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Entries in Party (5)


Birthday Bummer: Canceling the Party

Right now we should be at a local park, wearing kitty ears and celebrating Z’s third birthday. Instead, he’s in jammies playing the iPad, with a fever. He’s been talking about his “Kitty and Puppy” birthday party for months now and has asked me daily for the last three weeks if we could make the cupcakes that day (he loves to lick the frosting beater!).

Not as much fun as a party.

He had a 102 degree fever at 8 am and I knew we had to call the party off. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Although Z has no other symptoms, he clearly has some sort of a bug and we don’t want to pass it around. But it was SO HARD to cancel the party we’ve all looked forward to, and that we’ve put so much hard work (and money) into.  I made felt kitty and puppy ears and cute banners, my mom and I baked a cake and cupcakes, we have a fridge full of food. We’re rescheduling to next week with a smaller group in our backyard, but it won’t be the bash we had planned.

I’ve become much more go-with-the-flow since I had kids. We’ve missed many playdates because of illnesses or long naps. I’ve been late for appointments, which I never was before kids. I’ve come to terms with the fact that life happens and you just have to deal with it. But I’ve never had to cancel a major event three hours before the start time.

Lately, I’ve been trying to teach both boys that things don’t always go as planned, and I’m working on reminding myself of that now. I tell them that when plans change, often something else even better comes along. Let’s hope it does this time.  

Favors that I hope will get some love next weekend. We won't be needing these, but they are cute!


In Praise of a Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party

Best. Day. Ever.

I’ll admit that when Nic decided over a year ago that he wanted his 5th birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, I was less than excited. As a kid, I LOOOVED Chuck E Cheese. But now that I’m a parent, I’ve seen too many episodes of Law & Order: SVU that get there start in an eerily similar place, and sometimes I have a hard time getting past the germ factor.

Nic stuck to his guns though, and when it was time to make serious plans for the party, he still wanted Chuck E Cheese. I knew the party would be loud and chaotic, but I also knew that I wouldn’t have to clean up, so I booked it. And I am sure glad I did.

He was a bit nervous the morning of the party—an upset stomach and a little slow getting dressed. I remember getting nervous before my parties when I was a kid and he seemed to really relax once I noticed how he was feeling and acknowledged it. As soon as we got loaded up in the car he was ready to shine, this was his day and he knew it.

I can’t even explain how happy he was at the party—it was easily the best day of his life. He laughed, he danced, he participated in ways that I’ve never seen him participate before. He soaked up the celebration and we all could see it.

From the special cape to the Chucky Dance to happy birthday song to his time in the “ticket blaster,” Chuck E Cheese really did a good job of making this day different than a regular trip there. They let the birthday boy shine, made it fun for his friends and made it a really easy party to plan and execute.

As much as I love a “Pinterest Birthday,” Chuck E Cheese made quite an impression on me. I’d guess that this isn’t our last party there.  

Paying close attention to Chuck E, the giant rat. With Grampy and his haul from the "Ticket Blaster."









(NOTE: This post was in no way sponsored by Chuck E Cheese.)


To Party or Not To Party? 


In just a few short months Reese is going to turn two. Can you believe it? The time has just flown since her birth. Last year for her first birthday we hosted a birthday party, that was more for us than her. Brunch, party favors, cake, pinata and ballons! We celebrated that we had successfully made it through the first year as new parents and toasted to many more. 

This year I'm not quite sure what to do...if we'll do anything. I've been pinning birthday ideas and am leaning toward a little tea party. But Josh and I have also thrown out the idea of a family vacation to celebrate her 2nd birthday. Maybe Hawaii?! Warm weather, the beach, Mai Tai's. Or maybe just visiting each set of Grandparents and spending time with them. 

This all sounds fabulous! But would I be depriving Reese of a special memory of having an actual party with cake, ice cream, decorations and friends? Would I regret not having these memories for myself? No photos? I've also considered doing the family vacation and then having a very small birthday party - inviting just 2-3 of her buddies for some cake and ice cream.

Please weigh in here. What did / will you do for birthday No. 2? 


Baby #2: No Cake For You? 


In this week's MommyBeta Podcast, we discuss whether or not it is vulgar to have a baby shower for your second (or third or fourth...) babies. This is something that I may be a little too opinionated about so allow me to pontificate and feel free to pontificate back in the comments. 

I had never heard that it was uncouth to have a shower for a second baby until I became pregnant with Baby #2. My dad's wife was the one who brought it up, informing me that it was considered rude. Rude??  

I asked my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and they both agreed that this is tradition. They thought that a second shower would reflect poorly on them as if they were trying to get more stuff out of people. My mother-in-law said she would feel uncomfortable throwing my sister-in-law another shower. 


What kind of people would judge my sweet mother-in-law for wanting to throw her only daughter a shower if/when she is pregnant again? They don't have to attend! But would they judge for wanting to celebrate a new child? Are those the kind of people we call friends? 

The first baby shower was certainly not to "get stuff out of people." It was to celebrate our newest addition, wasn't it? The stuff is a bonus. 

Why would anyone begrudge someone the right to celebrate a new baby? Babies are brand new people! They need a few things in this world. Given, second-time-moms don't need swings, swaddles, bottles, etc. But they need a few new things. Must Baby #2 be forever relegated to hand-me-downs from the get-go? And no cake? No games? No festivities AT ALL for Baby #2?? 

One point I especially appreciated in The Girlfriends' Guide To Pregnancy was that every baby should be celebrated equally. Why should Baby #2 receive zero fanfare just because Baby #1 fertilized the egg first? 

In my family, we have showers for every baby that joins our ranks - from 1 to 5. We never expect huge extravagant presents. We just expect that everyone will want to ooh and aah over baby stuff and celebrate motherhood together. What is so vulgar about that?  

I was speaking to a friend of Colombian decent recently about this topic. She seemed to think this was a cultural issue. 

"Hispanics have showers for every baby," she said. "I think not having them is an American thing." 

But Americans register for wedding gifts even when they have been cohabiting and don't need "stuff" like flatware and toasters. And they throw extravagant weddings for Marriage #2. So why does the second child get so short changed? 

My Colombian friend said that she had recently attended a "Sprinkle" for a friend who was pregnant with Baby #2. It is a play on the word "shower." You don't need to be "showered" in gifts but you can ask for a sprinkling of them. Kind of a cute semantical solution if you're worried about being offensive - which in the end, I am not. My mom wants to throw me another shower and I may do a small registry as well. Is that so rude?

I am not one for tradition so it would stand to reason that I break with convention with this no-second-baby-shower rule. But I would like to say on behalf of second-time mommies everywhere that I think the no-second-shower rule is total crap and should be thrown in the diaper genie. We should be able to celebrate the brand new person growing inside of us! And if you find that offensive, you can tell him/her that they don't deserve a party because they are the youngest and it is considered vulgar. Go ahead. Say it to this little face! 



A Giant First Birthday


With all of this talk about first birthdays, I realized that I never wrote a post about Nic’s first birthday party!

I LOVE to throw parties.  I lay in bed at night thinking of the little details that will make them special—like mismatched teacups as gazpacho bowls at Jennifer’s bridal shower or the crossword puzzles that greeted my wedding guests at their seats.

Nic’s party was no exception, I had been thinking about it for months.  Shaun and I agreed that a backyard BBQ with a San Francisco Giants theme would be fun and apropos for our little World Series good luck charm. 

We sent out this invite to family and a few of our oldest friends.

As the week of the party arrived, we were expecting 40 guests and RAIN.  Our house is small, so this made for some creative thinking.  For instance, we broke down our bed, moved it to the garage and set up tables in our bedroom.

I had been making felt banners over the course of the proceeding weeks, and we found good spots for them inside.  I also moved my Giants baby gear “clothesline” and our rented popcorn machine indoors.


Nic LOVED the party.  With each new event—lunch, presents, cake—we got more smiles and giggles. 

My mom and I had spent the whole previous day in the kitchen baking dozens of cupcakes and a big baseball birthday cake (thanks for all the help Nana!).  The chocolate cupcakes were delicious, but the vanilla didn’t turn out quite right—at least they were all cute!

No first birthday is complete without a cake smash, and Nic’s was no different.  I was so excited that my cousin captured such great pictures!




Nic was still taking two naps a day at this point (he's down to just one now), and he refused to nap the morning of the party.  We had one VERY tired, but still very happy little birthday boy by the time his last guests departed.  But within minutes, he was reliving the excitement in dreamland.