Saturday, May 02, 2009

First Birthdays.

Last weekend, we went went Upstate (Upstate NY, ya'll... I speak of it like everyone just knows what upstate means.) Ny nephew, Arman celebrated his first birthday in style!

The proud parents - Riz and Tahera. We were looking forward to this this party since we got the invitations! Cute as a bug, hand-made cards with yellow gingham ribbon and hand stamped lettering - I knew this party would be something special. And rightfully so. First birthdays are a big deal.

I made sure Arman's cousins were appropriately attired. Jeff and I began taking pictures the minute they were dressed, since we knew this perfection would not last long.

The full body shot.

Mina and I spent a lot of time discussing her wardrobe choices for the afternoon. I let her pick her dress a few days before we left the house. She selected one of Grace's pink party dresses - this one with a crisp white satin bow in the center. For those of you who aren't as blessed as we are to inherit haute couture from others, you have my condolences.

The best part was playing "beauty salon" as we got dressed. Mina sat in a chair in my teenage bedroom, while I blow-dried her hair and even curled it with an iron. She didn't flinch once. She loves this stuff. Although her hair often appears disheveled in pictures sometimes, she always starts out looking good. Play gets in the way - and that's ok.

I was very excited to dress up too. It's such a rare event. And heels no less!! Ok, wedge-heeled espadrilles, but even that is pretty exciting change of pace for me.

This was a prime grandparent opportunity, of course. Check out my mom's red hair!!

Some more family shots - "Auntie" Medina.

Arman has no shortage of "aunties" in his life. Here's a few more (Aziza and Sameena); and even an uncle or two - Faheem.

Miss Mina celebrated with Aunt T. Mina and T didn't need much time to catch up. From the minute she saw her, Mina has been in love. T's clothes, her jewelry, her sunglasses - it was all fair game for discussion. Mina convinced herself ages ago that T is "a princess." It's easy to see why.

I just love holding this little guy. He's cute and chunky and smiley and he loves to eat. His smile grins at you with an ear-to-ear burst of sunshine. It's hard to gauge how much someone his age understands about a party like this; but I'd say, he was quite a trooper. Passed around from one adoring fan to another, he hung in there and smiled for the lot of us.

They are so cute at this age!

Jeff discusses the significance of the one year milestone. Arman looks appropriately somber.

I'd be remiss if I didn't discuss the decorations - between T and her sisters, you'd be hard pressed to find better party planners. I speak from experience. For Arman's party, the creativity was on full display - the table setting, where the yellow and green from the invitations coordinated the look throughout ...

There was also a special setting for Jordan and Mina. Their place had two party goodie bags filled with treats and crafts to keep them amused for the duration (yes!!! Thank you!!!!) This was a lovely idea you might want to borrow - T created hand-made coloring books for each of them, bound with coordinating ribbon. Each page consisted of the kids favorite things. For Mina, there were princesses galore; and for Jordan - all of his cast of characters from the movie Madagascar. Including, of course, the love of his life - Gloria! The kids dove right in and colored happily while we mingled.

The adults had similar place settings, with hand made pinwheel place cards and bound journals that contained puzzles and games.

The setting was the Elmira Country Club, in a small banquet room just off the first tee. A piano player greeted the guests on a perfectly gorgeous, spring afternoon.

This caught my eye right away - the cupcake tower, made by Aziza.

And her home made cookie treats for later. Next to the jars were hand stamped bags for the guests to take home and enjoy later. I didn't wait that long, unfortunately.

I loved the setting. Right outside, we got to watch players line up at the first tee. I was secretly giggling at the scenario, since my father - a rabid golf fan, was seated right by the window. I couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking as he watched the players line up on such a beautiful day. I was slightly worried he might sneak out and try to get a quick nine rounds in before the cake was served, but he behaved himself.

Jordan might be channeling some of those golf genes, I'm afraid. He spent a lot of time staring out there too.

I love this kid. Even before he was buckled into his seat, he began eating. I don't have enough words in my vocabulary to describe the jealousy I feel about this. My kids did not share the enthusiasm for the lunch buffet. But, they suck on this point, so what else is new.

Arman prepares for the "Happy Birthday" song.

After which Jordan woke up and discovered his cupcake. And that's when he came into his own moment of culinary appreciation. Jordan has never met a cupcake he didn't love.

But then again - these were worth a lot of lovin'. The vanilla cupcakes had a hint of strawberry surprise. The frosting was one of my favorite types - a softly whipped cream, and topped with individual yellow and green fondant ladybugs. Too cute.

Jordan approved.

And Mina expressed her love in a finger lickin' kind of way.

Feeling the love.

And a family shot at the 1st tee.

In the kids goodie bags were bound writing journals stamped with their first initial monograms. It took me a second, but I then realized that the colors were the kids' favorites too - pink for Mina and orange for Jordan. T thinks of everything. I need to find these journals - they were so cute. I want one.

Thanks again for inviting us, Arman! Your birthday rocked!
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