Saturday, May 24, 2014

First Birthday's and Dragons

Wow, I now have ONE-year-old.


Time went by pretty fast (though, at the time, seemed to draaaaag). I can honestly say that, now, I really truly enjoy being a mother. I have next to no idea what I'm doing, if any idea at all, really, but I really enjoy it now at LEAST 99.9% of the time (I'd still really enjoy sleeping in too). The first 5 months or so, I couldn't say that. It was hard, learning that taking care of this thankless, selfish, crying little adorable person was my job now. That what I WANTED to do (and sometimes needed to do) didn't matter so much as making sure this little persons needs were met, that he was loved and well cared for first before myself or housework got taken care of. Learning that I was a VERY selfish person who wanted what I wanted was hard, giving that up is harder (and a daily if not hourly task). Now though? I really do enjoy it. Simon is one fun kid. And there is no way to explain how much I absolutely love and adore him. How much I have from the very beginning, even with all the frustrations and learnings.

Seriously, though. This kid is hilarious. I love him. And Phillip and I wanted to throw him a super cool party for his first birthday. Problem is, we know all of like, four people that aren't family )ok, it's slightly more than that, but you get the picture). And neither of us are big PARTY people, nor have we been feeling extremely well lately (Phillip with a cold, me with other things), and also, Simon is only one. I mean, it's a big deal, but really? Not huge one. But still, I love a good birthday party, I love kid birthday parties, and Pintrest makes it WAAAAY to easy to find far too many fun ideas to do for kid birthday parties.

THIS is what you could buy. They've come
out with nicer ones with the second movie coming out soon, though.
So we decided on a "How To Train Your Dragon" theme, because we both love the movie, and Simon is too young to choose what he wants. Also, we wanted to get him a Toothless plush toy for Christmas, but couldn't find nice ones online (they were fairly hideous), and I happened to find a super cute and easy tutorial on how to make your own that actually looked like the movie character, instead of something that wanted to eat your soul. And I really wanted to make it. So really, we selfishly chose a theme WE wanted, but were pretty sure Simon would look back at photos and think "my parents weren't so bad, this is kinda neat".

THIS is the home-made Toothless.
So much cuter. And the tutorial was fairly easy to follow too! 
Toothless took a few nights of sewing, once Simon was in bed, and I ended up using a small K-Mart fleece blanket for the material, because after checking fabric and craft stores for WEEKS, we couldn't find black fleece anywhere that would suite for this project. If was either ridiculously cheap, and would pill and come apart after one good play, or overly fuzzy (and remarkably expensive). I ended up using super cheap K-Mart pillows for stuffing, too (K-Mart is the Australian Walmart equivalent, only with worse quality in a lot of things). Fabric and craft stores around here are just way overpriced and under stocked. I miss Hobby Lobby. The ONLY part I had trouble understanding in the Toothless  tutorial was sewing the tail fin. I left a whole side open because I didn't look at the diagram properly, and realized you only sew the TIP of it into the tail, not the side. Made for a more impressively long dragon once it was done, and it only took me five minutes to cut out and sew a new fin (seam ripping black stitches on black fleece was more work than I wanted to do, and I had enough scraps to do another fin easy).

Pintrest led to more ideas on food, which I narrowed down to a dragon cake and some Viking ship sandwiches. Partly because I love to play with cake decorating (though it was much harder with my lack of proper materials here) and it was an excuse to do Big Sandwich, which had the added benefit of... sort of... including my family in things, since it's something my Aunt/Uncle/cousins made a lot when I would go over. It was at least a reminder that we're thinking of them, and that they're still a part of our lives, even if they couldn't be here for the event <tear>. Then I made some paper mache "dragon eggs" as favours. They had little candy bars inside, and were made mostly to entertain the kids we invited. Unfortunately, the cold/flu that has been making its rounds amongst.. everyone... made it so that the only kids that came were Phillip's two younger cousins. Actually, the only people that could make it to the party were Phillip's family.

Despite the lack of children, it was a really good time. And everything turned out really well. And tasty. And Simon seemed to have a really good time. Though, honestly, he has a good time anywhere unless he is sick, hungry, or tired. Sadly, Simon and I came down with the nasty cold Phillip had, for a while, the day after the party, and are still working on recovering.
Night Fury cake and Viking ship sandwiches.
Family brought mostly deserts to share, so we were
a bit hyped up on sugar afterwards. 

Simon ate the dragon's head with much gusto.

Getting his very own dragon!
I think I love the fact that it's as big as him more than he does.