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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Gabriel's Second Birthday

Depending how long you've been around these parts you might remember that I put in a little work into Gabriel's first birthday. I didn't necessarily feel like I should, I did it more because it was a good excuse for me to finally try my hand at a crafty, DIY, themed birthday party!

Since I had so much fun putting it together and seeing how much everyone else enjoyed it, a few months ago I started daydreaming about what I'd get to put together this year for Gabriel. I had all these big and fun ideas for throwing a train themed party because our Japan frequenting child can't seem to get enough of them. Well, with my due date being the day after his birthday I had to get real with myself and accepted the fact that there was a high chance that after putting time and energy (neither of which I had much of being so pregnant with a toddler) it might not actually happen due to labor or recent labor.

I wish I could say it was easy for me to let go of the idea of gifting my son another lovely party but it wasn't. Making things, baking, and cooking for people is one of the ways I show love and not being able to do that (to the scale I was hoping, i.e. like the previous year) was hard for me. Why though? After all it was Gabriel's birthday (hello, not about me) and he was turning 2, and how much work does it take to make a 2 year old feel loved? Not much at all.

Chris and I finally decided that we were going to play it super low-key which meant a couple presents, a cake, some balloons and if I didn't think I'd be going into labor we'd invite his, "friend Ben" as Gabriel says, over, and of course Ben's family. We tucked Gabriel into bed the day before his birthday, I bawled my eyes out thinking about how he'd no longer be one when he woke up and then I went to the party supply store and bought a few balloons to surprise him with in the morning.

Gabriel kicked off his birthday by actually giving me a gift, he slept in! We bypassed our normal routine of changing out of jammies and diaper to just underwear (Yep, my kid doesn't put on clothes until we head outside or to the store. Please tell me I'm not alone in this.) and headed straight to the stairs- instantly he flipped over the balloons! It was right then in that moment that I realized I wasn't a horrible mom (pregnancy hormones) for not scheming a grand event for his birthday, he was the happiest kid on the plant just because of the couple balloons I purchased. Phew! 

For breakfast I served up some Funfetti pancakes (just mixed half a cup of Funfetti Cake Mix with half a cup of Buttermilk Pancake Mix and followed the directions on the pancake bag for one cup of mix) then we read some books, play with the balloons some more, and headed out for errands.

We came home, played with the balloons, Gabriel took his nap, I worked on prepping dinner, Gabriel woke up, we played with the balloons, and waited for Daddy to get home. Did I mention we played with the balloons?

When Chris got home Gabriel got to open his gifts from us and grandparents. Rather than throwing Gabriel a train party we bought him a train, some tracks, and suggested the same to family. Of course as soon as the tracks and trains were opened we got busy as a family engineering and conducting until our family friends arrived.

I set up a special table just for the boys to eat. My sweet friend Andrea (she blogs over at Hand and the Heart) and I agreed that it was pretty stinkin' cute to see our two boys sitting down to a meal together acting like big people. It was a tad of a challenge getting them to just sit and eat when they weren't strapped in to a highchair and trains were calling out to them just 20feet away. If it was any other day Chris and I would have been a little more stern about Gabriel sitting and eating and not leaving unless he was absolutely finished (not that his food was all gone but that he was entirely done eating) but it was his birthday, so this "spoiled" child got to bounce back and forth a tad. We're rebel parents, I know.

I put together a pizza bar (note, dough recipe on post is not what I used for G's 2nd birthday or what I'm currently using, I'll get around to sharing my new one eventually) for dinner so we got to enjoy our own personalized pizzas and since the boys had their own table and entertainment us four adults actually got some decent time to talk and enjoy the evening as well!

When it was time for cake, Gabriel wasn't quite sure about the whole 'blowing out the candles' thing and we eventually had Chris help him, however once the fire was out Gabriel quickly said, "again!"

Though smaller than I had initially hoped for, it was absolutely perfect and I wouldn't have had it any other way. It was so special for Gabriel to celebrate with his little pal, the next morning I heard him over the monitor the second he woke up saying, "Trains, friend Ben!" Here's to another fabulous year and mommy learning that less is more and that my love for my children isn't based off of elaborate themed parties. Lesson learned to store for later: there isn't much more exciting than a balloon to a two year old. Happy birthday sweet boy.
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  1. Munchkin loves balloons. We get her Mylar ones from the Dollar Store and they last a really long time! She has a blast picking out which one she wants...we frequently leave the store with a Happy Birthday! one:)

    Even though it was small, it sounds like it was perfect! Glad he had a great day.

  2. Such sweet pictures. Happy Late birthday sweet boy!

  3. Love the dollar store! With all the road construction right now I opted to pay the extra money and just do Party City. :)

  4. Thank YOU for making it work so last minute!


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