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It’s the day I have been dreading for months. Well actually, I have been dreading it for exactly 364 days. Unfortunately, my son turning 1 year old is positively unavoidable. I wish I could say that I am going to deal well with his first birthday. It’s pretty much a guarantee I will be a sloppy, blubbering, wet mess of tears. My baby boy a year old? It went too fast.
The worst part?
I tried my hardest to treasure each moment of each 12 months. Watching other children grow up so fast had conditioned my mind to slow down and treasure the moments that I knew would not come again. I was the mom that upon her son’s first blown out diaper, instead of wrinkling my nose and gagging, I took pictures. Yes. I’m that weird. I knew his first blow out diaper wouldn’t come again. I think I even shed a tear or two.
He went practically everywhere with me his first year of life. There was only 45 days in an entire year he had to be babysat by grandmas. You might think that’s a lot, but think about it. I’m a working mom, and I was able to wrangle bringing my kid with me whenever I went 319 days out of the entire year. He came with me to Kindermusik classes at 4 days old and continued to come to every class possible. He adventured with me during my summer nannying job. I watched his wonder at seeing my preschool for the first time, and many times after. He tried to tear apart the sound booth at church while I worked my church job. My point? This kid has seen and done more in his first year than I imagine most.
You guys, I worked my butt off to be with my little one as much as possible and still make a living. I didn’t always make a lot, but I worked my butt off to try.
And now his first year is over.
I’m mourning the baby year being over. I love that first year so much. The good news is that a lifetime of firsts is ahead of him.
I want to celebrate his first year. I want to parade around and shout, “WE DID IT!”
I think most parents want to should this after the first year, which is why the 1st year birthday party extravaganza is so Pinterest popular. My own personal Pinterest party planning hat is going on and I’m getting ready to celebrate my baby’s 1st year of life! Let’s face it that first year birthday party makes for great parental memories, it makes for great pictures, but the kiddo is not going to remember it at all. In fact, more than likely my little BaaBoo is going to sit in the middle of all the celebration and just be confused.
However, I still want the celebration to reflect my little one’s interests, however arbitrary they are right now! My child is obsessed with the Usborne Books & More “That’s not my…” series. His favorite ones alternate, but at one point his favorite was “That’s not my Dinosaur.” Hence the “That’s not my Dinosaur” birthday party theme was coined.
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That's not my Dinosaur 1st Year Birthday Celebration
“That’s not my Dinosaur” birthday To-Do list – FREE Printable
Planning a 1st year old’s birthday can become overwhelming. Need a little help? You can download my “That’s not my Dinosaur” party planning checklist by clicking the button below!
Sartell Community Center
We were so blessed to be able to snag a rental at the Sartell Community Center KidZone. This indoor playground was clean, organized, developmental kid friendly, and the staff was extremely nice and accommodating. I highly recommend checking out the resources this place has. The library is well stocked with kids books, the gyms are beautiful, the walking track is large, and the KidZone indoor playground is remarkable. My little BaaBoo absolutely loved it! If you live in St.Cloud area of Minnesota, and have not checked out this indoor playground, you need to! These Minnesota winters are tough on children and such a nice indoor playground is extremely rare and well sought after.
The party room was incredibly reasonable to rent, and it accommodated about 14 people.
"That’s not my Dinosaur” Photo booth – FREE Printable
What Pinterest party is complete without the honorary photo booth? I loved watching the kids trying to take pictures with the frames. I intentionally kept our photo booth simple because I knew there was going to be a lot going on the day of the party. My FREE and simple photo booth printables and instructions can be downloaded through the link below.
These were a delight to put together, all you really need is some cheap thrift store frames, spray paint, the printables, and some hot glue. Wala! Photo booth completed.
“That’s not my Dinosaur” Menu
The place we rented for BaaBoo’s birthday was very particular about what types of food could be brought in. Nothing homemade could be brought in. Which was a real bummer for my Trim Healhy Mamma mindset. . My ‘healthy’ menu sort of flew out the window. However, we still managed to make a fairly good menu by buying some supplies online and from our local grocer. You can download the printables that I used for our menu and menu cards below.
In recent times there has been a lot of work done to create kid snacks that are more healthy. Unfortunately, on the juice front, there is s till a lot of work to be done. Even those juices that claim to be 100% from juice are NOT healthy for little ones. Juice concentrate is still loaded down with sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. Let me boil that down in juice terms. That is no more than 8 ounces for juice for the ENTIRE week. That does not count any dessert or hidden sugars in snacks and packaged food.
Bottom line. Fruit juice has NO nutritional value for your child. Check out this article by the Cleveland Clinic.
For those that appreciate a kids drink that is actually healthy I was able to find a this gem on Amazon. Very reasonably priced considering how many are included in the package!
“That’s not my Dinosaur” Party Plates and Napkins
If you are on a budget for your little one’s birthday, an easy way to save is to not splurge on the paper plates, napkins, and cups. Choose one patterned item, and buy the rest in a plain birthday themed color. We chose to get these innocent looking dinosaur napkins (because who wants angry dinosaurs for a one year old birthday party?) and the rest were purple and green plates and cutlery. It’s an easy way to save and splurge on more important things than what you will eat on.
"That's not my Dinosaur" Birthday Sign
Out of all the little projects I did for this party, this one was my favorite! Please tell me someone else thinks its as adorable as I do!
“That’s not my Dinosaur” Birthday Cake
Clover Meadow Bakery Review
For a couple years now, I have been hearing about a new Gluten Free bakery in Maple Lake, MN. On the way to my parents house I frequently drive past it and have been intrigued by the exterior ‘cuteness’. Clover Meadow Bakery is 100% dedicated gluten free, peanut free, dairy free, and allergy friendly bakery.
Because we were unable to homemake our own cake (which I would have loved to try), I had to turn to a bakery and I am sooo glad we went with Clover Meadow Bakery!
Now this mama would have rather gone without a cake than to feed her guests and child a sugary, toxic ingredients, no nutritional value, cake. It just was not going to happen. So although I knew they claimed to offer healthy gluten free alternatives, the real key for me was going to be if they offered something that didn’t contain the posionness white sugar.
When I chatted with the owners of Clover Meadow Bakery I was pleasantly surprised by their accommodations. Although this cake would not be ‘Trim Healthy Mama’ friendly, they more than surpassed my expectations for a healthy cake. Their allergy friendly list is almost unfathomable. It includes accommodations for dairy, eggs, legumes, soy, night shades/potatoes, peanuts, rice, tree nuts, rice, tapioca, yeast, refined sugar, corn, and always gluten free.
Take a moments to read that again, can you believe the dedication!?
The owner got back to me in a timely manner and addressed all my concerns about creating a healthier option for my little BaaBoo’s birthday.
And you guys, these cakes were AMAZING! I don't think I have ever tasted something free of so many allergies that was so delicious! My picky husband even asked me when we can go get another cake!
A note about the glycemic index, stevia, and coconut sugar
Clover Meadow Bakery was able to use coconut sugar for the sweetness, which was a huge win for me. Although coconut sugar still ranks on the glycemic scale, it still does not hold a candle to white sugar. As many of you Trim Healthy Mama’s/health conscientious souls out there know, stevia ranks on the glycemic index as a big fat ZERO. It has zero impact on your blood sugar, which makes it a wonderful alternative for those that want to maintain and loose weight. Stevia is especially helpful for those women who struggle with hormones. Sugar can have a nasty impact on hormones because it is linked to estrogen. However, children do not need to maintain that rigid of a diet. They are growing and need more nutrients! Table sugar is still not a win as it ranks 65 on the glycemic index. That ranking is what leads to childhood obesity, and the rising type 2 diabetes that we are seeing in young children. By contrast coconut sugar tops out at a glycemic index at 35. This is a vastly positive option for a child’s birthday party and I was more than pleasantly surprised at this accommodation. Most bakeries I have talked to are not conscientious about using healthier sweetener options. Many are open to healthier flour alternatives, but these flour alternatives do very little when our blood sugar is taking such a hit from the high amounts of toxic sugar. Clover Meadow Bakery is the only one in the area that has worked with me in this accommodation.
"That's not my Dinosaur..." Grab Bags
Grab bags don't have to be expensive or complicated. A good rule of thumb is to create a bag with 1 birthday themed item, 1 unique item, and 1 small item. For these we threw is a couple small dinosaurs, Jurassic slime, and stickers.
An easy slime recipe is as follows.
- One bottle of Elmer's Washable No-Run School Glue, 4 oz, 3 Pack
- ½ tsp of Borax
- Watkins Food Coloring
- 1 cup warm water
Place one cup of warm water in a large bowl, add ½ tsp of borax and mix well. Start with 10 drops of food coloring and adjust according to desired appearance. Slowly add glue in and stir until a goo or slime texture appears. The longer you keep the goo in the water the more thick the slime will become.