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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

E's 1st Birthday

E is now 13.5 months old, and I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from his birthday party. The weeks leading up to his party were hectic, and I am so glad that it's over... until next year. H and I have never planned a party at our house before, and it was easy to tell that we were rookies. There was so much that needed to be done and just not enough time or man power. Taking care of a kiddo pretty much consumes our day, leaving us with a few hours at night to cram everything in. The party was far from perfect. We survived, and I think our guests enjoyed our little get together in celebration of our kiddo's birthday.

First let's start with his actual birthday. While I don't think E understood why I kept singing Happy Birthday to him all day, I think he did enjoy his first brownie.

play by play brownie eating experience -- yum!

but he wasn't a fan of his birthday hat

We kept it fairly simple with a yummy dinner, dessert, and a few presents. We even stayed at home the whole day because it's his favorite place to be. You should see how happy he gets to come home after a day of running errands. My kid is a total homebody. 

time for presents!

Next up... birthday party craziness! The day before E's party was hectic to say the least. I nearly had a panic attack after midnight because we had made such little progress. Luckily our awesome friends came to the rescue and helped get the party ready for guests. I don't know what I would have done without them. They are the best!

Amazing friends to the rescue!  Lam cutting up some cantaloupe, Anita setting up, Lena putting together the favors, and me stringing up the banner.

Lena assembling the birthday favors -- yummy sugar cookies that she made!

Paul Frank goodies inside the prize bags :)

Of course planning a party doesn't mean I get to take a break from being E's mom. Fortunately he was being a champ that morning and let his auntie feed him breakfast while I started baking his cake. He even went down for his nap with no problems and slept until guests started to arrive.

Auntie Ching feeds E breakfast, and I start baking his birthday cake (gluten free & vegan)

more people here to help!

Food. You can tell we have never planned a party before because I was in a panic about not having enough food for everyone. Well we had more than enough, and I think everyone enjoyed our spread. My in-laws gifted E with a roasted pig, and my MIL made noodles, friend rice, and dessert. We ordered Banh Mi (Viet Hoagies), which were a huge hit. I especially enjoyed eating the leftovers. We even had 2 cakes!  

Details -- yummy food, E's cakes, tissue/crepe paper lanterns, and DIY birthday hats

I had so many ideas for decorations and details to make the birthday party even more special. Unfortunately I didn't get around to making a lot of the things that I wanted. While I am a tad disappointed, I know that I did as much and I can always leave those projects for his next birthday.

newborn outfit, Sophie, booties, ultrasound, carrot, book -- some of E's baby items

awesome sugar cookies made by Lena!

So many wonderful family and friends came to celebrate E's birthday. He is so loved. It did take a while for him to get adjusted, and he probably spend most of the time wondering why so many people magically appeared (many guests had arrived by the time he woke up from his nap). Once he warmed up to everyone, he was super fun.

game #1 prize winners Jennifer & Lam

family & friends enjoying some yummy food

Roger & Jennifer, Lam & Anita (also known as Lamnita)

Kimmie plays with E

E talking to his great grandfather 

playing with a whole camera lens -- a special treat
Tu & Chau -- cousins

Vi recycling & Ti -- cousins

Family & Friends -- aunties, uncles, and cousins 

time to cut the cake! 

ooh colorful candles 

prizes and birthday hats

washing hands after touching messy cake

A few hours later, guests started to leave, E took his nap, and we took a much needed break. I wonder if there is a way to make party planning less stressful. We learned a lot of lessons through this process and will be smarter next time around. What matters most is that E had a great time with family and friends.

time to open presents

Elliot's 1st Birthday - Baby's 1st Ride
testing out his new present

Until next time...

P.S. My advice is to hire/appoint a photographer for the day. We are usually the ones behind the camera, but it was impossible that day. We were too busy with the party shenanigans to grab a camera. Luckily I reminded H to take pictures of a few guests before they left. Also we have awesome friends who took pictures on their phones and sent them to us. Next time we are handing over the camera and appointing someone else in charge. 


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