Baby Boy Turning One
Dolly in Gilmer, TX USA
For my son's first birthday, we planned a party with family and our close friends family. I found reasonably priced cards that came 50 to a box at Office Depot that came with ribbon and vellum. They market the cards as birth announcements, but made great invitations. The card read: Laughing and walking...he's so much fun, Our baby boy is turning one, One little candle placed on his cake, One first birthday wish to make, Please join us as we celebrate (child's name) on his first birthday. I also had a picture of the birthday boy on the card along with a blue ribbon. Before I made the card, My sister and I set up our own photo studio in the house using lamps to highlight my son like the professionals do and a white sheet for the backdrop. If you want to set up good lighting which is key to getting a great shot here are the three lights you need to set up...key light: in front of but off to one side and level with the face of you subject, fill light: in front of but off to the other side of your subject. This needs to be a little lower than the key light and a little further back. Back light: This is off to the side, a little bit behind and higher than your subject...it is used to light the backdrop and give a halo" effect to your subject). I took the shade off of three table lamps and set them on stools and tables to get the desired lighting. Take a lot of pictures and adjust your settings on the camera. A good photographer would say you will have to take 20 - 50 shots to get the one you will love. I used my favorite picture on several items before during and after the party. Decorations: We had the party at home because at that age you want them in a comfortable surrounding that they know. We decorated the living room with things he loves: Helium balloons tied to jars of bubbles and all kinds of balls for the kids to play with on the floor (footballs soccer balls basketballs and beachballs). We had sippy cups for each child in the shape of sports balls (soccer balls basketballs footballs baseballs) that I found at a local party store that helped to decorate the table. We also found a high chair decoration that included a banner for the high chair and a mat for cake spills which said "It's fun to be one". We got matching plates to serve the pieces of cake on as well as a table cloth. The was another one year old at the party so I borrowed "Grammy's" high chair so that each little one had an appropriate place to eat cake and ice cream. Games: My child loves music so I asked my sister-in-law (who teaches "Kindermusik") to have a Kindermusik class during the party so that the kids could sing and dance. The children ranged in age from one year to 7 years old at the party. The one-two year olds were held by their mom and the older kids danced and sang by themselves. She performed typical children's songs that most people know like "Hickory Dickory Dock" and incorporated movement to the songs. Food: We wanted the food to be simple so we served cake and ice cream with drinks. To make serving easy I had petit fours with white icing and a baby blue one on them ready to go on each plate. I scooped the ice cream into balls before the party so that all I had to do was to get the scoops/balls of ice cream out of the freezer and place one on each plate after we sang "Happy Birthday to You". For the children I had white grape juice and apple juice so that if they spilled their drinks it wouldn't stain the carpet. For adults I had sparkling grape juice which I served in champaigne glasses as well as an assortment of sodas to drink. I did make a special 6" cake (white with white icing...easier to get out of clothes than chocolate or brightly colored frosting) for the birthday boy to blow out his candle on and eat. Going away gifts: I created a unique gift using 1/2 of an 8.5 x ll" card stock (4.25 x 5.5") cut in half the long way. On one end I printed "I'm no longer a baby now that I'm one. Glad you came to my party hope you had fun. I'll be waving bye-bye not that it's through and giving out kisses from me to you! Love (name)" I folded the piece of cardstock in three places and wrapped it around a small blue plastic gift bag that I found at a party store (the kind you give kids to put candy in for pinata's). This made a triangle so that the gift would stand up with two folds that made it flat on the bottom and the third fold bends around the top to make a flap. I punched two holes through the triangle and gift bag and put a ribbon through the holes to secure the gift. I hung the same picture from the invitation off of the ribbon so that it dangled in front of the gift. And of course there were hershey kisses inside the bag. For a second gift: I put all of my son's favorite songs onto a CD. I purchased the clear plastic CD holders and made a cover on cardstock paper for the front of the holder with the picture of my son on it and it said "(name)'s Favorite Play List". On the reverse side I listed the name of each song and the artist. I had this CD playing throughout the party. Finally I used the picture that I took to make personalized thank you cards which I mailed out for each gift he received later that week. I also used the picture to make a one year announcement card similar to the cards you send out after your child was born. I used the same card that I used for invitations to make the "One Year Announcement" Card. All that it had was my son's name and One Year Old along with the picture attached to the card. I sent these out to friends that live in other states and don't get to see our son along with the friends and family that came to the party."