Jack’s First Birthday Party

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A few weeks ago my son turned one-year-old, we had a big party for him! If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you know that I announced a few weeks ago that we are moving to Oregon, so this party was a good-bye party as well. We didn’t quite go all-out, but we tried to make it as fun as we could on a budget. Afterall, it’s not every day your son firstborn turns one!

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Wrap nap, that way he didn’t party himself out.

We decided on a longer party, lasting from 12-5pm. This way the families/babies could come earlier before naptime and the adults/singles could come later. That way everyone could come and celebrate. I was nervous about this, fearing Jack would be too excited to nap and have a meltdown. But the park was close enough to home we could bail if it went south.

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The party was at my favorite park in the whole Bay Area, Alum Rock Park. It’s as off the beaten path as you can get in crowded San Jose, but popular enough that it well-cared for. Playground for the kids to play on too. The other big reason I picked it is because of the amazing hiking trails. I knew I could throw Jack in a carrier and walk him around for his nap when he got tired.

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I reserved a covered structure area so people could get out of the sun and we would have a bit more privacy. It had two BBQ grills and 3 tables, plus there was a nice lawn next to it for everyone to sit in the sunshine too. I decided on a San Francisco Giants theme (similar to his babyshower). I didn’t go all out on the theme, just some black and orange decorations with some random Giants stuff we had around.

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I did make these super cute baseball-themed bean bag toss games. I got the idea from Pinterest. I used a moving box we had laying around and paint left over from Jack’s nursery sign.


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I was a busy mama, barely remembered to eat!

I made the bean bags too. I filled plastic sandwich bags with dry bean.Then I cut up an old baby blanket into a squares, stuffed the bean bags in, then sewed them inside using heavy duty thread. I am horrible at sewing, so anyone can do this. These were a big hit at the party. Kids and adults loved them.

As for the food, I need to give a huge thank-you to my mom, she cooked almost everything and it came out great. Most of the stuff she made was not vegan (mainly because I didn’t have time to do a big grocery shopping for the party). I just ate hot dogs and chips mainly (when I had time to eat, I spent most of the time running around). But here is vegan version of the menu with many of my own recipes:

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We did a cake smash too. My mom and I were going to make Jack a small cake to smash and then cupcake for everyone…. but we ran out of time and got a Costco cake. We cut him off a big piece to destroy, then served up the rest.

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Now, I know store bought cakes are pretty much all lard and processed sugar, not the best thing for a baby. But I do believe that treats (even horrible ones) can slide if eaten very rarely. Plus, Jack didn’t eat that much of it, mostly just played with it.

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The party was so much fun, huge success! It was low key, and just enough people came to make it a good time. It was lovely to have so many friends and family come celebrate Jack’s first year of life and send off to Oregon.  I hope we looks back at pictures from this day and always remember his home in San Jose and how loved he truly is.All that being said, it was a lot of work and this kid ain’t getting another big party for a long time! 😛

A Letter To My Son

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Dear Jack,

My sweet little prince, you are one-year old now. One year ago, you entered this world and made me a mother. I will never forget that beautiful moment when they placed you on my chest. One year ago, you made us a family and our love multiplied. I didn’t even know what was possible. One year ago you changed everything and anything we thought we knew about love, life, and happiness. Our world is now a more beautiful place.

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One year of breastfeeding, with all its struggles and joys so you could be nourished body and soul. One year of babywearing, countless wraps and carries tried all to make you feel safe and secure. One year of countless sleepless nights filled with kisses and hugs to help you fall back asleep. One year of trial and error—tears and struggles—all in hopes of giving you the best life possible.

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You have changed so much this first year. Once you just cried and cried, and I had to guess in vain what would make you happy. Now you talk and sign your needs with ease. Once I had to carry and hold you everywhere. Now you walk and crawl with gusto. Once my breasts were your only source of sustaince. Now you can feed yourself any food you like.

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You are no longer a baby. I am sad your infancy is over and will cherish this past year more than you will ever understand. Now, you begin a new phase. You are a little man who is ready to explore and discover.  I’m so excited to guide  you along this journey and watch you find your place in life.

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Along the way, please remember I am always here for you. Although you are no longer a baby, you will always be my baby. Just like as a newborn, I will give up anything I can to help you. Although I no longer carry you on my chest, I will always carry you in my heart.

Love always,

Your Mother