Friday, December 18, 2009

What does a girl have to do to get ONE good picture?

My goal for this afternoon was to get one (just ONE ) good picture of Harper that I could use on her birthday party invitation. Sounds pretty easy, right?

So we headed to our little downtown because I thought it would be cute to take her picture in an "urban" setting. I loved this green wall on the side of a building. But the girl WOULD NOT look at me. (Her outfit is from Target)
So we moved to the brick wall. It was as if I was invisible. No matter how loud I yelled her name or sang a song - she would not look at me. I was losing my mind. (Literally because people were walking by and staring at me as if I had).

So we came home and it only got worse from here.........
We even did a wardrobe change and at one point (see above) - she laid her head down on the floor and had an old fashioned temper tantrum.
Do you see the sadness on her little face?
Daddy came home and we tried some more but as you can see it was just a failure. She doesn't want to sit still for one second. We are going to try and tag team in the morning during the best of her moods. Wish us luck.
This is Harper's new thing - she puts our her hands like "what?"
Her other favorite thing is to do the touchdown signal. She normally does when she stands by herself but that gets her so much praise and applause that she has taken to doing it pretty much anytime!
Here is a little glimpse of what I'll be making her birthday banner out of. I don't have a theme - I'm just using brown, pink and green. I have lots of fun decorating ideas and it's going to be a brunch so the food is pretty easy. I'm just so excited about her party.
I found these cute picture frames at T J Maxx for $5 each. I'm going to frame her pictures and put them on the food table and use them with other frames and things I already have. It helps for me to use this color scheme because I already have a lot that works with it!

So I need help from all of you seasoned moms. We are planning to invite all of Harper's little friends from church and most of them are one or younger. But there will be a few siblings who are between 2-4 and a few other kids that age. I just plan to have food and cake and ice cream. We aren't doing gifts (we are asking for people to bring "simple needs" for the Ronald McDonald House we stayed at when Harper was in the hospital instead) so there really is no activity. It's cold so we can't go outside and our house may be full. Do we need an activity for the kids? The party should be fairly short. I'm pretty good at decorations and food for parties..........but activities (or shower games) stress me completely out. I can see why most people end up having parties at dance studies or Gymboree or Chuck E Cheese or skating rinks. Having a bunch of energetic kids at your house is scary! ha!

170 comments:

Emily said...

We didn't have any kids at my daughter 1st birthday (all adults) so I didn't have to worry about entertaining kids. BUT I have heard of people putting together goody bags and letting the kids get them somewhere around the start of the party (like once everybody is there direct them to the bags). It will all be new stuff to them so it helps keep them occupied.

Todd and Courtney said...

a coloring station would be a great idea. It's not messy like pain would be. You could also have a kid friendly movie playing, like a little movie theater. It's cheap and easy. Tons of people I know rent the inflatable jumping things but that would be outside. Also, you can get those plastic cups that aren't expensive (with lids), have the older ones decorate theirs with stickers. CHEAP

Jennjilla said...

We've done a coloring station - that worked well. I would have something for the "older" ones! I did goodie bags w/ a boy or girl related coloring book, crayons, stickers and snacks like cheerios and ritz cracker. Present opening can be really chaotic, so its probably not a bad call not doing that! Just relax and have fun!! Cheers, you made it through one crazy year!

Annie said...

I recommend a coloring and crafts station. Both are easy to make and parents could help.

For the little kids I recommend an area with different toys so they also have fun.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Dustin & Kate said...

I hate to break it to ya, but taking pictures of Harper will get even harder once she starts walking! I have a 20 month old, and it is next to impossible to get her picture! Ha!
I think a coloring station (like previous commenters suggested) is a great idea for the older kids. Maybe you could make a second "Happy Birthday Harper" banner - a simple one on a long roll of white butcher paper - and let the kids decorate it with markers (washable of course!) :)
~Kate

Jenni said...

harper is so cute- even when she isn't looking at the camera :) Love her outfit (as always!)

as for an activity for the party- i am horrible at this too... however if you are up for the mess, icing cupcakes or cookies would be fun (although you are already having cake....maybe to take home for later?) coloring station sounds fun. Maybe the kids can make a prince and princess crowns? And harper can have the fanciest one since she is the bday girl! Good luck!

Kristy said...

Okay, these pictures are both adorable and hilarious. You have one cute little Harper! I'm planning my daughter's 1st birthday for February and making everything too-this is so funny because I just got those frames in white at tj's for some pics of my own Harper. We're keeping our party short and even putting an end time on the invite.
I don't think you need 'games' per se, but just toys for the little ones to play with. Good luck! can't wait to see how it turns out!

Sara said...

Especially with such young kids, structured activities wouldn't work out well. I would just set up a few centers for the kids to play, since I'm sure you'll want to visit with other moms as well. I like the idea of a coloring station. Another idea that has been successful when I've hosted playgroup at home is a rice table. We use our water table from outside, but you could also use a sand table, or even a shallow plastic storage containers. We will it with rice (bought in bulk at the Asian foods store) and the kids love to play with it just like sand- cups, shovels, rakes, buckets, etc. It's easy to have inside too because it vacuums up easily (we use it on hardwood). Otherwise, just plan on pulling out some of Harper's favorite toys and the kids will love exploring someone elses toys!

Kerrie said...

How about a cupcake decorating table for the kids? That was always a huge success at parties we've been to in the past!

Crystal said...

No suggestions for the party--sorry! I have to know though where her outfit came from. My daughter is 2 weeks younger than Harper and I have to have it!!

thehunterbunch@aol.com

Jennifer said...

I'm with everyone else...we did the coloring station at my daughter's 2nd birthday. I used green painter's tape and taped down a large piece of pink bulletin board paper with a large white piece on top (the theme was pink and green :) ). I put out pink and green buckets filled with crayons and it was a hit! With the large piece of paper you can then cut it smaller and frame any cute "drawings" you get from it!

Playdoh and bouncy balls are always a hit too. Can't wait to see pictures of the big day! The colors you're using are fabulous! Cannot believe she is almost a year old!

MissBrightside said...

what about going to a teacher's store and see what kinds activities they have for your age ranges. Whether its blocks or sorting games or coloring pages, they are bound to have a good selection for all of the ages :o) Good luck!

Bularz Family said...

i saw your fabric & thought i would share what i made for my little guy's first birthday. it turned out beautifully & am going to use it every year. i followed the pattern choice given, but i embellished it alot more. i'm sure any fabric combo would be great.
the site is
http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/04/happy-birthday-banner.html
can't wait to see harper's party pictures!!!

Watts Family said...

You should go outside and stick the camera through the doggy door and then try to take her picture! :)I thought that was so funny that she had thrown her toys out of it....priceless!! She is too cute and I can't believe she is almost 1. Good luck planning the party. I'm sure it will be lots of fun.

Many Blessings,
Amanda

momMYsliceoflife said...

I LOOOVE those frames! I might peek into my TJ Max and see if there are any there... I'm not sure if they carry the same things from store to store? And the decor so far looks SUPER CUTE! I can relate to the picture taking. Getting a good picture of my London (14 months) is nothing easy! hahah!

As far as activities, most kiddos that age love bubbles. So, you might think about getting a little bubble machine (they are only about 15 bucks at Target) and setting it somewhere. This entertains London for a good while. And balloons are always a huge hit with toddlers. For my son's (who is now five)first birthday we had balloons every where, inflated and just on the ground. All the kids loved them.

laura marie said...

I'm not a parent, but I'm a kindergarten teacher and from my perspective, I would have a fun, structured activity for the kids to do. I definitely agree with the cupcake decorating idea! It will keep the kids occupied for a long time! Good luck!!

Andrea said...

I think that first picture of Harper is really beautiful -- even though she isn't looking at the camera! It's like she's got a little private joke that she's enjoying! And the outfit is really adorable!! Dressing a little girl must be so fun!!

We only had young babies (under 18 months) at my son's 1st birthday, so I can't help with the activities, but I will tell you that we also asked people not to bring gifts (written on the invitation), and a lot of people brought them anyway. Just be prepared for that :-) We ended up just opening the gifts after the party with just family and of course following up with thank-you notes.

I am sure Harper's party will be so cute and fun!

ashley said...

ahhh my audrey (10 months) is doing the same thing....she used to be a perfect poser for the camera - now she wants nothing to do with it. sadness. good luck with the party planning! :)

Brian and Sarah said...

We just had our daughter's first birthday party two weeks ago...and I used the same frames from TJ Maxx on our food table as well :) All of her "friends" were around a year old of younger, so I just had toys out and the living room set up so they could all play. It was really relaxed. With it being in the middle of cold and flu season, I only put out the toys I coudl wipe down with Clorox wipes before and after the party! I didn't do games, and looking back I don't know how I would have! We had little goody bags for each of them at the end of the party with a book, goldfish, and things from the dollar bins at Target.

InOverMyHead said...

Those frames are so pretty and your color theme is cute! I don't have kids, and I don't pretend to be an expert on them either. However, I second someone else's suggestion that structured activitites might be too much for 1 year olds. Maybe have the coloring station for the slightly older children and then have Harper's toys out for her and the children that are her age.
It looks like it will be a fun party! I can't wait to see the pictures that you post. :)

DARA said...

Where did you get Harper's 1st outfit? It's hard to believe it's been a year! Thank you for opening up your life and sharing.

Lydia said...

If you're going to have a good number of the older kids, you could always do a pinata indoors. But the kind where the kids pull strings instead of hitting it with a stick. :) That would kill some time and be fun for the kids.
I like the stations idea too. Ultimately, they'll want to play with Harper's toys because all kids love other kids' toys. lol Not sure how often you've had lots of other kids in your house at once yet, but be sure you have rooms locked that you don't want a 3 year old to wander in to. One of our friends' kids tries to go into our bedroom every time they come over. So now I just know to lock the room before they come and that avoids any awkward moments like a random child running into the living room carrying a pair of your underwear. :)
Harper is adorable! Can't wait to see pictures from her party!

jimmyandsara2000 said...

You should make a collage of all the pictures you tried to take of her and use those for the invitation. So cute! Be forewarned though, especially if you have a lot of people there, she may have a baby meltdown at her party! :)I am sure you probably already know that, being the momma of a 11 month old drama queen. I have a baby girl just about a week younger then Harper, and she can be the definition of drama queen.

And I love her outfit in the first picture as well.

Gina said...

If they are all "babies" move the coffee table and furniture out of the way and set up the floor for some play time. The less organized...the better! The few older kids will join in with the babies. Don't stress on organization...it is not going to happen. :-) Just take lots of pics...that's all that matters for her first bday!!!!!

Sarah said...

We just had my daughter's first bday party. I thought about doing activities but decided they would be happy playing with her toys and I was right. They were all so excited to see things they didn't have and had a great time playing! The movie and coloring station ideas are great too as well as decorating a cup. I am sure Harper has lots of great toys they can play with as well!
The only way I can get mine to smile for the camera and look at me is to get the camera aimed and in focus and then pull my head out from behind the camera so that she is looking at me and not the camera. I feel your pain. It took forever for me to discover this!

Betsy said...

You are brave Kelly!! I think just hanging out and letting the kids play would be the easiest. It's hard to plan anything structured since they are so little.

Sorry you couldn't get a good picture. :(

Whitney said...

We also had older kids at our 1st birthday party. I got a pinata from Party City and filled it with cheap dollar store toys. They can't swing too hard in the house (there is a string on the bottom you could pull to open it) but it kept them occupied for almost the entire party. Especially when all of the toys fell out of it. I am sure Harper's party will be wonderful!

Shelly said...

Does she have a favorite toy, or something new you could pull out to grab her attention for the pictures? Sometimes that's all that would work for my daughter when she was that age....pictures always stressed me out and made me sweat, but they are so worth the work when you get that one you want! Good luck in the morning!!!

Ryan and Lauren said...

Rather than going *to* Gymboree, we basically brought the entertainment to us. We hired a woman from a local music shop to come over and play guitar/sing songs/do activities with the kids. They loved it, and we had a variety of ages (although the younger kids loved it the most). I know some of the Gymboree teachers do this, too. Good luck! Adorable pink sweater on Harper!

lisa said...

I would say that a 2 year old isn’t going to be up for much. Four I’m not sure about. I was going to add coloring. What I want to know is how you are getting away without doing presents? I did a book themed party for the second year because I wanted to slow the gifts, but I think if I just said no it would have been totally ignored.

Heather and Travis said...

My daughter turned one in August. We had one table set up with crayons and play-dough. The tablecloth was just white butcher paper, so the kids could color all over it. We also did goody bags with bubbles, sidewalk chalk and a sucker. I know Harper's birthday will be so much fun!

The Pences said...

I have an almost three year old and an almost one year old. So we've only had two birthday parties at my house, but we've also been to LOTS. You really don't need scheduled activities. Have places where the kids can eat, color, and play with toys. Every single 2 year old I've ever met loves ballons. At my girls' little friends' parties, we all just let the little ones play (they'll play with whatever they find!) and we talk and eat and do crowd control. It's fun! Definitely don't stress -- it sounds like it will be a great day!

Rae said...

Oriental Trading is a good website to get some easier crafts for the older kids. And the coloring station sounds great.
Make sure you do not have too many toys out. The less they have to get into the less mess for you to deal with.

Brandi said...

I would look on the blog designmom.com She ALWAYS has amazing party ideas for her 5 kids.

Southern Sassy Soul said...

...I'm a blog reader. A mom. A photographer.
Try this tip:
You know those party horns that
have the part that blows out...mercy, the mind is leaving me...I can't think of the name...
but you know what I'm talkin' about, right? It's the best tip for this age to keep in your mouth, blow it and click the camera! It works like a charm.
SOooo does a peacock feather to tickle her nose from a far...
My best tip is not to say her name..
Like Harper loook here...she knows that trick! haha.
Anyway- Good luck.
Great outfit.
Great location.
Can't wait to see what you whip up!!
Also, maybe give her a hand full of helium balloons to hold. It takes away from the need to look!

My other tip:
Have all of her favorite images printed into one of those books like Shutterfly uses.
Mpix.com is a wonderful pro-lab.
We did this for both my boys.
Include blank pages on each side of images and ask her family to leave her Birthday Wishes.
We did a time capsule that my boys will get when they turn 18 full of trinkets my family brought to put in it and in it went the book too! :) It's a keepsake.

If you are looking for easy things to do for the kids have them a treasure hunt. Make a map. Let 'em at it!

That's all.
If you have any questions...just let me know.
Moriahedmonson-at-gmail-com
wwwcmstudiophotographycom
insert dots. :)
Merry Christmas to y'all!
-NC girl-

Sandy Morgan said...

Kelly, the pics of Harper are sooo cute!! I feel your pain, it is always when you NEED a cute pic for something they refuse to cooperate! One idea that I did for Zach's 1st bday was I went to my local appliance store and got them to give me a dishwasher box and had a local artist friend of mine paint a cute scene on it. His bday theme was frogs and snails and puppy dog tails and she painted this adorable pic of a puppy by his dog house and each of the kids put their little face in it and we took their pics and I sent them out with the thank you notes! It was sooo cute and we had a blast with it! I also bought a matted frame to put a pic of him on his 1st bday and I had all of the adult guests sign it and write a special note to him. I still cherish that and love to read what everyone wrote. Have a blast! It will be so much fun whatever you decide to do!

Cam, April, Carson, & Hannah said...

I am a faithful reader, but don't think I have ever left a comment, but when it comes to a party I just can't resist! I love birthday parties!

Here is a suggestion...I don't do gifts either and write on the invitations No gifts please-Your child's presence is present enough!

Then as an activity/gift I have a station with papers, crayons, markers, different colored yarn, google eyes etc. I vary it for the ages I will be hosting. I ask each child (and I make the adults too!) to draw a picture of themselves to give to the birthday child (adults can add a note but I still ask them to draw themselves) to put in a special memory book.

I make a special book for the pictures only and my kids love looking at them when they want to remember their special birthday. This is yearly birthday tradition at our house!

Oh and another fun tradition is that every one year old at our house gets a big box of tissues for their birthday. They get to pull each and every one out as they please. It is always their favorite gift and so entertaining.

Can't wait to see what you do and can't believe that beautiful Harper will be one!

Good luck and if you ever want to talk birthday parties just let me know!

Amy Uppercue said...

Just as a side comment regarding food - at my daughter's one year party I had a toddler food station with little bowls of cheerios, puffs and fruit loops. I also had little sandwiches - lots of stuff that was easy for little fingers.

Just a suggestion. We had a "splash pad" in our backyard during her party... in Florida... in August. So I can't really help you with games. :)

Happy Pre-Birthday Harper!

Christa said...

I love the idea someone posted above about having someone come in and play the guitar/sing. They could sing children songs/praise music. I know kids at that age LOVE anything that deals with music!!

Good luck!!

Kristi said...

Okay, here is my "two-cents" worth...we just had our 5th child a little over a year ago, so we have some experience :). I would definitely have something to color or do set up as soon as kids come in so they do not have a chance to get too wild! For ex., when my oldest daughter turned one, we had a ladybug themed party. I had misc. ladybug coloring pages that I had printed off the internet (free!) for the cousins to color. I also had a simple ladybug craft. I let all the kids sign a big poster and then photographed it. For one of my son's 1st b.d. party, we had a doggie party since that was his first word (after dada & mama, of course :). I served lunch for the kids in (NEW) dog dishes from Dollar Tree! They loved it! Since the kids you have coming are so young, you may just want to have basic coloring going on. I hope that helps! I know you are going to have a blast!

Mendy said...

An easy "activity" for little ones is to blow up a bunch of balloons and let them swat, bat and kick at them. At such a young age it will probably keep them entertained more than something with a lot of structure.

riespzs said...

Hi Kelly, I noticed Harper was eatting canned peaches. I just wanted to pass on to you to be very careful with them. I have know some children that have choked on them with poor results. I know you are always careful so I wanted to pass it on to you. I guess if you cut them up for her that would not be as dangerous for her. Hope you dont mind me sharing this with you.

Alaska Girl said...

When babies are that young, just putting toys out to keep them occupied is okay. What a great idea about RMDH.

The picture of Harper's arms up reminded me of my kids when we'd change their clothes for bed. I'd say, "Praise the Lord!" and they'd throw their hands up in the air, then you can pull their shirt off lickety-split. If you're lucky, they'll still be "praisin'" so you can put the jammy top on.

Angela said...

I would agree with most of the comments I skimmed, toys for the babies to play with (or the Mom's will bring their own) and maybe some coloring books or search and find (where's waldo) type books. Don't spend too much money on entertaining the other kids because with all the other people they will find something to do or play with.

McFarland Family said...

Wow!! I can not believe in just a month that little cutie is going to be ONE!!! You should just plan like a playdate. The kids are not going to know and the older kids will enjoy playing what Harper already has in her room. As for party favors..since they are all 1 you should go with puffs:):)

Tara G. said...

I have not read the comments, so this may be a repeat- I'd set up a little area where the children can color. Set up a little table (if you don't have one, I'd borrow some), just tape a large piece of plain butcher paper down or coloring sheets. {Walgreens has had child-size card tables and chairs in the past for great prices- we have a set for birthday parties, etc.} You can also make snowballs out of old socks and that pillow filling and let them throw them into buckets- no need for formal organization- it's just novel and physically active.

Your ideas look neat- I'm sure it's going to be lovely!! First birthdays are for the parents, anyway! :)

Ashlee Fort said...

Oh geeze... don't you love picture days like that! Here are my suggestions... do them right after naptime... at home with hubby! You need all hands on deck! I would suggest bells... a favorite toy on your head... acting REALLY silly... tickles... and if you get really desperate marshmallows :) Does she clap? If you can get her clapping or dancing she will smile... I bought a piece of shiny white material at Hobby Lobby and hung it on the wall as a background...

For the party activities, I found the 4 year olds ended up playing with the baby toys and having a good time (crazy huh?)... I also had a "cupcake decorating" area for them... it was a mess, but it kept them occupied. Coloring sheets are always a hit too! Oh especially a coloring contest.

Here's my daughter's first birthday blog post... http://amelialynnfort.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-birthday-party-2nd-post-of-day.html

I really loved the pictures I hung of each month. People really enjoyed looking at them.

Shoshanah said...

Even though she's not looking at the camera in the first picture, I think its really cute and could work for her invitation.

And while I'm not a mom, I have been to a few little kid birthday parties lately. Although most of them didn't have any activities besides eating lunch, watching the birthday kid open presents, and eating kid.

I did see a great idea once, where someone made a dvd of images from their daughter throughout the first year and had it play on the TV so people could watch the pictures throughout the party.

pendy said...

I get why you're having a big 'do' for her first birthday, but I'm going to pass along some (unsolicited) advice that worked great for me (when I actually followed it!) and you might want to consider as she gets older: match the number of guests to the age of the child. Your nerves will love you for it. :)

Welcome to M and M World! said...

When I saw pic of Harper with hands up I thought of how my children use to raise their hands way up when we asked how big they are? Cute invitation would be one with Harper's hands way up with caption "Harper is SO Big....she is turning ONE!"
Have fun & enjoy each moment.

Brittney said...

No ideas for the party, as I'm not a seasoned mother (or a mother at all)..sorry.
But, I love her little touchdown sign! Me and my siblings used to do the exact same thing when my parents would ask how big we were and they would say "SOOO BIG" and we would shoot our arms in the air just like that! My sister even has my niece doing it. It's too darn cute!

Virginia said...

I know the feeling! Trying to get a picture is sooo frustrating! I tried to get a Christmas picture of Alabama this week and she wasn't into it. I finally got a couple of good ones when my sister came to help but when I was trying by myself I just wanted to scream!! ha! The party decorations look so cute! We will be thinking about that in just a couple of months...can't believe it!

jsiewert said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE those picture frames! Could you run by TJ max and pick me up a few? I will pay and send you my address?!

Jsiewert@juno.com

The Garners said...

I love her outfit and the "urban" photo shoot idea--even if she's not looking at the camera--I think that seems to work for the setting/style/etc. I think it's really neat!

I can't wait to hear more about her party--i know it will be wonderful! This has been the fastest year of my life--how could she be almost ONE!?

blessdtwice said...

honestly, I think I would take either the first picture (WAY cute!) OR the one where she is doing the "what" and tag it "What? Somebody is having a party?" or something like that...

try not to stress...she is adorable, the party will be great- you'll do fine.

Mir said...

For my son's first birthday, we did a "Favorite Things" party. Super easy - we had 3 stations on big blankets that had different "themed" activities, similar to what you'd find at a preschool. You could do a "home living" area - kitchen, etc., a doll area with outfits and strollers, etc, and a more active/artsy area with play doh, legos, whatever. We served his favorite foods and snacks, and the goodie bags had something from each of these areas (goldfish bag, play doh, etc).

For our youngest daughter's first birthday, we did a tea party. It was SO much fun. We made wands out of the mini paintable tea cup sets, had a dress up station when they walked in with boas, gloves, tiaras, etc, then they painted their wands. We had play time and then for dessert we frosted (in different colors) and decorated large cupcakes.

I'm sure whatever you come up with, it'll be fabulous!!

The Major's Wife said...

Since you don't have a small kid sized table get a huge roll of paper and lots and lots of washable big thick crayons. You can do 2 things with it, roll a big piece out for a floor banner that everyone colors on and trace each bigger kids entire body after they arrive and cut it out and they can color themselves. The crayons will come off the floor easily

Penny said...

I'm thinking like blessedtwice. I was thinking you should use those poses that get a laugh, but maybe lose the bib and highchair. Let her have fun with the posing. =)

Julie said...

One thing we did once was hire a clown/facepainter/balloon artist. Totally worth the $$$!!! You could even downscale it and get a teen or two for facepainting and maybe some simple games like simon says...

Jennifer said...

I saw that some people suggested a coloring station. What you could do is print off some coloring pages that had birthday cakes or Harper's name, etc, and have each child color a page for a birthday book for Harper. Then you could put them all in a little scrapbook. It might be fun in a few years to see what her friends drew for her.

I think the party decorations are going to be so cute! I can't wait to see it all together!

Jason, Betsy, Jackson said...

I love the coloring/craft station ideas! One thing we did for my little boys 1st birthday was filling a small inflatable pool with balls (like they use in ball pits) and the little kids loved is (as did some of the older ones).

She is precious!

shana harder said...

i think you should use harper's touchdown pose for her birthday invite! it would look hilarious.

60 toes said...

What about the doggy door, it may be just as entertaining to the other kids? :)

Laurie said...

I love her putting toys out the doggy door and her new hand expressions.

Erica said...

i'll tell you what has been a lifesaver at the past 3 bday parties for my oldest son- balloons. good, old fashioned, $1.00 bag of 20 or so balloons. just blow them up and leave them on the floor. the kids will entertain themselves with them. seriously, the best thing i have EVER done. sounds so simple, and it is, but it works! good luck!

The Garners said...

Kelly--This photographer is a friend of a friend of a friend:
I thought you might enjoy looking at her work--I love her style. Your "urban setting" made me think of sharing this.
http://laurenharrisphotography.com/

Stefanie said...

It might be cute to have a kids table covered in a big sheet of paper for the kids to "decorate" for Harper. They could draw pictures or designs for her to have. It's a cheap and easy way to keep the kids from getting bored but also a great memory to have (if you want to roll it up and keep for you little one). At my daughter's first birthday party (last Sunday!!) the kids were pretty much kept entertained by my dog so...there's that too :)

Jenn said...

When I saw the picture of Harper with her hands in the air, I thought you had already succeeded in teaching her to call the Hogs!! Maybe it's not too far off...

Bryan and Ashlan said...

Wow, I love the decorations for Harper's party. Those colors are so cute together! It makes me want to make a banner just for the fun of it! Hope you are having fun planning! I can't wait to see all of your pictures. :)

harmonysong said...

Still darn cute even though she is not looking!

Britany said...

I actually LOVE the 1st pic. Its cute! For any "activities" for the babes, try incorporating the moms and dads in a few. Also, if you think Harper wont eat the crayons, coloring works well. The balloon thing scares me at that age, sorry. Put on your Praise Baby DVD and let them dance. It will be just fine, Im sure. Have fun.

Jennifer said...

I just did a Christmas party with a lot of kids of different ages; I had a craft table with simple crafts (stickers, foam cut outs)and I made some playdoh and put out our Christmas cookie cutters...they all loved it and it occupied them the whole time so the parents could socialize...good luck!

The Brunner Circus said...

Hi Kelly!

Totally lovin' the first outfit Harper is wearing!!! Super cute! And we have the same silver shoes.... My youngest daughter Ainsley is a month older than Harper - she actually just turned 1 yesterday :)

As for activities... it's always better to have one planned. What about a scavenger hunt that included ideas for their goody bag?

jayfersgirl said...

Everyone's ideas are good -- I'd be more worried about what all the kids Harper's age will do:)
We didn't have a kids' party for my daughter's first birthday...figured it wouldn't seem any different to her and them than our normal almost daily gatherings anyway:) The grandparents and extended family were here, and that was perfect...I'm all about keeping it super simple over here.

Blessed Beyond said...

I love the frames! They are awesome! But for an idea, my suggestion would be a coloring station and for the kids that are able, to even color pictures for some cards to send to the Ronald McDonald home for the families. Just a thought.
Hugs and Blessings,

ktarbell43 said...

I say blocks and color station.

Michelle said...

My 4 year old son's party turned out indoors because of rain. The kids were all 3 and 4 and were mostly girls. We just pulled out a box of toys, the cars were great for the boys. If you know someone with the game, Gator Golf, it was a hit too for boys and girls. Then we also had coloring, a sticker station and a pinata. It was great! If you don't have toys for that age, just ask some friends to borrow some, although my 4 year old still likes to play with his 1 year old brother's toys too! Just relax and have a great time!

Kendra White said...

Here are a couple of ideas.. first see if you are has rentals from tables and chairs for tots... they are excellent and keep the kiddos contained. A lot of time at hobby lobby you can find "premade" crafts out of foam... you could have the children make these and take them to the Ronald McDonald house as well!

Another option is to have number #1 coloring sheets, music videos are always fun.. check out cedarmont kids.

Last option... buy a bounce house. We found a 12x12 one at Toys R Us after Christmas last year and it has been a life saver:) We set it up in the house 3 kids at a time, and in the summer we take it outside for BBQ's!

Kendra White said...

oh and if you are REALLY brave... Play-doh with cookie cutters!

mrs boo radley said...

I'm no seasoned mom...not even a mom at all...but I know moms who are "in the know" and what seems to work is a come and go as you please party where moms and dads and babes can come whenever works for them (based on nap times, etc.) and just stay for a short bit or as long as attention spans are spanning. :) Not everyone will be there at the same time, but at least those who are will be having a rockin' good time.

Harper, you're cute.

Lisa said...

I would use one of those cute pictures of Harper doing one of her new tricks. Those are too cute to not use and certainly more original than the standard pretty picture.

Instead of having a party that last for a certain amount of time, how about a "drop by or open house" so that the party doesn't turn chaotic? I would definitely not try to do structured games or activities, I would do stations/centers where people could float around to them at their leisure if they even wanted to. I used to teach kindergarten and preschool and learned the hard way, the more you plan the more that will go wrong. Having an open house and floating stations would be easier on the parents invited, kind of more relaxed. Younger children love simple things. Even a bunch of big boxes to crawl through or stack is great for them.

I love the idea of donation gifts to the RM House. That is a great idea!

Jacquie said...

I've been so busy this week... I had NINE unread KellysKorner posts in my reader! NINE! I never do that.

I'm sorry you didn't get the perfect picture... but that outfit is ADORABLE even if she didn't play along!!

Angela said...

Hi Kelly,
I love Harper's outfilt! And the pictures were still cute! I have three girls 6 and under, plus I teach 10-15 two year olds at Mission Friends on Wed. nights so I have several ideas for you. I love doing a craft foam station with foamies that you peel the backs off and you can stick on foam paper, crowns or whatever. Bubbles are always a big hit too! I would stay away from crayons if your having alot of kids because of the risk of the kiddos running around your house with crayons helping you have some new "wall art." Unless of course their is an adult that will stay at the table and make sure the babies and "big" kids are keeping the crayons at the table. I think you will be fine just letting them hang out and play with eachother and some of Harper's toys. Good luck, you will have so much fun!
Angela

Ashley said...

As a former pre-k and kinder teacher, and after having my babe's first birthday party, I think it would be great if you had a teacher friend that could come in and do a little "circle time". Nothing too structured, but maybe a few fun songs with a movement activity? A great CD(s) to buy with fun movement songs, and just to have to teach Harper various things through song are Dr. Jean. Check it out at a local teacher supply store or on Amazon. Ava loves Dr. Jean!

Good luck with tomorrow's photo shoot. I still can't get Ava to look at the camera. I just have her tell me animal sounds or do silly moves just to get her to look in my direaction these days. It gets harder the older they get!

Her outfit will be shipped out on Monday or Tuesday of next week. I can add in a Dr. Jean CD if you'd like! Ooh the outfit turned out soooooo fun! ;)

Megan said...

I have an almost 4 year old and a just turned one year old. At our one year old's party we had mostly my older daughter's friends (age 3-4). I had my husband blow up about 30 balloons and we just let them cover the floor, this occupied all of the kids for almost the whole party, plus it looked really cute. If you go to a party store, you can pick your exact colors, we had pink, aqua, and brown. Just be careful none of the tiny ones get the pieces if one pops! Good luck! Here is a link to Anabelle's 1st birthday party... http://bmkodatt.blogspot.com/2009/10/anabelles-ice-cream-party.html

Love from Texas said...

my son got an inflateable 'ball pit' for his birthday from his grandad, and at first i wasn't big into the idea, but it was PERFECT for the little ones to play in at his party! i think they even have a cute pink on at babies/toys-r-us. i recommend getting an extra pack of balls though. it comes with 50 and it's just not enough.

Brian and Kerum said...

We will be doing a joint party for Colten's 1st birthday along with our first son who will be turning 5 (they're b-days are only 10 days apart). So, we will be having a pretty good range of kids as well.

We plan on having a pinata (what the older brother really wants) and that's basically it. Kids really just want to play...and eat ice cream and cake. :-)

You'll want it as low key as possible because of her age.

Amanda said...

Yep, that is exactly why I've done Gymboree and Pump It Up parties for Jackson. I'm already stressing about Annabeth's because I want to do a proper girly party for her. Help me Lord!

Andrea said...

Kelly-

WHen my daughter was Harper's age, the ONLY way to get a decent picture was to have someone she knew, like my Mom or my husband stand over me and make her laugh while I shot 95 pictures...HA HA...at least 2 will come out well. One of my favorite pictures of my daughter when she was 11 months old was of my feet holding her up in the air with the sky and trees in the back ground...for that one my husband just laid next to me in the grass and shot pictures while I played with her.

The other thing is to have them fed and happy, but not too close to the nap, driving far away may make her cranky, and don't be afraid to use a prop, a bunny, a doll, heck even her own shoe...you can edit it later if need be.

GOOD LUCK!!!I now have a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old. My mission for the last 8 months has been to get a good one of both...I'm still working on it...lol

As far as activities go. I've done the coloring station before.

One Christmas I did a "decorate your own Christmas cookie" station, I imagine sugar cookies would be popular in any season.

You can also take each child's picture as they walk in the door (this requires a polaroid)against a large piece of fabric in your theme colors and have them make and paint little frames out of Popsicle sticks, paint, markers...etc

Riley Kai said...

I never comment, but I have to on this one for your sake:-) I have a 2 yr. old so we have done the party thing twice. Organized activities will only keep you busy and stressed and take away from enjoying Harper's moment! Just make sure the kiddos have access to toys. Whats better than playing with someone elses toys right?! Seriously, at this age you are not expected to entertain! Try your best to enjoy the day because you can't have it back! Good luck!

Sarah Broadus said...

My girls have the same outfit as Harper's first invitation attire!!! Dont' stress so much about the kids! I planned a party a few weeks ago and the parents had set out huge boxes they got from the home repair shop ( like fridges/washers) and laid markers/stickers out. The kids decorated the boxes and it became a "playhouse" for the birthday kid! You will do a great job!

Lindsay said...

oh my heavens we have the same target outfit that we are going to try to get pictures in this week....and glad to know it looks so super cute on!!! Precious! she's a doll and I can't wait to see everything for the birthday. I got a really pretty antiquey-like (if that's a word) frame and had everyone sign the pad boarder inside...am I making any sense, it's late?? haha...anyway then I put a big picture of Averee inside with her 1st bday shirt on and hung it in her room. It's one of my favorite things on the wall!

Analiza said...

For kids between 2-4 we usually did activity centers for them. A place where they can color or have some sticker fun. I don't put out paint or glue because I know it gets messy.

You can even have a gingerbread man cookie decorating station. As long as the kids are doing something to keep their little hands busy they'll be happy.

Love your decorating ideas and sorry about the lack in picture cooperation lol!

Cristin said...

There is a Southern California photographer named Erin Tuckua (http://erintukuaphotography.com/blog/) and she also has 1 year old twin boys. She swears the best way to photograph this age is to give them a lolly pop, or sucker...and she seems to be quite successful. Perhaps that will work the lovely Miss Harper.
Her party looks great so far.

Cristin said...

I am back...if all else fails...how bout photographing Miss Harper digging in to her first birthday cake? I am not sure if it is popular in Arkansas...but it is popular here...

http://erintukuaphotography.com/blog/?p=276

http://erintukuaphotography.com/blog/?p=552

teresia benedicta&johanna anna said...

many have suggested a coloring station, but maybe you could add a "birthday-crown" station as well, where mommies&the younger kids can do some craft as well (sure the younger ones would need much more help:). it's a good activity for both elder and younger kids and boys&girls love crowns....

have a great time planning!

leslie

Karen said...

Oh, Kelly..I'm so excited for you!! I love planning my son's birthday parties. I'm already thinking about our baby's first birthday next July! As for activities...For Craig's 2nd birthday, we had a Sesame Street theme with posters of all the characters. I made up a huge pile of balls made of foil and the kids threw them into Oscar's garbage can. We also had a "Ernie" hunt where the kids looked for the Easter eggs hidden around the house. Inside some of the eggs were Ernie stickers...that's when I passed out the party favors. Kids are so happy to just play with new toys and other kids...no matter what you do, everyone is going to LOVE being there to celebrate Harper's first birthday! This is my FAVORITE 1st birthday party idea: When it is time for the birthday cake and since Harper is too young to "make a wish", have everyone at the party make a wish for her life. As a Mom, I loved knowing that every person at the party was making a special wish for my baby at the exact same moment. Good luck. Have fun. Cherish the moments and take a million pictures to share with us. Thank you for sharing so much with yourself. I am a better person because I read your blog and have grown in my faith by your example. God bless you. Merry Christmas!
love,
Karen

ck_tulsa said...

Do you think maybe she won't look at the camera because it flashes and hurts her eyes in indoor photos? And she is expecting the same thing even though you are outside and may not use the flash. If so, I don't know the solution, just thought that might be the cause.

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

Love the idea of donating. We did it for both of our children's first birthdays, unfortunately, barely anyone wanted to do that and still brought gifts. I guess they like the idea of gifting a one year old on their birthday. Just warning you ahead of time, you'll probably wind up with a lot of toys too.

We did a small craft kit that we bought at Hobby Lobby. So easy for any age kid. Just these foamy kind of cutout snowmen that the kids stick on arms, legs, hats and such. The kids liked it and it was simple and not messy.

Bethany said...

We always have a coloring & foamies station at our parties. You can get foam cut-outs in shapes like princesses, dinosaurs, etc. at Joann fabrics or Hobby Lobby, and then just set them out with crayons or colored pencils and a variety of colors of construction paper. Voila, you'll have happy, entertained kids!!!

I just wanted to offer one other piece of advice that my mom gave me and it has been wonderful in planning my girls' parties. Be sure to plan the party around Harper's and the other children's general nap time. It sounds like you're doing a brunch so that shouldn't be a problem. We've been invited to two 1st year birthday parties in January and one is at 1pm, the other begins at 2pm. What a terrible time the poor birthday kid is going to have because it's right during when they would be napping!! Don't torture little sweet Harper in that way :)

And speaking of that little sweetheart, I think it's hilarious that she won't let you take a picture of her. It must be really frustrating for you though! I went through it with my daughters and there is a period of a month or two with zero good photos. I have photos, just not any good ones. Hang in there and this too will pass :)

Love Being a Nonny said...

Harper is precious in ANY picture but it IS tough to get a good one when they get mobile. On Christmas Eve I take a picture of all six cousins in their Christmas pj's. They are all three and under. I learned the trick, I buy them those BIG lollipops....they love them, it keeps them still, and the lollipops look great in a picture!!

At Harper's party, I would put up a baby fence, throw toys in, and just let them play. They are too young to have anything organized when a party is going on. If they are in a baby fence, they can't hurt anything!!!

Have fun with your precious angel. You are blessed!

Julie said...

i think you should use one of those photos and just title it....its my party and ill cry if i want to!! HA...

Ashley said...

I have the same problem with photographing my daughter...BUT...Harper is still just adorable and I love that outfit! As for the party...I'm going to need to use some of the ideas others suggest because my daughter is 9 months and quickly approaching her 1st birthday! How fun!

mamamagnolia said...

My daughter just celebrated her fifth birthday- she wore the exact same skirt and sweater from Target for her invite pictures. I took my daughter to the local courthouse to take the invite picture and it was a near disaster. She did not want to cooperate. Got great invites from Dimpleprints.com -an Etsy store. Good luck with all of the planning. Seems like the planning is going well.

Nicole said...

Harper is too cute and in case you needed some inspiration for your decorating ideas we did a really similar theme for Avery's 1st birthday and you can see the blog post here:
http://winstonfamilyblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/averys-birthday-party.html

cant wait to see how it all turns out!

Mary said...

I haven't read through the other comments so this might be covered already but what I do is get some Color Wonder coloring books and markers (they only mark on the paper,) and let the older kids color. You can even have them do this in a removed room since the markers truly are safe on anything. They have tons of the stuff at Walmart and while it is a little bit expensive, you can reuse the coloring books for Harper later. My kids color all the time with Color Wonder paper that I've had for over a year :)

Laura said...

I used crayons and coloring books from the party favor section to see the older kids occupied. They are activity/coloring books so they worked great. Also, giant bouncy balls are good but not for inside. A playdough station would also be good.

Laura said...

I used crayons and coloring books from the party favor section to see the older kids occupied. They are activity/coloring books so they worked great. Also, giant bouncy balls are good but not for inside. A playdough station would also be good.

Ginny said...

I would definitely put some sort of covering under your table where the babies will be eatin g(since they can't outside) or you could have a mess...that people might step in then get on your carpet.

With that age group, Kelly, don't worry about a game. The parents will have enough trouble keeping up with their own kids...again, their age group wouldn't work that well.

Roo and Wren's Mama said...

Love the "what?" hands... my girls do that too, and it just cracks me up.

Elizabeth said...

Definitely plan activities: (1) Google and print batman, superman and princess coloring pages (make sure to have at least 4 different pictures and at least 4 pages per child. (2) Fire up the iPod and host a freeze dance party. (3) Put small trinkets in easter eggs and do an egg hunt. (4) an obstacle course/follow the leader game can always be fun. Good luck and have fun!!!

Rachel said...

I'm sure someone has already suggested this, but see if one of your friends has a "bounce house" and have it blown up in your garage. Kids 2-4 LOVE to bounce, and it will keep them entertained and happy.

Good luck with the party planning!

Emily said...

You should have SOOOO emailed me.....I would have met you down there and helped you get her picture taken. It is so much easier to have some one else get their attention while you take the picture.

The Charles Crew said...

since my daughter is the youngest of 3 for her 1 year party i made cupcakes and them colored icing and had sprinkles and candies available for the kids decorate their own cupcakes. i just baked them and left them plain. just a thougt. i am sure no matter what she'll have a BLAST!
i also love the idea of having the families bring items to donate!!

Chari said...

ah, you're getting to that age where it's difficult to get pictures...I know the feeling!!

the bowlin family said...

I think kids will be fun to have at her party. If you are ok with them running around your house and playing with Harper's stuff then I think you are fine to not have an activity. You could have them color a sign or pictures to send with all the stuff you are going to send to the Ronald McDonald House. I love that idea by the way!! I can't wait to see the decorations and pictures of Harper digging into her cake.

Stephanie

Brandy said...

Don't fret about trying to get her to look at the camera. Learn to work with what she gives you. That first photo in front of the green wall is amazing.

And, you could always use the photo of her making the "what?" motion to dream up a creative card. Maybe you could use it and on the card put something like, "What? Me worry about a birthday? Never! Age is just a number!"

As for her birthday, stick with simple. Kids this age will be just as happy with a bunch of plastic bowls and wooden spoons to play with as they would be with a pile of store-bought junk.

KK said...

Precious little one and precios outfit! Hope you get the picture you want this weekend:)
Blessings today and always,
Kaye
Matthew 21:22

pk @ Room Remix said...

I know they might not be exactly what you were looking for, but they are ALL adorable! :-) Can't wait to see your banner. Have a good weekend...

Jenny said...

I love that outfit, I would wear that myself!!!

Diana said...

I love the outfit! I just bought it for my Lexi, who just turned one. Great taste! You will get a picture, just don't push it. Don't worry about activities. I have had two one year birthdays and a two year birthday. We just put out toys that have wide age appeal and the kids have fun while the adults talk. Balls are always fun for all ages.

Handmade Housewife... said...

Last year, for my son's 3rd birthday, my mom found little canvas tote bags and let the kids decorate them. He is a January baby so it's too cold to do anything outside for us also. The youngest at the party was 2 and the oldest was around 6. We just put out foam stickers, glue, glitter, puff paint, and markers and let them go to town. It turned out great and they had something to take home with them as well. Good luck...love the pink frames and Tarjay outfit!

Sara said...

Love the pictures! You need to go check out my blog - a few weeks ago I posted the outtakes from our photo shoot for the Christmas card. So exciting!

http://lifegoeson-mylife.blogspot.com/2009/12/best-laid-plans.html

I am sure Harper's party will be a blast!

the haley family said...

Hey Kelly! First of all, I want to say that I love your blog! I really enjoy reading about your daily fun with your sweet Harper and everthing else mixed in! You have such a big servant's heart for our Lord! And your compassion trip!? If only all of us were involved! What a movement we could make! Ok. So, to the party. I have 3 children... 8, 5, and 4. Birthday parties are my most favorite thing. It's celebrating the DAY THEY WERE BORN! One of the most important days in my life for sure. So, parties are a big deal here! Any kind of crafty thing is fun and works well for all ages. You could cover a table with white butcher paper (so they could color on it) and have a stack of fun coloring books. Also, individual packs of crayons. I made a sleeve to go around my boxes with fun scrapbooking paper and ribbons that matched the theme of the party. They are SO cute! Also,even a fun "food" craft would be fun like stringing up cereal necklaces. I saw a cereal necklace making kit somewhere on a blog. I can't find it. But, it was really cute. She had all the cereal in prepackaged clear bags and the string ready to go. And little tags. It was really cute! You could even have a frame in the middle of the table with a picture of Harper with tons of cereal necklaces on! That would be so cute! I hope her party turns out lovely. I am sure it will. Oh, one more thing I have learned over the years... before the party, set up a schedule of all the things you will be doing at the party and how long. So, if you get off task, you can go look and see where you need to be. It is a lifesaver! Have a great weekend!

Mary said...

Ha, ha! Good luck with the picture!! That really cracked me up!:) It's not much easier when they're two, sorry to say!!

Planning my daughter's first birthday party was a BLAST!! The second one was fun, too, but nothing beats the first! It was SO special!! Maybe it's because I'm an "older" Mom, too, and she is also our first, I don't know! I don't think you have to plan any games, though, I'm sure the kids will just have fun playing together. No need to stress yourself out more! Good luck!! You're "girly" theme is ADORABLE!!

Alayna said...

Ok I just skimmed most of the comments so I might be duplicating an answer. But YES you DO need something to keep the kids occupied. My biggest pet peeve at parties is little kids running around because they have nothing to do. That only leads to chaos, screaming, breakage. Whatever you plan doesn't have to be a big deal, but they do need something - have a play station with toys, something crafty (with tiny kids sometimes the mess isn't worth it), and be prepared to pop in a DVD if things are falling apart.
Good luck with the photos! My kids never ever want to cooperate when I want it the most. My biggest tip is to use an assistant. Have someone stand behind you playing peeka-boo or something else that will draw her attention to you and make her laugh at the same time. I also had a photographer use a big feather on a stick to tickle the baby. That one brought out the giggles too.

Joy said...

I don't think I have ever commented before, but I love reading your blog and Harper is adorable! Thank you for sharing her with all us.

In regard to the pictures for the invitations I think a few of the pictures would definitely work for a cute card. The one of her in the high chair with her hands out for example - my daughter always used to do that after hiding something and then put her arms up like she was asking "where did it go?" The 1st year always seems to go by so fast so have the card say something like "What? I'm 1 already? Where did the year go?"

For party activities, I agree with the other comments. For my daughter's 1st birthday we just had some toys out of hers and the younger kids had fun. At her 2nd birthday we had coloring stations and that entertained them for a long time.

In the end, th e most importatn thing is for you to relax and enjoy your guests. The party will be over before you know it!

Blog-O-Seaton! said...

Wow, you have a lot of responses on this subject!! ha ha, well if you get to read this, my daughter's first bday was January 17th and we rented this activity center and invited all her friends who were 1 or younger and I blew up a million pink balloons (different shades) and had little cups of animal crakers, goldfish and pretzels scattered on all the tables. I brought soft big bouncy balls and just let them go nuts. They had a blast!! Good luck!!

Beth said...

My best advice is that at this age, you really can't plan anything structured. You'll end up being disappointed. At my son's first birthday party last December, we only had family. And that included a few older cousins, but no other kids his own age. For his 2nd birthday party last weekend, we invited kids from his class at school and some neighborhood kids about the same age. We ended up with 9 kids aged approx. 2 yrs. to 4 yrs. We put most of the big toys (ride on toys, balls, a tent and tunnel, a miniature inflatable castle with plastic balls, etc.) in the downstairs playroom and just let them play. Very unstructured. It seemed to work, though.

Good luck!

Vonda said...

My experience with children parties is that they find excitement in each other and that's all they need. I've set up so many activities and they aren't even bothered. So I'd just let them play together. They will have a blast!!!!

Heather L. said...

I'm sorry the pictures didn't work out, but gosh almighty that outfit is SOOOOO cute!!!! I love it!

I agree with the others, I love the idea of a coloring area, and then get some balls for them to play with or some small toys. I'm sure they will keep themselves occupied.

Can't wait to hear more details about the party! Have you been to www.birthdaypartyideas.com? There are some awesome ideas on there. Search for first birthday and alot will come up.

Good luck w/pics today!

Tamara said...

we had a princess party for our daughter and the activity was decorating party crowns (in lieu of party hats) with sequins, beads, pompoms, etc. the kids loved it. another great idea i've seen is to give the kids their goodie bags to decorate, and then send them on a 'treasure hunt' to find the goodies to fill it. if you give them clues and they find a basket with one type of goodie in it, each child takes one for their bag and then moves on to the next clue. nomatter what you choose to do, i'm sure your guests will have a wonderful time celebrating the sweet blessing that harper is to so many people!
--tamara in MN

Just Terrific said...

Kelly, I think the picture that you took of Harper on her 11 month "birthday" is so cute! Why don't you use it on her party invitaion? She is just adorable.

Sheridan said...

I LOVE the adorable colors! I think it is better to not have a "theme" for her first birthday because she only has it once and then she could have other themes like Fancy Nancy or Dora later in life.

Also, this website makes adorable birthday outfits and she is on eBay. You can ask her to make a little birthday dress or bib to coordinate with the pink, green and brown. Her website is

www.littlemissyboutique.com

Happy first Birthday to Miss Sweet Harper!

Its So Very Cheri said...

For a one year old they say keep it simple, they tire quickly and can get cranky with so much going on and their schedule all wacky. Do fun gift bags with projects-since you are doing the Ronald McDonald theme for parents to do as gifts, maybe you have a McDs gift cert for an ice cream. One year we did a SAFETY THEME and had a fire truck come but we did finger prints on a form we printed off on card stock with important info, on each child for the parents to have in the case of an emergency. The parents filled out the rest and there was a place for them to add a picture.

I have had so many Google problems-and it isn't over-Google has no idea how to solve the problem.
Sorry I haven't been by much-I decided after weeks and weeks of non-stop Google issues, I am throwing my hands up and making much needed visits.
I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas and hope you can come by for a visit.
Cheri

LauraBeth said...

What about getting a plastic or inflatable kiddie pool and filling it with balls? You can buy 100 balls for pretty cheap, and the little ones would really like it.

Just Me said...

Hey! Don't know if anyone mentioned it but check out Oriental Trading, they have tons of inexpensive goodies for gift bags and even some crafts that you can buy in bulk to entertain the kiddies. Maybe have them work on a joint "art" project you can frame to commemorate Harper's special day!!

Melanie said...

So sorry that Miss Harper wasn't her usual photogenic self! You know what would be really cute? You should take the picture of your previos post of Harper crying and make a "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to" theme!!! She was so cute in that pic! It would make for some cute memories when she's older! Best of luck! I love the pink frames too! =)

Elisha said...

I dont have any advice for the party as we never invited friends to parties until my kids started school... before hand birthdays were family only and we had no activities for the kids...They just played together and had one heck of a time. As for the Photos... You need to ...

1)find yourself a GIANT Lollipop...
2)dont let Harper see it until she is positioned and you are behind the camera


She will definately look at you then and if need be you can give it to her (even in the wrapper so she cant actually eat it) and it will make for some really cute photos... I use that trick EVERYTIME I have a difficult child(Im a photographer so Im not just talking my three kids here... Im talking has worked for the masses.lol. I have a giant lollipop hoard in my cupboard!) that doesnt want to look at me and it has worked every time...
Good Luck

Sarah said...

What are you talking about?! The first picture is absolutely adorable! You should still use it! The "what?" picture is great too. :)

The DeYoungs said...

If you want to do a kid game for all the little ones I have a good idea I used at my daughters first birthday. All you need is a large blanket and a mini beach ball for every kid(I ordered the balls through oriental trading). This is a parent participation game for the kids who can't walk yet but can stand. Each child gets a mini beach ball or any kind of ball with there name on it, then all the ball go in the middle of the blanket. The kids stand around the blanket and hold the edges(with the help of there mommies if needed), and on the count of three you shake the blanket until there is only one ball left. The kid who's ball is left wins. Really everyone's a winner cause they all get to take a ball home. You can play this game more than once. Have a blast at her party.

Summer said...

Girl, Kelcee just turned 3 and we still can't get her to smile or look at the camera until it has already clicked! Ha! Ha! The best pics to get are actually when your not trying :0)
As for the party ideas, I just had Kelcee's princess party at a tea room and they had the cutest crafts for 3 year olds and they kept them very occupied! They used foam princess hats (Hobby Lobby) and foam stickers that you can decorate them with and princess wands, they also had little strings and bigger beads that the kids could string for necklaces! It turned out really cute and I never seen 3 year olds sit so still! Ha! Ha!
Summer :0)

Sara Campbell said...

Musical chairs or make a craft...either could be a mommy/baby activity.

Faith said...

Oh dear! She could not be cuter if she tried! Love the "urban" setting and I hope that you and Scott were successful today! Those chunky pink frames are awesome. Can't wait to see how the rest of the party comes together!

kprincesskate said...

I would get sticker sheets for the older kids. You can get them at Oriental Trading Company. There are tons of them! Another idea is to get a plastic table cloth and a bunch of stickers and sticker foams and let the kids decorate the table cloth.

Ryan and Erin Nichols said...

At michaels they have these wooden picture frames that come with 2 or three markers to color with. They are $1 a piece and you can get all different kinds. We got ladybugs because that was our theme, but they have all kinds.

Kim said...

Kelly, My sister in law had something really neat at my nephews 2nd birthday party. She lives in Chicago and had a Children's Singer come to their house. I am not sure if your town or area has such a thing but all the kids were intrigued by him. He sang kids songs, was dressed really funny in all sorts of bright colors and had props for the kids to play with. It was fun, even the adults sang along and had fun!

ashley said...

Do you have a place where you could put on a movie for the bigger kids to watch? That would surely keep most of them entertained for a while... :)

Amanda said...

For my son's first b-day we had each guest bring something to put in a time capsule that he will open on his 18th b-day. We also played a game called my firsts...and everyone had to guess when his first step was, crawl, bottle, etc. As for the kids a ball pit or a room full of balls is great...hire a teen to come in and assist with the activity. I also think the dancing thing is great or have a small circle time with a book and song. My daughter is having her 1st b-day party soon hard to believe she is going to one!!!!

Robinsonfam said...

You could do sugar cookies and let the older kids decorate them, it's close to V-day so you could go woth the heart themed cookie shapes and gets pink sprinkles , make a pinata and fill it with candy, then you don't have to do goodie bags, what ever they collect from the pinata, they put in their bag. After doing many, many of my kiddies, kiddie parties, the time will fly by....hand someone else your camera, you'll be so busy, you won't have time to take a picture. Isn't it fun to plan a party! Can't believe Harper will be ONE! What a blessing!

noahandlylasmommi said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE her first outfit. How cute is that ruffly shirt?? Those frames are amazing too. I may have to go to TJ Maxx today to try to find some. Those would be perfect for my baby shower!!

As far as games... at my daughters birthday in October (she is 3) we had a cupcake theme and I let the kids decorate cupcakes and then we played pin the candle on the cupcake. Luckily the kids were able to play outside so that kept them occupied for awhile too. I am sure everything will be perfect!

Robyn said...

I would incorporate an activity to send with the items to Ronald mcdonald house. Maybe take a group shot to send with the stuff. I always have the kids make easy frames and take a pic with the bday girl and put in there and send home. Parents love this! Just have some dress up clothes out and the kids will entertain themselves.

Ohtobebeautiful said...

My daughter has the same pink ruffled cardigan and I love it! I wish they made it in my size!

My daughter will be two in a few months and I have no clue what to do as an activity either! I hope you get some good ideas, I may have to look at all the ideas people have too!

r- m val said...

i have some advice for the party, not because i have kids, but i've been to a few parties. one mom had plain computer paper and crayons out and asked the kids (and adults actually) to draw themselves and then write their names at the bottom. then she made a scrapbook of all the people that came to the kiddos first bday party that was all their hand made self portraits! what a keep sake! she also had a wall of photos from the babies first year in similar position (like the ones you've done in her crib each month) but didn't have the month on them and everyone had to guess which was 1 mo, 2 mo, 3 mo etc. would be fun for some of the adults and the little older kids could help the parents.

other than that, i wanted to say when Harper does her "touchdown" hands you should say hallelujah! then everytime you say it she'll put her hands up like she's praising Jesus. how cute would that be? my niece would do it and even though she had no clue what she was doing, it was DARLING!

Have a wonderful Christmas and here's hoping you get some snow. we have no chance of that here in cali, it's about 60 here today.

carolinagirl said...

I have had several friends either have the children decorate their own cupcakes. I also thought if you are having ice cream you could have them decorate their own ice cream sundae. You could have a little scavenger hunt in the house to take up time. Have them find crayons, coloring page, the table to sit and color. OR the scavenger hunt could include toppings for the cupcakes.

Can't wait to see what you come up with and what you do for Harper's First Birthday!

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John and Elizabeth Fowler said...

For my daughter's 1st birthday in September of this year I had a blow up pool (small one of course) and filled it with those plastic balls. the kids LOVED it and it kept them entertained and it didn't take up much room. good luck with the party and the planning and decorating of it...it's a lot of work but oh so worth it :)

Becca said...

We had the same theme at my daughter's first bday :-) I posted pictures here:
http://thestanleyclan.blogspot.com/2009/09/jaycis-first-birthday-bash.html

Laura White Photography said...

I didn't read all the comments so this might have already been suggested. But why don't you have the kids color pictures for your compassion child or for the families at the Ronald McDonald house!
Your picture frams from T.J Maxx are too cute! Love all your decorating ideas! I have boys, so I am a little jealous that you get to do pink! BUT... I'm about to turn 30 in Jan. so maybe I'll have myself a party with all pink!

God Bless You and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

The Segrest Family said...

i didn't read all of the comments, so you may already have this one... BUT i have a december baby as well - last year *for his first birthday* we decorated Christmas cookies for the activity!(i have an older child as well - and the other kids there were our niece and nephew who are older) i had sheets laid down under the tables to catch all the sprinkles and in case of icing spills. they LOVED it - sprinkles, icing, m&ms, etc... then i had a little bag for each to take their cookie home in! we had his second birthday last week - and for the activity, i had ornaments for them to color with washable markers/crayons. they loved it! and it doubles as a party favor. i got them at the target dollar spot (they had boy and girl ones) but you could also just cut out your own with cardstock!
have fun!

Lynn said...

Kelly, I absolutely love the photos of Harper! They are adorable and the ones with her expressions are just hilarious!
On another note- love those frames from TJ Maxx! Thank you for letting us know where you get these great buys!! Love TJ Maxx and Ross -- can really find some neat things there and for great prices!

God Bless and have fun!

Wendy said...

I actually prefer the candid shots when my boys aren't looking at the camera so I think you got some really cute ones. If you think it's hard now, just wait until she's walking/running all over the place!!
I think the kids will pretty much entertain themselves honestly. Playing w/ other kids' toys is usually a big hit!

David and Melody said...

For my son's 1st birthday, we had SO many people and different age ranges of kids. So, we borrowed a commercial bounce house. However, we just got him a Little Tikes Bounce and slide thing on sale at TRU for $50 off regular price. He's almost 3 now and all the playgroup kids LOVE it. We blow it up in the garage or our living room when it's cold or rainy. It's a PERFECT distraction for the kids. Good luck! Hope it goes well...
Here's the link to the bouncer we just bought: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3184316

twinsplusone said...

We just had our daughter's FIRST birthday party last week! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! ( and pretty too!! )
please check it out!

http://johnathanandjoseph.blogspot.com/2009/12/winter-onederland-celebration.html

Southern Cinderella said...

Good luck with the party planning! Harper still looks so cute in the pictures, even if she's not looking! I love the colors your using in the birthday banner! Can't wait to see the finished product! I have those same pink frames from TJMaxx in my room!

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

We always do sticker foam crafts at my kids birthday parties. It's inexpensive, easy, and holds their attention. We've made personalized foam sports visors, personalized foam princess crowns, and this year we made foam snowmen. You can usually buy foam sticker craft kits at Target, WalMart, or a craft store.

Jacqui said...

An activity and a keepsake! For my daughter's first birthday I got a huge white cotton table cloth from William Sonoma and embroidered her name and birthday day in the center. Then I chose 3-4 different fabric paints and pens. Each guest then painted their hand and put their handprint on the cloth and wrote their name and year underneath. Now at each birthday we set it out, all new guests put their handprint on and all returning guests just write the year next to their hand. It is so neat to see year after year, and what a great keepsake for her. We too have winter birthdays so we set this up in the garage!

Mandy Bean said...

So cute and fun! I have a 4 year old and an 18 month old and I can say that with all of my party experience kids seem to get bored with games. They seem to just humor us so they can get on with their playing. Playing with what you say? Balloons! Fill your house full of balloons all over the floor and ALL the kids will play with them!

BooSheep said...

I noticed a lot of people said to do balloons...and I just wanted to mention that if you did that make sure all of the little ones have a parent keeping an eye on them. At that age, if they are anything like my daughter, they will just try to put them in their mouth and if one pops that is a huge choking hazard. Sorry, I'm not trying to be a worrier, I just thought I would mention it! :)

Also, I think having a small activity for the kids to do is a great idea. We always do "themed" parties b/c my kids b-days are around the holidays, so we try to do things focused on that. (Reading parties, games, puzzles, etc. ) I haven't done coloring before, but I bet the kids would love that!

hotpants™ said...

I bought my daughter the exact same outfit from Target for her first birthday. She ended up wearing the cardigan with some jeans though because the skirt was way too big. She was too petite for it.