Baby Satski’s First Birthday Dol Party

For Baby Satski’s first birthday my parents threw us a traditional Korean-themed party. Screen shot 2016-05-15 at 8.54.05 AM IMG_0757Russell and I got to the Lafayette Reservoir where we were having the party by 7 AM to set up. We were hanging 100 colorful paper lanterns from the trees but the park rangers stopped us mid-way and told us we weren’t allowed. I negotiated them down to letting us put up 20 lanterns. And we got helium balloons last minute. The party still looked amazing, but imagine what it would’ve been like if we had gotten all those lanterns up! (I’m still bitter.)DSC_0458 DSC_0460 IMG_0572 IMG_0598 IMG_0613We had two cakes- one fancy fondant cake custom-designed by Kitty Wong Pastry Shop with a topper from Etsy. And one Korean rainbow rice cake that said “Congratulations on your first birthday, Young Jin (Baby Satski’s Korean name) Sato.” IMG_0581 IMG_0575 IMG_0748Baby Satski wore a traditional Korean hanbok. He looks thrilled, doesn’t he? We used a site called Little Seouls to rent his outfit.  IMG_0756 IMG_0750IMG_0753   IMG_0751 IMG_0752My mom planned all the details for the party. She was running around so much that I didn’t even manage to get a decent photo of her, but she is incredible and I am so thankful for her. She sourced the location, the food, spent hours tying the string and hooks to all 100 lanterns that we didn’t get to use, and more importantly, came and lived with us when baby was first born to help take care of us and still comes once a month to stock up our fridge and give us a break. She is my hero! DSC_6099We wouldn’t have survived this year without Russell’s parents too. Russell’s mom babysits twice a week so I can keep working while knowing Satski is being raised in good hands. They are such an integral part of our lives. I highly recommend that everyone live within a mile of their children’s grandparents 🙂IMG_0754  DSC_0363 DSC_6107As part of Korean tradition, we had a doljabi ceremony. You place a baby in front of various items with symbolic meaning. Whatever the child gravitates towards is supposed to be an indication of his/her future. People have modernized the items used for the doljabi, with things like stethoscopes (doctor), gavels (lawyer), microphones (entertainer), and sports balls (athlete), but we decided to stick to the more traditional items: bow and arrow for strength, book for scholar, string for long life, gold coins for wealth, pen and pencil for artist, and a medallion for politician. DSC_0504   IMG_0749 DSC_0392DSC_0394Watch to see what Baby Satski picked!

DSC_0398DSC_6132     DSC_6127Our boy’s destined to be an artist! DSC_0382 DSC_6149 IMG_0594_2 DSC_6114My dad grilled 30 pounds of homemade Korean-marinated beef ribs and we catered the rest from Koreana Plaza Market in Oakland.  The food was a hit!DSC_0488 DSC_6152 DSC_6151 DSC_6154 DSC_6155 DSC_6159DSC_0494 DSC_0500  DSC_6191 DSC_6221 DSC_0429 DSC_0538DSC_0482 DSC_6223DSC_6181We sang happy birthday and I let Baby Satski try some of the cake.  DSC_0518 DSC_0522He didn’t like it.  The cake was delicious, but it was his first taste of sugar, and I think he’s more of a savory guy, at least for now.  DSC_0555He had more fun opening his presents.  DSC_6211 DSC_0571He loves his new Jordans!  DSC_6195  DSC_6202   DSC_6219It rained the day before and we were afraid of bad weather but it turned out to be a perfect day for a picnic gathering with friends and family. And you never know what mood babies are going to be in, but Satski was all smiles and genuinely so happy all day. He was tired at times but got lots of hugs and kisses from everyone, and he even managed to take a nap in his stroller to re-energize.

I loved being able to honor my culture with this tradition and to celebrate with the village that’s helping raise our son. Thanks again Mom and Dad for the party. And thank you Stacius, Kirk, Eurie, and Laura for all the photos!DSC_0462DSC_0368


2 thoughts on “Baby Satski’s First Birthday Dol Party

  1. Wow! Happy Birthday Baby Satski! It’s been a pleasure following your journey this past year. It is evident through your posts that you are blessed with a loving family and good friends.

  2. Pingback: Books Outside the Box

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