Sunday, March 9, 2014

A year in review: One - Twelve

I couldn't not wrap up Kate's monthly photo project without one picture to capture her growth!  As I said in the previous post about her party, I printed one picture for each month to hang on the bulletin board.  I also printed outtakes and attached them to smaller cards indicating the month each was taken.  Those were tucked randomly on alligator clip picture holders along the party tables.  While seeing the pictures randomly gives you an idea how much Kate grew in her first year, I think the most impressive view is this one:

I graduated her little pink onesie after the eleventh month (really, she outgrew it long before) and used her party romper for that last picture.

For those wondering, I decided to continue the project into Kate's second year, using a light pink smocked dress I bought for her second Easter.

Kate's first birthday party

We had the wonderful good fortune to have delivered Kate on a Saturday evening (and not in a leap year) so her first birthday fell on a Sunday.  Why do I consider this good fortune?  Because our little miss was quickly dubbed the "parish baby", and a Sunday birthday allowed us to celebrate her after church services on the actual day.
Back in November of 2013, I took Kate to have her silhouette cut.  I'm not entirely sure why, but I'd so looked forward to having this done (since long before she was even a glimmer in our eyes!) and the experience truly exceeded every expectation!  Then, I used the silhouette as the theme for her entire party.  From the invite (which I didn't get a picture of to share) to the favors, her sweet baby profile, together with a light pink/sage green color palette, tied the party together.  A few pictures are below:
I hung light pink lanterns to draw the eye to each "station" around the parish hall.  On several, I added Kate's silhouette.

I sent the silhouette to the good folks at Victor Trading Company in Colorado, and they sent back a hand-made cookie cutter in the exact shape!  I made tons of sugar cookies using their simple recipe and iced in light pink royal icing to give as favors, shown here.  I also used the cutter to cut out the benedictine sandwiches we served.
Decor was fairly simple.  Above, I covered the bulletin board with black paper and hung each of Kate's monthly pictures.  Those pictures now hang along one wall in our family room.  Below the pictures, guests left "wishes for Kate".  Below, we brought in Kate's green chair for guests to take pictures with her.  A simple light blue piece of fabric mimics the blue wall behind the chair in Kate's monthly pics.

We kept the food fairly simple and tied into our pink/green theme:  Hot ham and (white) cheese sandwiches, benedictine (made from scratch--so much tastier than store bought!) on wheat sandwich rounds, fruit salad of green grapes/watermelon/strawberries, candy cane beet salad with arugula and pistachios.  We served pink lemonade and cucumber water from glass drink dispensers.  As I said, above, I made sugar cookies for favors, and we also put several out on a tray.  I did make a small cake for Kate to eat which turned out really well.  I bought the antique high chair from a local resale shop and left it at church.  Kate loves her little chair!

A friend suggested buying a book that went along with the party theme and asking guests to sign it as a guestbook to keep.  To our good fortune, the gentleman who cut Kate's silhouette wrote a children's book about a shadow searching for it's person.  We left Kate in the high chair with her cake while I read the story to the older children.  This was great, because once all the eyes were focused elsewhere, she was able to really dig into her cake!

I'd hoped to include a picture of the "gift table" but cannot seem to find in on my computer.  Because we were inviting the whole church, as well as friends and family, it didn't seem appropriate to ask for gifts, but we also understand that birthday parties are typically gift giving occasions.  So, we turned into an opportunity to begin teaching Kate about philanthropy and asked folks to bring (if they felt so inclined) a book for us to donate to Baby Health Service, a local nonprofit organization that provides free medical visits to children without health insurance.  After each doctor's visit, every child (birth-18 years) is sent home with a book, as long as they have books on their shelves.  We were delighted to take 50 board and picture books to Baby Health after Kate's party!

Twelve months

Bloggers note: Yes, we disappeared for months on end (just about nine months, I guess).  Much has changed.  I'll try to catch you up.  I may not keep at this long enough to catch you up completely, but will do my best!

March 9 marked twelve months since our Miss Kate made her arrival (detailed here) in our lives.  Because of her convenient Saturday arrival, her first birthday was celebrated on a Sunday with our church friends (where else would the "parish baby" celebrate, after all?).  I'll stick to the pertinent details here and follow up with a separate party post.  Kate finally tipped the scales over 20 pounds this month and is almost 30 inches tall.  She uses every inch to reach for things she really shouldn't (but thinks rather strongly that she should).  She is such a determined little girl, and I often find myself remarking that this is a wonderful trait in an adult and that we must nurture it (but, oh, what a trying trait it is in a toddler!).  Kate is quite an adept walker these days, and works on her climbing skills daily, much to mama's dismay.  She does fall often, as one might expect of a toddling baby, but rarely cries for more than a whimper.  We are grateful for her sweet temperament.

Without further ado, Kate at ONE:
We asked Abby Laub, who captures our annual anniversary pics, as well as Kate's newborn pics, to document her at this occasion, too, and were so pleased with how they turned out!