After planning and hosting two birthday parties for G, I’ve learned not to make a huge to-do for these early years. Basically just come over and hang out a little while, eat some pizza, sing Happy Birthday and eat a slice of cake. I did need a theme though. Since I chose planes to be L’s nursery theme, I decided to go with that.
Hubby and I requested people buy PJs and a book for the Pajama Project in lieu of presents for L, but that request was overlooked by most. In fact, most people did both. This sparked a debate between Hubby and I: open gifts during the party or not? I didn’t want to, especially because not everyone brought one and, well, I personally find it boring when the kid isn’t old enough to care, and frustrating when other kids barge in to tear open the person of honor’s presents. That’s me being a Grinch.
One of Hubby’s friends was with us while we tried to decide. He told us most of the parties he’s been to don’t open presents, so I used that to my advantage. Hubby also didn’t want a bunch of other children rushing to open all the presents, so we opted to open them later.
Everything went smoothly. It was a nice day, so the dads spent some time in the back yard letting the kids run around during lunch time. And oooh boy, did L hate being left inside. He spent his lunchtime watching the other kids run around the yard and shouted at the window every time he saw his dad walk by. When it was clear he wasn’t going to have anything more to do with lunch I put his socks and coat on and my sister took him outside for a bit.
We ordered pizza so I didn’t have to worry about making snacks or lunches. I made two white cakes with vanilla frosting (one for L and one for people who didn’t want chocolate cupcakes) and a bunch of chocolate cupcakes the day before. Then the friends of mine I had invited canceled last minute, so we had quite a few tasty treats left over. (Not that I minded the extra treats, though I was super bummed that my friends weren’t able to be there.)
Most of our guests left around 1:30 when L was starting to show signs of wanting a nap. But Hubby’s college roommate and his family and another friend they were staying with hung out until G’s bedtime. It was fun getting to catch up and I know it was good for Hubby to see his friends. It also challenged G to share ALL THE TOYS as we had kids 8 months – 5.5 years wanting to get into everything in the playroom that day. I’m still re-organizing and trying to figure out what I can give away to make room for the new stuff L received. I’m sure to my MiL’s dismay, I hid several toys to bring out at a later date. Christmas was a month ago and there’s just So. Much. Stuff. that I’m overwhelmed at the moment.
I made goody bags, but flaked on making sure all the kids had one when they left. Party host fail. Since I had bits and pieces of crayon saved up, I decided to make crayons instead of buying packs of them like I did for G’s first birthday. I put them in a brown paper bag with a drawing pad ($1 each at JoAnn Fabrics!). I wrote “Thanks for Coming!” with a metallic marker.
I haven’t decided if I want to save these and use the same idea for G’s third birthday next month or use them. We always seem to need blank (or “clean” as G puts it) paper around here.
In all, it was an exhausting but fun first birthday for Little L. And I was happy that I was able to enjoy myself as well, instead of stressing over details that, in the long run, wouldn’t matter 🙂