First Birthday Party: Part I

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in BABY, Birthdays, LIFE, Life as a Toddler, Monthly Updates, New Mom Experience

First Birthday Party Part I

PHOTOGRAPHY

One of the best decision I made for Alexis’ party was to hire a photographer.

I am a do-it-all myself (except for things I don’t like) kind of person. I always take my own self-portraits, our family photos, Lexi’s photos. I feel that I know our best angles better and that I can take as much time as I need to and do whatever I want to. So clearly, that was the plan for Alexis’ birthday all along.

When I was almost done with all the planning and purchasing, I started rethinking doing it all myself. I just imagined being the only one to really organize the party, keep it going and then to make sure that I take a zillion pictures of everyone, Lexi, the three of us, guests, decor…

I figured Andrew could help out with some photo taking. When in a good mood, he can take a great photograph. But sometimes I look at the photos and just shake my head ( in his defense, I make him use manual mode, after setting everything up, and it can be hard). So then I imagined him not getting the shots I wanted and me stressing out. And then I thought of the reality of things and that most likely with the commotion we wouldn’t have any pictures together as a family if there’s always one of us shooting. Sigh!

For my own sanity, I needed a photographer for the party. My good friend Leeka, who’s also a photographer, told me about Stacey who just moved into the area and after we discussed everything, she said YES!

And I breathed a sigh of relief.

Seriously, the fact that I even considered doing it myself this time should get me into an insane asylum.

It was my first experience hiring a photographer for event pictures. I am SO particular about what I want when it comes to photos that I just never thought that anyone could pull it off the way I wanted to. But I relaxed and let things be.

And you know what? It was a really great experience. Stacey was there before anyone arrived and took the decor shots, snapped a few ones of Lexi running around the balloon strings, and then really just stayed out of the way taking picture after picture.  That was absolutely perfect, because as predicted I was a bit, ahem, busy and without touching my camera I got a ton of gorgeous photos! And since photography business is all word of mouth, here I am doing my job and saying thank you, as a happy client, announcing “You, guys, if you live in Florida, check out Stacey Downey! I can vouch for her

{It also helps that I absolutely adore her style of shooting and editing- it really speaks to me. Especially her wedding and engagement shoots- ah!}

And Lexi actually smiled for her on camera ( she almost never does that for me! Probably because she wants me to be playing with her, not photographing her).

Stacey, sorry if you hate this picture, but I just wanted to post it- it’s adorable!

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I will be running this in a few parts because there are a lot of pictures and I want to make sure that I post a lot a few of them, so bare with me.

The morning of the party was as hectic as expected, cooking, getting last minute decorations done, running to stores to pick up forgotten items. We made sure that Lexi napped at the perfect time for her to be up and ready for the party and to our surprised she cooperated. She woke up, we changed her,  and put on what will forever be my favorite outfit of all times.

OUTFITS

A little intro into what we wore…

As you know, the theme was Tea In France and I racked my brain for appropriate outfits. What IS a french outfit? I had a few dresses picked out and bought for Alexis and a few outfits from my existing wardrobe that worked for me. Andrew was always going to wear black pants and a pink button down to match the colors. (He isn’t in most of the early pictures because he was getting  ready last)

And then I discovered Tutu Du Monde! I feel like there should be musicians playing as I say this, drums beating, fireworks going off. You cannot imagine how absolutely ecstatic I was to have found them! Up until that moment, Alexis’s outfits I picked out said CUTE/ADORABLE/SWEET to me. And then through luck of internet browsing I saw IT!

BACKSTAGE ONESIE! TA-DA!

Let me explain! I was at odds with having Alexis wear a dress. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a dress for your birthday. In fact, it’s the cutest outfit a girl can wear! And it’s my favorite type of clothing.

A special birthday dress! How adorable, right? Right!

But inside I just felt like it wasn’t good/special enough. You know how as mothers sometimes we want everything to be super duper special for our super duper special kids. I wanted something unique!  But I couldn’t think of anything unique until that fated moment.

…embellished with hundreds of twinkly beads and overlaid with a fine layer of ruched tulle…

A romper with so many girly details, so special and for such a special occasion- an outfit fit  (pun intended) for a First Birthday, a goodbye to being a baby and hello to being a girl. She will have YEARS to wear dresses and dresses only to her birthday parties, but there is only one birthday that she can still be a baby and wear a onesie, a romper and that is BIRTHDAY NUMBER 1.

I became obsessed with that idea! My baby on the verge of turning into a toddler wearing a girly party onesie c/o Tutu Du Monde! One Last Time! I hope you see what I am saying here… It’s just so special to me. That idea that she’ll never wear a onesie to her birthday, that on her first birthday she was still a baby, with fluffy shorts, and bows and chubby legs. She will not be a baby on her second birthday. I want to cry as I type this!

If we step back from the outfit for a second, I think THAT is the biggest significance of a first birthday! Besides celebrating their birth for the first time, besides honoring the mother for giving birth to such a wonderful creature, it’s that they traveled so far in one year and they will NEVER be this  little chubby baby again.  A new life is upon them. It’s on par with graduating from high school in my book- first step into independence. Tear!

So that is how I kept my little girl little for one more day! And if I didn’t even fully realize my feelings behind the event and the outfit back then, I do now as I put them down in this post. I am not sentimental but this just hits me in the right place.

A side note about Tutu Du Monde. It’s gotta be the place with the best girl outfits I have ever seen. They are on the expensive side, but well worth in the design, style and materials. I now know where Lexi is going to have all of her special event dresses bought from.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

My outfit was a big change of plans, too! My friends at Taylor and Stylist emailed me a few days before the party and as we were chatting, we realized that they had the PERFECT french themed dress in stock- Black Peplum dress with striped skirt and a big bow in the back. You’ll see a lot more pictures of it once I write the first birthday photoshoot post, but I thought it was very fitting to the occasion.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

A side note: the cute butterfly hair flower that Alexis kept taking off is also from Tutu Du Monde}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

As if she was aware that all the commotion and decorations were about her, Alexis was happier than usual! Cheerfully she ran around the family room grasping at the balloons and throwing her hands up in the air. She quickly spied a photo of her in a cute frame and demanded we give it her her. She then proceeded looking at herself and walking around with it in her hands.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

That is when Lexi twin had arrived with her mom. Lexitwins, for those who don’t follow me on IG, is the term we coined for two Lexis, born on the same date, with virtually the same name ( Alexa + Alexis= Lexi), but incredibly different personalities. They are best friends. Well, as much as you can be best friends at 1 years of age. They’ve been to Disney together, they go to several music classes together, they run at each other and bump their heads together, they hug while sleeping together.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

I am only posting this picture below because it’s one of the few of me actually paying attention to the camera. I spent the whole party in a blur , and all the pictures with me in it look like I like to open my mouth right as the shutter goes off. But I don’t care since this party isn’t about me or my mouth. And yes,I’m aware I look like a major geek in it :) #ownit

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

I don’t know how we managed to actually get some photoboothing in because most of the guests were not the “photo taking” type, so I had to sort of nudge everyone to take a picture with only a few of them doing it quite willingly!

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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Check out the total Parisian outfit my friend is wearing below. Talk about being a sport and actually dressing the part! :)

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

This lady below was instrumental in my breastfeeding journey and one of the reasons why I made it through pain and  poor latch. Her daughter is only a year and a half older than Alexis and it’s fun to be able to see what’s ahead of me.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

Our two boys at the party, the rest were all girls.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

GrandmaUSA and her husband Ken.

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{Photo credit: Stacey Downy, editing by The Art of Making a Baby}

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Comments (19)

  • Kat

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    that party looks spectacular and you are SO SMART to have hired a photographer! I’m always torn between being a true participant in the event and taking photos and of course there are almost never any photos of me, especially with the baby.

    Reply

  • Tawny

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    The family picture of you 3 is adorable! PS She will still be a baby at her next birthday 😉

    Reply

  • Krista

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    Love the outfits–both yours and Lexi’s. You look fabulous: so happy and celebratory. The photographer did a great job! What a great way to celebrate such a milestone. I’ll be interested how you feel at her 2nd birthday. I, too, felt the 1st b-day was so huge. But then the 2nd one came along and it really didn’t feel any less important. I think it’s because this little person, that you created, that you carried, is growing before your very eyes and accomplishing and changing so much. My daughter will be 3 this summer and I’m already looking forward to making the day so special for her AND for me :)

    Reply

  • Erin

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    I’ve noticed that all of the photographs have been edited by you. When I’ve hired photographers in the past, editing was included as part of the package. All that editing must have taken a lot of time, as I know you’re busy with the blog and Daily Mom! Is this a type of package the photographer offers?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      One of the reasons I’ve never hired photographers before is because I want to be able to get ALL the photos (rather than select few most photogs give out). So with Stacey, we made a deal that she’ll just send me all the pics she takes and I’ll edit them myself, because I wouldn’t expect her to go through and edit 1600 photos. She did send me about 300 of her favorites that she edited herself, but I didn’t want to mix the editing styles,so I just posted mine, even though I like some of hers just as much. This is not something that is normally done, and she only did it because she knows she can trust me to edit them well, since she’s seen my photos.
      I do seem to remember that some photogs will give you a disk with a bunch of unedited photos too (not all, but some), but others don’t do it, because they can’t trust the person to do a good job.
      Btw, editing doesn’t take a long time at all. You edit one pic and then apply all the settings to the rest in one second. What takes a long time is selecting a few out of thousands and possibly cropping if it’s not done in camera.

      Reply

  • Anna

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    Finally Elena is on pictures herself!!!!! LOVE!!! Amazing party :) Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      hahahah! I know right? I am now making an effort to be in the photos as well (well, that’s my goal for next month)

      Reply

  • Ashley smith

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    Love her outfit so cute! I sent you a request on ig :)

    Reply

  • elena

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    she is adorable in that dress:))))) so cute, cannot stop looking at her yummy legs)) so cute!!!!!!
    you look awesome and your part is wow, really all looks great

    Lexi already grew up since then.. so fast

    Reply

  • Bibi

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    Lexi is sooo adorable in this pictures, I can see she had a lot of fun. We’re having 1st birthday party this July and I saw a hundreds od dresses, but none of them seems right. And by seeing Lexi’s onesie now I have on my mind what we could try. What a great idea Elena!
    Could you write in some of the future posts some advice what to do and what not to do on first birthday,what worked for you and what didn’t? Hire a photographer is good advice. i am too the person who takes all the photos on our family events and I end up having just a few with me per event. And could you write something about Lexitwins playdates? We’ve got some new neighbours who have a daughter born on a same month like Sofia and they asked us to have playdates, but I am terrified because my baby love to kick,punch and threw everything.
    Sorry for my bad english, that’s the reason why I left just a few short comments on your posts, but I ordedly read your blog. Wishing you all the best.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      It’s funny but i really don’t have any advice for what works and didn’t for the party. It was my first try and everything went great. The photographer was the only duh moment! Everything else was just simple.

      Lexitwins playdates- YES! I’ll put it on my post list! That’s a good idea! You simply watch the kids and mange their kicking/biting lol My Lexi loves to take the other Lexi’s bows out of her head, so we have to make sure we watch both of them. After a while they learn!

      Thank you for commenting! :)

      Reply

  • Elizabeth

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    Lexi is so adorable! Looks like a beautiful party!
    Side note, I am expecting baby 2 and your what’s best for baby posts have been really helpful!

    Reply

  • Corinne

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    She definitely looks adorable! And she really has changed so much since then. The other Lexi looks very tall too, almost looks taller than your Lexi. Is it just the photos or is that accurate?
    I love seeing lots of little babies at parties, they just steal the show! So fun to watch them interact.
    And very good goal to have- being IN more photos. It’s great for Lexi (and you) to have all these amazing photos when she grows up, but I’m sure she’d really love to see photos of her WITH her mom, too!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Lexitwin is 2 inches shorter than Lexi last time we checked, but she is still very tall for her age and looks almost as tall. I think she is wearing shoes in the picture and is closer to the camera.

      I really want to see if I can find time to resume the selfie saturdays on my photo blog and start doing momma self-portraits link ups.

      Reply

  • Leeann

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    Loved your designs and ideas! Beautiful blog, thanks so much for sharing! These pictures are also amazing!!!

    Reply

  • Angela

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    Super cute party. Lexi looks more and more like her dad in every update. Talk about a spitting image!

    Reply

  • Joy

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    It was a memorable party, and the pictures help capture every special moment! I can’t wait to see part 2 😉

    Reply

  • Sonya

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    GORGEOUS!!! Love the onesie and REALLY love the pics and the beautiful miss Lexi!! <3

    Reply

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