Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Raggedy Ann First Birthday Party

We've had a lot of fun around here lately. Someone turned one!

Warning: if you are not related to us, this post will probably seem like picture overload. :)

Since Miss V's favorite snuggly friend is her Raggedy Ann doll, I thought it would be fun to have Raggedy Ann be the theme of her party.

And then I realized there are no Raggedy Ann party supplies available.  :(

But, I already had my heart set on that idea, and really had no other ideas for a theme, so that's what we went with.

Here are some of the decorations and other things I put together for V's big day.

I saw this idea on Pinterest to have baby snacks available in little cupcake liners for the little ones to munch on while they wait for the food to be served. I think it was a hit, because when I was cleaning up, all of these were gone!  :)

Of course, grown-ups get hungry too, so we had some veggies and chips for them to munch on.

This was our only real Raggedy Ann decoration. I saw the idea online to take a storybook and cut it up to make a banner. I didn't want to destroy a book V would enjoy, so was able to get this color-photocopied since the book was pretty old and was out of print.

The table in the dining room had my regular everyday table cloth (a drop cloth!) on it, and was topped off with a rectangle of leftover Christmas wrapping paper. Then I pulled one of my vintage milk glass vases and filled it with some fabric flowers hot glued to twigs from our yard. I thought their shabby look kind of went with our Raggedy theme and bonus- free!

I splurged on the plasticware that looks real (love that stuff!) and then saved a few bucks by buying non-party plates. These were just from a local grocery store's regular everyday paper plates, but the colors sort-of went with our blue, red, and pink color scheme. I also wrapped up silverware to go with the meal. I didn't take a picture, but they turned out pretty cute wrapped up in a regular white paper napkin and tied with a piece of red yarn.

I made and decorated the big cake, smash cake, and cupcakes, and halfway through that process remembered how much I hate cake decorating. :)  I hardly ever do that sort of thing so it takes me forever! My thumb and wrist are still hurting from it. So, excuse all the cake pictures, but I really wanted to document it since it was such a big project for me.

Smash cake! I love how little and petite it was! I didn't have any cake pans that small, but had a little round two-cup pyrex bowl and baked a single layer cake in that which seemed like just the right size.

I had two vintage Raggedy Ann little golden books that I used as decoration around the cakes. One was the one I bought to use for the storybook banner and the other was lent to me by a friend.

Cake table. I cleared off my buffet and covered it with a piece of red and white striped Christmas paper leftover from last Christmas. Since Raggedy's legs are red and white striped, it seemed like it went with our theme. Found some large white paper doilies from prior adventures in cake decorating, and some little pink heart-shaped paper doilies from a Valentine's Day craft many years ago. I also made a fabric bunting. There are a million tutorials online, so I won't bother explaining it, but it was pretty easy and a nice way of incorporating our color scheme.

The birthday girl's high chair got an upgrade with a miniature fabric bunting hot glued to red ribbon and attached to the plastic tray of her chair with a few dabs of hot glue. She ripped it off the next day and I was happy to see the hot glue peeled right off with just a little help from my fingernail.

My husband's aunt gave me this amazing milk glass pedestal cake stand when we last visited them. I saw it sitting on a table in their basement and told her how lovely I thought it was, and so she gave it to me! She totally made my Memorial Day weekend with that. I have been wanting one for a long time but they are a bit pricey, so I was super excited by her generosity!

We set up a second table in our living room since we were having a pretty large (for our little house) group of people. I am a little short on table cloths, so I covered this table in more wrapping paper, and topped it with another paper doily and milk glass vase with fabric flowers.

Our inspiration for the big event!

My husband is from the south, so he loves his tea super-sweet. He made a big batch of his sweet tea for all our northern family and friends and it got rave reviews! I put it in this two-gallon apothecary jar that I got a long time ago at Walmart. It normally is filled with all my metal cookie cutters.

A friend had juice boxes at her son's party recently, which I thought was a brilliant idea for the little ones, so I stole it. :)

I didn't take pictures of the food, but for anyone interested, we had pork bbq sandwiches (another southern specialty), baked macaroni and cheese made by my mom, coleslaw, and fruit salad. I baked some chicken nuggets for the kids- and a few of the grown-ups too!

Back when I was pregnant, I came across a great idea to take a picture of your child every month in the same outfit and in the same location, and then you have a great way of documenting the changes in your child during their first year. I was excited to do this with V, and I am so glad we did! I wasn't perfect about it by any means. We definitely decided to go with the idea that "she's still seven months until she's eight months." Every month we put her in a plain short-sleeved white onesie, sat her in the rocker in her room, and placed a stuffed lamb beside her, for scale.

We displayed them at her party with miniature clothespins clipped to more red yarn, and hung by command hooks on the wall. I took a sharpie and wrote which month was which on the clothespins. I think everyone enjoyed being able to look at the pictures and see how much she's changed. It was definitely an emotional project for this mama though. I felt a little blue all week before her birthday, just thinking about how fast this year has gone. Going through the pictures really intensified those feelings, but the end result was worth it.

Mama and the birthday girl!

Miss V wore a special birthday shirt and birthday headband. I didn't get a good shot of her outfit, but you can kind of see it here. I used some fabrics that went with the party's color scheme (and which I also used for the fabric bunting), traced a cupcake shape onto some Wonder Under and then took pink sequins and stitched them onto the shirt to make sprinkles on the cupcake and a flame above the candle.

Miss V had so much fun with all the other little girls who were able to come to her party. Two were close in age to her, and two were older. She had fun playing with the ones her age, and trying to chase after the older ones. It's so fun to watch all these sweet girls together. Hopefully they will develop some real friendships together as they get older.

My husband (in the plaid shirt) showing the other daddys who came all the work he has done to our little house in the last few months.

Miss V, surrounded my grandparents. She enjoyed all the attention and prompt service. :)

I was so sure our girl (who has never had anything super sugary), would go crazy over her cake and make a total mess, so I was all prepared to let her dig in.

She was unimpressed, so I scooped a little icing on my finger and fed it to her, to try to show her the idea.

She liked the icing, but wasn't really excited about it. Finally somebody suggested we smoosh her hand into the cake to show her it was ok, which I did. Here you can see her holding her messy hand out towards me. She started looking like she was going to cry and wanted me to wipe off her hand. I guess I've done a good job teaching her it's not fun to be messy?

We wiped off her hand and she took a few more nibbles of icing. She gently picked at the white scrolls a little, but was more interested in how it crumbled in her hand than in tasting it.

Finally, she was done with trying to care about the cake, so we went ahead and served everyone else some cake and ice cream, and let Miss V take a closer look at the toys she had unwrapped earlier. Which apparently I have no pictures of because I was helping her unwrap and my husband was video-taping, so if anybody has any, please send them my way. :)

I had the (what seemed like a simple) idea to put all the girls on the couch with the dolls they had brought along and get a picture of them all together. The combination of sugar and approaching bedtime made this a lot more interesting than I think any of us parents could have imagined. The results totally crack me up.

Little Miss E on the left, is giving the most hysterical look in this pic! Miss A (in the center) gave us some of the cheesiest grins!

Baby L, on the far right, was the only completely co-operative child in the group. Maybe because she was the only one too little for cake?  :)

V was totally done with the picture taking thing, and apparently Miss E was trying to make her escape as well.

Grammy made Miss V a special birthday outfit. She looks so cute and snuggly in it!

Too tired to get a good smile out of her at this point in the evening.

Several new and exciting toys, and all V-girl wanted to do was chew on a piece of plastic food that came with a cute little picnic set! We are teething hard right now.

We gave cake a second try after all the friends went home and it was just Grammy and Pop-pop left to watch the fun. Miss V enjoyed her cake much more the proper way- off a fork. :)

We had a great time, and Miss V had a blast after the party, checking out all her new toys. I have been converted regarding noise-making toys, within reason that is. She got a few Leap Frog and other similar things that talk, sing songs, and teach letters/numbers, and she absolutely loves all of it! Right now she just enjoys making everything make noise, but I like that it is actually teaching her too. Most of her toys up to this point were still very much baby toys and I had been finding that she followed me around a lot and wasn't really playing on her own like she used to. Now she is a very busy girl and is content for long periods of time to just play with her toys. It's so much fun to watch!

The remains of the day. Half eaten cake, leftover cupcakes, and extra silverware. (Also some leftovers in the fridge.)

This was the favor we sent home with each family. Inside (which of course I didn't photograph), are heart-shaped sugar cookies with pink sprinkles. Since Raggedy Ann has a heart on her chest, I tried to use hearts whenever possible for the party. The white bakery box is from Michael's in their gift-wrap section, and again, I just tied it up with red yarn to make it more Raggedy Ann-ish.

 Another shot of the birthday bunting...

The devastation in my living room the next day.  :)

I took this pic of V the next morning. I love how little she looks here. She still is very small, despite how much she has grown of late. I love my sweet baby girl! Happy 1st Birthday V!