Saturday, January 24, 2009

Her First Birthday Party

Sorry that I have been MIA lately. Things have been crazy around here for the last 2 weeks. It's all apartment related with things breaking, falling apart or about to fall apart. I have been beyond stressed and I hope nothing else goes wrong, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

I postponed Melody's doctor's appointment because it snowed really hard on the day of the appointment. We went yesterday and she has been out of sorts. I am so glad we didn't go last week, which would have one day before her party. I think the 2 shots she got in her thighs are making her feel sick. She has been so cranky and not sleeping well during her naps in the afternoon. Lots of crying and wanting mommy to be by her side.

She cried a lot when we were at the doctor's. The new surroundings and people really scared her. She did not want to lay down to be weighed and measured. It made her cry the most when I had to have her lay on her back on the table. They numbed both her hands right when we got in, so that the doctor will have two choices. The doctor suggested I give her a lollipop while she drew blood from her hand. Melody has never had candy before so I wasn't sure if that would distract her. So, she was laying on her back and I had to lean over and put my chest against hers so she wouldn't be able to move. I held the lemon flavored lollipop so she could suck on it and she was intrigued. I didn't even see the doctor insert the needle because she was so swift, but I did see the blood going into the tube. The needle was inserted into the top of her hand. She was fine in the beginning, but started to cry and squirm a little towards the end when she began to feel the pain of the needle. After the needle was pulled out, she got the 2 shots in her thigh. She was not a happy camper.

The office called me with the results that same night and everything checked out fine. They were checking for Lead and Amnemia. My petite little girl weighs 17lbs and is 28.5 inches long.
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The birthday party was a success. A big thank you to my sister, Joanna, for making all the food for the party. I couldn't have done it without you, Jo! The only thing that I had to concentrate on was the baking and cleaning.

My sister made Turkey Meatballs stuffed with mozzarella cheese which we kept hot in a crock pot with marinara sauce. We put mini-rolls next to it so people could make mini meatball subs. She cooked and cooled/chilled 2lbs of fresh Jumbo Shrimp to make a Shrimp Cocktail Platter. Then she made Peanut Sesame Noodles with Soba Noodles that was delicious. And because she knows I love Smoked Salmon, she made Smoked Salmon Crostinis with herbed cream cheese and diced red onion. My cousin offered to make a salad, so she brought a salad made with ingredients from the Organic Food Co-op that she belongs to. Sadly, I didn't remember to take any pictures of the food. I could tell that everyone loved the food because there was hardly anything left at the end of the party.My friend, Jen, had given me this birthday crown over the Summer in anticiptation of Melody's first birthday. The crown is made out of fabric and the number 1 is velcroed on and can be removed to put the numbers 2 or 3. She also got me the matching bib and socks. Melody used the bib when she was eating and it was very cute.She immediately took it off after I took the photos.I chose a Bee theme for the party with Winnie the Pooh as an accent. My sister thought of the accent because Melody loves Winnie the Pooh. She bought the plates, napkins, cups and yellow and white streamers to hang around the dinning area. We used Melody's Winnie the Pooh toys to decorate the rest of the place.My sister also bought these Winnie the Pooh Ears head bands for the kids to wear. Here is my little Pooh Bear wearing it.Yes, she immediately took that off too. The other kids at the party didn't mind wearing it, but she doesn't like things on her head. A lot of us, the adults, starting wearing them for fun. It's really hard to have a serious conversation while wearing Pooh Ears.The cake is really how I chose the theme for the party. I had seen a Beehive Cake in a recent issue of Donna Hay's magazine (I love that magazine, even though it's pricey in the US.). In the magazine, the cake was baked in a domed pan or even a stainless steel bowl would work and the hive was piped in a spiral with buttercream.

A few days before my sister was to arrive in NYC, she called me from her local shopping mall about a Beehive Cake Pan she saw. She never goes into Williams-Sonoma, but she had time to kill that day. The clearance section had a Beehive Cake Pan on sale and she thought it would be perfect for the party. They don't seem to be selling it anymore, but I found this link on their site. I recently saw it on another site, but I don't remember where. The pan is heavy and solid and made by Nordicware. The only difference I see from the one that I have is the color of the pan. Mine is a gold metal color and the other sites sell the regular gun metal color. I think they jazz it up a little for Williams-Sonoma by making it gold and having the Williams-Sonoma label on it.The cake is baked in 2 halves. I didn't use the recipe that it came with. Instead, I made a chocolate cake because who doesn't like chocolate? After letting it cool, you have to trim the halves to make it even. I "glued" the 2 halves with buttercream frosting and then carefully drizzled the icing on top. Some of drips and drizzles had to be nudged in the right direction, but I think it came out well.

I am not sure if you can tell, but the pan has bees on it (it sticks out from the cake). So, you don't really have to decorate it with additional bees if you don't want to. For me, the bees was what made the cake special. The night before, I made the bees out of Marzipan. I used food gel to tint it and the wings are sliced almonds. I have never done this before and was surprised that it wasn't too hard.I had bought a generic number 1 birthday candle. My sister brought a Winnie the Pooh Birthday Candle instead. It was so much better than the one I got at the grocery store.I also baked 1 dozen vanilla cupcakes. After I baked them, my sister drizzled the icing on top to match the cake and we made extra Bees to add on top. Everyone had a slice or two of cake and then a cupcake. I think that was party was a success. Melody had a ton of fun and needed a nap afterwards. My sister and I can't wait until next year's party. I wonder what theme it will be?
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This year, Chinese New Year is on Monday, January 26th. That also happens to be my birthday. I am making a Chinese New Year dinner on Sunday, the Eve. So, I have lots of cooking to do this weekend. This will be my first time making a Chinese New Year celebration and I am excited. Growing up at home, my mom always threw a huge party and made a ton of food. Ever since I moved to New York, I have never gone home for Chinese New Year because it's not a holiday in the US. In past years, DH and I have eaten out or did nothing at all. But now that I have my own daughter, I want to pass our traditions and heritage onto her. My cousin who lives nearby will be joining us with her baby boy and husband.

Happy New Year! (It's the Year of the Ox.)

31 comments:

Julie said...

Melody has good taste, Pooh has always been my favorite too. The cake is adorable. WS has some very nice cake pans of which I have a few. I've got several of their cast iron cookie molds though those don't really get used so much anymore. I really should dig those out. Sounds like it was a great birthday party and she looks so cute in her crown.

My boys never did well with shots either. We usually had some very sore legs and often fever as well. Numbing was never available for blood draw so I guess that's an improvement though it still doesn't sound easy. Poor kiddo, those first few years are so rough.

I can't wait to see what you make for Chinese new year. Happy New Year!

bj said...

That cake looks awesome. I love the bees. You do a great job with all your crafts, baking, quilting, knitting, photography. Melody is a lucky baby :) Happy New Year!

Kelly said...

That is the cutest birthday cake ever!!!!! The food sounds amazing, I can't wait to see what you do next year :)

Jeanne said...

Sounds like a great birthday party! The cake is adorable and looks so good...Happy New Year!

Anna said...

Happy Birthday Melody! I totally want that cake at my next birthday too. And happy early b-day to yourself!

flanthrower said...

Hooray! Happy Birthday Melody! I've been looking forward to this post. Looks like the party was so successful. I love the bee theme. The cake looks amazing! I think I saw a similar one in a Martha Stewart magazine last year. The little bees are the best part though...I would've never thought to use almonds for wings. What a great idea.

Good luck with all the cooking for your Chinese New Years celebration. I hope we get to see a few pictures of the food. =)

Rima said...

What a great birthday party! The cake is the bestest idea, and looks delicious. And the bees... cute! Hope all is well in home land now.

Judy said...

Ahh...so cute! Happy Birthday to the little one! The cake and cupcakes are great!

sixoneseven said...

Happy birthday to Melody! And what an adorable cake :)

Amber said...

Poor little girl - I hate taking my kids for their shots and doctor's visits!
Glad to hear the party went well - that cake is amazing..it looks like something straight out of a Martha Stewart magazine!
And the photos are gorgeous too - great job!
Hope everything gets better with the apartment...I get stressed too when things start breaking.

Hope you have a Happy Birthday!

littlebirdbigcity said...

The bee cake turned our really great! And Melody is as cute as ever. Happy Birthday!!

lovestitches said...

The cake is awesome! And ohmygosh, the birthday girl in those Pooh ears, I want to eat her up!!

*karen said...

Melody: You are such a big girl now!

Angela: That cake. Seriously. When are you opening a bakery?

Knit - R - Done said...

As a former phlebotomist, I can say that drawing blood from a baby is the most stressful job task ever in the history of ever. I am sure that used to hurt me and the parent more than the child, though.

rohanknitter said...

That cake is amazing!!! It sounds like all the party food was really wonderful. I love her little crown!

Corrie said...

oh my goodness I don't know what to comment about because everything is so cute! the cake, the birthday girl, her hats, the yummy food

gong xi fat choi (sp? you know what I mean!) and happy birthday

Corrie:)

Jennie said...

Happy Birthday Melody!!!
Looks like it was a great party, I love the cake.
See now you've put me in a baking mood again =)

An early Happy Birthday to you, it's my friends birthday on monday too, the one that owns the yarn shop.

My Love is..... said...

what a great party. I love the pooh bear and bee's theme.... too cute, and your cake!! WOW!!

Ravenhill said...

Happy first! Wow, this looks like a fabulous celegration and the cake is so darling and cute!

SheBakesCakes said...

What a great party! Well done, mom,

Hannah said...

So sorry to hear about all of the frustrations you've had to deal with lately... But at least everyone is in good health, right? Melody looks so precious as always, and what an adorable bee hive cake! Definitely the best 1st birthday one could ask for. ;)

bettyninja said...

amazing beehive cake!

Rebekah said...

I hope all of your apartment stuff is cleared up...it's annoying when necessary things go wrong and it's so hard to spend money on house stuff when you'd rather spend it on hobbies or other interesting things.

Melody's party looks and sounds like it was wonderful. That beehive cake is absolutely stunning!

Vicki Knitorious said...

Oh, what fun!! The cake is adorable, and the cupcakes, too -- LOVE the little bees!

Happy New Year!! I love that you're carrying the tradition forward with your daughter.

hetty said...

The cake and cupcakes look deliciously cute! I love the little bees you made. You are so talented! Melody is adorable, as always. Those baby shots are no fun at all. I wish you and your family Kung Hei Fat Choy! And a very Happy Birthday to you!

Michelle said...

Happy belated Birthday and Happy New Year!
Melody's party looked like it went really well. I LOVE her cake. My Grandfather was a bee keeper and now my Dad has a few boxes. It's really neat to eat honey that was made in the back yard.
Melody is gorgeous and I thought I had a little peanut:) All the better for erfing, which makes me happy!
Thanks for the comment, all of the wienies are doing great except Ralph. He is on vacation at my Mom's. He loves Joseph but for some reason he has major anxiety and no matter what we do he keeps peeing on my dh. He doesn't do that at my parents. I'm not sure what to do because I miss him but I want him to be happy. Crazy, neurotic weinie dog!
Sorry for the novel, hope your dinner went well and that you took lots of pics!

Elaina said...

Happy Birthday to Melody! Glad you had a successful party! The cake/cupcakes are too cute. And those Pooh ears! We had Evie's party the same day as Melody's I think. She had a Cookie Monster theme. 17lbs? Evie measured in at 29lbs. I guess there's a big difference between our girls!

amandajean said...

i can't believe she's one already! happy belated birthday to your little sweetie pie.

claudine said...

Happy belated birthday to you and Melody! The beehive cake and the cupcakes are awesome, everything was so well themed! :)

hyeknitter said...

That cake is so cute! (and so is Melody:)

diana said...

Happy birthday to your little one!