Jun 8, 2010

Birthday Breakdown

I have no time anymore.

Here's the quick version of what I learned about birthday parties:

(1) If your child isn't walking, don't bother with an expensive birthday dress - Jane wore hers for 20 minutes and was getting super pissed that she couldn't crawl in it. I took pictures, let everyone see how pretty she was and then changed her.
(2) Plan party activities around naptime. If your party is scheduled from 2-4 and your child usually naps at 2, do the whole cake and gift thing right away to avoid potential break downs. Jane was due for a nap at 2pm and by the time we got around to cake time it was after 3pm and she was just on the cusp of starting to let everyone know that she was not happy she was still awake... thankfully, we caught her just in time and the giant birthday cake and icing was enough to distract her from a meltdown. By the time she got for a nap it was after 4pm.
(3) Assign someone "birthday photographer" who isn't Mommy or Daddy. Thankfully I have a fab bro-in-law who's into photography, so he was happy (or didn't complain) about being our photog for the day. With that said, you're so freakin' busy running around taking care of your child and all the guests, you don't end up in many pictures anyways. Take the time to get at least one family picture.
(4) Let the child eat cake. I'm annoying anal about Jane eating nutritious foods but I let her go at in on her birthday - did it kill her? No. Did it screw up her sleep? No. Did she get sick? No. Did it effect her in any way but to make her happy as heck? Nope. Did she have more sugar in two hours than she's had cumulatively in her entire life? Heck yeah.
(5) Don't go overboard on food and snacks if you're doing an afternoon event. I always do a 2-4 thing it seems and buy tons of candy, snacks, cakes, and we ordered pizza last going off on Saturday. We were left with tons of candy, snacks, cakes, and pizza. Have enough on hand to keep people occupied but it's likely at that time of day that guests are between meals and not so hungry that a good piece of cake wouldn't fill the void. Save the $$.
(6) My giant cupcake went over pretty well I think - was a lot easier (once I got the recipe down) to make than expected. If you go with the giant cupcake pan, here's my advice - only fill each side (top of cupcake and bottom) 2/3 full, and bake the bottom part of the cupcake for at least 15 minutes before putting the batter in the top part otherwise your bottom part stays raw in the centre and you have to throw it out - like I did. 

K, that's all I got. I'm sure I'll think of fifty more things in the next few hours and will update in comments as I remember.

Daycare Day #2 went well. Jane stayed today for 2 hours by herself. I gave her a kiss and left, no big deal, no big farewell, just left. I was pretty proud of myself actually. ha ha ha. However, I did call Dan and ask him to swing by and peak in the window to check on her (Jane's daycare is in Dan's office building - spoiled much?). I don't know if he did or not but just the thought gave me peace of mind. Jane usually has a morning nap (pre-9 am ish) and I told the girls that she may or may not want a nap because of the excitement of all the kids... well, we all learned a lesson. A transition week is for everybody I guess, not just the babes. When I picked her up at 11am, they were playing outside in the playground and Jane was sitting there sobbing - very unusual sight for this Momma - apparently no nap = exhausted baby = sobbing baby. Jane's never been over-tired because I'm always home and I always just put her down when I think she needs a nap - even if she's not acting tired. Soon as she hit the car seat, her eyes were closed. Too cute. So, tomorrow the daycare gals said nap for Jane, tired or not and I agreed.

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Mom vs. the boys said...

it's so hard to time a first birthday, with napping and all. I tried for a 1-3 this year and it went pretty well.
great cake! too bad it was hard to bake, it looks great though!

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing what you learned about first birthday parties! Our is next month. We're going for 11-1, between the morning and afternoon naps. And I will definitely be passing the camera off to a friend or relative to document it all for us!

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a great birthday party! What we have learned is that a party around 10:30am works really well for us. Lucas naps at 2 so afternoons are not a good time like you said they get cranky and doesn't make for a fun time for everyone. And we ALWAYS end up with more food than we could ever eat. I blame my foodie husband, lol. Good for you on the daycare thing! A quick painless goodbye is the best way to go. I'm sure everyone will get their schedules worked out and she will do great!