Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gideon's First Birthday

How did a year fly by so fast?  Our little boy is an absolute joy (with only small, exceptional spells of stinkerness).

This birthday has been bittersweet - I no longer have a little baby, but at the same time, he just gets cuter (and more of a stinker).

We celebrated his birthday with one of Gideon's friends, Harvey, who is only two days older than him, as they know many of the same babies.

We initially wanted to celebrate at the zoo, since G is such a little animal lover, but they didn't really have anything for 1-year-olds (and the parties start at 1,000 pounds and 40 children).  Instead, the party was jungle-themed.

Invites.  Some of them were cuter than others, particularly when I had time to "bouble" each letter.

jungle animals were "hidden" beneath the first layer of grass.

Shelley, Harvey's mum, had the idea of making the party something the babies would enjoy, so we hired a bouncy castle.

Harvey's dad, Steve, owns a restaurant nearby, Blue's Kitchen, and generously offered to open up the back of the restaurant near where the blues band normally plays and take care of all the food.  Food was amazing - courgette (zuchinni)-spinach-parmesean dip with roasted veggies and corn tortillas, onion rings, ribs, chicken fingers, quesadillas, and mini milk-shakes.  Babies and parents loved it.

Local green grocer failed in the wheatgrass department, which was suppose to "hide" these
Shleich animals.  So I conspired with the Camden green grocer to collect a bunch of
dill and parsley to create a different but still appropriate jungle look for the centerpiece.

I made all of two of these great animal balloons before the rest were popped.  Thought that counts?

We tried to get a pic with masks on. The babies weren't having it.

G loved having all of his friends there and people who have cared for him. Here Asha, our nanny, is pictured to the right.

I purchased masks or had specially-made animal baby tatoos designed by my friend and world-class designer, Brittany Watson Jepsen.  You can see one on Harvey (and more pictures to follow).

Harvey conked out after some intense bouncing and slept through a bit of his party

Perhaps hard to see the tatoo here, but he's a tiger!

The older kids loved the masks
And then there was the cake.  In my family, tradition is to allow babies on their first birthday to do whatever they wish with their cake.  G was timid at first but eventually understood what he was allowed to do.

I made the chocolate banana cake gluten-free for Lance.

This was all on Friday, the day before his birthday.  Yesterday, his real birthday, we took him to Kentish Town city farm.  He giggled at the pigs, bonded with the cow, was respectful to the horses, and was completely indifferent to the goats (even the five day old baby!).

We also gave him the ark and Schleich jungle animals we got him yesterday.  The ark I found at a vintage market - not my favorite (I want a 1959 Tri-ang but couldn't find it in time), but Asha the Great (nanny) sanded down the ugly eighties windows and painted the sides white before I sanded it down to look shabby chic.  Shabby chic or no, G loved it.

I think we'll keep him.

one of his favorite games of late is peak-a-boo under and over the bed rail.

Thanks to our talented photographer, Sheena Bates!


  1. you know Sheena! I worked on a few projects together here!

    How very lovely! I'm glad it all worked out!

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