So the hubs and I decided last minute, day before, to host a small NYE party for some of our friends with children and our family. Since we’re in this position too, it was exciting to look forward to celebrating NYE with others rather than just going to bed thinking of the ‘old days’ of ringing in the new year. After visiting the dollar & party store, I came away with some DIY inspiration for a fun evening with friends. We didn’t plan on staying up till midnight with the children, so we planned a special NYE countdown complete with a toast.
Our party started with some appetizers and desserts. We ordered wings and chicken tenders from a local restaurant. The hubs wanted to use our smoker, so he smoked some cheddar cheese and macaroni and cheese during the day. Turned out great. Rave reviews on the macaroni and cheese. We also served salami roll ups. Recipe below.
1 lb Sliced Salami, Block of Cream Cheese, 1/3 of a bunch of Green Onion, approx 1/8 to 1/4 cup of Milk or Cream
Mix softened cream cheese and a little milk with the finely chopped green onion until its spreadable. Then spread on each slice of salami and roll up! Pin with a toothpick and you’re finished! Super easy, very good and quite addicting. Thanks to Barb for the recipe!
I set the table with a Candy Bar theme with assorted candies. At the end of the night, I provided favor boxes for everyone to take home candy for the New Year. This helps me not have all that temptation laying around afterwards. Chose candies that were colorful and fun and sometimes nostalgic.
For our New Years toast, we started the countdown at approximately 9:45pm and popped the last balloon at 10pm. We added rock candy sticks to the glasses which turned the liquid the color of the rock candy. This was so much fun whether you had champagne, sparkling water, water, or sparkling juice. I was super happy to have read about this previously from Thanksgivingkings.tumblr. (The sparkling juice however didn’t turn a color since it was already red.) Photo credit to Thanksgivingkings.tumblr.
We blew up balloons for the children to take turns popping every half hour. This really helped keep them involved and allowed us to mingle while they played and occasionally looked at the clock for the official time. I printed out and hid fortunes inside each of the balloons. I tried to keep them lighthearted so everyone would enjoy.
A photo of the fortunes we hid inside.
While I was in the party store, I was brainstorming trying to think of what a wide range of ages would enjoy playing together as a family. Then it hit me. The game show, Minute to Win it! I found some party favors to give as winner’s prizes and decorated an Easter bucket with plain construction paper and filled the bucket with pencils, jelly bracelets, & plastic mini slinkys. Each game we tried to have at least four players to ensure lots of participation. We had so much fun laughing and playing. I was able to capture the fun on video to send out to the parents later. Great memories.
Here we played Face the Cookie.
For the games, we chose Baby Blockin, Johnny Applestack, This Blows, Hanky Panky, Roll With It, Face the Cookie, & Suck it Up. I wanted to have plenty to choose from, but was not concerned that each game was played. We ended up playing each game. Full list of Minute To Win It Game Ideas with instructions found here.
Johnny Applestack, renamed Cutie Pie for the littles using Cuties Mandarins.
Suck it Up
Roll With It
We wanted a small intimate ceremony to christen our son. We chose the small chapel and invited his Godparents, 2 close friends, and our parents. We set the video camera up in the back to capture the ceremony.
We had two readings shared during the ceremony. The first was read by his paternal grandmother while he held his Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.
Us Two – Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (1882-1956)
Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do,
“Where are you going today?” says Pooh…
“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.
“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.
“What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh,
“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.
“I think it ought to be twenty two.”
“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.
“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,
But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.
“Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.
We crossed the river and found a few…
“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.
“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.
That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.
“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.
“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.
“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.
“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,
And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!
Silly old dragons!”… and off they flew.
“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,
“I’m never afraid with you.”
So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said… “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together,” says Pooh, says he.
“That’s how it is,” says Pooh.
The second was read by his Godparents. It’s an old hymn that I used as a reading for the ceremony.
One More Step Along the World I Go
By Sydney Bertram Carter (1915-2004)
One more step along the world I go,
One more step along the world I go,
from the old things to the new
keep me traveling along with you
Round the corner of the world I turn,
more and more about the world I learn;
all the new things that I see
you’ll be looking at along with me
As I travel through the bad and good,
keep me traveling the way I should;
where I see no way to go
you’ll be telling me the way, I know
Give me courage when the world is rough,
keep me loving though the world is tough;
leap and sing in all I do,
keep me traveling along with you
You are older than the world can be,
you are younger than the life in me;
ever old and ever new,
keep me traveling along with you
And it’s from the old I travel to the new;
keep me traveling along with you.
The Pastor shared the Sunday school story of how Jesus asked the children to come to him.
Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have
him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw
this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come
to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to
such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the
kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the
children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
Roses were sprinkled on his forehead instead of water. He thought this was captivating. He giggled and stared at the Pastor. It was a lovely ceremony.
Choosing a birthday theme for a soon to be one year old is tougher than you might think. People ask questions like, “what does he like?”, “what is he into?” I found these questions to be so tough to answer because we didn’t watch TV yet so the commercial parties and toys I had no idea if he liked them. I knew what he liked to play because we spend copious amounts of time playing. I went to a consignment sale and saw they had a red wagon so I picked it up. I was brainstorming about what to plan for his birthday party while walking on the trail one day and it hit me. He loves going for rides in the Little Red Wagon. Why not make a whole party of it? Here’s how I pulled it all together. I hope it gives you some inspiration!
I searched locally and found nothing. And I mean nothing. Thankfully we have Pinterest and Etsy. I had much more luck in finding some things I could pull together and create a fun party. I chose Little Birdie Prints for all of the printables. I went with the Premium Party Pack (on sale for $49- original $80) as it seemed the best deal to make sure I had enough options, if I ended up needing them. You can choose any theme. I chose Little Red Wagon with light blue and red as the party colors. https://www.etsy.com/shop/littlebirdieprints
I want to tell you a little about my shopping experience. It was so nice and easy. Kim is in South Africa. I am in the US. She emailed me back through the Etsy site answering my questions - same day. And after purchase I had my printables within 24 hours. To say she is quick, is an understatement. I was very pleased. The quality of the work is exceptional and I received a lot of compliments. Cutting them out after they were printed is a little tedious but the end product was exactly what I wanted. I chose to print the cupcake toppers on label paper to make stickers since I knew we were having a main cake and smash cake.
*Note- I was lucky. I learned a valuable lesson after paying for the printables and taking my jump drive to Kinkos. You cannot have them printed at a print shop (ie FedEx/Kinkos) unless the owner (in this case Kim from Little Birdie Prints) signs and sends a release for you to print her work at their store because it is copyrighted and it’s her work not something you made and wanted printed. They went on and on about how they under copyright law cannot print because they make money from you the consumer on another person’s work. So, be sure to ask if this is what you plan on doing. I could’ve been out the money I spent on the printables had they noticed prior to printing my items.*
I found baby blue and red plates, napkins and table cloths at the dollar store. I used some of the water bottle wraps to roll and secure the plasticware in napkins for a nice display. I found grey and white chevron string in the ribbon aisle at Hobby Lobby and used that to secure the banner pennants to wooden clothes pins which I clipped on the blinds. I used the string to tie bows on the favor tags to on the swag bags & envelopes we handed out at the party. Also at Hobby Lobby, I found a baby blue ribbon that matched the invitations and the water bottles and tied ribbons on the wicker baskets and the glass holding the paper straws.
I went to the grocery store florist and picked up a dozen red roses mixed with 5 baby blue delphiniums in a simple glass vase for our centerpiece.
I ordered elastic 1MM Round Elastic Cord – White from Amazon and cut it out and taped it on to the party hats so the babies could wear the hats.
I visited Acme Hot & Fresh T-shirts Made to Order https://www.facebook.com/acmeofcolumbia and sat down with a very nice and quick associate. I told her of my theme and together we picked out a red onesie, and she went to work putting a wagon and the words “I’m ONE!” on the shirt. Within 10 minutes, I had my son’s party shirt in my hand.
I went next door while I waited for the shirt to Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sparkys-Homemade-Ice-Cream/6742727822 and picked up my $5 gift certificates for the party favors and 4 pints of ice cream and sorbets. They were super helpful and quick as I was carrying my infant in my arms. He loves this place because they have tiny taster spoons which I’m sure he thinks are made just for his tiny hands to taste their luscious ice cream. He gets a great big sticky face grin on his face each time we visit! Oh and did I mention, kids get a free scoop?!
The Set Up
I laid out family quilts on the lawn like stations. I thought this would be a nice touch to incorporate much of our family’s memories in his first birthday party. On each quilt, I placed an assortment of books, Montessori learning, toys, blocks, puzzles, etc.
We opened the sandbox and I filled the kiddie pool with stuffed animals instead of water. Our gift to him was a Little Tikes house and slide. And we had that set up for everyone to play on outside as well.
As everyone was playing together on the quilts, we brought out the swag baskets as the party favors. In my family, each child gets a present not just the birthday boy/girl. I found all of it at the dollar store. In each red reusable flex bucket, we packed as close to age specific for each child; crayons, paint brushes, coloring book, puzzle, stickers, bubbles, books, beads & $5 ice cream gift certificate for later with their family.
The wagon parade was so much fun. Because we had babies, we didn’t go far. We strolled 4 houses down and four houses up and back. We had tied balloons to each of the wagons to make it look festive. We placed two babies in each wagon and one in a stroller, which worked very well. While walking in the parade, an afterthought I had was maybe some music would’ve been fun to play and to have the rest of the guests come out of the house and stand near the sidewalk, like at a real parade, cheering on the parade participants. Just thoughts I had.
I gave the bakery Cake’s Etc by Sheena http://cakesbysheena.com/index.html a picture of the cakes I wanted and asked to put replicas of his favorites in the wagon made of fondant. Both cakes turned out terrific and photographed really well.
I had cookies delivered from Hot Box Cookies http://hotboxcookies.com/columbia/. A local cookie establishment that we love and it was nice to have cookies delivered hot and fresh without having to bake them myself. Nice treat!
We held back on the smash cake till his real birthday to have a small cake for us to celebrate. This also helped because at the party there was so much going on, I really don’t think we would’ve captured the fun photos of the cake smash with him looking at everyone else.
What a great day!
Modern Lime Green and Gray Boy Nursery Layette
The mobile I helped make. My first venture in sewing! Pam had to complete my project because of our early delivery. Turned out great!
Peak-a-boo slit in crib skirt
Contemporary Pelmet Valence made from foam board and fabric http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2009/09/easy-pelmet-boxes.html
Letters from Hobby Lobby that I painted lime green and accented the sides in gray.
Photo collage of family time and firsts paired with baby stats subway art birth announcement. Subway art from the winthrop chronicles at http://thewinthropchronicles.blogspot.com/2012/03/baby-stats-subway-art.html
After weeks and weeks of searching online and in stores for nursery ideas, fabric, colors, patterns, and designs. We finally agreed on a color scheme and design for the nursery; lime green and grey with accents in black and white.
Pam, Mike’s mom, took me to the store to start creating the design. I knew the look we wanted but didn’t know how to execute it. Thank goodness for Pam! We started with the measurements of the crib and mattress and began computing the amount of fabric it would take to create the nursery we had in mind.
I love the modern look of the nursery we are creating. I’m so thankful to Pam for making the crib layette and for including and teaching me sewing 101. I have a job, I’ll be sewing a throw pillow and animals for the mobile above the crib and Mike will be making two valance boxes and the mobile arm where the animals will hang. We are excited to get started!
We’ll post pictures and update this blog once its completed.
Today, BananasOverMommy opened on Etsy to launch the sale of our first items, Gender Reveal Party Bows and Neckties.
For 10+ years, I’ve been creating and executing parties on a grand scale for corporate events and now I have the opportunity to bring those skills to the private market. Check it out and tell your friends!
We received our first baby gifts and each one of them made me either laugh or cry and some both at the same time! I’m sure its my hormones/emotions, but I just can’t stop thinking about how truly blessed and lucky we are to have such thoughtful family and friends.
Dani and Charley made the “My daddy is an Italian Stallion” onesie. This was great because it is a spoof on Mike and how he loves to wear his “Italian Stallion” t-shirt. Now, we’ll have to get a photo of the two of them, together, wearing their shirts!
James and Jen gave us the “Babybook” (Facebook) onesie. James had said it could almost be a profile for Mike’s dad with the exception of ‘still living with my parents’. This was a roar at the party!
Jim gave us the University of Arizona baby socks. He is very thoughtful and we were so glad he could join us for the reveal. It was nice to have some family around.
The entire Michigan gang Jade, Chris, Adah, Tygre, Steve, Cash, Cindy, and Paul sent us “Bananas over Mommy” 3 - pack outfit with his very first book “Goodnight Moon”. We are excited to begin reading to him and I can’t wait for him to have the little monkey butt pants on!
Mike and I purchased our first gift for the baby - his baby monitor! ooooo! Its a video monitor and we tried it out last night. We were like two kids walking around in the house with walkie-talkies, practicing our “over” and using the night vision setting. It was awesome.
Well the party went off without a hitch! I was hot (it was 107 outside) and I was sitting next to a fan in the A/C indoors. Lol! (I’m so glad that stretch is over with we hit 11 days over 100 degrees.) I think my prego hormones were working overtime in the body heat department. I was so nervous; it’s been a while since all eyes were staring at me.
For the party, we decorated tables with multicolored striped fabric and multicolored polka dot fabric I picked up. We chose to decorate the cake & sweets table with the stripes since the cake was polka dot and decorated the food buffet area with the polka dots. It looked great! Each of the seating tables we placed alternating stripes or dots fabric runners down the centers. I made signs that hung on the windows behind the cake & sweets table that said Team Pink and Team Blue and scanned and printed the ultrasound photos, glued them on colored paper circles and hung them with twine like garland. Almost everyone was looking at the photos to see if they could see if it was a boy or a girl. It was a great conversation piece. There was a picture of the baby’s spine, four chambers of the heart, the heartbeat, the femur, the leg, the foot, whole body, and thumbs up picture. I made ribbons for everyone to wear as pink flowers or blue neckties and displayed them on the cake & sweets table. The decoration theme was bright multi colors like lime green, orange, red, yellow, purple, blue and pink.
We picked up candies in both blue and pink from Mr. Bulky Candy in the mall. We had Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, Whipped M&Ms, Rock Candy, Sour Tapes, and Salt Water Taffy.
I made pink and blue chocolate pops that read “it’s a Girl and it’s a Boy” and pink and blue chocolate wrapped marshmallows on sticks dipped in candy pearls and coconut. Looked spectacular! Everyone was asking where I bought them; they couldn’t believe I made them! Made me feel really great!
I made display cards that read, “Put on a ribbon to cast your vote” and displayed that next to the ribbons, “Name that baby girl or baby boy! Please give us your best baby girl or baby boy names. Make them funny, make them sweet, or just make it the best baby name to beat!” and displayed that next to one pink and one blue dish with paper and pen (we had a lot of fun taking turns reading the name suggestions aloud to everyone), and “Cravings: Things that sound good! Cinnamon Glazed Donuts – Peanut Butter – Fruits and Vegetables – Quesadillas – Flavored Slushees – Greek Yogurt – Macaroni and Cheese”.
Mike ran the grills outside with several fans pointing at him and never once complained. He was such a trooper. He grilled corn, hamburgers, brats and hotdogs. Pam (Mike’s mom) had an idea to spiral the hotdogs by putting them on a skewer and rotating it while she cut making spiraled hotdogs. It was a really cute idea for the kids that came to the party.
We had chips, salsa and guacamole, fresh fruit; strawberries and grapes with cream cheese and marshmallow fruit dip and multicolored sprinkles, watermelon stars and blueberries, and veggie and relish trays that everyone could munch on while we waited for the grilled meats to be finished. Once it was time to eat we served Macaroni and Cheese, Baked Beans, Grilled Corn and your choice of meat.
When everyone was finished eating, there were a couple gift surprises thrown in by two of our friends. Both were onesies, one that read “My daddy is an Italian Stallion” (which had me laughing because Mike likes to wear his Italian Stallion Tshirt) and a “Babybook Profile (like Facebook)”. Both were so cute and funny!
Next we read the name suggestions, some were really funny!
We then gathered everyone for the Team photos. We took the signs down to hold for the photo and later hung them back up for the photos of cutting the cake.
Finally, it was time to cut the cake. This is what it all boiled down too. I had had a dream it was a girl so I wore a pink flower ribbon and Mike wore the blue necktie ribbon.
I had ordered a cake for Dad and Barbara as they were having a simultaneous BBQ in Indiana and we also shipped cookies to the rest of the family and friends that live out of town.
Everyone’s instructions boiled down to this point 5pm CST and my phone started dinging. We ignored it because we knew they were congratulatory and we hadn’t cut our cake yet! Everyone gathered around and Mike and I took our places behind the cake and held hands cutting the cake.
As the knife was cutting through the cake, I thought I saw blue but I thought it must be the black fondant with all of the multicolored fondant dots mixing so I wasn’t quite sure yet. Then we took the knife out and began to cut the other side of the slice. Mike reached in with the cake server and pulled out a blue piece of cake!
I thought I was going to have a heart attack! I thought for sure it was a girl from that dream I had (even though everything on the registry was pretty much green and blue). I started crying because I was so surprised and overwhelmed. It was no longer an “it”, it was a boy! Just the thought of that had me crying some more! All good tears though, I was elated! It’s what I wanted but thought with my genes it was impossible. I guess his genes trumped my genes. They have all boys! Everyone was served a slice of cake and pictures ensued. I felt completely relieved at that point. All of the angst and the self-control I had to demonstrate to not open the envelope for the week and half I had to carry it in my purse to give to Bree (our cake and cookies baker) had paid off.
After the party was over, Mike and his brother Jim, and the male friends’ filled dry ice in plastic bottles with water and put the lids on and threw them. They were dry ice bombs. So this is what I have to look forward too! Oh my, boys are different than girls and I can’t wait!
We are so excited to see everyone’s photos from the cookie deliveries and put them together in a video to send everyone, update our blog and make a scrapbook for us! It was so much fun to receive this one from my mom and Fritz.
A special thank you to Mike’s mom Pam who helped me prep all of the food the day before and decorate the day of. Even the men got in on the cleaning, Mike’s brother and dad were very helpful too!
Mike’s mom and Dad have offered to purchase our crib and Pam is making our bed linens and quilt. We are so excited to begin picking out fabric and decorating the nursery!
Enjoy our digital scrapbook from this fun event!