Before I even had Renee, when I was still pregnant, I worried about what we were going to do for her 1st birthday party! We didn't want a huge party, and definitely not at our house. In general 1 year olds don't do well in large crowds of people they barely know, especially when their parents are busy entertaining all those people.
So, what to do? What to do?
We considered not having a party at all. But, that's no fun either. My mom offered to have the party at her house, which would give Jeff and I the freedom to keep Renee happy. But, there was still going to be too many people. So I came up with a great idea - split the party into two parties! One would be at a restaurant with just Renee's most immediate family (parents, grandparents, uncles) and our closest friends. The second party would be at my mom's house with more (but, still not all) family and friends. Jeff wasn't quite sure how we went from the idea of no party at all (which he liked) to having two parties, but he's not one to argue with my sound logic, that and he learned early on in our relationship that I am just always right.
We had the first party at Fenton's Creamery in Oakland on the Sunday before her birthday. Renee was so good and had such a great time. She just sat in her high chair and ate french fries and some of my hamburger and smiled at all the attention she was getting. She even wore her birthday hat for a long time, which was surprising because normally she hates wearing hats. It was really cute!
Here are some pics from that party:
|She really liked playing with the balloons!|
Since we were planning on having a special cake for her second party, and since we were already at an ice cream parlor, it seemed only fitting to give Renee a birthday ice cream scoop. It was her first ice cream ever and she loved it!!
|Her 1st ice cream experience, she wasn't too sure about the candle though :D|
Renee got lots of great gifts: bath toys, books, a sand & water play table and money for her college savings. Jeff and I gave her a picture book of her family and friends that I made on Shuttlerfly.com, a pink sweater that I knit for her and a new baby doll. She absolutely loved the baby doll and still plays with it everyday!!
|Hugging her new baby doll!|
On Tuesday, her actual birthday, Jeff and I took the day off. We were considering still taking her to daycare so that we could have the day to ourselves. Kind of a gift to us for making it through the first year of parenthood. But, it just didn't feel right not spending Renee's birthday with her. So, we decided to go to the Sacramento Zoo instead.
We ended up having a great time! The weather was perfect and since it was the middle of the week, there weren't many people there so Renee got to walk around on her own, which was all she wants to do these days :D
|The uneven path was hard for her to stay balanced on, but she did her best!|
|Renee as compared to some birds of prey.|
|Ooooooh! Big kitty cat!!|
She was only marginally interested in looking at the animals. The ones that resembled dogs in any way (tigers, coyotes, etc.) and the ones that moved around a lot (birds and monkeys) got her attention. She did enjoy watching the orangutans for a while, as did Jeff and I.
We also took her on her first carousel ride at the zoo. At first she loved it, I think because it reminded her of the rocking horse she has at my parents' house. Then, when the ride started she was torn between being nervous and just having a great time! The ride was a little too long for her toddler patience though, and after about five times around she was ready to get off.
|Happy on her polar bear, for the moment :D|
Renee's second party was at my parents' house on the Saturday after her birthday. My cousin Olivia has been making really adorable cupcakes and cakes for a few years now, so I asked her to make Renee a special 1st birthday cake. I let her take total creative license and so we all got to be surprised at what she decided to make.
And I must say, she outdid herself:
|Is this not the CUTEST 1st birthday cake ever!!! Thank you again O!|
We all had a great time at this party too! Renee loved getting attention from all her aunts, uncles and cousins, as always :D She also had a ton of fun playing on her hand-me-down rocking horse that we keep at Grandma & Grandpa's house. This was the first time that she was really able to rock on it all on her own, it was really cute!
|That's the sweater I made her :D|
Again, she got lots of great presents: clothes, building blocks, books, more toys and money for her college savings.
After gifts, we all sang her "Happy Birthday" and gave her a huge piece of cake (the caterpillar's head) to dig into all on her own!! She wasn't quite sure about the whole thing and didn't like how the frosting stuck to her hands and ended up making a big purple frosting mess. It was cute. Unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries right before the cake, and I haven't uploaded the pictures from my parents' camera yet, so I don't have a picture of her messy cuteness to show you.
Renee ended up have 3 birthday celebrations; two parties and a special day at the zoo with Mommy and Daddy. Wowzers, what a lucky girl!!