I used to love throwing kiddo birthday parties. Oh, to dream-up a cute themed party. Not much was more fun for me in those early years of motherhood. ;-)
So many hours were spent, dedicated to the cause! Looking back now I wonder if I should have chosen sleep instead. After no. 2, I started having *celebration guilt*, seeing as Beanie is a Christmas baby, and not likely to receive the hoopla her big brother had. So we started celebrating half birthdays, not because I wanted to be annoyingly over-the-top, but simply for fear that no. 2 would say she felt forgotten. No gifts, no friends. Just the family, a tiny cake and a nod of acknowledgement. I won't tell you it wasn't cute.
Then one year, both the big kids specifically requested no party with friends. I was beside myself with disappointment. I couldn't make them want a party if I tried, and trust me, I did. So I let it go, and for two plus years we had simple, family-only celebrations. (I had no idea how lucky I was.)
But this year, the winds changed again, and all the kids requested parties. You'd think this would make me happy. Instead, it gave me anxiety. My love of kiddo birthday parties had dried-up like California's water reserves. At one point I realized it was two months after Christmas and I STILL had not done anything for the seven-year-old. With my right palm to my forehead, I convinced Beanie a half-birthday celebration in warm weather, where we could use the pool, would be soooo much better. She willing agreed, because she's good like that. Which brings us to this week.
We went with a dessert themed pool party. I had the cutest milk-n-cookies pinata (from Whack Pinatas) that I'd bought on a flash sale site and waited for the perfect occasion to pull out. We stuffed it with fun stuff - the ice cream erasers being the cutest! We went to the balloon store and Beanie picked-out her balloons. I found some inflatable desserts for the pool, and we bought all the fixings for ice cream sundaes.
Yes, kiddie birthday parties can be stressful, but it was so great to see Beanie have a day to feel so special when I often worry that she lives quietly in her big brother's shadow. She doesn't ask for much, and after a year of homeschooling her brother, and giving him so much personalized attention, I can definitely see how she might start to feel second fiddle. She loved every minute, wore a smile ear-to-ear, and when it was all over, she even said, "Thank you for my party, Mama. It was the best day ever."