Thursday, April 15, 2010

Birthday Party Invitations (and Some More Rambling)

The invitations are done! Not all mailed yet, but done. I spent a lot of time cutting and stamping and tying bows, but I loved it. Now I'm eager for the days when Hadley and I can do crafts together at the kitchen table. (I'm saving all of the wallpaper samples I get at work--perks of being the editor of a home-design publication--for our craft box. I'm not sure what we'll do with them, but certainly they'll inspire some sort of project.)

So here are the invites to our "bug bash."

We'll mail the rest tomorrow, and then it's party-planning time. Of course, top of my list is food. I'm thinking we need this pan to make cupcakes, and maybe we'll have some kind of cleverly named punch. (Beetle juice? Ha!) I'm thinking about trying to find bug-shaped cookie cutters and making PB&J sandwiches for the kids, then cutting them into cute shapes. (Any of you grown-up attendees who are readers, fear not: We'll have bug-free fare for the adults--burgers, potato salad and other "normal" picnic treats.)

I bought a few adorable (cheap) tin buckets in bright colors, and I'm going to make little signs that say "Hadley's 1st birthday" and stick them in the buckets. They'll be the centerpieces for the picnic tables. The picnic site is right next to a playground, so we'll probably have one or two games for the older kids--pin the wing on the ladybug, anyone?--but I'm thinking that they will want to run around the playground for as long as possible. That, and stuff their faces with butterfly-shaped cupcakes.

I cannot believe how excited I am about this party...

And...every parent says it, but I have to repeat it: I cannot believe my child is going to be a year old. In some ways, I feel like I just went back to work, but it's been almost nine months. (In that time, I could have grown another baby! Holy bad idea, Batman.) Some days, we hit our groove. Some days, we barely find our way out from under piles of (usually clean) laundry. I suspect it will be this way for a very long time, but I wouldn't want it any other way. The irony is that for all of the busy-ness and exhaustion, I feel tremendous peace. Our life together is good. Nuts, but good.

And in a couple of weeks, we'll celebrate that goodness when Hadley turns one. So here's my confession (and any parent willing to tell the truth will say the same thing): First birthdays aren't for kids. They're for moms and dads, who are feeling 1) happy to have survived the first year and 2) overwhelmed by deep, pure gratitude for their children.

We're disguising our party as a bug-themed bash, but really, it's a holy-cow-she's-ours-and-we're-crazy-in-love-with-her party.

But that was a bit too long to put on the invitation.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Confessions of a Delinquent Blogger

Here's the trouble with a mommy blog: Even though I love to write, it's far more fun to play with Hadley than it is to blog (even about the funny things Hadley does). But for our eight fans out there who are dying for an update, I've carved out this time to share some news with you.

Hadley is talking a bit. She told Granddaddy "bye-bye" last week, and if I had to swear on a stack of Ghirardelli chocolate, I'd say she said "toes" this morning. She says "Da" for "Dada" and "Mamama" for yours truly. So she says (maybe) four words, but she communicates a whole lot. Hadley does not, ahem, hesitate to let us know precisely what she thinks about just about anything. I can tell you right now how she feels about asparagus (hates it), walks in the park (loves them), her highchair (wishes she could live without it), Mumsie (adores her), playing peek-a-boo (can't get enough), cell phones (wants one of her own), and being held (prefers it to all other modes of transport). And yet, she says just four words.

Babies are smart, I tell you. Scary smart.

We also know, without a doubt, that Hadley loves Easter. Before 7:00 on Sunday morning, she was babbling away in her crib. Her eyes got huge when we walked out from her bedroom to the living room and she saw what the Easter Bunny left for her:

Can we just take a moment to enjoy the simple goodness of new jammies, particularly Easter jammies that are this darn cute?

We had a very happy day that started with good family time, continued at Mumsie and Granddaddy's house, and ended with long naps for Hadley and me, and an evening church service (where I sat in the nursery with Hadley who is going through a bit of separation anxiety). But I hear that the service was lovely.

That reminds me: Hadley also loves songs at church. The louder, the better. She spends the entire time wiggling and smiling and clapping. I wonder what she thinks it's all about. Regardless, she has a wonderful time.

What else is new? Standing up. By herself. She just lets go of the table or my leg or the window sill and...stands. She's very nonchalant about the whole thing, but I can tell that she finds it thrilling. And I can see in her eyes that she's thinking about taking a step. I keep waiting for that moment, praying it doesn't happen while I'm at work or the grocery store or somewhere really lame, like the dentist's office.

We are gearing up for her first birthday party--a lady bug and honey bee picnic. Random, perhaps, but here's the story: For a long time (relative to Hadley's 11 months), I've called her "Bug"--short for "love bug" and "snuggle bug." I don't know why, and I can't remember when it started or how. But she's "Bug." So it seemed somehow appropriate to have a bug-inspired party. Then Mumsie bought a cake pan in the shape of a bee hive. I really wanted a lady bug picnic, and truly, Mumsie wouldn't have cared, but maybe boys don't want to come to a lady bug we have a two-bug party, and attendees can, I suppose, choose to identify with either bug. Or no bugs. Whatever.

I've been out scouring Denver for lady bug and honey bee stamps to make the invitations. I've bought card stock and ribbon and special pens that I didn't really need but seemed like a great idea when I was standing in the art store surrounded by so many options. And who doesn't love a few great pens?

So my project in the coming days is to create birthday party invitations fit for my Bug's first birthday celebration. I realize I could have very easily (and less expensively) purchased pre-made invites, but there's something about Hadley's first birthday that makes me want to create my own. I'll post pictures here once they are completed.

That's all the news for now. Tomorrow will bring something new, no doubt, and I promise to try to be a more diligent blogger...