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Preston’s First Birthday

I need your help, Mommies. Preston’s birthday is fast approaching. He’s turning one on Aug. 29, but we’re holding his birthday party the week before, on Sunday, Aug. 22, because on his actual birthday he’s the ring bearer in our cousin’s wedding. And no, he’s still not walking or crawling yet. So yes, I will be carrying him down the aisle while praying to the fashion gods that I don’t have a wardrobe malfunction in my strapless dress, or worse that I don’t twist an ankle in my new heels. I’ll also be praying that Preston doesn’t get stage fright and try squirming out of my arms while I try sauntering gracefully down the aisle, just slow enough so that guests can swoon over how cute he looks in his rented tux. Do I hold the rings? Does he? What if he starts screaming during the ceremony? He has a tendency to have very loud conversations with himself, or when people are talking near him he likes to talk over them, especially when he’s not in the conversation.

I’m having a bit of anxiety over this, as you can see.

But, back to the birthday party. It’s less than a month away now, and I’m out of town two of the three weekends we have from now until then (we’re going to a summer house in Michigan this weekend, and I’m headed to the Playboy Mansion for the Midsummer Night’s Dream party the following weekend, for work obviously). I have only the weekend before his party to get the goody bags together, and any food and decorations I plan to bring. And, oh yeah, I have no idea what I’m doing yet! Remember, I’m a working mom who’s always running against time. Why I insist on leaving things to the last minute and making myself crazy, I’ll never know.

I thought about using Preston’s birth announcements as decoration for the party, which we’re having at Kid City – a great indoor play den near our house. I ordered way too many of them when he was born, so I have plenty left over to string together into a banner (or three) to hang at the party. Since they’re blue and brown, I thought about using that color scheme in the balloons and paper goods. But that sounds so lame. Blue and brown = blah. Should I do a theme instead?

We took Preston to his first Cubs game this weekend – quite possibly the best day of Jay’s life, next to Preston’s birth (and our wedding, I hope). Jay’s a diehard Cubs fan; it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, watching him hold Preston so proudly above the crowds at Wrigley Field. Our cousins, the ones getting married on his birthday, were kind enough to invite us and the seats were incredible, right behind home plate. Every time the stadium clapped for a good play (we actually won the game against the Cardinals), Preston thought the cheering was for him and started clapping too. So it got me thinking: I could make his whole b-day a big Cubs party theme, and use some of the photos I took of him on Saturday. We could do the cake in a Cubs theme, too, and make all the goody bag items relate to baseball. What would I fill them with though, other than mini baseballs if I can even find them in time?

I also have to order the cake soon – but now I’m considering doing cupcakes instead of a sheet cake. Preston tried his first cupcake this weekend, and – O-M-G – he loved it. The kids at the party will be all ages, since at this point all of Preston’s friends are our friends’ kids. We’ll have infants and toddlers, ranging in age from 8 months to 8 years old. I’d have to order like 50 cupcakes if we went that route, and that can get pricey. As for other food, will pizza and juice boxes suffice? Maybe bowls of pretzels and candy, and a big fruit platter for the adults. Is that enough food?

I’d love to hear any of your great birthday party ideas for a one-year old, other than the location I haven’t locked down the details yet. How did you celebrate your child’s one-year birthday? I love the little details, like using his birth announcements as decorations, but I’m looking for other creative ways to bring that personal touch. Although I don’t have much time, I’m willing to take on a project – nothing like the last minute! – along the lines of what I made for the table numbers at my wedding, using baby pictures of both my husband and me that matched our ages to the table numbers. It was one of my favorite details, next to the vintage photo booth we had – but I’m not looking to spend that much on a one-year birthday party obviously. I want to do something personal, and use some of the thousands of adorable photos of Preston I’ve taken (total newbie mom move, I know).

Please help a working mom out with your birthday party ideas – and I’ll let you know which ones I end up using. Thanks!

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