*WARNING: This post is going to be very photo heavy. If you don’t like photos of adorable babies celebrating their first birthday, then this isn’t the post for you haha
I am SO excited about this post. Over the weekend, we celebrated Allie’s very first birthday and to say I was emotional is an understatement. But it was a fantastic weekend nonetheless and I am so excited to share it with you!
Saturday: First Birthday Photos On The Beach
Saturday was pretty low-key aside from some errands and last minute birthday prep that morning, but Saturday afternoon/night, we drove over to Coronado Island to take Allie’s first birthday photos. I was a little worried about driving to the beach on a Saturday night over Memorial Day weekend, but we were pleasantly surprised that was ZERO traffic going there and leaving. It was just the normal traffic of people coming and going. You wouldn’t have even been able to guess that it was a holiday weekend. So I was super happy that it wasn’t overly packed and horrible to get to.
Parking was a little challenging, but it typically is anyways so it wasn’t a big deal. Once we were parked, we headed to the water to take, what was supposed to be, our beautiful family photos . . .
If you know me, you know that I had these photos planned out for weeks. I had a whole Pinterest board dedicated to birthday photo ideas and beach photos and things like that so I went to beach with a whole vision . . . and that vision instantly went out the door the moment we got to the sand.
Let me just start by saying Allie HATED the sand. Absolutely hated it. No idea why. But she had never been to the beach before so it was an all new experience for her. And she wasn’t a fan of the new experience.
I’m not sure if it was the feel of the sand or the fact that she sunk into it when she stood on it. No idea. But the moment we put her down, it was instant screaming and crying. The first 30-something photos I have from this session are of her crying. We tried to ease her into it by letting her sit in our laps or on a towel. I walked around in the sand with her in my arms so she could observe it like we did with the pool. She wasn’t having it.
After about 30 minutes of trying to get her to ease into it, we decided to see if we could find a grassy area that she’d like more (she loves grass, but for some reason she wanted nothing to do with grass either). Eventually we found a rock wall just off the sidewalk overlooking the water and this worked a million times better. Not the beautiful sunset beach photos I had envisioned, but when you have little ones, you really just have to go with the flow. And I ended up loving all her beautiful photos regardless.
She was a little iffy about the rock at first, but after about 10 minutes, she was ready to ease herself off our laps to explore the rocks herself. I have next to no photos of her actually looking at the camera, BUT they’re adorable anyways.
After the rock wall, we let her wander the sidewalks a bit and she completely took off. She’s been walking like crazy this past month and loves to explore her surroundings. So since the walkway was pretty empty most of the time, we put her down and let her wander as much as she wanted. She must have walked back and forth for a good 45 minutes before we decided it was time to move on and grab some dinner. But she loved being able to see everything and meet new people that passed. Allowing her to walk in public instantly makes me feel like we have a toddler rather than a baby.
Once photos were done, we wandered Coronado a bit and settled into a cute Mexican restaurant for dinner. Zack and I really just wanted a good drink so we just ordered an appetizer to go with them and then got Allie the kids macaroni and cheese. This child ate every last bite of her meal as well as chicken and veggies off our nachos as well. Which I found funny because typically kids menus are designed for kids 12 years old and younger and our little 1 year old ate every last bite. AND she drank her whole sippy cup of milk. I don’t know what it is, but the fact that we can now order her meals at restaurants is just so exciting to me. I feel like we have a big kid all of a sudden.
After dinner, we got everyone cleaned up and changed and then headed home to relax. Allie was up WAY past her bedtime so she was more than ready to pass out in her bed the moment we got home. We got her changed into her pj’s and she was out for the night. I then used the night to get a ton of schoolwork done so I’d have less to worry about at Sea World. Overall, this was a really fun, good day!
Sunday: Celebration at Sea World
On Sunday, we decided to celebrate her birthday art Sea World. I know some of you may think that’s odd for a 12 month old since they can’t do a whole lot at that age rides-wise, but I’ll explain this in a minute!
Since Sea World doesn’t open until 10am, it allowed us to have a very easy and relaxing morning at home prior to going which I loved! I spent the morning getting our bag packed to go and then got some blog and schoolwork done as well. So it was a really productive morning which then allowed me to have a much more relaxing and fun time at Sea World.
So back to why we chose Sea World for her first birthday . . .
We had taken Allie to Sea World back in December when she was 6.5 months old and she LOVED it. She loved seeing the fish tanks and the dolphins and since Zack’s military, we get in for free once a year anyways. So since we only pay for parking, we were like “why not?” She loved it the first time so now that she’s older, we assumed it would be even more fun for her. Well, you should never assume thing haha
Related: Allie Goes To Sea World
While we had a really good day at Sea World, Allie was actually terrified of just about everything this time around. Again, no idea why. But she was. We took her out of her stroller to see the dolphins jumping and splashing around and she balled her eyes out. We tried again with the fish tanks (something she LOVED the first time around) and again, it ended in tears. The first 30 minutes was pretty much just crying so I honestly wasn’t sure how the day would go at that point.
Since Allie is walking now and Sea World was pretty empty (quite surprising for a holiday weekend), we let her walk a lot throughout the day which helped a lot. It allowed her to explore and experience everything on her own terms and at her own pace so she was much less afraid of everything when we stopped to look at things. She spent about half the day just walking around and exploring so if you have a toddler that’s having a hard time, I highly recommend just letting them explore on their own. I try to do this as often as possible when Allie’s in a situation where she’s scared and it’s always helped us so much. I did the same thing with easing her into the pool and again with our family photos and it’s always made her feel so much more comfortable. So the rest of the day was a breeze!
The only other “issue” we had this day was when we stopped for lunch. Zack had gone to get us some lunch so Allie and I found a good table to sit down and wait for him. I was in the middle of vlogging for our YouTube channel and out of nowhere, Allie threw up. Completely out of the blue. We’re not sure if she was dehydrated or had an upset stomach. No idea. She was happy and fine leading up to that point and was just as happy and fine afterwards. So I have no idea what happened there.
To make it even better, I went to pour Allie some water to help her tummy after getting her cleaned up. I poured the rest of one bottle into her sippy cup and then reached for a second bottle to fill it up and in those 2 seconds, she grabbed the cup and poured a good 4 ounces of water all over herself. I just sat there laughing. She thought it was hilarious and since it’s only water and it was 70-something degrees out, I wasn’t too concerned about it. We got the water all dried up from her high chair and let her air dry through lunch.
After lunch, Allie passed out in her stroller so we spent some time exploring and then ended up leaving at around 3 o’clock or so in order to make it home in time to watch the Celtics play. One of the best things about doing amusement parks at this age is that there’s zero need to stay the entire day. She’s not at an age where she’s begging to go on rides and begging to stay until closing. We love able to take our time and do what we want and we take full advantage of that when we take her to big places like this. There’s zero pressure on the day. It’s awesome!
We spent the remainder of the day relaxing at home. Again, I used this time to finish up all remaining schoolwork that was due that night as well as some blog work so I could spend Allie’s birthday 100% with her rather than glued to a screen. It was another really good day around here.
Monday: Allie’s First Birthday
Monday was Allie’s very first birthday. I really thought I would spend the day in tears, but I’m proud to say I only teared up twice (maybe it’s the fact that I had already spent a month crying over this birthday . . . I was out of tears haha). Since this will probably be our one and only birthday with her just the three of us, I really wanted it to be special. Once we’re back home, there will never again be a nice, relaxing birthday just us so I made sure all work was done beforehand so we could actually spend time together as a family.
We didn’t have much of a schedule for the day. We made Allie some French toast sticks for breakfast and spent spent the morning playing with her toys, wandering the house, and playing with the dog. I made her birthday cake during her morning nap which I was super excited about. I have photos of her cake below. Allie is the third generation to have this as her first birthday cake. My grandmother had made this cake for my dad when he turned one and then she made it for me for my first birthday as well. So I decided to continue the tradition and make it for Allie too. It didn’t come out nearly as cute as my grandma’s cakes but it’s not too bad!
When Allie woke up from her nap we decided to do cake photos and all first so I could have nice photos before her birthday outfit got dirty. Zack really wanted her to do a cake smash so we handed her the whole cake and to be honest, her “cake smash” was a complete fail!
This child had zero interest in smashing the cake. All she wanted was the animal crackers off it. So unfortunately, we didn’t get any cute cake smash photos like you see on Pinterest. But on the bright side, the cake was still edible after she picked the animal crackers off. So that’s a bonus. My hard work didn’t go to waste.
After cake, we let Allie open her presents. She got some fun toys and lots of cute clothes to wear this summer. She wasn’t as thrilled for presents, but she did love the wrapping paper!
Once she was all cleaned up, I moved her to her play pen where Zack and I had filled it with fun balloons during her nap. Like everything else, she was a bit scared and iffy of them at first, but after about 10 minutes she loved them. So she played with the balloons and her toys while Zack put together a new Finding Dory water table his mom had gotten her for her birthday. Since Allie loves splashing in Jack’s water dish and in the bath tub, I thought she’d love to have her own water table in the back yard.
While she did love her new table, she liked the toys in it much better. It came with a small green “shovel” (I’m not sure if you’d call it a shovel considering there’s holes in it) and she wouldn’t put it down. She carried it around everywhere with her and we even ended up taking it to the pool with us later that afternoon.
After some snacks and fun outside, we put Allie down for her afternoon nap and started to get everything cleaned up from the day. I was super happy that the weather warmed up during the day. It’s been so chilly and cloudy here this last month so I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to get out of the house and do much on her birthday. But thankfully, it warmed up and the sun came out so once Allie woke up from her nap, we got everyone changed into bathing suits and hit up the pool for a bit.
If you remember my last pool post, you know that Allie was so scared of the pool the first time we brought her. Like screaming and crying and wouldn’t go anywhere near the pool. She’s now been five or six times and loves it. She was so excited walking outside to the stroller and she was more than happy to climb into her swim float with her daddy when we got there. I was so proud of this girl. She allowed Zack to bring her away from the stairs and into the middle of the pool and didn’t cry once. I think we’re finally able to have some fun pool days!
The rest of Allie’s birthday was spent relaxing at home and getting the house cleaned up. We had some chicken for dinner (her favorite) and watched some tv together on the couch. While it was a very busy and fun weekend, we all woke up on Tuesday feeling completely exhausted. I spent the day on the couch with some YouTube and coffee and even took a two hour nap when Allie went down for her morning nap. It was a great weekend, but I’m ready for a few days off from the chaos!