Wednesday, January 28

Guilty without a Cause

I have spent the past few weeks fighting guilty. Guilty because we weren't planning a birthday party for Alexis, and guilty for even feeling guilty about not having a birthday party for Alexis.

We don't have family near by, so we've never had a birthday party for her. In my mind, One and Two Parties are for the attendees. The kids don't care, so if you spend any money, you're really only doing it for the grown-ups you invite. Three starts to walk that line. Alexis would have enjoyed having her friends together for a party, and it would have genuinely been for her.

But.

But, our house is way too small for more than two or three kids. If you add in the adults that come with those kids, you're way past capacity. When I scoped out places that I knew Alexis would like, and that would help with the whole entertaining a group of Tiny Terrorists thing, we were looking at a minimum of $400. I could not, at all, justify spending that kind of money on a party for a kid that may or may not even remember it. On top of that, she certainly would have spent most of the party hiding because of all the strangers that would end up being involved once the kids drug their adult supervision along.

Just thinking about what could be done with all that money was enough for me to be convinced that there was no reason to have a party this year. I didn't even feel guilty about it, until I realized I didn't feel guilty. That's when I started feeling guilty that I DIDN'T feel guilty.

Nobody ever said the chaos that goes on in my head makes any sense. It doesn't.

So, instead of a party, Alexis got a full day of The Royal Treatment. I woke up her with over a dozen balloons. If you ever want to have a REALLY good morning, try that trick. Balloons first thing in the AM? A HUGE win. Lots of giggles and grins and "thank yous" and wide-eyed glee.

After the balloons came The Great Cupcake Reveal. I like to send treats to daycare for Alexis' birthday, and this year she got to pick the decor. I thought she would go for penguin cupcakes, but she went with her other love, panda bears. I stayed up until 2:00am the night before getting a kazillion of those things made. It was totally worth it because the second Alexis saw them she GUSHED.

Then came the decorations. I figured that just because we weren't having a party, that didn't mean I couldn't decorate for one. Our living room became awash in Disney Princess signs, banners, etc. Alexis LOVED it, so much so that I'm leaving all the stuff up for a while.

All that before she even went to school.

After school she got to pick where we would have her Birthday Dinner. (I'll be kind and not mention the part where Mr. Husband convinced her she wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese. *ahem*) So, off to Chuck's rat hole we went where Alexis dined on cardboard and had a blast collecting the tickets Mr. Husband and I won playing basketball.

Once we returned home, it was time to massacre Cinderella. Er, I mean massacre a Cinderella CAKE. Alexis had picked a tiny little Cinderella cake this year, and she actually ate it this year. I'm not sure who had more fun with it--her eating it or me enjoying the fact that she was slaughtering Cinderella. Probably me.

After the cake it was time for the present. OMG, the present! I totally nailed it when I picked out her gift. She loves it SOOOO much that is worthy of its own post, just as soon as I manage to stop laughing long enough to hold the camera still while she plays with it. Best. gift. ever.

Now that I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, the guilt is gone. A customized day of The Royal Treatment was waaaaaaaay better than any silly ol' party would have been.

One gold star for me. Now I'll just have to make sure I totally fail the kid at some point this week so she doesn't get too used to having it good.

26 comments:

  1. It sounds to me like Alexis had a lovely party, one full of heart.

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  2. awesome. wish i'd thought of some of that when roo was littler.

    come to think of it, the balloon thing just might work for 15. :-)

    but honestly, the thing that i can't get over ... is the cupcake. holy moley, girl. you have some mad skillz.

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  3. happy, happy birthday to your amazing THREE year old! it sounds like the perfect day for her.

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  4. I loe the look on her face in the photo. It's the absolute definition of mesmerized.

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  5. I think you made a good call - parties are overrated!

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  6. Anonymous8:25 AM

    I COMPLETELY agree!! I think it's rediculous to spend that kind of money... even if they remember it. At least not every year, anyway.

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  7. Welcome to the club of Smart Parents.

    And you know I can't leave without complimenting the darling custom shirt. Stellar. The world is still waiting...

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  8. The cupcakes are awesome!! But to be honest, I think he looks stoned not drunk!!

    Hallie :)

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  9. At that age, they don't remember the bajillions kids that came and trashed your house lol

    It looks like she had a blast anyways! Those cupcakes came out great.

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  10. I completely envy you. My Oldest Boy wanted a "kid" party last year for his 5th birthday and we put him off. This year the guilt got me and we've invited 15 5 and 6-year-old boys to our home for Valentine's Day (his actual birthday). I feel like I'm going to lose my mind!

    Happy 3rd Birthday, Alexis! Enjoy the royal treatment while it lasts;)

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  11. Ok, first off those panda cupcakes are totally hawt. I'm impressed. I totally would have been to Costco buying their giganto container of cupcakes. Betty Crocker I am not.

    But as for the Chuck E Cheese festivities? I was there last night, myself. Doing the same thing - playing basketball so that my kid could collect the tickets. Granted, he did attempt to play. He threw the basketball (and it made it about halfway to the hoop on the giant sneaker style machine for tots). But he seemed very appreciative when I was able to score some points for him.

    BTW - the prizes at Chuck E are total crap. I'm saving up all my tickets to give to my friends' older kids because there's nothing for the under-3 crowd.

    It sounds like a birthday success to me.

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  12. Apparently Chuck E Cheese was the place to be, last night! I took our toddler there for his first time, too!

    Happy 3, Alexis!

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  13. Guilt? Perish the thought!!

    You're a FABULOUS mom! Alexis, I'm sure, would totally agree.

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  14. Sounds like she had a wonderful day! Little Miss' best birthday was the day we did a mom and baby beauty day. Manis, pedis, massages, makeup and all.....She was 6 and she loved every minute of it. It was cheap too, I already had everything we needed. I try to do it once a month for her anyway.

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  15. I bet she had the best time. That sounds like a great tradition. Maybe you should always offer her the Royal Treatment for her birthday. You may not ever have to have a party!

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  16. Kiddie parties are fun, but I think a special day spent having fun with Mom and Dad is much cooler... at least, when you're three!

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  17. i completely agree... being a lover of throwing parties, you did it absolutely perfectly!!!

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  18. You get TWO gold stars, I think big bashes are nutter these days and a day of pampering is so much more meaningful (not to mention less hectic)!

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  19. Well good for you! Sounds perfect! Our rule was no friend parties till the age of eight. But we have insane family. I made that rule in part to keep the family out of it after age 8, but in part because they don't really get it till they're a little older. Looking back, I'd have bumped it down to six. And by the time they're a little older, all the parents don't have to hang around, allowing you to hold it at home. Our other rule was one kid invite per year of age.

    Balloons, though, are genius!

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  20. That does sound like a really awesome day, especially the balloons. My kids would have absolutely freaked out, they love balloons so much. It's too bad her birthday's in January and you couldn't just have her party at a park somewhere. I have the same problem with Bubba's since his is in December and I'm actually thinking of having his party in June this year -- so many more options!

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  21. It sounds like the bestest day ever. I might take the balloon idea for Baby. She turns two in a couple of weeks. We have all our family and I don't feel a bit guilty about not giving a party. She'll get presents anyway.

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  22. We had a party for Juliana's 1st birthday and that was it. Once she turns 5 and can have friend parties I suppose we will start them up. I have friends who have parties for their kids every year and have never understood it. Juliana would much rather have a few of her favorite people along with cake and presents. Balloons are always a nice bonus!

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  23. I think you have the right idea and should feel no guilt what-so-ever! Birthdays for my kids have never included anyone other than hubby, myself, and my parents (which is also what nearly every Sunday night looks like!) To me the day of their birth is sacred and special and not something that I need to stress over by worrying where I am going to stick 4 extra kids and their parents. The Royal Treatment sounds pretty darn good!

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  24. Sounds like a perfect birthday! Happy 3 year old!

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  25. A day of royal treatment beats a party. My kids had similar , they chose breakfast and dinner. We didn't do parties until they were at school, even then not every year. With four of them it would have been way too expensive. mostly they just got to choose one or two friends to invite to dinner, often they didn't do that either because choosing would hurt the feelings of the others.

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  26. I think I'd rather have a day of royal treatment over a house full of strangers any day! Good choice. And, I'm sure it just goes to help her realizing how awesome you and Mr. H are as parents sometimes.

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