Birthday party planning for dummies

Who knew planning a first birthday party could be so involved? And I’m not even throwing a big party! :oP

There are invitations and envelopes to think of, address labels, decorations, coordinating plates, napkins and cups. Then there’s the menu. What to serve? How much food to get/make? What will everyone drink? And then comes the really important part – the cake! Do I tempt fate and make it myself or relax and just buy one? Never being one to take the easy way out, I think I’m going to throw caution to the wind and make it myself. Since we’re having Ava’s party a week and a half after her actual birthday, I figure I can do a test-run for her birthday. If it turns out horribly on her birthday (she’ll never know), then Baskin Robbins will be getting a call for the party. ;)

With all the planning and details involved, perhaps there should be a new book in the “For Dummies” series – “Throwing a First Birthday Party For Dummies.”

Anyway, since we like to call Ava our “strawberry” (Jody wanted that to be her middle name, but I held power of veto and it’s Elizabeth), I’ve decided to do a strawberry theme for her birthday. Not Strawberry Shortcake, mind you. Just strawberries. :) Surprisingly enough (at least to me), there’s not much out there in the way of strawberry-themed party supplies. Watermelon seems to be big this year, as is Dora the Explorer and Hawaiian luau stuff, but strawberries? Not so much.

I think I’m going to get some heart-shaped cake tins (hopefully a big one and a small one) to make into a strawberry cake. It will take a little creativity, but that’s why I’m doing the dry-run a week ahead of time. ;)

I designed the invitations myself (with a little help from Jody) and I’m pleased with how they’ve turned out. Though they haven’t actually been printed just yet. But barring any natural disasters, I hope to have them printed tomorrow and in the mail by this weekend cuz time’s a runnin’ out.

Oh, I can’t forget the “entertainment.” A friend of Jody’s bought one of those big blow-up bouncy castles which we hope to borrow for the day. Most of the kids at the party will be too young to fully appreciate it, but hopefully a few (if not their parents!) will have some fun in it. I don’t really feel that having entertainment is crucial, but since we have access to it, why not?

Another thing that concerns me about the day is Ava’s nap. She’s been incredibly unreliable in her napping the past week or so. I think she’s trying to transition from two naps per day to one and it’s throwing me for a major loop. How can I schedule a party time if I don’t know when the guest of honor will be snoozing?

And what is the girl going to wear? I haven’t found the perfect outfit yet. Ideally, I’d like it to have strawberries on it, but again here in clothes just like in decorations, lots of watermelon out there, not so many strawberries.

Lastly, our backyard still needs some work. We laid sod back there over a month ago and that looks great, but we didn’t do the entire yard because we had plans to put in a small deck. Now we are thinking the deck idea needs to go on hold (due to lack of funding), so we’ve got a dirt/rocky area that is in desperate need of some landscaping. Is three weeks enough time to get something growing back there? ;)

But all of this party and landscaping hub-bub aside, the reality is my baby girl will be 1 in less than 2 weeks. For nine months, I carried her in my womb. And for the last 12 months, I’ve held her close to my heart (both literally and figuratively). She’s becoming a little girl, complete with curiosity, intelligence, a sense of humor, fiestiness, determination, and of course, incredible cuteness. I feel incredibly blessed and so thankful to have her in my life. Happy birthday my strawberry! :)