PARKER MAE'S 2ND BIRTHDAY PARTY!

gold floral birthday party floral cake parker etc amy parker anderson kids birthday party ideas

Let me start by saying there are days I still don't believe I'm old enough to have a child... of my own... let alone one that is now officially two years old and can be classified as a toddler. When do you ever officially start to feel like an adult? You know that feeling where you still never view yourself as older than like 18? Just me? Okay, cool. 

gold party ideas diy toddler birthday party parker etc parker mae anderson

Last year, for the big O-N-E year birthday party, we went ALL out. I invited everyone in the city of New York to come celebrate the fact that we, not only had a child, but that we had kept her alive for a year. And it was a joyful day indeed and Parker felt so loved and we felt so supported and there was lots of champagne. I love huge celebrations, and there is a time and a place for them, when the occasion calls for it. First birthday = we really did it, let's go big or go home. Second birthday = I'm exhausted, let's just keep it intimate. 

dana tanamachi brooklyn chalk lettering amy parker anderson parker etc

Since this is likely the last year where I get to decide how the party is decorated with no opinions from the peanut gallery and nothing princess oriented, I decided to stick with a simple and chic (also known as lazy and easy) vibe of deep burgundy and rose colored flowers and gold everything. Cause those are my go-to's for all parties, I figured it would make things easy to pull together in a time crunch. Thanks to Paperless Post, I was even able to find a perfectly corresponding invite that most definitely said 'all the flowers and gold in the world'. I love when all the aspects of a party are cohesive. (Also see: Type-A Party Planner)

floral party decorations diy flower number summer party amy parker anderson parker etc
floral diy party decorations parker etc amy parker anderson

My strength is pouring champagne. My weak link is flowers. I love to buy them, smell them and pretend I can put them together in a vase. But really, it just looks sad and amateur. So my dear friend Sarah, who not only works at Google but also has this side skill called badass floral arranging, stepped in to keep things up to par. Some people just get to have allllll the skill sets, ya know. I point this out because anything floral oriented, I take no credit for..... oh, besides the cut out paper ones taped to the wall.... now those are my doing with the help of my mother-in-law! And I'll be sharing a step-by-step DIY on how to make a floral wall for yourself later this week. My vision was complete with a bushel of gold balloons covering the ceiling and also serving as endless entertainment for anyone under the age of 5. 

diy paper flower backdrop wedding backdrop floral wall party parker etc amy parker anderson
diy gold cake topper gold cake number amy parker anderson parker etc 

What can I say? Two years in and it's a sweet place to be. Imagine living with a parrot. That's what my daily life is with Parker. She has her own language and her brain is a tiny sponge to all the things going on around her.... and then she just turns around and repeats everything. Don't know what that's like? Here's an example; Woman behind us talking to her friend on the plane last month: 'Nancy is such a b*tch!'. Parker repeats: "Wancyyy is swuch ah beeech". Me: mortified and melting into my seat (laughing on the inside). Thus, the life of a mother with a toddler in a nutshell. 

diy gold cake topper flower topped cake wedding parker etc amy parker anderson
flower topped cake wedding how to use flowers in your wedding gold cake stand parker etc

I've found my groove and confidence in parenting this past year. For now, it's exhausting in different ways than a newborn, but a bit smoother since we can semi-communicate in broken English, sign language and authoritative babble. The same way my heart would explode when she like giggled for the first time, now happens when she holds out her arms as wide as they can go and says 'I wuv you dis much mama'. 'Easier' would never be a term I would use, as there will always be struggles at every age and stage of parenting, they just evolve as your child grows. But happier? I didn't know this level of happy existed before she arrived! 

diy gold cake topper flower cake wedding backdrop diy flowers amy parker anderson parker etc

Happy Birthday Parker! We love you so so very much! And thank you to all who came to celebrate this sweet girl! xx

 

PARTY DETAILS :: 

Cake :: Little Cupcake Bakeshop / DIY floral topping

Gold Cake Topper :: DIY

My Dress :: & Other Stories

Parker's Dress :: Carter's (on suuuuuuper sale for $9) - similar option

THE QUALITY LIST :: FRESHLY PICKED

I have an announcement….. getting a baby’s foot into a shoe is impossible. Seriously. You’ll have better luck teaching them how to code the next Facebook at six months than getting their foot into a shoe. To help you with this endeavor, this is what I’ve learned about babies and shoes.

1. It’s like their foot has a magnet in it and so does the shoe. Everytime the two get within inches of each other, they actually deflect the other. Imagine an electromagnetic force field exists between them and it’s impossible to break the barrier.

2. Babies don’t understand how to not arch their feet. I don’t know why they don’t, but they just don’t. Idiots. So try as you may, but their foot will be stuck in an arch position and the shoe is never sliding on.

3. You’ve got about all of 30 seconds to get the shoes on or else your baby loses their cool and then it’s mission failed. Know your best approach. I prefer facing her while putting on the shoes while Eric prefers to have her sitting in his lap. Plan ahead.

4. By all means, don’t get your face too close while attempting to get the shoe on. For some reason, everyone crouches down and gets reeaaallly close, as if because the feet are so tiny they must zoom in to see everything. Do this, and you will be kicked in the face.

5. After all the blood, sweat and tears you actually manage to get the shoes on both feet of your baby. I give them an hour and at least one of them has managed to shimmy off their foot. #fail

So, now that we’ve gone over those. I also have the solution for you. Freshly Picked moccasins. This is starting to follow the rhythm of an infomercial, I don’t know why, but just follow me here. You’ve probably heard of them…. I mean, who hasn’t at this point. They were on Shark Tank after all. Susan is a powerhouse business woman and is likely going to take over the world here pretty soon. I’ve known her for a few years and recently had the pleasure of speaking on panel with her at Alt Summit. Girlfriend is a genius. She’s taken a common problem we face as parents and created a solution. A fashionable, chic, high quality and easy to use product. Oh, you just stretch it out and close it in over the babies feet? And then it stays on all day? They don’t fall off? I know it’s hard to believe, but trust me. These are the only shoes you should buy for your baby. 

As you can see, Parker has worn them throughout the duration of her long life. They are the perfect soft-soled moccasin that are best for their tiny feet, especially when they are learning to walk. Something about gripping and stability, think monkeys… or at least that’s what I thought when the doctor was explaining baby walking dynamics. You’re biggest problem at this point is going to be selecting a favorite.

Moccasin images via freshlypicked.com 

THE QUALITY LIST :: LITTLE HIP SQUEAKS

littlehipsqueaks_parkeretc.jpg

I'm all for a mix of cheaper and quality baby clothing. Let's be honest, they wear it for one season, outgrow it or destroy it by smearing raspberries all over themselves. When deciding what pieces to invest in for kids, I always say accessories are the place. Those are things that can grow with them and aren't just a piece you buy for that one wedding you take them too and never put them in again. 

When Parker was born, I got that fear that given her name and my choice to dress her in grey/black/white combos, people might look at her and think 'boy or girl'? Hey, it happens. I've called a boy baby a girl and it's kind of one of the more awkward things I've ever personally experienced. I like watching people try to back step after choosing the wrong gender to address your baby. Just a mumbling train wreck. 

littlehipsqueaks_parkeretc.jpg

What was my questionable gender solution? Headbands! And not that kind that make you think their kid is a part of an Anne Geddes photo shoot .  The kind that are subtle and cute and easy to wash and go with everything... and the list goes on. Finding Little Hip Squeaks was like finding my beacon of hope. Plus, founder Amy Richardson, has a had a solid start to what will surely become a world dominating brand, at the rate she's moving. What started as a side project to distract her during pregnancy, Amy began making newborn hats at her kitchen table right here in Brooklyn. Now, she has employees and runs a full-time business. She's a legit boss lady. 

Now, she not only makes headbands but leggings, blankets, onesies and booties. Whenever anyone asks what the perfect baby shower gift for a girl would be, these are my answer. You can buy the headbands in packs of three and there are constantly new color combinations coming out. Every mother will get good wear of them, they are useful and cute and a unique present option.