My baby girl turned one on Saturday.
I felt a bit emotional about it in the lead up to it.
I am not sure that was because a whole year has gone by since we met her and first held her in our arms, or whether it was because I know that the baby days are over, or because I know I won’t have any more babies and won’t experience those baby-baby days again. Who knows…but I approached Saturday with nervousness and emotion but also happiness and celebration at the same time.
Morgan was adorable when she woke up – and Sydney was so excited that it was her birthday. She had bought her sister a doll and had wrapped it the week before and written her card and had hidden it in her room until the big day. So, as you can imagine, Saturday morning was an early start for us as Sydney was desperate to wake Morgan up to give her, her gift.
We had bought Morgan a wigwam and had set it up in the lounge the night before with cushions and her other presents and cards in it for when we all came down for breakfast. She did not know what was going on! She was so excited about being able to crawl around and investigate everything, but opening her presents wasn’t easy as she was more interested in balloons on the floor!
We had also, unintentionally, planned a huge party for later on that day. We didn’t think anyone would be able to make it but the final numbers were 40 adults and 23 children – eeeek! But, everything went smoothly, thank goodness.
I am a naturally organised person so enjoy organising events. I tend to get a little bit obsessed over little details so from the start I tried to think of every little thing that would make the day special.
I sent out invitations to everyone using a website I came across called Punchbowl. The invitations were e-invites and were free and looked great, and it was a brilliant way of emailing a group of people and sending out additional information, as well as keeping track of who was coming.
I had actually spent the whole of last week obsessing over the weather forecast, but Saturday was a blissfully hot day – not a rain cloud in sight and the whole party could be in the garden. We had arranged for it to be a BBQ and got the paddling pool set up and then I started worrying about shade and not enough of it, rather than rain!
We had the BBQ on from mid-morning, garden games set up along one side of the house, had arranged for people to park in the paddock next to our house (we live in the country!) and we have a bouncy castle that we were given from our neighbour, that we had set up as well. The garden looked like a children’s theme park!
We had the most amazing balloons that we tied up outside the house that floated high up into the blue sky with long tassels. They were from a company called Bang on Balloons. They looked so nice. I had also arranged for a face painter to come to paint the older children’s faces – because there was a mix of 3 year olds and 1 year olds, I knew the 3 year olds would be the ones that would need the entertainment. Another thing was a poster sized colouring sheet to go on our easel, which we put outside for the children to colour in, which I had found online from a company called What about the Kids.
It was so hot and we had a gazebo set up, as well as a pop up sun dome tent to try and make sure the little ones would be ok. They all had such fun playing and splashing in the paddling pool. Even Morgan went in the pool but couldn’t decide on whether she liked it or not!
Sydney coped brilliantly. I had been worried about how she would be – she is often not great when she is not the centre of attention, but she played really nicely with her friends, got her face painted herself and enjoyed the things in the garden.
It was also wonderful spending time with our amazing friends and family and it made it so special to celebrate Morgan’s birthday with them. I always feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and seeing our children playing and being friends as well is the most lovely thing to see. They all play so well together and get on so well, I really, really hope they are in each other’s lives for a long time.
Morgan, typically, had refused to sleep all morning because of the excitement of everything, so it wasn’t until after lunch that she gave in and had a nap. I had set our travel cot up in Sydney’s room as well as having Morgan’s bedroom and cot available when Morgan wasn’t in it, so a lot of the babies ended up having naps at different points in the afternoon.
The birthday cake was a Hungry Caterpillar Cake that we had made for us. It was huge and tasted amazing! A lot of the children were desperate to eat the caterpillar on the top – but we let Morgan have some of that bit.
We had moved a lot of the furniture out of the lounge and bought an extra stair-gate to put across the door into the hall so the lounge could be used as a room for babies who wanted to get out of the sun but where they wouldn’t be able to escape. At different points, various people came in to get out of the sun and spend time in the “chill-out”area. The girls’ toys were out all over the floor for the children to play with and it felt like the only cool place in the house.
When people started to leave I gave them each a book with a personalised “thank you from Morgan” sticker that I had created using the Vistaprint website. I just thought that that would be better giving out books than trying to do party bags, and would probably work out cheaper.
By the end of the afternoon, the garden looked like a bomb had hit it. There were empty bottles of prosecco all over the kitchen and there was enough left over BBQ food to feed us for days afterwards, but – we all had had a brilliant day and it was worth all of the organising and hectic-ness, because Morgan had a 1st birthday party to remember!
Now, though, I am definitely in need of a holiday and am looking forward to spending more time with my newly turned 1 year old and my 3 and a half-year-old, whilst I contemplate my next organising project. Potentially Morgan’s Christening? or Christmas? hmmm…we better do some saving first!