The front door:
I should have thought twice before giving my kid a name that ends in S because I am forever in conflict when it comes to Louis's versus Louis'. The first way is more grammatically correct but the second is way more aesthetically pleasing. It's an idiotic thing to think about, I know.
The guest book was a hardcover copy of the Very Hungry Caterpillar that we had everyone sign. Since I am not exceptionally sentimental, I was very impressed at myself for coming up with this idea.
All the tables (two inside and two outside) were covered with different, brightly colored table clothes and these centerpieces. There were four designs that got mixed and matched.
On the mantle was the caterpillar I made with each of his monthly pictures.
The food was based on the first part of the book. I wish I would have gotten a close up of the food signs, but they said, "On Monday he ate through one apple." For apple I made a toasted baguette slice smeared with brie, topped with a green apple slice that had been sauteed in brown sugar and butter.
I somehow managed to not get a picture, but if you look to the far right you can see a pear. That was, "On Tuesday he ate through two pears." For pear I made homemade thin crust pizza, with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, topped with sweet onions and sliced Bosc pears. It was probably the most popular dish.
Then, "On Wednesday he ate through three plums." Plums was a fancy plum jam mixed with cream cheese and spread on ciabatta bread and then topped with diced plums.
Next was, "On Thursday he ate through four strawberries." Strawberry was a mini-muffin that actually turned out a little dense (I think I over mixed the batter). Eh, they were still good.
Finally there was, "On Friday he ate through five oranges." Orange was a spinach and bacon salad with an orange zest vinaigrette. This was probably my favorite.
Then there were a couple of platters of the five fruits.
Here's the hanging banner I made from the Etsy files (some one else designed, I printed).
Uncle Andy started the tradition of giving each kid a bear for their first birthday. That's where Norah got her Bear. You know, the Bear in every single picture of Norah for the past two years. He actually doesn't really even look like a Bear anymore, but I suppose that's an entirely different story. Anyway, before the party started Andy gave Lou his bear. It was love at first sight.
He may or may not have spent the better part of the evening humping the bear. But again, that's a story for another day.
After Reid's birthday party I knew for sure that I did not want to have anything to do with Lou's birthday cake and that I wanted Aunt Stephanie to have EVERYTHING to do with Lou's birthday cake. She did not disappoint.
She made low sugar, fruit filled cupcakes for the kids with a graham cracker sprinkle and raspberry on top. Although to be honest I did not see a single kid eat one. They were devoured by the adults before any of those kids even had a chance.
There was Lou's very own butterfly smash cake.
And the piece de resistance..... the caterpillar cupcake cake.
It was definitely quite the spread.
Lou was pretty uncertain about all the commotion surrounding the singing of Happy Birthday.
He was intrigued...
Although it didn't help that Norah was chanting "smash, smash, smash!" the entire time.
He dabbled. Maybe had a lick or two.
And then it was all over. My suspicion is that he just got a little overwhelmed by the number of people around him and freaked out a little. No tears, just was not about to smash that cake. We tried again later after everyone had gone home and it was pretty much game on.
Amy made an awesome pinata and stuffed it with goldfish crackers and fruit snacks. It was the hit of the party (despite Norah almost getting scalped with the broom handle at one point).
As we have always done in the past, in lieu of gifts for the birthday kid, we ask guests to consider bringing a new childrens book to be donated to a shelter network. Our guests were awesome and we collected a huge stash to donate. Obviously Lou is way too little to understand what it all means, but Norah gets it and she totally digs it.
Overall, it was really a spectacular day and we were overwhelmed with love for our little dude. I could not have done a thing were it not for my sisters and my mom. I honestly don't know how I ever planned a kid's party without them. They are that good. That being said, we really, really missed our California crew. They are that good too.