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Planning the “Perfect” First Birthday Party

First of all, can we talk about how insane first birthday parties are?! We all know it, we all joke about it, and then we all turn right around and host a full three-ring circus in honor of our little snowflakes.

I started planning for my baby’s birthday 3 months in advance. We’ve been on a pretty tight budget since I transitioned to part-time at work, so I thought, we’re gonna keep this thing low-key. Just family and a few friends at our house, homemade food and cake, and DIY decorations and invitations.

Well, 3 months, 50 people, 5 smash cakes, and about a zillion hours (and dollars) of crafting later… we had ourselves a three-ring circus.

How did we get here?

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0-12 Month Old Baby Gift Guide

Let’s be real, everyone knows it doesn’t matter what you get your baby – no matter what it is, he’s just going to want to play with the box it came in. Or a spatula. Or the TV remote. Or the dang Christmas tree that now has multiple layers of security surrounding it to protect it from his sticky, grabby, destructive paws.

But, we all still have this irrational desire to get our child the “perfect” gift, one that will surely bring him endless joy, that he’ll remember forever and ever and definitely not forget all about the instant he spots the pile of wrapping paper trash from across the room. So, now that I’ve gotten a year of overzealous toy-buying under my belt, it’s easy to look back and remember the ones that actually did stick around for more than 5 minutes. Here are some of the favorites at our house from each stage:

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A Baby’s Purpose on Halloween

Apparently, when you have a baby, the Halloween pressure is kicked up a notch or 10. Starting in like July, everyone wants to know what your baby is going to be for Halloween. (Other than a total buzzkill who requires you to be home at 7pm.) He can’t trick or treat or even eat candy yet, so really a baby at this age only serves one of three purposes on Halloween:

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Six Unexpected Things Your Baby Teaches You

You’ve probably heard it all before: all the amazing and wonderful (and condescending) ways you’ll grow when you have a baby. The new light that will shine upon you, brightening your whole world with a new bounty of knowledge and love only known to those who’ve been graced with the title of “mom” or “dad”.

There’s so much wrong with that, I can’t even begin to cover it, but one thing that’s on-point is that you will learn a lot from your little bundle of poop and spit up. It just may not be the ethereal sense of enlightenment you expected. In my (very limited) experience as a parent, these are just a few of the very important things I’ve learned:

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