Our plans were working out perfectly: we were under budget for both parties, the menu was decided for Duchess’s party and even my mother said that she would make a wonderful cake to match the theme we decided on.
Since she was only turning one, and we most definitely didn’t need her opinion on decor, I decided to do my favorite trick for birthday parties for small children; pick a color or pattern to be the theme of the party. Actually, when she was born, I designated her as our “purple princess” and told everyone that if they found outfits or any baby products in purple, that we would love them. I have a pet peeve with putting little girls in a million shades of pink. Just because they are girls, doesn’t mean they need to be drowned in that color. Believe me, it will only backfire once they are older. Anyway, when she was about 3 months, a company called Shindig had a great sale on banners for only 6 dollars. I ordered a 1st birthday banner in purple writing(pictured above) and planned on making her party purple and polka dot themed once it came around. This saved me so much headache once I realized I had to plan both parties within a few weeks. Plus, I didn’t have to deck out the whole party with a strawberry shortcake or blue’s clues decorations and ruin my budget.
With all these wonderful things falling into place, I knew something just had to go wrong. And it did. While we were planning her cute little 1st birthday at our town park, we found that that the temperature for the day of the event was going to be around 116 degrees. In the shade. Well, thank you very much Mother Nature. We had to think fast. We couldn’t cancel the party because there wasn’t another weekend that we had free, and supposedly the next day was going to be a torrential downpour which meant yet another day to NOT have a party in the park. We were advised to wait until the day of to see if the temperature might break, but I bit the bullet and made a decision right away: the 30 plus people we invited would just have to fit into our 2 bedroom, air conditioned, place. I made the calls right then and there, and started cleaning. I also sent hubby out to get a tent so that any one who did want to spend time out in the courtyard could. Also, he would now be grilling right at our place, and he would need a place to sit while waiting for the food to cook. We also had to buy 2 more cases of water to make sure everyone would stay hydrated. I even added in a little baby pool for the kids to splash in and not have to feel boarded up in the air conditioning. Needless to say, our budget was busted after this big change. We had to roll with the punches on this one, and they were coming quick and hard. I did promise myself that I would not go crazy with cleaning and worrying about how the house looked. I worked on the bathrooms and kitchen and called it a day. I didn’t have time to stress over frivolous things like dust bunnies.
As you can see, she had a wonderful time. Everyone had a great time and some even ventured out into the courtyard and spent time in the heat to keep DH company while he cooked. The little things that we added in last minute, pool, tent and extra water, seemed to be the biggest hits of the party and were greatly appreciated. Then, we were blessed to see this wonderful creation by my Mother:
A cupcake cake! It was red velvet on the top and yellow cake on the bottom. She surrounded it with red velvet and yellow cupcakes and all of it was so tasty! My favorite tip to date about planning ANY party: ask friends and family members to use their talents to help out. My Mom is a professional cake decorator, so I always ask her for help when it comes the cakes and treats if I don’t have time to do it myself. Plus, human nature makes us always want to help each other, especially those you know. Don’t be afraid to ask.
All and all, I think both parties went very well. Each child felt special on their day, and we as parents felt that we were able to show our love for our kids through these events. All the guests had a great time and are still talking about how much fun they had, even the adults! DH and I did agree that next year, and years after, we will have to combine their parties. There’s no way we can do this every year. The plus side is that Sonny will be at that sleep over stage before we know it, and will want to having sleep over parties instead. That, I can get down with. Homemade pizza and a marathon of free movie rentals? Yes, please!