Hello, dolls! Hello, April! We all survived March, I think we all deserve a pat on the back. The past month seems like a blur to me. It’s astonishing how things have turned out because of COVID-19 for the entire world. Months ago, I would always look forward to getting an extra day off from work so I can pick up Little A from school. Now, we are still unsure if he will be able to go back to school anytime soon.
Baby C is turning one next month and I know we are not going to be able to throw a party for her. I have decided to postpone it since I know things are not going to be easy for most of our friends and families once this COVID19 situation is all over. Luckily, I am kind of a pro when it comes to simple celebrations at home so I know we can make it scrapbook worthy for her still.
If you are like us who have to cancel party planning and settle for a more intimate at-home party, here are a couple of tips I learned over the years.
Growing up, my parents put emphasis on celebrating as a family more than gifts. We were given the birthday presents that we wanted but it was never over the top that we had to have a big party every year. Birthdays are more than presents. I learned that growing up and honestly I think it helped me value family time even more.
For me, a birthday is not complete without balloons. Little A finds it fascinating too so we always get him one. Over the years I have gotten him whatever he is currently into like Lightning McQueen.
Foil balloons are great because they last a long time and you can reuse them if deflated properly.
One thing I look forward to the most on my birthday is the food I’ll eat especially for dinner. My parents always cooked my favorites on my birthday and I remember feeling so special!
It is a tradition for my family to eat spaghetti (for long life according to Chinese proverb) and fried chicken. What’s not to love about these two dishes as a kid? Now that it is my turn to do special things for Little A on his birthday, I make sure we have his favorites on his birthday too! Of course, as a one-year-old, he did not have any favorites yet so these are dishes that he will like in the future — and if he decides that he doesn’t like them, it is completely okay.
If you can, include your little one’s grandparents. The look on Little A’s face is priceless when he is around his. I feel blessed that my Mom has been around since he was born because I honestly don’t know how I could have survived being a new Mom if she wasn’t.
They give the sweetest surprises too! My Mom gifted Little A a convertible bike for his first birthday and I like how it can grow with him.
Little A loves talking to his Aunts and Uncles. We make sure they are also present during his birthday even when they are miles away. Lucky for us, it is very easy to stay connected because of Facetime.
When a friend asked me what she can give Little A for his first birthday, I could’ve sent her a list of toys little boys would go crazy for, but I did not. He will be getting a lot of toys over the years and not a lot of friends or family actually ask what they can give as a gift so whenever I get the chance, I say “necessities” would be great.
Trust me, with the pool of gifts he will be opening, I know he will only care about the first two toys he’ll open and the rest will be forgotten. To minimize my headache in the future and be a practical parent as well, I stick to items that I know Little A would actually use.
I LOVE this gift set my friend Buen gave him. It has everything that he needs from body wash to sanitizers.
My guilty pleasure as a parent is splurging on clothes for my little ones. I truly understand the saying “they grow up too fast” very well because they do! However, shopping for baby/kid clothes gives me joy! Seriously, I am obsessed with planning their outfits! I sometimes feel like I spend more on them than myself now lol
Here are some of my brands if you want to treat your little one with special clothes 😛
Ralph Lauren and Janie and Jack
RL and JJ are staples in Little A’s closet, you can never go wrong with these brands. I love the classic style of Ralph Lauren from casual to formal. Janie and Jack stay seasonal with their designs and my all-time favorite is their nautical collection (because it goes with Little A’s room :P).
Birthdays are special so I sometimes go on an “I-am-such-an-extra-Mom” shopping sprees and get something more upscale. Burberry stays classy with their collection. It’s nice to have something for special occasions.
Gap is a cool brand to add to your little one’s closet too. They have everything that can complete your baby’s wardrobe.
I am also obsessed with Zara. I love how I can shop for the entire family in one trip. The styles are to die for and I look forward to every collection.
Keeping it casual
Babies stay home at least 80% of the time so comfy loungewear like pajamas or cute sets are great gifts because you know they will be able to use it more than any cute outfit from one of the brands I mentioned above.
I am a sucker for socks. We have a “no shoe policy” around the house so we all have our indoor slippers. Little A prefers to wear socks so I stock up on them because he could easily wear two pairs in a day.
I always feel guilty when the kids get cold during brr months. As a parent, it is my responsibility to dress them appropriately for the weather. I love getting mittens and hats for the babies because I know these are things that we often forget when shopping for clothes. Keep them in the drawer because you’ll never know when you’ll need them!
To make planning easier, think of a theme that your baby will love. I still like to decorate even though we are not going to have company over to set up the atmosphere for the celebrant. Babies are home most of the time and I am pretty sure they get bored of the same little corner they see.
The best gift you can give your baby is to be present. Little A loves to read books so we had several storytimes on his birthday. He may not remember everything that we did for him but I know he felt extra loved — which makes this Mama’s heart full.
A birthday is not complete without a cake. If you want to be safe, bake! It makes it even more special with this simple gesture. I am not the best cake baker but I do it every year for A and Little A.
Don’t feel pressured to make it yourself though, it’s totally okay to buy a delicious cake from your favorite bakery or grocery.
No matter what you do, your baby will only need you <3