I had meant to write this post over a week ago but life has been so busy, it just didn't happen. As I prepared for Baby Bean's party last weekend, I kept being struck by how strange it was to think that just a year ago, I had never met him and he hadn't transformed our family into a family of four. That's so hard to imagine. I must admit, I also had many sad moments, pondering the baby routines and activities that would never come my way again (we are basically agreed that he is our last baby :-(.
I decided to make the theme for his party "The Teddy Bear's Picnic". I had so much fun planning. I handmade invitations (which aren't posted here because they had his name prominently), I spent a ridiculous amount of time on gift bags (these were hand decorated, too) and the food was all teddy themed as well. To top it off, when I called a friend who has been collecting teddies for years and had mentioned that she was doing a cull of the collection, not only did she offer teddies for the kids to take home, she also offered us her farm which has "bear" in its name for the location. It was marvelous. I scoured for gift bag items, given that we had quite an age range of guests (our little guests ranged from 8 months to 8 years old since we included several kids from the home daycare Pk and Baby Bean attend and local friends with children of similar ages to ours) and several of our guests are gluten free/dairy free. I couldn't believe my luck in shopping. I went with honey as a major theme (connected both to bears and to Baby Bean being able to eat honey now since he is a year old) and I even found, for a ridiculously low price, toddler cutlery with honeybees on the handles for the guests too little for the gummy bears, teddy graham crackers and teddy bear stickers that were part of the gift bags. I scoured for honey recipes (I did a honey dip, teddy bear shaped honey sandwiches, honey/peanut butter treats and honey cornflake treats) and found a cute cupcake recipe with teddies (that I managed to make dairy free - gluten free cupcakes came from a bakery).
It ended up being an almost perfect day despite our missteps - dh forgetting the cooler with all the fruit, veg and sandwiches at home, the table leg breaking off, I realised when I went to take the first photos that my camera battery was almost dead, etc. The weather was hot and humid but we were in the shade and the views at the farm were stunning. It ended up being a day that I will always remember fondly (if with a bit of exhaustion).
Now, it's on to planning our next birthday party in September for Pk who insists she wants a "fairy princess tea party" (and most the guests she wants to invite are male!) In the meantime, I am just so grateful to have my little birthday boy and the wonderful friends who celebrated with us. I feel so blessed.