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First birthday

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    First birthday

    I'm wondering what you all did for your baby's first birthday.  I am currently stressing out about it because we are the last of our friends to have kids, and we have been invited to every first (and other) birthday party of all of our friends, so our invite list is quite large - and these families all now have between 1-3 children each.  Bday is in late October, so weather is iffy.  Stress is compounded by the fact that we are currently living with my in-laws.  They have a nice house and a great yard and don't mind hosting, but it's different than if it were my house.

    Just trying to get some ideas and would love to hear what you decided to do, how you came to that decision, and whether you were happy with the outcome.  Having never thrown a child's bday party, I have no real frame of reference for what I'm getting myself into with a huge party...

    Thanks in advance!
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: First birthday

    I know this is easier said than done, but just do whatever you want in terms of size of party.  We also had been invited to many large, elaborate first birthday parties for our friends' kids.  But I did not reciprocate at all.  I just didn't want a big party, so it was grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, and no friends.  I think everyone understood -- the big parties were what they wanted, and they didn't seem fazed that we didn't.
    Not sure if that fits with your situation... you might want a big party!  But since you are stressed, thought I would throw it out there.
    (Oh - the non-theme of her party was "birthday party".  :)  We had old school party hats and those blow-y things, cake, candles, and pizza.  And that was that.  She had a blast!)
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: First birthday

    The first birthday is really about the parents. We went totally over the top, had a huge party with over 200 people (counting kids). We stressed all summer long about it, had big old yelling fights from the stress and I barely got 5 minutes with my daughter the entire day - and never got to have a solid conversation with any one guest because I ran around so much playing hostess.

    If I could do it again (and will do next year), I'd do something very small - like parents and grandparents, a cupcake and a party hat and just spend some special time together as a family.

    I think it's so easy to go over the top. We are so totally in love with DD and want to share that with everyone. It was such an awesome year....still, I'd do my best to keep it small and meaningful.

    (Also, my friend's son got overwhelmed by all the people in his house and freaked out! He spent most of his first birthday party asleep in his room! the cake pictures were taken after most people left!)
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: First birthday

    We just had family (aunts, cousins, grandparents) and it was a pretty low key party but DD had a lot of fun.  I really didn't want to open it up to friends because its too hard to draw the line and not hurt feelings.  I made a cute cake and bought finger pastries as well as having munchies and appetizers. 
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: First birthday

    We did almost nothing. My best friend came over with her husband and her daughter, who is around the same age. We had pizza. It makes no difference to the kid. For her second birthday we did pretty much the same thing but we also had cookies and hats. The kids have a great time no matter what, so there's no particular reason to drive yourself crazy over it.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: First birthday

    (ML -- 200?  Is that a typo?)

    We just had DD's.  Now, I love to entertain, so we basically redeployed our standard Octoberfest BBQ as a kid's birthday party.  [Kept the beer, added juice boxes, balloons and cupcakes.]  We trimmed the guest list, actually, to include only immediate family, our neighbors, and friends with kids, both old friends and new ones we've met since having DD.  So we wound up with about 25-30 people, including kiddos. 
    I didn't do a theme or anything, just pulled leftover pink paper goods out of the basement (from her christening), hit up iParty to fill any gaps and to order some mylar balloons (my one decoration), and bought a cute pink & yellow "1" candle.  I highly recommend the singing Elmo balloon, by the way.  No favors, entertainment or anything extra like that. 

    We timed the start/end time around her naps, so she was fresh from the a.m. nap when people started arriving, and only had to cut out of her party about 30 minutes early for nap #2. 

    Honestly, I cut BACK on what I normally do for this BBQ and it was still a lot.  I was very happy with how it went, though -- everyone seemed to have a great time, DD had a ball, and we have yummy leftovers in the freezer (mmmm ... pulled pork and mac&cheese!)  Everyone was very generous and we got very lucky with the breakdown of toys, clothes, books and sentimental gifts.  It was a lot of work, though, but this BBQ always is, so I knew what I was getting into.  Adding in the kids made it more complicated (wait!  we can't give them beer ... sh*t -- what do larger children drink?!?!  What do we do with them if it rains ... DVD's!!!!) but not wildly so. 

    But if you're already stressed, I would do a small family thing, bake a cake, sing Happy Birthday, and call it a day. 

    Oh, if you do a larger party -- don't open the gifts with everyone there.  That's my one PTSD moment -- at one point, I completely lost DD in a sea of children and couldn't keep track of anything with all the "helpers" I had opening gifts.  We found a gift card behind a chair three days after, no joke. 

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: First birthday

    In Response to Re: First birthday:
    [QUOTE](ML -- 200?  Is that a typo?)

    No, and it's actually a low estimate :) We had a band (friend's band), a bouncy castle and a pie eating contest. We were the obnoxious, competitive LA style parents.

    Clearly, I was on drugs.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: First birthday

    Since we live in an apartment, we will most likely do a family only party for DD's 1st birthday.  I'm pretty practical, OK cheap, so I'd probably do something low-key either way.  However, only a few of our friends have kids, so it's easy for me to say it will be family only.  We could probably invite only the friends with kids and no one would care.  We'll see! 
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from June08bride. Show June08bride's posts

    Re: First birthday

    I live in a townhouse and I rented the complex's hall, had about 33 ppl including a handful of kids.  I had pizza, apps, chips/dip and cake.  DD had no idea everyone was there for her.  My house is small and I couldnt fit both sides of our family (25ppl) in it so renting the hall was the only other practical solution.  I have slighted many ppl in my extended family by not inviting to baptisms, 1st bday, ect...but doing what is best for us and our wallet is way more important.  Both my DD's are about a year and 5 weeks apart and I will be doing one family party going forward for both.  Good luck, I say keep it simple and invite your near and dear!  :)
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: First birthday

    thanks everyone, this is all REALLY helpful.  The only thing that is stressing me out is concern about the house being crowded.  I really do *want* to invite all of these people.  They are our closest friends and I want to celebrate with them. So, I think what I'm going to do is invite them!  We'll maybe borrow a tent or two for the backyard and some tables and chairs, I'll set up a couple of activities and have DVDs on hand, and we'll see what happens!  It's only a 2 hour party, not like they'll feel they have to stay all day.  I'll keep the food simple (easy because it's between meals).

    What I did decide to do was separate the family out.  So I'm going to invite the 18 or so family members for a smaller gathering the next day at my mom's (well, it's not really 18 family members, it's 9 family with their significant others).  I think this will be good because they can each get more time with Zoe (and us with them).

    thanks again, and would love to hear from anyone else who wants to share!
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: First birthday

    For the twins first birthday we just had family.  My parents and DH's parents.  My brother lives out of state and DH is an only child so it was really small.
    Birthday cake, party hats, presents.  Kids had fun, low stress.
    For the second, we did the same thing.
    I think we'll have a "real" party when they are three.  That seems to be what most of my friends do.  But we'll still keep it small.  Four or five kids and their parents will be more than enough.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: First birthday

    hi poppy-  This is something we debated for a while- we are dinner party throwers who care deeply about good food and drinks... so we usually did smaller dinner parties (10-12, but not 50) where we could control stuff. but for this- we went all out (I did have a small freak out moment where i regretted it all, but it was right before it happened, not after.)

    we invited like 50, but only had about 35 come (mid summer birthday), so that is something else to consider. this is soccer, hockey and football season, so depending on the age of your friend's children... you may not get everyone. we also had a bouncy castle ($150 of fun I tell you!) for the older kids, with that, the basketball hoop, etc. we had plenty to keep them busy, plus allowed access to all of our toys for the littler ones.  we served smaller snacks- little pizzas, chicken fingers, fruit salad- all stuff that kids can eat, but adults could also snack on. worked out great for those of us chasing toddlers who weren't going to sit and eat a burger.  we did have party favors, but I did my research to keep them on the cheaper side.

    it was great for us...
    (1) we got to invite those family members that we wouldn't just invite over, but really should have the opportunity to see DS at least once a year.
    (2) DS got to see some of his daycare friends and our friends kids together in a different venue, which he thought was great.
    (3) aside from our wedding and DS's christening, we tend to keep our friends separate, and this was a nice opportunity to blend our closest friends together

    oh- and I realized that if you pick a theme, that some of your gifts will be associated with it- so pick something that Zoe loves. and GC is right, try to avoid the gift opening during the part if possible.
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: First birthday

    The present opening was one of the more frightening moments of my life.  I'm not kidding when I tell you I momentarily lost my child in the sea of helping hands. 
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: First birthday

    I'm going small for this one; for her christening in May we had about 50 people and it was overwhelming for me!  Plus, I felt like the people who really wanted to hang out with DD (like her grandparents who live a state away) didn't get a lot of time with her.

    So birthday party is going to be close family - her grandparents (3 sets) and her aunts, uncles and cousins (not all of mine, too, as were at the christening). In that number will be three other little kids, between 1 and 3 years old. 

    We're doing 3-6 PM, lowkey with easy, make-ahead food and cupcakes.  I think our total will be around 15 people. 
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: First birthday

    We just had DS and DD first birthday party Sat.  It was awesome but crazy too.  We live in a smallish town house and while we hosted DD1's first birthday, it was packed.  So we haven't hosted a party at our home since.  DD1's second and third birthday was at my in-laws whose backyard is, as my father put it, Disneyesque with 8x8 sand box, pool, swingset and this year my brothers in law bought her a bouncy house as her present.

    For DS and DD, we had the party at my parents.  We only invite family and 3 of our friends with their kids to any of our birthday parties.  They have been the same friends since DD1 was born.  We have been to parties celebrating other friends kids but I don't feel that there has to be reciprocation in party invitations.  Even with just family and a few friends, there were 20+ adults and 11 kids (10 of which were 3 and under). 

    A first birthday doesn't have to be complicated.  I did Sesame Street (mostly 'cuz I wanted to use the " Brought to you by the letters N&K and the number 1" tagline).  I bought themed cake plates and napkins, used regular paper products otherwise.  I asked family to bring things, like my mom made a 7 layer salad, my MIL made meatballs, we bought the sandwich platters from Stop and Shop.  It was pretty low key.  The kids played with  toys (My father does daycare for my sister fulltime and part time for my kids so they have lots of toys there)  and I had Sesame Street on the TV although no one was watching it.  I made Number 1 shaped cakes.

    As for opening toys, if you can get away with it (and I never can) DON'T do it while guests are there.  It was anarchy.  I got a glimpse of Chirstmas Future and I will be having nightmares for months.  1 year olds really could care less about opening things plus are usually over whelmed by so much going on.  If everyone wants to see them opened, have someone write a list (like you would at a shower).  My usually list maker wasn't there this weekend and I have almost no idea which kid got what from whom.  Especially since DH was opening with DD and didn't make any attempt to keep cards with presents.

    I have been VERY happy with how both first birthday parties wend.  I wouldn't change anything.  I hope when you look back you feel the same.
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: First birthday

    DD turned 1 in July, so we had it outside.  We rented a tent for the backyard and hired a clambake company to do the food.  I bought cupcakes from Shaw's and decorated with balloons and bought paper plates, etc from iparty.  We had around 35 people.  We only had a few younger kids and I just bought a couple of little goodie bags for them as favors - little coloring book/crayons and a small container of play-doh.
    It is absolutely true that the 1st birthday is for the parents.  DD had a good time and was spoiled by lots of attention from friends and family, but obviously had no idea what all the fuss was about.  We threw the party to just celebrate a really important milestone with close family and friends.  It was the highlight of our summer and would do it again tomorrow if I could. 

    For a colder weather gathering, I might be hesitant to rely on the outside space.  Her Christening was last October and we had roughly the same amount of people and had it at my in-law's house (they live 45 minutes closer to the church than we do).  We did baked ziti and salads and bought some trays of meatballs and stuff from a local deli.  Friends I know have also done a "make your own" hot-dog buffet with hot dogs in a crock pot and all the fixin's.  It was a big hit with the kiddies and a lot cheaper than ordering a ton of pizzas.

    A couple of tips that I would offer are:
    1) use your local grocery store as much as you can.  I almost fell off my chair when I was ordering cupcakes for the birthday party when some of the specialty bakery and cupcake places were charging over $2/cupcake!  I got them at Shaw's and they were beautiful and were $12 for a tray of 24 I think.
    2) again, local grocery store!  I had to have balloons inflated and the party stores and floral shops were expensive.  The floral dept. at Shaw's did them for cheap.
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: First birthday

    oh- and get a cupcake cake. stop and shop recommended it, but shaws does them too. they put together 20 or 40 cupcakes, and then ice the top like it is a cake. that way, you only rip them apart. it was soooo easy, and still "looked like" a cake.   sure that any bakery could do it too. it was also then really easy to do 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla.
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: First birthday

    We had family and some close friends about 20-30 people.  It was the beginning of Sept so we were able to have it outside.  We used for the theme (and went with the safari one) since it was comparable with the stores because they had coupons that came with a catalog they had sent us.

    We did lunch and just made hamburgers and hot dogs.  We did go all out with the cake and got it at DAmici's who did an awesome job of making the cake look like the invitations we sent out.  Next year I would just go with a traditional cake or cupcakes from a grocery store or even make it myself since that is a tradition my mom had with us when I was growing up.

    I definitely think you should do what you are comfortable with and if space is tight there is always her second birthday to do it big if you want and she will probably enjoy it more!
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: First birthday

    Ok, you've all got me terrified about the gift-opening, so I'll see if I can either avoid it entirely during the party, or somehow make it more manageable.  Maybe open a few gifts at a time?  Ugh, I don't know.

    Winter09 - all of your reasons are pretty much the same as mine regarding wanting to invite lots of people.  DH and I both have a somewhat large circle of very close friends and we all love celebrating with each other, but those occasions are few and far between because everyone is so busy. 

    Ooh - I love that cupcake-cake idea!  I was thinking cupcakes, but hadn't really thought it through.  And I will definitely be using the local grocery stores!  We are NOT doing a meal - going to keep it short, 2-4pm, and just serve snacks and cake.  Might not even do ice cream... do you think there will be a revolt if we don't? 

    We're doing an Uglydolls theme.  :)  By "theme" I just mean a few plates/napkins and some goody-bags.  I was thinking I might print some pics out and make little decorations for the cake/cupcakes. Nothing too fancy.

    I love to hear all of your ideas - this is all very helpful.
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALS76. Show ALS76's posts

    Re: First birthday

    We did not open her gifts until the next morning.  The party itself was way too hectic and everyone was having a good time with the food and socializing, so we didn't want to break up the fun.  I stressed about this beforehand and in the end, we just didn't make it part of the actual party.  No one batted an eye.

    We did, however, open the grandparents' gifts when they were still lingering after the party disbanded.  They really wanted to see her open her gifts.
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: First birthday

    I would advise to put off the gift giving till after the party.  My husband's elderly aunts had to leave our party early and kind of made a scene about "seeing" DS open their presents.  It was a snowball effect and before I knew it DH, DS and I were being mauled by 15 kids ranging from toddler up to 9 years old.  I still cringe thinking about it.
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from dz76. Show dz76's posts

    Re: First birthday

    Have Hoodies instead of scooping ice cream.  They were a hit all around (including with the adults) :-)
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: First birthday

    I second the Hoodies.  :)  
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: First birthday

    Ooh, I want a Hoodsie NOW.

    I have to say, before we had the LO, we were often disappointed when our nieces and nephews didn't open their gifts while we were there.
    Now that I have a kid, I totally get it and would not think twice about people waiting.  That said, if anyone on here is going with the small party, I do think people enjoy seeing the gifts.  But again, only if it works for you and for the birthday kid!

  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongirl88. Show bostongirl88's posts

    Re: First birthday

    DS birthday was in July and we had a bbq. We invited family and close friends (about 45 ppl). DS couldn't have cared less who was there. We didn't open presents in front of anyone (esp since we had told ppl that presents were not necessary but that if they felt obligated that they could contribute to his 529 acct - and MANY of them did that instead of buying a toy/clothes, etc).

    We had lots of food made by family members and ourselves. We ordered out for the cake (sponge cake with fruit and cream). We gave out bubbles for party favors (for kids only). My sister-in-law is a fabulous photographer and she became our unofficial official photographer for the party.

    It was a great party and very successful. We also had ppl come at 2:30pm (AFTER DS's nap) - VERY VERY IMPORTANT! Make sure your LO has had his/her nap before the party starts. Everyone left before dinnertime so it worked our perfectly.

    Next year we will probably have another bbq! Easy and fun!