I don’t typically like to duplicate themed parties that I’ve thrown for my kids. Every kid is different and they all have different themes. But sometimes it’s necessary to break the rule. Like when your baby is born on Dr. Seuss’ birthday – it’s necessary to have a Seuss themed first birthday even though you threw a Suess theme party for your oldest boy. (how was I ever to know I would be put in such a situation?!)
But as is usually the case, I’m now on my 5th first birthday and I’m starting to lose steam. Perhaps it’s because his birthday was sandwiched between a busy “Project week” and spring break. Steve was calling for simplification and yet I couldn’t let the last one come and go without some sort of celebration. I’m sure somewhere down the line, in some arguing match we would hear how everyone else got a first birthday…
So I simplified and with help from Hallie and Hunter and a trip to the party store – Briggs got his party/nacho bar with family that he will never remember, but we have pictures to prove that it happened!
I found the large 24″ balloons at party city. They might be my new favorite party decor. I cut one inch strips of fabric and tied them to the balloon string. The blue polka dot is wrapping paper from Party City that we cut and put on the center of tables. We gathered the Seuss books in the house and stacked them in the center. We made blue jello and put a swedish fish in each one (one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish). We gathered several red candies for the tables. No, we didn’t find a bag of red/white gummy bears. But when you buy a large enough bag you can pick out enough red and white to fill the tables. They were the first things gone.
His stranger anxiety is starting to get the best of all of us. His cousins are good sports and they keep trying to win his love. One way to do that is by feeding him!
After people were done feeding him, he found the spoon and started feeding himself. And once the spoon was in his mouth, it’s almost as if he couldn’t figure out how to get it out! He just sat there looking around, sucking off as much of the frosting as he could.
And while we were celebrating a first birthday, we might as well celebrate a 50th birthday. We should really start holding monthly family birthday parties!
My brother and his family came to visit us after Christmas – which meant they were here for my birthday. A birthday that we typically don’t celebrate in December, instead we celebrate with gifts on my half birthday in June. (Who wants to have an anniversary, Christmas, birthday and New Years within 10 days?!) But we were looking for a date night and it happened to be my birthday. Plus – in our area, there are several restaurants that offer free food on your birthday, so we capitalized.
We started out at Raising Cane’s. (Although I really wanted to start the night out at Outback with a blooming onion – but decided our plan included enough food, we didn’t need more!) We had free meals there using our tickets from the bowl game we attended earlier in the week.
From there we went to Joe’s BBQ where we redeemed my birthday meal – an appetizer plate.
We crossed the street to Liberty Market and picked up some free birthday desserts. We shared some key lime pie and salt river caramel bars.
They were small desserts and we were sharing – so we opted for another treat…Slickables, custom ice cream sandwiches. We were stuffed.
But then my sister-in-law realized she had a Krispy Kreme coupon expiring the next day – we couldn’t let it go to waste. No we didn’t eat any doughnuts, although they were fresh off the belt. We took them home for the kids for breakfast the next morning.
We were stuffed. I was really happy we decided against the blooming onion at the beginning of the night! Hiking with the family, birthday foodtopia and board games to close out the night. It was a pretty awesome birthday, not everyone is as lucky to have two birthdays a year!
Hallie turned 11 and in her words it was the best birthday ever. Hallie’s list of wants for her birthday were pretty small. She wanted a fancy water bottle, gum, some hand lettering materials and her ears pierced. She prefaced it with, “I know you’ll say no, but I want my ears pierced.” We already decided this would be a great birthday to get them pierced, but I happily played the roll of concerned parent who didn’t think she was old enough to take care of them properly. We had her fooled big time. And she is one of the best present openers – big or small, she is excited and grateful.
I don’t have a picture of it because I was recording her opening the gift but when she saw this card she was elated. She was ready, she wanted them done that minute.
Hallie and I ventured out to complete her birthday present. She was excited but as we got in the car and started driving, I could tell some nerves were starting to settle in. She talked and asked questions the entire 20 minute drive about the process. Did it hurt when I did it? How do they get infected? How long until she can switch them out? How bad does it hurt? How do they actually make the hole? The questions went on and on. She went into this fully informed!
Her last holeless lobe shot.
Within a few minutes, she had two dots on her ears (I checked them to make sure they were even and they weren’t close. I asked them to redo the marker – the second time was much better!) and they shot the ears at the same time and she was done. It was much better than she had made it out to be in her mind.
I loved being there with her. She’s my only girl, so moments like this are once in a lifetime and I wouldn’t trade them. She’s my little buddy that is on the brink of no longer being little. We went out for some birthday treats after and she chose a cinnamon roll larger than her head and a nice piece of chocolate cake to wash it down with. It was a good day to turn 11.
We call her our favorite daughter. She is quick to remind us she’s our only daughter.
Hallie is the child that made me a mother and she’s also the child that made me question that decision! She went from being the most difficult baby, to the most loving and patient older sister to her four brothers. We tell them daily just how lucky they are to have a sister who is as good to them as she is.
It’s hard to believe she’s 11. 11 going on 18!
A couple things about Hallie:
When she sees one of her brother’s in need, she is quick to jump up to help them. If there is a crying baby, she picks them up. If Cannon needs help with his shoes, she puts them on. She is a huge helper and she does it without being asked.
She’s got a sense of humor and the older she gets, the better her timing gets.
She’s not a tomboy, but she’s not super girly either. She likes to have her nails painted and a necklace on, but she doesn’t fuss about clothes and she always jumps in with backyard football, obstacles courses or diving competitions.
She saves money. When you ask her what she’s saving for she can’t give you anything specific. Just saving because she likes to see a high number in her account.
She used to be a big reader when she was little and she’s kind of grown out of that interest, but she loves reading books to her brothers.
Her favorite restaurant is Panda Express. She loves the chow mein and orange chicken.
She loves traditions. I’m loving this because I’m turning more and more over to her to do for our traditions and she loves it. Win-Win.
She’s now to the age that she chooses shopping with me over staying at home and watching a movie. I love my shopping buddy. And no matter what errands we’re running, she wants one of the stops to be Target.
I love this girl with every fiber of my being and the older she gets, the more I enjoy her. And she couldn’t be more excited to be 11!
I like to plan parties based on my kid’s current interests. We could not have a party for Hunter and not have it revolve around sports. He is all about any sport that has a ball. We created a sports theme birthday party to include all the sports he loves.
For the decor I focused on black and green with some leather sports ball texture. I picked up some fake grass from Home Depot and cut it to be a table runner as well as cut some into triangles for a banner.
I purchased Lofthouse sugar cookies and inserted a topper made using the same textured paper as the banner with a polygon punch. We also served chips, popcorn, green grapes, green mint M&MS and the powdered donut cake.
Markers for our punt, pass, kick game, so we could see where everyone’s ball landed.
The invite for the party. I planned on crafting them out of textured paper and making them grand and then I realized, boys don’t care. I sent a text to the mothers with this graphic instead. Just as effective and saved me a lot of time!
For party favors, we filled Gatorade bottles with candy and tied a football whistle to them. Target supposedly carries these – but all the Targets I contacted hadn’t ever seen these in their store. Local sporting goods store would have them as well as Amazon.
The boys played and played hard. They played soccer. They ran conditioning drills. They played football. They competed in a punt, pass, kick competition. They played 500. They left tired, sweaty and full of sugar. It’s great to be 8!