Cupcakes, jellybean guessing game, and red and black licorice. I showed Caroline that bow after I made it and she clapped her hands for me. Ahh. I've trained her well.
This banner was theoretically easy to make. Unless you don't buy enough ribbon and have to cut it into pieces, and then the pieces all fall apart when you try to hang it, and then you beg your husband to go out and buy more ribbon at 8pm because you have to study for a final on Monday. And then you still don't have enough so you just hot-glue the whole thing together.
Dining room table, before we set out the food. It was a brunch party, so we had three different quiches, an oven-baked French toast dish, a huge fruit salad, and assorted breads and pastries. YUM. Oh, and cupcakes for dessert, of course. Also, that Mylar ladybug balloon was by far Caroline's favorite part of the day. She would look at it and laugh hysterically, then do something else for a minute, then look back up at it and crack up again. And repeat endlessly.
Overall, her first party was a big success. She bounced around maniacally from the sugar high for a little while afterwards, then passed out for hours... and woke up ready to play with all her new presents!
For my part, I did better than I expected. I thought I'd tear up at least while singing "happy birthday" to her, but I didn't. The only time I got a little teary was when I went out to put balloons on my parents' mailbox and thought about how many birthday parties I'd had as a little girl with balloons on the same mailbox. I am lame and cheesy like that.