- "low stress birthday party": This one was pretty funny. Scroll down to the comment here. This commenter is the very reason I stress about parties.
- "polite way to tell people no presents": not sure how polite it was, but we went with: "Beckett has every little thing he needs, except your presence. So that's all you need to bring. but If you must, he's really into used paper coffee cups & empty boxes." It worked really well. I a few people brought tiny things for him, but they were people who really knew what we might need/want. He got an adorable tiny book set, a cute bamboo cotton outfit from yala (stripped pants!), and a mini Zoku pop-sickle maker. And he did get a coffee cup! Which he loved. And bonus, I think people felt weird showing up empty handed, so everyone brought us a bottle of something! How nice. Our friends are the loveliest.
- "best and easiest cupcakes": I was going to try the Martha ones, but funny story: our cat peed on the modem and our internet went down. And my phone is so old it doesn't have enough juice to run Safari without crapping out every two seconds, so I pulled out a real, hard-copy cook book. I made Chloe's Banana Cupcakes. which were vegan until I put cream cheese frosting on them. They are the best cupcakes I've ever had--moist, dense, not too sweet. And although I lean towards being hyperbolic, they really are amazing.
Here are a couple pictures from Nelson's birthday party. I never have advice for new moms because I was offended at the way people I hardly knew heaped advice on me (I'll save that for a post), but I will say this: force your closest friends to have babies around the same time. Sure, sure, you might come off as a rude, totally out of line asshole. But you'll all be glad that you argued against your conscience's appeals that it is never okay to push someone to have a baby when they're not ready, because it really is amazing to share parenthood with people you love.
Side note, it's actually been equally amazing to share parenthood with our friends who don't have kids. But it just doesn't make for as good of pictures.