See this little guy? It's his birthday party in that picture. He's two and it was a train party with sandwiches carved into trains, train rides for 40 guests on real steam engine miniature trains, pinatas, tent set up at park, and all the trimmings.
So, I am know for my parties. I am the penultimate party lady.
At school, people have seriously told me they were so sad they didn't make it into one of my children's classes because they knew I'd be party mom.
I've been trying to extricate myself from that Martha Stewart part of my life for a while now. I am only co-party mom to one child's class this year, but I cannot escape my reputation.
I self-patterned, hand-sewed and stuffed these last year for one school party:
Yes, 30 stuffed coyotes, hand sewn scarves to choose from, carefully glued button eyes the kids chose at school. Yep, a very labor intensive build-a-bear.
Almost as labor intensive as the 30 minuted DVD we had for Eldest's class I put together with music and transitions.
Yep, trying to escape my reputation of 15 girls at a sleep over with chocolate facials, homemade, triple-decker cakes with homemade ganache on pedestals and columns, personalized lip glosses and hand lotion gift baggies, and crazy intricate decoration. Did I mention we used the good china? The chips were in hand cut crystal bowls?
I know. Ridiculous. I am the mom you hate.
Or a pirate birthday party with 25 6th graders each given costumes to ravage the neighborhood before return for an so over the top pirate theme with bones and gold strewn throughout the house with massive amounts of games, pizza, homemade goodies, and cake.
Did I mention this party was 6 hours long?? Or that there were over 40 Jolly Roger Flags purchased and displayed?
This year has been the year of slowly trying to slow down the party mania both in time for me and cost.
Oh, my goodness, the cost. With never wanting to hurt feeling, we have the precedent of large attendance parties, but I am embarrassed to admit that comes at a cost of $400-700 a party and more if I am not keeping track.(Using my best Jedi master technique: CG you did not read this.)
All those party favors, food, decor, parchment invitations, etc. add up. It's ridiculous.
PB's birthday at the SPCA did have 26 guests, but everything else was ramped down a notch and really it was for charity. It still was over $500.
Now Li'l man is up:
This year? I beyond suck. His party today is only 4-1/2 months late. He's been patient. Last year, his party was only 3 months late.
There's something about being a third child whose party falls right after the holidays. Sigh.
So today, we are having our most casual party ever: 6 guests plus the the birthday boy and us, a kid's movie, evite invitations, and Red Robin for lunch afterward.
I am not even bothering with a cake--the singing ice cream sundae from the waiters will do. I'm letting the balloons be Red Robin balloons as the only decor.
Party favors are something last minute we picked up last night rather than this intricate process of labeling and personalizing everything. Simple little buckets of candy with a punch balloon on top since we are going to see "Up."
It's strange to have a party this easy. There's no stress. There will be no clean up. I am hoping we go under $200. There is no grimacing to make everything perfect.
After 13 years of motherhood, I've realized everything doesn't have to be perfect. They'll have fun regardless without the huge production.
Maybe I am just off my game this year, or maybe this is the new Scout that realizes enjoying the party with my kids is more important that making it perfect.
Or maybe I realize with two back to back swim practices, then a Marimba concert right before the party, then this party, then two huge school projects the kids need to finish this week-end, then add one more swim practice tomorrow, that we are all tapped out as a family. (breathe)
Yep, I am a slow learner. Must simplify.