We opted to have Stella's party at the Community Center in Annawan. It was only $25 to rent it for the day, and I was able to get in the day before to decorate! We hoped to have it at our house, but Mark was just too busy to get the shop ready. It was a good thing we decided to have it in town because it snowed the day of her party and was SUPER cold...record low temps. She was born on a day full of tornadoes...her birthday is one for the books weather-wise! Anyways, on Friday I packed everything up and headed to town late in the afternoon. I picked the key up at the library and then Stella and I went to my moms. We ordered pizza with Abby & Ryder and Mark joined us after work. After giving Stella a bath with Ryder (wow did they enjoy that! hysterical laughing!) and putting her to bed at my mom's (Stella and I were spending the night there to make the party preparation go smoother) Mark and I headed uptown to decorate. He is such a good sport, he never once complained! We went with a "Our Little Pumpkin" birthday theme, which matched the baby shower I had last fall (read all about that HERE). I love fall, and it saved us money because I mostly used decorations from my house, plus some leftovers from the baby shower. The place looked beautiful by 11:00pm! Mark and I enjoyed decorating, we had some coffee and (he had) beers and made the most of it. I have read several blog entries about the debate over "Pinterest Parenting" (you know, those parents who go out of their way to decorate, throw parties, etc...vs. those who just prefer to wing it). I gotta say I think both sides are right. You have to identify your style of parenting and go with it. If you fight your instincts you will be miserable and that will reflect on your children. BUT...while you are going with your own flow, don't criticize the other team. As long as you are doing your best to make your children happy and enjoying it along the way, you are winning. There's no need for heckling. As a stay at home mom and previous 2nd grade teacher, I ENJOY party planning, decorating, and projects. And even though he'd never admit it, so does my husband. Wow, anyhow, stepping off my soap box and back to the birthday weekend...
Mark headed home after decorating because he had to go into work for a few hours Saturday morning. I stayed at my moms to avoid the half hour drive home and back again in the morning. When I got up on Saturday I ran to Wal Mart to grab some fresh flowers, white chocolate mocha's, and a few misc. items I had forgot. Then it was back to the Center to put the finishing touches on the decorations. My awesome mom watched Stella so I could get this stuff done, and kept an eye on the food we threw in the crock pots that morning. I went back to my mom's late morning to shower and get ready. The party was set to start at 2:00 pm. My dad and Mark came into town around 12:30 and we headed back to the Center to set the food out and blow up balloons (we bought our own little helium tank so we didn't have to wrestle balloons into the car). The cake was dropped off at 1:30 and my mom and sister dressed Stella and brought her up at 2 (after a nap, can't have a crabby birthday girl!)
The party was so much fun! After enjoying appetizers and socializing we started opening Stella's gifts. All her cousins were such a big help! Stella enjoyed holding the cards and laughed at all the cousins. She LOVES little kids! The wagon from Grandpa was a big hit and everyone got to take turns getting a ride. The it was time for cake! I thought Stella would really be into eating her smash cake, but it took her a little bit. Ryder was only too happy to show her how to eat it :-) She did eat a bit of it before she got bored. Mark and I took her in the kitchen and washed her off in the sink. Around 4:30 almost everyone was gone, so we started the clean-up. NOT FUN! My mother-in-law, dad, and Mark were a huge help. By 9:00 my feet were swollen, I was super tired, and all too pleased to call the birthday party a success! We loaded everything up at my moms and headed home to go straight to bed. Stella sat in her bouncy chair and played with a balloon during the entire clean up, good as gold! Man I love her.
I woke up still exhausted on Sunday but forced myself to unpack, put away, and clean everything so we could enjoy Stella's birthday on Monday. We had a ton of extra food, so I sent some with my dad, some to work with Mark, and saved whatever would keep for Thanksgiving.
Stella's birthday was quite the day. She woke up crying. I figured she was just tired from the weekend, but then we realized she was trying to poop. She had been struggling to poop all weekend, but always got a little out and never cried so I didn't think too much of it with everything that was going on. Looking back she hadn't had a normal poop in 4 days, which is really unlike her considering she usually poops about 4 times a day. Well, the grunting and crying just kept getting worse. Jenny said try some OJ and Abby said a warm bath. We did both. By this time I was crying and Mark had to come home. She just couldn't go and was so upset. The doctor finally returned my call and said to give her half a suppository. The pill kicked in a few hours later and she was back in business! So for her first birthday Stella Anne got a suppository and some prune juice. Yes, I know this is probably TMI. But I share because this is how life goes. A beautiful party and happy girl one day and tears and pills up the rear the next. It was sure a birthday to remember (I'm just glad Stella won't)!
|Was glad I got some cute birthday pix before the tears set in!|
|Happy Birthday Stella! just keeping it real.|
|12 months of cuteness.|
|1 year pictures taken by my talented friend. Got a few with Ryder too! Just beautiful.|