Thursday, July 01, 2010

And so the birthday prep begins...

So in a little over a month, Sophie's going to turn one. Unbelievable. 12 whole months. 365 days. And we survived it. People say a child's first birthday celebration is as much for the parents-- to celebrate them making it through the first year!-- as much as it is for the kid. I don't know about that, but we do want to make it special whatever the case may be. Since we don't have family here, Sophie's party will be an intimate affair, with our close friends here and their children. Which might work out better since I'm not sure how Sophie will take to a big do. I want to make this first celebration of life fun, significant, and memorable without being big, loud, and elaborate (we'll save that for her 5th birthday when I'm sure she'll ask for ponies, a petting zoo, and the cast of Sesame Street...) I've heard too many horror stories of large birthday parties that scare and over-stimulate children who then spend the entire party either hiding in their rooms, clinging onto to Mom/Dad, or screaming their heads off in the corner somewhere. I just want Sophie to be happy and comfortable, and a small party may work out best.

We briefly contemplated a play gym sort of place but for the number of people we're thinking of inviting, it doesn't quite make sense; plus for a first birthday, I was hoping for something a little less structured. Then there was talk of a children's museum but with Sophie being so young, that doesn't make sense either. Right now, our top choice is Ortega Park in Sunnyvale. It has large open spaces for the kids to run (or crawl) about, a water structure for splashing around in, and several play structures. Sophie loves being outdoors so she'll be in her comfort zone, the adults won't feel awkward being confined in a small space with furniture a quarter their size, and everyone gets to enjoy the gorgeous Californian weather (we hope). We'll either sprawl out over several picnic blankets or set up the party on the park benches. I'm thinking finger-food all round (so Sophie can have some too!), cupcakes from Sprinkles or Kara's for everyone, and a special vegan cupcake for Sophie (no one wants a hivey, itchy birthday girl...). We might even throw in a piñata for good measure!

What I'm most excited about though is a time-capsule I'm preparing for the occasion. It's something I've always known I wanted to do. I figure, you can buy toys, books and clothes, but you can't buy memories. I'll let our guests decide if they want to bring something to put in it, but mostly, it's for us to her. It'll be something unique and special for her to open on her 18th birthday. It'll have things that were important to her in her first year, things that are popular for 18-year old girls right now, and keepsakes from us, close friends, and family to the 18-year old her. Thanks to suggestions after a Facebook post and just things we've been setting aside, it looks like the time capsule will contain (for now):
1) the pink and blue blanket she was first wrapped in at the hospital (was I meant to return it?)
2) a cap the nurses gave her that she then wore home
3) her first cast
4) her first club foot shoe
5) photos of memorable events in her first year
6) the daily record she got from her first day at daycare
7) her first piece of artwork
8) a print of her feet that we did at mommy group (I've already framed a print of her hands for Jude for Fathers' Day)
9) the label off her container of puffs- sometimes, I think she loves those things more than she loves me (I contemplated keeping the puffs themselves but I don't think organic, non-artificially flavored puffs are made to last 17 years)
10) her crazy star toy from her play gym that she used to love so much but has since outgrown
11) any one of her bedtime books (that's if she'll part with them)
12) (from Cari) one of our favorite outfits to dress her in (so the 18-year old her can be surprised that something so small actually fit her once)
13) (from Srah) A mix-CD with all the popular music of today (which she will just laugh at, and probably not even own a CD player so maybe mp3 files on a USB drive instead...)
14) a copy of Twilight (for some comparison to whatever it is that will be driving teenage girls crazy in 2027)
15) (from Aileen) a copy of the New York Times from Aug 8 2009, although Sophie's going to have to settle for a digital copy of the front page from that day. This was one of the things I really wanted Jude to grab the day of Sophie's birth but in my drugged-up, blissed-out haze, asking my husband to leave my side just to buy the newspapers was probably the last thing on my mind.
16) who knows what form this blog will take in a decade and a half so I'll probably print out at least her birth story for posterity.
17) a note from the both of us predicting the kind of girl she'll be at 18

We'd love any other suggestions people might have, and for those of you who want to add to the capsule-- you know who you are!-- let us know. I'll probably only put everything together when we return to Ann Arbor in September so you have time before I seal the darn thing up for the next 17 years! :)

1 comment:

jill said...

can you put in a picture of a rabbit, a cow and a giraffe for me please?