The night before Marcie's birthday party, Casey went into the kitchen and located a nipple, which he put on Marcie's head like a party hat. She sat like that for a long time while he sang Happy Birthday to her. You can see Marcie and Casey both modeling the nipple-hat in these photos. Cracked us up.
The next day Marcie had Little Gym class and Casey had soccer. Then Marcie and I went grocery shopping-- on a hunt for mint chip no-sugar-added icecream (which we found). While the kids napped, I made lasagna. The thing about lasagna is that it's always so much better the second day-- when it sets really well. So I made the lasagna early in the day, hoping it would cool off and I could re-heat it for dinner. The lasagna was out of the oven around 2:30pm and we sat down to eat at 6pm. It worked pretty well.
Before everyone arrived, Jason rearranged the furniture in the area of our house which most people use as the living room-dining room combo. We have never had the money for a dining room set, so we've used that part of the area as a play area for Casey. But then when he got a cool train set from his birth family, we put that on the beat-up Ikea coffee table in the living room. He has a nice train table at his grandparents' house. The Ikea table seems okay for this purpose at our house. Anyway, once his trains were in the living room part of the space, there was no turning back. Now the area is a giant play room with scattered adult furniture throughout. . . Casey has a giant tub filled with beans and rice and macaroni that we let him climb in whenever he asks. It's a sensory tub, and those beans, etc. give Casey's body extra feedback. He is a bit of a sensory-seeking child, so this helps calm him down. He asked to climb in the tub just before Marcie's birthday party, which was to start at 5:30pm. So we let him. The photos are of Casey in his tub and of Marcie watching him play. (As a side note, one thing that makes me nervous about this tub-o-stuff is that it is small stuff that Marcie can choke on. Even though Casey knows not to throw it all over the place, some always ends up on the floor.)
After everyone arrived, we sat down to eat. I had already started feeding Marcie her baby food so that she could finger-feed herself during dinner. I gave her a sippy cup, too-- because we are supposed to give up the bottle after Wednesday (!). She mostly chewed on the cup's bottom. This is not going to be a fun transition . . . Anyway, here are some photos of our decorations for the party:This was the kitchen table all set up for the party. There is a center piece that says 1 Birthday Girl, and a candle that says "It's fun to be one." and the table cloth matched the centerpiece.
These are the decorations we put up while the kids were napping. You'll notice a couple of Thomas balloons mixed in there-- that's because our only child-guests were Joey and Casey and we thought they'd like those balloons.
This was the cake we actually ate. I picked a ladybug because in the Chinese adoption world, ladybugs are a symbol of good luck. Interestingly, this is an American phenomenon-- the Chinese do not consider ladybugs particularly lucky creatures or anything. But the cake is cute, regardless. We had a chocolate cake with bavarian cream filling. It wasn't as good as the Costco cake we had for Marcie's baptism, but it met our needs. And we didn't end up with so much left over that we will be eating cake from now until Christmas.
This was Marcie's cake. Our grocery store will make a first birthday cake for free when you purchase a regular cake. This is the cake we let Marcie smash up and eat. When Casey turned one, the store thought Casey was a girl's name, and they originally decorated it pretty much identical to this one. We had them change it to blue frosting, which was extremely difficult to clean out of clothing and off the high chair tray. Fortunately, pink is much easier to clean.
Here are some other photos of the evening:
Marcie wearing-- and removing-- her birthday hat, which says "Princess."
Then, we opened presents. There were presents for everyone at the party! Marcie had gotten her aunts and grandparents one-year-old portraits and put them in frames. And she got Casey and Joey a Thomas set each with Terrence and a few other characters. Because Jason's birthday was on Monday and mine is on Wednesday, people brought us gifts, too.