Monday, July 1, 2013

The Birthday Par-tay Debrief

We had the party.  I think it was a success.  Zuzu seemed to enjoy herself (except when she caught me holding other babies--jealous!) and a lot of the food got eaten, so those are good signs, right?  I was emotional for the whole week leading up to it, and exhausted by the time it was all over, but so, SO glad we were able to celebrate our little punkin.  

I don't have the brainpower to formulate a coherent narrative about the party, so I'm just going to do let the pictures do the talking.  Prepare yourself for the onslaught.

We started out with a twelve-month-old, a gorgeous morning, and a rainbow theme.

Twelve months!  (And not very cooperative for this photo session).
It was such a beautiful morning.
We hung the birthday flag.
And lined the front sidewalk with pinwheels
We set up the water table on the patio, marveling at the perfect weather (in the mid-70s), and planned for people to be able to be inside or outside during the party.  One of my friends texted me, "What a perfect day for a birthday party!"

The party was scheduled to start at 3pm.  At exactly 3pm, we got a torrential downpour.

Happy Soaking Wet Birthday.  Good luck finding a close parking spot.
Fortunately, most of the cute decorations were inside!

One of my favorite projects!  12 months of Zuzu faces wearing party hats. Photo credit: my friend Kristin.
I had planned to make a balloon wreath like this one, but then I cheated and borrowed this from David's school.  It's cute, isn't it?
A package of 12x12 rainbow colored scrapbook paper was my major party-supply investment.  I printed these letters in Word and cut them out with scissors.  (Not to brag, but I do have mad scissor skills.)
This was another monthly banner of Zuzu.  I used mini-clothespins to hang them on baker's twine, and clipped a rectangle of scrapbook paper behind each picture.  Super easy.  Photo credit: Kristin.
Party favors were beach buckets, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, stickers, and a balloon. Photo credit: Kristin. 
My friend Gina made this sign--isn't it gorgeous?  Photo credit: Kristin.
Getting a decent picture of Zuzu with the sign was NOT easy.  I think my dad had better luck, so I need to get a copy of his photos.  I tried to distract her with this flower, which worked until she ripped the bloom of the stem and then tried to nose dive off the couch.
Oh yeah--we had some food.  Just snacky stuff--animal crackers in rainbow dip, gorgeous rainbow cookies, fruit platter, veggie platter, pretzels with sprinkles, chips & salsa, cheese & crackers & summer sausage, cupcakes and birthday cake.  Photo credit: Kristin.
Confession:  I cried the morning of the party because my cake (I baked and frosted it myself--as you can probably tell) got kind of melty and started leaning to the left.  A little time in the fridge firmed up the frosting and although it certainly has its homemade "charm," it was pretty tasty.
Thanks to Pinterest for the inspiration for the simple cake decoration. 
The cookies I outsourced to a friend with a steadier hand, more artistic eye, and nine years of birthday party baking experience.  (Thanks, K!)  Aren't they amazing? Photo credit: Kristin
Grammy was in charge of the pretzel coating.  She laughed because a lot of the kids ate the top half of the pretzel and threw away the plain pretzel bottom.  Guess we should have doubled up and made them sprinkle batons.

Funfetti cupcakes - also Grammy's project.

And Grammy provided the adorable birthday onesie.  (David and I provided the baby.)
I ordered plastic milk bottles and paper straws for the kids because I could not resist the adorableness.  Can you blame me?
We planned ahead by scooping ice cream into muffin tins the night before--made for very simple serving during the party.  And aren't they cute?

This game was based on a Korean tradition (fun fact: Zuzu's Uncle Bubs was living in Seoul, South Korea when I was pregnant with Eliza and we visited him.  You can read about those adventures starting here.)  The idea is that you put out a few objects on the floor and see which one the baby chooses.  That object is then a prediction of the baby's future career.
Party guests write their name on tickets to vote for the object they think the baby will choose.  Our objects were:  A calculator (engineer); a tiara (pageant queen); a dollar bill (entrepreneur); books (scholar); baseball (athlete)
This was the prize for the ticket drawn at random from the winning bucket.  This book is kind of a tear-jerker.  We may have to invest in our own copy.
Zuzu checked out the tiara, but bypassed it for the calculator.  Our future engineer!  Just like Gramps and Uncle Bubs.
She also grabbed the dollar bill, so we decided she'll be a financially successful engineer.  And it looks like she's walking here, but she's not quite there yet--she can take one step and then she loses her balance.
And then it was time for cake! 
First bite of refined sugar.
She LOVED it.
Mommy & Daddy & Zuzu
Showing off her straw skills.  In retrospect, I should have invested in a birthday bib.
Then it was time for presents.  We were fortunate to have an excellent gift-unwrapping assistant in the form of our good friend, F.  Here she is presenting us with a present from Grammy.
It was a tea set!
Another gift from the grandparents.  (Zuzu's not spoiled AT ALL.)
And then it was play time mass chaos and confusion.  Confession:  We have another push-wagon that was a big hit, but one party-goer was running around with it it so enthusiastically that I had to park it in the basement.  When he insisted on accompanying me downstairs, I told him kids can't go into our basement because it's full of hot things and poison. #littlewhitelie
There were just enough leftovers for a couple complete breakfasts.
12 month check up today--my baby seems to have literally turned into a toddler overnight.  Maybe that had something to do with turning one?
Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes.  It means so much to us to feel the love from people who have followed our family's story.  It's hard to believe that we've had an entire year of this rainbow baby lighting up our lives.  

Happy Birthday to our little Zuzu.  And many, many more.


  1. Looks like the party was a big success!! So many cute ideas here -- as I've said before, Martha Stewart has nothing on you, Brooke. ; ) Miss Zuzu is, as always, adorable.

  2. The milk bottles! Pinwheels! The Toddler!

    I love it all. I particularly love that you dressed in an adorable skirt and made a straw face with Zuzu while she was drinking through her straw. :)

    Love it all!

  3. So cute. and such a great photo of you + Zuzu+ David- you all look adorable!

    :) I can't believe she made it to 12 months without refined sugar- I owe her a timbit for sure! :)

    Such a great birthday and your friend has THE BEST HANDWRITING over on that birthday sign- too cute!

  4. 12 months of photos is so cute! Love the ruffle bottomed babe! Love your skirt! Food table looks awesome! Cake for breakfast=yum! Agree with Laura, such a great photo of the three of you! :)

  5. I love that Zuzu of yours. Way to rock that sign, Gina - it's amazing.

    And cute skirt, where'd ya get it?

  6. Cute, cute and more CUTE!!! Looks like a wonderful party despite the rain. Happy Birthday you sweet little thing!

  7. My favorite is the fruit and veggie trays organized by color-- you know how to work a theme.

    I am totally stealing the banner ideas for Dorothy's b-day-- love them!

    Great pictures! Happy birthday Zuzu!

  8. I agree with Laura, Zuzu should get a timbit waiting a year for refined sugar.

    Every detail was simply beautiful Brooke. The photo of the three of you is one of the best you have posted...ever. There is a lot of sadness in milestones. You all seemed so present and joyous to celebrate her. Eliza would be proud.

    Ps love the rainbow theme. Planning the same for Lil.

  9. Am going to bookmark this page for October! LOVE the baby faces flags. And the ice cream pre-servings. And the adorable one-year-old. And the rainbow-ness of it all. Well done!

  10. Omg! It's all soooo cute and wonderful! Love the food--so colorful! And the banners! And the sign! And the cookies!! And shuddup at that ruffle butt!!!!! Sooo well done!

  11. I love it! Much fancier than the one we had for Frostina. I especially love the 12 months of Zuzu wearing birthday hats!

  12. I was tearing up by the end of the pics! She is beautiful Brooke. The party looks like it was awesome, downpour aside :)

    Love love love the rainbow theme.


  13. Happy birthday wishes to Zuzu. Been thinking abt u guys all weekend and marvelling at the perfect weather. I think the party was a major success and you said, you ll keep it simple???? Cant beleive its been one year. Its a cliche...but time flies ...isin't it. Love the cloudy cookies and zuzu trivia and the zuzu hats.u pulled it off so well. Four and a half months from now and we will be hosting one, hopefully.

  14. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZUZU!!! OMG that ruffled butt! That monthly baby/birthday hat banner! The sign! The onsie! That food! I'm amazed and inspired! (And "get in mah cakehole?!" DYING!)

    LOVE ALL OF THE THINGS!! Amazing mama award!

  15. The party looks amazing! You did a great job!

    I have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. Great for party ideas, but it can also make you feel like the most incompetent hostess ever.

  16. Rainbow pants! I heart them!

    Happy birthday to Zuzu. What a wonderful celebration!

  17. That ruffly rainbow bottom is Too Adorable. I love her face with the tea set.

  18. What an awesome party! I'm saving this post for ideas for my son's first b-day party.

  19. That party is OFF THE HOOK! (does anyone actually say that IRL?). I love your commitment to the theme...the ribbon, the banner, the colour boarders around her "monthly photo shoot"...down to the food trays and that ruffled butt! JUST AWESOME.

    I'd never be able to pull off something so coordinated - but unless Theo picks up some sort specific obsession before age 1, he's getting a rainbow themed party! And I'm SO using some of your details as a guide!

    Love that little baby girl of yours - now a TODDLER girl, wow - and am looking forward to many many more birthdays to come.

  20. Yay!! It all turned out so well. And now I can tell you I was scared to death to make your board. I wanted it to be perfect, which it isn't. And I know you are like me when it comes to artistic details (that is very clear when I see this most awesome party EVAR). But it worked and if nothing else, when Zuzu sat by it, all mistakes were shadowed by her adorableness. Great job!

  21. Looks like a fantastic party. You did an amazing job! And I want your friend Gina to be my friend Gina because she did an AMAZING job on the sign.

  22. So sweet! Happy Birthday, ZuZu! I LOVE the baby face banner...I may have to steal that idea when my boy turns one. <3