Turning one

Last weekend, we celebrated Sean’s turning one with a party at home with family and friends.

There was a slight drizzle earlier in the afternoon but the clouds quickly cleared to make way for glorious, cool weather just in time for the party, which is more that I could ask for 🙂

Look how the birthday boy was beaming when he saw the front porch all decked out with the Mama-made birthday banner, balloons and not one but two inflatable pools!

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Welcome to my birthday party!
My topmost priority that day was getting Sean to take his afternoon nap before the party because as you know, nobody likes a whiny birthday boy.

So before the party started, I dutifully shoo-ed him back to the room and thankfully, even though he didn’t seem very tired, he went down for his nap without much fuss.

The plan worked a little too well because he slept so soundly he woke up a whole hour late for his own party (Uncle James jokingly called him the Sleeping Handsome).

Which worked out fine all the same because he was in top spirits and just in time to greet his guests who were all streaming in by then.

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We ordered an assortment of tea party-type of food from The Smiling Orchid (I highly recommend their tea menu!). I chose the dishes with the kids in mind so there were plenty of finger food like teriyaki chicken wings, siew mais, samosas, mini konyaku jellies, mini Hawaiian pizzas, baby chiffon cakes, etcetera.

Also, I swapped the complimentary sushi maki platter for a chocolate fondue station which came with cut fruits and marshmallows. Figured the latter is more palatable with the kids and adults alike and I was right!

We tried to order for less people than we were expecting but we still had tons of leftovers!

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Pool time
Since we were expecting about fifteen kids (mostly below the age of five), we got inflatable pools from Toys R’ Us, pumped them up that morning (thanks, hon and hey, nice biceps!) and filled them up in the garden. I also tossed in some of Sean’s bath toys and scavenged some scoops and ladles from the kitchen for the kids to play with.

Somehow I expected the kids to dive in and go wild but I think most of them were quite happy just playing with bubbles (we had a bubble-spewing gun), running around the perimeter, scooping water and such.

I think everyone had a good time even though no one got very wet!

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Bubbles, crayons and much love
We also set up a few several small tables and chairs around the porch for the kids (and their parents).

To occupy the kids, I placed some bottles of bubbles, printed some Eric Carle’s Hungry Caterpillar colouring sheets and put some markers and crayons on the tables.

Judging by how some of the kids were quite happy just colouring the whole time, I daresay this was a very good idea.

I was kinda hoping the adults would join in the colouring and doodling action too – I covered some of the tables with mahjong paper for that purpose – but I think they were too shy 😉

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Let’s eat cake!
Then came the time to sing the birthday song and cut Sean’s cake, a yummy chocolate fudge cake in the shape of the number one that my mum baked. The fabulous artist extraordinaire Pris helped her with the decorations.

Other than the fact that some of the mini M&M’s were melting in our tropical heat, I thought the cake looked (and tasted) really awesome!

My only regret was in my excitement to blow out the candles for Sean, I clean forgot to make a wish for him 🙁

(The husband later assures me it was okay because he did.)

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We had a wonderful time catching up with friends and family – we tried to keep the guest list to a minimum but I still felt like I couldn’t spend enough time with everyone!

I don’t think Sean really knew why there were so many people in his house and why everyone was fussing over him that day but I think the birthday boy didn’t mind the attention one bit 🙂

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Brown paper bag of treats for our little guests
We handed out goody bags for our little guests before they left. Just a little something for them to play with and enjoy when they got home.

I had a lot of fun putting this together. I made it a point to choose decent quality, relatively gender-neutral items that kids of all ages (and their parents) would be able to appreciate.

In the bag, we had a small Eric Carle-themed activity book that I had put together (most of my material came from the Eric Carle website which has tons of kickass printable activities), a box of crayons (from Daiso, yet another a great place to go to for party favours), bubbles and topped off with animal crackers and raisins.

I hope the kids liked them! (Some of my friends asked if they could have one but unfortunately, I didn’t have many extras for the adults!)

The party wrapped before nightfall. Short and sweet, like I had hoped.

After the last guests had left, we retreated to our room with our happy but tired-out birthday boy, bathed and changed him to his jammies and even managed to open a few presents together (pics coming up in the next post) before going to bed.

So yes, all in all, it was a blast.

Thank you to all who have been a part of his life in some way or other for making his first year – and birthday – special.

A very blessed little one-year-old he is indeed 🙂

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Some party tips for those of you who may find them useful:

Photographer – I didn’t get as many photos of the party as I would have liked. Pris tried to help here and there but we still missed capturing many moments of the party.

Now I am thinking maybe I should really consider engaging a professional photographer for future parties!

Birthday banner – After scouring a few party shops, I couldn’t find any nice non-tacky birthday banners that I really liked so in the end, I decided to wing it and just make my own.

Surfed around the net for some inspiration, chose fancy fonts for the lettering, printed them on a colour printer, laminated (because I needed them to be rain-and-pool-water proof) and strung them up in the garden.

Easy peasy! (Though Foops who I had to bribe to help me cut out all the flower shapes would probably beg to differ!)

Anyway, it is still in relative good shape after the party – I think it will make for a good keepsake for future parties.

Balloons – I thought balloons would add a nice touch to the party. Looked around online and found out that this shop in Parkway Parade was having an offer for their helium balloons for a dollar each (most places that I checked out like Party R’ Us were selling them for $2).

So I placed an order for twenty in assorted colours (any more and they wouldn’t be able to fit into the car) and got my girlfriend to help me pick them up on the day.

Funny, she looked like the cute Boy Scout from the cartoon ‘Up’ when she rocked up to my house with them floating in a big cloud behind her – thanks, babe!

Photos and video – Since it was a celebration of Sean’s first year, I printed and framed some of my favourite shots of him and put them up in the living room. I don’t think many saw them because the majority of people were outdoors the whole time.

Maybe a simple photo-line would have done the job better.

But oh well, I am quite happy they are all gracing my once-barren walls now.

I also didn’t manage to show the video I put together of his first year milestones. I didn’t want to have it on repeat on TV – how indulgent is that! – for the whole two hours so decided not to play it at the party.

Anyway, I figured everyone is on Facebook these days!

Cake – I was looking for a cake mould in the shape of the number one and stumbled across this fun little baking shop along Bukit Timah Rd where you can actually rent cake moulds for a small fee. A great option for me since I didn’t think I would be baking any more #1 cakes in the near future.

The shop also stocks lots of fancy baking tools and widgets – do check them out if you are the baking type! I also got my candles, ready-made icing and some sugar frosted lettering from there.

I thought of making cupcakes to go with the cake but I didn’t want to stress my mum too much. Maybe next year! HEE

I feel: chipperchipper