Go Girl . . . It's Your Birthday!


I gave up Pinterest for Lent (and lasted the entire 40 days and 40 nights!)  In doing so, this meant I had to resort to the old-fashioned way when it came to finding ideas and projects: Google.  I turned to the Big G to look for ideas for Dr. Suess's birthday a while back and found a birthday party - a first birthday party - that can be described in one word: ridiculous.  Like, I cannot even begin to describe the INSANE that was this birthday party -- complete with canvas art work made up in theme colors.  And not even art work that could be used over and over again -- just things like "Happy Birthday."  It was so over the top and . . . well, there are no other adjectives than ones I've already used to describe it better: it was ridiculous and insane.

One of my girlfriends mentioned the other day, when we were talking about Easter baskets, that social media has opened a whole new door for one upmanship and showboating.  Not only do we have to try to keep up with Joneses.  We're also keeping up with old high school classmates, the girl we went to camp with one summer twenty years ago, and our mother-in-law's best friend's daughter's cousin.  It's ridiculous.  And hard.  And not anything I want to get caught up in.  It's funny to think that, on the one hand, I have things much easier than my own mother did when she was raising me: my kids can play on the computer (educational games even!) when they're driving me crazy; I'm just a click away from any information I need re: these crazy kids; stay at home mom boredom can be held at bay thanks to message boards and Facebook and Pinterest and blogs.  But, on the other hand, HOLY SHEEEE-ITE do we have more "pressure" on us than ever!  Not only do we have those same message boards telling us our kids are going to be dumb and fat because we didn't breastfeed or overly-attached sissies because we DID breastfeed, we also have Pinterest with the Martha Stewarts of the Mommy World showing off their out-of-this-world creations.  And Facebook and blogs where we put our worlds out there for everyone from our nearest and dearest to complete strangers. 

In the grand scheme of things, I could care less if you spend the equivilant of a year's college tuition on your child's birthday party.  But I still reserve the right to judge you as bat shit crazy.  ;)

When Jaidan turned one, I had his birthday party at a local park.  I only invited family and a couple close friends.  We served burgers and hotdogs.  He smashed his cake all over the place.  It was a good time but, at the end of the day, I was exhausted and realized that my first baby's first birthday party had passed me by and I hadn't really even enjoyed it because I was busy making sure everyone else enjoyed it.  After that, I knew I would try to keep birthday parties as stress-free as possible.  I can't imagine if I'd done REAL pomp and circumstance, you know?  As it is, I feel like an asshole for buying sports-themed confetti to line the tables with -- after all, it was an outdoors party and kinda windy.  Not my brightest moment.

We've done a first birthday party for all three of our children but, these days, we've become . . . well, we're not so much party people.  We don't have many friends in this area (makes me feel Extra Lamesauce for admitting that but if I've learned anything in the time I've lived in Memphis it's that, in this "big small town" it's very hard for a transplant to fit in) and virtually no family.  Our children are so young that they aren't going to remember much about their birthday parties.  We'll do the party party thing once they start school and have their own little gaggle of friends.  As it is now, Jaidan is already planning his sixth birthday party -- which, six months out, we'll either be a Halloween party (with a scary cake) or a sleepover (with a Batman cake).  Obviously, my kids are most concerned about the cake.  Wonder where they get THAT from . . .

Instead of doing the party thing, we let the kids have their own "special day" where they get to choose a few fun activities and where we eat, that sort of thing.  At the end of the day, we come home and do cake and presents.  It works for us and it's so much cheaper and less stressful than having a party! 

A few pictures for Karis's special day:
Going to bed as a one-year-old
Homegirl has been having some "sleep issues" (i.e. not wanting to sleep) lately and she did.not. want to go to bed that night.

My favorite of our birthday traditions! I decorate their room when they (finally) go to sleep so they have a fun room to wake up to on their birthday.

We had pizza (her favorite!) for lunch but the night before's shenanigans caught up with her and she ended up sleeping through her ENTIRE birthday lunch!

Rode the carousel at the mall; she yelled "YEE-HAW" the whole time.

She is so much more shy than either of my boys ever thought about being.  She enjoys the play area at the mall but it takes some coaxing to actually get her to go play.  And, on this particular day, some little girl accidentally ran into her.  Didn't even knock her down or anything but, man, it hurt her feelings because Baby Girl CRIED.

Home for presents!  Her Gigi sent her a couple pairs of flip flops and, once she opened those, all present opening had to stop until she could try those on.  100% GIRL!

This large pesent was a Rapunzel doll (worst doll ever, FYI, with all that hair!) and a matching dress!  Wanna know how she felt about the dress?

What a turd.

Her brothers picked out her cake -- "pretty pink for their pretty princess."  She was rather unimpressed.
She had on her Diva Pants for most of the day and would tell us to "stoooooooop!" every time we sang "Happy Birthday" to her.  However, she joined in and sang along while we did the cake.

And that was our Big Girl's big day!
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