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Details: Celestine’s ‘Animal Friends’ party

I don’t know the first thing about planning a party, let alone a children’s party. But Elle’s first birthday was a good time as any to learn, since I’ve got at least a decade and half left of party planning to do until Elle decides she’d rather spend her birthdays with friends or out of the country. (Getting way ahead of myself but you know what I mean.)

We ruled out spending the party at some village clubhouse or events place, so that narrowed down our choices to restaurants. We wanted something hassle-free, since I won’t be able to attend to the little details with work in the way. Ultimately, we went with Papa John’s because it’s not as expensive as Shakey’s but not as basic as Jollibee, which strikes the balance that we were going for.

For everything else—like the cake, the loot bags and others— it needed some serious research and a bit of DIY from my end. (Fair warning, my handiwork is nothing Pinterest worthy.)

We didn’t spend a fortune, but it turned out to be a great party for Elle! Though to be fair, I say any party that serves pizza is a good one. Haha!

Anyway, it has been since a month since then, and it’s about time I write everything down. I’m going to try to rate and provide information on all the “suppliers” for other parents who need pointing to the right direction.

View everything after the jump. 🙂

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Celestine is loved

I’m thankful to have been given countless reminders this week of how much my daughter Celestine is loved.

From closest friends and family to Facebook friends (some I haven’t even met in person, some I haven’t talked to in years), they all found a way to send their regards to Elle on her first birthday.

Most of the people I wanted to see at Elle’s party today showed up, too! That was amazing. I admit I had been dreading the party because when I imagined how Elle’s first birthday would go, Jan was in everything. It never crossed my mind that I’d be doing this without him, so this was tough on my part. But seeing a room filled with people who went out of their way to celebrate with us, dragging their asses out of their beds on a Sunday morning, I found a lot of reasons to smile.

It’s such a blessing that Elle is growing up surrounded by such thoughtful people. I know I am not the most generous person, but my friends have never failed to shower Elle with love. I could say the same for my family, especially Elle’s lola, who have always been there with us in every way she could, every step of the way—no matter how bitchy I got (which is more than half of the time).

I am overwhelmed. 🙂 My apologies, I’m never this sappy. Haha! But it had been an emotionally draining week dealing with Jan leaving even as trying to stay positive for Elle, today was a welcome happy moment.

So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making this week special!

Happy birthday, my love!

Happy birthday, my love!

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Celebrating Celestine’s special ‘daaay!’

Today was Celestine’s first birthday celebration here at home! Nothing fancy (not that we ever get fancy) since we have another party for her on Sunday. We just made sure there few dishes on table and of course, cake!

Naturally, “Happy Birthday” was sung a million times today, to which Elle always  chimed in with a loud “Daaaaay!” because that’s all she knows how to pronounce. (You have to hear her, it’s the most adorable thing.) “Happy Birthday” is actually one of those songs that would get her to stop crying no matter. It’s up there with “Twinkle Twinkle.”

Unfortunately, she was already too sleepy by the time we got to blow her candle, so there was no singing along. Although she was able to muster a smile. That smile!

Blowing her candle. Although mom really did the blowing. 🙂

She got her good mood back after a nap, so she was able to enjoy our birthday gift; a cute pink bike! Being a very transparent baby, it’s easy to figure out when Elle is enjoying or not, and I know for sure she loved that bike.  She even tries to mount it by herself.

We still need donbsp;to push her around because the pedal’s still too far for her to reach. But soon enough she’s going be zooming around on her own. (Yikes!)

Check out my new ride.

We just wanted to make sure that Elle felt as happy and loved as she could be on her special day. Special thanks to my mother, my siblings and other relatives for always giving their love to Elle. A phonecall from Jan would’ve been perfect, but we’re not complaining. I know he would’ve called if he could.

When everyone was busy tearing it up on the videoke downstairs, Elle and I retreated to our room and I put her to bed. Mommy sang and she dozed off. It was a perfect end to such memorable day in both of our lives.

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Fastest one year of my life

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One day old.

She came out of me weighing 3.5 kilos, now I’m lucky to be able to hold her for long even using both hands.

Dada and Elle.

Dada and Elle.

She used to look exactly like her dad—from the small eyes to her thin hair, now all most people see in her are her my features—from her long eyelashes to her killer smile.

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Chillin’ on mommy’s legs.

She used to just fit snuggly on my legs where she spent most of the time sitting and playing, now she’s already half as long as me.

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Favorite sleeping position.

She used to love me rocking her to sleep and she would always end up snoozing on my chest for hours on end, now all she needs is the bed and her favorite pillow and she’s all set.

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She used  to spend all night, even at 3 in the morning, just rolling around because that was all she could do, now she’s either on all fours or on her two feet all day.

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Grumpy one.

She used to be one grumpy baby and it was impossible to make her smile, now not a day goes by when we don’t hear her infectious laugh.

She had gone through a lot of changes in past year, and there’s stopping her from going through some more. But there’s one thing that’s never going change—she will always be mommy’s baby.

My baby girl <3

My baby girl ❤

Happy first birthday, my baby long legs, my Celestine! ❤️

(Don’t grow up too fast!)

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A dream first birthday party gone wrong

We’re a week away from Elle’s birthday party and I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done. Not that there’s a lot to do; We scrapped plans for a relatively grand party (grand by our lowly standards) and we decided to have a simple get-together with our closest friends and family. Since Jan won’t even be here to celebrate with us, there is really no point on spending a fortune. But we still want everyone who cares about my baby to see her. (See you, guys!)

Of course, if I could, I would throw something grand for Elle. Anything fit for the princess that she is. But when you’re living on a smalltime writer’s paycheck, there’s no way that’s going to happen, at least for now.  So I had to let go of all my party envy, which I blame on Pinterest. (EVERYTHING JUST LOOKS SO PRETTY AND EASY ON PINTEREST).

My subconscious, though, wasn’t going to let me get away with it that easy. Of course, it said, let’s give this overthinking mother a glimpse of her dream party for Elle—only, everything that could go wrong, would go wrong! THE HORROR. It was actually the most vivid dream I’ve had in a long time, and I woke up feeling like I didn’t sleep a wink.

Here was how my nightmare went down:

It was such a perfect set up but nothing was going right!

Elle’s clothes for the party were all filthy but she had to wear them anyway. Less than half of the people I invited showed up on time!

The venue was not decorated and someone got Elle’s name seriously misspelled on all of the banners.

When it was time to eat, we started serving cans of sardines because there was no rice! (I mean, WHAT?)

No one served the dessert because it was buried under some random boxes! (WHAT IS PARTY WITHOUT DESSERT?)

When the all guests finally arrived (weirdly, they were all in ballgowns), there was no more food on the table and I didn’t have money to order some more.

When it came to the parlor games, I apparently had forgotten to buy prizes. I decided to go out to get some from the nearest conveniences store, but when I got back, the party was over!

THANK GOD IT WAS JUST A DREAM.

This just really proves one thing, my brain has too many tabs open. WAY TOO MANY. Well yeah, I still had to do even just a little planning for Elle’s thing. I just feel like I still want her to have a perfect celebration, though it’s nowhere near what I really wanted for her . However small or simple, I’d still want it to go off without a hitch.

I know that’s never going to happen, though. As with all parties (I learned the hard way with my self-organizes wedding and Elle’s Christening), it’s never going to be perfect. For starters, not everyone you’re going to invite is going to respond to your invite let alone attend the actual thing  (and you have to prepare not to get disappointed). Another is not a lot of people are going to remember the little things you did. Most won’t even remember what kind of table centerpiece, which you probably spent tons on, you had.

Despite know all these things, I can’t believe I’m still obsessing. Though I admit it’s totally me to overthink everything, up to the tiniest detail even of such a small get together. I’m not even a good, creative planner! I’m just totally a momzilla. Thanks for reminding me, subconscious!

What I should remind myself is that Celestine is going to turn one (and so on) and it’s going to be the best thing to happen to me every year—no matter how we celebrate it.

One things for sure though, we won’t be serving sardines to any of her parties…ever!