Friday, March 30, 2012

Nathan's Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party

I loaded these pictures a few days ago, knowing I'd have more time to do the typing during Spring Break. Right now Katy is playing outside, David & Ryan are playing Monopoly, and Nathan is eating a cookie in his high chair. Life at Grandma & Grandpa's house is good!

So, birthday parties are a constant source of disagreement in the Morrill household. Pretty much I always want to have them, Dan always thinks they shouldn't. Sorry, Honey, I'm not ready to back down. Probably as the kids get older, but for now it's so fun!

I had seen some Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party stuff around Pinterest, and since we love that book I thought it would be fun for Nathan's first birthday party! Since first birthday parties are more for everybody else than the birthday child I decided to invite 3 families that have little ones. It was fun to have the entire families involved! I made invitations using this idea:

I made the leaves a bit bigger and glued the caterpillar on them instead of putting them in jars. They were really cute! I wish I'd taken a picture.

I printed out some VHC coloring pages, and they were a big hit! I thought about doing more involved crafts, but didn't get around to doing the prep work. It was easier without them anyway, and the kids loved just playing.
Here's the guest of honor! Yes, he has a whole apple. He takes them out of the fridge if he can get over there fast enough when someone else has it open. I've been buying baby apples so he doesn't waste so much, but clearly he didn't get one that time.

Who knew a paper plate could be so fun!

Here's our low class VHC cake. If I was a better person I would have displayed it on something prettier than 2 upside down cookie sheets, made the frosting before people got there (thanks for taking over on that Danny love!), split the frosting better so we had enough green, taken more time decorating so the cupcakes looked prettier, and done a better job on the face. Oh well, they sure tasted delicious!
I tried to tell people that Nathan really, really didn't need anything. It didn't work. But they did do a good job of not just adding to the clutter! The Slaters gave him these super cute short overalls. I can't wait for it to be shorts weather so he can wear them!
The Hamsleys gave Nathan this adorable duckling. It quacks and sings the abcs, and is remarkably non-annoying! I love seeing him hug it and carry it around. :-)
After everyone left I finally thought to take pictures of the food. I was really happy with how it turned out! I downloaded some clip art and made these cute signs. On Monday he ate through 1 apple, and so forth. It was nice to not have to think about what to serve, and everyone ate a lot of healthy stuff in addition to the usual cake & candy!
These are not jelly beans, gummy worms, and gummy butterflies, they are eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies. On the far right are some watermelon taffies for the slide of watermelon the VHC ate on Saturday. On the far left of the other picture is some cheese for Saturday, although we did cheddar instead of swiss. We had chocolate cupcakes, so that took care of both chocolate cake and cupcakes, and the kids got lollipops in their goodie bags. That was enough of the Saturday stuff, it did give the caterpillar a stomach ache, after all! Katy insisted on having "nice green leaves," so that's what is in the upper right of the picture. My kids actually like spinach pretty well, but with all the other yummy stuff the leaves didn't get eaten. :-P
Here's my attempt at nice picture of a leftover cupcake. Yum! I got a bigger tip to pipe the frosting on. I'm excited to make cupcakes again sometime without the rush of "all the kids are anxious for cake, hurry, hurry!" so I can make them look prettier.
Remember how I said I should've divided the frosting better? I ran out of green, but we had quite a bit of red left. This is what happens when you add red to the bag that already has green. Pretty cool!
Here's Nathan's other present - some cute Cars jammies! He actually really needed some, so it was a great gift! I tried for a while to get a good picture of him in them. I got lots of blurry ones while he walked around. He finally sat down, but of course wouldn't smile before he was up and about again.
I also got a couple like this. Sigh. Getting a good picture of this 1 year old is hard. He sure is busy!

I was really pleased with how the day turned out. The food was good, the cake was yummy, the kids all had fun, and the husbands even seemed to have a good time! :-) Oh yeah, and I had fun, too! I'd say it was a success.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Going down!

Nathan learned a new skill yesterday, and since I happened to have the camera in hand today (working with Ryan on a school project to photograph a stuffed monkey in "interesting, unusual, or humorous poses"...perhaps worth a post?), I got it on camera today! Prior to this he was very good at going up, but would only go down if he had climbed up a couple and changed his mind. Now he knows how to get started!
Getting ready to kneel down...
Ready to turn around...
Fully in position (love the feet!)...
And GO!

I love how his pants are hiked up to his knees by a few steps down. :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nathan is one!

Well, one of the most happy-sad things that ever happens to a woman has happened to me. My baby (as in last child, not just current youngest child) has turned one! He is no longer a baby, he is a toddler who toddles all over and makes many messes. He is super cute and sweet and really fun to have around. But gosh darn it, what happened to this guy?I need to start making friends with all the pregnant ladies at church so I can get my baby fix.

So, for the first time ever, I was quite successful at keeping the birthday experience from getting out of control. We did have a small party (which I will hopefully blog about soon), but I did a very good job of not overindulging the birthday child! He got some sand toys from us (more because we needed sand toys than anything), a present from each sibling, and a baby swing from Grandma & Grandpa Smith. It was nice!

Katy got Nathan some board books and a bouncy ball at the dollar store. He likes the books (he likes to look at those little board books that are just the right size for his little hands), but he LOVES the ball! He had tested it out before his birthday, so as soon as he got it in his hands he knew what it was!

This was the first time he really unwrapped presents (Christmas was 3 months ago, he couldn't really unwrap then and probably doesn't remember it anyway), so we had to teach him. He started off just taking tiny bits...
Then he got the hang of it a bit better.
There it is! I want that!
And he immediately tried to walk away to play with it! It took some convincing to get him to open any other presents!
David gave him a pretty neat ball that opens and has some different things inside. Okay, that's a horrible explanation. Just trust me, it's a fun toy!
Next it was cupcake time! Since I knew we were doing a party on Saturday, I didn't do anything all that special. Just vanilla cupcakes with blue buttercream frosting. Mmmm!
Now, Nathan has certainly had more sweets than many babies have by their first birthday. But he was still a little uncertain.
Testing the frosting...
Hey, this is pretty good!
It wasn't all that much frosting so he didn't get good and messy like a baby is supposed to for their first birthday. Oh well, he didn't seem to mind!

Nathan is such a wonderful, sweet dispositioned little guy. He loves his brothers & sister so much, and is such a joy to have around! Happy Birthday, Nathan! We're glad you're in our family!