Gifts for a 1 Year Old

Yes, it’s true, babies don’t need a whole lot. They play with the things that aren’t toys the most anyway, right?

But Jameson is both our firstborn and first grandchild in our family. He has both a birthday and Christmas coming up. He’s bound to get a lot of new toys and clothes and necessities and a lot of un-necessities too. Here are a few things that we’ve gotten him, know that he is getting, and a few things we’ve gotten other babies around his age.*

Stride-Rite gift cardPlay tunnels | Kid-sized towels

Every new walker is a growing boy or girl who will need new shoes again and again sooner than their parents might want.

They’re also really into exploring, a perfect time to introduce these collapsible play centers (and keep them away from exploring other areas of the house like the toilet seats or trashcans). However, a lot of them say they have small parts and aren’t to be used by kids under 3, so use at your discretion!

And if your baby or your friend’s baby hasn’t already outgrown those small newborn baby towels, maybe now is the perfect time to give them a new kid-sized towel that will last longer than their newborn towels did.

Blocks | Giant stuffed animal | Sled

Blocks made for babies are great because they make them now with interactive elements, like mirrors, bells, and textures. Jameson is getting two different sets and the great thing about these is that they can be used for years to come as their block collection can grow.

I don’t know about other babies, but Jameson is loving pillows and soft items. So we thought it would be fun to get him a giant stuffed caterpillar for him to dive into.

And a sled? That timeless classic will never get old for winter birthdays. For the one year old though find one with sides, maybe even handles, and check to see if the little one already has one first.

Finger Paint | Walker & Riding Toy | Puzzles

It’s never too early for finger paint. With supervision, any baby can make masterpieces before they’re old enough to hold a crayon.

Or if you’re looking for something perfect for that age, a walking and riding toy would be ideal.

To develop coordination, puzzles with extra large knobs are also fun. I know Jameson has a lot of books, but no puzzles yet.

Clothes | Touch & Feel Books | $$

Even (maybe especially) the second baby in the family would benefit from new clothes, particularly those clothes that maybe mom and dad don’t spend the money on. You know, the nice sweaters that aren’t on sale yet or high quality pants from a store that penny-pinching parents wouldn’t typically shop from.

Jameson has a lot of books and they are like magic to him right now. I’m not opposed to any number of books if they capture his attention. Baby Touch and Feel books are his favorite right now.

Last, a parent may not say it but money for a big purchase might be the most appreciated, such as for car seats or a college fund.

Bath Toys | Bibs | Snack & Food Utensils for Toddlers

Bath time is really starting to get fun for the one year old. Stick on letters, paint or crayons for bath time (I’ve also seen water dyes), or this endless water spout would be great. Plus, they’re getting more baths now because they’re messier right? Or is that just us?

Likewise, Jameson needs some new bibs, a lot of the ones he has are the small cloth ones we got at our shower, and he’s ready for some big boy bibs. Plus, bibs get gross. You can never have enough of these, I think.

One-year-olds are also getting to the age of snacking, spoons and forks (well, not quite yet), plates and bowls. I like the juice drink holders for when he learns how to use the straw, and the snack catchers are perfect for keeping fist fulls of food in the container instead of on the floor.

Kid Chair | Toys with Wheels | Personalized Stools or Puzzles

I’ve heard it from several parents that their kids just love their own personal kid-sized chairs and sit in them all the time.

And personally, Jameson loves toys on wheels. He’s not coordinated yet, but he tries to roll his animals on wheels, so we’re giving him a big red car that will be easy for him to push around. Vehicles, the pull behind doggy, and plenty of other wheel-ed toys are great. The risk here is that if you are buying for a friend, they may already have a lot of vehicle toys as these are a staple for little boys!

This sign is great for kids any age, but 1 is a special year and parents will appreciate the extra time and thoughtfulness of a personalized stool or puzzle.

Soft Ornaments | Christmas Tree | Food

Instead of a fancy first Christmas ornament, why not a few that baby can hang (or play with) him or herself that are soft or made of felt? I have a lot of ornaments that Jameson can’t touch, but not a lot that he can play with for hanging low on the Christmas tree.

And I admit it, this Christmas Tree I just think is adorable. It can even be personalized!

And for a stocking? Every baby loves puffs, cheerios, and teething cookies to fill that space.


What not to get (or at least consider carefully): Toys that take up a lot of space for babies that live in storage-limited homes and items without a gift receipt or way of returning. Let’s face it, even when you’re trying to find the perfect something, your perfect may not be their perfect. That’s okay, because your gift will still allow them to get something else they may really need.

*I have not used or experienced all these products, but I think they’re great ideas. As always, consider your purchases carefully and note any age specific warnings and details.

P.S. Looking for gifts for a 2 year old? Check out some of my suggestions.

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Saturday, we went to Jameson’s 2nd cousin’s first birthday party! Nicholas and his parents, my cousins, live less than 5 minutes away but this is the first we’ve ever been to their house. Life really does wrap us up sometimes, but we were happy to finally meet Nicholas, see how big his brother Nathan has gotten, and see relatives all gathered who I haven’t seen all together since my grandpa passed away a few years ago.

I refrained from dragging along my monster camera, but I couldn’t help but take some photos with the iPhone. Here’s a few shots of Nicholas’ Mickey Mouse themed party!

Would you believe that cake was made and decorated by Nicholas’ mother Lisa and her mom? Jameson loved it, his mouth went all black with Mickey Mouse icing. He wasn’t sure about the ice cream, it was a little cold. That’s him at the end pulling his sock off with his teeth.

He was a champ the whole time, and kept his great Aunt Carol entertained by showing (not sharing) his toys. That’s his new thing, so show off the toy and then take it back. Jameson also is enjoying sticking his fingers in other people’s mouths, so hopefully he doesn’t get sick again before his birthday at the end of THIS WEEK.

In other news, he woke up this morning at 4:30 crying, we’re not really sure why. He fell back asleep on me propped up on my shoulder, rocking. I kind of loved it, even at 4:30 in the morning. Except that he woke up when I went to lay him back down, so I did what any other mother in my shoes would do and I gave him to dad. Haha.

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Birthday Boy

I know, I know. It’s a little early to be celebrating Jameson’s birthday. We have a couple more weeks to go (Gosh, only a couple?! I am way behind on making those garlands)

But, he seemed to enjoy the walk behind/ride on toy at his friend Mark‘s so much that we asked nicely and Jameson’s grandparents were willing to go ahead and give him one of his gifts early last night.

Sasha wanted to help. That right there, that’s “9 years of teaching her to open her own gifts” Brian said. Yep, this puppy gets wrapped gifts too.

What is it!? Why, it’s …. wrapping paper! Yay!

Meanwhile, some assembly is required.

[10 Minutes Later…]

Grandma and grandpa (who took off work early for this special occasion) are thrilled. Jameson took to it right away, both forward and backward as you can see in this cute video.


I can tell that he’s going to be chasing after the puppy even more now…

I am not sure who had more fun, us or Jameson.

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Birthday Bash: Invitations, Check

They’re done and mailed! (Well, almost all of them. You know there are always a few that trail behind mass mailings, right?)

A few weeks ago I showed you my design, but no one called me out on my math fail. I said that I wanted them to be 4.25″ x 5.5″ (half a regular sheet of paper), which is not true at all, that’s like a quarter of a sheet of paper and far smaller than I wanted.

So I had to reinvent the wheel and enlarge my design.

I did go with Smart Press as was my original plan, but I decided to splurge a little on some nicer paper. What can I say? I love paper.

I even did everything the proper way: First I purchased their sample paper pack, which they offer for free with a promo code, afterwhich I chose my paper and placed my order. I chose their Felt Weave, Soft White for my invitations, and I love how they came out with texture.

In the past, I have done a poor job guessing how many invites I would need, and since increasing quantities didn’t affect my order total significantly, I pulled the trigger and purchased 75! invitations (oh no, we are not using them all, for sure!). They all came with nice envelopes (though I should note they are thinner envelopes than for example a wedding invitation of course).

$53 was my total including shipping, which may be over someone else’s budget but remember I’m having the party at home with mostly DIY decor and food. Oh, and I should mention the stamps. They’re forever stamps, and they’re winter themed, and are in his colors of greens and blues. Score!

As a final touch, I followed my inspiration party theme and included a card for guests to write thoughts, future hopes, blessings, or even draw pictures for Jameson’s time capsule. I’ll have extra cards at the party as well, but I want everyone thinking about a fun thing they can put in the capsule ahead of time.

The best part about these is that I printed them at home on scrap cardstock. Who has scrap cardstock? Yep, that’s me.

Invitations? Check.

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Birthday Bash: Circle Garland

On Sunday, I finally had a chance to test out my proposed circle garland from here which I found on Pinterest while Jameson napped!

Early last week, I went to Home Depot and stole acquired some paint sample papers. I was convinced that this would be the best, cheapest (read: free) method for creating a decorative garland for Jameson’s birthday. Midway through acquiring the samples, I realized they only had color on one side and I’d have to glue two sides together.

That’s okay, it ended up being kind of an awesome feature of my garland.

My favorite thing about this garland is that I didn’t need to use the sewing machine. I originally thought I would follow the same method shown here, but realized I would probably spend more time threading the sewing machine and unraveling jams because of the thickness of my glued-together-circles.

I didn’t want to deal with it. I mean, I know you get better with more practice, but… for a project like this, I didn’t want anything too time consuming.

Instead, I followed this method (or lack there of, since this is as easy as it gets)


  • shape puncher (particularly cool when you have two sizes)
  • paper (or paint samples)
  • glue stick
  • needle and thread

A couple quick notes: if you’re doing the needle and thread method, I think stiffer paper works the best (or in my case, two papers glued together). Also, this method tangles very easily, so I have my finished garland on a hanger in the closet until the big day.

Aside from a little hand cramping, this was really easy.

I punched out some circles. I randomly (and sloppily) glued them together (because the needle and thread will really hold them together, so don’t stress over the glue).

Each side was a subtly different shade of blue, with a jolt of green or darker blue every foot or so. I strung them together with needle and basic white thread.

I’ve only made about 6 feet of garland, and have decided that one more garland for a total of 12 feet will be ideal for my each of my lights. It’s just a little sparse right now.

Total time spent: Jameson’s nap, which was a little longer than usual 😉 about 2 hours for one garland, but I think I’ll get quicker as I go along.

Total money spent: Free, assuming you have a shape puncher already.

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Birthday Bash: Invitations

Jameson’s first birthday is right around the corner. He’ll be 10 months this weekend, so that leaves me a just a couple weeks to get out invitations which friends tell me should be mailed 6 weeks in advance.

So I went to my inspiration friend, Pinterest, and looked at some invitations I had pinned a while ago. I immediately was sold on the “One Year Old in a Flash” invite from The Macs because it seems so appropriate for my photo-happy self. Because, you know, first birthdays are more about the parents than the kids 😉

My original plan was to DIY the invitations myself from 8-1/2″ x 11″ cardstock, cut in half, attached to another layer printed at home with the party details and tied with a bow or something else clever but simple. But, after designing it in Photoshop, I thought the easiest and best way may just be to get the whole invitation printed.

I’ve selected Smart Press to print them, mainly because I designed it in at 4.25″ x 5.5″ (half a regular sheet of paper) and they can print that size. Plus, I can get A-2 envelopes for reasonably cheap, and the more I buy the cheaper it gets. Right now, I am just waiting on some paper samples from them since they have a wide variety of choices at a reasonable cost.

Without further ado!

My adorable winter baby’s party will be in light blues, silvers, whites and a touch of the lovely green. I’m hoping to imitate some more decorations from the One Year in a Flash party, like the paper circle garlands which I can hang from a few chandeliers and the time capsule.

We’re also going to do appetizers instead of a full catered or cooked meal, so that we can invite other people without needing to seat them for a meal.

paper circle garland | time capsule | photo age wall | photos on clothespins garland | hot chocolate party garnishes | wishes for baby for time capsule | make a wish time capsule sign | marshmallow snowflakes | sugared pecans in a crock pot | wooden one letters with balloons | cards bound with rings

Who’s excited?!

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Everybody’s Working for the Weekend


This week went by fairly quickly though actually. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to share some fun news, I am crossing my fingers and toes.

Last Saturday, Jameson visited with his friend Jonathan again. Jonathan is getting so big; he’s also a very hungry little boy! He had 8 oz of formula/milk just while we visited that evening! Meanwhile, Jameson’s pretty casual about his eating (until he gets really hungry like at night). Oh, you would like to feed me now?  Okay, I’m game.

Lisa has to go back to work soon, and I know that’s rough, so we definitely wanted to have a fun night with them before their routine changes again. I think sometimes that’s the hardest part. Not really leaving them (because sometimes it’s nice to leave them, really), but it’s just changing up the routine.

And on Monday we finally got to visit with Carrie and Matt and Jameson’s new friend, Nicholas. Nicholas is 2 months old but very alert. Him and Jameson had a little staring contest, it was funny to see them so aware of each other.

This week was also exciting for Jameson; he got to go in the exersaucer at daycare! The exersaucer is the round toy-filled fun standing seat. It helps them practice putting weight on their legs while being surrounded by super fun toys. So Brian put together our exersaucer at home and put a blanket underneath because even at the lowest setting he wasn’t quite touching the ground. Jameson immediately started reaching for the toys. I have a couple photos to post soon.

I also want to share my new favorite site, It’s like a bookmark in that you save sites you visit, but it’s all about the images. So I have some new inspiration boards, particularly for our basement which will eventually finish off, and also for Jameson’s first birthday party (it’s never too soon!)

Tonight we’re seeing Jameson’s great Aunt Carol and cousins. It will be a fun visit! And tomorrow we’ll be doing our longest drive with him yet, to visit his great grandma and more aunts and cousins! It will be a fun filled Easter weekend for him, full of family and up to 6 month clothing (since I finally washed it all haha). And maybe he’ll sleep through the night again? He did last night! but not earlier this week, so maybe it’s wishful thinking.

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A 4 Month Recap

This past week, I realized that I haven’t taken as many photos of Jameson this month as in previous months. It must be because of going back to work, but it made me a little sad because Jameson is so much more active and aware now. I weighed him and he is about 12-1/2 pounds right now. One of the biggest changes this month since he started daycare is his “tummy time”. He will now stay on his tummy for minutes at a time, and his head is way up, about 90 degrees (though not consistently the entire time he’s on his belly). Some of his recent photos demonstrate this, but I love this one from his 4 month photo shoot this weekend.

The second biggest change this past month is the development of his napping schedule. I think I’ve talked about this a couple times already, but okay, it’s still not really a schedule, but at daycare he will sleep 2-3 hours at a time, and at home on the weekends he’ll nap for 30-45 minutes at a time. That may not seem like a big change at home, but he is napping in his crib!

Jameson’s bedtime is also gradually getting earlier. We’re working our way to an 8 o’clock bedtime. A couple weeks before starting back to work, we started him at a real bedtime and routine at 10. Since then we dropped to 9 after daylight savings, and now on most nights it’s 8:30. I’ve been avoiding an earlier bedtime, fearing that he’ll wake up twice at night, but the past two nights he has slept through the entire night (not just the 5-6 hours that doctors consider “through the night”, but a full 8-9 hours) Hopefully the trend continues and it wasn’t just because it was the weekend and he didn’t have as many naps during the day!

His photos on Saturday made him look so big! I put him in shoes, and a white button up onesie which my mom ironed for me last weekend when they were here. It was his “alternative” baptism outfit. He sat there with his little knee upright without my posing. And what a smile, right at me and the camera! He was sitting still enough there’s no blurriness.

Compared with his previous month photos below. I think I’ll have to do a little collage at the end for his 1st birthday party or something.

Can I just point out too, how my photo taking and editing is getting so much better? Look at how yellow the earlier photos are. I’m going to have to go back and re-edit some of those good ones!

In other news, Brian and I left his with Brian’s mom last Monday night while we went to the PACE Awards! Brian’s company didn’t win a trophy, but they did get a plaque, which is wonderful considering they go through thousands of applicants. There were a lot of engineers there, and we saw some great new innovations coming to the auto industry! A couple of my favorites (ie., I could understand what the innovation actually was) were the inflatable seat belt, which is effectively an airbag for the rear seat passenger, coming out on a Ford model. And also the high beam headlights which you don’t need to turn off because they automatically adjust the angles to avoid direct lighting in oncoming traffic, coming in a Mercedes model.

It was fun to get dressed up, and we met with Brian’s client and his wife, some other co-workers who I have met before, and his CEO and his wife. It was wonderful to be able to talk about Jameson (actually having something to talk about).

Jameson did great, and Becky successfully put him to bed without us for the first time. When we left he was giving his grandma all kinds of giggles so I knew he would be fine. He woke up when we got home for a feeding, and slept the rest of the night. The latter half of last week was a little rough on me though for lack of sleep since we got home so late. It was nice to sleep in on Saturday while Brian took Jameson, and I let Brian sleep in on Sunday. This is usually how our weekends go these days, taking turns.

This weekend, Brian has off on Good Friday and will be brewing beer (he says this batch will be a citrus-y IPA); on Saturday we are hopefully going to visit Jameson’s great grandma and more extended family who he hasn’t met yet; and Sunday will be a relaxing day after church for Easter. I am getting two pansy baskets in memory of Brian’s grandpa and my grandma. If it’s nice, I have been thinking about planting lettuce in either a basket over the railing of the porch or in a pot if their roots need more space. I got the idea from a recent Better Homes & Gardens issue. (like this but a little different).

Also, hopefully this week we will finally get to meet little Nicholas; our friends had their baby over a month ago now and due to a series of unfortunate illnesses (us and then them!) we haven’t been able to get together. Hopefully tonight will be the night!

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