Happy 1st birthday to our precious Harlow!! Since she was just a few months old I was already planning out her birthday party. Many of you close to me know that I absolutely love Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Not only because she doesn’t judge a book by it’s cover (seeing beauty within), but also for her love of reading. The idea spiraled from Belle which I thought was already done enough, especially with the release of the movie, into the idea of books as party favors into the “Reading Rainbow” as many of us oldies grew up with. Check out the in-home (in our dining room) photoshoot we set up for her. It’s my first time shooting indoors like this since my forte is natural, outdoor settings but this idea clicked for me. Knowing that January had generally rainy weather I opted to try it plus I had the ease of a controlled environment that I could work on at my own pace. It may have lacked the natural light that I love to have in my images but in the end I was satisfied enough with how it turned out and hope she will cherish these images for many, many years. I had a fun time pulling it altogether. It was winged in bits and pieces so it is all the more satisfying seeing it all come together like this.
Her dress is made from a king-sized vintage pillowcase that I purchased on eBay. I had a local seamstress replicate a dress that I had seen online.
Laser cut cake topper from Happily Ever Etched. Cake from Bite Sized Catering. I spray painted the gray legs of our IKEA high chair to match the gold decor.
Gigantic confetti and “one” balloon from Oh Shiny Paper Co (Etsy). Bar cart from World Market. LED light box, H marquee, gold cake stand and mini succulents from Target.
Waterfall rainbow backdrop made of 150 yards of tulle (25 yards of each color).
It’s like what everyone says: “every kid is different”. We were used to the boy thing so Harlow was a pleasant surprise. Much feistier than her brothers and very demanding/impatient. She gets “hangry” like any other female I know and very grumpy when sleepy like every other Vu girl in my family. She may be feisty but she’s scared of some of the oddest things: some animated cartoon animals, animated animal toys (yes, even a Fingerling while it’s awake) and gigantic balloons (after it shrinks to a certain size she’s ok with it).
What opened our eyes the most was her growing relationship with Nolan. With Brandon being developmentally delayed Nolan had never gotten a chance to have a sibling to play and interact with. We as parents never got to experience the joys of seeing siblings playing so well together. I never understood why my mom always said “It brings me so much joy to see you and your siblings hanging out and getting along.” I do now!! For the last few years it’s always been Nolan in his own world and Brandon in his own. Now that Harlow is crawling around the house and getting into everything Nolan is so interested in playing and interacting with her–showing her the world that he knows. He puts aside his toys so he can spend time “hanging out” with her. Nolan has a playmate!! It warms our hearts so much b/c he is gung-ho all-in about keeping her occupied for us so we can cook, clean or do laundry. He’ll get her the pacifier, a toy, a blanket, a snack or just play with her each and every time we ask AND he’s happy to do it. Nolan would say “we’re a team, we’re a family, we help each other”.
Yes, deciding on having a 3rd kid on top of Brandon’s developmental delay was a tough adjustment, but it was by far the best thing we could have done for our family. Our hope is for Brandon to progress far enough to enjoy the company of his siblings as they do with each other now. Imagine it: feisty little Harlow out in the world advocating for big brother Brandon and keeping big brother Nolan in line and on his toes.
We had an awesome, fun-filled first year watching Harlow grow and showing her the world. We hope you do as well reliving it thru our eyes with a short picture story recap below.
The obligatory monthly growth photo collage. She’s wearing Baby Bling Bows.
At a month old she visited the “love” wall in Culver City for Valentine’s Day.
With the scary Easter Bunny at Crystal Court South Coast Plaza.
Vegas, baby, Vegas!!
Flew to Portlandia to do some site seeing at the tulip fields, Multnomah Falls and the Grotto.
4th of July
Summer time adventures at the Terramor Water Park, Huntington Beach, DTLA and the OC Zoo.
Baptized at Christ Cathedral.
Explored a cute mining town in Sonora.
First national park visit to Yosemite.
Pumpkin Patchin’ thru October at Johnson Bros and Tanaka Farms.
Transformed into a unicorn for Halloween festivities at Rancho Las Lomas.
Traveled to the desert for the lantern lights festival.
Checked Disneyland off the bucket list.
Paid Santa a visit at Crystal Court South Coast Plaza.
First Christmas with the fambam.
Rang in 2018 with the cousins.