Last October 25, 2012, my VBAC baby Napoleon turned one year old. We’ve been planning to celebrate this joyful event with family and friends and to have his dedication at the same time. We’ve been putting off his dedication because of the many events that happened after his birth—packing up and transferring to Davao, adjusting to our new home, etc.
With all the preparations and budget considerations, I thought of doing most of the legwork myself. To make it less stressful, I hired my friend Lorie Avila (who is also one of the godmothers) to do the catering. I just gave her the budget and gave suggestions on the menu. I thought, at least that’s one down in my to-do list. Next, I ordered the cake and cupcakes from another friend (Corina & Mom’s Pantry). I wanted to have a Dr. Seuss theme for the party, so I gave her some links and pictures of the design I wanted.
For the clown, I searched for a clown that can make the party lively and enjoyable for the kids. Since the function room has a time limit, I wanted the clown to have games and fun for about thirty minutes. Three to four games are enough. So I found an independent clown of who charged me a thousand to have balloon twisting and hosting with games all in one. For all the other details, I took charge of it. My husband Val made the cutie invitation. We just got it from the Internet, so Val had to make adjustments and put my baby’s picture right there.
Since I wanted a whimsical feel to the party, I looked for striped gift wrappers in blue, red, and yellow that will serve as buntings and decors. Boy, that was tough! I went to National Bookstore, all the branches—none. Paper Tree—none. One day, my husband and I were going to the groceries to look for big white marshmallows for the party, and lo and behold, we saw striped gift wrappers, all three colors! I was so happy. I made the buntings right away when I went home.
As for the giveaways, I want it simple but functional. Initially, I wanted to have a tumbler for the kids to drink on during the party because my friend the caterer asked if she needs to bring the cups. So I thought of providing the tumblers that the kids can also bring home with them. When I ordered the balloons, I stumbled upon the kind of tumbler that I want. The store used to sell them as giveaways, but since they don’t have a layout artist, they stopped selling already. The clerk told me to go downtown, but she didn’t mention any specific store. So when my husband arrived from his business trip, I asked him to go with me downtown. We went to several stores that sell household stuff. We finally found what I needed on the third store. Instead of stickers, my husband just printed out on a nice paper the thank-you note and inserted it inside the tumbler.
The last detail that I added is the marshmallow pop. I wanted to add a food that has a red-and-blue detail of the theme. So I surfed the Net and found this. I bought big white marshmallows, plastic straws, sanding sugar in red and blue colors, little paintbrushes, and a styro foam to mount the marshmallow pops. I found all these in a baking supplies shop across my hair salon.
My son Uno readily volunteered to be my assistant. It was so easy to do. First, you just have to dip the paintbrush on water, then brush the water on the mallows. Leave the top and bottom dry so you have space to hold it when dipping it on the sugar. If you want to coat the top and bottom, you just have to repeat the same process. Third, stick the plastic straws and mount them on the styro or any basket you want.
At first, we both had fun making creative designs on the mallows. Uno thought of other ways to make it unique. When it was almost bedtime, I just wanted to dip it all in red or blue. The important thing is, it was coated with the colorful sugar. I put the mallows (without the straws first) in separate containers (one for the red and one for the blue) and put them in the fridge. I just took them out when it was almost time to go to the venue.
We had the party on a weekend, October 27, 2012, at the second floor of BluGre Matina Townsquare. They don’t usually have birthday parties there, but I asked the manager if I can rent the place for a couple of hours. I got a good deal for the place, so I was happy I chose it. My guests knew the place and loved the coffee, and we appreciated the privacy we got compared to having the party in a fast-food function room.
In the morning of the party, we set up the decorations (balloons and buntings). The caterer did the skirting of the tables as well. So when we arrived, there were just a few details left for us to do. We got a call from my in-laws that they were arriving. It is almost impossible to bring them out of Manila, so I was a bit surprised that they finally decided to come to Davao and be part of the event. When Val went to the airport to pick them up, he was surprised to see his brother only; his parents were only joking with us after all—that is after I was rushing around cooking breakfast for additional three people without any helper. But oh well, my brother-in-law came, and that was enough.
It was around 3:30 p.m. when we had the short ceremony to dedicate my son Napoleon. The minister asked why we named him Napoleon. Val, the father, answered, “We wanted our son to bear the name that means ‘Infinite Possibilities,’ and Cathy read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and became inspired by him. At the same time, she learned that Napoleon Bonaparte struck the word impossible in the French dictionary when he became the first emperor of France. Hence, Napoleon after the two great men. For his second name, Ziyad, we wanted a name that means ‘superabundant.’ That’s why his name is Napoleon Ziyad.”
We, along with my parents who came all the way from Cebu, my brother-in-law who came from Manila, our select godparents, and some of closest friends lighted the candle and welcomed Napoleon, or Super as we fondly call him, to this wonderful world of possibilities.
The party went well, the food was great, and we just had fun. The clown was a bit late, but the kids and the adults too enjoyed the games. There was even a father-son Gangnam showdown. That was super fun! I was so proud of my son Uno. He really came out of his shell. It was the first time I saw him dance in front of the crowd. I was clapping the whole time!
All in all, I was so grateful that this event had come to pass. Guess I was still exhausted after the party because I was sick for two days after that. But all was worth it for my VBAC baby boy Napoleon. The night before his birthday, I was crying while I was breast-feeding—me and my emotional self. I just thanked him for choosing me as his mom. It’s truly a privilege and honor to raise up a child like him. I know in my heart he’s going to grow up into a fine young boy with his God-given potential. Silently, I thanked God for this wonderful gift. I am truly blessed to have him.