There are a lot of things crossed off of my list, but one major thing that I haven't checked off is deciding what to do about Will's 2nd birthday. Yes, I realize it is two months away, but in the next two months, I will not have a lot of time for party planning.
Last year's party was a labor of love and turned out perfectly. We had almost 40 people show up to celebrate Will's 1st birthday. The amount of preparation that I put into it was ridiculous (though worth it, the party couldn't have been better, in my not-so-humble-opinion). We also spent more money than I would have liked. I feel like parties are always that way, no matter what intentions I have going into it, at the last minute, I always justify spending more than I planned.
I promised myself last year that we wouldn't have a big to do this year. And I still want to stick to that, but I also don't want his birthday to get lost in the newborn craze. I know he is only two and won't know the difference, but I still want to make sure we celebrate his second birthday, if only for posterity. Here are my thoughts so far:
1) Have a small and simple playdate here.
We would invite just a few of his friends and their parents for a brunch on the Saturday following his birthday. I would decorate with balloons and construction vehicles (we have so many) and the cake could be a "digger." I would serve some make ahead casseroles, fruit, and some purchased pastries, just to make things as easy as possible. Pros? Breakfast food is cheap, we can keep it small, and we can decorate with things that he already has. Cons? I will have a one month old. Any sort of efforts on my part to pull together this party scare the bejeesus out of me. Yes, I will have my housecleaners still, but I will still to touch up clean and make food.
2) Have it someplace else.
We have looked at all sorts of venues, from our local kids' museum to parks. They are booking up fast, but there are still openings for the indoor locations. Pros? Well, I wouldn't have to do a thing except bring the cake and the birthday boy. This is very appealing to me. Cons? Expense. The cheapest place I've found will set us back $150 just for the basic party. If I do a cake and any other sort of snack, it only goes up from there.
So, I am still in thinking mode about this. I have found one venue that I think would be a lot of fun. And unlike most places, they charge per child. In most cases, that wouldn't be cost effective, but since we only have 8 kids coming, it would cost less to pay individually. Most places allow 15 - 20 kids for one flat rate, which is kind of a waste on a smaller group. The place is a bakery and the owner will make a cake in whatever theme you want, decorate the room with balloons, and the kids get to decorate cookies and then take a train ride. I think Will would enjoy it and it would be something different. It's still a little pricier than I would have wanted, but it does take all of the planning, cleanup, and food preparation off of my hands, which might be worth it.
But then I think, gah, I should just save the money and have it at our house. What great ideas do you have for me?