Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kaden's Birthday Shin-Dig

We celebrated Kaden's birthday on Saturday with a small family party.  Included in the family circle were the Hills, who are our dear family friends (I cannot count the number of pedicures Madison gave me while I was pregnant with swollen ankles), and the Howards, the family Kaden adores who also happen to live right across the street from us (the day I move will be a sad day, because I will no longer have Stephanie and her kids to come randomly take Kaden on walks at the exact moment I need a break).  Call me crazy, but the kid was turning one, and I didn't feel like throwing a real party with a bunch of random munchkins tearing up our house.  So instead it was a mostly adult party with a few darling kiddos--Kaden being the youngest by far, and thus the center of attention (a place we all know he hates to be . . . cough . . . cough . . . ).   My biggest fear is that someone's feelings will be hurt over not coming to Kaden's birthday party, so I just want to set the record straight--NOBODY came, it wasn't just you.  Small  family gathering!  Please, please, please don't be offended.  OK?  Good.  Phew!  Got that one out of the way. 

I have wanted to throw a circus party ever since stumbling upon this darling party-scape from the folks here.  I fell in love with the baby blue/red color combo, and knew I had to do something with it.  Chad has been mocking me for months over my Pinterest obsession, particularly over my pinning of birthday party ideas, but it all came in rather handy when it came time to put the party together. The website even had printables to use for the cupcake toppers and invitations. Chad didn't like the idea of a circus theme at all (there must have been some terrifying moment in his past that involved a psychotic clown?), but he neglected to voice his strong disdain for the circus until I had already purchased a lot of the materials for the decorations, so I did it anyway.  It wasn't hugely circus-fied, so I think he was OK with it in the end.    

I made all the decorations, and they turned out rather cute, in my humble opinion.

We had hot dogs, watermelon, cantaloupe, chips and dip, and cupcakes to eat, while we watched the darling video Chad made to document Kaden's first year of life.  (Luckily I watched it ahead of time, so I could cry then, and not while all of the party guests watched my mascara smear.)  And as if Kaden isn't great enough, he added background music from the one and only Ray LaMontagne.  Love.  (As an aside, if you are ever having a rough day, type Ray LaMontagne into Pandora and turn up the volume.  Seriously.  Just trust me on this one.  His voice will heal your soul.)  In the meantime, Blogger is not letting me put the file directly into my blog but feel free to watch Kaden's birthday video here:

After we finished watching Kaden toddle across the big screen in his diaper, he opened all of his gifts, which resulted in some SERIOUS spoilage.  He received so many fun new toys, books, and clothes.  In addition, he received some slightly less new toys that I have been collecting over the last several months from yard sales, consignment sales, and the like.  Call me cheap, but he's not going to know the difference, so why buy all new toys for the kid?  While he opened all of his presents, Kaden's cousin, Mackenzie, Skyped with us from Denver, which was really cute. 

After presents, it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" to Mr. Kaden Cub.

Then he got to delve into that funfetti cupcake--probably the highlight of the entire birthday experience for him.

Our guests went on their merry little way with boxes of homemade caramel corn I made the night before. (And I didn't even swear when I dropped half a bottle of vanilla all over my khaki shorts in the process . . . a birthday miracle, folks!)

Later, after recuperating from his fiesta by taking a snooze, Kadester sported his seersucker trousers and snazzy red tie for an impromptu photo shoot with his birthday balloons:

The day before his party, Kaden had his twelve month checkup.

He weighed in at 21 pounds, 2.5 ounces -- 25th percentile. (Wow.  That was a shocker.  Guess we can't call him chubster anymore!  Chad and I were both shocked to find out he's underweight, considering he spends most of the day eating.)  He measured 31 1/4 inches -- 89th percentile. (Definitely long and lean.)  His head circumference was 47 centimeters--69th percentile.

At one year old, Kaden . . .
  • Has decided he's too cool for crawling.  He walks everywhere now (like a little Frankenstein--very rigid movement), and when he falls down, he stands right back up and keeps going.

  • Can give kisses, if he's in the mood.  He will also turn his cheek to let you give him a kiss.

  • Has a very refined palette.  For example, I grilled some egg plant for dinner one night and he gobbled it right up.  Reheated the next day?  Not so much.  Same with edamame. Master Reese likes his cuisine freshly prepared. He also likes food to be seasoned.  If it's too bland, he's not interested. 

  • Still nurses once a day before going to bed, and is pretty unhappy about us trying to give him whole milk.  He's self-weaned down to one feeding a day like a champ, and I'm pretty sure he's not going to keep nursing at all much longer.  He just doesn't like the whole milk at all.  We are working on it, though.  The doctor said no more apple juice until he'll start drinking the milk.

  • Sticks his tongue out all the time, especially when he's focused on something.  (Apparently this is a Reese trait.  All of them do it!) 

  • Likes to imitate Mommy and Daddy.  Chad and I clean his dad's office a few times a week, and Kaden has started to go with us sometimes in the umbrella stroller.  Last time we were there, he got out and wanted to help Chad clean the windows.  It was really cute to watch.  (Of course, Chad then had to re-clean the windows, since Kaden had covered them in new fingerprints while trying to help.)

  • Tries to share his food with anyone who might be beside him while he's eating. 

  • Babbles a lot.

  • Has started whining to get what he wants.  The doctor also told us to work on this by ignoring him when he whines or cries, and giving lots of positive reinforcement when he "talks."  Probably easier said than done, but we are trying. 

  • Is still sleeping great. (Dare we write this?)  He usually goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 and wakes up between 7:30 and 8:00 the next morning. 

  • Is in love with his stuffed giraffe, Tip Top.  Kaden's Gram (my Grandma Joy) sent him Tip Top when he was in utero.  He has self-selected Tip Top as his favorite stuffed animal.  He has to sleep with him, and frequently totes him around all day.  In the morning when he gets up, Tip Top has to come watch him eat breakfast.  It would be unheard of to leave him in the crib.  Here's a picture of Kaden with Tip Top from his balloon photo shoot:

And just for fun, here are some pictures of me and Chad when we were close to Kaden's age.  I am constantly hearing that Kaden is a clone of his daddy, and while he does favor him a great deal, I think there's more of me in there than people give me credit for. 


  1. So cute Katie! Happy Birthday to Kaden! It's fun having babes at the same time you and I! I have all the same worries about people getting their feelings hurt, you said it great :) Enjoy your 1 year old!!!!

  2. Anonymous9:35 PM

    I so wish I could have been there! Chad's video made me cry and I loved all the decorations you made! Happy Birthday Kaden...Grandma misses you!

  3. Happy Birthday Kaden!! Looks like a fantastic party!~


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