Mar 16, 2014

Cade's Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Baby's first birthday party - done! Success!

This afternoon we had Cade's first birthday party. The theme was "the very hungry caterpillar" which I think is his favorite book. We read it at least 3-4 times per week. For the theme I found a few simple decor ideas, specifically a caterpillar out of balloons (4 green balloons, 1 red balloon and some construction paper eyes) and a construction paper picture caterpillar (4 green circles, each with a picture of Cade in the middle, a red circle and the same construction paper eyes/antennas).

Yesterday while eating breakfast and wondering what in the heck I was going to feed people at the party, I thought to do the same food from the book. Ya know "On Monday he ate through one apple, but he was still hungry." Monday-Friday in the book is all fruit so very kid friendly. On Saturday the caterpillar eats a ton of stuff, including one slice of Swiss cheese so that translated into a cheese and cracker plate. While Cade took an AWESOME nap yesterday morning I had a rogue shred of ambition and decided to create table tents/labels for all the food. Holy cow I got SO lucky because one Google search produced an huge graphic that had pictures of all the food and the text from the book. So I saved it, opened in photoshop, did some quick cropping and sent them to Walgreens to print as photos. Score! The fruit/cheese with labels and a caterpillar cake from HEB rounded out the decorations and theme. And I gotta say, I was pretty damn proud of it all. It came together very nicely!

For his part, Cade was a birthday party champ. He took almost an hour nap right before the party and then got dressed in his birthday boy t-shirt and plaid shorts (of course, I love that kid in plaid shorts). And he was happy, happy, happy.

For the first 45 minutes of the party, everyone mingled, snacked and the under 2 crowd played with toys (the over 21 crowd enjoyed a few beverages). Cade received a "Cars" themed toy early from my parents and so he showed the other two kiddos, Rowan and Kenneth, all about that. He was such a ham! He was playing, smiling, walking and just loving all the attention.

Then we sang happy birthday (Cade almost stuck his hand in the candle but my ninja-like mommy skills had that sucker blown out too quickly) and ate cake. This was Cade's first REAL taste of legit, super-sugary cake. He was in total heaven. He gobbled up his piece and then wanted more to eat. We redirected his hunger to pear though because one piece of cake when you are one year old is plenty.

When I got him out of his highchair to go open presents we discovered a huge glob of yellow frosting on his shorts. So in true Cade style, he got to be pants-free for the rest of his party.

"We" opened presents (I did most of it but he paid attention for some). He made out like a bandit. A new baby animals book, a pirate ship rocker, a fire truck, a wagon, a hammer-music-ball thing, college money and the hands-down winner of the day...a Batmobile from Auntie Meg and Uncle Stacy. Cade and the other 2 kids could not get enough of it. In fact we had to sit him on it to get him to pay attention to the other presents he was receiving.

The party wrapped up 1.5 hours after it began which was good because he was starting to get a little over-stimulated (and tired though sugared-up, super combination). He had some real dinner, played with his toys and then was whisked off to bed by his dad.

All in all, a VERY GOOD first birthday party. No meltdowns (kid or adult), few leftovers, quick clean-up and an overall easy afternoon with our closest friends and family.

Special shout-out to Mom who came into town yesterday for the event and helped get the house ready. Also special shout-out to Ross for doing the vast majority of the clean up and then convincing the birthday boy to go to bed at his normal bedtime.

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