Emily can officially turn one on Wednesday. She's had the party with so many people she was totally overwhelmed, she's eaten cake for the first time (yes, I finally decided to just bite the bullet and make her a real cake, which she took 3 bites of and decided she liked her cheerios better, much to Will's delight), and she's gotten the requisite crapload of new toys. All is as it should be.
I have been scarce recently because for the past couple weeks I've been spending quite a bit of time planning the party, looking for things I need for the party, going back to the drawing board when they can't be found, looking for new things, driving to 4 stores to find rubber duckies (seriously, those things are harder to find than you would think) and cleaning/baking cakes/coordinating/setting up for the party. All this for a gathering that lasts about 4 hours. But it WAS a great party, and it was all for Emily even though she won't remember it.
The biggest hit of the party (and something I would advise any mother not to overlook at her child's first birthday party) was the alcohol. I set up a bar with 6 recipes for blue drinks glued to yellow notecards and sat out plastic martini glasses with rubber ducky drink picks and let people make their own blue drinks. I was worried people wouldn't take advantage, but it was enjoyed by all and made for a more fun party.
Today I have been gradually untangling the mess of boxes and wiry twist ties that contain Emily's new toys. The toy packing methods these days must've been thought up by evil geniuses intent on causing as many cardboard cuts as possible to anyone so foolish as to think they might be able to liberate the toy from the box. I'm sure it has cut back on toy theft, but it has made it all the more difficult to get the toy out of the box and into the waiting arms of the frantically excited child jumping around beside you.
But with the big party behind us, all that remains is the party on Thursday for Emily's Little Gym buddies, and I intend for that to be more of a playdate with food than a full-on birthday party, since that seems to be the best way to go with 1-year olds.
In the future I will probably try to have her birthday party elsewhere so that my house isn't repeatedly ripped apart over the course of her birthday week, but for the first birthday I felt like it should be here at the house where she's most comfortable. I believe it went well, but I am really glad we don't have to deal with this again for another year!