Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter 'One'derland

December 13th was my little Andrea's first birthday.  I thought I would spend the whole day crying saying, "Where did my baby go?"  But instead I was just filled with joy and this intense gratitude to be the mommy of this sweet little girl.

I made her pancakes for breakfast.  Paul was wishing everyday was her birthday because I don't make warm breakfasts very often.  Last year on his birthday I promised something hot and savory first thing in the morning, and I think he left for school hungry as I nursed, bathed, rocked, and soothed our two month old.

Anyway. . . Andrea woke up on just the right side of the bed on Tuesday and was such a happy girl all day.  She had two beautifully long naps and by the evening she was ready to try opening presents at my parents house.

My parents have some mistletoe and we took turns giving her kisses.  She thought it was so silly.

Andrea seems so grown up now.  While she not walking yet, she stands by herself quite often and will take an unassisted step once and a while.  We stood her beside her presents and she was so confused.  She looked up at us like, "What do you want to me to do with all of this?"  She pointed to Paul and he sat beside her to show her how this strange present opening tradition works.

She loved getting toys.  My grandmother gave her a little snugly giraffe, and she gave it lots of love.  I gave her a book which she also seemed interested in reading.

The clothes she didn't seem interested in at all.  She needed them though because she'd recently grown out of her 3-6 month outfits.

My mother bought her this elephant popper that blows balls out of it's trunk.  She went crazy for this thing, and she enjoys it even more now that she discovered she can turn it on all by herself.

Sunday was her big party and the theme I chose was Winter 'One'derland.  All of those snowflakes we cut out . .

Got hung from the ceiling creating a curtain of snow.

Every snowflake was different and it looked beautiful.  I've decided to leave them up all winter.

 View from the kitchen.

I set a winter display on the kitchen table where guests could look through her baby book and review her progress. 

We covered the counter in a while tablecloth and sat out all of the cupcakes

We had three burned out light bulbs in the kitchen.  It's actually been that way for a while but I finally changed them.  The kitchen seemed so bright I thought about removing the new light bulbs.  I'm use to it now and like seeing my food.  But on the day of Andrea's party the kitchen was glowing.

I had two warm scalding drinks to choose from.  White hot chocolate and organic mulled cider.

We had a contest to see who could most accurately guess Andrea's one year weight.  My sister, Janell, guessed it exactly.  17 pounds 8 ounces.

This is the cake I made for Andrea to smash.

She didn't seem too impressed with it.  I think the size was a tad overwhelming.  She even tried to push it off her tray.

We cut her a slice and chopped it into pieces.  In this less intimidating form she went to town.  So many people were watching and her shy nature got the better of her.  She whined and cried a little and seemed relieved when I got her out of her chair.

The adults had 'snowman nose' cupcakes.  A.k.a. carrot cake.  The cupcakes were topped with sad melting snowmen.  Well, most of them are sad.  There is one happy snowman and one cyclops.  Can you find them?

I decided to forgo traditional cream cheese frosting and try a Swiss meringue buttercream.  I've seen it hailed on Food Network shows and worshiped on baking blogs.

It was horrible.  This is the real reason for the sad snowmen.  The buttercream tasted like straight butter.  Paul and I tripled the amount of sugar and it still tasted like a night at the movie theater.  Everyone ate them and said the were good, but I threw half of mine away.  Bless my family's little hearts.  The sacrifices they make in behalf of my self-esteem.

After treats, we gathered in the living room to open presents.

Andrea had such a good time playing with the bows, reading the cards, ripping paper, and cuddling some of her new toys.

After the crowed dispersed I cuddled my little one year old and put her to bed. Paul and I decompressed with a cheese quesadilla, homemade pice de gallo, and Next Iron Chef.  It was a perfect day.

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