Thursday, April 07, 2011

Party Time!

I have to say that as exhausted as I was after the fact, planning M's first birthday party was an absolute joy to me.  I find party planning addictive and I could've gotten a lot more out of control with the spending than I did.  Sometimes, I think I should become a party planner just so I can keep doing it, but not go broke spending my money to do so. :)  M's 1st birthday creeped up on us oh so quickly.  I had originally started thinking (and planning) her party in January.  By the end of January, we had decided on a Care Bears theme and I had most of the basics purchased from EBay and 1st Wishes on-line.  Well, in early Feburary A.R. and I were going over what we had, the guest list, what we still needed to buy, etc. and I came to the realization that I wasn't 100% happy with our Care Bear theme.  I had originally offered him two ideas for her party theme: Care Bears and Baby Minnie Mouse.  He (like a typical male) half glanced at my email and only opened one of the two links I sent him with party supply pictures.  Which link did he open?  Of course, just the Care Bears one.

I was quickly coming to the realization that I was pressed for time and if we kept the Care Bears theme it would involve a lot of DIY projects.  On a whim I happened to Google Minnie Mouse first birthday party supplies one last time and came across this banner.  I showed A.R. and we both stared at each other in silence and knew that we'd change the theme going forward.  How could we not when presented with such cuteness?!  I sold the Care Bear stuff I had a aquired on EBay and I bought pretty much everything I would need online within a day (yup, I was a mom on a mission) of us changing our minds.  I also felt a huge amount of relief at no longer having to find the time to DIY on anything but the cake (a cake post to come!). 

Party day dawned overcast and chilly, but no snow or rain.  I had a lot of help setting everything up thanks to my siblings and A.R. and we had the food catered from Stop & Shop and Casa de Mother-in-Law.  We asked my mother-in-law to just make a half tray of Spanish rice and we ordered the entrees, salad, bread, and got some appetizers from Sam's Club.  Of course (as usual) my mother-in-law ignored our pleas to NOT cook more than the rice as we didn't want her stressing out and to just enjoy the party.  HA!  She brought a double tray of rice, 4 roasted chickens (on top of the 80 pieces of fried chicken we already ordered), and 2 huge pork shoulders with her.  We had so much food left over our freezer will be full until Thanksgiving!  (We tried to donate the extra food and couldn't find a shelter over the weekend that would take it.)
I think we made the right choice in changing the theme.  M LOVES Minnie (and Mickey) and the party turned out to be a huge success.  We had 50+ family members and close friends in our house including my parents and younger siblings who flew up from North Carolina and my older brother who flew up from Florida to be there.  We had a dozen or so kids there who had an absolute blast.  We did two classic party games:  a pin the bow on Minnie's dress game and a pinata.  The scrambling to pick up all the pinata candy was hilarious.  All the parents got a kick out of the swarm of children on our floor trying to gather their goodies.  I was concerned M would get nervous when we all sang, "Happy Birthday" to her, but she handled it with ease and a look of confusion on her face.  I presented her with her own cake to smash and she did not disappoint.  Everytime she stuck her hand in it, the crowd gathered round her highchair in a semi-circle would awe and she'd smile, kick her little legs, and dig in again to get another reaction.  She even dove head first into her cake at one point!  Despite the sugar high, she was out for the night at 8:30 and officially welcomed into toddlerhood with a bang.

Happy Birthday, M!  Momma and Papa love you very much!


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