How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Homemade Birthday Cards: Cody’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd

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You could ask my boys, “What’s it like to have a designer for a dad?” Lucas would point to his head and say “bonk,” but that’s just because of his limited 2-year-old vocabulary and his passion for headbutting the world at large. Cody and Max would probably say “Birthday cards!” … Or “Coffee!” but you get the point.

Every year I make custom birthday cards with a surprise design for each of my sons. It started out randomly, just something I did, then it became a tradition, and by now it’s a high-pressure, large-stakes deadline for me to not just knock my kids’ socks off but to vaporize them off their very ankles!

Here you can see only the first three, obviously the earliest, for Cody. Don’t worry they get much more elaborate as the years pass.

Cody's 2nd Homemade Birthday Card
Cody’s Second Birthday: 1999

Cody's 1st Homemade Birthday Card
Cody’s First Birthday: 1998

This is space where Max’s first birthday card should be… but I didn’t do one. I know, I know! ARG! I’ve always regretted it! Any disapproval you may have about him getting the shaft cannot rival my guilt, so shut it.

A lot of parents get pretty intense about their kids’ birthdays. C’mon. What crazy things have you done for your kid’s birthday or heard about others doing? Maybe coating the family cat with yellow spray-on hair dye and black makeup for a kid that goes coo coo for Pikachu. The love we have for our kids can get us into some pretty amazing nuttiness.

Next up in the series: Star Wars birthday fun for Cody and Max. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, see more Snapshots

Cody's 3rd Homemade Birthday Card
Cody’s Third Birthday: 2000


12 Responses to “Homemade Birthday Cards: Cody’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd”

  1. I did something crazy for my son’s first birthday.


    I did nothing. I put him in a shirt with clip on tie & jeans, plopped him on the sofa and took pictures. He was also holding my toothbrush, his attachment toy of choice then. I then offered him a chocolate cupcake which he rejected (and I ate) and that was that. Am I awful?

    Oh, I did write him a birthday letter.

    Darn, those birthday cards are awesome, wish I’d thought of that!

    • andy says:

      Alison, first off, that’s an amazing visual, the sofa photo shoot. You are NOT awful. I took so few pictures of my boys when they were tiny, I’M AWFUL. I had dreams of Anne Geddes shots of my sons sleeping in my big Golem hands or black and white visions of them lost in my wife’s wavy tresses. Alas… I suck.

      Thanks! Wait until you see the rest. They get pretty rad as the years go by.

      P.S. The birthday letter is adorable and genius. Right back at you on the whole “wish I’d thought of that” vibe.

  2. Tad says:

    Fully awesome. I’m a sysadmin, not a designer, but now with my daughter’s 2nd birthday coming up, you’re inspiring me to try. 🙂

  3. taylor says:

    That pikachu cat is hilarious. We frequently dress up our poor dog in my sister’s old cheerleading outfits- no birthday required.

    • andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! “No birthday required” is too true. I think half our IQ goes into our kids when we have ’em. At least that what I’d tell the people who look at me sideways when they see me trotting around a grocery store with a cape, shouting “Ship rats on the hull! Ship rats on the hull!” in a pirate voice, as the boys hang off the side of the shopping cart.

      For parents, insanity does not need a special calendar date.

  4. That is so cute! I’m not nearly as talented, but last year for father’s day, my 6 year old son and I made his step-dad a card that said “Arick… you ARE my father.” And it had a picture of my son’s body, with darth vaders head, but with a mohawk because my son has had a mohawk since he was 2…lol.

    • andy says:

      I’m trying to figure out which part I love the most about your comment. Wow! Nope. Just can’t do it, it’s all pure solid gold!

  5. Avara says:

    YAY! These cards are my favorite. And they just get better and better and better. Will literally blow your socks off! Can’t wait to see more! 🙂

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