kith & kin

{creating birthday magic}

Birthdays in this house are kind of a big deal.  And the first birthdays are even more so!

Me being the bookworm mommy that I am went with “ONEce upon a time…” book themed first birthdays for each of our babies. Hans Christian Anderson books to be exact. 

Our Little Monster had a Princess and the Pea birthday.

Our Cuddle Bug had a The Brave Tin Soldier birthday.

Our Little Bear had a The Fir Tree birthday. 

To create the magic there are certain traditions that I started right from the beginning. 

One – we always, ALWAYS celebrate the birthday on their birthday! Whether there’s a blizzard, or we are still unpacking from a move, or it’s our due date for a certain second baby, or it’s a week day, or whatever it doesn’t matter. The birthday – cake, presents, and all – happens on their birthday. It was the way my mom did it for me and my siblings and I always appreciated it. 

Two – they always wake up to a room full of balloons on their birthday morning. Because who (besides Aunt Marti, sorry Aunt Marti) doesn’t want to wake up to a room full of balloons?! It’s magical! I think for Bug’s first birthday we blew up two hundred some balloons. We have learned to start a couple nights before and hide them wherever we can so that we aren’t passing out trying to blow them all up the night before. This task keeps getting more and more complicated. Sneaking balloons into the room of a sleeping one year-old is far less complicated than sneaking them into the room of a two year-old who still doesn’t sleep through the night or a five year-old who can be a light sleeper. I am pretty sure this is the favorite of the traditions because now on Mommy and Daddy’s birthdays the kids “sneak” balloons into our room to surprise us! It’s just about the cutest thing ever! And if you’re Daddy then they use said balloons to pummel you with until you wake up. It’s good to be Daddy. 🙂

Three – they get to pick (or mom picks for them when they are too little to make such decisions) what they want to have for birthday breakfast and for birthday dinner. This can be anything! Nothing is too silly or weird. I chose to have Jello a lot as my birthday breakfast. Another sibling “favorite” is when my brother would choose milk toast as his birthday breakfast. Little Miss is the only one who really cares to pick out her own meals; but she hasn’t come up with anything too crazy yet.

Four – mommy always takes their picture in front of the tree bookshelf to show how they’ve grown. Not really birthday magic; but I think later on it will seem like magic to see how much they’ve grown.


It’s kind of magical right?! In a bittersweet, my baby girl is growing up too quickly kind of way…

Then, special for their first birthday, I recreate the book that their party is based on. I illustrate the book in a sort of scrapbooky way, then I photograph the pages I created, I use Shutterfly to create the book, and then on their first birthday they get the book as a gift.

{creating birthday magic} birthday books.jpg

Here are some peaks at the three books I have made. They aren’t amazing or anything; but their homemade and special for them. 

Their birthday’s also usually involve some sort of sign that goes along with their theme for that year.

{creating birthday magic} flew to two

Here’s what Bug’s second birthday sign looked like! He had a birds of prey themed birthday party because he had (and still has) a fascination with birds.

You can see Little Miss’s flower themed fifth birthday here. Her flower wall and sign turned out pretty great I think!

Then there are the cakes or cupcakes for the occasion!  I have made Princess and the Pea themed cupcakes. A sailing soldier cake from The Brave Tin Soldier. A scaly monster cake for when our Little Monster turned two. A tree stump smash cake for Little Bear’s The Fir Tree birthday bash. Some Chocolate covered marshmallow eggs in a giant, edible bird’s nest for a birds of prey birthday. Toadstool and moss cupcakes for the woodsy The Fir Tree birthday. These were all lots of fun to make! Some more time consuming than others and some more eaten than others. Apparently my kids are not all that into the whole smash cake thing; but, in the name of cute photos, the smash cakes are a must!

Doing all of this for their birthdays may be a lot (and maybe a little bit crazy); but it’s totally worth all of the effort and sleep deprivation. After all, we can sleep when we’re dead right? Or something like that anyway. 

Have to say thanks mom for making birthdays such a big deal while growing up! I appreciate all the effort and work that went into making them happen!


4 thoughts on “{creating birthday magic}

  1. Pingback: {mom’s birthday}

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