Monday, April 23, 2012

Aiden's 1st Birthday: Recap!

There is so much I want to say about this party... it was fun, it was amazing, Aiden really had a blast...

The morning of Aiden's birthday (and the party) we got up and I made him a birthday breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. My mom came over to watch him so that me and the hubster could go to the church and start prepping for the party. We had a few awesome hands on deck - our children's director and a good friend who is a party planner actually took charge and what an amazing job she did! Aiden's God parents, his auntie, and his other grandma all came early to help with set up.

Cupcakes - my fondant toppers got lost in the mail! This was probably the worst thing that happened but I printed out pictures of the Wonder Pets, taped a tooth pick to each one and stuck them in the cupcakes. Then sprinkled each with a few M&Ms and viola! It still looked really cute though I did miss the fondant toppers.

Snacks - we spent a lot of the morning preparing ants on a log and fruit kabobs. We also had animal crackers with nutella as dip. Can you say yummy?!

Food - was super easy. I picked up sandwich platters from Subway and some great people contributed chicken wings and potato salad as sides. The kids got 100% juice boxes and the adults got water bottles.

Decor - was amazing! A friend of mine sketched a huge picture of the Wonder Pets and painted it. It looked awesome! Then we had balloon towers, inflatable animals, all kinds of amazing stuff.

Guests - we had about 25 kids, their parents, family and some close friends. I was so happy because two of my aunts who live in Arizona were actually in town and decided to come along with my Godparents from California. It was so wonderful to have them there.  It was kind of a big party and I really felt blessed because so many people love Aiden and came to celebrate with us. His next few birthdays will be much more low key but this was #1, we had to go big! The kids all seemed to have a great time - they had a ball pit, face painting, a Wonder Pets episode on the big screen and some fun goodie bags with their Wonder Pets t-shirts. 

My favorite parts of the day were 1) when Aiden arrived to his party. He immediately started pointing at everything and smiling and blabbing excitedly. 2) when we sang "Happy Birthday" and Aiden devoured his cake. It was his first time having cake and he loved it.

And here are some pics -- My wonderful friend came and played photographer for the party and she did an amazing job!!

Mama and Dada blew out the candle.. he laughed!

The cake table - cupcakes for all the guests and an applesauce "smash" cake on top for the birthday boy

He pointed at everything! My boy in his bday ensemble

There was a slide show with pictures of Aiden's 1st year on the big screen

Food table

Fruit Kabobs - they were a hit!

He made all the hard work worth it... he loves Wonder Pets

The water bottle labels were a last minute inspiration. I made them super quick and it was great!

My family :) We are so blessed with our Aiden

He didn't do much "smashing" to his smash cake.. but he did enjoy eating it! It was made with applesauce instead of sugar and all natural frosting. It was yummy - thanks to his God-mama!

 Ohhh yea and about the presents - we asked guests to consider giving a donation to a new after school program that our church is launching in the Fall. That worked out great! We are going to submit the money this Sunday and I am so glad people responded well to this. I want to start a tradition on Aiden's birthdays where he somehow gives back to a good cause instead of just receiving gifts. He did also get a bunch of great gifts - we have very kind, generous family and friends. Thank you all so much!

I am glad this party is over - Aiden had a blast and so did we!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy Emotions

My baby is turning ONE tomorrow.. 1! While I will still gladly state his age in months - "Aiden is 12 months, Aiden is 13 months, Aiden is 465 months" I cannot change the fact that he has been on this planet, in our home, in my life for one full year. I have been reflecting on this year and I admit, I have been doing a ton of crying.

When Aiden was first placed in my arms, I cannot say that the clouds parted and I had this glorious feeling of attachment and love for him. I have heard so many birth stories and have really felt guilty about not being able to say the same thing. I was crying and anxiously looking over at him while he was being weighed and evaluated. It was surreal... this little, tiny, baby had just come out of me. When he was placed on my chest, he was already rooting and lifting his head.. the nurse was wiping him down while I held him and I just kept saying "Hi sweetie, Hi Aiden"... at the same time, my doctor was stitching me up and my epidural had worn off so I felt EVERYTHING. I thought I was going to drop the baby because of the pain so I simply could not enjoy that moment.

Then came the recovery... boy was it a doozy. I had an overwhelming feeling of guilt because my body would not cooperate with what my mind wanted to do. Every time my baby cried, I wanted to run over to him but I could barely walk. My husband and my family did pitch in to help during those first few weeks and it was probably the most difficult couple of weeks I've ever experienced. I was in pain, I was emotional, I was overwhelmed and most of all I was TERRIFIED because this tiny life had been entrusted to me.

Move on past those first 2-3 weeks and I finally started to feel like a mommy. Aiden and I began to find our rhythm and all of those huge feelings of love and attachment came flooding in. I became a lioness, a protector, his comforter, his everything. And in that same way, he became my world as well. We spent countless moments together, cuddling on the couch or nursing in the rocker. I would stay awake at night just so that I could listen to him breathing and my heart would dance every time he cracked a tiny smile in his sleep.

I realize that my story may not be like that of most moms I know... or maybe it is, but they feel like they can't share about it truthfully. I don't think I instantly bonded with my baby and sometimes when I think about that I beat myself up about it... but then, I think of what we have now.. I think of how those eyes light up whenever he sees me and when he cries and says "Mama" because he has no doubt that I will be there to scoop him up into my arms. I think of that and I realize that it really doesn't matter how we started because look at how far we have come!!

Aiden came into my life and he changed the way I think about everything... he made me realize what is truly important and he gave me a new sense of who I want to be. He brought me even closer to my husband, he made us a family and he filled a void we never even realized we had.

This tiny baby who I brought home from the hospital one year ago, is now a growing, thriving, unique little person... I am so in awe of him and I am so thankful to God for bringing him into our lives.

Check out the video below to see what happened a few nights ago when we got home from work:


Just a little over 24 hours until his party tomorrow! I am working out all the tiny details and so excited to celebrate my baby boy. Pray for me people! Lol !!

Monday, April 16, 2012

5 Days Until BIRTHDAY!!

Aiden's party is on Saturday and it is going to drive me nuts!! I need a place to just run through and list what I have accomplished so far and what is still missing. What better place than my blog right?

The Ensemble...

Aiden's look for his party - "super hero chic". He is going to be rocking the Carter's birthday onesie with his best pair of jeans and a pair of Chucks. His fun piece will be the Wonder Pets cape! Girls get to wear a birthday tutu or tiara, well Aiden will wear his birthday cape :)
Carter's Birthday Boy Onesie

Red Wonder Pets Cape (Tuck)


The Eatables...

My goal is to keep the menu simple, healthy and kid friendly. I am going to buy water bottles and 100% juice boxes and there may be some potato salad / chicken wings added to this for adults. The cupcakes will really be the only sweets along with whatever candy I decide to put into the favor bags.


Ants on a Log

Fruit Kabobs

Wonder Pets cupcake toppers - Fondant

This Pic is my inspiration... cupcake tower with Aiden's smash cake on top. We'll see!
The Fun...

We have lots of fun activities planned. There will be a parachute play time, a soft play area for the crawlers, possibly a ball pit and an arts and crafts section. My main focus for this party is the kiddos and making sure they have a great time!

Labels for the kids goodie bags

Each goodie bag will have a Wonder Pets t-shirt for that kid!

We will probably play an episode on the big screen at the church
Aiden's aunt (my very talented sister-in-law) will be painting faces that day

I am going to be putting goodie bags together on Friday night and snacks on Saturday morning. My wonderful friend is helping by taking charge of the decorating and the T-shirts for the kids. My other wonderful friend is going to be our photographer that day and my husband will be putting together a slide show of pictures of Aiden throughout his first year.

I have to admit, I thought those people who planned big 1st birthday parties for their kids were kind of crazy but as I mentioned previously, that was before I became a parent myself and fell in love with this amazing, perfect little boy. I am totally crazy so don't judge me :) His next few birthdays will be super low-key, I promise!

Look at that face! I would do anything for that face!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Birthday: the first recap of many!

I have had no time to blog! There is so much going on in this little life of mine that I am just dying to write about... I wish I could just put the universe on hold for a while and finish up all of the drafted blog posts in my queue. Now that I am over my birthday and Easter, I am on full out - 1st Birthday planning mode for Aiden. We have two weeks! But before that, let me fill you in on how my birthday went... I will hopefully post about Easter too because it was AMAZING but that will take a completely separate post. By the time I get to that, Aiden's party will probably have passed and I will also include a recap of that. So I guess, instead of blogging in real time I will be the "Recap Queen" for the next few weeks. Not my first choice, but I'll do my best. Here is the first recap of many:

My Birthday
I turned the big 2-7 on April 1st! Yes, that is April Fools day *insert joke here* ... can we move on now? ready? LOL okay... so I had a really, really fun birthday. I had really specific ideas about how I wanted to celebrate this year. Last year I was very, very pregnant and only my husband's sneakers fit me. Needless to say I did not want to go out dancing.

I did want to meet up with some friends - specifically my female friends because those relationships have grown to mean so much to me. I have had lots of ups and downs in my friendships and have learned a ton about myself for it. My beautiful friend Lacy organized a little birthday brunch for me at her place and we went out for manis and pedis. The husbands stood home!  We had cupcakes, scones, egg bake, bagels.. it was so yummy! Lacy is super creative and she really did her best to make the day special for me. She is also a super talented person all around so I didn't expect anything less than AWESOME. Check out Lacy's website here.

The coolest part about this for me - all of the girls in my life were able to make it. I have been friends with many of them for a while and it has been a goal of mine to get all these ladies together.. I was so happy it finally happened. A few of the girls really seemed to hit it off which was great. I sat in the room and had so many "aha" moments... There is so much love around me and I am so, so, so, grateful for it. It was a really fun time!

Since my birthday fell on a Sunday this year I would spend the actual day with my church family  and then with my family in the evening.  My husband brought a cake to church and I was surprised with the whole church singing Happy Birthday to me. I really, really love my church family so it was so appropriate to spend my birthday with them.

On Sunday evening we went to my mom's for dinner. She got me beautiful flowers and my aunt came over and cooked my favorite foods. I got another cake there and it was just a very relaxing night with the family.

Overall, I had a great birthday - check out some pics from my girlfriends brunch below:

Lacy's Apartment all decorated for ME.. Thank you friend.

Those are chocolate cupcakes w/ blackberry frosting and homemade blueberry scones!

Thank you all so much for being there for me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Never Easy

Mondays are like a car that has been sitting out in freezing temperatures for two days and then suddenly, a key is turned and the car is started and warming up is going to take a while... and nothing is ever easy.

Birthdays are like a cake that has been baking in the oven for almost the right amount of time. If you pull it out too soon it won't be very good, if you pull it out too late it won't be good either...  it has to come out at just the right time to be satisfying, warm, ready to eat cake and somehow that never quite happens. The cake is usually good, edible, acceptable.. but not exactly as it should be. Nothing is ever easy.

Careers are like a huge shelf full of books - different genres, different stories and sometimes one is the best you've ever read and other times it is another. I guess the problem is that I cannot pick just one. Fiction and Memoir and Biography - I love them all and I cannot live without any of them.  I am good at reading all of these and I am good at doing many things. Today I can find healthy challenges and fulfillment in my career and tomorrow I could be bored out of my mind.  Nothing is ever easy.

Parenting is like your favorite roller coaster at the theme park. You get on and feel the biggest rush you have ever felt. You laugh so hard that you cry and you are so in the moment that nothing preceding or following that ride even matters. Then suddenly, that very same roller coaster that brought you such joy makes you sick to your stomach and your world is spinning and you just need to lay down... just lay down for a second.. because it just isn't easy.

Marriage is like the huge mansion on the hill that you pass by and wonder about day after day. You see the huge pillars, the breathtaking fountain in the front garden, the stone pathway to the front door and the bay windows. You wonder about the parties and formal dinners they must have inside... You wish that this was your house and you would call the butler for everything you needed and request your favorite meals from the cook.. But then you get inside that mansion to find that there are just rooms like any other house.. and that even all of the extra amenities can't make you happy. That there is still work to be done - beds to be made and knick-knacks to be dusted... so maybe this big mansion isn't going to make you happy at all... because nothing is ever easy.

And maybe I just want things to be perfect and that is really my own problem... but just one time, if only for today, I would just like something to be easy.