Is in full swing! Being a silly cow I decided to give birth very early in the year, directly after what must be the most long awaited pay day annually. Needless to say my credit card takes a bit of a knock during January (which is promptly paid off the end of February). Rudi has agreed to pay for the jumping castle this year, which took up half the budget last year. I’ll be forking out money for party packs, cake and food.
At first I was going to cancel the whole party idea. The day mother wasn’t keen about having it at her place again. Apparently she spent till 18:00 cleaning up after we had left last year. I didn’t understand this since we had helped clean up before we left. Later she explained that she had to clean up all the dirt and things that had been trampled from outside into the house. I let her sleep on it and she relented. I promised that we’d help clean everything up before we leave this year. I didn’t even realize! She never said a word until I mentioned having the party there this year. Trying to have the party at a different venue would have been so much more difficult. Attendance wouldn’t have been great since the kids may know each other, but the parents don’t. Some parents may not have been willing to drive to another venue. Carting the kids from the day mother to another venue was too much of a mission and I only have one car seat so it would have meant multiple trips. If we had chosen to have a party with our friends and their kids, it would have been easier to arrange at a specific venue. Let’s face it, your friends feel more obligated to attend than people you don’t know. Babyice doesn’t spend all day every day with those kids though and only sees them on the odd occasion you might get together. Having the party at the day mother is perfect. All the kids *have* to come. The parents are dropping them off there anyway, so it doesn’t inconvenience them at all and Babyice is surrounded by his friends.
Last year we probably went a little overboard…never having done this before. I’ve decided to try and simplify things this year, but already it is starting to spin out of control a little and I need to keep reigning it in. He is turning 2. He won’t remember. Yes, there will be photos, but he won’t remember and it won’t be such a big deal. I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to come up to me in 18 years and say ‘Thanks for that 2nd birthday party, Mom. It was really great. I appreciate all the effort you put into it’.
As I’ve mentioned before we’re going with a Barney theme this year. His enthusiasm for Barney has already started to wane. He is now avidly watching Toy Story 3 (the only one we have). And simply LOVES to sing. Come to think of it, I should teach him to sing Happy Birthday before the big day! I’ve decided to stick to the Barney theme, despite him already moving on to something else. He still gets excited when he sees Barney and this is probably the last time we will be able to have a party that is SO easy to theme. Party supplies for a Barney theme? Available in abundance!
We’ve* decided not to have everything themed. We will have a few things themed such as serviettes, drinking cups and the cake. The plates and balloons will be in the same colour as the theme, but won’t have Barney printed on them. The balloons will also only be the colours of the theme and we’ll certainly buy less than we bought last year since there isn’t much space to hang them. This will help save money. We’ve also decided that a large cake AND cupcakes is a bit over the top. One or the other. Last year they ate some of the cupcakes and no cake. We’ll have only a cake this year, which I’ve already enquired about and it really won’t set me back much. It was scorching hot last year. Not even halfway through the party we ran out of punch because the kids were so thirsty (and the punch so delicious)! This year we’ll definitely make sure we have enough for the day. We will also have a jumping castle again this year. We’ve spotted a nice one that I suspect Babyice (I really must stop calling him that) will love. Instead of a jumping castle as such, it’s one that you climb up the one side and slide down the other:
Picture sourced from http://www.serinas.co.za/
Babyice is very keen on climbing and jumping OFF things at the moment, but hasn’t seemed too keen on jumping castles that are made purely to jump on. I think he may be a bit intimidated by all the kids jumping around him. I really think he will prefer this climb and slide combination. We’ll be renting the jumping castle from the company named above. They deliver and collect the jumping castle for you for a fee. I just called to book it and was told that this particular one (called the ‘Pirate Slide’) is made to put next to a pool for the kids to slide in to. This is great news. Even though we don’t have a pool, we can wet the slide and even add some soap to make things slippery.
We’ll be making a variation of Polka Dot Popcorn (idea sourced from ExMi a while ago), cake, chips, punch, ice lollies and party packs. The kids will still get their cooked meal at the day mother for lunch. All the party food is extra, so they won’t starve. The party packs are always the most difficult for me. Not difficult really, but the favour in the party pack always leaves me stumped. Last year we put themed bubbles in each bucket, but for two weeks we hunted high and low for favours and tried to personalize them as we have a large age range to cater for. Bugger that. This year I decided everybody gets the exact same thing. I will perhaps make an exception for the two very little babies (both under 8 months old), but the rest are all getting the same thing. We went scouting a bit today and came across an array of things including tiny Slinky’s (which don’t really work because they are too small and the tension is too tight), bouncy balls (high on the list of possibilities), whistles (don’t want to annoy the parents!) and dinosaurs that “grow” when you put them in water. We’re also scouting for water pistols or temporary tattoos, but today’s search yielded no results.
I did manage to get the boxes for the party packs and have printed the pictures that we will be sticking on them:
I must say, it is rather exciting. I was quite excited this morning when it occurred to me that we would be shopping for the party really soon. I do also remember how overwhelmed and tired I was last year from the repeated trips to the shops and searching for things that felt impossible to find (like the party favours). It will all be over soon enough and I hope we’ll make it a roaring success!
*A friend is helping me plan the party. She loves this sort of thing. Hence the “we”.
I just read back on my blog to last year’s posts around this time after I had written this one. On the exact same day last year I wrote a post with the exact same heading! Weird coincidence!