About 6 months ago, your mother and I balanced the costs and benefits of throwing you a big celebration for your first birthday. "It would be nice to have a blowout. It is her FIRST birthday party, afterall," we said initially. "But on the other hand, she isn't going to remember anything and we'd be exposing her to a lot of germs during sick season. Maybe small is the way to go."
So we decided that a humbler, smaller party would probably be best... but as it turns out, celebrations have a way of escalating sometimes. And that escalation usually happens when you start drawing up the guest list. "Well, we have to invite close friends and family. And wouldn't extended family be offended if they didn't get an invite? And, oh, we should invite coworkers, right? But is it right to make them buy stuff for Ellie? Well, whatever, free stuff is good!"
Pretty soon we had a list inching up toward 50 people (inevitably, the flu season would mercifully cull that herd down to around 40). Of course, you can't invite tons of people to a party without actually THROWING a party, either. So your mother plied her very best mommy skills and spent about a month preparing a rainbow themed celebration. There were rainbow decorations, rainbow food, rainbow cupcakes, and you even wore a little rainbow dress.
As you can see, it's as if a toddler got into a paint set with their hands and smeared rainbow colors all over your uncle Zack and Aunt Danielle's house. Awesome. And speaking of houses, there was also a BOUNCE house!
Unfortunately, you were technically too small to go into the bounce house. It wouldn't have been responsible to let you play inside. However, when I set you down and turned away for just a second, *poof*, you'd already appeared inside. That was my official account, at least.
In the same way that bounce houses aren't made for babies, they aren't made for adults either. That's why your Uncle Zack and I considered it our solemn duty to jump around inside until we were completely breathless. Your Grandma Smith kept shouting something about how we would hurt ourselves, but I ignored her right up until the moment I sprained my ankle.
After the bounce house, we set you loose on your usual charm offensive, but I'm sad to say that you had a pretty nasty cold that day, so it got harder and harder to maintain those smiles of yours.
Grouchy with Grandma.
Grouchy with the other Grandma
...But happy with Miss Patty?
Eventually, the time came for the cake!
Ironically, this is probably one of your mother's least elaborate cakes yet, but to be realistic, there's only one way a 1 year old really knows how to appreciate a cake... the way a 1 year old appreciates everything else. By grabbing it, smashing it, and jamming it in her mouth...
...and that's exactly what you did. It was totally worth it, even though we had to give you 3 consecutive bathes afterword because there was icing in every crevice of your body. Just yesterday, a week after the fact, I even found some leftover icing behind your left ear.
All in all, I thought it was a great success. The weather was wonderful, you got to stay up past your bedtime, and I got to eat lots and lots of cupcakes. Having conquered your first year, we had a lot to celebrate.