i'm talking, of course, about the bean's first birthday bash. it was at the historic carousel at the santa monica pier, and everything turned out exactly as i'd hoped it would. the monkey has an awesome photo-filled recap here, so i'll try not to duplicate too much of it.
the hub and i ended up splitting up and taking two cars down there - food and cupcakes couldn't be picked up until 10, and we couldn't arrive at the pier until 11 - but only had 30 minutes to set up. ugh. i was really feeling the pinch and was a little freaked out about it, but i tried to wooo-saaaaaaah my way through it. luckily, i had everything all ready to go, packed in two plastic boxes - tablecovers and runners, candy centerpieces, cutlery sets, pictures, favors, etc. and i'd already gotten all of the balloons blown up and tied together in bunches, ready to be tied to the railing by the carousel. i was so organized, it was ridiculous.
by 9:10, the teen, bean, and i were in the car. i swung by the ATM to pick up cash for parking and the photographer, made a quick pitstop to pick up BFF, and we were off to the pier. traffic in l.a. is so unpredictable, even on a saturday morning, so we left extra early. i wasn't taking any chances - besides, it's always better to be early than late, right? at least we could get there and kill some time if we needed to.
and of course, we were there hella early - like, an hour early. i noticed that there was still parking available on the pier, which would make unloading easy for us. yay! the teen was hungry, though (as was i), so we headed off to find some breakfast.
not knowing the area very well, we didn't find a damn thing, and so we decided to just park at the pier and wait. but of course, what did we find when we got back there? cones in front of the entrance and a big ass annoying sign telling us that the pier lot was full, of course.
i was so grumpy, i didn't realize i was turning the wrong way - the street we ended up on led us right down to PCH, which has "no u-turns" signs posted everywhere, and nowhere to turn for a solid couple of miles. so. freaking. pissed. but we finally made it, after getting stuck behind a shitload of bicyclists who thought they owned the road and then pissing off a couple of runners who were trying to cross the street. oops. sorry, runners. you DID have the right-of-way.
we made our way to the parking lot, tried to squeeze into a spot that was close-ish, and ended up much further away. i didn't want to risk the wrath of the hub should we get door-dinged, anyway. and as the bean woke from her snooze, my phone rang. it was FIL.
"where are you guys? we're already here, and mom's walking the pier with grandma."
sah-weet! he came right down to help us unload, and we got everything up there in one trip. it was a little early, but we strode right into the carousel building and got started setting up. besides, if anyone would've tried to stop us, i already had my don't-mess-with-me-i'm-setting-up-my-kid's-first-birthday-party snarl all ready. heh.
luckily, all of my feverish prepping and organizing paid off. the tables were all set and everything was ready with time to spare. all we needed was the hub (who, poor baby, was still battling his horrid head cold but powering through it like a champ) to bring the food and we'd be ready for guests. and when i called him, he was only a mile away, and FIL managed to block off a sweet ass parking spot right in front for him. whee!
okay, enough talk. visual aids, coming right up:
the little boxes had pink and green salt water taffy inside. because, as my friend lilcee said, we WERE at the pier, after all. and it was fun watching guests pick their favorite picture to take home.
SFAMily shot - less r and weatherjen, who were also present but had to leave before we thought to take this.
the tutu was quite popular.
"i'm one! uh, i think."
her very first taste of candy, pilfered from a nearby centerpiece.
the monkey made good use of the wind machine. [cue "supermodel (you better work)"]
the teen and BFF rode the carousel at least five times. ha!
her after-party attire. skinny jeans and leopard shoes are awesome.
not wanting to go home to the heat (brother wan took one of our cars home for us and even unloaded everything - we were so grateful), we ended up at universal studios citywalk and having dinner at an old favorite, bubba gump. and on the way home, i remembered something and turned to the hub:
"hey! happy anniversary!"
it was our 8-year date-aversary. cheeseball! but he grinned and squeezed my hand anyway. i love him.
and the next morning, we gathered in the sitting room and watched the teen help the bean open presents. it was fun watching her rip paper off and pull tissue out of bags - and she actually did stop to play with the actual gifts rather than just the stuff they were wrapped in! most kids are pretty enthralled with wrapping paper and bows and things.
she got lots and lots of gorgeous clothes and fun toys. everyone was so generous! it'll be fun doing her thank-you cards. i've already got some fun ideas for 'em.
the teen and i spent a laughable amount of time on putting this together. the hub sat and laughed at us for a while, and then gave up and took the bean into the other room. but we did it!
that's all, folks!