Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bloomington: Santiago's Monster of a First Birthday Party

Brace yourself: lots of pictures coming your way! My cousin Molly threw her son Santiago one heck of a first birthday monster bash, and I can't wait to share all her awesome details with you!

On Friday (6/7) we woke up ready for a fun weekend with Molly, her husband Arturo and their sweet boy Santiago. We could hardly wait for Santiago's birthday party the next day, but we were also looking forward to just spending some time with their family before and after the big shindig.

And that's just what we did. We spent much of Friday just relaxing around the house, as having two babies to nap and feed tends to monopolize a lot of time anyway. Later that afternoon Molly's mom (Aunt Debbie) arrived as well, and then the three of us ladies took the babies to the park for some fun. Highlights: Aunt Debbie and Molly's musical stylings (with choreography!) in attempt to get the babies to smile, and Ellie and Santiago sharing a swing. So cute!

Kids on swings

Someday, they're totally going to roll their eyes at us for doing this to them. But whatever. They're so cute!

Molly and Aunt Debbie putting on quite a show for the little ones

They love it!

That night we got the babies to bed, shared a delicious dinner (cookout, yum!), some wine and some good conversation, and then helped Molly with a final big party prep project: monster cake pops. We were all cake pop rookies (I had never even eaten one before, let alone made one), but Molly had thoroughly researched the process and we were ready to go. Unfortunately, for us, the process was not without a glitch or two, but ultimately we laughed a lot and the cake pops turned out both cute and tasty (pictures of the finished product to follow shortly!). So, cake pop success!

These pops are ready to be monster-ized

Left: Ta-da! Molly has demonstrated the proper technique. Right: I am seriously feeling the pressure.

Ah, good times!

The cake pop project ran late into the night, and we all went to bed exhausted but ready to party the next day!

On Saturday, Ellie was up much earlier than I would have liked, although that meant she was able to nap before the party, which was perfect. That also meant that while she napped, I was able to spend some quality time with my sweet birthday-boy nephew while Molly got ready and finished preparations.

With the birthday boy!

The party got started at 12:00, and let me tell you, it was a MONSTER bash! It was all monster-themed (an homage to Santiago's nickname), and Molly thought of everything. Upon arrival, guests were directed to the back yard by monster footprints on the sidewalk. You knew you were headed in the right direction as you passed the "Monster X-Ing" sign, and walked through the giant monster mouth (adorned with monster balloons).

Entrance to the party!

How cute are these monster balloons?!

Left: The monsters are coming! Right: Ellie is on her way to par-tay.

The backyard was all decked out and monster-y, with monster-faced balls hanging in the trees, games, activities, and of course, food and drink.

The food table was perfect. Molly had sandwiches, cut veggies (peppers as "monster toes," halved cucumbers as "monster ears," and carrots as "monster fingers"), chips ("monster teeth") and salsa, and an awesome monster watermelon spewing cut fruit. Even the drinks were all monstered-out with eyes! (Well, except the beer. That was just contained in the monster cooler!) And of course, the table was decorated with other monster paraphernalia and some very cute pictures of the birthday boy.

The food table

Monster parts to munch on

Monster watermelon!

Monster drink station

As for activities, Molly set up a whole kids' table with coloring pages, cups and goodie bags, which were chock full of fun stuff like monster puppets, crafts, inflatable balls, monster pouches, stickers and other trinkets. There was also a Monster Factory, with supplies to create your own monster bag, Pin the Eye on the Monster, a monster photo prop, and for the adults, cornhole. (Cornhole wasn't monster-y, just fun.)

The kids' table

The Monster Factory

Ellie makes one scary adorable monster!

As the party got underway, people spent time chatting, eating, and partaking of all Molly's activities. Molly's friends are so nice, and it was a pleasure to see some familiar faces, as I've gotten to meet/know several of her friends thanks to her bridal shower and wedding in Mexico.

Hanging out at the party

Aunt Debbie with the babies

Ellie spent some time working the crowd, until she discovered that she particularly loved the balloons. Then she spent a good bit of time running around, balloon-in-hand, even chasing around the son of one of Molly's friends who also enjoyed balloons (his mom told me later he's kind of scared of girls, and frankly, if he wasn't before, he probably is now, so sorry about that, kid).

Left: The girl is a party animal. Right: Her new BFF.

Although, she did take a socializing/balloon-toting/boy-terrorizing break to try her hand at coloring...

Coloring her monster paper


Let's be honest, she was more interested in climbing in and out of the chair than the actual craft. But hey, Monster Factory was a hit.

...monster games...

She pinned hers and then wanted to rip everyone else's off. She seems to have inherited her dad's competitive spirit.

...and cornhole.

Trying out new cornhole techniques

The Man of the Hour spent the first half of his party napping (he wanted to be fashionably late AND well rested, of course), but he did eventually make his grand entrance.

Santiago and his dad!

This monster is ONE!

When Santiago finally joined the fun, it was time to get down to some cake business. Not only did Molly have cake, however, but she also had cake pops and popsicles for the kids.

Ice cream cake, with lovely lettering by Aunt Debbie

The finished cake pops!

And of course, Santiago had his very OWN cake...

How adorable is that?

...which, unlike Ellie at her birthday party, he actually consumed.

Handsome birthday boy ready to eat some cake!

He ate so much, he got thirsty and had to ask for some water!

Happy family

Ellie may not have cared for her own birthday cake at her party, but at Santiago's party, she was totally on board with the cake pops.


Cake pops for everyone!

After cake, it was time for a wardrobe change for Santiago, then presents. The good thing about having a party with lots of kids in attendance is that you definitely have help with the gift-opening if it proves to be just too much for you.

Molly made this awesome onesie for the birthday boy!

Kids swarming as the gifts get opeend

Santiago checking out the striped sock monkey Ellie gave him

After gifts, things started to really wind down, but we still spent some nice, quiet time relaxing and basking in the glow of a great afternoon. That is, until Ellie stripped down naked and stole Santiago's favorite gift. She's a terrible party guest.

The kids back at the games

Sorry about your luck, Santiago. This unruly party guest seems to have made off with your new truck.

It was really a great party, and Molly outdid herself. Thanks for having us at your monster bash, Santiago, and happy birthday!

Left: Santiago wants you to know that he is ONE! Right: Congratulations on making it through your first year as a family, you three!

After the party's official end, we did some clean-up and spent the rest of the night relaxing and munching on leftovers. Unfortunately, Ellie didn't sleep very well that night, and after an hour and a half of trying to get her back to sleep at 3:00 in the morning, she ended up in bed with us...where she fell asleep on Eric's face.

Super comfortable for both of them, I'm sure.

The next day (Sunday) was very mellow. Eric went golfing with Molly's friends Bryce and Chris while the rest of us just hung out around the house. Somehow, the babies got themselves on opposite nap schedules, so somebody was sleeping pretty much all day. It was nice and relaxing though, after all the excitement of the day before - although some of us may not have wanted the party to be over quite yet! 

The day after, still with balloon in hand

That night we had pizza for dinner and gave the kiddos a little together-playtime before sending them off to bed.

Playing the piano together

It was a lovely duet.

Once Ellie was in bed, Eric and I got everything packed up and ready to leave the next day, then spent a little more time with our hosts before retiring ourselves.

Coming up tomorrow: I mean, can we wrap this whole thing up already?

To see more pictures from our stay in Bloomington, click here. For more pictures from Santiago's awesome monster-themed first birthday party, click here.


Lauren said...

That was one seriously adorable and detailed first birthday, how cute!!! Love how the monster pops came out too :-)

Becky said...

This looked like so much fun! I wish I could've been there, too. Molly, if you read this, you did an amazing job with all of your decorations and ideas! The write-up itself was stellar and had me cracking up.
Love you all!

Molly said...

Thanks for being there, Meghan!! I was so glad you were there! And what an AMAZING recap, thanks!! I hadn't seen the pictures of them on the piano together, that is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Hooray for one year old babies!

Thanks, Aunt Becky!! : )