We celebrated my baby’s 1st birthday on Saturday despite it not actually being her birthday. My baby, Grace, will not turn one for another 8 days, but did that stop us? No. With my husband’s crazy work schedule, we had limited options for any sort of party. Grace’s birthday falls on November 5th, a Tuesday this year. My husband has to work the weekend before and the weekend after. So, after looking at our options, we decided that October 26th would work out the best.
The party we “threw” (I’m using the terms party and threw loosely) was quite small. It was just a small event for my husband’s family to celebrate Grace’s birthday with us. DH’s family lives within 6 hours of us. They are able to come visit for a first birthday. My family, on the other hand, lives over 16 hours away in Florida. Coming to a first birthday party is not going to happen. That isn’t to say they don’t want to come, they do, but it isn’t a realistic expectation. That being said, my parents happened to be in the area nearly two weeks ago. While they were here, they gave Grace her gift from them.
So, late Friday night, my brother-in-law and his family (wife and two children), arrived for the “festivities.” After they got settled in for the evening, my niece and nephew sleeping on an air mattress in our living room and my BIL (T) and SIL (K) sleeping in our guest room, we all went to bed. The next morning, DH ran to the store and brought back some yummy donuts for breakfast. About mid-morning, we loaded my niece, nephew, and both girls in my rockin’ minivan to head for a local pumpkin patch. The plan was to meet up with T and K there (they had left earlier to run a few errands). Bomke’s Pumpkin Patch is not too far from our home, only 25-30 minutes from our home. I was excited to go, as was Ginny who kept saying, “pumpkin patch” over and over on the drive down.
Within one minute of us parking at Bomke’s, T and K arrived. Great timing! When we got out of the van, we discovered that it was quite windy, making an otherwise comfortable day quite cool. (You would think I would know that it would be like that since I’m married to a meteorologist, but he failed to warn me. His excuse was that he was on administrative shifts that week and hadn’t done any forecasting. Yeah. Right.) We put Grace in an umbrella stroller and swaddled her a bit with blankets to keep her warm. I did worry about the wind, though. I had yet to buy any hats or mittens for her. Heck, I didn’t have a hat or mittens with me for Ginny. Totally unprepared. Luckily, Ginny didn’t seem to mind.
The Patch was quite nice. There was a play area for the kids right when we walked in, near the barn. It had swings, corn boxes (not sand boxes), a unique slide, and see saws. Ginny was in heaven! She enjoyed the slide, which was basically large black tubing, but wouldn’t go down unless her cousin J would help her. I’m grateful that J didn’t mind helping her out. He is a good older cousin. From there, we went to explore the craft vendors that had set up for the Old Barn Bash, a 4-H fundraiser, happening at the patch that day. There weren’t many there, but one caught my eye right away. They had hand-knitted hats and scarves available for sale in adult and kid sizes. I couldn’t believe my luck. I found a pretty purple one for Grace and an owl one for Ginny. We put them on once I was done purchasing them.
After exploring all that they had to offer in the barn area, we decided to take a hayride. The hayride was short, but had one stop at a very small petting “zoo.” Unlike the last time we went to one, this time Ginny was brave, petting a horse and a few goats. She enjoyed it so much that right after I washed her hands so we could leave, she tried to head back to pet the animals.
Now it was time for us to pick out our pumpkins. Most of the best pumpkins had been picked and taken away long before this weekend. However, I did find a couple I wanted. Next year, I plan on going to a pumpkin patch in late September so I can get the best picks.
We loaded up our vehicles, soon after, and headed to get some lunch at a local restaurant, The Brickhouse. Then it was time to go home so that both girls could hopefully get naps. Only Grace was willing to comply. Ginny, on the other hand, was so excited to have her cousins and Uncle there (she loves her aunt too, but was enchanted by Uncle T), that sleep was not an option for her. We tried to encourage the nap, but eventually gave up. Before we gave up, though, we decorated the house for our small celebration. A few days before hand, I picked up Minnie Mouse decorations, mainly because I loved the headband for Grace to wear.
Ginny loved all the pink and all the Minnie Mouse. She tried to claim the Minnie Mouse headband as her own. Instead of fighting with her, I allowed her to wear it for a while before returning it to Grace. Ginny seemed okay with that, thank goodness.
Unfortunately, Chris’s parents were unable to come to our home for the party. So, we rang them up on Skype so they could watch their youngest grandchild open her gifts and eat her cake.
Grace did not fail to entertain. While she was not interested in opening the gifts (she just stared at them), she was interested in the cake I had made for the occasion. Instead of digging her hands into the cake, she just picked it up and started to eat it. Smart girl! Once done, after a few bites, she decided to share the cake with our dog, Daisy Mae.
Of course, Ginny soon claimed all the gifts as hers. Well, just the toys. Sometimes she even lets Grace play with them.
I’m grateful that we had such a wonderful time celebrating such a sweet and beautiful girl.
(Oh, one more note: We will repeat this celebration on her actual birthday when she will receive her gifts from Mommy, Daddy, and Ginny as well as a cupcake.)