Serenity’s Birthday Party!!!

by Chrissie Wainright on July 13th, 2009
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Serenity had a wonderful time!  She was so happy =)  It was all just perfect!

Serenity had a wonderful time! She was so happy =) It was all just perfect!

Serenity’s first birthday was a blast to plan!  I went with a barnyard theme because her favorite book by far is still Barnyard Dance.  We first got this book around Christmas, and we’ve easily read it more than a hundred times.  Eric started doing the dance as the book describes it, and every time she hears the opening lines, Serenity looks up for her Daddy to watch him dance!  She stands up for it now and stomps her right foot in her little dance and claps her hands!

Serenity has such a fun Daddy =)

Serenity has such a fun Daddy =)

Grandpa Bair encouraged me in all my outrageous plans.  I wanted a barn out of cardboard, so he helped me build it.  He added wood trim and made the roof out of planks of cardboard so it looks so real!  It’s amazing!  And I drew a horse for the back wall so there’s an animal inside.  Serenity loves to crawl inside it already to see the horse and play.  There’s also a shelf for her ducky to sit in the hayloft, but she always wants to get her right out =)

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I had planned to draw a few animals on construction paper as decorations… but Dad thought since I was going to do all that work, it should be more permanent.  So he got big pieces of plywood, painted them white, and then drew scenes from Barnyard Dance on them using his projector.  The first time Serenity saw the cow we did, she went nuts!  She kept saying cow… mooo!  cow… mooo!!!!  And then since it was on the floor she walked on top of it and turned in circles on it while staring at the cow.  It was the cutest little dance!

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Dad and I built a pond too.  Eric’s family always did fishing for prizes at birthday parties, so we wanted Serenity to get to do that too.  Dad had a big blue tarp, and we cut some of the bamboo out of his backyard to look like weeds around the pond.  He even built a little dock for the kids to stand and fish from.  Eric used another piece of bamboo as a pole.  When Serenity saw the pond in the yard, she ran over to the ducks and said “Quack, Quack!”  She went over to that sign and her pond sign multiple times while playing outside.  It even distracted her from her rock hunt!

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Other crafty projects I did for the birthday include making a cupcake tower and a Happy Birthday Serenity sign using scrapbooking paper.  That was Mom’s idea.  She’s thrilled that one of her grandbabies loves animals this much.  She got Serenity a little cow ice cream scoop for the party and animal pancake shapes.

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The day of the party everything went really well!  We headed over to Mom’s house after loading up all the decorations in Dad’s car and our car.  I also brought all her farm type toys for kids to play with when they were indoors and books in case people wanted to add books to her birthday dvd.  My sister Jennifer cooked all the food!  She is an incredible cook, and it was all delicious.  I got teased a lot though for the amount of food that I bought… 22 pounds of brisket…10 pounds of pulled pork… sausage… potato salad…baked beans…deviled eggs… cornbread and a ton of fruit.  Plus ice cream and Aqua and Red velvet cake!

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While Serenity played at Grandma’s Dad and I set up the pond, set out all the boards and the barn with sky colored drop cloth.  Then I iced her cake.  Before next year I believe I’ll have to get assistance from Abbey and Jessie on the cake =)  It looked very lumpy, because I couldn’t find square pans the size I wanted, and the icing wasn’t think enough to cover the holes because I put so much color in it, so it looked like an 8 year old decorated it.  But I put her fisher price farm animals on it so it looked adorable anyway =)  After Serenity went down for a nap I worked on decorating the house.  There were balloons on every table, weighed down with rocks inside little farm animal boxes.  Red tablecloths, her birthday sign, cupcakes with tower, the barn, and lots of animals dancing around everywhere!

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Everything was almost decorated when Serenity got up from her nap.  I asked someone to take pictures of her reaction, and Dad, J, and Eric were all lined up as paparazzi.  She was so excited!  She smiled really big and pointed at the balloons, wanting to touch them.  She pointed out her cow and mooed at it several times =)  She knows all the animal sounds, and she liked going around and talking to all the animals.  Several of the other kids did too, like Carson.  She visited her barn and went right in!  Such fun!

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So many people came to her party!  Grandma, Grandpa, Rosario, my brothers Don and Jason with his wife Tiffany came from Texas.  Gavin, Jennie, Abbey, Brent, Brendan, Jessie, Scott, Nate and Allie came from Norman.  Mike, Kelly, Carson, Raegan, Jennifer, Casey, Little Casey, Barrett, David, Jana, Alek, KaLynn, Kiley, Kyle’s girlfriend Kayla and her baby Ethan.  Whew!  It was absolute chaos but absolutely perfect =)  Serenity had a wonderful time!

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The food was all barbecue themed, perfect for a barn dance.  Jen did a wonderful job and we made a definite dent in the mountain of food =)  The kids enjoyed running around the yard and playing on Mom’s new playground equipment.  Nate found the train table and went crazy for it =)  Serenity wandered around the yard, picking up rocks, and running after Raegan.  She and Raegan are very excited by each other right now.  Raegan says often and very excitedly, “She likes me!”  And she definitely does.  Today, Serenity was sitting in my lap when Raegan started dancing.  Serenity bounced so hard she nearly jumped off my lap!  She woke up saying, Raegan, Raegan, one morning after we had a playdate with them.

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After a bit of playtime, we performed Barnyard Dance for Serenity!  Lots of people joined in, including Gavin, Jennie, Mom, Nate, and several others!  Serenity was thrilled!  She especially liked watching Jennie do it.  It was nice because Eric finally had someone to promenade with =)

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After the dance we did cake.  My cute and messy cake fit perfectly on Serenity’s high chair tray.  I put it in front of her and she immediately went for her animals.  She stuck them in her mouth, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they tasted even more delicious than usual!  It was an adorable mess with all the red and blue food coloring.  She really enjoyed the icing, but she did dig in for a bite or two of cake as well!  When she signaled that she was all done, I took her into the bathroom and hosed her down =)  Then, it was time for fishing!

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I know Jack's loving these pics =)

I know Jack's loving these pics =)

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Fishing was so popular!!!  Casey went first and he knew exactly what he wanted.  He said he wasn’t going for the monkey inflatable beach toy because he said it would deflate in a day.  So he went for a bouncy ball, and he talked Barrett into getting the red one that matched it.  =)  Raegan did the drag technique. Eric was very impressed.  It just took her two tries.  It was a high level technique and she figured it out very quickly after just one swing.  Kiley loved getting stuff, so she came back for seconds and thirds.  Casey and Barrett took turns fishing for the extra prizes later that day.

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Presents were next.  The kids all enjoyed helping Serenity open them.  I was surprised that Serenity sat still to open them all, but she was starting to get very sleepy and snuggly.  Still happy though!  She got wonderful presents, including an old MacDonald’s Farm hand puppet, Philadelphia Chickens (music by Sandra Boynton, author of Barnyard Dance) from Mike and Kelly, a ride-on pony from Mom, puzzles and a shape sorter barn from David and Jana, a noisy barn and town from Gavin and Jennie, clothes and an awesome farm ribbon board from Jessie and Family, an adorable tutu from Abbey (which Serenity proclaimed, “pretty” this morning), a LeapFrog book reader from Jen, 100 Balls from Rosario, (which went into her Hippo pool today to her great joy) and Winnie the Pooh from Jason and Tiffany.  It was quite a haul, in addition to all the wonderful presents her family in Cali sent her!

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After this, Eric told the adults they could have a wallet sized picture of Serenity, and the kids could collect their buckets and cowboy hats if they hadn’t already.  The hats were a big hit, and so were the bandannas!  Several of the boys asked to have bandannas tied on their heads or necks.  Raegan was very excited to find a pink pig in her bucket.  In addition to the hats, bandannas, and squishy animals they also got stickers, animal crackers, and goldfish.  With the toys from the fishing game it was perfect!  And it was so adorable watching them run around in the little hats.

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Barrett in the Barn

Barrett in the Barn

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After this, we had free playtime and then everyone had to go home, and Serenity crashed for an excellent nap while Eric and I cleaned and unwound from the excitement of the day.  I can hardly believe our baby is one year old, but she got to have a wonderful birthday to celebrate it!  Thanks to everyone that made it possible, especially Dad for all the crazy projects, Jen for the insane amount of cooking, Mom for hosting the mad house and for brainstorming with me, and J and Tiffany for setting up!  And thanks to anyone who made it to the bottom of a VERY long post!!  Hope you enjoyed it =)

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