Monday, January 16, 2012

The Dude Ranch 1st Birthday Party

A year ago on Martin Luther King Monday, we were bringing our little bundle of joy home from the hospital.  And this weekend, we celebrated his 1st birthday.  I'll admit, a valid concern of mine having a winter baby was that we would have to do all his birthday parties indoors.  Acres and acres of fun to entertain crowds of people outdoors and for the rest of our lives, we'll be celebrating a January birthday...likely always indoors.  It's just as well.  I mean, if he were born in September, poor kid would be stuck with "Grape Picking!" birthday parties for the rest of his life. 

We decided to celebrate with a little party with just my family, since they are all local...

And since just my family meant about 26 people in our cozy little farm house.

We decided to go with a cowboy theme.  This worked out well for my mom and my sister who were headed to the Brad Paisley concert right after the party. 

This was my quick attempt at taking pictures of the party decor before the space was filled
 wall to wall with people.  Cowboy boots, lassos, lemonade in mason jars, Cowboy pizzas from Papa Murphy's...

Fire in the fireplace with all of his monthly pictures taken with his stuffed lion strung across the mantel.  I put them out of order so everyone had to guess how many months he was in each picture.

My little buckaroo was still sleeping when all the party guests showed up.  So when I got him up, stuck a silly hat on his head, and made him stand in front of all his party guests while I took pictures of him, he was a little out of sorts. "Uhhhh...what's going on here?  All these people weren't here when I went to sleep..."

   But, at least he gave me his best cowboy pose.

Since there were 6 kids ages 6 and under and 5 of them were boys, I tried to make it portions of our small space as kid friendly as possible.  Thus, we created a little fort area called "Axel's Dude Ranch" (aka.  "Rowdy kids play here and don't bug the adults")

And then it was cake time!

It was at this point, my sister said, "So is Axel going to take a shower before he opens presents?"  Silly, Mom.  I totally forgot about gift opening!  So, we had to do a quick and intense wash-up before he dove into the presents.

Great-Grandma and Grandpa!  We call them Tutu and Kapuna.  Kapuna will be 89 next week, so we celebrated his birthday too.  I was even able to find a picture of him and his family when he was 2 to put out on the picture display.  That was the youngest picture of him they could find!  Amazing how times have changed.  I think I have taken 5, 682 pictures of Axel just in his first year, so there should be no reason why his grandchildren and great-grandchildren shouldn't be able to find any old pictures of him.

Of course, when he is 89, the year will be 2100!!!


The best part about being the youngest of 14 cousins...

LOTS of hand-me-down toys!

And people wonder why we need a bigger house...

The birthday boy had fun playing with balloons after everyone left. 

Seriously...entertained for hours...

The foam cowboy hat that never dies. This was a hat Aaron and his groomsmen wore at our wedding reception. 

It's pretty much a family heirloom. 

Oh!  And Aaron made a nice sign that he put outside, but I didn't take a picture of it until later that night.

Actually, I think he just wanted to show off his new toy. 

That deserves a post all its own.  Until next time...