After the crazy first year we had with Maddox, I can’t believe we celebrated his first birthday just a few short months ago. The first birthday is such a monumental milestone - and much more so for the parents than the actual child. When Myla turned one, me and Justin pretty much high-fived each other and said “we friggin’ did it.. we survived a full year as parents and Myla is still in one piece”. Myla, on the other hand, had not a single clue that the party was even for her, nor did she realize how much alcohol her parents (and grandparents) had consumed that night. We definitely toned it down a bit for Maddox’s birthday - not sure if it was a second child thing or that we were thankful that life seemed to be finally slowing down and we were just relishing the moment.
Anyways, as much as I love the newborn/infant stage and all the sweet moments with them as teeny, tiny cooing babies, I admit it feels so good to get past that stage. I may shed a little tear occasionally when I look back, but I’m definitely looking forward to all the adventures ahead. As for Maddox, I now have a little walking and, well, not quite talking, but definitely communicating in his own language, little guy as my sidekick now. I love seeing his personality blossoming. Besides being a silly, inquisitive, mechanical, fearless, climbing little fellow - he’s pretty laid back and goes with the flow (Sooooo different than my mini-me Myla). Therefore, I figured he would probably never really care if he looked back and realized that I did a bit less planning for his first birthday than his sister’s. Plus, I knew deep down that I needed to take it easy on myself.
While searching for party supplies, I came across an adorable whale and octopus themed party set that I really loved - plates, decor, party bags, invites… and rather than trying to recreate or “one-up” what I already found, I decided to just buy it all. Checked that off the list - and it felt great! I even skipped on making him a party hat like I did for Myla - I had all the intentions of making one, but I knew with the limited time I had, it just wasn’t going to happen and instead I found a plush little crown. Awe, my little prince.
What I did decide to spend my time on was the cakes… and chocolate covered pretzels of course (I mean, who doesn’t love those?), along with some chocolate whale lollipops for the favor bags. I even had the party catered, so besides setting up food and decorations, I had very little to worry about. It was definitely hard for me to let go, but now that it’s past, I can say I’m happy that I was able to just 'be happy' with what I had.
As for the cakes, I created two - well, actually three, as I made a special one for Myla because we were also celebrating her birthday with family (her party at Sky Zone was just friends). I wanted to use the sheet cake pan again that I used for Myla’s Paw Patrol Everest cake and I wanted make a smash cake for Maddox too. For the 'flat' whales and octopuses on the sheet cake, I used melted chocolate (left over from the pretzels) to make the forms on wax paper and added candy eyes. They easily peel up when cooled. For the three dimensional ones, I used fondant. Both of those I was able to make ahead and store until it was time to bake and decorate the cakes.
As I said before, I’m happy with how everything turned out. It was nice to focus on spending time with loved ones rather than getting wrapped up in “creating” - and with two back to back parties a week apart, it definitely saved my sanity… slightly.