We had a party for her on Saturday, but I'm headed to my brother's house tonight for dinner and another little celebration. She's so loved.
She had a bit of a rough time since she'd gone without a nap and it was the third thing she'd had stuck on her head in the last ten minutes, but here's Miss M wearing her birthday hat (even though Mama put it on backwards - don't worry, I let her know.)
Since she's getting to be such a big girl, learning how to talk and walk, I wanted to do something for her birthday that would help her continue to learn. I'm an avid scrapbooker so I decided that I would make her some picture books.
I had a group of three albums in a little box that I decided would work perfectly. They're 6x6" post bound albums with page protectors. Granted, not the most sturdy of books for a busy toddler, but Daddy and Mama can help her to read them.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to make, but once I got rolling it moved pretty smoothly. I printed everything out on photo paper so that the pictures had a nice glow to them and then cut everything to the 6x6" size. Some albums were fancier than others. Based on the number of pages I separated them into the three books. Book 1 was the letters, book 2 contained the numbers, colors and shapes, and book 3 has the family album - my favorite and the idea that started this all.
The easiest albums were the colors and shapes. For colors I found animals that matched the color on the page. I made sure to keep the colors as bright as possible as well as make sure the main color was very clear. No need in confusing her. I included the basic rainbow colors as well as white, pink, brown, grey and black. (And yes, I spell it grey.)
Shapes took me a little longer. I created each shape and then found a matching item that she could learn to recognize so that it would start to make sense that all things have shape. I used the basic primary shapes as well as a few extras (e.g. oval, octagon, line, clover).
The first book I started to assemble was actually her alphabet album. I decided to make each letter an animal. With Patti's help via MSN Messenger, I came up with one for each. Okay, so we kind of cheated on a couple. I used N for Narwhal and U for Unicorn. Not exactly standard, but hey, it's creative.
I built the pages as a template with "is for...", a space for a photo, and a space for the name. I filled in the blanks and printed. I then used large chipboard letters in bright colors to grab her attention.
The numbers book is where I think I got the most creative. I used the same idea as the alphabet for a template, but then I made a little rhyming story to go with it. It took some work and a lot of searching to find photos that would work, but I think it turned out super cute.
And finally, I did the family album. This one is my favorite. I built it with all of her immediate family (including her dog, Riley). Each page has one family member, a picture of them smiling and their name. I obviously ended up with Marley, Mama and Daddy. I also included Riley, her grandparents (Nana and Papa & Grandma and Grandpa) and all of her uncles, me (her only aunt) and Darian. I hope she likes it as much as I do.
So there you have it. My fancy project for Miss M's first birthday. Now the bar has been set. Hmm...maybe I should've gone with something less fancy. I guess I'd better start coming up with the plan for her second birthday...