My Baby is 2 Years Old!

(3-7-11).

On March 7th our darling turned 2-years-old!

Time is really zooming by. Looks like it has been 5 months since I’ve posted here. Well a 5-month gap isn’t too bad (lol). I’ve been super-busy with so many things. Who isn’t super-busy these days? I really do long for simpler times.

For my daughter’s first birthday, I made this post: My Baby is One Years Old

Here are some photos from that post:

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So what I am using my business blog for is to not only post gift ideas, baby shower ideas and birthday party ideas, but to also provide the information where various gifts and products can be purchased.

(These photos below are courtesy of a partner site)

butterfly party cookies, birthday party food Butterfly-Birthday-Party-Favor-Boxes butterfly party decoration

So for anyone looking for (butterfly-themed) birthday party ideas, this post on my other blog gives a great place to start and shows you where the party decorations above can be purchased.

Song of the Day: Black Butterfly

Click here to listen to this inspirational, powerful and beautiful song. “Black Butterfly” was released in 1984 and is sung by Deniece Williams. She has the voice of an angel. I like to interpret this song as being a dedication from a parent to their child, or little angel.

I will often post a “Song of the Day” and then later post gift ideas relating to this song of the day.

“Black Butterfly”

Morning light, silken dream to flight
As the darkness gave way to dawn
You’ve survived, now your moment has arrived
Now your dream has finally been born

Chorus:
Black Butterfly, sailed across the waters
tell your sons and daughters
what the struggle brings
Black Butterfly, set the skies on fire
rise up even higher
so the ageless winds of time can catch your wings

ooh…ooh

While you slept, the promise was unkept
But your faith was as sure as the stars
Now you’re free, and the world has come to see
Just how proud and beautiful you are

Chorus

Let the current lift your heart and send it soaring
Write the timeless message clear across the sky
So that all of can read it and remember when we need it
That a dream conceived in truth can never die
Butterfly

Cause now that you’re free and the world has come to see
Just how proud and beautiful you are

Chorus

Fly
Butterfly
Yeah, yeah, yes
Fly

My Baby is One Years Old!

I loved planning our baby’s birthday celebration. Everything went great! I loved having all of the family together, and the kids had a blast. When it comes to kids, all you need is some food and enough room for them to run around and play! The adults were all smiles and enjoyed themselves as well. Everyone absolutely loved the decorations and ideas!

Megan wouldn’t let anyone hold her. She cried & fussed with her little pink tutu on. It’s funny at first, she and I were taking pictures, she was so happy and playful. As soon as the first guests walk through the door she starts fussing. If she doesn’t see you everyday she doesn’t know you at this point. She always loves the kids though.

This was the inside of the birthday card for everyone to sign:

Those are the lyrics from one of my favorite songs called “Black Butterfly” by Deniece Williams. I used to listen to this song all the time when I was a teenager. The song’s full lyrics were posted outside of Megan’s bedroom door. My baby gonna set the skies on fire! What beautiful lyrics…makes me cry.

I’m very picky (extremely!) and am usually very much against invites where you hand write anything, but it really didn’t matter as these weren’t mailed out. They were just given out for fun and keepsake:

I wrapped a computer desk with red paper and made it the ‘Red & White Table’ with peppermint favors at the top…

….And at the bottom, in between these 2 hearts  was a pearl necklace which had “The name Megan means pearl” written near it. There was a label that said “Butterfly Kisses” because the hearts had Hershey’s Kisses in them.

Each of the kids that were invited had to choose a butterfly picture to color. I framed them and put them in an “Art Gallery” for the party. The one below is from my 6 year- old nephew Will. Bless his heart; okay bless his parents’ hearts because he was so excited about the party that he didn’t sleep at all the night before!

This poem was also in the gallery. I didn’t care about the ink getting low; it was readable so I didn’t reprint it. I try hard to stop being a perfectionist so I was proud of myself for letting this stay just like it was. That’s paper I bought during my teaching days.

The display table had this book on it.  Of course none of the kids touched the book, but of course they grabbed those noise maker things. I love my babies.

Below is one of the poems that was displayed. .As I read a lot of butterfly poetry to decide which ones to choose, I noticed that the poems were all so beautiful. WOW. I usually do not like poetry because I usually don’t get it & had to interpret it in High school and my interpretation would always be wrong. Like how am I supposed to know what the authors meant when they wrote their poetry? All of the butterfly poems were so straight forward, deep & powerful I would have made a “Megan’s Book of Butterfly Poetry” if  I would have had time.

Display table. I adore bows and tulle.

Sunflowers. I can’t begin to explain how much I LOVE flowers and especially these sunflowers. Goodness! At first I was going to use Crazy Daisies, but then I saw the sunflowers. I would ask the floral people if the flowers would be in bloom on her party date and was smiling a mile wide when they said yes.

I found information on how sunflowers relate to butterflies and I printed it and displayed it.

These things are hard to photograph because they are very dark in the center but then the petals are very light. Especially since I only have a pop up flash, I try to use natural light & avoid flash most of the time, but that just didn’t happen this time. I had to use flash to get the (somewhat) detail of the center/head.

The jar kept tipping over so I had to position them in a certain way.

Below is natural light coming in from the balcony. So when it was time to take photos of Megan and other people….their movement caused the photos to be blurry as my camera remained set for still life, no flash, so basically wide aperture and slow shutter speed.

As I was reading a critique of someone else’s blurry photo, lol, I was supposed to: 1)Increase shutter speed to freeze motion 2)When you alter one setting you are trading off something else. So since less light would be coming in by increasing shutter speed, I would need to increase ISO. I shoot in Manual Mode and am thrilled with how far I’ve come with understanding how to use available light. However, it’s time to also focus on decreasing motion blur.

partay 0655

My husband took this photo; and it’s a good one! My little handwriting can be rough.

From the Mouth of Babes

My niece (age 9) goes: “Ummm so we’re at a party and we still have to do school work?”

My other niece (age 10) called after the party saying she loved how their pictures were framed and she was giving me some ideas about the Butterfly Kisses & Hershey’s Kisses.

I was so rushing by this time, the day before the party. I was like…ok, 2 pink flower photos of mine plus the green paper fit into the pink & green color scheme. I doubt anyone picked up on that detail. My husband already told me I was quite “special” when I was mentioning how the balloons’ designs and colors need to be a certain way. He said no one will notice. I know that’s true, but I love being super-detailed. This Photo Shop section was for parents & grandparents to pick out past years photos of their kids and grand kids, as well as some tutu photos of Megan. There was a black and white photo of Megan in a gray frame that said “Bless this Child.”

Butterfly jewelry

The paper it’s printed on has jewelry on it. That’s some cute paper I bought during my teaching days.

I made sure I had the silver one. I’m so attached to it.((Heart)) When my mother-in-law came back later that night she still had on her necklace. My best friend said she’s keeping her bracelet because it’s so sentimental. Indeed it is. (Blurry photo)

These are the (common) names of different butterflies. They were placed throughout the party area.

A cupcake cake….also called Pull Apart Cake. There was also some little debbie cakes called Butterfly Cakes because they were shaped like butterflies.

Fly Away…

We had a balloon on the balcony with butterflies on and it, and the kids counted down so that Megan (with my help) can release the balloon into the air. It floated up and behind the building. Awwww, man, we didn’t get to see it float way. We’ll pay attention to the wind’s direction next time.

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For an update, view this post: My Baby is 2 Years Old!

Birthday Party Ideas (Part 2)

Part 1 is here.

Theme: Butterfly

Invitations

Since it’s only going to be close family & friends there, I really don’t see the need to focus on invites.  For keepsakes, I might get some darling ones I saw in Dollar Tree though they didn’t match my theme. They had a kitten on them & were too cute.

Food/Menu 

This is the hardest part for me. I wanted to do all platters because they are so pretty, but like my sister said platters are just so costly. One year..not this one though, lol.

Food platters sure do cost: Sandwiches??

Fruit?? Pizza, chips, & dip?? Goodness I just remembered we’ll need drinks as well.

The Cake:

They are fairies but still match the butterfly (and garden/flower) theme. At first I wanted cupcakes with butterflies on top, but after seeing this cake I will scratch the cupcake idea.

Edited: Ok I’m changing my mind about the cake. I LOVE this cake below. Maybe the store (or I) can add some butterflies so it will match the theme.

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*Other ideas*

Okay, I have had to ban myself from coming up with anymore ideas. I already have too too much to buy, plan for, and put together.

Display Table: 

Decorations: I will just have to go in stores and see, at this point I can’t come up with how I want it until I start putting something together. I’m thinking small candles, a nice table cover, and of course butterfly things. The main things on the display table will be the Pregnancy/Newborn Photobook (I have scratched the idea of making a photo book about her 1st year for now. Maybe later. I need to go back to printing individual pictures) I was thinking about making a book about her 1st year & giving a copy to each of her grandmothers for Mother’s Day.

A Card(s) for everyone to sign:

The outside of the card will have her picture on it. It will say “Megan is Number One.” 🙂 The inside will have a picture of a black & white butterfly. The bottom of the inside will say:

“Our Little Butterfly, set the skies on fire,

Rise up even higher,

so the ageless winds of time,

can catch your wings.”

That’s a quote from one of my favorite songs called “Black Butterfly.”

The back of the card will have a photo of her the day she was born. It will say, “One Year Ago…” March 7, 2011.

Butterfly Garden

I want to make (a very small) one, real flowers & all,  and put it on the balcony. This will be a good educational component for the kids (and adults too!). I will print some educational information to put near it. I’m not expecting it to actually attract butterflies because I just don’t have the time to research & find the type of flowers needed for my area and season. But it should be interesting & educational either way. I’d like to include a little butterfly house as well. The kids will love this.

When I was on a photo shoot in the gardens I came across a large, professionally created butterfly garden.

Butterfly Treats or Favors

Guests can put some candy in the plastic butterflies above.

Butterfly Gallery

The kids will choose a picture of a different butterfly before the party. They will color it (crayons, markers, water color..), and I will frame it (maybe?) & display it & call it a gallery.

Photo Credits:
http://www.miacarina.com; http://www.publix.com; http://party.tipjunkie.com; http://www.bridaloccasion.com

Ideas for Meg’s First Birthday Party

At first, after seeing the expenses & stress from other parents planning their kids’ parties, my husband & I agreed that we would just keep it really simple and have more like a ‘get together’ just for the kids. I was still going to do my themes though. But my husband started calling people saying “Megan’s party.” I was like, okaaaaaay, so are you giving me the green light to basically turn this into a partay and ‘be me & do what I do.” I tend to get really deep, okay obsessive, over things like this. I truly love coming up with ideas & planning & creating things.

I have started planning a little late and may not be able to pull everything off this year.

Theme: Butterfly

Similar to those type of butterflies in above photo. Photo Credit: http://www.funny-wedding-ideas.com

Invitations: ????

Food/Menu: ????

Cake vs Cupcakes: I prefer cupcakes for her first Bday. Okay edit: My husband just said we should have a mini cake; will do. Cupcakes with butterflies on top:

Photo Credit: http://cupcakespictures.com

Goodie Bags/Education for the kids: I guess candy and something educational about butterflies. I know most people don’t consider incorporating academics into a party, but I think it will show the kids how learning can & should be fun and applicable to their everyday lives. If I had more planning time, I’d have the kids either do a theme-related (art) activity before the party (& have it nicely displayed at the party) or have them do an activity or art during the party.

Display Table: Flowers & 2 Photobooks. The first book is the Pregnancy & Newborn photo book I made. I’m working on the 2nd book now, which is basically a review of her first year: First Holidays, First time in Church, First time at the Pier etc… & of course my other babies are always in my photo books a lot. I think it will be cool for the adults to  flip through these books. It can kind of be a daunting task because I try to make sure all of the kids are equally represented in the books. And plus I don’t want to leave out any of the close adults in her life either so it’s a lot of work trying to include everyone.

Balloons: Let’s not forget balloons.

Outfits: Probably this:

photo credit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SherbetBaby