A Z Story: Crowne Plaza Kiddie Party Package

5 months before Z turned 1, we were already looking for venues on where to celebrate his party. We’re not really particular of the place. Our top requirements were: space for the kiddie games, ample parking for the guests and nice restrooms. The first clubhouse we wanted was already booked (so mommies, better to scout for venues earlier, like when the baby’s a month old already!). The second clubhouse we inquired in was available at 10am – 3pm. Knowing our family dynamics, we would be late for our own party if we got that. So, we went to our 3rd choice: Crowne Plaza.

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Adjusting to a Toddler

Z turned 1 and *poof* the baby I had was gone. He’s now a toddler. And I’m taken aback by how soon he is displaying “toddler” characteristics, when he JUST turned a year old!

He is now very mobile. By that I mean that he does not want to hold on to anything or someone when walking. He is very confident in taking steps already but I’m scared that he might fall and bump his head. We really need to baby-proof the house but we’ll be moving soon, so I’m still not sure how it will be done. Here’s a video of Z walking in the playroom:

It was very helpful that the other yayas in the playroom were cheering on Z as it was his first time to walk alone for that long. Positive vibes do help a lot! But I think it got to him so much, that the next day, he went down the bed and walked ON HIS OWN! When I saw him, I almost fainted! (yup, we need to work on baby-proofing the house!)

As a developing toddler, Z is also showing more of his personality. I’m glad that he’s still got that sunny disposition and smiles often. Though at times, there’s already signs of power struggles when he insists on what he wants. One time, he did a “toddler tantrum” which I wasn’t ready for. Thankfully, I follow a lot of experienced moms on Twitter which offered a lot of suggestions on how I should handle tantrums the next time it happens.

Z is also more vocal on what he wants by babbling and pointing. He also responds more when asked familiar questions such as “where’s Mr. Sun?”. When reading books, he points to the pictures and babbles, which for me means that reading to him early on has paid off! His toys are also getting a lot of playtime since the throwing stage is already subsiding. He’s now sitting down to play with the shape sorters, stacking rings and cups and the ball drop.

My toddler eating on his own!

The coming days will prove to be challenging as he discovers more things to do. I fervently pray to have the patience and strength to keep up with his energy!

Hey Zoren boy, you’re growing too fast and Mommy can’t keep up. But I’m really proud of you. Just a week of walking alone, and you look like you’ve been walking for months! I’m happy to see you have that smug look on your face whenever you’d walk alone. Just take your sweet little time achieving your milestones, honey. No one’s rushing you. We both know you’d get there. Mommy loves you with all her heart.

Z’s Orphanage Party

Since Z’s birth date fell on a week day, his party was scheduled on the weekend after it. But as tradition puts it, the first birthday should be celebrated on the day itself. So I thought of having a Gymboree party since we have baby friends here in the condo. Lo and behold, Gymboree in Shangri La Mall was undergoing renovation and wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. Then, we thought of renting out a function room and just have a small party. But, that was the idea of the big party already, so what’s the point, right?

Then, while having dinner, my husband said that it’s best to hold it in an orphanage, where there will be a lot of children Z can play with. It will also be a way of giving back and paying it forward for a blessed year with Z!

Photo op while waiting for the kids.

I asked on Twitter what orphanages are around the area and most answered White Cross Orphanage. So, we chose that. Ma’am Wilma, the person in-charge of Social Services was very easy to coordinate with. Everything was done through the phone and we just visited a week before to do an ocular.

We chose to have a McCelebrations, based on Michelle’s review (and the other fastfood chain “discouraged” us from getting them, because they said that the kids from White Cross are “used” to them already!). The nearest McDonald’s branch to White Cross is the new one in Greenhills Town Center (Granada branch). Planning the party with them was easy-breezy! Since the party was in the afternoon, Ma’am Wilma requested for the food to be the kids’ dinner. We chose McChicken with rice, Burger McDo and a tetra-pack juice. We just bought ice cream before going there as dessert. The birthday cake was a rush order from My Balloon Room. It was just a simple chocolate cake with the yummiest icing, topped with styro shapes and a big number 1! Thank you to Ninang Chum for delivering it!

As with his big party, we opted for a Toy Story theme.

For an additional fee, McDonald’s will take care of the party hats, place mats, balloons, games, prizes, loot bags and a mascot appearance! Just for an added treat, we also prepared loot bags with candies, birthday shades, activity booklets and a finger flashlight. The McDonald’s crew did an awesome job handling the party with all those kids present! Though not everyone was cooperating, which was to be expected in a children’s party, it was still a fun event! I would also like to thank my friends, Leslie and Lulu, for giving the kids slippers. White Cross accepts all kinds of donations; you may visit them at 276 Santolan Road, San Juan City. I’m sure the babies and kids there will appreciate it.

Zoren, being the ham that he is, was playful and sociable with the kids. He was playing with them, running after the girls and was laughing at the boys’ rough-plays. And his smiles during the event affirmed that we made a great decision in celebrating the day of his birth there. We’re planning to do this yearly, to instill social-awareness and selflessness in Z (and our future babies!)

Z joining Pass the Balloon game!

 

Gigil with Grimace!

 

Giving his loot bags.

 

Hanging out with his new friends 🙂

 

You are a blessing to us, Zoren baby. And what better way to celebrate your first year, by being a blessing to others as well! Happy 1st birthday, little love!