Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Baby Bean!

My baby niece turned 14 months old yesterday, so it's high time I get her first birthday blogged, eh?

Mallorie's birthday is January 24th. Since that was a Friday this year, my brother (Bill) and sister-in-law (Casie) planned Meejie's first birthday party for Saturday afternoon. They decided, however, that the immediate family should still celebrate Mallorie's birthday ON her birthday, so they invited Casie's parents, my parents, Chris, and me over for cake Friday evening.

It's the Birthday Girl!

Hanging with Uncle Chris

Casie's parents brought Mallorie's big birthday present to the house Friday night - her first car!

Woo-hoo, this is fun!

Texting and driving at such an early age! For shame!

Before long, it was time for cake! Bill and Casie bought Mallorie a Cookie Monster cupcake with brilliant blue icing. There's not much to say about the following pictures - they pretty much speak for themselves.

Casie shuttled Mallorie straight into the tub while I went on crumb patrol under the high chair and Bill spot-treated the carpet to remove the blue icing. Once we cleaned up, we checked in on the bathing birthday beauty. She managed to change the bath water to a bright blue - so much so that it look like someone had dropped a Ty-D-Bol tablet in the water. 

The next morning, Chris and I picked up Mallorie for a few hours so Bill and Casie could continue to prepare for the party later that afternoon. Our goal was to wear her out so she'd take a nice afternoon nap prior to the party. We set out for REI in Timonium to look at cycling gear. Unfortunately, we didn't realized REI opened at 10 AM (we arrived at 9:30), so we went to a nearby Burger King to kill time with a late breakfast. Chris and Mallorie shared Cinna-minis and hash rounds.

Isn't she adorable?!?

Not sure which one looks more ambivalent...bunch o' grumps!

Once at REI, our first stop was the bicycle department. Chris rang a few different bike bells for Mallorie and she seemed to like it, so I handed one to her to play with while we shopped. When we got separated from Chris, all he needed to do was listen and he could find us anywhere in the store.

Little Miss Thing and her bicycle bell.

Watching Uncle Chris try on cycling shoes.

Checking out the triathlon swimsuits.

Still too small for her own bicycle.
(I was talking to the REI salesperson.)

We stopped by my parents' house on our way home from REI so Mallorie could visit with her buddy Oscar.

First she visited with my parents' dog, Buggy.

She loves Buggy!

Observing Oscar from afar.

Getting checked out by her buddy.

Couldn't manage to get both of them to look at me at the same time.

We took Mallorie back about 12:30 so she could have lunch and her nap prior to her 4 PM party. 

The theme for Mallorie's party was "Winter ONE-derland" and Casie did a fantastic job with the decorations and themed-food.

Love the idea of a "melted snowman," i.e. water.

Hot chocolate bar, complete with Bailey's and peppermint schnapps.

Snow globe photos chronicling Mallorie's first year...

Party favors, including hot cocoa cones that I assembled for the adult guests.

M is for Mallorie, Meejie, and Monster!

I managed to find snowflake wrapping paper after Christmas that worked well for Mallorie's birthday presents, which included some clothes, some bath stuff, a book, and a water table.

Mallorie's birthday party outfit was adorable; she seemed to know she was the belle of the ball as she strutted through the party having folks fawning all over her.

Uncle Chris is a turd.

Mallorie got lots of great presents, including some really cute outfits and fun toys.

Pretty soon, it was time for Cake 2.0. 

She's one sweet little goddaughter...in this case, literally!!!

Mallorie with her godfather, Matt, and her Aunt Mimi.

Again, Mallorie was whisked right from the high chair up to the bath. While she was being de-frosting-ed, we enjoyed cake.

Uncle Chris got the "M" from Mallorie.

Edie gave us her best "CHEESE" while Callie and Lily enjoy their cake.

Piper plays peek-a-boo from behind the coffee table.

The birthday girl made a reappearance in her jammies and promptly found her Uncle Chris for some snuggles and giggles.

Aaaaand, just like that the party and the weekend were over. On Sunday morning, we left shortly after breakfast because of snow that was forecasted to arrive in State College Sunday afternoon. It was a great party weekend! 

I consider myself pretty fortunate that I was able to see Mallorie just about every 4-6 weeks during her first year. What's been amazing - aside from watching her grow (obviously) - has been to watch her get to the point where she recognized me and was happy to see me. When she smiles that "Hey, I know you!" smile each time I see her after a few weeks, it just melts my heart. 

The older she gets, it's that much more fun that we can have - dancing, reading books, shopping - the possibilities increase with each passing month. Being an aunt is the absolute best.

I love you, Baby Bean! Happy 1st Birthday!!!

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