Sunday, September 21, 2014

Boston's "UP" birthday party {baby's first birthday}

A person's birthday is a celebration of his life and accomplishments, victories, exploration, and lessons learned. It says to the world, "cheers to the beautiful things that have come to pass because this person is on this earth. Let's keep learning and loving." Because a child reaches so many milestones in a year, I wanted to do something extra special for Boston. It has indeed been an epic year for him, which is deserving of an epic first of many birthdays. Even if he won't remember it, he'll see the photos one day and he'll know he had plenty of supporters along the way. Although next year, we're going to go more low key {like Chick-Fil-A and Baskin Robbins}.

To honor Boston growing "UP" so fast, we threw him a party based on the movie "Up," which included his favorite toy in the world {at the moment}--balloons. LOTS of balloons. It was so much fun to plan this party. It required much planning ahead of time, but it was worthwhile to see Boston have so much fun with his little friends {and we happened to enjoyed ourselves with our friends as well. win win}.

I wanted to hand craft as many of the decorations for the party as I could so I put my creativity and research abilities to the test. This is what I came up with.

Many of these decorations will go to his room afterwards. I laminated the birthday sign for future birthdays.

I painted the "Up" house on cardboard with tons of bright colors which Boston loved. With the help of my husband, we crafted this house into a play place and photo prop for the party as seen here:

We ordered this fantastic bouquet of balloons from Utah Balloon Creations in Payson, UT. They had lots of options and even hand wrote a message I dictated along with the delivery.
Boston and M playing peek-a-boo with the house board. So cute!
I made a mobile of Boston's milestones, and guests were invited to write down their wishes for Boston.
 "Adventure awaits" in Portuguese, "Altas aventuras." It's literal translation is "High adventures."
I tried painting and distressing mason jars for the first time so these 4x4 pinwheels could go into them. 

Because in the movie, Russel is a wilderness explorer, I made this badge sash for Boston and AJ came up with some adapted s'mores treats. So much fun to make them both!

Beautiful cake made by a sweet girl, Anjuli. We also decided to carry on the Brazilian tradition of making these brigadeiros (chocolate balls) for birthdays.

We missed the opportunity by Boston just bent down and bit right into his slice of cake. Yum! And then brigadeiros kept "slipping" out of his hand.

We served sliders some with bacon, cheddar, and wasabi ranch, another with bacon, bleu cheese, and another with honey caramelized onions. You know, little people food, and of course, grape soda and soda of all sorts. Thanks so much with the help, Mom and Dad!

 I didn't get as many photos as I wanted of everyone there because of the busy nature of being a hostess. But our family had so much fun at the party. I got to watch Boston run around with his little friends and it just made my heart flutter. I love this social baby and all of his cute little antics.

We opened baby's fun presents with our family afterwards. What a beautiful day celebrating a whole year of pure joy with this beautiful boy. We are truly blessed.

Happy Birthday, my son. You've lived an epic one year already and have taken us on an amazing adventure. We love you so much. We look forward to many more to come!

Friday, September 5, 2014

a year of new adventures

I remember my sigh of relief when my little baby Boston was placed in my arms for the first time. He made it to this earth safe and sound after an unexpected delivery {due to my paralysis}. Thank God! This baby came with much surprise and has kept us on our toes ever since. Who knew it would be such a whirlwind of so many emotions with each event. Before we knew it, a year has gone by since the birth of our beautiful little boy, and what an adventure it's been for us all.

We saw Boston grow rapidly, seeking adventures of his own. From holding his head up, to rolling over, to crawling, to exploring (and breaking things) with such curiosity, to toddling so independently. And what a personality he has: sharing, loving, bubbly, cuddly, giggly, feisty, and all-around sweet. He has 5 and 1/2 teeth now which further brightens his beautiful smile. His little brown eyes coupled with that smile just melt my heart. His hair, long, wild and curly as ever (who would've thought that curly hair would bless our family of straight-haired Asians?). And those thighs, those wonderfully squeezable thunder thighs! Best of all, is his playful, cuddly, and fun-seeking personality. We love everything about this little boy. He makes everyday that much better.

There are no words that can express the immense joy this boy has brought into our lives. I cherish the moments he shares with me as he holds my hand, wraps his little arms around me tight, plays with my face, pats my back, giggles at my funny faces, chuckles when we play peek-a-boo, lays his head on my shoulder, and just falls asleep in my arms. I look forward to these sweet moments everyday, although some days are harder than others to get to them. All the sleepless nights, teething, falls, and sick days are worth it. I find comfort in knowing he feels my love for him and that all of this will add up one day to his healthy being.

I've learned and am still learning how to be a mom in a wheelchair and mother in the gospel. It's been something I really, really had to trust God with especially with my worries of not being a "normal" mom and extremely inadequate as a person. And I'll tell ya this, if there's one sure thing about this whole process it's that He's been the anchor that got me through the rough patches of low self-confidence. Life in general requires much faith, courage, diligence, and love, which all of us are equipped with through trials both large and small. With that, anything is possible, including parenting and for me, parenting with a disability. I thank God for placing this gift in my lap and allowing me to learn so much about myself in the process. I know now that I need not fear what lies ahead because He's given me the strength to carry on all tasks including that of raising His child. I know the trials will differ, but that faith will see me through.
My husband and I have grown together as a couple while on this adventure. It's amazing how close two people can become when they have their goals aligned and find joy at the end of those exhausting days. We've found so much to laugh about, especially as we see Boston's found the toilet water or is getting into our laundry basket again. I'm thankful for such a wonderful companion to help raise this mischievous son of ours. I'm thankful for this patience, understanding, and unconditional love.
I thank my family for being there to encourage me the whole way. We have been so fortunate to have a family that loves Boston as much as we do. Each one of us plays a huge role in Boston's development, the love that he feels, and the confidence he has. It's been said before that "it takes a village to raise a child." Our clan has been the best support we could have asked for our little son. It's nice to know that there are people looking out for Boston besides us and if we are lacking in some areas (because we're still learning), we have help to instill good principles in our son. It's a very awesome system of trust that we're learning to balance each day. I hope Boston knows how lucky he is one day to be surrounded by so many people who love him and are cheering him on. This year is a victory for us all.

 Some have said that the adventure ends with children, but I argue the contrary--my adventure {actually, life in general} has gotten more interesting and meaningful because of Boston. I love to travel, see new places, meet new people, and learn new things, but with Boston, every new experience becomes an opportunity to teach and solidify my discoveries. We seek after even more adventures to share with our little Boston. In his first year of life, he's been to 7 different states, 3 national parks, Disney World, and we're looking forward to more adventures to come with him.

This sweet little baby, he lays his head on my chest asleep to the sound of my heart beats. I bask in his sweet smell of baby's breath and capture the image of his innocent little body for years to come. I let out another sigh of relief. My son is one year old. We made it. One whole year of adventures together and so many more to go. Oh, how I love him so…

Pictures from his "UP" themed birthday party to come!