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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

To ONE Cute Chick--Happy Birthday From All Your "Peeps"

 I always like to try and pick a birthday theme that the kids are interested in and by far the hardest ones to ever really find out are for the first birthday. So we try to find some sort of favorite toy and base it around that idea. Chris realized how quickly Maggie got attached to this little chick egg set that she received from the Easter Bunny.  She played with it 2 or 3 times a day. It's always the first one she'd pick and grunt for in the toy box. So even though spring was about to officially end in June, we decided to go ahead with a chick-themed party.  I was able to score some great 75% off clearance deals at Micheal's, so maybe waiting to throw an off-season party isn't such a terrible idea after all! :)

 As we did with Riley, we let Maggie have two of her birthday toys before the official party start time. Riley helped me pick out this musical bongo set for Maggie because we know how much she loves to dance and play some tunes! Her big gift though was a kitchen set that Grandmama and Papa helped us purchase for her. Even though she's probably a little too young to figure out all the ins and outs of how everything works, she has continued to have a blast opening and closing doors and drawers and putting things in and out of the refrigerator and stove. We knew big brother would also enjoy the imaginative play and as I made the big decision in April to resign from teaching for a year or two, I liked the idea of having a toy that we could all have a good time with!

Well back to the party! My mom helped me a lot with preparing the food for the party.  The party menu consisted of:
  • Deviled Egg Chicks (made with love by Grandmama) 
  • Chicken Salad and Egg Salad Sandwiches with the bread cut into a chick shape
  • Chick-Fil-A Nugget Tray and Sauce (always a sure-fire hit!)
  • Yellow-iced Chick Sugar Cookies 
  • Chick Cupcakes (which were made with colored coconut and candy pieces)
  • Birthday Chick Smash Cake (free courtesy of Harris Teeter)
  • BBQ Chicken Wings (we actually ended up making these later)

Chris' mom (Nan) helped a lot with decorating for the party! She creatively organized the chick-themed books that I was able to borrow from several of our Kindergarten teachers at Pleasant Knoll who do a whole unit on chicks in the spring. I was also able to bring home a life cycle of a chick learning center that Riley loved cooking with and opening and closing. The last egg had a miniature chicken in it that he kept in his hand for most of the day! Deb also created little chicken nests out of the Easter grass and tiny chicks.  She was pretty handy with the table decorations as well (see pics above).  It was so nice to have so many helping hands!

The only real decorating I did was to create a photo book and scrapbook area at our kitchen table along with a simple chalkboard message.  Maggie's Birthday book is also displayed on the table and I invite guests to sign and leave their favorite memory or sentiment. I hope to keep this little tradition going for most birthday parties just as a way to have precious comments collected all in one place as she grows. Riley has a book that we started when he turned one as well, so it's one little birthday tradition.  The other easy decoration is turning the fireplace mantle into a birthday guest of honor shrine!  

 We have got to get better at taking more family pictures at these celebrations! This is the best we could do this day and it was a little after the party had started and both kids were distracted.  I do LOVE the Birthday Chick onesie and tutu that I was able to find online and Grandmama purchased as part of Maggie's gift. It really made the outfit although I believe Maggie only lasted for about 10 minutes in the tutu and probably only 2 minutes with the headband! :) We were able to get a few really cute pictures during that time though.

 Of course, the highlight of the day was watching what Maggie would do with her very first birthday cake! We had Dylan, Brooke, Riley, and Callie (the other birthday guests) show Maggie how to dig into it with her fingers. She seemed somewhat intrigued, but not completely convinced that this was really what she wanted to put in her mouth.

 This is the only damage Maggie did to her first cake. I have a feeling next year's cake will look a whole lot different!

 Poor little Maggie got her nap schedule all out of whack and ended up exhausted after the cake eating adventure. So she didn't quite make it to open up all her gifts. Big brother Riley stepped in though and was able to help.  Some of the special items that Maggie received were a sandwich kit to go along with her kitchen, lots of cute clothes, a handmade Hungry Caterpillar interactive toy courtesy of Aunt Brandy, learning purses, a Fisher Price Tea Set, gift cards to Target, and some nice wooden puzzles.  Our little one year old sure is blessed to have so many thoughtful, loving people in her life! We sure do love her to pieces and know that she has enriched our lives tremendously in these short 12 months and we look forward to many, many more birthday celebrations to come!

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