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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Monday, July 20

Ahoy, Mac!

Mac's first birthday party was on Saturday, July 18. Not that its about me, but this would be my last "first" birthday and I wanted to do it right. Plus, it is the first summer birthday that I've got to plan. true Stacy fashion, I started planning over two months ago! I wanted it to be special and I wanted to have time to get it just right (whatever that means to a one year old!!).

After quite a bit of stressing, many emails to Stacey and conversations with Jim, I picked the theme: anchors! I thought it was fitting since it was the summer and there'd be water and honestly, I thought he'd be cute in sailor stuff!! LOL. Once the theme was picked, I was off and running.

I got outfits for each of the five of us (really for family pictures but also in the theme of his birthday party). I made from scratch a custom anchor pinata. I started looking for cake ideas, but this wasn't finalized until MAYBE a week before the party. Plus, I "needed" four cakes (one for on his actual birthday, one for his party, a smash cake for his party and one smash cake for pictures!). I researched tons of anchor decorations ideas. I decided to do a photo wall of all of Mac's monthly pictures, which I think turned out super cute. My aunt Lisa made him a custom "one" birthday sign with anchors on it. And I helped Jim come up with a "nautical" theme menu (lobster rolls, chicken salad with shells, jello with gummy fish in a fish bowl, octo-dogs and shells and cheese!). Not to mention the outdoor entertainment, which Jim did, of a 100 foot slip-n-slide and an inflatable pool!

I had so much fun doing it. My friend Andrea said she doesn't do a "theme" for the first birthday because it would be about her instead of the one year old. I thought about that and I was wondering if I was going a little bonkers but then I was like, um yes it is for me! For every other birthday, I do what they want or what "fits" with their current "thing" (in hind site, I would have picked a monkey/banana theme since he loves bananas; but then it wouldn't have been about me, lol). The first one IS for me. It is a celebration of surviving the first year both intact. It is tough. It is so restrictive when you breastfeed for that first year. You feel like you have a permanent growth on your hip (which you kind of do!). You never really sleep well, even when baby is "sleeping through the night." The idea of a shower (or even going to the bathroom!) alone is a pipe dream that will be years in the making. But it is SO worth it and the party is a celebration of all of that and so much more.

We had the party at 11am on Saturday. This was earlier than we'd ever had a party before but we thought it would be nice to be before nap time for most kids and people would still have the afternoon or evening to do other things. This all might have worked out well if we hadn't had a MAJOR storm come through the night before (sirens, tornadoes very close, cuddling in the basement bathroom at midnight, etc!). But with the help of many, we were ready and the party was an absolute success.

I've said it before but I want to say it again: thank you to everybody who helped make Mac's day so special. He is one lucky kid and everybody was so generous with their time and gifts. While it was bitter sweet for me because he's my baby but isn't much of a baby any more, I'm happy that my "last" one was pretty much perfect. what should we do for his second birthday? LOL Just kidding, I can start thinking about Finn's birthday instead!!! "Only" 169 days left!!
My little birthday sailor.
Mac's monthly picture feature.
Custom "one" sign from Aunt Lisa.
The 100' slip-n-slide.
Korri hitting the anchor pinata.
Opening his very generous gifts!
Mac and Mommy with his anchor cake.
Who needs to get their hand dirty?

Side note: it isn't about me but I am very proud of the fact that exactly one year to the day after Mac was born, I hit my pre-pregnancy weight on the nut! How is that for awesome?!?! The last year has been a struggle for me because I felt massively huge (and I WAS!), but I didn't want my food intake, or lack thereof, to affect my milk supply. So I felt stuck. Then in late Feb, coinciding with when he started eating "real" food, I think, I decided to do something about it. It feels so good. The downside is that I'd gained weight before Mac was born, so I'm not where I want to end up, but I'll take it for now. Here's to achieving milestones and setting goals!

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