Sunday, June 19, 2011

Party Time (a deux)

I seem to have a habit of writing serious posts and then alternating them with things of a more "day-to-day" nature. I shall continue this tradition by talking about Emma's first birthday party.

Wait. . . [insert screeching tires noise here]. . . did I just say. . . yes, I did.

That's right. My little baby will be turning one year old in just a month. She is turned eleven months old yesterday.

It's insanity. I mean, it went by so fast with Will, and it's going by even faster with her. I don't even know where the time went.

So, you might remember, I went all out for Will's first birthday. I feel as if he had a wonderful first birthday party. I wouldn't change a thing. But I also really stressed out over it and was much smarter last year, I hosted a much smaller party. Because of the smaller size, was able to have it someplace where someone else did all of the work. Consequently, I was far less stressed, and he had an amazing time.

One thing I am always conscious of with Emma, however, is that Baby #2 gets a lot less special attention. It's not that I love my sweet baby girl less, but the bottom line is, each of them get less of everything when there are two. So, I feel a need to do her first birthday up right. I don't want her to look back at pictures of Will's first birthday and wonder where her first birthday-palooza was.

Now, lest you think I am always looking into my baby book and finding it lacking, rest assured, I don't. But I am oldest. I always feel as if I got plenty. My sister, the middle child, is always talking about how she got less. And, to be very honest, before I had a second child, I kind of always discounted her feelings on this. Now that I have two, I kind of get it.

So. . . we are doing a birthday-palooza for Emma, too. Like Will's party, it will be at a local park. I rented the picnic shelter by the playground. We did pizza for Will's first and it was pretty easy. But I was thinking (because I am clearly insane) of doing a taco bar for Emma's birthday. I am thinking it wouldn't be too difficult. I could do pans of refried beans and rice (made the day or two before) and warm them in the oven, then a pan of taco meat, and I could do shredded chicken in a crockpot. Super easy. Taco shells and tortillas, corn chips, salsa, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, and olives. I think I could do all of that for around $100 (I am a bargain shopper). I also went to a party tonight where they had a "quesadilla bar", which I thought was awesome. They had all of the quesadillas premade and then they put them on a griddle to warm them. Then they were sliced and put on plates. You can serve a lot of people this way. BUT do I really want to be grilling quesadillas at my kid's party? Probably not. So, maybe a no on the quesadillas. But I still think it's a great idea, so feel free to steal it.

It was $85 (with tip) for pizza. I think I should just stick with that. It's a lot of work to do the taco thing. But I guess I just want something different.

I also thought about pulled pork sandwiches. I have a great crockpot recipe for that, so I could make it all the day before and then I have several friends who would lend me their crockpots to keep it warm the day of. Some potato salad, some chips, and buns, and we'd be set. Yeah, that seems like a good idea when I type it here. LOL! Sometimes, my blogging takes me directions I didn't even intend as I write. It just sounds easy. And tasty. And I think cost-effective? Pork roast is inexpensive this time of year. I'll bet I could do it for the same price as pizza (maybe less) and it would be something yummy and different.

Then for beverages, I'm all about the 2-liters, bottled water, and juice boxes for the kids. I have been shopping sales for that already.

And then I definitely want to do some sort of candy bar as the "goodie bag". I always love this idea when I see it. I saw a really cute idea on-line for a healthier version, with goldfish crackers, raisins, yogurt-covered-pretzels, etc. So, I am still deciding whether to go healthy or naughty (or a mix).

My girlfriend makes cakes, so I'm set there, no matter what I choose. But I love this one. I also like this idea (with the cake on top being her smash cake and the cupcakes for the guests).

And. . . well, there is a playground, so no games.

And. . . I think that's it. I need a theme, but I am thinking about something cute like polka dots and just lots of fun colors. Balloons, some table covers in mixed primaries, and that's it.

Do you have any other good ideas for me? Or thoughts on the food?


HereWeGoAJen said...

Farah did a taco bar for one of her parties, ask her.

Does Emma have a favorite book? That can make a cute theme for a party.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just my laziness kicking in, but I'd stick with pizza. No prep, less cleanup than washing and returning a bunch of crockpots, and the older kids can get it and eat it with less mess than something that has to be put together.

Anonymous said...

I know as a blogger you probably get a lot of people giving you disaster there's another one! ;)

Be careful with potato salad. I went to a kid's party last year and all fifty of us at the party ended up with severe food poisoning that was linked back to the potato salad. It doesn't keep well outside, and can have pretty nasty consequences.

I think the sandwiches or the tacos sound great...but I think I'd be lazy and go the pizza route. Plus, who doesn't like pizza?

I went to a fun party where they had sub sandwiches which were healthier and all the kids actually loved them. Some just had cheese and veggies for the meat averse.

I hope whatever you choose it turns out amazing and most importantly, the birthday girl has fun!

Katie said...

You know, that is the FOURTH potato salad poisoning story I have heard in the last couple of months. Interestingly enough, I found out that it's not the mayonnaise that does it, it's actually the potatoes. They are breeding grounds for nasties.

And I LOVE the sub sandwich idea. Also easy to pick up and relatively (I would think?) inexpensive. I'll have to look into it. Would be good with some veggie and fruit trays. And cake, of course! :)

Thanks for the idea!!

heather said...

I'd totally go with pizza. Less prep and no stress. One fun idea we did for our daughters 1st bday party (the theme was cupcakes) was to make rainbow cupcakes and let all the kids decorate them themselves. Everyone said I was crazy, but it was the best time ever! Even the older kids (10-14) had a great time. When they were all done we took a picture of our daughter (who didn't do a cupcake) with everyone else and their cupcakes. I made my own icing the day before and put it in individual baggies. Then the day of the party I took them out of the refrigerator about a half hour before and they were ready to go. Good luck on whatever you decide!

Mel said...

In a park, I'd go with the easiest food set up possible. But that's just me. Too much room for error in public like that. For L's first birthday, I didn't even do anything beyond finger foods and cake. I scheduled it for 1:00 or something and didn't stress myself out too much.

This year, I did pizza and I did it EARLY. At 11:00. Because I know the value of a good toddler nap time. I am SO GLAD I did pizza, afer hemming and hawing over it as well. I even did CHEAP pizza (AGHAST!) from CICIs. The kids didn't care and the parents were FINE with it. I've also been a fancy-pants hostess type because I feel like people judge me over this stuff so strictly but I am so glad I've let it go as I've gotten older. The cleanup for pizza? THROW IT ALL IN THE TRASH. Ugh, it is a freaking beautiful thing. And I think ultimately it was vastly cheaper than if I had tried to make something.

I'd totally do a mix of healthy and bad snacks. I love that idea!

IS SHE SERIOUSLY turning 1 already? I cannot believe it. It simply flies by and makes me SO SAD.