We returned from Massachusetts just in time to celebrate Grant's 1st birthday! At first, I wasn't planning on doing a big party (#secondchild), but then I felt guilty. The next thing you know, we had a genuine party on our hands.
When we returned to Maryland on Thursday evening, the only thing that EVERYONE was talking about was how horrible the weather would be for the weekend. Non-stop. Every news channel. Repeatedly. Thunderstorms. Tornado possibilities. Drama. Drama. Drama. Seriously, this is the #1 reason that I stopped having Georgia's parties at our house. No matter which weekend we planned for her party, it would rain.
On Saturday morning we woke up to beautiful sunny weather (aka - I should have held the party in the morning!). But again, all the hype was that it wasn't going to last!
Grant seemed to know that something was up and immediately wanted to show off his new skill - using the walker to get around. Up until this point, he taken a few steps here and there with it, but typically got frustrated really quick and would throw himself down or fall. However, on the morning of his birthday, he seemed to master the whole walker thing on the carpet.
People keep asking if he was walking yet --- Nope, our kids are not exactly "gross motor advanced!" Georgia took FOREVER to walk. I think she was almost 15 months old before she started walking on her own (and that was with receiving physical therapy to assist her). So, I'm not anticipating that Grant will be walking on his own for a couple of months yet. I can't say that we're exactly rushing that skill either. They all walk eventually. I have yet to see one crawl into kindergarten.
As my mom and I headed out to pick up the cake, the sky turned black and the rumbles of thunder could already be heard in the distance. Awesome. Our phones all lit up with the severe thunderstorm warnings. The trees were bending in half from the wind gusts and by the time we got out of the neighborhood, the downpour began. Super awesome. So much for a family BBQ outside! I lucked out and scored a spot directly in front of Lily Magilly's. I grabbed the cake and ran the box out to Mimi to hold so we could get out of there. Of course, the rain immediately stopped as soon as we headed home, which meant that I was at least able to stop and grab the balloons without getting drenched again!
The cake joined the cupcakes that I had made the previous day. I had ordered the stickers from an Etsy seller (PartiesR4Fun). I then stuck them onto punched out bright green circles and then attached them to toothpicks to create cupcake toppers. All this prep was done well before our July travels and adventures since I knew I would have no time in the weeks leading up to his birthday.
I don't know if there was a true "theme" to Grant' party. Perhaps - summer fun? Although I don't think we saw the sun for the remainder of the day
**I later read a weather report that the weekend of his birthday was the wettest weekend in Maryland ALL year long! I mean, talk about my bad luck with party planning. Though I was thrilled when it also rained on Sunday, so if we held the party the following day, the results would have been the same.
|Party favors for the kids were buckets filled with bubbles, beach balls, glow sticks, etc. All summer fun essentials!|
|Some fish friends for decorations|
One of our "signature" party decorations... a water bottle to commemorate the event (Thank goodness for Etsy!).
Let's be honest, the 1st birthday party is really not for the birthday girl/boy. Grant had NO IDEA what was going on or what all the fuss was about in the house.
|Looking concerned with all the decorations!|
He was more than happy to spend the time before the party practicing his walking skills... over and over and over again.
Almost party time...
|Funny enough, I think the cheese balls were the most eaten item at the party! Who doesn't love these?!?!|
|Let's party, Mimi!|
|Georgia trying out the slide... in the rain!|
The best part about kids... they could have cared less about the weather! They were more than happy to be on the water slide while it rained. The parents may have been less than thrilled to stand out in the rain, so Nick grabbed all of his old climbing gear and a tarp and quickly Macgyver-ed a roof for our deck to keep spectators dry.
We took a quick break from sliding to eat pizza and then give Grant the opportunity to smash his cake.
Georgia was extremely worried about Grant burning his fingers on the candle, after witnessing a neighbor touch the candle at his 1st birthday party. She reminded us weekly about the event and kept asking about Grant's candle. So, we improvised a bit and let her be the official candle-blower to reduce injury chances, her anxiety, and the 100% chance of Grant touching the candle!
Like his big sister before him, Grant turned out to be a polite poker and licker of cake vs a dive right in and destroy it type. Where did we get these kids?!?! They are obviously not related to Nick nor I, who both love our desserts and dive right in.
|No, no, no.... don't try to take my cake away from me!|
|Did I mention that the cake was RIDICULOUSLY good?!?! I may have sliced away the area that Grant ate and then devoured it for the next week!|
|Looking exhausted, leaning heavily to the right, but not giving up that spoon!|
|And to the left...|
|And pooped! But not dropping that spoon in case he caught a second wind.|
The kids didn't have the same reservations with the cupcakes and soon we had some very interesting little blue faces (and tongues) around the table...
All that sugar led to a second wind for the water slide, water table and other outdoor activities. The sun didn't exactly come out, but it was definitely the brighter/dryer part of the afternoon's festivities.
|Pirate ship time!|
|The little brother crew!|
|Umbrellas not needed for parents this time around!|
And the water table, as always, is a huge hit with the younger siblings!
|Playing with Keely|
The party may have been over and the clean up started, but Grant's taste of sugar certainly kicked in! He spent the rest of the night performing his new party trick... getting up the stairs in record time (a skill he learned at Mimi's house!).
We saved opening presents until Sunday since Grant was pretty much done by the time all our friends/family left the party (and he was done his stair routine). He didn't quite get the whole opening of presents, but he certainly liked all the new toys that were inside those bags and boxes!!
|Lots of new trucks and "boy" toys!|
|I'm gonna need a bigger house!|
Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us - both near and far! Thank you to our guests and for everyone who sent us texts, emails and messages to help celebrate our big guy's 1st birthday. Time really does fly when you're not sleeping... :)