Monday, January 12, 2015

Claire's Birthday Party & Baptism

Claire's actually 25 hours away from turning one. Well, 29 hours really, considering she was born at 4:17 a.m. on January 14th. We have travel plans coming on Claire's actual birthday (she's so fancy!), but we celebrated the little one this past weekend with a house full of 40 people, lots of food and both sets of grandparents.

We have a tradition of baptizing our children on their birthdays. Andrew was baptized on his birthday, Benjamin was baptized on his 1st birthday (exactly!) and Claire was baptized days before her first birthday. It's another tie we keep to hold our three together; a special bond they all share that doesn't matter at all, but pleases our hearts.

Both sets of grandparents flew in for the occasion, just as they did for Benjamin's first. Making it to a first birthday after losing a baby (and never celebrating any birthdays before) is really monumental. Benjamin's 1st birthday was epic and undoubtedly over the top, and Claire's was just following tradition (with a lot less stress this go around). Birthdays to follow will be more low-key and spent with families whose kids are like-ages.

On the day of her party, Claire woke up uncharacteristically early (of course) and since I was already up as she snoozed herself back to sleep, I headed out to grab donuts for the family and three balloons from the grocery store. I don't know why I chose three... just thought the colors were a cute combo. As soon as I left the grocery store after having the most talkative and slow worker ever at 6:45 in the morning (gah), I promptly walked the balloons right into a tree and popped one. Like immediately. Two balloons. I was totally not going back in that store to ask for another balloon. Donuts + two balloons did make it back home and the people you see in this picture below were happy.

Baptism done by our good friend, Jim. He also baptized Benjamin and his family has been a constant support in remembering and loving Andrew with us.
I should've taken better shots of these banners considering how much of a (huge) labor of love they are... that I started with Benjamin and ended with Claire. Only the first birthday, but goodness... reason enough to stop having children because they take forever!
I made the (horribly tasting, but egg free and who really cares anyway because cream cheese buttercream frosting with sprinkles trumps all cake) smash cake and my very talented and very pregnant friend Karoline baked those fabulous cupcakes.
We had a hot dog bar, chips and cupcakes. I was even sent this great party pack to share Beanitos puffs (um, delicious and my friends loved them, too!) with our party guests.  The hot dog bar consisted of two kinds of hot dogs grilled in-house because it was flipping freezing outside. The condiments included: caramelized onions, diced onions, pickles, sauerkraut, cheese, giardiniera, relish, jalapenos, tomatoes, hot sauces, Sriracha, ketchup, BBQ sauce, three kinds of mustard, chili-dog chili and vegetarian chili. I even had those paper boats to put them in. The only thing missing, said my local Chicagoan partygoers, was celery salt. To which I grabbed from my spice rack and slammed on the table. For the vegetarians or anti-hot dog people, there were corn chips and chili with all the condiments to top. Drinks were simple with the option of two sizes of bottled water and apple juice boxes for the kids. Beer only shows up when the parties are below 30 people. It's just easier to keep it simple and beer + holy baptism never seem to go together well. We ditched the ice cream or big cake for cupcakes. It was a (mostly) utensil free party and everyone happily ate. I'd definitely throw another one again.

We called Benjamin over to help with blowing out the candle and it was all over. He blew out the candle and hopped right up to sit shotgun with Claire while all the gawking grandmas and mamas (and friends) snapped away with their cameras. The cake was basically untouched, but the frosting was a hit. It could've been a cardboard box under there, for all my kids cared. Two outfit changes ensued immediately following the smash cake escapades. Benjamin was also caught singing happy birthday to Claire and doing about 3,460 adorable things during the maybe 15 minutes of them both sitting there and chowing away.
That hair I sported all day? Woke up with it. Not kidding.


Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Happy birthday Claire! I wish we could have joined your party-it looks fun! :)

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

We baptized Bode at the hospital, just like Bear. Little connections are important! And we have far too few of them.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I think that bind matters a great deal BECAUSE it pleases your hearts. And because like Julie said, there are far too few of those really neat connections.

I love the picture (first collage) of Claire grabbing for Benjamin and I love her cute banner and just love love her cute self.

One tomorrow. Totally crazy.

What a joy it's been seeing her thrive.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

You guys are the cutest blue-eyed family. Love you guys and love your kids. And love vegetarian chili. Wish we were neighbors.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

I cannot believe she's already one (tomorrow)! It's been amazing to watch her grow.

I love that you have things that connect all three of your kids. So special.

The party looks like it was a hit!

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I remember a year ago so clearly and the marvel of this day is just not lost on me. What a beautiful celebration. I love how you tied all three kiddos together, and love that it was a big, big party. Because it is a big deal!!

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

Your hair looks amazing. As if you spent some time fixing and styling it. Win.

I cannot believe she's 1!! You threw the most darling party for her. Well done. The first birthday is such a big deal. All birthdays after loss feel big, but the first is THE birthday. So much of what we lost is represented in this occasion.

Happy birthday Claire!!

Sarah said... [Reply to comment]

Happy birthday, Claire! I made a decentish chocolate-avocado cake for Henry's birthday. I can send you the recipe if you want. Here's hoping both kids outgrow that pesky allergy.

Laura Jane said... [Reply to comment]

Ah! Here's the birthday post I was anticipating! So glad she's here, she's one, and you guys are super adorable, bedhead and all! ;)

Natasha said... [Reply to comment]

I missed this post! Great party for sweet Claire! Love all the pics and the hot dog bar is awesome :)