Baby A.'s first birthday party was re-scheduled twice, due to snow. Essentially, we've been celebrating her birthday for two weeks now. Way to drag it out baby girl! We finally were able to celebrate with friends/faux family this weekend:
To keep with the "Ladybug" theme of Baby A's first birthday, I used various circle punches & the "Circles" Sizzix die to cut hundreds of black circles from scrap cardstock. I used double sided tape to adhere them to my red (how convenient!) dining room & kitchen walls.
As the primary photographer in our family, I have very few pictures of my kids & myself. I had passed my camera to my girlfriend Jenny right before we sang Baby A. "Happy Birthday". Although I look terrible (& it looks like I'm trying to eat her headbow -- which I made, Melissa!), I love the shot. Baby A. has always leaned in & rested her head on my head. It's something that is distinctly her -- Jenny just happened to capture that moment.
In less fortunate times, when infant mortality rates were higher, a baby's first birthday was largely a celebration of survival. These days, a first birthday is as much a celebration of the parents' survival as the baby's. That first year, with it's sleepless nights, unpredictable schedules, and nearly constant demands, is a hard one. On the other hand, parents witness and incredible unfolding as their awkward newborn literally unfolds and grows into an engaging little person who stands on two feet. A variety of traditions attempt to define a baby's emerging personality, predict the future, or create a tangible memory to hand down.In the classic smashed-cake birthday party, parents symbolically give Baby the world on a plate, then watch his reaction. Does he contemplate for a while or dig right in? Does he lick his fingers fastidiously, or smear frosting in his hair? This birthday tradition is entertaining, but it also offers hints as to how Baby approaches life.In the Korean culture, the first birthday party, Chut Dol, more definitively predicts a child's future. The child sits at a table that is set with five objects: a ball of yarn, signifying a long life; a book, standing for knowledge; a calligraphy brush, representing scholarly ability; a coin , meaning prosperity and a paintbrush symbolizing artistic ability. As he chooses items from the table, parents and other guests get a glimpse into the future. A baby who chooses a coin will be prosperous, one who chooses the yarn will live a long life, and so on.
Baby A. selected the ball of yarn. Long life! Fantastic! (Baby G. had selected the paintbrush during her first birthday party.)
My mother had a side business making wedding cakes when I was a kid. One of the perks of having a cake decorator for a mom is that I had amazing birthday cakes. I once had a cake that looked like a hamburger, with icing lettuce & tomatoes hanging out the sides! Unfortunately, I did not inherit my mother's cake skills. When I discovered that I couldn't order a ladybug cake through my local grocery store, I decided to make my own. I ordered a couple dozen cupcakes with green icing and topped them with Wilton candy flowers. I then baked/decorated my own smash cake. Dear God, it's ugly. But I tried. I really tried. I didn't have enough red food coloring, so it was pink. And I piped the base onto a dinner plate, forgetting that I couldn't then transfer the cake to the cake stand. And then I refrigerated it, so the frosting turned hard & Baby A. couldn't even get her fingers into it. Oh well. I tried.
Happy Birthday sweet baby girl!