will be adults and you want to be sure you have just as much entertainment for them as you do for any of the kids that will be there, but if they are close in age to your one year old, you can give them just about anything to play with and they will be happy.
Hudson's first birthday party was super important to me for many reasons, but a big one was because I missed my baby shower.  So this was my chance to make up for that and have the party be exactly what I wanted it to be.  I wanted it to be a cool original theme and lots of fun for everyone.  We don't have a lot of friends with babies yet, so I new it would mostly be adults and wanted to be sure everyone would have a great time.
I chose a fun mustache and bow tie  theme because my husband and I love to dress up and we enjoy a little bit of the old-fashioned.  I also chose blue and green colors to make it more modern.  I worked on this party for over three months.  I wanted everything to be perfect and I needed it to be affordable, so I made a lot of the decorations myself.  This was also a way for me to be creative, which is something I haven't been able to do in a long time.  I love event planning and I felt this would be a good addition to my portfolio.
Almost every night for those three months I worked a little on the party.  I surfed the internet for some cool ideas that I could try to incorporate into my decorations.  I also bought some ready made items from multiple party supply stores.  I made banners and streamers and cut out probably a thousand different mustaches and bow ties on card stock.  I don't think my scissors ever saw so much use before.
It was a lot of work and so  much fun.  It was also a bit of a stress reliever after long days at work and taking care of the baby in the evening it was nice to have a fun project to work on.
We were having the party at home and I knew it would take time to get everything right so I started putting decorations up a couple of weeks before the party.  This helped me take my time with it and not stress out with last minute decorating, although there was still some of that the day of the party anyway.

The party went great!

We hired our friend who is a photographer to come take pictures for us.  I figured it would be nice for us not to have to worry about capturing every moment ourselves.  Having a photographer really freed me up to take care of party stuff and my husband and I were able to be in all of the important photos  and not miss anything.
I had a few different outfits lined up for Hudson for the big day.  I wanted to get lots of pictures and I also knew that he would get dirty at some point so having back ups is always a good idea.
Everyone loved the decorations and couldn't believe I made so much of it by myself.  We had fun things for everyone to wear if they wanted like stick on mustaches and bow ties that my sister hand knitted.  I also had fun props for taking silly pictures.
I wanted the day to be fun for Hudson, so I made sure he was a part of everything and was able to touch and play with lots of things without worrying about him breaking or messing anything up.  I wanted to try get through the day without him crying or being sad about something.  I think we were pretty successful with that.  I did put him down for a nap before we were ready to open presents, it had already been a long day with all the photos and people coming in and playing that he was tired.  having a short nap time for the babies was important an helped avoid meltdowns.  It also gave the adults some time to mingle and have fun without the babies.
Present time was super fun.  Watching him come to the understanding that something awesome is underneath the paper was great.

In the end I was really happy with the way things turned out.  Putting that party together reminded me how much I truly love event planning and now I know I can do it for any type of event.  It can be a wedding or a kid's birthday party and they make me equally excited and happy.  It sparked my drive to start my business up again.  I am currently working on my website and can't wait to launch it in the near future.  I am trying to get some events lined up so I can continue to add to my portfolio.  I submitted the photos from my party to Project Nursery and was chosen as finalist for the month! It was a really great validation that my talent is real.  I can't wait for birthday number two so I can do it all over again!

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